Friday, February 17, 2012

Challenges Everywhere--But We Have to Find Them First

Hey, here are some pictures sent to me by a Brother who is going out the DOING the job. The whole job. He and his crew are getting out and checking on things. Bob gets IT and thanks for the pics. These are in his still area and these are buildlings that get inspected and then they go right back to doing this kind of stuff. We have to be prepared for everything and anything. Imagine being the RIT and forcing the back door to make access for a Mayday and dealing with the mattresses? Look at the pictures and just imagine and discuss the challenges that you would face in those situations. Not to mention patrons trying to evacuate a smoke filled building.

Stay sharp and get out of that chair. This is important stuff, don't put it off. I'm a huge proponent of training on line deployment, search, vent, and all the rest. This is just as important. Stay safe and keep training.

Thanks to Bob Tresch for the pics and making a difference by sharing.


Friday, February 3, 2012

More Building Construction for Size Up

Here is a quick look at a building that offers more than one considering in regards to construction characteristics. The building in the photos is currently a resale shop. This building has been a tack shop, lawn equipment, sold boats and trailers. If you look hard at the front, it has been added onto.



The right side of the building was the original and the left was an addition. The front and side walls are wood frame with a brick veneer. As you can see, there is a parapet wall on three sides of the building. Both sides have been rearranged multiple times on the interior to accommodate the occupant of the moment. The original roof was flat.




This side view shows some exterior doors and the brick veneer. We can also see the electric service and a boarded up window. This two doors lead to different areas of the building and are not adjoining. You can also see that the parapet wall appears to be very tall and of combustible material.


This is the rear view and the most telling about this building. We can see that the back wall is different from the other three walls. The back wall is of block. We can also see that the roof is a lean to type of construction and knowing the history of this building, it is a "rain roof" or "roof over" that covered an old flat roof.

We can also see the parapet wall is brick on the two side walls with support ties. We know that those connections are very likely going to fail during a fire. There is a lot of void space that could be difficult to get to due to the "rain roof" and early collapse of the parapet wall should be expected.

In addition, the importance of the block wall in the back is important for orientation as well. If we get inside and get to a wall that is block, we have a pretty good idea of where we are. We only would know this by pre-planning and/or doing our 360.

These are just a few of the considerations you must think of when presented with this building or one like it. Discuss this with your crews and identify buildings that are similar in your response areas.

Train hard, stay safe, and remember those who have fallen for the lives of others. Please especially remember the families of Chief Kyle Ienn, Firefighter Doug Haase, Chief David Flint, Fire Lt. Kevin West who all left us this week.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The 360: Bulkheads

We have all heard and been taught to do a 360 of the structure during a working fire.

There is some debate, but this is becoming common practice and there are several things to look for.

The picture is a bulk head for a basement. We have always been taught and trained to look for and create a secondary means of egress for upper floors. Well, it’s no different for basements.

When you make entry, especially if the fire has not been isolated, make sure that either you open it during the 360 if it’s not locked or that the information is relayed to the next in crew to cut the lock.

Cut the locks to ensure crews can exit if needed.
It may be as simple as cutting a padlock or as difficult as forcing a door or security bars.

It is important to create this exit to safety for the crews operating inside. It might just be what saves their lives.

Stay safe, be smart and train hard.