I am a DC3 and have been in for about 2 years now. Before that I was vary active in the fire service back home. We use to run drills about three times a month and I played a part in planning and caring out some these drills. One of my biggest things is practicing like we fight. My favorite topics are firefighter survival and SCBA Drills because, air is time and time is life. Now in the navy we teach people what to do and run drills and if your ship is anything like the two ships I have been on they just go through the basics of fighting the fire and desmoking, dewatering and overhaul. But I think they forget about the what if’s. What if a part of the SCBA fails, you get entangled or hung up, or disoriented in a smoke filled space. Do you or your ship mates know what to do? I believe most do not. I think they need to work some of the “what if’s” in to the drill. Because if it happens for real and they do not know what to do or what its like then someone is going to be hurt or even worst killed. What do you think?

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Having had fire service time before the Navy I understand where you're coming from... I used to teach fire academy on my ships as well as serve as DCTT evaluator. I used to teach "Backdrafts" & "Flashover" in my classes long before it made it into the new navy books (I actually got written up for it once as well). But like you point out, just because the Navy doesn't say it can happen... doesn't mean it won't! So, I guess what I'm saying is... get with your DC1, DCC & DCA and talk to them about these issues. See if you guys can work together and come up with a training plan to introduce these techniques to "R" div first, then to the rest of the crew (include blacked out mask drills). Otherwise do what I did, teach in small groups until the everyone has the training (Inport fire training is a good time as well)... Keep me updated.

Take Care & Stay Safe, Ric

I've got to agree with Ric. I got the opportunity to talk with the CMC of the COLE when he was CMC of Hospital Corps School back in '02. The biggest thing that they had going for them was the ingenuity and drive of the crew. If you can come up with some real world "what ifs" and present them as safe training then go for it. Thinking outside of the box it why the crews from the COLE, ROBERTS and the STARK were able to bring their ships home. Stay safe.

Great Post. Unfortunately the Sea Services are in the "Save the ship" mode most of the time and have ignored, well ignored is too strong a word, lets say Overlooked issues that affect the people who are trying to save the ship.In my 30 years of service the equipment and in some ways tacticts have come a long way, but when new equipment reaches the fleet (ie SCBA)the training needs to be brought up to the 21st century, for example what to do in the case of an open or closed failure to name a few. I had the pleasure of being recalled to active duty to serve at the Coast Guard DC A school for a year and was able to enlighten our fellow sailors about the new equipment they are using, hopefully this trend will continue. If someone needs to die i would rather him or her go because of something beyond their control and not because of inadequate training on equipment. You are definately on the right track DC3, keep up the good work
I agree that more training is needed in a "what if situation". I was in during the early 90's and not much was done on what happens if you air fails. "A" school in San Francison didn't really touch on this subject either.
Kinda late to the discussion I know, but as a FF today and former DC, I would like to get back to the Navy and teach them a few things that you just don't really see. This would actually be a very good training as mentioned. The other very basic thing is the fact of getting low, you just don't see guys really doing this in the Navy. Now I know a fire under a steel deck is quite different than a structure fire, but reality is, you could have a ton of smoke and you see guys going in standing up.

Another consideration though is the ships which have been saved by good DC. The Cole, Stark, Roberts, and even the fire on board the GW recently. Despite the issues I would address if still serving, it is good to see that people still get the job done.

Yet, I think some serious SCBA type of work is definately long overdue. We train as FF's to stay calm and solve the issue, so some YN that finds themselves trapped may just rip off their facepiece and become a casualty because they haven't been trained in such drills.


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