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I have recently reviewed videos and discussions regarding FFNM and LODD that prompts me to ask a question. I want to refer to the Loudon County Virginia struture fire that was a near miss for some brave brothers. My question is: When or Is there a time that we should use big water to attempt to protect a trapped firefighter? I wonder if it was me inside would I care if I was being deluged at some point with heavy volumes from master streams? I completly understand that when we are operating inside during normal situations that at no time do we want master streams being operated. Just a thought for some discussion.

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I guess the question would be; can the Master Stream Device reach the trapped FF, in other words, you know where he is and have a streight shot.
Larry, thanks for the reply. I guess I was trying to look at knocking down any fire in the areas. Say the firefighters were assigned and searching on the 2nd floor of a house. We would try to get water in the 2nd floor anywhere we could.
The trade off would be; how much added weight in a upper floor and stuff getting knocked down by heavy water streams.
That's the best way to go. Minimum disruption to the structure and water applied only where you need it.
In my opinion, I do not feel this is a safe or valuable tactic to deploy. Years ago when I was a firefighter I was on the second floor of a structure doing search and rescue and an ill advised IC decided to switch defensive because the volume of fire in the attic above me. Without proper notification being delivered, I was on the receiving end of a ladder pipe being deployed. I can tell you first hand, the immediate amount heat I felt being pushed on me and the debris that was flying was unbelievable. I bailed from the second floor down the interior staircase of the home on my belly to escape this. I think the best course of action here is to get a big line or two small lines in place to protect the best-known location of the firefighter; of course, this is all going to be dependant on available manpower.
I am a big supporter of big water. But deploying big water has to be done with fire behaviour in mind. Any tactic we deploy using water has one goal, to effect change in the behaviour of fire. I have watched time and again, we raise an aerial and start water. I watch fires get pushed down and across lower floors, because of the elevated stream. This is in direct conflict with natural fire behaviour. As we know fire goes up and out. So I began asking myself if we were really tactically sound by using elevated streams so quickly after making a defensive decision. So I think the tactical decision that best suits my department is early and often big line deployment. We now treat houses, like the one in Loudon County, as a commercial structure. They carry the same square footage and fireload but they do not have to meet the same safety codes, IE sprinklers and construction type. We now advance at least two attacks lines in first. They work together to attack the fire. RIT drops an uncharged 2 1/2 for thier use. If activated they advance it to the down FF and charge it, if needed. There is a strong case to be made that if we put a fire out, it gets a whole safer for everyone. RIT has become such a hot topic, so I do not mean to stir the pot. But there are no rules that says RIT cannot fight fire as a tactic to rescue a brother or sister. I will end this rambling with this, I say it to my guys alot,"We must effect a change in the fire's behaviour, not fire affecting a change in our's!"

Thanks,
Marty
Big water from master streams and master stream devices are also big weight on that already weakened structure.......
If its not going to endanger the trapped brother any and will help to rescue him/her than by all means use a
master stream i would rather get soaked than burn't
yeah but what about steam burns from too much water?
Thank for your response. I am talking about a mayday situation in which there is a high probability that the trapped FF is going to die in the flashover or high heat that is stopping other operations. The other example that comes to mind is our other lost brother that I think was in Prince William County. He was trapped in the second story bedroom with a large body of fire being wind driven down on top of him. Awesome efforts were made to battle back to him. I do not know if this type of situation would warrant the use of master streams. If you used master streams at some point in a situation like this, would the cons be outweighed by the possibility of the overall protection of the trapped firefighter. I also think myself that the time to make this happen might not be available. NOTE: Valiant efforts were made to save this firefighter and I am not faulting anything that was done. I just use this a an example of a situation that I have thought about.

Alex Simon said:
yeah but what about steam burns from too much water?
Chief Hancock, in an earlier reply i said:

Big water from master streams and master stream devices are also big weight on that already weakened structure.......

is that not something that should be taken into account in a situation like that? I just finished Fire-1 so i dont really know anything, please correct me if i have the wrong impression about master streams and master stream devices

i remember someone saying that you only use those for defensive mode when everyone is out of the building
Alex, if I may call you that? You are correct about that is exactly what we teach. Defensive, only because we do not want to cause all of the detrimental effects that accompany master stream effects. The question was to try to get out of the box thinking about saving a firefighter that may be in peril due to advancing fire conditions when all other operations have ceased and the concentration is on saving a mayday firefighter. All conventional ideas have failed. I am just posing the question to get all of your responses. Those I have received are good and have added to my memory bank.

Alex Simon said:
Chief Hancock, in an earlier reply i said:

Big water from master streams and master stream devices are also big weight on that already weakened structure.......

is that not something that should be taken into account in a situation like that? I just finished Fire-1 so i dont really know anything, please correct me if i have the wrong impression about master streams and master stream devices

i remember someone saying that you only use those for defensive mode when everyone is out of the building

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