The below video in my opinion reinforces a lot of the concepts we talk about on this blog, and that are being discussed on various fire service blog sites all over the internet.
You will see a fire free burning, and a victim jumping from a window, being caught by firefighters on the exterior. At first glance this may seem like a “good job”. However if you look beyond the rescue and at some of the other things involved in my opinion it shows some room for improvement.
First off I am not discounting the rescue, the guy was ready to jump, and no ladders were present so the fireman did what they had to do and caught the guy. Thats the right thing to do and quite frankly what we signed up to do. However did it have to come to this? Sure we have an advanced fire, but it is obvious that people showed up not ready to work. While this fire is burning out of control guys are kneeling in the front yard putting on their masks while the fire continues to burn out of control. The hose line is already charged and it is not being put to use because no one is ready to go.
Like I have said in several posts I am a “mask up in the truck guy” I feel it avoids situations like this. In fact I have even begun doing some workout routines wearing my mask, and can see the health and operational benefits. If you’re not a “mask up in the truck guy” then you have to be able to put your mask on with your gloves already on and in very short order. The longer it takes you to spring into action, the worse the situation is getting inside.
The second point is that the fire is still burning out of control and the hose line is charged. This tactic has seen its critics and its no appropriate for every fire but, an exterior STRAIGHT, or SOLID stream could be applied from the exterior. No one wants to stand outside, but it is never about what we want to do, and it should be about what is best for the victim. Applying an exterior stream would slow the fire down enough to allow for a ladder to placed at this window, so that the victim could climb down instead of jump. It might even put the fire out! Either way this is better for everyone involved.
Remember a well placed hoseline has provided the rescue of more victims, than the best search team out there. As the late Andy Fredericks said “Put the fire out and everything gets better”.
Remember treat every call as the fire of your life, until you get there and determine it is not. When you show up, show up ready to do your job, whatever your role is that day.
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE. Remember to follow us on twitter @ www.twitter.com/Averagejakeff