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Structural FIRE ATTACK 'SOP'

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  • Structural FIRE ATTACK 'SOP'

    OK I have been calling for a fire-ground action plan for years. I base this approach on a much needed SOP for structure fires. We need guidance on what tasks are important at a structural fire and what priority should be placed on each? Perhaps you already have such an SOP in your department? Maybe, after some debate, we will arrive at an effective approach that is simple to use; universal; and improves safety further still.

    However - you will discover - there is a conflict! How do we address the 'emotional' aspects associated with 'persons reported trapped' incidents, as opposed to sound and sensible tactical aspects?

    Here's my tactical plan - Primary actions and Secondary actions - to be completed in order - not so rigid that certain actions can't be 'leap-frogged' over others, where necessary, but there had better be a good reason to do this!

    Primary Actions

    1. Position Apparatus
    2. Visible Rescues
    3. Initial Water Supply
    4. Cover hose-lines
    5. Exterior Lighting
    6. Forcible Entry (exterior)
    7. Fire Attack
    8. Fire Isolation

    Secondary Actions

    1. Accountability
    2. Tactical Ventilation
    3. Interior Search & Rescue
    4. Additional Water Supplies
    5. Interior Lighting
    6. Back-up (support) Hose-line
    7. Master Streams (Monitors)
    8. Rapid Intervention Teams

    I'm interested in your views on prioritizing actions - Primarys .... Secondarys .... Maybe you think some are missing?
    Euro Firefighter 2008 - Strategy & Tactics from the World's Firegrounds

  • #2
    You're going to get beat up a little because some people will not understand what you are saying. Many of these actions can be completed simulataneously. They are not completed in this exact order. Many of your porimary consideration are fire fighter safety-related and are already completed, albeit, automatically and unconsciously.

    For the most part, I agree with you. However, I have two comments on the Primary side.

    1. I think that you need to put "Locate the fire" in before you can attack and isolate it.

    2. I also think that, according to many state regs, you have to establish and incident management system and an accountability procedure prior to entering the building. Also, at least in NJ, the RIT teams have to be considered early in the game, again, according to state regs.

    Please don't misunderstand me. I see your big picture and, for the most part, I agree. Having a coordinated attack plan would reduce FF injuries and deaths.
    Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 02-07-2005, 08:27 AM.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

    Comment


    • #3
      I forgot one. There should be some consideration for fires where the suppression system is already operating. A fire where the sprinkler system is already operating on the fire will require a secondary water source as a primary consideration.
      PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting.....................

        Paul raises some interesting points here. Far too many troops rush off to do battle with no plan at all. When (Not if) you fail to plan, you are planning to fail (Thanks to someone who posts here, I wouldn't have thought that up by myself) We use Standard Operating Guidelines (S.O.Gs.) which are fairly Basic in their approach. It has been my experience that more complicated plans tend to have a problem arise more often than the simpler ones. One difference with me is that I want "Accountability" from the start. Our units mark up responding and give the number of persons on the crew at that time. Since having someone on the Fireground that was not on a piece of apparatus is not the norm, we can figure that the rundown from the dispatcher is correct. With Volunteers, I can have an Engine coming with 3 people or 10 people, so knowing what the staffing levels are up front is important.

        Looking at Paul's list, as posted, I don't have any problems with covering all those places, but we just flow right thru it, breaking it into Primary/Secondary doesn't do anything helpful.

        First Engine: Supply line from Hydrant to side A, Attack line to Fire, Vent and search as you go.
        Second Engine: Insure water to First Engine, Run a Backup line for First Engine.
        Third Engine: Stretch from different Hydrant to Side C. Run line per IC Direction.
        Fourth Engine: Gets water to Third Engine, Crew reports to Third Engine, waits for direction from IC.
        First Truck: Search and Vent, Ladders.
        Second Truck: Lights, Fans, Utilities, Secondary Search.
        Rescue Company RIT, unless otherwise directed by IC.

        Basic concept? Sure. Work? Sure. With those Thousand and one things that can, and do, change from minute to minute, you need Flexibility. Planning for the worst outcome gives you the best odds for avoiding the worst outcome.
        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.

        www.gdvfd18.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks George.......................

          I'm also getting forgetful. On a Building with a built in system, First Engine secures water to the system, Crew takes the Standpipe pack to the Floor below the Fire as appropriate.
          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.

          www.gdvfd18.com

          Comment


          • #6
            We do a lot of the same things, just not in the same order and many are done simulataneously. The main differences is accountablity is a primary function for us, as is establish IC and RIT.
            Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

            IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

            "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
            RUSH-Tom Sawyer

            Success is when skill meets opportunity
            Failure is when fantasy meets reality

            Comment


            • #7
              George - Solid, sound and true to the cause - Good points all through. This was a UK proposal for a fireground attack plan I tendered (published) in 1991. The system is adaptable but as we approach structure fires in europe, it is not as 'organised' as in the US. There are no roles, no ladder (companies), just engines. No assignments occur until on-scene, except for the initial two SCBA.

              This flexibility was always seen as a positive feature of our system. Since having worked the US system I am convinced we are simply too flexible in europe. This means that safety may be compromised by differing approaches to similar situations. Yes you are right - safety is at the centre of this.

              However, I would still suggest that many US fire departments function outside of such a tactical approach. You guys might think this is not the case but apply the test ....

              I agree firstly with you all .. accountability is a primary. When the plan was proposed 14 years ago we had accountability for firefighters arriving and working on-scene. This was built into our system and was an automatic feature so was not a consideration. The accountability I referred to was for SCBA wearers. We operate SCBA control but 14 years ago the system was restricted by available manpower and tended to be a 'Secondary' consideration as other roles took priority. However, now we operate Rapid Deployment SCBA accountibility where wearers enter a tally into a board on the engine and this automatically starts a clock ticking - showing how long they have been under air when full SCBA accountability is set up some minutes later.

              I agree - accountability can now move up as a top Primary. HWoods, I see your point but I sincerely believe the object of primarys and Secondarys is to place greater emphasis on the 8 most important features. Kind of place this up front in the mind-set. You know - Ten commandments etc! But here's a thing - what if .... what if the first engine on-scene has a fire on the ground floor but persons reported trapped upstairs in a two storey house fire? Five firefighters arriving on-scene to operate on their own for 4-5 minutes .... ?

              and ... I agree again George .... Locate the fire first not always obvious.
              Euro Firefighter 2008 - Strategy & Tactics from the World's Firegrounds

              Comment


              • #8
                ----------------------------------------------------
                Quote by Paul Grimwood:
                Here's my tactical plan - Primary actions and Secondary actions - to be completed in order - not so rigid that certain actions can't be 'leap-frogged' over others, where necessary, but there had better be a good reason to do this!

                Primary Actions

                1. Position Apparatus
                2. Visible Rescues
                3. Initial Water Supply
                4. Cover hose-lines
                5. Exterior Lighting
                6. Forcible Entry (exterior)
                7. Fire Attack
                8. Fire Isolation

                Secondary Actions

                1. Accountability
                2. Tactical Ventilation
                3. Interior Search & Rescue
                4. Additional Water Supplies
                5. Interior Lighting
                6. Back-up (support) Hose-line
                7. Master Streams (Monitors)
                8. Rapid Intervention Teams
                -------------------------------------------------------

                Paul,

                I can't see where setting lights is more important than Forcible Entry, Fire Attack, Back-up lines, Master Streams, or Rit teams.

                Lights are important, but the lack of them is not going to stop me from any of the things mentioned. To me lights get important after the fire is knocked down.
                RK
                cell #901-494-9437

                Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

                "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


                Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I can't see where setting lights is more important than Forcible Entry, Fire Attack, Back-up lines, Master Streams, or Rit teams.
                  Not trying to be funny, but how about at night? Its hard to see in the dark, or at least I find it so. When we pull up to a fire at night, the first thing done, before anyone steps off the rig, is turn on the 12v scene lights on the rig(s). Which is soon followed by 110v flood lights or putting up a light mast. Makes for a much safer scene for firefighters to operate.

                  I can SEE his point
                  Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

                  IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

                  "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
                  RUSH-Tom Sawyer

                  Success is when skill meets opportunity
                  Failure is when fantasy meets reality

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I understand what you are saying, but I think the easier way to remember a structrural SOP is to use the acronym RECEO with one addition that I use when taliking about tactical prorities - S.

                    S- Safety, which covers accountability, hazard analayis, collapse
                    potential, lighting, safe apparatus positioning and other related
                    issues.
                    R- Rescue, if victims are still viabable.
                    E- Cover Exposures, both interior and exterior.
                    C- Confine
                    E- Extingush
                    O- Overhaul

                    Throw in S,V and W where ever needed
                    S- Salvage
                    V- Ventilation
                    W- Water Supply

                    Just my thoughts as this acronym covers everything in a form firefighters are used to hearing. As I say in my public education classes, there is no need to reinvet the wheel if the wheeel still rolls (but updating it now and then isn't a bad idea).
                    Train to fight the fires you fight.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What about at night? It has never been so dark outside, not even at night that I cannot see. Honestly, it is never pitch black, zero visibility dark outside. Once you get inside, exterior and interior lights will not help much until the smoke clears, and that won't happen until the fire is out. And.....I have a flashlight on my lid, and on my coat. Honestly, I don't normally waste the batteries to light up a couple inches of smoke in front of them.

                      I am speaking of good, working type fires here. I agree that lights are important, but I am not going to delay things that must be done to go back to the rig and turn on a light.

                      Additionally, exterior lighting initially can hurt you more than it will help you anyway. When I arrive on the 1st in engine, we try to spot in front of the house past the one on fire. This affords me a view of 3 sides and gets the pumper and lines out of the way of the 1st truck and other companies. From that angle, it is almost always impossible to light the entire front surface of the door. (shadows) Your eyes adjust to the light in the front yard as your stretching out the line, but when you get to the door, your back in the dark. Your worse off then you were before. Now someone has to shine a light into the shadow because you can't see anything. Had it been dark all around the door, your eyes would be adjusted and no flashlight needed. Precision not required here. Prove this to yourself tonight when you go to bed. Its always darkest in your bedroom right after you turn out the lights. What happens after you lay in bed a bit. Your eyes adjust. Heck, the alarm clock lights up the whole dang room. Amazing.
                      RK
                      cell #901-494-9437

                      Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

                      "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


                      Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Robert, I feel exterior lighting is essential where rescues are taking place. Not only that, in a multi-storey building (you have those in Memphis right ;-) we need to get a good look at the windows on arrival. It may assist to locate the fire; smoke travel; level of involvement and PEOPLE who aren't shouting. Where ladders are going up the lights will assist. You may also see 'wisps' of smoke across a clear facade, ir; no sign of fire. This may guide you to express some sense of urgency.

                        As Dave says, its a quik fix to set up a light on leaving the cab.

                        LA - I know that acronym but it takes for granted that firefighters will remember several actions under one letter of the memory jogger. Even worse - it assumes a totally different order of priority between my Primary's and Secondarys. I can describe several fires where the empahsis you give in RECEO to the order of actioning may have provided a worse outcome.

                        Thinking limited crewing .... 4-5 firefighters?
                        Euro Firefighter 2008 - Strategy & Tactics from the World's Firegrounds

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It goes back to these things happening simulataneously. In my mind the first due engine chauffer, if it is a straight lay (from the hydrant to the building) will handle lights after the water supply is established. So if you are going in with the line or performing a search you are not going to stop and put up some lights first. As inportant as lighting is, it may be a little high on the posted list but I think we all understand the need. I am not in favor of teaching this type of list as an sop/sog. Teach guys why each is important and who we expect to perform the task. They will be most effective if the listed steps become instinct. You do not need a newer member telling you not to force the door and attack the fire because the sop is to light the scene first.
                          Also RIT should be the first thing the IC does after postioning rigs and establishing water.
                          B Holmes

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't think exterior lighting needs a bullet. If it's dark and you need light, it should be common sense to light things up. It's definetly a consideration, and definetly important if it's dark -- in the name of fireground safety. But I think it's important for a coordinated fire action plan to be general enough that it applies in most situations, not "if it's so-and-so, then you might have to do this."

                            To me, RECEO is more of a way to prioritize emergency situations. Like Paul hinted at, sometimes confining a fire might be the priority when it comes to saving lives and property. All depends on the situation.

                            I don't think you can start to get too specific step-wise when you're trying to address all structural fires in general. I think you need a separate high-rise SOG, commercial building SOG, SFD SOG, MFD SOG, vehicle fire SOG, etc. Granted, your emergency priorities and many actions will probably be the same. But in some situations, certain things will be more important. (if that made any sense)

                            I think GW's suggestion of LOCATE is very important. I've noticed this being pushed by some of the FDNY's people here, and it's something I had never really been taught to consider as a true "step" or "process." Obviously we've been locating our fires, but it has never given much thought or coverage in training. Reading the posts from some FDNY and the examples they gave... I think it is worthy of being broken-out as it's own step.

                            I also think WATER SUPPLY is worthy of it's own bullet.

                            There was a class I took in school that used some series that preached a "Fire Action Plan" that I really liked... I think it was the Mosby "First Due" series.
                            Last edited by Resq14; 02-07-2005, 07:04 PM.
                            God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
                            Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
                            Click this to search FH Forums!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              it should be common sense to light things up
                              Common What???

                              I didnt mean delay any other action while your pulling lights off the rig. Ours can be "fired up" from the cab and pump panel so all the engineer has to do is flick a couple switches. I know not everyone has that luxury.

                              We have some areas in our district that have no street lights and if the moon isnt out it can be frickin DARK !
                              But if flames are shooting out the roof, no problem

                              Like I said, our SOG's dont spell it out step by step. A lot of it happens at the same time. Every situation is different...
                              Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

                              IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

                              "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
                              RUSH-Tom Sawyer

                              Success is when skill meets opportunity
                              Failure is when fantasy meets reality

                              Comment

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