Fireground search…remember the basics…find and control the fire and search for any victims. The only way to develop the skills is to practice them under realistic conditions. We’ve got a few spots left in October… Attend some realistic fireground training at the beginning of the month, and the haunted house at the end of the month!
Archives for fireground-training
Constant training is required to remain proficient at any job – firefighting is no different. The excuse that “we don’t need to train – we do it every day” is nothing more than an excuse. Most of the busiest fire companies train on a continuous basis – staying prepared and keeping up with the latest techniques and technologies. What’s this got to do with firefighter survival gear, right? Basically, if you can’t take care of the basics during an emergency then it’s unlikely you’ll be able to take care of yourself or your crew!
What Could Go Wrong?
Who knows! It’s really not about what could go wrong as much as it’s about what you’re prepared to do about it. What do you carry, on a regular basis, that you consider survival gear that will help you survive? Are you proficient at using the survival gear? (more…)
Think about it! This applies to everything, not just fire department training. Remember the movie “Field of Dreams” and the belief that “if you build it they will come?” Apply the same concept to fire department training. Create training sessions that encourage people to attend. It all starts with your approach to the training. There is no reason for individuals to get excited about their next training session if you, the person giving it, are not excited about it. Imagine getting ready to go to training, getting there, and the person leading the session saying, “I know you don’t want to be here, me either, but we have to put in the time.” Sound familiar? Is that you? (more…)
We’ve been involved in firefighter survival and rapid intervention team training for a while now, in addition to basic engine and truck company training, and have found that as the years go by there are more-and-more images showing up that capture firefighters in very bad situations. The images also capture the fact that the firefighters are getting out of those bad situations. These situations, captured by the images, are like a double-edge sword. What do the images say?
MAYDAY! Sooner or later it just might happen to you. The big question is – are you prepared to deal with it? Consider the following scenario – upon arrival you encounter heavy smoke in a two-story double residence. The company you’re with is assigned to search and rescue, the first due engine is in the process of making the hydrant and advancing the attack line – the search begins. The house is very cluttered and it’s difficult to make progress. As you begin to make your way to the second floor the stairs give way and you’re in the basement – your partner already made the floor and doesn’t realize you’re not right behind. The engine crew runs into a slight delay and the fire begins to gain the stairway to the second floor. (more…)
When arriving as the second engine company on a working fire, besides laying a second supply line, you will obviously have to stretch a second handline too. The question for most officers is “which” handline should we pull? For some companies, the question seems to be “whose” handline should we pull?
Those officers are the ones who, for some odd reason, like to pull the second handline off of the first engine. Those officers will often say that by doing this, they have less to pick up after the fire, thus getting them ready for the next one. If you have this mindset, then you are focusing on the wrong fire! The only fire you should be worried about is the one you are pulling up on.
Here are some things to consider. To make an effective stretch, and an effective attack, there are two things that a good officer, and engine company, will want to know ahead of time:
- How many feet of hose do I need to get me there?
- What nozzle do I need for the best attack?
If you’re an officer who likes to pull your line off the other engine, then you will get this information seconds before you begin your attack. If the officer of the first engine decided that he needed 200’ to reach the fire, then guess what…if he was right, then you will get 150’, and likely won’t be able to get to the fire to back them up.
Another thing to consider is if the nozzles on the other engine have been maintained. If you are in a busy company, then your hose and nozzles likely get exercised enough that you know if they are working properly. Can you say this for sure about the companies you are running with? What if the pipe you pulled off the other company has a nozzle with a badly broken stream. Maybe it has a rock in it from the last fire. Maybe the bale is broken. Once again, this is not the time to find out.
One more thing to consider. NEVER pull a second handline smaller than the first handline. In other words, if the first-in officer felt that the fire would require at least one “big water” line, then by pulling a 1 ¾” handline, you have second guessed that officer, changed the game plan, and possibly the outcome of the fire.
And remember, most engines only carry one 2 ½” handline, so, as with all handlines…BRING YOUR OWN!