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Reality Training: Commercial roof collapse

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Reality Training Reality Training
by Reality Training

Reality Training: Commercial roof collapse

Use this incident to improve your firefighting abilities

By Tom LaBelle

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.

This well-travelled video shows Dearborn, Mich. firefighters narrowly escaping a roof collapse on a commercial structure. The overhead camera shot gives us a vantage point we don't often get from on-scene video. Take a look and check out the discussion points below:

  • Vertical ventilation is labor intensive, and it's difficult for a line officer to balance tasks and watch for the overall safety of the crew. As a line officer, what do you do to maintain a balance of action and the big picture?
  • What are some of the ventilation cues coming from the roof being cut, and what are some cues from the roof the team moves to after the collapse?
  • What would your radio transmission be? Would you transmit an urgent message, a mayday message or just treat it as a normal fire ground communication?

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