Other than the obvious lack of SCBA, what took so long to get water on the fire. This was a total loss from the word go. The above power lines were not a huge concern initially. As far as exposures go, the other car is a potential exposure. I don't think of it as a huge issue either.
Ok I've watched it at least 2-3 more times and I still don't see blue shirt with a dry chem. He was all over the place without gear on which is wrong but I guess as officer (I'm assuming he was an officer he had a radio) he was trying to see all sides. The exposures were controlled with the dry chem which worked in this situation and no it was not ideal but it did work. And there were hydrants in the area and while we didn't see them getting hooked up doesn't mean they weren't. And yes there were a lack of BA's but seriously the most people who should have had one was the guy helping the nozzleman. Most of the rest of the crew was on dry chem duty and that really don't require a BA or at least to me it didn't. As far as the utility lines go how do we know they were still charged? You can see lots of yellow lights behind the engine as the ladder pulls up. Perhaps that's the Edison crew cutting or done cutting the power. What we are getting here is 8+ minutes of an attack crew. We don't get to see the back of the engine, the suction or tank fill hook ups, down the street, or the rest of the area. We don't have the radio traffic. So how do we really know what was going on there and what situational awareness they had? We don't. All we know is what we see. Show me proof that they didn't hook a hydrant. Show me proof that they didn't have the power cut when they started flowing water on the fire. Because honestly I don't see it one way or another. Insulation will burn without power flowing thru the lines and thick insulation will burn for a long time. Did they make mistakes? Yes they did and I hope they learn from it. That's all I can really say about it.
1. I would have hit it with the deck gun immediately upon arrival, as it didn't appear that the wires were involved yet.
2. Then I would have stretched a hand line, while securing a hydrant (not the one next to the burning vehicle). I also would have made sure my crew was in full PPE, as well as myself!
I believe that the above steps would have prevented this fire from getting out of hand the way it did. (my opinion) Stay safe!
I personally am a rookie firefighter but seeing what appeared to be a fire service member standing directly across the street from the fire without any PPE, SCBA, or Eye Protection certainly caught me by suprise. I also noticed the exposure issues, trees nearby, the wind seemed to be playing a strong factor, plus the most serious issue being the utility pole on fire, with this comes energized electrical wires. Last thing I will make a comment on was seeing the flame runoff going down the street and passing by 2 uninvolved vehicles and watching one of the firefighters running after it with an extinguisher. This is something that should have been foreseen and they should have made a fire break or put a firefighter IN FULL PPE there with an extinguisher rather then wait for this to happen.
First off i agree with Jason. What took so long to establish water supply. Bull, what does it matter if they are volunteer or not we are all trained the same. I feel they should have started their attack on the curb side to knock down the tree andd the telephone pole as they were working on the vehicle. The biggest problem I see is the lack of SCBA usage by everyone on the lines or in the immediate area.
I,m sure they were Jay, I saw the hydrant by the tour bus. But being an engineer with experience, I know I can establish water in less that a minute out of my tank. Understand, I,m not bashing them. Maybe they had problems. Hope not.
What would be the hurry? If flames are visable upon the engine's arrival, the vehicle is a total loss. Aside from the backup man not having SCBA, and the officer not being in gear, I really don't see a lot that I would have done any different.
Not knowing the apparatus that department has, I only speculate as to the size of the booster tank on the truck. Even 500 gal when applied properly can extinguish a vehicle. If they had foam capability, I would have utillized that on the initial attack, CAFS would be better.
The carbon arcing mentioned by FETC is a possibility and does occationally occur, but it's not something I would be overly concerned with. In my area, waiting for the power company to secure the lines, would mean less work for us because there wouldn't be anything left to burn. Utillizing the broken stream as they were, lessens the chance of arcing. The idea of the deck gun would look impressive for the video, but would not be very effective in knockdown, and would scatter burning debris and potentially cause extension.
Now the gasoline running down the gutter would cause a second line to be pulled in my area. The dry chems worked, but a second line with foam would probably be a better choice. Even class A foam would disturb the chain reaction enough to lessen the chance of ignition. The idea to dike the area wouldn't work in most areas, because of the amount of sand that would be needed to effect containment. My pumper dosen't carry sand, (other than what is in the floorboards).
Otherwise, my department makes these type of fires on a regular basis. We don't have hydrants, so we rely on our booster tank, (1000 gal) and foam. We do wear full gear and SCBA, and we extinguish the fire pretty much the way they did.
I doubt very very much that the driver "parked" illegally in front of the hydrant. As another post also pointed out the driver should be ticketed for that. Well, I suspect that when the driver discovered something was amis, ie - fire coming out of someplace that didn't really need to be on fire, he simply did what any normal person would have done.. that is, stop the vehicle and get out. In this case, if there were passengers on board, he has a little bit more to contend with. I would have to think that the fire hydrant never even crossed his mind. Just the luck of the draw that it eliminated any chance that hydrant could be used in this. Career or vollie?? whatever.. they did the job like every other dept. equipped,staffed, and trained as this dept was,would have done. I have seen many career depts forget about the scba, just as I have seen vollie depts do the same. Great video I think!
Mike makes a good point, exposures first. The vehicle is lost, knock that hydro pole down first, and keep the second line on it while the main fire is delt with. I would think that the second line was in fact pulled, it just never happened whilst we were viewing it. Wouldn't have been a hoot to soak the officer who felt he was above wearing PPE? lol Oh sorry cap, I lost my balance with this line.. sorry bout that lol just kidding... (although its been done)