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  • Definition of "Working Fire"

    What is the true definition of a "working fire"?

    Any fire academy students out there have this definition in your text books?
    Chris Shields
    Lieutenant / EMT
    Haz-Mat Technician
    East Syracuse Fire Dept
    Onondaga County, NY

  • #2
    Just venturing a guess here without looking it up yet, I would say probably a fire well into atleast its incipient stage, where atleast 1 hoseline must be stretched and operated. But then again, Ive seen and heard chiefs give a "working fire" for a car burning, which I really dont think is necessary. Good question. I'm Gonna have to go look it up somewhere.

    Edited to add:In John Norman's book, "Fire Officers Handbook of Tactics", he states that most "working fires" are found during the free burning stage. Not really a definition, but a start.
    nyckftbl
    Forum Member
    Last edited by nyckftbl; 04-21-2006, 11:53 AM.
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    • #3
      For us, a "working fire" is all hands from the initial dispatch working .
      My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
      "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
      George Mason
      Co-author of the Second Amendment
      during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
      Elevator Rescue Information

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      • #4
        Definition

        Working Fire - that which occurs during the following times: (1) sitting down to a hot meal on a holiday; (2) as soon as you sit on the throne; (3) the night that the new chief begins his new post; (4) the spouse is not home and neither are any babysitters; and (5) the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter of the Superbowl...

        Kidding aside, I think Rum's response is accurate. However, it's application in the field varies. Most chiefs who arrive on the scene first will declare a working fire (visible smoke & flame) before the companies arrive - the anticipation being that all companies will work when they get there.
        Shoreman22
        MembersZone Subscriber
        Last edited by Shoreman22; 04-21-2006, 02:29 PM.
        Proud member of the IACOJ.

        If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you....

        "It seemed like a good idea at the time..."

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        • #5
          In my dept, "Working Fire" is a designation made by either the initial arriving company officer, or the Batt Chief. It denotes a fire in a structure requiring the use of at least one hoseline, and the holding of all companies on the initial alarm assignment. An incipient fire that can be extinguished with the can is not a working fire, no matter how much smoke it generates. Working Fire is also a signal to Dispatch requiring certain notifications be made-add'l engine co. to scene for RIT, ambulance for standby, Safety Officer, Chiefs.

          Occasionally, you will hear the term working car fire used, which is taken to mean more involved than just the engine compartment. Since a car fire assignment here is one Engine/one Rescue, it will be a heads up to the Rescue that they'll have work to do (cutting the hood, helping the engineer get on a hydrant, assisting with the line).

          If someone says "Working" dumpster or trash, it's meant as a joke.

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          • #6
            In "Essentials of Firefighting and Emergency Response - Firefighter's Handbook", there is no mention of the term working fire. Furthermore, the term really wasn't mentioned at all during my time at fireschool.

            In my volunteer company, however, is basically exactly what gunny described.

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            • #7
              What is the true definition of a "working fire"?

              When the house is on fire!

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              • #8
                Here, the first in-truck may delare any incident a "working" incident if upon arrival, the officer or senior firefighter sees an incident which will in all liklihood, use all manpower and apparatus currently responding. This can be any type of fire, search/technical/wildland rescue, MVA/extrication incident or any other multi-patient incident.

                It is used as a signal to the companies that they will be engaged and also gives a heads-up to volunteer members that may be monitering and would not respond unless the incident in fairly significant due to some type of current commitment. Also, volunteer drivers know to get the other appartus up and request orders (go to scene, standby, move-up, etc).
                Train to fight the fires you fight.

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                • #9
                  My interpretation ( keep in mind I am still new to most of this) is: a fire that is an actual fire, not an automatic alarm, false alarm, dryer steam, barbeque smoke, barbeque fire( for cooking not out of control). Further, (in the KC Metro) it indicates that more resources may be needed, like the Air wagon, utilities, investigator, Red Cross, etc.
                  I.A.C.O.J. "The Cork"

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                  • #10
                    between my man Gunny V and pvfire they are about the closest. Toledo has an actual definition but I dont recall waht it is when they change it in CAD, I will find out when I go back to work and let you all know.

                    Toledo Fire defines a working fire as a 2 and 1 (2 engines and 1 truck co) in service for 20 mins or greater on the scene.
                    Weruj1
                    Forum Member
                    Last edited by Weruj1; 04-26-2006, 11:55 PM. Reason: got more info
                    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
                    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
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                    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
                    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
                    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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                    • #11
                      When the nozzle team starts stretching before you have to ask them to.

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                      • #12
                        I would define a working fire as one which all responding companies will be needed on scene. However, "working fire" is a term we rarely use. Occasionally, the first arriving officer will use this term, but as a rule, we will give a size up consisting of one of the following:

                        Nothing showing.
                        Light smoke showing.
                        Heavy smoke showing.
                        Fire showing.
                        Heavy fire showing.
                        Fully involved.

                        Normally, given a good size-up report from the first arrivivg company, all other responding companies will have a pretty good idea what to expect upon arrival.




                        Kevin
                        Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
                        IAFF Local 2339
                        K of C 4th Degree
                        "LEATHER FOREVER"
                        Member I.A.C.O.J.
                        http://www.tfdfire.com/
                        "Fir na tine"

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                        • #13
                          tried to edit this but accidentally made a new message..............anyway read the message below this one......stupid newbie (reffering to me)
                          jrengine70
                          Forum Member
                          Last edited by jrengine70; 04-21-2006, 06:53 PM.

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                          • #14
                            when you pull up and say "oooooo look at the pretty colors"

                            when our chief (or whatever officer) arrives and there is fire and smoke visible he says 'working fire' to signal that there is a fire and to let the companies arriving to gear up and get a line down.

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                            • #15
                              I personally like a "tight" definition for "worker" --

                              A fire that it is anticipated will take at least 2 handlines to control.

                              (With the caveat that your 1st Alarm assignment to any given situation should normally be capable of placing two handlines in service, along with supporting truck work and water supply...thus putting 2 lines in service...requires all hands working.)

                              The difference between a description of the fire (smoke showing, fire showing, heavily involved, etc) and declaring something a "worker" is a ________ (I can't think of the right term) issue.

                              A heavy fire showing from the window 1st floor, Side Bravo on a wood-frame structure isn't a worker...when it's a 12x10 shed in the backyard

                              By classifying a fire as a Working Fire, it gives other responding Chief Officers and/or the Dispatcher a heads up that you will likely be asking for more help soon...and in some places it is the magic word that adds another unit or two onto an incident, or formally initiates a FAST response...not quite a 2nd Alarm, but since we're anticipating using everyone we already have responding, go ahead and send us somebody to put in reserve.
                              Dalmatian190
                              Forum Member
                              Last edited by Dalmatian190; 04-21-2006, 07:13 PM.

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