You’re first-due at a residential occupancy for a report of a fire on the number two floor. Sure enough, it’s pretty obvious upon arrival on scene, you confirm a working fire. Observations validate that you have heavy fire on the number two floor; Alpha-Delta side with the likelihood of extension. This is more than just a residential occupancy. The structure is in fact a multiple occupancy, it’s a late Saturday morning and you don’t have a good feeling about this.

You have a four staffed Engine Company, with a mixed crew of seasoned and new personnel, with the second due engine coming in right behind you. (this is a good day..) The first-due truck company has yet to call enroute. As the first-due officer, what’s your size-up and risk profiling of the building, the fire and the incident action plan (IAP) needs? Let’s categorize some of strategic and tactical mission elements for discussion;

Risk Profile and The Size-up

·         What is the Construction Type and characteristics? Describe the building.

·         How would you characterize the degree of observed fire involvement and its expected behavior?

·         What does reading the smoke tell you?

·         What is the probability of fire extension; where, when and how?

·         Occupancy Load Projections?

·         Fire Load Projections?

·         Survivability Profile for trapped or distressed Occupants?

·         Survivability Profile for your companies?


Incident Action Plan

·         Describe the basis for you Incident Action Plan (IAP) Real Simple-What are you going to do?

·         What needs to be done first-Strategically; What, why and where?

·         Resource Needs?

·         Time Considerations?


Tactical Objectives and Tasks

·         OK, you’re the Company Officer on the Engine Company; YOU know what the engine company’s function and responsibilities are. So what are you going to do from a Tactical perspective?

·         What can you do with the resources immediately available ( Two Engine Companies; Eight (8) staffed personnel-some new, some veterans, with a hydrant picked up at the corner upon arrival)

·         What is the projected fire flow needs for this size fire, based upon a street side five minute deployment time to get line(s) in place?

·         What else do you need in a timely fashion? What will happen if you don’t get it when you need it?

·         Describe the challenges to the Engine Company crew related to stretching lines into occupancies such as this and how you expect the lay out to be? What’s typical of these building types and occupancies.


Address any or all of the questions posed. Time’s a wasting, the fire isn’t going

to go out on its own..ohh by the way, that rookie looks like he’s ready to pull an

1.75 line off the rear bed…..


Views: 2218

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Don't have the 360's (sorry) the mustache comment..LOL :{
Ok, after staring at the pic (probably more than 10 minutes) I think I have came up with a plan of what I would actually do. I would have the first in Engine grab the hydrant on the way in. As the firefighter is getting the hose hooked up and flowing, I will be doing a 360 to see what all is in fact involved and search from the outside for signs of life inside. Upon getting the water flowing, I would have my other firefighter get on the deck gun and put a quick knock down on the visible fire.

Now knowing about the true construction of the building, collapse of the third floor is going to be a huge concern. I would inform dispatch that we will be going into "fast attack" mode and the officer of the next in engine will assume command upon arrival. Before making any kind of entry, I would have the second floor laddered on the A side balcony and the D side second window back for egress.

After getting all these preparations done, my crew and I will head upstairs to finish darkening the fire while the officer of the next in engine is taking command.
If that is a 'FOR RENT' sign up front that might buy you some time in that you could skip a primary search of the 'vacant' unit. If we're lucky, it's going to be the involved unit. Smoked windows on the 2nd floor D side tells me that there is little chance for survivability for anyone still on that floor. A quick knockdown is vital to prevent spread to the 3rd floor.

My experience with dealing with these types of sub-divided craftsman homes is that the occupants are usually young(College age). This being a Saturday morning, it's quite possible there are 'extra' occupants.
I based the use of only two lines and the line size on Chris's manpower limitations - two engine companies, a total of eight firefighters, and a delay in getting more.

If I needed something more than the 1-3/4 on the outside, I'd probably do the transition with a shot from the deck pipe - it would be quicker than the 2-1/2, would only require one firefighter, and would put more water on the fire.

The downside of the deck pipe would be that it would put a lot of water weight into the structure very quickly.

I'm talking about a few seconds with a smooth bore here, not continuous deck pipe operation or using a fog stream.
For the engineered lightweight version, I'm going TRANSITIONAL with the deck pipe instead of a hand line to get a quicker knock. Obviously, water supply is first. At that point, Truck 1 is venting horizontally on the 3rd floor from the exterior.

If the structure stays intact, a cautious interior search and mop-up will follow.
If the structure doesn't hold up, it's a good thing we parked the apparatus outside the collapse zone.

With this much fire, I'm not betting my life that the structure will stay intact for long...
Hey Jay, this one is broken up into multiple apartments. The "For Rent" sign may be advertising for one of many units.
That's the point I think I was trying to make. With limited manpower, I'd skip a primary search of a vacant unit.
Not sure I see the reasoning to open up the roof on this one yet. There is little sign that the attic space is involved or charged with smoke so vertical ventilation is not going to be of much use here. There is no visible smoke coming from the eves or other openings and the entire 3rd floor is between the fire and the roof. A quick blitz style attack might show that the fire has extended up the exterior wall to the roof but I feel confident that it has not got hold yet and can be kept in check with an exterior line.

I think the 1st truck will be better utilized for search and rescue. Interior truck crew performing primary search and an outside truck crew laddering the building and assessing VES opportunities, particularly on the B-side and down the D-side. Ladders are extremely important for this fire since we will have most crews working the 2nd and 3rd floors.
I would like a search crew on the 3rd floor asap.

Three engine companies will have their hands full establishing TWO water supplies and stretching two attack lines to the fire floor, a third line to the 3rd floor and an fourth line prepared to protect the stairwells, depending on their location.
Not necessarily - I've seen any number of dimensional lumber structures with windows arranged in-line that were not balloon frame construction.
The first-due truck's time would probably be better spent doing interior searches than opening the roof. The roof doesn't need to be opened yet, because the fire is completely auto-vented horizontally.
Working in a community that has hundreds of balloon frame, three story rooming houses, opening the roof over the stairs of an occupied, or suspected occupied dwelling has been a standard tactic for as long as I can remember. With the amount of fire showing, fire inside the frame should be highly suspected. We have only one view to consider here, and perhaps any smoke issueing from the eves maybe obscured.

Infact many of these older buildings here have been re-constructed, and many have been replaced with blocks of lightweight condos and townhouses.

With the new construction scenario, I gotta go with the deck gun on it also. Primary search must be PDQ given the collpase potential. First truck can split the floors for the search. But I want it laddered.
The deck gun thing wouldn't happen in my neck of the woods. We wouldn't use one if firefighters - with paks and bunker gear - were inside, why would we use it when we must assume there are savable, unprotected civilians inside?

Reply to Discussion


Find Members Fast

Or Name, Dept, Keyword
Invite Your Friends
Not a Member? Join Now

© 2023   Created by Firefighter Nation WebChief.   Powered by

Badges  |  Contact Firefighter Nation  |  Terms of Service