Here's an example of where the fire service has held on to something way too long, that is the interior attack and the "unprofessionalism" of an in-the-window knockdown. We spend way too much time trying to find our way to a room during an interior attack at the risk, often unnecessarily, of our own. There is no better way to help a victim (if there is one) than to put the fire out or at least knock it down AS QUICKLY as possible. Why? This allows for much more rapid entry into a much safer environment. I've seen firefighters take charged hose lines past vented windows and then take an additional 5 mins to find their way to the room where they were just at and the fire has now grown significantly (What do you think happened to the victim?). Interior combustible compositions have changed dramatically in the last 20 years and flammable and toxic atmospheres now exist way beyond the fire area. We can now put 200+gpm rapidly onto a fire, with preconnects if so desired, which will overwhelm most 1 or 2 room fires. No one is saying we have to use indirect attacks and upset thermal balances and everything else that goes along with saving a potential victim or use opposing streams, but putting water on the fire as rapidly as possible will do more than anything else to help all of us. RIT teams (2-in 2-out) must be a requirement but they're less important if the fire is in the process of being extinguished.
Larry Lasich said:I'd like to see a breakdown on how meny times we go into marginal conditions for a search/rescue that result in people being removed that were still alive 1 month later and how meny resulted in dead or injured firefighters. I have a gut feel that, like ignition sources and exposures, we bring victims to the incident.
We did not start the fire, and there isn't anything that we can do to make it better. If we do everything right and we are very lucky, we can only keep it from getting worse.
Terrorists like to kill first responders. They have a reason to. If we aren't there, everyone dies, every time.
Larry, one must also ask, how often a marginal attack or aggressive search reveals unexpected occupants? While we struggle to reduce all LODDs how many of us die as a result of over aggressive tactics for the situation vs. numerous other factors? I think we can all agree that a measured risk assessment is called for in every incident regardless of victims, construction and fire. Fires are extremely dynamic events that we cannot know all the variables to before we act.
On the terrorist thing? How many of our brothers or sisters have been injured or killed in an attack directly targeting them? It's more hype. We have to do our jobs and stop worrying about the things that don't factor in much and focus on the key issues like Physical Fitness and driving safer.
I think that I have some concern with the notion that 2 in and 2 out is our saving grace. The standard was not originally designed for the Fire Service, and in my mind leaves us in a position of doing more work with less firefighters. At the same time it provides us with a false sense of security, as we are being lead to believe that 2 firefighters outside are enough to rescue 2 firefighters inside.
Now before you tar and feather me......I am not saying we should throw the baby out with the bath water. However I am not sure that 2 in and 2 out provides us with what we need when it comes to deciding when and how to attack a fire in a building.
Look into Phoenix's studies after the death of Brett Tarver. Look at how many firefighters it took to locate a mising firefighter, let alone perform the rescue.
Do you think it is possible that 4 people on the hoseline, stretching and venting may produce a quicker, safer, better result?