“…in an effort to increase staffing…. we will be starting mutual aid sooner ..”
TO: Firefighter Close Calls.com (December 2004)
I’ve attached several photos of a recent “near miss” involving a firefighter who went through a floor during suppression operations at at dwelling fire.
The firefighter who fell landed in the lap of one of the basement suppression crews, and was able to quickly exit with the assistance from the hose team. A couple minutes earlier, and we would of had a different ending.
The firefighter who fell through the floor was on the third line deployed and entered from side “A” (at the time, we had two lines operating in the basement). Their assignment was to open-up the floor/walls to stop fire extension from the basement. The firefighters had been advised of the hole(s) in the floor prior to entry and to stay on the left wall when advancing.
The firefighter who went through was the third on the line and got too close to the open hole in the landing. A portion of the floor gave way from his weight ( a floor joist that had been burnt away under the flooring).
In an effort to increase staffing, we will be starting mutual aid sooner in areas not already receiving auto aid (generally one engine company). In multi-family dwellings, we plan to up-grade and request a 1/1 (engine/truck) assignment. If the units are not needed, they will be released as soon as possible.
We plan to host a mutual aid meeting this winter, followed by a RIT class this spring. Both will open to any of our mutual aid partners. One final thought. You play like your practice. Train as if your life depends on it; because it does.
Our Department responded to a house fire that had been reported by a passer-by. Upon arrival Chief 1 reported a two story residential dwelling with smoke showing. First in Duty Crew Ladder 31 (4 FF’s) secured water supply and advanced a 1 handline to the front door. Upon forcing entry, L-31 crew found heavy smoke and high heat conditions. As the crew began a right-hand search they noticed the floor of the first floor landing, and stairs to the second floor, had been burnt away. The crew exited the dwelling, repositioned the handline to side C and forced entry into the basement to begin fire suppression.
Engine 31 (3 FF’s) and Tower 11 (5 FF’s) advanced additional handlines into the basement and second floor to assist with fire suppression operations. Primary and secondary searches were negative.
One firefighter was injured in suppression operations. A partial floor collapse caused the firefighter to fall into the basement. Fortunately, the fire was in the process of being knocked down by suppression crews operating in the basement. The firefighter was removed from the basement and transported to North Memorial Hospital with wrist injuries.
FIRE ORIGIN/CAUSE: Basement. Under investigation.
ESTIMATED FIRE LOSS: $250,000.
F.D. RESPONDING UNITS: ASSISTING AGENCIES:
Engine Companies: E-31 EMS: Yes (x2)
Ladder Companies: L-31, TW-11 Red Cross: Yes
Rescue Companies: R-21, R-31 Public Works: Yes
Chief Officers: C-1, C-2
Mutual Aid: 1 FD (scene) 1 FD (stand-by)
SECTOR OFFICERS: Chief (Command), 2-Captains (Interior), 1-Deputy Chief (Sector C), 1-FF (Accountability).
Response Time: 8 minutes, Under Control Time: 21 Minutes