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Fighting Fires in Balloon-Frame Construction

BY JONATHAN RIFFE All firefighters, not only officers, must be well-versed in building construction. The driver, officer, and every firefighter, including the rookie, must know what type of building they are walking into and whether it has been through formal preplans and drills. The incident commander should do a 360° walk-around and size-up and notify the crew of his findings before they enter. The construction of the building and fire conditions on arrival will determine the strategy and tactics that will be used during firefighting operations and aid the incident commander (IC) in understanding the fire spread and collapse potential of the building. The type of construction is an impo...

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