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Hoarding Conditions - Taking a Step Back

Hoarding conditions have personally humbled me as a firefighter on several occasions, and I believe I am better at this craft for it. Recognizing, understanding and defeating hoarding conditions has grown to be a passion of mine. Bringing that passion and the lessons from the moments that have both humbled and educated me can hopefully be a tool for a brother or sister firefighter at an incident down the road.

That being said, hoarding conditions and the challenges they present to firefighters do not receive nearly enough attention in our modern day profession. Looking back years on several incidents that have severely injured or killed firefighter's where present hoarding conditions were found in some cases were just a footnote. For the brothers and sisters that happened to be fighting through the clutter, filth and debris I'm sure it felt worthy of bigger mentioning. Hoarding Conditions, or "Collyer's Mansion Conditions" as it is known in many of the Mid Atlantic / North East areas, effect almost every fireground task that needs to be performed. Important tasks such as stretching the vital first attack line, getting a solid search performed and securing an ADEQUATE water supply to name just a few become exponentially more complicated and taxing for all companies involved.

So take some time today, drive your district and look for some of the tell tale indicators and begin to identify potential Collyer's Mansion conditions in your district.

Take a look at some previous posts that cover some of the clues and indicators of these conditions you should be looking for here:

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