-Abandon buildings, fires and firefighters. What is injuring us, the fact that the building is abandon/unoccupied or poor tactics?
-Take a look at this blog. http://www.fireengineering.com/index/articles/display/9407237913/ar...
-My thoughts are posted on the blog site but I will reiterate them here as far too many firefighters think that the building type will indicate the occupancy load, the Rescue Profile and therefor dictate their actions.
-It is true that far to many firefighters have been injured while operating at a fire in an abandon structure. However, the heart of the matter is that it is NOT because the structure is abandon that firefighters were injured. The more likely cause is a poor strategy supported by sloppy tactics coupled with poor/no supervision and/or clear leadership.
-The simple, inescapable fact of the matter is that abandon structures do not set themselves on fire. That means, short of a lightning strike or mice playing with matches, the fire was started by human intervention either by accident or design. Someone was inside and caused the fire folks and they still may be inside!!!! That fact, in and of itself necessitates an interior search. Moreover, in these trying economic times, the reality of people living in abandon structures is a reality that must be addressed.
-An interior search and interior fire operations must be based on wether firefighter suspect someone of being in the structure or not. These decisions are not based on wether the building is abandon or run down or even that no one SHOULD be inside. The decision is correctly and properly based on wether firefighters believe/suspect someone is inside.
-Abandon structures are also homes for the homeless, drug dens for the addicted and playgrounds for unsupervised children. Abandon structures are everywhere and these buildings DO NOT SET THEMSELVES ON FIRE!!!!
-Therefor, proper firefighting strategy and tactics must be in place and adhered to so as to avoid foolish injuries that can occur regardless of wether the structure is obviously occupied, empty looking or appearing to be abandon. Strategy should not be based on the type of people inside or the type of structure but wether someone is possibly inside. And this information is gathered and evaluated from information available to the dispatcher, and on scene indicators.
-The Rescue Profile is determined by available information to the first arriving company coupled with fire conditions, available manpower, crew experience and finally our mantra.
1. Risk EVERYTHING to save a human LIFE.
2. Risk a little for property
3. Risk nothing for that which is already beyond saving