Ten Minutes in the Street

A Buildingsonfire.com Series

Interactive Scenarios, Where YOU Make the Call

Ten Minutes in the Street is back, bringing you insightful and provoking street scenarios for the discriminating and perspective Firefighter, Officer and Commander; where you make the call. You don’t have to have any special rank to participate in this interactive forum, just the desire to learn and expand you knowledge, skills and abilities in order to better yourself, create new insights, while sharing your experience and perspectives to help you and others in the street in making the right call; so everyone has the opportunity of going home.


Ten Minutes in the Street: “A Little Smoke Showin' with your Coffee?"

Volume 10, Number 8


The recruit firefighters just finished brewing a fresh pot of coffee and you’re about to have your first cup this morning when the tones and bells alert the station of a report of smoke coming from a house across the street from the caller. The communications center advises that the caller doesn’t know if anyone is home, but they are certain there’s smoke coming from the house, even though a slight morning fog layer is beginning to burn off. OK, so much for that coffee. You’re the acting chief this morning, so instead of riding the engine company, you’ve got the chief’s SUV. As you get ready to head out the door, you can hear the engine company fire up a bay over signaling you a driver is in the house and a crew is assembling and preparing to roll out shortly.


You’re out the door and down the street. A couple of quick turns and a few intersections later, you’re heading down the street towards the smoke that you can see rising over the trees and house peaks. You arrive, on-scene in a residential neighborhood and observe fire in the upper second floor of a 1-1/2 story wood frame. You drive past the front and take in a good view of the Bravo, Alpha and Delta sides of the structure. You establish command in the driveway of a house across the street that gives you a good view of the occupancy. Two Engine Companies are enroute, along with a truck company, ems unit and a Rescue company. Mutual aid has also been dispatched, that will give you two additional engines and another manpower squad company. The first-due engine is about four minutes out. The street has ample hydrants at both ends and mid points. The house is midway down the street, with access from both directions


Scenario Questions


·         What is your command risk assessment and size-up of the structure, occupancy and present fire conditions?


·         What will your transmit in your initial communications upon arrival?


·         What kind of information must be transmitted by a first-arriving company of command officer and why?


·         What’s your initial incident action plan (IAP) and strategy?


·         What are the sequences of primary tactical objectives that must be implemented in a timely manner?


·         What do you know about this type of structure and occupancy, how will the building behave; how will the fire behave?


·         What is the Ten Minute milestone; what do you expect to be doing or have happen after ten minutes have elapsed after your arrival?


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I hate stating the obvious - which is why I usually don't. But of course it all depends and is situational. That's obvious.
So is the look inside/going inside. I was just a little slow getting to it, because it's unlikely to be the first thing I do in this scenario. I really like having 360-degree informatin before I commit the troops - or in this case, me, by myself - to the interior.

That's especially true if all I can see of the scenario is a single photo view.
It's thought-provoking, but incomplete.

Did you delete one of your earlier replies to this thread?
I didn't delete anything, but something I thought I posted in reply to another poster seems to be gone.

On a second look, one of my replies has definately gone MIA.
Trench cut, on this roof?
My first thought would be to check for life safety from the outside,(cars in the driveway or garage and doing a 360 of the structure, I would have crews take a hoseline and a TIC in and check the ceiling and floor to verify we dont have a cellar fire before commiting to an aggressive interior attack. My scene size up would include reporting fire from the upper floor/roof area, wood frame house, report that we have hydrants and thier locations to the structure. Since the fire has self vented and depending on what my initial crew relates to me on interior conditions , I would have the truck put the stick up and hit the roof area with a ladder stream from the truck, and if the conditions warrant that and no life safety issues its possible this could turn defensive.
APPEARS to be in the top floor, and the smoke seems to be ventingpretty straight up, but there's some other smoke activity over the roof towards the rear. That's why we need to get a view of all sides. COLUD it be in the basement/cellar if we have one??? To the left of the chimney, appears to be smoke as well. So maybe this isn't just a top-lfoor job.

As the scenario dictates, I have sufficent companies assigned on the initial alarm, PROVIDING that the assignments given have at least a staff of 4 each...and I can get around 3 if I have to. Ya got cover-ups, and those things to consider as well...all area-specific.

As for the fire, and tactics. Personally, I will just about always have the first-due engine grab a supply. 750 tanks, etc, what-ever. I work in area that is hydranted, and the biggest tanks we have ARE 750's, with the rest being 500 gallons. Engine company basic TO ME is to establish a water supply. The first engine to arrive is the ONLY "sure thing"...the rest are enroute and may (who knows...would if? ) be delayed for what -ever reason. So otherwise, all I have is a 750 gallon water supply...that's it. First engine brings water, period. Hate me if you will.

As first arriving Officer, I will do a 360, but whether or not I open any doors to "search" is something I can only answer in 'real time' , as if I was there, and have all the sensory parts of the size-up. I cannot commit to any answer on that on a picture without a read on the smoke conditions, sounds, etc.

First-in engine will lay a supply (be it forward, reverse, hand-jack...what-ever) and prepare the initial stretch. I resist the 1.75" for everything mentality, although a good 180gpm able to move in rapidly has a shot, providing we get a back-up line soon. Actually Im looking at 2" hose for certain applications right now.

Info to my first-due is bring a supply, and make the stretch after we determine the best route...pretty straight forward. Occupany unknown.

Line stretched and charged, forced entry if needed. We may try a VES on the 'B' side. However the visible fire may not be venting from the roof, rather it could be venting from the 'B' side upstars window (likely bedrooms) in which case the second floor is fully involved. If not, Truck split between the VES and conventional entry and search, after ensuring fire is not below, in basement-cellar area. Should get a good knock providing we are't pissing around with 150-160 gpm's. If the fire IS in the interior of the second floor, then a vertical vent is indicated. We have sufficient equipment on the assignment to cover the venting.

This just seems like dozens of other similar situations. 2 seperate water supplies etablished from two directions. 2 and 2 can handle the initial, with the either the Rescue Company or another engine acting as the second truck, and we'll have a ric and staged companies left. 3 lines should do it.

However...if we don't the knock in the first five with the inital line, we can figure on where it's going to go.

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