Monday, April 9, 2012
Who is right on fireground tactics? It depends.
I was taught years ago by old timers that the outcome to
almost every fire depends on size-up, conditions and resources...that
has not changed since probie school in 1973. It makes sense. -SIZE UP:
We all know (or should know) that size-up helps you put all
your "stuff" in motion-or not in motion-or a certain kind of motion
-it depends. A non-existent or halfazzed size up can generally determine how
the fire will go. Size up (including pre-planning, alarm assignments etc) can
start well before a fire is even reported. -CONDITIONS:
Conditions: that's what you have when you arrive. Is
there the kind of smoke showing that would give Dave Dodson bad dreams? Do
you have a lotta fire, a little that will soon be alotta, nothing etc.
Conditions are generally "the problem" you were dispatched to
fix. The conditions (and the stuff that leads to the conditions) often
found in dwelling fires in 2012 are not the same conditions (and stuff)
found in 1973...or even later. -RESOURCES:
That's the people and equipment that help you deal with the
conditions, based upon your size up. Resources can be pre-determined well
before a fire is reported. A poor understanding of the needed
resources can determine how the fire will go. Resources in 2012 may not be
the same as in 1973. INTERESTING STUFF.
BELOW is an excellent article about this
"stuff" by Chief Eddie Buchanan. Note-it's from a Chief.
Relax-we fully understand that some Chiefs simply have the
title and are not at all seriously focused on taking care of their people,
community etc. Some are focused on themselves, logos, lettering-if you can
imagine that. Like most good Chiefs, Eddie isn't one of those. But GENERALLY
the difference between Chiefs and everyone else in a fire
department (in this specific case) is the fact that CHIEFS are where the
buck stops. CHIEFS OWN that fire scene and are responsible for everyone on that
scene. It's easy and understandable to feel like you have a better idea on
how the war should be handled when you are not a General. To be clear-CHIEF is
just a title for some, some who have no understanding of the immense
responsibility they have in protecting their personnel. Protecting them while
understanding there are some risks that must be taken-depending upon SIZE
UP, CONDITIONS and RESOURCES....and a little science from time to time as well.
Take a moment to check out this article: New-School Fire Research and Old-School Tactics: Who
Do You Believe? http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/2012/04/new-school-fire-research-and-old-school-tactics-whom-do-you-believe.html
WILDLAND FIRES ON THE EAST COAST
Numerous working wildland fires going on at this time on the
East Coast. One fire in particular, located in Ridge (Suffolk County, Long
Island, NY) is reported as a 10 alarm equivalent. Updates as applicable.