We have all been taught to crawl if you can’t see your feet, right?
Well, if you can see you feet and are not crawling you must look and sound floor before EVERY step! See the pictures in the link below. I could see my feet; I was walking with good visibility, limited heat, searching for fire ahead of hose line.
Here are some pictures taken during the investigation:
The h*** was a burn through from the top down. It was one of multiple areas of origin
I am OK, did injure my knee but I was very lucky that I was able to stop the fall as the basement was a long way down.
PLEASE LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES IT DOESN'T HAPPEN TO YOU!!!
Here are some incident photos taken:
Brian, thank you for the feedback, I appreciate you taking the time to read my story and provide some challenges you experience.
Staying down and utilizing the reach of the nozzle is a skill that I agree is not utilized at it should. Today's PPE allows us to stand and get right up close to the seat of the fire. This is hurting brother and sisters every day. Todays fires are burning hotter and faster then they have ever before and that is occurring in buildings that are being built with materials that as we know fail so fast. You are doing the right thing especially as the Capt. by making sure you communicate your expectations to your crew. Another point they may not realize is that today's furnishings are creating a smoke that is so black and dense it is masking signs of flashover we have been taught to watch for when we are making the push. We saw this first hand during the filming of the Fire Engineering /Penwell Tactical Perspectives DVD Series we just completed and launched at FDIC.
Yes, TIC are very important especially for the reasons I mentioned above. I promise if I find a TIC laying around that no one will claim I will get in touch and send it your way!! LOL. In the mean time check out the Tactical Perspectives DVD clips on the Fire Engineering you-tube page. I am confident you will find something that you like and you can discuss with your crew.
I think in order to underdstand the whole problem, we must have an analysis of the whole system. I've had many mail exchange with PJ "outside" of the web site. It's far more complex that what he said in the doc. EG, you say you must only open the nozzle when you see the seat of fire. Depending on the way you use the nozzle, it can be seen as a perfect way of doing, or, as the worst one.
In our flashover course, we instruct to use water from the main entrance to the seat fire. Saying only that, its' not enought to understand. But if we start talking of pattern, flow rate, kind of nozzle and so on, we can see the way of doing, from a different point of view.
Not very easy, because with the internet, we all talk of only a small part, thinking all other agree with the other part. And this create complete misunderstanding.
@ PJ- Thank you chief, I will check those out. What about the article you spoke of writing? Did you ever write one, let me know I would love to read it.
@ Pierre- I agree brother, I just didnt want to get detailed and in-depth with my post. We as firefighters, line officers, and chief officers could go on about this subject forever, which does not bother me at all, the more we talk and share experiences the more we learn! lol I agree though, it all depends on the nozzle type and pump pressure. If you bring a variable pattern fog nozzle set at 45-60 degree fog pattern @ 100 PSI than you will invariably disrupt the thermal layer and push the fire into the structure and the voids, and create TONS of steam which will make things in the structure un-tennable if you dont have the proper ventilation. A lot of the crews today do not understand the importance of proper ventilation in coordination with the interior attack.
But if you use a 3/8" smooth bore at 80 PSI, than you can use it to hit the ceiling to cool things down prior to reaching the seat of the fire and not cause havoc on the attack team and/or any victims still inside as you would with a fog nozzle.
My department primarily uses the variable pattern fog nozzle at 100 PSI. We only have one or two smooth bores which we have one attached to the rear preconnected attack line on our engine, and one in the engineer compartment for a back-up. But to try and teach some of the crews that I work with- especially when our call volume is lower than most departments and we just dont have the experience- that the fog pattern will push the fire, and cause steam which makes it uncomfortable unless vented is tough. Unless you use the skills regularly and/or stay up to date on things by reading and participating in these discussions its hard. Thanks for this discussion, I enjoy talking to other brothers and sisters especially from other parts of the world, about firefighting. I always learn something new and look forward to talking to you more.
Until then, stay safe.
Brian, yes I did write the incident and submitted to Fire Engineering for publication. I recently spoke with Diane Feldman who indicated my article is in line for publication. however the line of articles waiting to be published is long so it may be awhile before we see it. Unless they decide to make it a online article instead of print. I will post a link to it here if/when it comes out.
With your comments above regarding coordinated ventilation; you DEFINITELY need to check out my DVD; Tactical Perspectives of Ventilation. We staged proper and improper ventilation and show the results on the interior with HD cameras what happens when you take the windows behind the advancing crew. The hallway lights up as the crew makes the push. Its the best footage captured ever!
Again, thanks for the feedback!