Below are a series of photos courtesy "FirehouseGuy" from theWatchDesk.com from a daytime house fire last week in Maryland.

These photos are circulating around the Web on sites such as Firefighter Close Calls on the aspect of firefighter safety ... with the site noting "No one hurt but good pictures from the scene drawing "THINK" attention to PPE, SCBA and roof operations. While we love roof operations when needed, we are don't love un-needed exposure to the smoke -- today's smoke is some nasty crap.....we need to THINK. 1000 active Firefighters die each year to cancer."

What are your thoughts and your department's SOPs for firefighters operating on the roof of structure firefighters?







Tags: SCBA, SCBA exterior, firefighter safety, roof operations

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Thank you for agreeing, Lutan1 . I am a volley and i find Morris's statement offensive for any volunteer firefighter out there, not to mention all the volunteer companies that work entirely too hard to be badtalked like in this comment. Basically, that was a steriotypical comment, just the same as the term "whacker", which i take great offense to. And besides that, what do you think volunteer companies are, besides CIVILLIANS??? Nothing. we are normal everyday people who spend thousands of hours every year helping our fellow man with no pay for us. We take pride in our work, and do not need to be badmouthed like this!
WTF?!? We do not need to be bashing volunteers. There are bad paid guys just like there are bad volunteers. I know several non-paid professionals that I would put up against a paid guy any day of the week. This discussion is supposed to be about what is wrong with the photos not attacking whether they are paid or not.
This isn't a career vs. volunteer thread.
It is a RISK vs. BENEFIT thread.
The risk is obvious.
And I don't see a benefit to roof operations on a structure that has been under heavy fire load and has self vented.
There are plenty of videos to go around that shows several roof operations without the use of SCBAs.
You're right; it isn't just a volunteer OR a career thing.
Everyone should check their egos at the door.
TCSS.
Art
Morris,

Just a little late to this post, but thought I'd chime in anyway. The photo shows just a small part of the operation so it is premature to say there is hardly anyone there. Prince George's County is a large combination department and a working box alarm assignment brings four engines, two trucks and a heavy rescue or three trucks as well as a battalion chief, safety officer, EMS officer, a BLS unit and an ALS unit. There are multiple handlines in the front door so there should be an engine crew or two operating inside as well as a truck company. You are most likely right about the person moving the line in the front yard being a wagon driver. I agree with most of the negatives posted and am just putting my two cents worth since this is in my county. Take care and be safe.

Phil Clinard
Laurel VFD
Prince George's County Co 10
Laurel, MD
All I'm going to say is " No need to be there".
The guy wouldn't e up there without full PPE, charged hose line and SCBA.
You would think that any firefighter, probie or not would know to wear a SCBA on the roof. Especially on a house fire that is producing this much smoke...
Everyone keeps asking where the IC is, well if you look in the second to bottom photo you can see someone with a white helmet. I know I shouldn't assume, but I would think that it is an AC or Chief. Granted the IC is ultimatley responsible for everyones safety on that scene, but like I said before, it is also your own. And coming from a small rural volunteer dept. I have been on at least one scene where the first due engine responded with the Chief and one firefighter. I responded the tanker and we had 3 mutual depts. enroute with at least an engine and tanker. When I arrived on scene I had to set up water supply and be IC as well as pump operator, because the 2 people on the engine made an interior attack. It wasn't until after intial knockdown that my Chief came out and then assumed command.
Chris,

The white helmet is a line officer. In the county depicted all officers wear white helmets and chiefs wear white coats. Take care and be safe.

Phil Clinard
Laurel VFD
Prince George's County Co 10
Laurel, MD
Most of you are missing the point here. Yes what he is doing with the lack of scba is wrong.

WHY ARE THEY ON THE ROOF TO BEGIN WITH? The roof is unsafe. The whole operation is unsafe.
There is more wrong in these photos besides the SCBA. Where is the roof ladder? Where is a second firefighter in case he falls? Where is the charged hoseline? They also have the wrong ladder for the job and that's why the angle is way off. These photos are a good example of what NOT to do during ventilation and ladder placement, I will use these in my Firefighter essentials class on Monday. This department got lucky that everyone went home that day. Always work in pairs, if there are not enough on scene to ventilate, the next in engines can do it.
Whitehat made some interesting comments above that I need to comment on because others are also now thinking about what he said: “There is more wrong in these photos besides the SCBA. Where is the roof ladder? Where is a second firefighter in case he falls? Where is the charged hoseline? They also have the wrong ladder for the job and that's why the angle is way off. These photos are a good example of what NOT to do during ventilation and ladder placement, I will use these in my Firefighter essentials class on Monday…...”
Chief, Please in your next essentials class do NOT use these pictures to answer the questions you posed above. Use the pictures to teach firefighter life safety lessons!!!Teach your firefighters that there is no value to be gained from any of the roof actions shown.
Your students will always remember the easy stuff. If you discuss proper ladder placement, backup firefighter placement, hose lines and ventilation practices your students will go home thinking about those issues rather than the important issue of firefighter life safety.
Teach the fact that in this incident NOBODY should have ever been assigned to stand on that roof for any reason at any time.

Just another word: We must NEVER make these discussions about virtues or Stupidity by type of department that caused the discussion be they Volunteer or Career departments. Every department type has done the stupid and the greatest. Each has same risks and obligations to safety of personnel. Every type of department has made the same stupid mistakes that we must examine in our need to educate each other to save firefighters lives in the future.

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