The Sunday Preach:
‘Mind your Step’
"We must recognize the importance that staircases have in all of our operations, from pre-fire control to overhaul. We must understand their structural building components, know the materials used, their limitations, and how to prevent and overcome problems impeding our goal of going up or down the stairs. Anytime we are going up or down steps, we must be extra alert. We must also recognize and plan to utilize a secondary means of egress from our location other than the steps we used to get there." (Page 100)
The average residential staircase is 36 inches in width (and that is without the homeowner clutter that tends to cling there). Basement staircases may be even narrower. Most fire academy 'buildings' have staircases that are much, much wider. Do we set ourselves up for failure from the start?
While stretching hoselines in parking lots and in 'burn buildings' are good for practice, know that residential settings will narrow your ability to maneuver. Before you make your move, have enough hose at the ready...
Go UP, Go DOWN, DON'T CAMP OUT!
While we all want a piece of the action, we must not clog the stairs. A fireman 'conga-line' has no business on a residential staircase. Members and company officers must be diligent to keep the stairs clear.
Take advantage of each run to a residential home and 'mind the steps'... see how the stairs in your first due may impact your fire operations.