News of the rescue of two children from a Lake Station, Indiana house fire is making its way across the net thanks to raw video provided by Hobart Fire Department and
Firefighters rescued a 3-year-old child from a bedroom floor and a 1-year-old from a crib. Both children were later airlifted to Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago. As firefighters were extinguishing the blaze, they found a woman's remains in a living room only feet from the front door.

The video also shows a chief officer coming out with one child in his arms, and with no SCBA on. As you can expect, many readers are commenting that this sets a bad example. Others say he is"getting the job done."


What do you say?


Be sure to also see STATTer911's coverage of this fire and rescue.

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This is a very short video of what was a major incident and while I agree it does look bad that he is not wearing SCBA, the one thing I have learned is not to armchair quarterback unless you were there. I'm sure that all of us have done something at one time or another that would look bad on film but unfortunately the fire ground is an ever evolving situation and most of the videos posted do not show the circumstances leading up to the time of the filming.  Kudos to not only the Chief but the whole department for being able to snatch 2 out of this home.

I agree with what Andrew stated. However I would NOT ever enter a smokey burning structure without an SCBA. If I am overcome by smoke, I am helping no one, not even myself and I to will become a victim. But........thats just me !!!!!!

We've updated this post to include earlier fireground footage, courtesy MABAS21.


I'm very indifferent about this.


Sometimes the best outcome is to be spontaneous and disregard certain standards, but that's a gamble. If he had been hurt, then he'd be not only hurting himself, he'd further burden his crew. Since he wasn't hurt, he is (mostly) praised for his courage and ability to potentially save a life.


I guess it is too hard to say. Gambles such as this should take all variables into consideration. He went in, gambled, and came out successful. But I'd never, ever advocate going into a burning building without proper PPE and SCBA.


Edit Post:

I just watched the first video. Although the structure is mostly open, it's still clearly smoking - especially where he was standing. I'd say SCBA definitely shouldn've been worn.


And why was the ambulance so far away? I can understand wanting to keep the ambulance relatively far away, but they had to run around the corner of the block to get to it, and even then we cannot distinguish how much further it is from the video.

Yeah, it is easy to be a Monday Morning QB and neither video really gives a good depiction of timeline and events. Both videos show FF's on scene and seeminly lax for a fire with victims, so did they know, not know, what? I am torn a bit because it was successful rescue and the two boys survived, but that is the extent for me on that side of things.


What baffles me and sticks out is why did the chief go in and without an SCBA? Also when did he go in?


See my problem with that is I seen firefighters outside with SCBAs on, why weren't they going in? Secondly I believe the chief's position is OUTSIDE in a command role, he should have been taking command and assigning a company to search as opposed to going in himself. Now, perhaps there was another chief already in command and this chief was filling a company officer role, don't know for sure. What does stand out is that he still went in without an SCBA, where is leading by example?


Once again, the video doesn't give a good timeline and it is one thing if rolling up first and you don't have an SCBA and you need to make a snap decision, yet the number of FF's on scene and the pace they were moving leads me to believe that wasn't the case. The fire seemed to be going well by the second video (earlier footage) so I wonder what compelled someone to go in like this chief did? The problem with "did what you gotta do" approach is there are plenty of examples of rescues by FF's who seeminly had ample time to put a pack on before making the rescue.


So from my viewpoint, I'm happy the kids survived and we are not reading about a LODD of a chief, but that's it, the rest of me thinks the guy was stupid to do what he did and is not leading by example. The IC position still sticks in my craw and wondering who was filling that, that the chief rushed in.


The final thing sticking out to me is just before you see the chief come out you see a hose team bleeding the air out of a line. It looks as though they start spraying water inside the structure, if so, why would you do that if you had people inside. Which leads to another point is if the chief even radioed or stated he was going in.


Bottom line to me, is such actions and deeds are lucky indeed but give an ample depiction of what NOT to do. Yes, I wasn't there and hindsight is 20/20, but there is too much here that doesn't add up for good judgements.

Bottom line is that officer risked his life acted to save another. However, I've always been taught that you think of your own safety first, the safety of your crew 2nd (a close second, though), and the task at hand 3rd. Sounds selfish but its the best way to ensure personal safety.

Bottom line is that officer risked his life acted to save another


Perhaps, more to the point, recklessly risked his life and was lucky with the outcome.



For me, I would like to hear more details here, but speculating that isn't going to happen.

I agree with Andrew Richmond about not being so quick to armchair quarterback an incident because I wasn't there. I try to look for the training opportunities in every clip and there are many in this one even though it is a short one. 

I also disagree with Bull because there are many scenarios that I will enter a smokey structure w/o an SCBA.  Never is a very hard word for me to say in this situation.


I don't know what happened in the clip.  Perhaps there were SCBA'd members working inside who found the kid and they handed him/her off to the Chief in the doorway because they heard reports of another kid trapped.  Who knows...Nonetheless, g

reat job LSFD! Keep up the good work!

I mean making the "grab" is what this job is about! All of the training, equipment, gadgets, and tactics are all based on saving a life.  I have made a few "grabs" and there is no better feeling.  You think you know this job but it is not until you make a "grab" that it all comes together and makes sense. This is when you finally feel a part of something greater than yourself.  Again, great job Chief and all the members involved!

 He made the Grab.

The video leaves a lot of unanswered questions.  If the officer got there first, was not equipped with SCBA, and heard the screaming that is being discussed in the second video, then this falls into the "High Risk/High Reward" category.


If he just freelanced in after the apparatus and several other firefighters arrived, then questioning why this occurred is appropriate.


In the bigger picture, there is a strategy issue and a larger safety issue.  The strategy issue is mixing a defensive attack with an interior rescue.  The safety issue is the minimal use of SCBA by several of the firefighters.  It's possible that this department doesn't have SCBA for everyone, though.


My other question is "Did the kids survive?"  The story just says that they were airlifted to the children's hospital.  That normally means that their survival is in question.


It's great that the kids were rescued.  Without further information, it is impossible to make an informed decision on whether the strategy, tactics, and risk-taking involved were appropriate or whether the rescue was just a matter of good luck.

True, and that is important.


On the other hand, was the grab a matter of engaging in good strategy and tactics, was it a matter of engaging in a faulty strategy/tactic out of desperation, or was it simply a matter of good luck?


Without more information, it is impossible to make that determination.


I've been following this for awhile and have enjoyed some of the coverage. It was one hell of a grab no matter how you slice it. Its really what we strive for our whole career to do, save a life. When it comes down to it NFPA sets guidelines we try to keep up with. We drive fire trucks with water in them to put out fires, not bookmobiles full of regulations ... standards don't put out fire, SOGs don't put out fire, men do. A good grab is a good grab...

My problem lies elsewhere.

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