I just read the report issued on the Charleston incident. It's posted at Firehouse.com if anyone is interested in reading it.

It is a very well written and detailed report that covers the multitude of tactical errors that were made on that fateful day. It is almost disheartening to see that the people in charge of making sure their members go home safely at the end of their tour could be so inept at their jobs.

I would encourage EVERYONE to read this report. Get an idea of what really happened, and then ask yourself if your department operates with the same antiquated techniques, tactics and strategies.

If their is ANYTHING in this report that even remotely resembles your department's SOG's, I strongly encourage you to start doing whatever you can right now - today - to start making changes to make sure this doesn't happen to you, or anyone you know.

God Bless those men, and the families and Brothers they left behind. Judging by the report, everything happened very, very quickly, and they didn't have a chance. There were no command officers watching out for them, and the rest of the members were frantically trying to get supply lines laid and charged, among other things. There was no control.

Don't let this happen to you. Be Aggressive and Progressive in your training. Learn to identify the signs that what you're doing to extinguish the fire or control the fire may not be working, and educate yourself to know when it's time to go.

Unfortunately, nine of our Brothers had to make the ultimate sacrifice before someone took notice. May they Rest In Peace, and may their sacrifice not go in vain.

Stay safe out there Brothers and Sisters.

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Comment by Lawrence W on May 19, 2008 at 12:02pm
I have also read the report.

Too many times we get caught up in what is obvious, and forget about other important details of the incident. Command Structure, 2-in 2-out, Accountability, and Knowledge of your Equipment are extremely important, and too often overlooked. There were several failings noted in the report that may or may not have contributed to the tragic loss of nine of our Brothers in Charleston. These failings occurred from the command officers right down to the individual firefighters. We all need to be proactive in our home departments to prevent the passive approach to these important Life Safety initiatives.

The report states that no firefighter can be expected to be mistake free. We all make mistakes on scene, in the firehouse and in our personal lives. Our overall goal is to reduce the big mistakes and to learn from all mistakes. Every call is a learning opportunity for each of us individually and as a department. Don't let their sacrifice be in vain!

I encourage each of you to read the report and take the lessons learned and compare them to the policies and procedures of your home departments. As Engine 32 Lt. stated above, today is the time to make your move toward a safer department. Learn from the sacrifices of our Nine Brothers in Charleston. It is never too soon to be safer on scene and in the firehouse.

Be Safe out there.

Comment by FireCat on May 16, 2008 at 10:32pm
I read your post.

Please be SAFE!
Cat : - )

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