I guess I'll start off just by saying that there is a little saying in the fire servicce that goes a little something like.. "The only reason a firefighter stops training is because he's died." Or another one "Let no mans ghost say his training let him down."


So I figured this would be the perfect place as truckies to share any training tips hints or tricks that we might have picked up through out the years, from our departments SOG's SOP's or company training.


I guess I will start with something that I thought of when I was shown a video of a FF bailing out of a second story window when he got lost. There wasn't a ladder at the window and he was disoriented and ended up falling from the second story. The window he exitied was breached for ventilation and in the next room over was a window breached for egress with a ladder placed for rescue. I can only guess that he was lost and knew that there was a ladder on that side of the fire bulding and finding the open window thought that it was it. He fell head first fifteen feet.


One way that i thought of over coming this situation is developing a SOP on how to take a window in two different ways, one for horizontal ventilation, and another for egress and rescue. When taking a window for vent operations remove the window completly as you normally would breaking and sweaping all glass from both the outer and inner panes of glass, if the window has an inner pane. Remove the screen and or blinds and curtins so the smoke does not become obstructed by it. However leave the center sash in place, doesn't matter if it is a verticle or horizontal sash. Leaving the sash in place will not obstruct enough smoke to make a difference in your ventilation efforts. However should a firefighter need to bailout he will feel the window and notice that the sash is in place and that this is a window that does not have a ladder at it and not a safe exit.


Taking a window for rescue or  egress you would follow the same steps as for ventilation, however this time remove the center sash from the window so that a firefighter egressing out can do so minimumal dificulty. A firefighter coming across this window, will feel that the center sash has been removed meaning that this window  is laddered and safe to exit out.


Further more departments comiing in mutual aid to your town might not know your SOP reguarding horizontal vent. To take care of this problem the SOP still does have a benifit to it. Luckly horizontal ventilation is fast and quick and can be done by some of the first arriving companies by your department. and in reguards to mutual aid FF's needing to bail out they will issues their mayday and if they come across a window with the sash still in place they will need to remove the sash before exiting, thus buying you time in knowning exactly where they are and allowing you to move or throw a ladder to that window for them to safely exit.

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Replies to This Discussion

Good start Robert. Come on truckies, lets get the snow ball rolling.
I agree that we should share what we can on here and if you run through some of the older posts, you might even dig up some of our past conversations (other than the "Truckie Christmas Song"). As far as your idea, it sounds like a great one. We have a lot of casement windows here (as I look out the casement windows in my own house) but on situations where you have double-hung (or a double casement) windows, that would be great.

We try to throw ladders on all sides of the building and announce the locations on the tactical channel. We also put a sling with a strobe light on it over the tip and dangle it in the window so if you're having to bail, if you look in the room, you'll see it.

What about the rest of you?
Little safety time, always pay attention to what side of the building the majority of your apparatus is staged at (usually the Alpha side of the building). Knowing this if you should get lost and look into a room and see flashing lights coming into the room you more than likely are on or near the Alpha side of the building and might be able to reorientate yourself.
Sounds nice, however..If your cooking in a fire your A** is bailing out the closest exit. The FF may have known to place a tool and hang until the ladder was moved over. When your cooking, you don't feel for sashesor anything else you look for light and you go. You should anchor yourself so you can hang until the ladder can be moved.
If you are able to feel the window and move on then you don't need to bail.
true however not all departments due to cost unfortunatley are able to afford bailout out harnresses and if a FF buys his own not all departments can still afford to send him for training on it. Which would make the purpose of having it almost pointless. This at least lets people know hmm ok there is a ladder out there and i can just go. Or ok i'm going to have to get crafty here i might need to hang out might need to buy myself some time. This is not an SOP to replace use of bailout harnesses or SOP's reguarding them. This is simply in addition to those SOP's.
Your ideas are valid and I can tell that they are coming from a good place, but we do things a little different. My crew knows that if we are interior, exterior, mutual aid, RIT, etc...once we place a ladder, we do not move it. If we need another ladder, we go and get another one.
Also, a window that has the center sash still in place and no ground ladder below can still be used for a controlled egress/rescue. The member can use his/her life safety rope and bail out of the window w/o a ladder or he /she can make it to the window and at least get some air and/or signal for help. Either way, I have to respectfully disagree with leaving the sash in the window.
I too feel that the window should be cleared, There are ways of hanging outside from a window even if you dont have a rope or bailout kit.

To remove security bars from windows, if you dont have a saw, i have found that a set of irons will do the trick. first, take the flathead and hit the top corners ( metal parts ) until they bend or shear off. if they dont shear off then you need to hit the framing that they are installed into. after the top is taken care of, begin working on the bottom corners. repeat the process. once the security bars are cleared, take the halligan and remove the window ( sash and all ). 


just my input for a easy way to remove these deadly devices.




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