Firefighter Casualties: When "Old-School Firefighting" Doesn't Work

03/01/2010
BY ANTHONY AVILLOFrom time to time, you hear the phrase “Old-School Firefighting” and the need to return to our roots—i.e., hard-nosed, get-down-and-dirty, get-in-there-at-all-costs firefighting. Although many times this approach is warranted, failing to recognize when it is not warranted can and has cost firefighter lives. A cavalier approach to structural firefighting all the time, every time, displays a gross misunderstanding of risk management and usually results in more casualties than are acceptable (and none are acceptable!). No firefighter is tougher than a fire, a collapsing building, misbehaving electricity, or a moving vehicle. Your job as an officer is to kee...

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