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  • Culture of extinguishment not safety?

    Too much safety? Or too much focus on exinguishment?

    My view:

    We tend to be reactionary, making policies, rules, and procedures based on prior bad outcomes. However, this practice often fails to address the root cause of the problem. I believe that the concept of two-in/two-out is sound and providing a RIT when firefighters are in a hazardous environment is a solid idea. However, it does not address the root causes of firefighters becoming lost or trapped inside burning buildings.

    Your thoughts?
    Cognition before Ignition

  • #2
    While 2 in 2 out sounds good on paper, it is not proving so in the real world. A company is better off attacking the fire as soon as they make scene. They don't need to wait for conditions to get worse while the other "2" get there. A RIT comprised of 2 is not enough to perform a rescue. A FF in trouble is probably going to be in big trouble. 2 people are not going to be able to solve the problem. Proper RIT staffing is key.

    Many FDs are doing plenty of unsafe things. Crazy driving, unhealthy members, lack of training, improper fire attack.......
    FF/Paramedic

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by J.Beck View Post
      Too much safety? Or too much focus on exinguishment?

      My view:

      We tend to be reactionary, making policies, rules, and procedures based on prior bad outcomes. However, this practice often fails to address the root cause of the problem. I believe that the concept of two-in/two-out is sound and providing a RIT when firefighters are in a hazardous environment is a solid idea. However, it does not address the root causes of firefighters becoming lost or trapped inside burning buildings.

      Your thoughts?
      When you put the fire out good things happen. If you spend too much time, farting around waiting for Tom, Dick and Hary to show up, then you wasted time that could have been spent putting the fire fire out. Now the fire is larger and is going to be that much more dangerous to extinguish. I think that we have to find "that happy middle ground" and be as safe and aggressive as we can be and still get the job done.
      Stay Safe
      Bull


      “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
      - Capt. Marc Cox CFD

      Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
      -WINSTON CHURCHILL

      Comment


      • #4
        I think its en vogue to be different, call it progressive and change proven tactics because you want to appear advanced.

        I think that 2 in/2 out has been good for us. However, no fire department worth a hill of beans is sitting on the porch waiting for the next crew so they can satisfy the requirement.

        It has been helpful because it forces the officer to consider resources dedicated to our own.

        As has been said, put the fire out and good things happen.

        It is really interesting to ask a lay person about firefighting. They think that the smallest application of water will put out a fire. We know that you have to get that water in sufficient volumes on the correct spot or the fire will not go out. We also know that you have to "open up" and overhaul.

        The departments that do not get much fire have to be very very careful. They are losing the art of applying water where it needs to go and opening up.

        All the inovations are great. But something like CAFS will not eliminate the need for overhaul... Innovations are great, in the wrong hands they will cause more harm.

        Bit of a rambling post, oh well!
        I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

        "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

        "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

        Comment


        • #5
          A couple of points to go along with the points that have already been made:

          --Effective risk management results in saving savable lives while not compromising the safety of our firefighters.

          --Search supported by effective fire control and ventilation is more likely to succeed than search that is not supported by effective fire control and ventilation.

          --By controlling the fire will eliminate the threat to both firefighters and occupants. In some cases firefighters should take the fire first, rather than focusing on a primary search.

          Good discussion so far!
          Cognition before Ignition

          Comment


          • #6
            ChiefKN is on it, as usual. The real value of 2 in/2 out is when it is made a high priority as soon as resources are available, not when a proper attack is delayed to dot i's and cross t's. And as noted earlier, 2 out ain't hardly enough if it hits the fan, neighbors.
            “I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
            ― Hunter S. Thompson

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
              I think its en vogue to be different, call it progressive and change proven tactics because you want to appear advanced.
              I dunno..I agree, to a point.

              But, I also think that we should recognize that the enemy has changed. We are getting three or four times more BTUs on fires today versus the 70s or
              80s. Building construction has changed dramatically as well..

              With that being said, should our tactics change or be modified to meet todays conditions?
              Cognition before Ignition

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by J.Beck View Post
                I dunno..I agree, to a point.

                But, I also think that we should recognize that the enemy has changed. We are getting three or four times more BTUs on fires today versus the 70s or
                80s. Building construction has changed dramatically as well..

                With that being said, should our tactics change or be modified to meet todays conditions?
                There is no doubt that the technology and science is developing in ways that will help us.

                CAFS comes to mind as a fairly well proven weapon in our arsenal. However, it's not the be-all, end-all.

                As for tactics being changed, I think you are alluding to PPA, based on other threads. I don't know. I can't claim to have enough information to form an opinion. I seriously wonder if the old way would be as effective or is this new method simply mathmatically better? Does it put out more fire in real world applications or simply on the slide rule?

                I've found that a good 1 3/4 with a nozzle of your choice flows a lot of water and makes a heck of a fire attack. Combine that with CAFS and you are really cooking.

                When you say should we change our tactics, well.. we have. My dad fought fires with 3/4" booster on a 2 man mini-pumper with 300 gal of water, wearing a demand scba (later in his career), red-ball gloves, rubber coat, 3/4 length boots... no hood, no ics, no rit, no 2 in/2 out, then they came out the garden apartment that was burning (where I have subsequently fought a few fires) and lit up a some camel cigarettes and drank some brandy (both supplied via the glove box on that same mini-pumper). I realize those aren't really tactics, but it was "they way it was done." By the way, this was the 1970's.

                So, yes, we have adapted.

                Last edited by ChiefKN; 01-02-2011, 02:39 AM.
                I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by J.Beck View Post
                  I dunno..I agree, to a point.

                  But, I also think that we should recognize that the enemy has changed. We are getting three or four times more BTUs on fires today versus the 70s or
                  80s. Building construction has changed dramatically as well..

                  With that being said, should our tactics change or be modified to meet todays conditions?
                  Yes.

                  The risk v. benefit formula needs to be changed so more emphasis is put on the risk, and less on the benefit.

                  The reality is that 20 years ago, most buildings were built to survive a fire. Much of today's construction, especially when we start talking about commercial and even lightweight truss residential simply is not, and we need to recognize that when we make go/no go decisions regarding initial offensive/defensive operations.

                  This is especially true on departments with small crews or limited commercial experience.

                  While technology has helped us, especially the TIC and improved PPE, it simply hasn't kept pace with the new hazards that we are faced in terms of both lightweight building construction and the dramatic change in building contents over the past 10-15 years.

                  Many departments are using outdated tactics.
                  Train to fight the fires you fight.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Interesting.....

                    We tend to be reactionary, making policies, rules, and procedures based on prior bad outcomes.
                    This is the core of how we are though..... We sit in the Fire House and train, clean house and such and then "respond" to a call. L.E. is proactive, out in the Community and patrolling, walking beats and such. So yes, we are very reactionary and it's one of the things that separate us from the "B Band FFs" a.k.a. the Cops. Do I want to see us go to patrols and walking beats? No, but when it is one of the foundations of our job don't be so surprised when you notice that we are reactionary..... That's all I'm saying.....

                    However, this practice often fails to address the root cause of the problem.
                    The root of the problem is that people will ALWAYS be careless in one way or the other. They will always have to call us out to help them, it's the "nature of the beast." Fire Prevention also helps in this area and research has shown we are going to less fires, but the fires we are going to react very different than in the 60s, 70s and even the early 80s because of what is burning.

                    I believe that the concept of two-in/two-out is sound and providing a RIT when firefighters are in a hazardous environment is a solid idea.
                    I agree, on having a Team (2 FFs outside of the IDLH) like as described in that SOG I sent ya. Just like in that SOG, a committed RIC (full Company) on anything that is multiple alarms. My dream would be to get everybody on the same sheet of music on RIT/RIC/FAST Operations, but I highly doubt it will happen in my career. I'd be happy if everybody took RIC/FF Rescue serious when they are assigned it; I know my Crew and I do, but not all do.

                    I'm a HUGE proponent for the Dynamic RIT/RIC and agree with aggressively attacking a building to make it easy/safe to perform FF Rescue.

                    However, it does not address the root causes of firefighters becoming lost or trapped inside burning buildings.
                    What do you think is the root cause for FFs becoming lost/trapped? I'm curious that's why I ask.....

                    Also, remember you asked for our thoughts... There are a few of mine.
                    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

                    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

                    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                      While technology has helped us, especially the TIC and improved PPE, it simply hasn't kept pace with the new hazards that we are faced in terms of both lightweight building construction and the dramatic change in building contents over the past 10-15 years.

                      Many departments are using outdated tactics.
                      +1

                      Completely agree!

                      Specifically regarding PPE; improved PPE is actually pushing us deeper and deeper into the fire. I have not been in the fire service that long, but I remember when I first got on the job hoods were optional. I used my ears as a temperature gauge and when it got too hot, I got out.
                      Cognition before Ignition

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
                        There is no doubt that the technology and science is developing in ways that will help us.

                        CAFS comes to mind as a fairly well proven weapon in our arsenal. However, it's not the be-all, end-all.

                        As for tactics being changed, I think you are alluding to PPA, based on other threads. I don't know. I can't claim to have enough information to form an opinion. I seriously wonder if the old way would be as effective or is this new method simply mathmatically better? Does it put out more fire in real world applications or simply on the slide rule?

                        I've found that a good 1 3/4 with a nozzle of your choice flows a lot of water and makes a heck of a fire attack. Combine that with CAFS and you are really cooking.

                        When you say should we change our tactics, well.. we have. My dad fought fires with 3/4" booster on a 2 man mini-pumper with 300 gal of water, wearing a demand scba (later in his career), red-ball gloves, rubber coat, 3/4 length boots... no hood, no ics, no rit, no 2 in/2 out, then they came out the garden apartment that was burning (where I have subsequently fought a few fires) and lit up a some camel cigarettes and drank some brandy (both supplied via the glove box on that same mini-pumper). I realize those aren't really tactics, but it was "they way it was done." By the way, this was the 1970's.

                        So, yes, we have adapted.

                        Great post!

                        I remember hearing similiar stories from family members about the fire attack of old. You're absolutely right.
                        Cognition before Ignition

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mikeyboy View Post
                          What do you think is the root cause for FFs becoming lost/trapped? I'm curious that's why I ask.....
                          Chief Bobby Halton said that “Experience without reflection or evaluation is simply interesting”. Reading the stories of firefighters who have died in the line of duty while fighting fires inside burning buildings, I find that the common denominators are usually the same. In some cases, firefighters die because they have over extended themselves in attempting to rescue an occupant. However, in most cases they died because they did not recognize and control the hazards presented by the situation.

                          Fires are less and less common. Most of our "real" experience is retiring. Much more emphasis should be put on fire behavior, building construction and fire control principles.
                          Cognition before Ignition

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by J.Beck View Post
                            Great post!

                            I remember hearing similiar stories from family members about the fire attack of old. You're absolutely right.
                            You can learn a lot from those who have been around a long time. If someone depends too much on a TIC to search, they can run into trouble if it craps out and have to revert back to conventional search methods that may not have been learned very well. Tools and tactics may have evolved but you can't ignore the basics.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You can learn a lot from those who have been around a long time. If someone depends too much on a TIC to search, they can run into trouble if it craps out and have to revert back to conventional search methods that may not have been learned very well. Tools and tactics may have evolved but you can't ignore the basics.
                              I like my TIC for Interior/Exterior/Roof Ops, but my Guys and I practice and train more on the basics for searches and sounding/inspecting roofs than we do with using the TIC for that exact reason. Technology is good, but don't use it as a crutch or let it distract you from the basics.
                              "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

                              Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

                              Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

                              Comment

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