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In the photo above, a fire occurs in a bedroom and looks like it is extending to the attic. Irrespective of your staffing and initial response, absent of any other information than what you see, your initial priority is to locate and darken the fire. Tommy Brennan always said that "all things being equal - equal fire problem, search problem, ventilation problem etc., put the fire out!" I couldn't agree more. If staffing permits only one tactic at this fire, put the fire out. In my opinion, my next priority is to vent the second floor so we can "look" for victims as opposed to blindly feeling for them. After help arrives, we can check the attic for extension and salvage the second and first floor and finally overhaul. What do you think?

Skip Coleman, Technical Editor Fire Engineering


posted by Skip Coleman
7/09/2007 06:00:00 PM

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Blogger NWG said...

I agree, particularly looking at the conditions at hand. The time of day and lack of any vehicle in the driveway lend themselves to the probability of no inhabitants. So search would not be a first priority, unless of course someone is on the front lawn screaming that there are still people in there. Put the fire out in the bedroom before it gets any worse. Open up the walls there to start knocking the fire therein. By then a second line should have been stretched and almost certainly a vent team has been sent to the roof.

Chris Mc Loone

Tue Jul 10, 09:31:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Blitzattak said...

Right on Skip!! I agree. Even though Life Safety is the #1 priority, Incident Stabilization, controling the fire, may eliminate your Life Safety problem. Allowing the fire to build without controling it will lead even larger issues. 2nd due crews can search, ventilate, etc. Lets control the fire 1st.

Wed Jul 11, 08:36:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jack Abraham, EdD said...

Agreed, also. Even if going Rescue Mode, the first priority is separating the fire from the search team with water. Also, use of thermal imaging can help with simultaneous fire location for attack purposes and primary search on the fire floor.

Wed Jul 11, 09:26:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Tom Rinaldi said...

I agree, look at the big picture, do the size up, assess the facts as available, make a command decision and assign the resources to carry out the tactics. Always consider the worse case senario and have your contingeny plans ready, when conditions change, implement the contingencies or change the tactics. Just make a decision and be ready for the unexpected. Simplicity and exercise the basics.

Wed Jul 11, 09:41:00 AM EDT  
Blogger idahofiresar said...

I too would have to agree. By rapidly attacking the fire and getting knock down you make the environment more tenable if there are victims, not to mention the fact that you make the search effort much easier. With todays short staffing you may only get to pull one play out of the book and with scenario that is the one.

Thu Jul 12, 12:48:00 AM EDT  

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