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Reality Training
by Reality Training

Reality Training: Three-story multi-family units

Use this video and its discussion questions to improve your firefighting capabilities

By Robert Avsec

This feature is intended to spark the sharing of ideas, information and techniques to make firefighters safer and more effective. The following video and discussion points must not be used to berate, belittle or criticize those firefighters. Rather, in the spirit of near-miss reporting, please use this feature as another teaching tool to help you better do your job. Please leave your comments below and use this material in your own department. I hope you find this Reality Training valuable; stay safe and keep learning.

Fire at this three-story housing unit burned out of control for three hours and damaged seven homes. Five firefighters were injured.

Although the dwellings in this video appear to be separate buildings, their proximity to each other and their construction characteristics present a scenario and fire behavior that we would likely see in townhouse-style apartments. 

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  • Based on your size up and risk assessment, is the mode of operation appropriate for the conditions — why or why not?
  • How would you describe the situation via radio to incoming resources? 
  • What would be your incident action plan? 
  • The incident commander is advised that the dispatch center has received mayday from Unit 4C's radio at the 5:38 minute mark in the video. As a commander, what actions would you take after receiving this message?
  • What is the objective of roof top ventilation and was it a viable objective in this scenario?

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