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I have received several comments on www.fireengineering.com about the Article "Attacked From The Burned Side Can Save Lives" Fire Engineering November 2011. If you haven't read the article please take the time to do so before commenting. http://www.fireengineering.com//articles/print/volume-164/issue-11/...

First- "Save Lives" is in reference to firefighters. If you research recent NIOSH reports you will see that there is a trend of fires that have originated on the outside (i.e. Deck Fires, etc.) that are injuring or killing our fellow brothers and sisters.

We as a fire service have been taught over the years to always attack from the UNburned side. Is this really what we should be doing everytime? The old 1 3/4" to the front door everytime? I think we are smarter than that and can evolve to use organizations like NIST, UL, and others to make us better firefighters. 

I'm glad that we have forums like these to have courageous conversations about our thoughts and beliefs. Training is what truly makes us better firefighters. If you happen to be @ FDIC 2012. Come by and see this classroom lecture " Attack from the Burned Side". I can explain in 1 hr 45 mins my thoughts and hopefully show you that I make some valid points. Thanks for taking the time to be interested in this discussion.

Sean Gray

Cobb Co. Fire

Tags: Attack, Burned, Can, Lives, Save, Side, from, the

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I keep reading in these recent articles that "we" have been taught to "always" attack from the unburned side. Who is this "we" and "where" has this method always been taught? I have 35 plus years in both the career and volunteer service and where I have worked we were always taught from day one that anytime you could take flashover out of the equation or you could darken down a fire from the outside to prevent flashover, you did just that. We were also taught early on that time was the enemy (for both the occupants and us) and that getting water into the fire compartment as soon as possible was the primary goal of the first line. Most of the time this meant a line through the front door. The sooner the fire gets knocked down the sooner the scene gets safer for everyone. Yes, we have new enemy's now with the lightweight constrcution issues as far as how and where we decide to attack a fire, but in my view "early water saves lives and property!"

Tim:  I have had several instructors and officers preach "from the unburned to the burned" side.  This has confused  alot of the guys I work with and volunteer with especially when I teach or when we are talking tactics.  It is hard to get them out of this mindset when it is one of the first things they are taught.  The misconception is the term "always" I believe.  Any thoughts or suggestions? 

 

I think you already answered your own question as the problem is the word "always". And yes, if that is what you were taught from day one, then yes,  you will practice what was preached to you. I think this whole national discussion that we are finally having now about "pushing" smoke and fire which has "always" gone along with attacking from the unburned side is a relief and long overdue. In my opinion we need to look at each fire as being unique and determine the quickest and safest means to get the proper amount of water into the fire compartment. Unburned side, burning side, interior or exterior attack, straight fog stream, smooth bore stream, whatever it takes to knock the fire down because after that happens, everything gets easier and safer! Good luck brother and stay safe.
 
Larry Glover said:

Tim:  I have had several instructors and officers preach "from the unburned to the burned" side.  This has confused  alot of the guys I work with and volunteer with especially when I teach or when we are talking tactics.  It is hard to get them out of this mindset when it is one of the first things they are taught.  The misconception is the term "always" I believe.  Any thoughts or suggestions? 

 

 I remember reading this article a few months back and had a chance to experiment with this tactic (As well as the piercing nozzle). We arrived on scene of a 40 by 60 2 story, fire on the bravo side second floor deck, fire in the attic as well as fire on the second floor on the bravo side. My first line went to the deck and two lines, one with a piercing nozzle, went interior. The piercing nozzle was forced into the attic in the center of the structure, and the fog nozzle was put to work on the interior fire. We had a good knock in 9 minutes. The line that went to the deck got most of the exterior fire knocked out and a chunk of the interior fire out by the time I finished my walk around (2 feet of snow). I didn’t notice any unusual fire progression on the second floor between the time I started my walk around and the time my crews forced the front door.

I also was preached to always attack from the unburned side.

Glad it worked well for you Michael. I just want to clarify some things quickly. The article never said "do not place a hoseline to the interior if there are possible victims" There are many factors in making the decision to place a line on the exterior first, to knockdown the base of the fire. Lt. Ray McCormack said it best in his recent FE article- Tactical Safety for Firefighters: Who Moved My Hoseline. I couldn't agree more Lt. McCormack. I hope he has the time to stop in to the FDIC classroom session: "Attack from the Burned Side". It would be a pleasure to hear his thoughts. His article adds a whole new dynamic to this discussion. Check it out: http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/2012/03/tactical-safety-for...



Sean Gray said:

Glad it worked well for you Michael. I just want to clarify some things quickly. The article never said "do not place a hoseline to the interior if there are possible victims" There are many factors in making the decision to place a line on the exterior first, to knockdown the base of the fire. Lt. Ray McCormack said it best in his recent FE article- Tactical Safety for Firefighters: Who Moved My Hoseline. I couldn't agree more Lt. McCormack. I hope he has the time to stop in to the FDIC classroom session: "Attack from the Burned Side". It would be a pleasure to hear his thoughts. His article adds a whole new dynamic to this discussion. Check it out: http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/2012/03/tactical-safety-for...


I should have specified we had an All clear on arrival.

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