The fire service is without any shadow of argument one of the most if not the most dangerous entities. I thought this small article might help some people look at certain situations we get ourselves into a little differently.

Tactical Mistakes We Can't Afford To Make

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Very interesting article. Thanks for posting.

I've got a bit of a beef with some of the author's statements.

"Most LODD's can easily be avoided and prevented with the greatest of ease"? Wow! Where's this guy been? He could've saved the fire service years ago. Considering it's so easy! There's nothing easy about it and the statement is insulting.

"Never enter the room or roof without checking the stability of the standing area". What exactly is the "standing area"? I've never heard the term. Surely he doesn't condone walking around upright inside a fire building. Or does he? After all, we have that great PPE.

I don't deny there are some good points in the article but be careful what you take as gospel from anonymous internet sources.

Thanks for being a pompous assclown! Seriously if you knew anything you would know most LODDs are the direct result of stress and poor physical fitness. These are things that are easily avoidable. Standing area is also refered to as working area if that makes it easy enough for you. 

The article never addressed stress and fitness levels (although I agree they play a huge role). The article, as indicated in the title right there at the top was about TACTICAL errors. So. who's the pompous assclown?  Did you read it? Maybe you should try again. Slowly! Maybe you'll understand it this time.

 My beef is with his assertion that it would be so easy to fix the problem of LODD's caused by tactical errors. There is NOTHING simple or easy about it. I question the so-called expertise of anyone who thinks there is.

I am not familiar with the term "standing area", but I do admit it could be a term particular to certain geographical areas of which I am ignorant. I'll take the hit on that one.

I wrote the article my friend. I will say yes standing area is geographical and as far as some tactical mistakes yes they are easy to fix. Door control, not sounding a floor, all simple tactics that if we step back and take the bliners off we can remedy a disaster. This seems to be a miscommunication. I am sorry for my remark and we can just move on from this.

WOW !!! Nice discussion and the fact that you mentioned very important and highly relevant issues concerning actual deficiencies that could and unfortunately have resulted in LODD. I have witnessed much of the behavior you talked about and have spent countless sleepless nights trying to identify avenues to eliminate the dangerous behaviors described. Lack of training is never a good ingredient to throw into any type of emergency response, yet it still happens. I have witnessed countless times firefighters on scene running from location to location and have witnessed needless injuries arise from this behavior. The IC as you mention is the individual who is responsible for the SAFE, effective operations on the fire ground. This position needs to be approached with a complete and uncompromising commitment to professionalism without any hesitation towards any safety related issues. Thanks for the excellent post,

The worse simple mistake I saw on scene was a firefighter (3 years) set an axe below a ladder that was being used to vent a house. When the firefighter on the ladder stepped down the axe swung up and caught him in the calf. Talk about an angrey firefighter! Just made no sense why something so simple happened. I do believe it all goes back to training.

If you think about some things are very simple to fix.  Just look at the IC portion of the article.  Who do you want as your IC on a structure fire?  Do you want the rookie that just joined a month ago and doesnt know what end of the hose to hold or do you want the guy that has the years of training and fireground experience?   An IC that has no clue what they are doing is just as deadly as the fire itself.  Sure even the most seasoned guys can make a bad call it happens.  Also training is huge.  What does your dept train for most?   Do they train for the types of calls they see every day?  Or is it the once and a blue moon type of things that you work on?   If your dept runs mostly PI accidents do you need to train more for them or for the rare structure fire you see.   In my opinion you should train for the fire.  You deal with accidents day in and day out you could do them in your sleep but do you know what your role is for sure on a fire call.  Now mind you Im very green only having a whole 4 months in the fire service with a very slow dept. (72 runs YTD)  But I also cme in looking at things with virgin eyes.  My mind isnt clouded with the mentality of "thats the way we have always done it"   If you feel I am wrong in any way please feel free to enlighten me I am open to discussion.

I think you are right on the money. We need to train for the fire. I have seen probies run into a scene ahead of everyone and scream over the radio I am assuming command. It is frightening.

Its all common sense.  Mind you I have only been to 1 structure fire but you just need to slow down.  The things about that fire that stand out are after the tones dropped it was a mad rush.  Rush to the station.  Rush to get your gear and to the truck.  Rush to the scene.  Then once on scene. It was like everything was in slow motion.   Nobody was running around.  Nobody was yelling.  Sure things got done with an urgency but not frantic chaos like some of you talk about.  Legally because i do not have a FFI or FFII cert I cant go into a burning house but my chief took me around the house.  Made a point to look at the smoke.  What is the smoke telling you?  What color is it?  Is it just kinda flowing out or is it being pushed out.  What about the fire itself.  What is that telling you.  What sounds is it making.  These are things you dont notice while running around trying to play hero.  And those little clues like reading smoke or listening to the fire are things that could get someone hurt or killed.   Im very lucky to have one of the best chiefs on this side of the state and its a shame some of our neighboring depts. have chose to break ties with us because of age and sex.  Yes our chief is only 25.  But SHE has more time in the fire service than most in our area.  Again dont let your pride get in the way.

Great stuff! I find once I get to a scene I step back and take a breath and try to get the blinders down and look at the scene as a whole. A lot of times we see fire and go yep fire wet stuff on red stuff but what we don't see is this structure appears to be one story but is built on an embankment and has a second story below the street we do not see. Size up is something I can not express the importance of enough. it can be the factor between going home and not going home in a lot of cases.

Theres nothing wrong with the statment " thats the way we have always done it", IF and thats a big if, you always do it the proper way. The FDNY issues each cadet what is known as a book of evolutions. Each firefighting task is broken down into a series of steps that will (IF followed) assure the task is completed properly. The dept also issues training manuals for the different type occupancies encountered in the city. The aim is to have everyone doing a particular task the same way. Usually, the trouble starts when people start to disregard the procedure because they think it will go faster or better doing it their way or they get tunnel vision and leave something out. How important is it to follow proper procedure? I knew three firefighters that died when a door control procedure wasn't followed. When things go wrong (and they will) you can't take off your helmet and put on a toilet bowl. You think and fall back on your training, if you've done it properly you should make it out ok.

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