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Future of firefighting??

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  • #16
    In the longer term, 10, 20 years down the road, look for:
    Cars with encapsulating foam for the passengers (see the movie Demolition man, when he crashes into the pond).
    Self extingueshing homes - no more house fires in new construction.
    Abandoning interior attack on older homes - get the people out & surround & drown.
    Double/triple walled flamable liquids trucks
    Fire Departments will seek out more EMT calls to stay in business.
    Turnouts as thin and flexable as a light jacket, with built in cooling systems and SCBA, good for 2 hrs at 2,000 degrees.

    But, I bought my crystal ball cheap, and it is a bit cloudy.


    • #17
      And the trucks will fly to the scene... literally
      Demolition man was a good movie
      I havent failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.

      - Thomas Edison


      • #18
        I don't agree with Slueths view that we will eliminate interior attack in older homes. Their will always be old homes and today's homes will last even longer. We will just get better at fighting these fires.

        I think the continued development of CAF systems will allow more effective interior attack with less damaging water, and portable rapid room flooding systems will allow hazardous buildings and homes to be completely filled with foam in seconds (Think of the HV foam systems now used for basement fires and aircraft response).

        And don't forget integrated TIT cameras and remote firefighter locating systems on all your helmets. It will all work together to further reduce LODD's
        Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!



        • #19
          I see a significant increase in medical calls as the baby boomers get older.

          Residential structure fires will decline in number but worsen in severity as we stuff more fire load into our bigger houses made of less wood (read lightweight construction).

          HAZMAT will become a more important mission in those back-assward areas that still think that the solution to pollution is dilution. (I am in one of those areas.)

          Generally MVC's will become more survivable as technology improves and we begin to see fewer SUV's on the road and more cars with smaller masses. Hazards to responders will increase, though, when we do have to intervene because of the new forms of potential energy built into the vehicles for restraint and fuel systems.

          The proud traditions of the volunteer fire service will continue to decline as suburban populations increase, rural populations decrease, and people want first-rate response times/equipment/medical care/etc. These same people will refuse to step up to the plate and pay for what they demand. They will be even less likely to volunteer their time as part of the solution.

          We will be less likely to enter a structure and more likely to surround and drown unless there is a life safety issue involved.

          Lights and sirens will be reserved for parades.

          We'll still be arguing about the same things: fog vs. smooth, leather vs. plastic, red vs. slime green. We'll still be keeping the plankton company at the bottom of the food chain as a result of our inability to unite and speak with one voice.

          About 100 firefighters will die every year unless we are willing to make personal lifestyle changes and demand the best technology and the best operational practices available.

          Of course I could be wrong.

          a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for


          • #20
            Here is the way I see it in the future....doesn't mean it's right.

            -Lots more EMS. Baby boomers getting older, population increasing leads to more medical calls. I also see a lot of skills that are reserved for a "paramedic" become "basic" skills.

            -Lots more Haz-mat. Everyday people are becoming more "environmentally safe" and industry is inventing an average of 100 more chemicals every day. Also more specialized areas like trench rescue, high angle, confined space, etc.

            -More Homeland Security/Anti-terrorism training and equipment. I see lots of changes in response procedures across the country. Maybe even some Military equipment and skills get declassified and given to fire/EMS and law enforcement.

            -More budget problems. I see fire departments everywhere having to justify every thing they have and do because of the budget problems.

            -More "customer service" oriented fire departments. More emphasis on public service than just putting out fires. Lots more service calls in the future.

            -More combined departments. Lots of smaller towns are going to a combination or public safety department. One day you come to work and you ride the engine, the next your pulling over speeders on the highway.

            I'm sure I could think of more but this is good for now. No matter what happens, we will always be dealing with stupid people.

            Keep your head down and your powder dry.
            Lt.Jason Knecht
            Altoona Fire Rescue
            Altoona, WI
            Jason Knecht
            Township Fire Dept., Inc.
            Eau Claire, WI

            IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
            EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!


            • #21

              2 pages of doom and gloom so far. Why is everone missing all the possibilities here?? We are not the Fire Department any more, We have become the EVERYTHING department. You Call, We Haul... And what do we do? Fires, Floods, Cats, Rats, Bats, Kids in trees, Trees on Cars, Houses, People, People on things, People under things, People in things, Sick, Hurt, Dead, People. Lose you pet duck in a storm drain? FD will get it out. Basement full of water? FD will pump it out. Not sure where to put new Smoke Detector? FD will tell you. Got an old car to get rid of? FD wants them for practice. Need water for your pool? Call the FD to get hose. I could sit here and do this for an hour, and still not get to the end of the list. The items listed above are ALL things that we have done in the past year. And then there was the snake in the kitchen cabinet, I did that last fall..... Make no mistake about one thing though, Alleged volunteer decline is just that, Alleged. I have more now than ever, and they keep coming. I see a trend down the road to put volunteer positions in where they haven't been before, and a trend in combination departments to recruit more volunteers and hire fewer full time people. A major metropolitan County wide combination department has laid off a few career people and shifted others and now rely more on volunteers. The next county over from them has a larger combination department which once had career people in EVERY station. They now have 5 stations that are Volunteer only, management says there will be more. That same county has lost (thru attrition, no layoffs) about 15% of the positions that existed 7 - 8 years ago. Your road to stability, Ladies and Gentlemen, is to take on every job that you can do, become the only place to call for anything. (within reason) If you do it all, they will support you fully. Period. We're doing it now, successfully. One last thought, anybody not doing EMS better be starting soon, or you'll die on the vine like last years watermellon. Stay Safe....
              Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
              In memory of
              Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
              Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

              IACOJ Budget Analyst

              I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.



              • #22
                anybody not doing EMS better be starting soon, or you'll die on the vine like last years watermellon
                AMEN! Most of the time, I hate it with a passion but when it comes time to ask for support if you helped out when grandma fell or junior cut his finger then you're way ahead of the game.

                We started first-responder level service four years ago and have seen a near doubling of our donations and increased support (both political and financial) from the city council and it is all because we're going into people's homes and generally being very visible. We also get to occasionally help someone in real need.

                I think it is ultra-critical for the small rural departments. If you're running fewer than 100 fire calls a year and most of them nothing more that a small grass fire, then you're going to lose out when it comes time to divvy up the shrinking money pot. EMS is the way to get visible and provide a needed service to your community.


                • #23
                  In the short term, the Urban firefighter must watch the housing market. With all the downturns in the economy, housing has remained on the uptick.
                  Commercial buildings have been converted into residential lofts at a huge cost, but the current demand is high enough to offset the cost quickly. Should that demand suddenly dry up, these building owners will be left with huge, empty, money pits.

                  This happened in the '70s and Arson for Profit became widespread.

                  The BIG difference: todays building materials are mainly lightweight, i.e. C-joists, Wood I-Beams, Steel Bar-joist, Q-deck etc... These buildings are also air tight and well insulated. Fire escapes have been replaced with hallway sprinklers. Common furnishings will produce nearly 5x the BTUs of their '70s counterparts.

                  Combined with reduced manning, fewer investigations and a less experienced firefighting force...well, you get the picture.


                  • #24
                    I cant speak for the future... all I can do is train and practice to try to get ready for it. What comes nobody knows.
                    Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
                    Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
                    Randolph Fire Co. Inc


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by ff7134
                      I see the consolidation of Police and Fire.......
                      If our job was easy the cop's would already be doing it.
                      ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
                      NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
                      CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
                      LT. John Ginley Engine 40
                      FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
                      FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
                      FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
                      FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
                      FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
                      FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
                      FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
                      FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
                      FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

                      Charleston 9
                      "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
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                      • #26
                        Nice to see you back Ray


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