We should be able to determine on our 360, if we have involvement in the basement. A 360 is not just walking around the building, it's looking up and down the structure, to make an accurate size-up. I've found the main body of fire in the basement before, can be easy to see glowing bright in the widows. Communications need to be made, whenever fire is confirmed in a basement.
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Your story makes the point of FF's saying things that they discover they only they can see. The IC probabaly would have seen the glow and would have eventually gone to see what was happening but you might have saved some injuries and or deaths of the brothers inside the building. Good Job!
I think we need to teach the younger memebrs of the Fire service what need to be reported to prevent the maydays from occuring in the first place.
Somtimes these things don;t go the right way. I think if we are constantly sizeing up the situation like is described in the literature out there we normally come across some situation factors that only we know about. It then that a single FF can make a difference in the outcome of the operation. Often this comes down to what is decribed in the NIOSH reports as the continous size up that should have been made. I really don;t think that we talk to our FF's and our officers about what should be reported on the scene to the IC.
Sometimes we need to say to the IC we are getting out or get everyone out, this is that bad a situation.
Does everybody have an emergency evacuation SOP on their depts?