This video has been making the rounds on the various fire service websites, and I preface my remarks with, no I have never been to Detroit, yes I know they go to a lot of fires, yes I know about their financial situation and the hardships they undertake in order to place adequate crews, running equipment, and apparatus at the scene of an emergency.
But with all of that said it would seem to me that with all of those factors going against them that you would want to increase your safety, and risk assessment to another level. While experience is important, it is not everything, and it is nothing without preventative maintenance (training on current topics).
So that brings us to the video below. Taking a look at this situation it brings to mind a few questions.
1. With the fire in its current state, was vertical ventilation needed?
2. With the construction of the roof (mostly the pitch) was vertical vent possible?
3. Again with the construction of the roof, why was a roof ladder not being utilized?
4. Did the fire fighter making the roof know about the interior construction? Plainly put even with a hole in the roof, would he be able to penetrate the ceiling into the fire room?
5. Why was a taller ladder not deployed?
6. Why after the first fall was this allowed to continue without some added elements to ensure safety?
These are just some of the questions that I though of while watching this video. While Detroit may have fought 100 times the fire of every other firefighter on the planet, I can honestly say to all of the young firefighters out there do not take this as an example of what to do. The only reason this did not lead to a serious injury is luck.
This in no way is advocating not going in, not venting roofs, not searching etc. What this is saying is that lets do it the right way and maximize our safety, so that if something does go wrong the chance of survival is increased.
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As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!