I hope I posted the video right so I guess we will see when it posts.
With having over 800 views, I figured I would start a discussion on this video. It shows what can go wrong and how it can snow ball into a disaster. This is why we train! Your training should take over when you get into a bad situation. Our job is a business, does a business person jump uncontrollably when they are in a bad situation or excited about a deal? They might be inside, but on the outside no, they compose themselves and get the job done. Just as you should when you head to a job, or when you are there and crap is hitting the fan. Stepping back, taking a breath, staying calm, and seeing the over all picture is going to help you more than you can imagine. Thanks FETC for pointing out something I wrote that could be taken the wrong way, I did rewrite it and added a few things, thanks again. Lets talk about what happened, what should have happened, and what they could have done to help there own out.
This video was a very bad for this fire dept. but hopefully it will make a great training tool for us. So many different things that we will never know about because we weren’t there but we can try to figure some of what happened out and what could have been different.
First the only word I can understand is water I think, so if someone can translate this that would be great. We see a guy hanging out a window, with heavy dark smoke coming out of that window he is hanging out of. Another guy goes up a ladder and vents the window next to him. Does venting this window really help? No it doesn't, venting that window only speeds up the process of the flashover that is about to happen. That is one main reason you need to understand when it is ok to vent and when it is not and Verticle vs. Horizontal ventilation. Again this room is going to flash at some point but venting will make it flash faster by providing the right combinations of air and fuel mixed with fire. If they would have vertically ventilated above this room then you could talk about it helping out the guy in this room. Again you don't just ventilate a structure just cause, you do it because it is going to help out your interior crew, bad ventilation can hurt or kill your crew by pulling fire onto them, or trapping them. So why doesn’t he in the first place, take the ladder and put it under the firefighter in distress? I am not understanding the tactics they are trying to use. Maybe someone else does and can write it out for us. After watching the video at 1:36 in the video you can see the ladder they are using looks like it is an extension ladder so they could have moved it and put it under this FF and got him out or possibly he could have gotten himself out, if he wasn’t hung up on something. Remember putting ladders for egress, the ladder needs to be put just below the sill of the bottom of the window so the firefighter can get out in a hurry, also angle is a big roll for the safety of the firefighter coming out but if you don’t have room you do what you can.
I don’t know if the stress of the situation keeps this firefighter from helping him or herself but from the way it looks a self rescue or bailout kit wouldn’t have worked due to there being no time to deploy the system. So what do you do if a room is flashing and you are in the second story of a 2 story building? How about just get out, yes jump out the window try to be a safe as you can with the time you have but when you have to go you have to go! Yes you might break some bones but I think that will be the least of your problems. Do you want to take severe burns and be screwed up for the rest of your life or do you want to possibly get some broken bones? For the people out there that say well you could break your back or neck or die really? What situation is this guy in already? You have to figure what is the less of the 2 evils.
Was the room he was in already on fire or did he come in with the fire chasing him? If this is the case, closing the door (if there was one) would have stopped the fire from chasing him and gave him or her time to safely get out of the building. It is the same reason you would close the door on a vent enter search. Now the only other problem it looks like the ceiling might already be down so if this is the case closing the door would help some but obviously not as much as if the ceiling was in tact, at around 1:22 in the film it looks like you might be able to see a rafter. Not 100% sure though.
Where is his back up at? Do they go in with 2 or was he by himself?
Did he call a mayday?
Was RIT/FAST/RIC whatever you might call it activated? Do they have one? Some departments don’t have a RIT/FAST/RIC they call out other departments to come in and aid them with this crucial roll. Is there anything wrong with this? Yes and no. I say Yes because some departments don’t even train on this. (I can pull an article from Fire Engineering if you would like about a dept. that covers the area with there RIT/FAST/RIC team, and is it really effective when some of the drive times on a good day are up at 17 minutes on a good day!) All departments should train on this, no questions. There members need to understand what goes into making a RIT/FAST/RIC team. You may need to save their own one day. I say No because at least you are getting one there and established.
Water, when you see water come into the pictures what do you see? A guy on the roof of the next building spraying in, is that water effective? Is it hitting the seat of the fire? You can see them spraying the guy with the fog nozzle, why did they not make it straight steam and spray the fire and put it out or knock it down? Probably because they panicked! I preach smoothbore nozzles, to each their own and fog nozzles have there place in the fire service, trash fires, car fires, protecting your guys, but in this situation putting more GPM’s to put the fire out is going to be more effective and help this firefighter than trying to protect and cool the guy down with a fog. As the saying goes putting out the fire will make everything else easier. At around 1:40s to 1:50’s it looks like they get things together, they are spraying water in the room from a good angle, (I think the nozzle should be in the room but I wasn’t there so I don’t know if they just didn’t’ have enough hose) they have guys in what was a room full of fire and they where able to get there guy out.
Another point is have you trained lately on the Denver Drill or a drill like it to get a guy out of a window? Have you ever trained on it?
This was a good video to bring up a lot of different points. Laddering and 2nd means of egress, RIT/FAST/RIC, self rescue, nozzles, advancing lines to hit the seat of the fire. You might not seeing guys going crazy but you see guys not doing what they truly should be doing to get this guy out. When crap hits the fan and you have trained on self rescue, RIT etc. when things are going wrong you will revert back to your training and hopefully you or your team will be able to get you and or your crew out.
What are your thoughts? As always we were not there we don't have the full story but we can talk about what we see and what we think should have been done.
Panic! An action without head and tail. Where the officer in charge was ? What the FF was doing inside the building alone, on the video they carry out only him.5 FF standing down and watching. The one on the ladder trying god knows what. At 2:08 they put second ladder near the FF who was stuck on the window, why not under him? The guy on the ladder acting without mask, in panic trying to pull out his colleague with his grapple tool, then trying to take the noozle and not lefting the tool,then droping the tool inside the building. Spraying the water on the stuck FF. Why not attacking the fire ? Why not trying to lower the temperature? Then trying to enter, still without mask, then staying on the ladder and panicking and yelling.Also he is blocking the window with his body and the water stream was just washing him. Too many mistakes leading to an mess.
I see a lot of panic, and one disorganized action without leadership. Individual instead of team work. I hope the FF survived, and they learned the lesson.