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Mark J. Cotter's Blog – December 2015 Archive (3)

MFA #19: Hostile Fire Events - The reasons for the research

When considering the need to modify traditional tactics that many believe still work quite well, thank you very much, it’s important to think back on the reasons behind the new recommendations.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) became involved in our business at the request of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the process of the latter’s investigation of firefighter Line of Duty Deaths (LODDs).   When some fatal events could not be…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on December 29, 2015 at 8:39am — No Comments

MFA #18: Like Herding Bees with a Whip - Why you shouldn't even try to push fire

Continuing resistance to the idea of applying water to a structure fire from the exterior comes from those who believe that a fire attack via an interior route is inherently better.  It's not.  We all used to think so, and it was the approach taught and practiced for decades, but now we know better.  The NIST and UL studies have shown that flowing water into a compartment containing fire only makes things better, making the most direct route to the fire the best choice.  

I was once a…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on December 18, 2015 at 7:00am — No Comments

MFA #17: The "Steaming Victims" Issue - How water flow makes everything better at a fire

Steam is both the firefighter’s enemy and ally.  It can burn us by penetrating anything that does not have a moisture barrier, such as our hoods, or by entering any gaps in our gear that expose skin.  There is even research ongoing at NIST to determine if it can get past intact PPE, or be formed when our sweat vaporizes (  On the…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on December 8, 2015 at 7:43am — No Comments

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