Reading one of my favorite blogs Statter911 he ran an article about a department that was in a parade and on the way back they ran into a pick up truck fire. They out the fire out that had extended onto another truck. the thing is...they had on dresses with no PPE. I'm not worried about the dress thing because I'm not that judgemental about what people do but I REALLY hope it had something to do with the parade.
People are making issues that they are fighting a fire without PPE. My comment and thought is "its what we do" When I joined the fire service in 1978 I used to hear stories about how some guys responded to a working building fire in their parade uniforms. It was a great source of pride witin the department since they really helped by being the second engine in, laying in and pulling aditions lines to help a short crew.
But back to the FF's in dresses and not PPE. Question if they got hurt wearing PPE would it have been any better then not wearing it? When you're riding the road and hear a dispatch for a fire nearby and you respond and when you get there the people out front are yelling theres an old lady inside do you tell them I can't do anything because I don't have my PPE or do you try to make the resuce if you think you can?
You ride up on an accident. Do you stop and help because your a firefighter or EMT or keep going because you don't have all your equipment?
Car fire up the street from my house. I get there and the lady is screaming "my baby my baby". I'm thinking FUCK I got to try to get this ladies baby out of a fulling involved car. As I'm trying to get close enough to open a door someone yells its not a baby its her car shes yelling about.
I see a car accident happen behind us on the road. My wife is yelling about me going there since I don't have any gear or anything. I call it in even though I see people on phones. Dispatch had it at the wrong location and I was able to triage the situation before FD/EMS got there. Wrong address, subject trapped and unconscious.
We took our not yet in service rescue to a funeral. We didn't take our gear which was wrong. On the way back there was a serious MVC. If we went right we would go pass the MVC left to home. Everyone in the back wanted to responded to the MVC even without PPE. We had everyting we needed including an EMT, But the officer (1st yr capt) and driver didn't want to respond we so we didn't. Turned out to be 5 trapped with very serious injuries and they requested an additional resuce. We would have made a difference if we responded.
We put our lived on the line for other people. We try to do it in a safe manner but is there really anything safe going to a working fire? Or standing on a busy highway taking care of an MVC. Like police and doctors we're o n call 24/7. Your neighbors are going to bang on your door when something happens because its what We do.
So once again back to the orginal question I wanted to ask, Do you stop to help or do you keep going when confronted with an emergency situation?
Here's a link to the video.
They may not have had on PPE but the FF(?) in the red dress at least had the presence of mind to keep his straps from falling off of his shoulder, saving what could have been an even more frightening image.
While I certainly have no objection with these firefighters wearing dresses (I'm not saying it's a bad thing) I find it hard to understand why they would respond without taking the time to doff their finest (a whole new level to THAT phrase) and don their PPE. One can only hope that those dresses were at least nomex (and perhaps with matching bonnets).
To the point, there is absolutely NO reason to be taking out an engine if the FFs don't take their PPE with them. You might as well leave off the SCBA or head out with no water. So in the case of being out on the road with an apparatus there is no reason not to stop and mitigate because everyone on board should have all of their gear.
As for stopping to assist as an individual, it's the player' call. If a person feels there's something they can do, some assistance they can offer then by all means go ahead and do so. There are videos out there of passerby's lifting vehicles, removing victims, etc. You do what you can. And therein lies the rub.
If you stop, can you actually render assistance or are you just stopping to be part of the scene? I suppose if you have a mother ship POV with lights you can at least use it to warn oncoming traffic. [Side Bar - I was going down Rt. 84 west, just over the CT line into NY and in the east bound lane an accident had just occurred. There was a volley who had pulled up behind the accident and put his dash light on. Unfortunately he only had the dash light so opposing traffic (me) saw his lights (on the other side of the median) but no additional warning to oncoming traffic. My point: if you haven't taken the time to realize that your lights are serving no good whatsoever then I question your ability to offer any other real assistance.]
Even if you're carrying your gear, if the best you can do is don your PPE and then stand around looking 'official' until help arrives, why bother? It's all about judgment. Hopefully good but, I suspect, oftentimes, bad.
I saw the entire story about this incident on WCCO.com yesterday. It happened in Minnesota and the members (2) were in drag for the parade. Someone spotted the fire and was yelling for help. The personnel didn't have the gear with them but when an engine pulled up, they grabbed a hose and started to spray water on the fire which by then had grown to involve 2 vehicles. Yes, they may not have PPE on or with them BUT, at least they were trying to help and also do their job. Just my $ 0.02 worth.
Besides saying, Good Job. I have one thing to ask. Who held there purses?
I agree with the general sentiment on here that if you're going to ride a rig bring your gear. We've attended parades and firefighter funerals and have stuck our gear in a side cabinet. Now the question of do you stop or not when just driving down the road in your pov and come upon an accident or fire?
I have done it twice, once when driving down to Indianapolis (way out of my area) during a snow storm a minivan spun out in front of me and went sideways in the middle of the highway, I quickly turned my blue light on(top of my truck) to warn anyone else coming up behind so no one else would run into us, got out and checked on everyone to make sure there were no injuries. The second time just happen last year while driving on I-70 through Nebraska, I always carry my ems jump bag(4x4's, bp cuff, and other basic ems supplies) had the wife and three kids heading to Grandma's house for Christmas when I noticed cars ahead of us were slowing down and braking when I looked over to the side of the road and there was a suv upside down against a tree. I donned my med gloves and grabbed my bag and headed over to the vehicle, a young man was laying on the ground conscious and talking I identified myself to the two bystanders that I was a firefighter from Indiana(I was also wearing my fire dept. sweatshirt) and proceded to render as much medical aid as I could until the responding agency's arrived.
First truck to show up was the local fire dept. with what I would call a grass rig, one guy stays out on the road and the other one comes down to us, I identified myself and proceeded to give him a pt. update when he tells me "you look like you know what you're doing just keep it up the ambulance is coming" I'm dumbfounded and ask him if he has a c-collar and a backboard to which he says no and he says he's going to check on any leaking gas from the suv. I end up helping the ambulance crew package the pt and load him into the ambulance.
It's what I do, if I see somebody that needs help and I can be of any help with what little I have with me at the time I'll stop however riding in a fire dept. apparatus and no gear with me is just plain dumb!