Levels of risk

Folks will have different viewpoints on whether or not entering a burning building to make a rescue without proper equipment is the right call


I'm definitely glad this story ended happily for all involved.

I expect folks will have different viewpoints on whether or not entering a burning building to make a rescue — without personal protective equipment, SCBA, or a charged hose line — is the right call; in this case, it appears to have worked.

But …

I think we also recognize this story could be about the tragic injury or death of another firefighter in the line-of-duty. The level of risk we are willing to accept in a given situation is unquestionably a personal choice.

At the same time, we all know that our brother and sister firefighters will do whatever it takes, including risking their own lives, to help us if we make the wrong call and get into trouble.

Something to think about ...

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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