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?
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.
I noted a couple of things said here, 1- roof ladder isn't just for sliding off the roof, could keep you from falling thru long enought for help to reach you & second- doesn't matter if career or volunteer. We all have seen some brutal tactics used by both, it comes down to risk vs benefit. Just because we have always done it one certain way doesn't make it the safest or best tactic. Great Dept's are always learning & improving how they do things, sadly often after an incident else where costs someone big time. Our guys wear SCBA ANYTIME there is a risk of IDLH atmosphere.
In our department which is volunteer we wear scba in all idlh enviroments. I dont know if this was mentioned but if you go to closecall.com you will see a picture that has a bunch of firefighters with there scbas on standing around.
Madness is all I can call it.... Here in Australia we just do not get on roofs. we have arial appliances for that. If due to extreme circumstances we have to operate on roofs, always with cordage and personel safety harness no exceptions again.
Strict policy of SCBA is to be donned in hot zone no exceptions. Safety officer see to that. There is always a safety officer present. Remember what the purpose of the Firefighter is, protection of Life and Property first and before that self preservation if you get injured or killed you may as well not have attended in the first place as you are of no use to anyone. If you do get injured or trapped then we get into the more resources to rescue you situation.
From the pics supplied I noted there was no line onto the roof (what was he/she thinking) no one at base of ladder, no spotter (safety officer) the structure is past the point of saving. No vehicles on drive indicates that there was no occupants present (Would need to hear dispatch call to verify) alot of run off on drive so incident has been going for some time.
There appears to be a civilian manning hose indicates lack of resorces....again in hot zone no PPE.
If there where an injury or later claim for compensation FireFighter would have some explaining to do to insurance company.
I'm sorry guys i just keep seeing these pics... video's of roof work going wrong yet it keeps happening ?????.
where is the logic in this.
I can't remember the last time here in Australia that a FireFighter was injured from from being on a roof.
Over here we have a large amount of bush fires and through TV coverage you get to see many civilians standing on there roof with a garden hose. Once the rural guys (volunteers) get them off the roof they say when was the last time you saw a FireFighter on the roof.... Answer... Never thats because its too dangerous we just don't do it.
More information on pics would have given a clearer picture of why this happened.
FireFighter 12 years.
Couple of observations which may change your mind a little. (I hope) this roof has 2x4 truss roofing on it. Notice the outside facia boards going up the gable end? They are 1x6. This is used when there is 2x4 rafters. (always the next size up trim as a minimum)
As for your comment on roof ladders, I don't agree. Even though this roof is a 6 pitch, how many people are injured by shallow pitched roofs? The answer is more than people on steep roofs. (I know this because I am a roofer and have been through these meetings more than my fair share)
Having a roof ladder on any roof over a 3 pitch is an extra protector. If the plywood collapses and you are using a roof ladder you damn well aren't going to fall through the ladder with all your PPE AND SCBA on. This will afford you a better chance of being rescued without falling through the roof. The ridge board is holding the top hooks of the ladder while the bottom of the ladder would be supported by the top plate of the wall.
There is fire coming out of the gable end vent on side B. With fire on the other end of the roof venting through, this is telling you plain and simple that there is NO need to be on the roof because the fire is self venting, and also past the point where you can operate safely.
Look at photo 4. (down from the top) the building has a firefighter visible from the exterior before the roof has been vented. The missing windows should tell anyone with common sense the need for further ventilation is not necessary
Here in Hawaii County, the volunteers are not allowed to have SCBA, or do interior ops. Makes it hard to fight fire and save lives. I am working almost against all odds to change this, as all fireground personnel should have access to respiratory protection. If you are in the smoke you should be in the mask.
Do we even know if he was even SCBA sertafide to even to have one if not thay still have tot him better in Funamentels to have a SCBA on befor you go on the roof. I now from Exprens when we git calls for working strucher fires the first thing we do is on are way there we have are packs & masks on & have the air going buy the time we git on the sceen so that way all we have to do is plug in & go.