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  • fyrmnk
    replied
    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    It's getting to the point in some FD's that they won't even put a line into operation unless all of the "vests" have been given out... and that, Brothers and Sisters, is a damn shame.
    Unfortunately that is a widespread occurence. Fortunately we've stood our ground in our dept. and our Chiefs have took the stand that we are going to remain aggressive regardless of what many depts. around us are doing.

    One of our neighboring depts. has gotten so bad, it's not just vests that have to come out, but pretty tarps to lay all the clean tools on, and maybe a group hug before going in. It's despicable. On multiple occasions we've had rigs 4th or 5th in on their fires and we pull the 1st line and take fire attack. Utterly rediculous how far the safety pendulum has swung in many places. Sure you do your job as safe as possible, but your job is FIREFIGHTER, or at least it should be. And you should be willing to do your job or not be there.

    As far as the comment someone made about having to have a hoseline to do a search, how in the world do you do an effective and efficient primary search, where you're supposed to be looking for VICTIMS, dragging a line? How can you afford the victim the best chance at survival?

    Rant off for now.

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  • ChicagoFF
    replied
    Originally posted by voyager9
    "Risk a lot to save a lot, Risk a little to save a little" is more than a bumper sticker.
    Your right, often times it is an excuse not to do your job.

    Leave a comment:


  • LaFireEducator
    replied
    One thing to remember that the "edge of the envelope" is going to differ from department to department based on factors such as equipment, experience, manpower, training, water supply and available mutual aid. The size of the envelope will also be influenced by outside factors such as weather, building type and fire location/intensity. Because departments and fires vary, the envelope will vary ... the size of the envelope for a FDNY assignment of 30 experienced men and a garunteed water supply from a hydrant on a 12" main will be a lot larger than a slow volunteer company with 10 men of varying training and experience with a 1978 pumper counting on a tanker operation that rarely sees a structure fire. Even within the same volunteer department, the size of the envelope will vary depending on how many seasoned, experienced members show up compared to inexperienced rookies.

    Our envelope will be much smaller than the envelope of a busy full-time department, but it will most likely be a lot larger than the slow volunteer department that sees 2 structure fires a year.

    Acceptable risk to me may have a different meaning than it does to someone else. I do not consider firefighter injuries acceptable except in extreme circumstances. I certainly do not consider firefighter fatalies acceptable. Therefore, any action that has a high chance of resulting in either to me is, unacceptable. You, or your department may accept injuries or death as part of doing business, and because of that, your defination of acceptable risk will differ from mine. That's your choice. if we disagree that's cool, but I have my feelings that we as a fire service too often take unacceptable risks.

    Let me clarify the comment ...

    I did not mean to say that I am not concerned with rescues, but the issue does not worry me as it's a very rare occurance in our district and not an issue we deal with on an everyday basis. There are far more pressing and common operational and safety issues that concern me.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-13-2006, 10:30 PM.

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  • SPFDRum
    replied
    Different departments are going to have different definitions of "Acceptable Risk".
    I will agree with this, but absolutely knowhere in our business does Acceptable Risk mean No Risk. If that is the case, the fire service is not for them. No this isn't directed too just LA, having been on these forums for a while, it's many in todays new, acronym laced, everybody gets a vest and title fire service.
    Last edited by SPFDRum; 11-13-2006, 06:57 PM.

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  • voyager9
    replied
    How did a good discussion on staffing turn into a LA-bashing session?

    Guys, all departments try to skate the Safety line, some on either side of the line. Our jobs are to save lives and property, when they can be saved. With today's construction, fire load, and department staffing levels "Risk a lot to save a lot, Risk a little to save a little" is more than a bumper sticker.

    Different departments are going to have different definitions of "Acceptable Risk". Hopefully they codify it in SOP's. In the end its the IC who makes the decision based on the scene, and the crews available.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheRook
    replied
    Just thought I'd pile on while the gettin is good.

    Originally posted by SPFDRum
    I'm not sure what scares me more- the fact he is not concerned about rescue or the fact he uses educator in his forum name.
    Kinda reminds me of the saying
    "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

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  • SPFDRum
    replied
    I'm not sure what scares me more- the fact he is not concerned about rescue or the fact he uses educator in his forum name.

    Leave a comment:


  • fireman4949
    replied
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator
    If lives were at stake, I am sure, much to my dismay, we would push the edge of the envelope more than we should, but honestly, the need for rescue is such a rare occurance in our area, the possibility doesn't even concern me.

    Those are the kind of statements that you make on such a continual basis, that absolutely astonish me! I am appalled that a "firefighter" could ever make such a statement!

    If you're not even concerned about the possibility of a rescue, then in my opinion, you have NO place in the fire service!

    Leave a comment:


  • LaFireEducator
    replied
    I am not typical of the level of aggressiveness on the department. We are considered aggressive, within certain boundries. We have not had a single fire-related injury which required transport, with the exception of heat exhaustion, in at least 5 years, and I would venture to guess that our our fire loss numbers are lower per capita than any other department in the parish. In most cases we get inside fast and hit it fast, because it most cases, we have sufficiant manpower to perform all the needed tasks. However, the leadership has idetified the need to back off when the manpower isn't there in the interest of our safety. If lives were at stake, I am sure, much to my dismay, we would push the edge of the envelope more than we should, but honestly, the need for rescue is such a rare occurance in our area, the possibility doesn't even concern me.

    And yes we are progressive. We provide more training options and have more firefighters with advanced skills than any other parish department. We are the only department in the parish with a technical rescue team. I could sit here and list our accomplishments, but I won't.

    Since you have decided to attack my department, I have said enough.

    Leave a comment:


  • fireman4949
    replied
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator




    I understand we all have our feeling on what role safety plays in the fire service. When it comes to operations, I am quite conservative. That is my style.
    That has got to be the understatement of the century!


    "We are considered by most of the other parish fire departments to be progressive and aggressive."

    HOLY CRAP! You've gotta be kidding me!

    Do these other departments even have bunker gear?

    Leave a comment:


  • LaFireEducator
    replied
    Tann ...

    We border Bossier City, which is a career department. The parish, outside of the city, is divided into 8 fire districts, covering the rural areas of the parish. We cover approx. 120 miles of the parish, with a population of about 13,000. Our major hazards are 10 miles of I-20, the south's major east-west interstate and a meduim sized refinary producing high-end lubricants. We also cover 2 railines, and a meduim sized oil field. We are considered by most of the other parish fire departments to be progressive and aggressive. I would dare to say that our fire loss numbers are lower than anyone with a comprable district and staffing. We also have, with the exception of one department, have the most paid staffing in the parish (other than the city). The reality is that our funding for staffing is tapped out. We regularly see what were fields, which we covered in the past, being annexed by a neighboring department as they are built-out with high-end homes. While we are seeing growth, the yearly budget increases are quite modest, and not enough to add additional paid staffing. At this point, the slight funding increases are being used in other areas such as facilities, training, infrastucture and equipment.

    We have an aggressive volunteer base which responds on all runs. Training levels vary based on time served. The response is good. Rideout participation, though not required, is very good with our younger members.
    At this time the chief sees not pressing need to add full-time bodies and wishes to retain as much of a volunteer department as possible. There are plans to add a M-F daytime firefighter in 2010, or sooner if our SAFER grant is approved for a firefighter/public educator/code enforcement officer is approved.

    SPFD .. allow me to clarify ...

    I never meant to say that there needs to be a chief officer on all runs, though daytime calls will get the Asst. Chief, who is afulltime employee (Chief and Deputy Chief are volunteers). The Chief makes the policies that all the officers are expected to follow. What I outlined were SOPs ... developed by the Chief and expected to be followed by all officers as they function as ICs.

    As far as the requirement for a vent crew if interior ops are to be continued after 5 minutes .... well, unless you want to risk a flashover which has killed many firefighters ....

    Backup lines are common sense to cut off extension. They also tend to, in our department, function as search teams as we do not allow structural searches without a handline.

    Will we waive these in extreme situations where we are fairly confident that the reports of a victim are reliable or the exterior signs indicate the strong possibility that there are likely victims inside? Sure, if it can be done with a margin of safety. On at least 1 occasion in the past 4 years we did, IMO, go past the edge of the envelope. Luckily nobody was hurt, but the relaible reports turned out to be false. Did I agree with it? No, but it wasn't my call .. it was the officer on the first truck in's call. Luckily in our district, these types of situations occur very rarely. To me, it's just not worth the potential cost to our staffing. To me, utilizing these common sense SOPs is operating within the margins of firefighter safety, not hiding behind safety.

    I understand we all have our feeling on what role safety plays in the fire service. When it comes to operations, I am quite conservative. That is my style. I very much beleive in risk a little to save a little. While my Chief is not nearly as conservative as I am, his focus is on our safety, followed by what we can reasonably do with a reasonable degree of safety for his men. The community understands this.

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  • SPFDRum
    replied
    In the mind of our chief the lives of the firefighters in a marginal situation are not worth the risk in a situation where there is only the possibility of a victim.
    LaFireEducator, that's where you and I fundamentally differ in our firefighting stategy and tactics- I don't work in a bedroom suburb, I work in an inner-city house. All those neat little tricks of knowing if anyone is home just don't work consistantly enough to be reliable. Time of day- give me a break, working?; cars in the driveway- all the time; toys- junk everywhere; school day- yea right. So there is always the possibility of a victim, until we clear the structure.
    But I don't what your solution would be- you mention fiscal resposibility, but at what cost to the very citizens you claim to protect? 2 in 2 out is fairly simple to accomplish- 1 engine company suffices. But to add back up lines, vent crews, less than 50% involved, and a chief officer on scene to make the decission, at what point are you hiding behind safety?
    Last edited by SPFDRum; 11-12-2006, 08:41 PM.

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  • Tann3100
    replied
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator
    Tann ..

    We are in the northwest corner of the state... about 15 miles east of Shreveport. We run about 1,300 calls a year ... 85% of them are ALS First Response. Majority of our fires are brush and wildland. We catch maybe 15 structure fires a year, with about 5-6 being working on arrival. We operate 5 stations - one manned and four are vollie staffed.
    What is the population that you all serve and how many miles do you all cover? I see bossier city and they have all career but I dont see bossier parrish?

    Leave a comment:


  • LaFireEducator
    replied
    Tann ..

    We are in the northwest corner of the state... about 15 miles east of Shreveport. We run about 1,300 calls a year ... 85% of them are ALS First Response. Majority of our fires are brush and wildland. We catch maybe 15 structure fires a year, with about 5-6 being working on arrival. We operate 5 stations - one manned and four are vollie staffed.

    Eric ...

    Quite honestly it depends on the situation... How envolved is the structure?
    How relaible are the reports? Is it a member of the household who escaped and knows that someone is still inside or is it a neighbor who says she thinks someone might be inside because his car is still there making the report? If our manning and/or fire conditions are marginal the reports of a trapped victim will have to be pretty reliable for us to make the risky push. In the mind of our chief the lives of the firefighters in a marginal situation are not worth the risk in a situation where there is only the possibility of a victim. That's the feeling of our chief, and I happen to agree with him. In all honesty, I don't think our community has ever expected us to take unreasonable risks. They do not have the expectation that we are going to die doing our job. They expect us to take reasonable risks in situations where the risks are worth the results.

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  • erics99
    replied
    Originally posted by LaFireEducator
    IMO, Firefighter safety should never be sacrificed for a structure and honestly, should rarely be sacrificed for a possible victim.
    So if you have 3 or 4 men on scene, with a report of a person trapped, you will do nothing besides exterior ops? All because you are afraid of a fireman possibly getting hurt trying to do his job? How do you justify your existence? There is a big difference between going interior and taking a calculated risk to do what you can do without getting in a "pinch", and doing absolutely nothing because you are a coward.

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