This story highlights an unanticipated consequence of the economic recession with potentially severe implications for firefighting strategy and tactics.
Furthermore, it reinforces the old adage to "expect the unexpected" and take nothing for granted during an emergency incident.
Without reopening the "fog versus smoothbore" nozzle debate (for the record, I don't think there's a simple answer to that question), it's important to recognize the potential impact of fire protection system degradation, occurring for any number of reasons, on hose and appliance selection, as well as for strategic/tactical decisionmaking.
If you can't get the required fire flow where it's needed in a timely fashion, all bets are off.
About the author
With more than two decades in the field, Chief Adam K. Thiel — FireRescue1's editorial advisor — is an active fire chief in the National Capital Region and a former state fire director for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chief Thiel's operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland firefighter and rescue diver. He also directly participated in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tropical Storm Gaston and Hurricane Isabel.
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