i was looking over a new truck and noticed that there was a only one salvage cover that was used to place full and empty bottles for rehab.


Is placing salvage covers a thing of the past?


when i was on the line whenever i found important papers espically family pictures i'd place them in plastic bags (every house has some) and either place them in the fridge or oven (yes,i'd unplug them). i often heard the family remark positively about it later and said nothing knowing it was the right thing to do.


i cannot remember the last time i saw a salvage cover thrown at a fire scene and was just wondering if anyone was still doing it and if not, why?


Its good PR

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We still have them for covering the floors at flue fires. And also for foot traffic if you need to go in and out of the house alot. Salvage covers can be good PR. the public can see that you care. Small things can mean alot.
We generally don't throw them. We place them. Placing salvage covers tends to avoid breaking lamps and some of the other fragile items that tend to congregate at the top of the interior contents stack.

We've even established a Salvage Group on commercial fires with a chief officer as the Group Supervisor and muliple companies salvaging property.

Great idea to have a "group". I noticed you mentioned "commercial" fires..... Have you guys thought about them on dwellings? Not complaining, just asking if there is a reason that it is only done on commercial jobs. Thanks and be safe

For us, dwelling salvage usually falls into one of three categories;

1) Not necessary due to short response times and minimal salvage needed.
2) Small enough job that a single company or even a two-firefighter team can handle it.
3) Occasional defensive fire with nothing to salvage.

We also are using Class A foam a lot more often than in the past, and that reduces the need for water-related salvage.

Commercials and multi-residential are different, due to more property exposure to smoke and maybe water in areas not directly involved in the fire.
In a perfect world, yes, we use them during salvage and overhaul. Unfortunately, due to old buildings and new lightweight construction, by the time we arrive on scene, the fire is usually fully involved. More rural departments such as mine face this dilemma more often than we like, but that is the truth. I can say that my crew has used them quite a few times, but they were for very minor fires, such as cooking fires or heater fires. Other than that, there usually isn't much left to save.
We have a "customer service" plan of action once the main body of the fire is isolated, we throw salvage tarps on anything we can before pulling ceilings. This will include pulling pictures from the walls and creating a safe spot to move thier belongings too so we have room to work and saving thier belognings. I am designing a "customer service" truck that will carry the needs. It will be a van that will carry tarps, shop vacs, generator, lights, tools, saws, plywood, brooms, shovels, mop and bucket, etc.... We will do the whole job even covering the roof if we open it. You won't believe what good PR you will get when you do this.
Just did it yesterday morning (1/8/11 @ 0930). Threw tarps over a piano and a large salvage cover over a china cabinet and kitchen table. Initially fought fire in the ceiling of a log home and put out with water can and little water from 1-3/4" in attic. Once most of the fire was out, and more manpower arrived, we cleaned up the blown insulation on the floor, put the tarps on the items and on the floor to catch the insulation from overhaul, while others continued overhaul and extinguished hotspots. Saved alot of time by doing a few extra steps in the beginning. The homeowner was also very appreciative of our efforts to keep his items from being further damaged.
We absolutely do, its the things inside that were trying to save.
Yes our department does use the salvage covers on the apparatus. For example on a house fire we had a while back there was a room with a computer and family items that hadn't been sprayed or anything. So my partner and I gathered as much of the items we could and set up the salvage area and covered them with the tarp.

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