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Outside the Box Apparatus Positioning

By: Retired Chief Michael Horst, Harrisburg Bureau of Fire

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Often times you only get one chance to make a difference when positioning a tower ladder. You can make best use of that one chance by training for it…by being “Combat Ready.”

In the above photo Harrisburg Tower 1 recently worked a building explosion and fire at a local steel mill. Due to the magnitude of the adjacent exposures large caliber streams were required forthwith. Their positioning on arrival, albeit tenuous, made a difference and enabled operations to keep the fire to the building of origin. Hampered by a debris field from the explosion and both electrical and mechanical hazards the quick thinking members of this truck company were able to end up front and center at this industrial blaze.

The members of this truck company, as have most all Harrisburg firemen, trained for this EXACT evolution on countless occasions. As rookies, as firemen and in their chauffeur promotion all have had to endure this confidence course. The drill doesn’t have a real name but it should be referred to as “Scrub but don’t Scrape.”

 

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The drill is simple, and requires only one prop, the open apparatus bay. The object is two fold. It provides the chauffeur and bucket operator the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities in positioning and flying a tower ladder. It also provides them the opportunity to develop trust in each others ability to operate in tight situations.

The drill starts by having the apparatus positioned in front of the apparatus bay. This in itself is great practice for young drivers and helps them learn proper positioning for “scrubbing the building.” You can setup at various angles just as long as you can clear the chassis and “work” the entire opening. Make sure that the boom will clear and you can swing the bucket into the doorway. For safety there must be one person on the turntable, a spotter and operator in the bucket.

To start go slow and easy because mistakes will equate to contact. Learn the “play” in the joystick or controllers. As a reminder make sure operators understand the nozzle reaction when using an elevated master stream and it’s potential. Once the operator has developed the basic skills and confidence they move to the second phase.

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At this point the operator practices close “tracing” inside of the doorway, working all four sides. Here the operator will be forced to use his senses and trust the same of his spotter/turntable operator, a genuine team building exercise.

As skills and confidence permit now the operator can extend further into the building, avoiding “props” and assuring the extended boom doesn’t make contact at the doorway. The turntable operator likewise can gain valuable experience maneuvering an extended boom and platform and get a feel for working with a “dead-man.”

It’s also a great time to change those burned out light bulbs inside your apparatus room. Remember the next time you have to thread the needle with the bucket your training, this training, will never let you down!

Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, fires, major-incidents, news, Training Resources, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company, Uncategorized | Posted on 06-02-2014

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New Class from Traditions Training

Please save October 29th, 2011 on your calendar to attend a new class from Traditions Training. “Waving Red Flags on the Fireground” will be presented at the Claymont Fire Department in Claymont, DE.
This class is being presented by Chief Larry Schultz, DCFD (ret.) and Ricky Riley, Clearwater Fire and Kentland VFD.
This interactive class will assist all officers and firefighters with identifying certain red flags that we all need to recognize on the fireground and on the radio. We will also assist you in setting up your department and command post for success on the scene.
We will publish more details in the future and open registration on our website at www.traditionstraining.com.

Posted by | Posted in administration-leadership, Blog, Combat Ready, command-leadership, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, fires, Incident Command, line-of-duty, major-incidents, Testimonials, Tips & Skills, Training Resources, Uncategorized, Upcoming Classes | Posted on 04-08-2011

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Remember the Worcester 6

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the tragedy in Worcester, MA in which 6 firefighters died in the line of the duty fighting a fire and conducting a search for reported trapped victims in a Cold Storage Warehouse. Please take a moment today to reflect on the events of that day along with the findings demonstrated in the after action reports so that none of our brother firefighters are forgotten.

We, at Traditions Training, LLC, view the training that firefighters conduct everyday in their firehouses is paramount to us always being Combat Ready and doing the job we swore to do well. So, if you are looking for a topic for training today, follow the links below and review the incident with your members and what they encountered that fall evening.

Additionally, spend some time discussing or formulating what your tagline operation would be in a building like the Cold Storage Warehouse. The brothers lost on December 3rd, 1999 become disoriented in windowless 40,000 + square foot building that was on fire. We owe it to their memories to make sure we are up to par on our tagline searching skills and today is a great day to get out and refine them so we are always Combat Ready!

Link from the Telegram & Gazette Newspaper in Worcester, MA:

http://www.telegram.com/static/fire/index.html

Posted by | Posted in administration-leadership, Blog, Combat Ready, command-leadership, Commentary, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, fires, in-the-line-of-duty, line-of-duty, major-incidents, RIT / Survival, Tips & Skills, Training Resources, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics | Posted on 03-12-2010

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Registration Open for Officer Development School in Ringwood, NJ – January 2011

There are just a few spots left!  Sign up today!  Traditions Training is excited to announce that registration is almost full for our “Officer Development School”, to be held January 29th, & 30th 2011 at the Erskine Lakes Fire Company in Ringwood, NJ. Learn real-world leadership and street-smart tactics featuring experienced officers from the Kentland VFD, FDNY, and Fairfax County Fire Department.

Click here to download the flyer!

Featuring hands-on participation with various leadership challenges and tactical scenarios, this program will have you interacting with leaders of other departments and challenging your decision-making as you examine and improve your personal leadership style.

To insure individual attention and participation, enrollment is limited.  Register today! To register, please e-mail info@traditionstraining.com with the following information:

  • Attendee’s Name.
  • Attendee’s E-mail.
  • Attendee’s Department Affiliation & Rank.
  • Whether paying individually or through department purchase order.

**Please note that due to fixed costs, registration is non-refundable after 12/29/10.

Posted by | Posted in administration-leadership, Blog, Combat Ready, command-leadership, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, Incident Command, major-incidents, news, Tips & Skills, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics | Posted on 19-11-2010

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Registration Open for Officer Development School in Barren Hill, PA

Traditions Training is excited to announce that registration is now open for our “Officer Development School”, to be held September 18 & 19 at the Barren Hill Fire Company in Lafayette Hill, PA. Learn real-world leadership and street-smart tactics featuring experienced officers from the Kentland VFD, FDNY, and Fairfax County Fire Department.

Click here to download a flyer!

Featuring hands-on participation with various leadership challenges and tactical scenarios, this program will have you interacting with leaders of other departments and challenging your decision-making as you examine and improve your personal leadership style.

To insure indvidivdual attention and participation, enrollment is limited.  Register today! To register, please e-mail info@traidtionstraining.com with the following information:

  • Attendee’s Name.
  • Attendee’s E-mail.
  • Attendee’s Department Affiliation & Rank.
  • Whether paying individually or through department purchase order.

**Please note that due to fixed costs, registration is non-refundable after 8/18/10.

Posted by | Posted in administration-leadership, Blog, command-leadership, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, major-incidents, news, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics | Posted on 22-07-2010

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TT Instructors Receive Awards for Valor

Congratulations are in order for Traditions Training instructor Joe Brown, who was recognized last week for his role in rescuing Prince George’s County firefighter Daniel McGown.  Brown (left), a Captain with the Kentland Vol. Fire Department, was the officer of Rescue Engine 33 operating at a house fire in April 2009.  While performing a search, he heard an activated PASS device and quickly located FF McGown at the entrance to the fire room, who was unconscious and without a face piece.  Brown quickly transmitted a MAYDAY, packaged FF McGown, and removed him to a window where other members of RE-833 assisted in utilizing a “Denver Drill” style maneuver Lito take him out the window. Last week, Capt. Brown was awarded a Gold Medal of Valor by the Prince George’s County Fire Department for his actions at this incident.

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Tony Kelleher (right), also a TT instructor, is the Chief of Kentland and received a bronze medal of valor for his actions as the incident commander in managing and coordinating the rescue effort and the house fire simultaneously. Thankfully, despite life threatining injuries, FF McGown has made a full recovery and is back on the job.

This succuessful rescue is another testement to the value of a constant COMBAT READY attitude and excellent training.

Well done, men! You make us proud!

Link to PGFD Story on the Awards & Incident

Link to Kentland VFD Story on the Fire

Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, fires, major-incidents, news, rescues, RIT / Survival | Posted on 03-05-2010

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USAR…

Photo credit: Paul J. Richards / AFP
“A student identified as Leoni, 29, gets her first drink of water in over 70 hours after being carried from the rubble of University of Port au Prince after being dug out by the Fairfax County Urban Search & Rescue Team, part of USAID, January 15, 2010. Victims are still being found alive after the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Port Au Prince, Haiti. “(Photo from USAID.gov)

To the members of any and all operating USAR Teams in Haiti, in the tragic aftermath of this killer earthquake:  Know that you once again are doing what the fire service does best…SAVE LIVES.  We know that you will be seeing things and doing things that human beings should not have to see and do, both mentally and physically.  Stay Alert, Stay Focused, Stay Safe!  Know that you have the support of the brothers and sister firefighters back home.

Return home safely…

Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, command-leadership, Commentary, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, Incident Command, major-incidents | Posted on 15-01-2010