We were sent a video this morning-and want to share it with you.
As you will see, it’s a car fire. When we have car fires, we are expected to put them out. There is no such thing as an “aggressive interior attack” at a standard car fire. The goal is to put that pile of plastic filled, gasoline dripping, carcinogen emitting pile of crap out as soon as possible-with as little exposure to your members as possible.
There are times when Firefighters absolutely have to take risks. This is not one of them. Flow lots of water into the burning car without actually inserting yourself into the burning car.
In the past several days, a half dozen Firefighters have been sent to hospital burn units. They will soon (or have already) experience what it means to be in a burn unit. The audio we posted yesterday from the one incident is horrible-as the members are burning inside that mobile home. Thank God all the Firefighters are expected to survive.
No Firefighter who has ever been in the burn unit has ever said they would like to go back and experience that again.
No Firefighter who has ever been treated for cancer has ever said they would like to go back and experience that again.
In our firefighting history, there are many heroic Firefighters that ended up in burn units because they had no choice-they had to do what needed to be done and suffered for their heroism. Similarly, there are many heroic Firefighters who got cancer by no fault of their own-by doing their job and using the right equipment that was available at the time.
Unfortunately there are many more Firefighters that still want to play on the fireground while not understanding-or never being properly trained or lead-on what must be done-and what must not be done-in order to do this job.
When we signed up to be Firefighters, we understood the risks that may be taken, sometimes even leading to the supreme sacrifice. That’s an understanding of the job. Many many solid, no nonsense Firefighters have lost their lives in horrible ways because they had no choice but to do what had to be done at the time.
In a time where so many are justifiably focused on how to prevent firefighting occupational cancer, and, for example, how our gear can be improved-it’s hard to win the argument for improvements, better benefit protections etc-when we fail to use the basic stuff we were issued and we fail to operate to minimize our unnecessary exposures. The key words are unnecessary exposures-because sometimes, we have no option.
Please think, the next time you and your members turnout to a car fire, a dumpster fire or something similar. Pack up, charge the line and lob loads of water onto it (use the Niagara falls setting on your nozzle) without personally lobbing yourself into the fire. There’s simply no reason to shorten your career (paid, volunteer or whatever) and put yourself and your family through hell, unnecessarily.
CAR FIRE VIDEO HERE: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7jgugbs55tv03bi/A%20Little%20Too%20Agressive%20Car%20Fire%20Attack.mov?dl=0
HERE is a Vehicle FIREFIGHTING TRAINING BULLETIN From The Maryland Fire Rescue Institute: