Well here it is, and I would love to hear what everyone thinks of this. Let me set the scenario.

A suppression team enters a structure ahead of the truck company and begins an attack. Half way down a hallway there is fire rolling over the head of an open doorway. The nozzleman hits the ceiling in the hall then advances the line to the doorway where he can see the seat of the fire and begins to knock it down from the hall. Once it is managed, he enters the doorway, places the nozzle to straight stream, does a few circles on the ceiling and proceeds to sweep the walls of the room looking for a window to vent from. Once he finds the window he is able to knock it out with the stream and begins the vent process.

The man on the nozzle happens to be a friend of mine and the person who told the story. This was in fact backed up by unsolicited accounts from others that were there. The problem is that there was also a Captain present at the burn and he dressed down the nozzleman for his actions.

His point was that the nozzleman should not have hit the ceiling in the hallway, nor should he have fought the fire from the hall. This Captain said that he should have gone directly into the room and up on the fire to put it out with as little water as possible. Captain X also stated that using the stream to find a window was stupid and said that he had never heard of that.

The actions of the nozzleman seemed textbook enough to me, (I'm speaking as a senior fireman with an awful lot of experience), and the comments from the young Captain seem like the type of advice to get you killed. I would love to hear from everyone, especially the older veterans on what you think of this.

I've added this.... There was an unlimited water supply. They were on a good hydrant with a large main and 1500 gal. on the truck. There is a twist to this that will make it better, (or worse), but I'll keep it close to my vest for a little while.

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Not having been there it's hard to really side with either of them. BUt in principal both are right.

Now for the non politically correct response.

If my hose team came upon a fire that was rolling out of an interior door, my first impression is the room is getting close to flashover temps as the doorsill is usually at least 18" below the ceiling, so we have involvement of at least the top 2' of the room. Would I hit the ceiling in the hall, probably not, but I would definatly hit the ceiling of the interior room before entering. NO Way do I advance into a room with fire blowing over my head.

As for strait streaming the walls...probably not the tactic Id use, but cooling the walls is not a bad idea, tho Id use a more dispersed stream. In regards to the seat of fire, hit it and hot it hard, then go after extensions. Pop the window for ventilation, but that should be the seciondary companies or truck companies job.

So yes preserve property as much as possible, but not at the expense of firefighters or the entire house.
There won't be ANY water damage if you just let it burn into the basement.
Kudos to the young captain for wanting to minimize water damage, but you don't do that if you risk increasing FIRE damage. The school I came from says to push the fire BACK to the room of origin. If you allow the fire to burn overhead as you advanced, you could be cut off from whence you came. That is studpid.
However; got to go with the captain on this one. You don't shoot water as a means to "look" for a window and then shoot it out with a blast of water.
Everyone knows you search by feel for the window and take your radio, firmly grip it by its antenna and vigorously strike the window with it. THat does two things; it vents the room and it gets you a new Motorola radio to replace that peice of crap Kenwood.
There; that oughta start a "Radio" thread to go along with the "Pager" thread.
As Allen stated; without being there, we can only draw upon your scenario to offer opinions on.
Personally, I won't discourage my guys from wanting to cool the environment right off the bat and especially if you don't know if temps are reaching flashover (about 1000 degrees). I say "about" because it is not exact and I have also heard of flash occurring at less than 1000 degrees.
I would not want to risk injury to firefighters just because the homeowner would have to empty the wet vac a few more times.
And when possible, a critique after the fire should be more postive than negative. Offering a pat on the back by an officer is not a sign of weakness. Really.
The nozzleman hit the hall ceiling to prevent flashover in that space. Thats a good action anytime. He could see the seat of the fire from the hall and he hit it and the ceiling area above to prevent flashover and extingush the base fire. Another good action. There is no reason to sit on top of the fire that needs to be extinguished that is why we have hose STREAMS. Use of the stream to vent the window is not that unusual in many dpartments but it not the best tactic because many windows will not break upon being hit. Where was the ventilation team?
Many folks today get to officer ranks without experiencig a lot of fire situations real or in practice. Hopefully he or she will learn as time goes by. Not having a lot of fires is a good thing but it does impeded gaining experience.
My first take is that the young Captain still hasn't embraced the idea of EVEYONE GOES HOME SAFE as a first priority.

Another possibility is that the pump was running off its booster tank and the water supply was limited; but even so...
Honestly if you are the seasoned firefighter that you say you are and you know that what he did was correct why would you post this. If you were there than shame on you for not correcting the captain.
In the fire service there are often many ways to accomplish the objective. In this case, one way would have been to do as the captain suggested.
Another was to do what the FF did. Another would have been as Art suggested, let it burn into the basement and save water. Someone else might have stuck a nozzle into the window and fought it that way.

We could argue which way would be the best, but we all should agree that firefighter safety has to come before property conservation.

As far as correcting the captain, well you have to pick your battles. I don't know if this situation would merit a debate with the captain. I suspect that the nozzleman in this case would do the same thing another time, using his tools, experience and good judgement appropriately.
Well, Josh; may I call you Josh?
We post these things for one of three reasons: 1) Describe the tactic so that those who want to learn, do; 2) To describe the tactic and ask "is this what you would have done" to spark discussion and 3) To describe the tactic so that we can belittle, demean, demoralize and otherwise "shame" the poster for posting the thread in the first place.
There are many proponents of the "deflection" method of water delivery. I believe that it is a tactic that came over from Sweden as a way to quickly cool interior temperatures to reduce the risk of flashover. Hitting the ceiling with straight stream and letting it deflect from the ceiling creates a bigger droplet of water, thereby absorbing more heat and producing less steam. Steam; that stuff that gives us those hard to heal burns. But some officers don't like the tactic because it uses water. Some like to go in and use a fog stream. Has anyone ever stood close to a fog stream and felt the wind that it creates? Have you ever used fog out the window to vent a room? Do you know why I don't allow fog for interior attacks? Because it draws heat to the firefighters and produces mass quantities of steam, because the droplets created by a fog nozzle are very small.
I was a chief, so if my captain had acted in that manner, I would have privately corrected him. Not knowing the rank of the nozzleman, I'd say that he is saving his "card" for another time when it will actually have some effect on the young captain. You don't have to like the man, but you HAVE to respect the rank. Otherwise, it would be chaotic.
Hope this helps in some small way.
I like having these talks.
It makes me feel useful.
How wants a cigar?

I have felt a FOG pattern and I have experianced steam burns they are not fun. I was just stating a fact that if this fireman knows that everything was done right then why would he come to ask for advice on those tactics. Now if he is wondering why the Captain got a case of the ass then he should direct his question to him. He has the right to correct his Captain it is his life to. I feel that if he is tactful he shoud be able to rectify the probelm. I'm sure if he were ever in a fire with his captain and was told to do something that would endanger his life he would not do it. So why kiss his ass and not correct him or at least get his point of view. Not a sermon just a thought
Life before property.

End of story.

The nozelman in this scenario (with the provided information) did just fine in my opinion. You have to protect yourself and your crew before you worry about how much water you are dumping into a structure. Was water limited for some reason? Non-Hydrant area perhaps?

There are several factors that are left unclear, but with the information provided the situation could have been handled in a number of ways. The choice the nozelman made was not unacceptable.

Should the Captain have taken this up with the nozelman in a more appropriate time? Maybe. Should the Chief get involved? Maybe. At the end of the day, the fire is out, the crew goes home. It's a good day!!
I'm guessing that that might be the part of the story that won't be posted here.
When there has been a situation of sorts on our fire department, I may bring it to a discussion and bounce off of everyone, just to see how it shakes out. Chances are that a corrective action has already been done, but there's nothing wrong with getting validation or absolution for that matter.
And don't forget; several who have been challenged to post their thoughts here have stated that they would rather just read and "learn". The same holds true on fire departments. Some guys will take a case of the ass without nary a word. Others will be more than inclined to mix it up with the officer.
But, as far as tactics go? I am squarely for what ever will maximize protection to the firefighters and minimize loss of civilian life and property. Under no circumstances would I criticize anyone in front of the entire department, unless he attempted to do that with me. Then, it would be game on; street rules.
I know that there are some in the fire service who believe that we have taken safety to extremes.
But when we have NOT reduced the number of firefighter deaths in this country in the last couple of decades, then we need to switch gears, get introspective, swallow our pride and CHALLENGE its traditions.
Dressing down your firefighters in public (in front of the boys) is not only counter productive it can be fatal to the officers ability to lead. As a young officer I made the mistake of letting a senior firefighter know I outranked him on a scene when he did something stupid.
Was I wrong to correct him, absolutley not...
Was I wrong to do it in that venue...YES!

It took me several good working jobs to EARN his respect back, and I needed to learn that respect was earned not taken. The Bugle was to be respected, but the man has to earn it.

Again I cant say without some hesitation that the officer was out of bounds in his dressing down of the tipman, but from waht was said he needs to take a look at "How to win friends and influence people"
I agree with most of the posts,given the small amount of info.But I'm on the side of the nozzleman,i would have also "swept" the floor.I.e. giving the floor a quick blast to clear any small sharp objects.Plus this is a reason why they offer 1,000 gal. & 1,500 gal. tanks on pumpers.

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