Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Big One

The tone has dropped and the report is not good, big building,old building and flames are showing through the roof. The first company arrives and confirms it is going to be a firefight and they go to work. The old engineer drags hose to the hydrant and get the advancing crew some good water as he looks at the scene thinking ahead to multiple lines and the need for more water. A Chief arrives and calls for more help and then meets the crew coming out of an active fire attack to say that it is well beyond them and it is big water time.

Now there are a bunch of firefighters arriving, hoses are being laid and up goes the ladder to get at the fires deepest core. More Chiefs arrive and the plan is getting an evaluation as firefighters start to relay what else is needed. After awhile the fire seems to be beat back by the toughest ones we have to put on it. A crew of six goes in to pull ceiling an see if we got and as they get close someone reports that the roof is moving and you realize that even with radio communications at an all time low they must get out now! I rush to the top of a staircase and beat on the floor until they come out. Now everyone is out and we pour the coal to the masterstreams out front until we see no more fire. Good communications even without the radios in a timely manner can be life savers, we all went home!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Firefighter Rescues and Rescue

There was a time when ,here in the small city, we barely thought about any of us needing rescue. I think mainly we figured we were tough enough to get out every time even though we knew that we could be wrong! Now that we know better why will the Chiefs not iron out their differences for the good of the firefighters? It is obvious in the training that they do not come to that there is great need for manpower in these situations, yet what we observe is that they are still struggling with the concept of incident command. Firefighter rescues will be for sure the worst moments for us all and there are legal repercussions for commanders unwilling to change, ie: Manlius,NY.

Rescues have to happen quickly and with all your experience brought to bear upon what is happening. They require a thing called automatic aid each and every time so that the people we protect go home and we go home.

Rescues require great communications between those attempting the rescue and command, not just a frantic rush and high pitched radio traffic, although undoubtedly there will be some!

Any rescue will require resources you do not always use, because it is a rare event!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Keep on Running

I was pulling on my hood and zipping my coat up when we turned the corner and saw smoke showing from most of the front of the house. I came out the truck door determined to get that line before my captain did, why, because I just want to be first in. I pull and drag and it seems like forever but I get the line ready to go. My Chief is there beside me at the door and my captain is not ready to go, I look inside and the smoke is down close to the floor and I can see where this fire is. I want to put this fire out so I tell the Chief I think I can just go inside a few feet and put this one out, he says go for it. I am in the door before I realize it and putting out fire wherever I can find it. The captain finally catches up and we continue to push through the rest of the house, searching for fire. We come upon a large dog and my captain rescues this dog only to reach the front porch and have the dog crap all over him. Back into the house we go to get some overhaul done because it is just us for the most part. We get it done and catch a drink of water. Our driver takes us back to the station and then the captain realizes we ran over his prescription glasses at the scene, bad day for the probies.

This is a short story from when I was starting out and I remembered to keep a good attitude and keep on running because you have to be determined to persevere in this business. Be good and stay safe, BuckleUp!

Friday, May 2, 2008

The KISS Method

Where have all the get it done leaders gone? Why does everything these days have to be complicated and frankly unbelievable when your talking leadership? I hear all this talk in our service from the leaders and even on the national level it seems like all the big red tape lovers are in charge. Those of you in power, wake up and do something meaningful for the the fire service, TODAY!

Just unbelieveable but again as I have said before , thank GOD there are still firefighters out there that get the job done without the all the bull crap. The keep it simple stupid method needs to rise again.

Everyone be careful,watch your brothers back,make sure Mr.Obvious is close by and call for enough people to get the job done right. Love your family and the family and last but not least, put your gear on every time even if it seems like it won't be much!