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Order to police officers: Don’t enter burning buildings

The bulletin was introduced after the death of NYPD officer Dennis Guerra

CINCINNATI — Police officers were issued a new training bulletin Friday, ordering them not to enter a building that’s on fire to rescue people inside.

WCPO reported that the bulletin was introduced after the death of NYPD officer Dennis Guerra, who died from inhaling carbon monoxide in April while saving others from a fire in an apartment building.

Officers who are first to respond to a fire are now ordered to stay out of burning buildings and ignore their instinct to rescue others, according to the report.

“It’s understandable that officers have an extraordinary desire to rush in and save lives,” the memo states. “However, there are many dangerous consequences associated with this desire, which can lead to serious injury or death.”

The department gave the following steps if an officer is first to respond to a fire:

  1. Confirm the correct incident address and whether there are obvious indicators the structure is on fire, such as the presence of smoke and/or flames.
  2. Gather additional information indicating the volume and color of the smoke. This informs the responding firefighters what they are facing.
  3. Try to determine exactly where the structure fire is located without entering the structure.
  4. Are there people trapped in the building and if so, where? Accurate assessment of where the fire is located can simplify the respond and aid in a speedy rescue effort.