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Why do you need extra truck companies for a high rise fire?

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  • MattyJ
    replied
    Outside of the fire floor.....and often; even other apartments on the fire floor, evacuation is not needed..as the buildings are fireproof. I have gone to the apartment directly above a good fire to vent from above, and the person answering the door had no idea there was a fire underneath them. I've had people open the door in the same hallway of the fire apartment, only to be completly surprised to see heavy smoke and firemen crawling around. In most of these situations we give the same advice "close the door,open the window and you'll be fine"

    So we normally do not evacuate anyone above the fire...however, we always search the stairwells to the roof, and we always check on any caller who reports smoke etc...most often we just explain there was a fire on a lower floor, keep their door closed and they'll be fine.

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  • ehs7554
    replied
    It may only take 4 or 5 guys, one engine, and one hose line to put out the fire, but its going to take a lot more to evacuate 200 people safely. Enter Truckies, rescue, squad , extra engine, or whatever.

    I agree with FFRED, you can't depleat your resources like that across town.

    Of course, FFRED, you could always have Quints that have water and sticks........Just kidding I am not a fan of the concept myself.

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  • MattyJ
    replied
    I agree that once the fire goes out, the situation gets better. However, this does not eliminate the smoke condition on the floors above and stairwells. Most often, these fires (Highrise MD's) are confined to the fire apartment, and handled with 1 handline. As I said, if the fire gets out into the hallway, is wind driven, or auto-exposes to the floor above, then additional lines would be stretched, but we are still only talking about 1 or 2 additional lines.

    Our Engine companies carry very little truck company tools, their only job (99% of the time) at a job is to stretch a line (or help another Engine Co do so) and put the fire out.

    Obviously everyone on the job is a firefighter. However, keep in mind how specific the duties of Engine and Truck companies are in the FDNY. It is very rare for one company to operate as the other (I've never seen it done). Given these very specific duties, it is safe to say that Engine Company firefighters are extremely good at stretching lines,securing water, and putting the fire out, but not as good (due to lack training and experience) at truck work,particulary when covering a specific position (Roof,OVM etc..) The best truck company on the job, would not be as skilled at stretching a handline six stories. I for one, think this is one of the reasons our operations work so well..each type of company is very good at what "they do".

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  • EastKyFF
    replied
    Originally posted by DrParasite
    well, my thinking was that 99% of your problems (including trapped victims) are solved by putting out the fire. put the fire out (using the additional engine companies) and the trapped victims are no longer trapped.

    Thanks for the info 40-35
    Also don't forget the time involved in putting out a highrise fire. By the time an engine can get crews up there, find the fire, connect to the standpipe, make access, and attack the fire, the truck companies can evacuate a whole lot of human beings.

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  • CaptainGonzo
    replied
    Originally posted by DrParasite
    well, my thinking was that 99% of your problems (including trapped victims) are solved by putting out the fire. put the fire out (using the additional engine companies) and the trapped victims are no longer trapped.

    Thanks for the info 40-35
    I think you are forgetting the fact that every person assigned to a piece of fire apparatus, whether it be an Engine compnay, A Ladder company or a Rescue company is first and foremost a firefighter!

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  • fireman4949
    replied
    Fire isn't the only threat...

    Originally posted by DrParasite
    well, my thinking was that 99% of your problems (including trapped victims) are solved by putting out the fire. put the fire out (using the additional engine companies) and the trapped victims are no longer trapped.

    Thanks for the info 40-35
    Just because the fire is out (or knocked down) doesn't mean there are no longer trapped victims. Smoke, heat and toxic gases are all still present and are just as lethal as they were pre-extinguishment.
    Rescue is our absolute primary concern. I'd like to know there are as many resources dedicated to rescue as possible, while the necessary remaining resources are focused on confinement and extinguishment. Time is critical in accessing and removing victims, even after fire spread has been stopped.

    Second, third, fourth, etc. alarms will bring not only additional trucks, but additional engines, and various other support resources as well. All have their special capabilities and assignments are made based upon the particular need(s) as determined by the IC.




    Kevin

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  • drparasite
    replied
    Originally posted by MattyJ
    By the way..if the victims are out of reach of of ladders, as was asked at the begining of this topic...what would the purpose be of calling Engines?
    well, my thinking was that 99% of your problems (including trapped victims) are solved by putting out the fire. put the fire out (using the additional engine companies) and the trapped victims are no longer trapped.

    Thanks for the info 40-35

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  • RspctFrmCalgary
    replied
    Thanks, Ron.

    That's pretty much what I figured after I finished reading the thread.

    Sounds similar to when an elevator can be "locked off" in an apartment building when a tenant is moving in/out.

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  • CaptainGonzo
    replied
    Originally posted by RspctFrmCalgary
    Ray, what does that mean, "Firemen Service"?

    OK, I should clarify that I haven't finished reading all the posts yet, I decided to ask that question as soon as I got to that part. Going back to finish reading.
    Sher.. I'll answer that for you.

    There is a key that we can use to "capture" the elevators. When the key is placed into the switch and activated, it will bring the elevators down to the ground level, regardless of what floor they were going to.

    The firefighter then removes the key fron the exterior switch and puts it into the ofirefighter's switch in the elvator. It overrides the elevator's controls and allows the firefighters to operate the elevator. in my community, for a fire situation, we would capture the elevator, use it to bring up equipment and such and set up command two floors below the fire floor.

    I had to use the "fireman's service" the other day for a medical in an office building. The people in the elevator were wondering why they pushed the button for the 4th floor and the elevator went to the ground floor. One of the passengers wasn't too happy... oh well....

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  • RspctFrmCalgary
    replied
    *beep beep beep* my usual "civilian chick dumb question ahead" alert ...

    Originally posted by E40FDNYL35
    B. Prior to leaving the lobby:
    1. Determine the elevator bank that provides the safest access to the fire area and place the elevator cars to be used on "Firemen Service".
    Ray, what does that mean, "Firemen Service"?

    OK, I should clarify that I haven't finished reading all the posts yet, I decided to ask that question as soon as I got to that part. Going back to finish reading.
    Last edited by RspctFrmCalgary; 09-14-2006, 10:07 PM. Reason: To add something

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  • MattyJ
    replied
    Dont confuse High Rise office buildings with highrise multiple dwellings.....we handle them differently.

    In High Rise Office buildings the whole company (5 firefighters and an officer) will generally operate togather, in a specific location and job.

    In a high rise multiple dwelling, there are much fewer companies operating. 1st due truck, 2nd due truck,Rescue and Squad. Occasionally they will special call an additional Truck to handle the large number of reports of smoke on the upper floors (but it is usually handled by the 1st,2nd Due trucks or Rescue. I've been to jobs where we've had over 15 apartments calling the dispatcher for smoke or people trapped,....so it can keep the trucks very busy going up and down stairs checking floors and apartments. Every apartment must be checked (due to past fires...we can get into that later)

    The vast majority of High Rise MD's we have jobs in are handled by the above companies (with 4 Engines stretching lines and getting water on it) When you hear a multiple alarm in NYC for a Highrise MD...it is usually a severe fire...out of the apartment, maybe wind driven...etc..

    By the way..if the victims are out of reach of of ladders, as was asked at the begining of this topic...what would the purpose be of calling Engines? The Trucks would most often be used first for carrying victims out, or performing a Roof Rope rescue.....in other words, if there were that many victims awaiting rescue (very unlikely anywhere other than the fire floor in these buildings) the truck co.'s would be the better choice.
    Last edited by MattyJ; 09-14-2006, 09:53 PM.

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  • FFFRED
    replied
    Originally posted by DrParasite
    Ok, before anyone asks, I'm referring for a fires in a highrise something like 20 stories in the air. where the fire is out of the reach of an aerial ladder.

    I know FDNY (probably ones of the foremost experts in these types of fires) has 5 trucks responding to a highrise fire (instead of the usual 3), but if the fire (and the victums) are out of reach of the aerials, why not just call for additional engine companies?

    One way to compare it is to ask oneself... Would an Army General on the Battlefield who needed more Air cavalry support ask for more infantry or armored support?

    We just like everyone else have a certain numer of Engine and Ladder companies in the city for the tour. It wouldn't make much sense to reduce the availiability of Engines just to have a whole bunch of ladder companies with a few relocated Engines sitting around. Not to mention you would have to draw Engines from farther away while there were plently of nearby Ladder companies to address the staffing needs.

    When you have x amount of tasks that need to be handled at a basic high-rise fire...the first alarm companies assigned should be numerous enough to adequately address these needs.

    The S&T needs of a high rise as 40-35 pointed out are numerous indeed. One of the many things that need to be considered is Commercial or Residential as that has some effect on operations and how many Ladder Companies are needed and what roles they will play. Ladder Companies are the ones with the most experience and best equipment to handle the many tasks such as search, forcible entry and overhaul.

    There could literally be 4 or 5 staircases to be searched along with 100s of office doors needing to be forced depending on seriousness of the fire and smoke travel in the building.

    The Engines as it was said will be needed for stretching lines and relief, along with CFR-D and the new Command Post Companies (I think they changed their names though) They really aren't equiped or staffed on average to handle the Truck tasks as efficently as the Ladder Co's are.

    Maintaining company cohesiveness(this doesn't refer to everyone staying within arms reach of each other.) and keeping each one focused on the tasks that each one is meant to deal with is paramount to maintaining control and command of a fire of this size. This very fact has been brought up by reviews of fatal fires in a few cities. When one has Engines doing Truck work and Trucks doing Engine work and everything in between...things can and will get confusing and out of control fast.

    Have trucks been used to stretch lines and Engines used as FAST teams or to overhaul or search...sure, but it is usally due to extreemly unusual circumstances (low availiablity) this is by far the exception and not the rule.

    FTM-PTB

    PS-As for the command post...it has gone no where and I don't know who these instructors got their info from but it is wrong.

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  • mikeyboy
    replied
    Why we have add'l Trucks respond......

    Let's not forget that some Departments are running 5 personnell on their Trucks..... 4 Trucks = the manpower of 5 Engines........ but I also believe that it is for the various reasons previously discussed.

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  • Dickey
    replied
    It's nice to get the news from the "horses mouth" kind of thing.

    There are a few instructors here that are saying that. I think I shall re-educate them.

    Thanks man, stay safe!

    Leave a comment:


  • E40FDNYL35
    replied
    Originally posted by Dickey
    I thought I heard that FDNY changed the high rise SOG to move the command post out of the building because of possible collapse. This was a direct result from Sept. 11th. Is this true??
    no.................

    Leave a comment:

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