PD arriving first at fires isn’t all that unusual–and in some areas, it is usual. Sometimes it’s a help, sometimes is causes more problems-it often depends upon training, conditions and related leadership. As your recall, earlier this year, 2 NYPD officers were on scene prior to FDNY and went in-causing one officer to die in the Line of Duty and the other getting critically injured.
Officer Rosa Rodriguez suffered carbon monoxide poisoning, which killed her partner Dennis Guerra, and left her hospitalized after an April arson allegedly caused by 16-year-old Marcell Dockery.
Please share, forward and pass this on to your local PD. This audio is a significant reminder of how dangerous fire/smoke conditions can be.
HERE is the NYPD dispatch/urgent radio traffic/video of that fatal fire.
LISTEN to this radio traffic if you did not hear it previously:
In many cases, PD have become victims that we have to deal with upon arrival-in addition to the initial fire or emergency. This issue isn’t them “getting in the way”-the issue is, in so many cases, the lack of understanding of the conditions they are placing themselves in. While the intent is admirable, the goal is to help people with a problem-while not becoming part of the problem.
Following the April LODD of Officer Guerra, the NYPD Brass got together with the FDNY Brass and came up with guidelines for those cases where Police Officers arrive before the Firefighters.
That guideline is below-please feel free to pass this on to your local PD, Sheriff or whoever gets to your fires before you do.
Additionally, the Cincinnati PD has issued similar orders to their Police Officers. Makes good sense. Below is the article about CPD.
NYPD / Fire Operations
DO’s and DON’T’s
Do verify address
Do make sure that FD is responding
Do determine location of fire in building
Do develop info by questioning all present: apt#, people at home, out of building, trapped…
Do advise dispatcher if you are entering building. Must advise FD dispatcher ASAP.
Do close all doors behind you, confining fire.
Do have an escape plan (secondary exit)
Do check floor layout on floor below fire.
Do use wall as a guide and count doors from stairway so you can find stair doorway on your return (may lose visibility in seconds).
Do leave a member at door to fire area to guide you back (shine light / make noise). Never enter fire floor alone.
PD / Fire Ops
Don’t block front of the building.
Don’t park on hydrants.
Don’t use elevators.
Don’t go above the lowest level of the fire.
Don’t ventilate, breaking glass or opening doors
Don’t stay inside any longer than necessary.
Don’t expect conditions to remain the same as when you entered. Conditions will change quickly and often. You are unprotected and it can become untenable rapidly.
Don’t remain in building after FD arrives.
Don’t carry victims from fire area—drag them, staying low to the floor.
Don’t assume all windows can be opened from inside. You could end up trapped.
Related Cincinnati PD Article: