Trenching Strategy: Drawing a Line in the Sand

BY THOMAS DUNNE Any fire operation presents two challenges. First, there is the extreme physical effort required to extinguish the fire. Second, and no less important, is the subtle balancing act that firefighters must perform in determining realistic goals given the fire conditions and resources available. How long is an aggressive attack viable, and how much of a building can be saved? A fire on the top floor of a multistory building may be the most physically taxing of all the incidents to which we respond. The challenge of long hose stretches combined with the exhaustion of walking up stairways in bunker gear will rapidly deplete a firefighter's energy. An effective strategy for a top...

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