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Hump Day SOS - Vacant Structures Don't Kill FF's, Vacant Decision Do!

So much attention is given to the "vacant structure" being the killer of firefighters when  decisions are the culprit in most cases. Some LODD's are just an unfortunate association with the risk of the profession. We cannot eliminate ALL risk without eliminating the job itself. Many of these fatal decisions were made long before the fire that led to the tragedy (decisions on hiring, decisions on training, decisions on promotions, decision on fitness …). Some of these decisions are personal and some belong to the organization. The point here is that many LODD's are symptoms of big time failures in decision making at ALL levels of the organization and not limited to those on the scene. Others are unfortunate consequences of high risk work. Taking these risks should be based on the situation, fire conditions, construction, the resources available and the presence of endangered lives. It should not be solely based on the perception of being vacant. Let the situation dictate procedure and avoid blanket profiling policies. Blaming it all on a vacant structure is really saying you don't know how to train and educate your members to make good decisions on any fireground. 

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