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Reality Training
by Reality Training

Reality Training: PD vents before first-due arrives, feeds fire

This video of a structure fire's progression prior to first-due arriving on scene provides some valuable learning opportunities

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.

Any time a fire has a significant amount of pre-burn time before the arrival of firefighting resources it presents a challenge to fire suppression activities. This fire in a two-story, detached garage, provides a good opportunity for learning because the video begins early in the incident and provides a good picture of the fire's progression prior to the first unit's arrival.

  • What does your initial size-up of the incident reveal?
  • Based on your size-up, what would be your initial Incident Action Plan (IAP)?
  • What would be the priorities in your IAP?
  • What is your evaluation of the smoke at the beginning of the video and does your evaluation change during the course of the video?
  • Based on your IAP, how would you evaluate the actions of the firefighters in the video? 
  • What, if anything, would you have done differently?

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Richard Hurtado Richard Hurtado Monday, February 25, 2013 4:51:12 PM I will never understand why cops feel the need to involve themselves with firefighting activities? This is a clear result of them NOT understanding the consequence of their actions. Yes, the PD caused this to burn down!
Kevin Clynick Kevin Clynick Monday, February 25, 2013 5:28:22 PM The PD may have contributed to the interior structural components getting involved. Why did the large volume line go to the delta side when it should have gone up the Bravo stairs?
Jeff Lenard Jeff Lenard Monday, February 25, 2013 7:17:52 PM Based on the video's timeline (and we don't use foam)....... My Engine Co. (staffed with 4) would have laid out from a hydrant, pulled a single, appropriate sized line (1 1/2 @ 175 gpm or 2" @ 250 gpm would be our two options for this particular fire), flanked and knocked down what exterior fire was on side D, and advanced our line to the entrance on side B... from there making a safe interior attack if possible (since it looks like light construction wood frame). The room(s) have already flashed and there is adequate horizontal ventilation in the D quadrant of sides A and D for a push from side B. It would be important to sound the floor and pull the ceiling, looking for fire in the cockloft, as we go. These are all standard SOPs for both my career and vol my dept(s). This time the cops busted the door helping to feed the fire... next time the door could be left open by an occupant fleeing the building.... The tactics should be be the same regardless of who did what prior to our arrival. I realize this is an after the fact opinion, so I'm not criticizing what the crew in the video did, just merely sharing my department's standard tactics which we train on... I also realize that because I tried to keep my explanation short there are probably many areas left where I could have expanded on our tactics or reasoning... I kept it short for a reason... please don't beat me up too bad "monday morning quarter backing" our tactics.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 2:11:57 AM I think its safe to say that PD ya done did! smh
Gary Bowker Gary Bowker Tuesday, February 26, 2013 4:08:09 PM A common and very serious problem when PD arrives and goes into their "firefighting" mode. We know they're well intentioned, but uneducated regarding firefighting. It's up to the FD to take a proactive approach and address this problem with tact and fore thought, as was done in my community. I developed a 2 hr ppt training program covering how PD can best assist the fire dept at structure fires, the dangers involved with this type of free lancing, and the unintended consequences of their actions. If left unaddressed, the media will also pickup on this which only reinforces their bad behavior. EMS and other first responders should also be invited (so the cops don't feel like they were being singled out) If we don't address this problem, nobody else will.

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