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People Trapped? Don’t Panic – Do Your JOB!

In general, a report of “victims trapped” should not cause any major changes in your initial operations. They may cause slight alterations – like where you take your line, which window you VES, etc.  However your plans/SOGs should already be setup assuming there are persons trapped. When added information increases the likelihood of entrapment, we should be doing what we always do – just harder and faster!

Remember, all tasks work in support of each other on a fire. Abandoning one will reak havoc on the others. The results do not improve the victims chances, and put us at greater risk. I have seen many incidents quickly go south when everyone “loses their cool” after a report of entrapment. Things later water supply, ventilation, and fire attack are abandoned because we all think we’re just going to dash in and “save the baby”. When this happens we are often unsuccessful in our firefighting efforts, the victim usually perishes, and we frequently hurt firefighters due to our scatter-brained actions. By cutting corners we LOSE, and often then find out there wasn’t anyone trapped! 

As was the case last night, reports of a victim do not mean there IS one. And no reported victims (or reports of “everyone’s out”) do not mean there ISN’T one. Deploy in response to conditions and always give any known OR unknown victim their best chance. Don’t guess on “survivability” from the front yard – you don’t know what you don’t know.  Our job is to react to conditions, not guesses, and give them a chance. As I was once taught by a veteran truck officer, they are not out until our searches SAY they are out.

Posted by Nick Martin on Monday, June 29, 2015

Great job by Columbia Fire Department 2nd shift crews last night. They demonstrated the effectiveness of these thoughts and made a rapid knockdown alongside rapid searches.

#CombatReady

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Truck Company | Posted on 29-06-2015

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FDIC 2012: 25 TO SURVIVE (Lecture)

**This week we are featuring a short run-down of each of the programs that our staff will be presenting at this year’s FDIC in Indianapolis**

Tuesday (Pre-Conf Workshop, 130p-530p) – 25 to Survive

25 to Survive

TT’s Lt. Mitchell and Capt. Shaw will co-present thier flagship program, 25 to Survive:  The Residential Building Fire.  This program highlights 25 critical areas that present themselves to operating forces at the number one fireground killer of civilians and firefighters alike.  They will present this engaging, interactive presentation will focus on pre-incident, operations and post incident operations.  They will give you street smart tips and take home drills to make yourself and your fire company better prepared at the next residential fire you respond to.  


Lieutenant Douglas J.Mitchell Jr., Fire Department of New York and Captain Daniel D. Shaw, Fairfax County Fire & Rescue:

Course Summary:  More firefighters are seriously injured and killed while operating at residential building fires than at any other fire we encounter. This dynamic and interactive lecture program will address 25 critical firefighting errors and issues common to the residential building. Learn sound tips and take home practical drills to address and correct errors at residential fires. Topics include combat-ready attitude, leadership techniques, SCBA confidence, overcoming building construction features (setbacks, long stretches), communication failures on the fireground, developing and delivering sound and accurate on-scene reports, coordinated ventilation, and more.

 

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Posted by | Posted in administration-leadership, Blog, Combat Ready, command-leadership, Company News, Engine Company, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, Incident Command, line-of-duty, RIT / Survival, technology-communications, Tips & Skills, Truck Company, Upcoming Classes | Posted on 08-02-2012

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I Have Five Little Rats

Among other things, at a fire a good truck company makes a lot of additional egress points, searches, and removes any victims. Ok, so the truck has forced multiple doors, placed the aerial, has portbale ladders up, and has made windows into doors. Now we’ve found a victim. How are we bringing that victim out?

“I Have Five Little Rats” is a useful mnemonic for remembering the order of preference in our removal options – under most circumstances.

  • I – Interior Stairs. The interior steps under many circumstances are the fastest and safest means of removal. They are often the way we came in and we can’t really fall off of them. However fire conditions, the victims location, or the location of operating members may make the steps less preferable, or impossible, at some fires.
  • HHorizontal Exits. Removing the victim to another wing of the building, into a tower ladder bucket, etc.
  • F – Fire Escapes. Fire escapes seem like a great idea until we consider that they have been on the outside of the building for quite a while and we have no idea how well they’ve been maintained – they’re structural integrity could be in question, especially when we add a victim to the FF’s weight. In addition, they’re usually quite narrow, making movement of the FF and victim difficult.
  • L – Ladders. Civilians are not good with ladders. Conscious or unconscious, removing a civilian via the aerial or portable ladder will be a difficult and dangerous process for both parties.
  • R – Rope. Rope rescues from the roof or an upper floor are extremely dangerous and require immense coordination and practice. In rare scenarios, this may be the only way to save our victim and we should be practice and prepared to execute this skill, but only as a last resort.

This is just another topic that is something our shift/company/crew should discuss BEFORE the fire.  Perhaps this concept might need special modification to fit your department’s staffing, operations, or response area.  Let us know your thoughts and what YOUR plan is for removing the victim.

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Tips & Skills, Truck Company | Posted on 16-06-2011

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The Basic Goals of RIT & Class in Bedford, VA

This weekend TT instructors Nick Martin (DCFD/KVFD), Scott Kraut (FFxFD), Chris Birch (DCFD), and Roger Steger (BCFD/KVFD) traveled south to Bedford County, Virginia.  We were being brought in to do some RIT training with the 3 departments in the county that had primary responsibilities for RIT – Bedford FD, Forest FD, and Stewartsville FD.

Class focused on two simple sets of rules.

The primary goal of the RIT should be to:

  1. Locate the downed firefighter.
  2. Keep the downed firefighter on continuous air.
  3. Keep the fire off the downed firefighter.

Most operational LODD’s result from asphyxia first and burns second.  The goal of the initial team is to create a protective envelope around the downed firefighter.  If you keep the firefighter on air and the fire away, you can work on solving any additional challenges such as collapse, etc…

Our second rule was:

Most successful rescues of firefighters are a combination of:

  1. Excellent basic firefighting skills.
  2. Basic tools and equipment.
  3. Ingenious, out of the box thinking.
  4. Communication, problem-solving, and teamwork.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z1B1CuJZOU

There is not a one-size fits-all tool you can buy and throw on the rig to solve your RIT problems.  Scenarios are often unique and often highlight a situation we hadn’t thought of until after it occurred.  To be prepared we must first be excellent at fighting fire and PREVENTING the RIT deployment and second we must be problem-solvers with many “tools in our toolboxes” from which we can pull and generate a solution.

Class on Saturday started with a 4-hour seminar on RIT essentials and team formation.  In the afternoon we worked on practical skills focusing on:

  • locating the firefighter and use of search-rope kits
  • troubleshooting and resolving SCBA emergencies
  • packaging and moving the downed firefighter

Sunday was entirely hands-on scenarios.  We demonstrated the reality that a 4 firefighter RIT is NOT likely to last long enough to complete an entire rescue. Students overcame scenarios involving missing firefighters, a catastrophic floor collapse, burned through stairs with members trapped above, and firefighters through a hole into the basement, among others.  The staff of TT was constantly impressed at the skill, ability, and attitudes of the members from Bedford County.  All scenarios were successful and much was learned by both students and instructors.

What was the last RIT training you did?  Was it realistic?  Was it based on the rules above?  Remember – no one is coming in for us, but US.  Stay COMBAT READY.


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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Company News, RIT / Survival, videos | Posted on 07-04-2011

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Video & Training Tips from House Fire with One Trapped

TT Instructor Joe Brown created this video of operations at a first floor fire last tour with a civilian rescued from the second floor.  While some of the video is dark, what should be emphasized in this situation is the communication between crews.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYeMhR4-usU

The rescue of a civilian is an exciting event.  Our primary mission is to save lives and when a victim is located it can tend to draw others away from their tasks.  You will notice in this video that when the victim is located, assistacne is given to the victim removal where needed but the other tasks continue, and when the victim is removed everyone get’s back to work. We must remember that a successful fireground results from a coordinated series of events – everyone has a job to do and must do it.  If someone drops their task, the entire fireground falls apart.

At present, all accounts are that the victim is hospitalized and will make a full recovery.  Job well done to the members of DCFD Engine 30 / Truck 17, Platoon #1!

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, command-leadership, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, fires, news, rescues, technology-communications, Tips & Skills, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company, videos | Posted on 11-08-2010

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"I Never Heard a Trash Man Scream…" – Staying Cool & Collected on the Radio

My trash gets picked up on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Like fires, it’s a little variable – sometimes they come early, sometimes late.  Sometimes I have a big load, sometimes little, occasionally I throw them off with recyclables.  After a birthday get-together this past week I had a particularly large pile of trash.  A big job for the fellas!  I was sure they’d be excited… However I was dismayed when the trash truck rounded the corner and none of the trashmen were yelling:  “big pile!  we gotta job!  we’re gonna need more gloves!  get the crusher ready!  HE’S GOT CARDBOARD BOXES!!!!” They’re trashmen.  They expect to pick up trash.  We’re firefighters, we should expect to go to fires.

(more…)

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Posted by | Posted in administration-leadership, Blog, Combat Ready, command-leadership, Commentary, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, fires, Incident Command, news, rescues, technology-communications, Tips & Skills, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, videos | Posted on 12-07-2010

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Is That Abandoned Building In Your First Due Really a Vacant Building?

The view from the front of this apartment house (photo #1) would lead you to believe that no one is home. Most members of the fire service would call it a vacant building. I prefer to call it an abandoned building. I know it’s a play on words, but let me explain.

The meaning of the word “abandoned” in the dictionary is listed as “forsaken by owner or inhabitants”. You can tell from the exterior that the building has been forsaken. But, don’t let the fact that the building has been abandoned fool you into believing that it’s a vacant building.

The meaning of the word “vacant” in the dictionary is listed as “having no occupant; unoccupied”. The building in Photo #1 does have occupants. They may not be legal, rent paying tenants, but they are occupants none the less.

Photo 1

The photo of the rear of the building (photo#2) shows the hole made by the occupants to make entry into the building. The hole was covered with a loose piece of OSB (Oriented Strand Board) that could easily be propped into place, thus hiding the makeshift entrance.

Photo #3 shows the sleeping quarters of the occupants. You can see through the rear porch windows that the occupants have accumulated “debris” or “the find of the day”. In the event of a fire in this abandoned building, the hoarding of debris and junk will most likely contribute to fire spread and cut off the occupants from their rear porch (port-hole) exit. They will probably become trapped and they will be in need of rescue because the openings on the front of the building have a combination of interior or exterior coverings.

Photo #4 shows an interesting piece of furniture acquired by the occupants. Does one of the illegal occupants have a handicap? Maybe his roommates helped him in through the port-hole. Maybe the wheelchair was just a good find that day, who knows. But it’s enough to make you think.

Just because a building has been abandoned doesn’t mean it’s a vacant building! The building in these photos is structurally sound. Given a proper size-up, this building and the occupants are worth an interior fire-fight and rescue attempt.

Get out, inspect, and walk-through your next battlefield. Take the time to size-up the buildings in your response area (abandoned or not). Learn the lay-out and hazards of the battlefield before the battle. Determine if the building is structurally sound and worthy of an interior fire-fight. You may be surprised what you find!

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, command-leadership, Commentary, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, fires, rescues, Tips & Skills, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 07-07-2010

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Tower Ladder Class in Johnston, IA Reinforces Key Point on Knowing Your (and their) Aerial Apparatus!

Last weekend TT instructors Scott Kraut, Mike Stothers, Joe Brown, and Nick Martin headed west to the metro Des Moines area for a Tower Ladder Operations course with the Johnston Fire Department.  The two-day program brought attendees from all over Polk County to talk about truck work and the capabilities of various apparatus.  All kinds of topics were covered, from forcible entry to ventilation to designing riding assignments.  Sunday brought 40 students and 4 different styles of aerial apparatus for an awesome day of hands-on training at a great acquired building.

Click here for more photos…

One of the goals for the weekend was to allow attendees to work with and understand the various capabilities of different aerial apparatus.  While many departments only own one style of truck, it’s imperative that departments understand the capabilities and limitations of any style of aerial apparatus that might respond into their town. Rear-mount, mid-mount, tiller, tower, aerial – they all have specifics as to their positioning needs and use in various scenarios.  The time to find those things out is NOT the fireground – if you don’t know these things in advance, you can’t POSSIBLY put the rig to the best use when it gets to your fire! It was great to work with a forward-thinking, pro-active group of enthusiastic firefighters.  Thanks to the firefighters of Polk County for your hospitality and we’ll look forward to seeing you again!

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Posted by | Posted in administration-leadership, Blog, command-leadership, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, news, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 05-07-2010

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New Helmet Cam Training Video from Traditions Instructor Joe Brown

Last week, prior to leaving for FDIC, an interactive discussion began on the Traditions Training facebook page based on a single picture, one moment in time. The picture was placed with a scenario and the readers were asked to give their thoughts and approaches to the scene. The picture was actually a freeze frame from Traditions Training instructor Joe Browns helmet cam footage from a fire that occurred earlier that same day. The below video is that helmet cam footage coupled with voice over training tips to help viewers identify with what is taking place. We have received a lot of positive feed back from Joe’s last video (found here) and how it has helped viewers’ better train and prepare for that next fire. We are pleased to be able to bring you another installment in the never ending process of becoming better firefighters.    

This video is filmed from point of view of DCFD 17 Truck’s outside vent man (OVM) position on a 2 story middle of the row home with fire on the second floor. For more detailed information on the fire visit http://www.30engine.com/fullstory.php?106159. Please feel free to share your thoughts, tips and comments with us in the comments section. Stay safe and enjoy.      

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXk28GZ_Fy0

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Commentary, firefighting-operations, fires, Tips & Skills, Training Resources, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 28-04-2010

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Truck Company Ops in Brunnerville, PA

While some members of the Traditions Training staff boarded a plane for FDIC 2010, Instructors Dan Doyle, Scott Kraut, Mike Stothers and Joe Brown were with the volunteers of Brunnerville for Truck Company Operations. Although the Brunnerville Volunteers do not have a Truck, the officers and members understood the need for traditional truck company duties on the fireground. The 2 day class covered such skills as:

  • 27069_1363961617050_1171912233_31001466_2417685_nForcible Entry Techniques
  • Street Smart Ground Ladders
  • Through-the-lock
  • Primary Search Techniques
  • Vent Enter Search
  • Victim Removal
  • Tool Selection
  • Crew Management

For day 2 the Truck Company from Lititz VFD was on hand to enhance their close working relationship on a first due Brunnerville fire. Students learned the importance of thinking of the fireground in terms of duties to be completed instead of the apparatus styles they arrived on. Drawing from their previous Traditions Training class on engine ops, the double engine house quickly adapted to multiple scenarios and arrival positions, including splitting their crews and completing both initial engine and truck ops effectively and without delay.

An abandoned school provided plenty of scenario options for day 2 as the Traditions staff tested the newly acquired skills of the Brunnerville Volunteers. Scenarios closely mimicked possible situations the students may find themselves in, from arriving together and finding fire and multiple people trapped to arriving alone for a fire alarm and requesting additional units for a discovered fire. Crews where faced with multiple forcible entry challenges, traveling smoke, search obstructions and multiple victims just to name a few. The Traditions Training staff had a great time and look forward to their next trip to Brunnerville.

26986_10150173814195571_114240140570_12058188_6246429_n IMG00765

To learn more about this or other Traditions Training classes, please click here or contact us.

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, news, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 26-04-2010