Share the best engine lesson you learned from a fire you went to. It does not have to be from your biggest or toughest job. In fact most of us will probally cite a routine fire where we learned something new or reinforced a lesson.
....at least "second fire at same address" calls count towards our run totals as two first due jobs. HA! Anyway...I agree that the Engine Officer should decide when it is time to take up from the fire floor. It is this Officer that usually observes the "final washdown" anyway and the Truck hates getting wet. That's why they are always "checking for tools" when the washdown commences.
I think one of the best lessons I have ever learned was when I was assigned to an Engine and I have applied to every company I have been assigned to since. That lesson would be to do your own size up as you work on your task(s). I suspect too often guys rush in before ever even taking a look at the building/situation. I learned this one at what appeared to be a single story wood frame ranch with fire showing out of basement egress windows at 1:30 in the AM. I always try to stop and take a quick look under the smoke before advancing for fire location, victim location and floor plan but with this fire the smoke was at floor level and rising up and out of the floor cracks. We figured we'd advance in less than ten feet find the stairway , go down and put the fire out. Ahh we should have taken a glance at either side or even the roof line. Turns out this was anything but a single story PD. There were four levels with 8 bedrooms and the stairs were not where I thought . Since then I always do my best to take time to make time. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. This applies to VES too and I will add something on that there. Thanks for the thread Ray.
The lesson I learned or saw reinforced was that the fire building may not be the first building where water should be applied. This past week my department was dispatched for a house fire. The first truck and two engines arrived within 3 minutes of the dispatch to find a house with heavy fire thoughout, with exposures. The first due engine company decided to place their deck pipe in service on the house that was fully involved ignoring the exposure house. This worked out well for my company since they got to do some decent firefighting in the exposure. However I believe that if the first due company placed their deck pipe on the exposure house we could have gotten through the night with only one seriously damaged house rather than two. Just something to think about.
We had a fire in a 5 story multiple occupancy a few years ago. When you made entry you were entering on Floor 3 and the fire was on Floor 2. While watching a line advance to the fire room, (I was working S&R at this fire) one of the doors behind the firefighter advancing the line closed stopping the advance cold. The fire was eventually extinguished with the "house line". We didn't have enough manning to have a door man.
I have two lessons that I would like to share. The first is a reply to the above post that Barry left.
We had a multi-company drill at a large single story mall a few months back and I help run the troops through it. It was a pretty easy drill. Pull 2 1/2" supply line to the interior courtyard/breezeway and then hook up the hose bundle and begin to flake out the line. To make the stretch, we traveled down an interior hallway with firedoors on both ends. There was just enough of a gap under the fire doors that once the line was charged, if you forgot to chock the door, the door would close on the hose reducing your fire flow to nearly nothing and wedging the door closed so you could not get OUT!!! This was one of the best examples I could hope for in reminding new guys and the older salts too that "If you go through it, wedge it." They really "got it" after that one...
One thing I try to teach our newer members is to use there wedges on EVERYTHING. if you go on an EMS run, wedge the door open. Fire Alarm? Wedge it. Smoke removal? You get the idea. If you use the wedges on everyday runs, you will be more likely to use them when you need them.
The other lesson, i have mentioned in the "stretching short" forum, is Don't get caught ALWAYS pulling a cross-lay or preconnect. If the situation calls for a wyed line or bundle op, be sure to recognized it early and call for the appropriate line. DOn't burn your troops, because you were too lazy to train on estimating stretches and pulling different lines...
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