http://localhost:4503/content/fe/en/blogs/blognetwork/anthony-avillo.html2016-08-19T20:47:44.492ZFireground Strategies and Other Stuff from the StreetAdobe Experience ManagerMaximizing effectiveness on the roofnoemail@noemail.orgAA<p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">When you go to the roof, what tools do you bring?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The usual answer is the saw, a set of irons, a hook or pike pole, and life-saving rope.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Is that all?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The tool that might serve us best when conducting roof operations is often left on the rig:<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>the thermal imaging camera (TIC).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>It should be a mandatory part of the roof tool inventory.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>First of all, how do you know where to cut your hole?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Nineteenth-century thinking such as &ldquo;bubbling tar&rdquo;, &ldquo;a dry spot on a wet day&rdquo;, or &ldquo;a place where the snow or ice is melted&rdquo;, is ineffective and guesswork.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Twentieth-century thinking such as &ldquo;communication with the crews on the top floor&rdquo; is also a hit or miss and subject to interpretative confusion.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The thermal imaging camera will show a heat signature on any type roof (or on a floor above a cellar fire) where you can at least sink an examination hole and evaluate the situation.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>It is much better then guessing or using outdated methods.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>The TIC can also be used to check around soil pipes for heat, check a cornice for potential fire spread, check an exposure roof and scan a roof soffit for heat build-up.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Another valuable use is when the smoke condition on the roof is such that visibility is reduced and you are trying to find your way off the roof.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In this case, the team using the TIC may be able to scan the roof and &ldquo;see&rdquo; where the aerial is or where a fire escape is located to more easily find their egress.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>It can also be used by an officer to keep track of his or her crews.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>One word of caution:<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>just like a hole in the floor or a missing step, the presence of a shaft will be difficult to determine with the TIC unless there is heat coming from it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>It may just look black on the screen.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Be careful &ndash; always use common sense safety precautions when working on the roof such as was mentioned in the last installment about probing and keeping the weight off the leading foot.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Remember &ndash; the tool you do not take with you is often the tool you need most.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p> <br /><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-9184119472288632851?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-91841194722886328512011-08-14T00:05:00.000Z2011-09-07T13:57:58.076ZMake sure that where you are stepping is therenoemail@noemail.orgAA<p style="TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.5in" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14pt">Always probe with your weight on the back foot. </span></b><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14pt"><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.5in" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14pt"><o:p><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"></span></o:p></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>Gravity never takes a day (or a minute) off.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>When making those forays across a floor above a fire area, across the roof, or in any area where structural integrity is suspect, personnel should use a tool to probe ahead of them. Don&rsquo;t, however, let this lead tool give you a false sense of security.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>When probing with a tool, consciously make an effort to keep your weight off the tool so that you will not fall if something gives way or you encounter a hole in the floor, or in the case of a roof, an unprotected shaft is present. <o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 14pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>During hands-on training search operations at the Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis, we noticed that most firefighters do a good job of probing for floors, but they keep too much weight on the probing hand, foot, or tool. We had areas with floors missing and when the probing tool or body part found that area, the individual usually could not stop from falling forward into the missing floor as his forward momentum carried his body and the tool into the hole. We had to extricate more than a few surprised firefighters from these areas (they had a hood over their head for the evolution).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Hopefully it was a lesson learned the hard way, but in a training session and not in the harder environment that is the fireground.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Never trust what is in front of you without testing the area.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Keep the weight off the leading foot or tool, and you will not experience a gravity-induced rapid downward movement.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in" class="MsoNormal"><o:p><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"></span></o:p></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-8215207125117738398?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-82152071251177383982011-08-05T17:59:00.000Z2011-09-07T13:57:58.326ZMaintaining Perishable Skillsnoemail@noemail.orgAA<p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Perishable skills are those skills that depreciate in effectiveness over time if they are not practiced.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The fire service is a veritable minefield of perishable skills, some of which, conducted in an inefficient and/or incorrect manner, can have devastating consequences.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>There are very few &ldquo;like learning to ride a bike&rdquo; skills in this business where neglecting them for a period of time still allow them to be performed with a large degree of success when we need them.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">The skills in question are not only individual skills, but more often team-based skills, where the outcome depends on the competency of a team of firefighters working in concert with each other to achieve an outcome.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Departments that do not reinforce both individual and team-based perishable skills are headed for tactical breakdown.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Individual skills such as tying knots, operating aerial equipment, starting and operating a power saw and conducting operations with extrication tools are some of the areas where the disintegration of skill can have severe repercussions in safety and operational completion.<o:p></o:p></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Team-based skills are also perishable, not only due to the corrosion of skill by the individual members, but the loss of coordination of the team as well.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Think about a pro football team.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>All plays are created for success and all players are &ldquo;the cream of the crop&rdquo; in the field, but when the timing and efficiency of the team as a cohesive unit is off, the play goes nowhere and the team is unsuccessful.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Do you think a fire department is any different and when our plays don&rsquo;t work due to rustiness, there is more at stake, isn&rsquo;t there?.<o:p></o:p></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Have you ever watched a fire company raise a ground ladder?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Their ability to properly and effectively perform this evolution as a team is quite apparent to anyone watching.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This can run the scale from a well-orchestrated, smoothly-run operation to a Three Stooges routine.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Hose line stretching, forcible entry, and technical rescue operations are other perishable skill areas that require continuous training and reinforcement of skill.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>How does your department and its individuals measure up?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Are they razor-sharp or rusty?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>It is up to you as a member of the team and the department to hone your skills and to ensure that your firefighting team is operating at maximum efficiency.</span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Be safe out there<o:p></o:p></span></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-7662106436122075543?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-76621064361220755432011-07-30T17:06:00.000Z2011-09-07T13:57:58.482ZUnintended Consequencesnoemail@noemail.orgAA<p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">As firefighters, we must always consider the unintended consequences of our actions or in many cases, our inactions.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Unfortunately, we often do not think that far ahead and live in the now instead of the proactive future.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>That is why that puddle of water or, worse yet, oil that you saw but stepped around on the apparatus floor caused one of your fellow firefighters to split his or her head open when they slipped on it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>No one intends for that to happen, but it often does.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>That is unacceptable in a business where risk analysis is such a critical; part of the job.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This attitude often has larger consequences when they are transferred to the emergency situation.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>Consider this situation which took place not so long ago and was related to me.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>On a Saturday, an engine company we will call Engine 1 responded on a spill that required them to utilize all of their speedy-dry.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>There was none in storage at their firehouse as it was stored in a central location in the department.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>It was late so the Company Officer decided to wait to pass the need for more speedy-dry to the next shift on the following morning.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>He passed the information on, but since it was a Sunday, the Company Officer on that day did not take the ride to one of the other firehouses to secure more speedy-dry for the company.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The day passed without incident, but at about 0600 the next morning, they were dispatched to a single engine squad run to the scene of an MVA where a spill of vehicle fluids required speedy-dry.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Since they didn&rsquo;t get it the day before, they had to request an additional engine company, Engine 2, to bring some down from their supply.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Engine 2 responded from outside that the Engine 1 district.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>While this &ldquo;special-called&rdquo; Engine 2 was operating at the MVA, a report of a structure fire was transmitted in their first-due area.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>As Engine 2 was at the scene of the MVA, basically doing the duties that Engine 1 had been called to do and it was rush hour, there was a delay in the arrival of another engine into Engine 2&rsquo;s first-due area.<o:p></o:p></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>The officers did not take into consideration the unintended consequences of failing to secure more speedy-dry in a timely manner, a relatively non-essential item in their view, but the consequences of that failure could have been severe.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>They did not do their job.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The job of a Company Officer (and of all firefighters regardless of rank) is to always do your job and always take into consideration the unintended consequences of your actions, your inactions, and those of others.<o:p></o:p></span></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-2397921684141834173?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-23979216841418341732011-07-24T15:53:00.000Z2011-09-07T13:57:58.638ZCompetence vs. recklessmessnoemail@noemail.orgAA<p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Experienced firefighters are worth their weight in gold.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>They are the &ldquo;go-to&rdquo; guys when a difficult task must be completed and can be a valuable tool in assisting in training younger, less experienced members.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The trap that we cannot let these human assets fall into is allowing them to let their experience lead to recklessness.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Too often, we have seen veterans fall victim to casualties during routine &ldquo;firefighter I&rdquo; type operations because they have done it too many times before and it is now routine.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span><b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">There is no routine in this business.</i></b><span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>We must never let ourselves fall into this trap because at that point what was an asset now becomes a liability with potentially severe consequences for all of us.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>We need to recognize when our comfort levels are causing us to drift into failure.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Last fall, we had access to an acquired structure in which to conduct training operations.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In addition to search and RIC evolutions, we chose to do vertical ventilation on the slightly sloped roof using the cutter&rsquo;s edge fire service chain saw.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>One of the things I noticed was that the firefighters who did not have a lot of experience with the saw were deliberately over-cautious in their actions, moving gingerly on the roof and working the saw. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes"></span>On then other hand, we had some who were very experienced and were very comfortable handing the saw, but that competence caused them to be a bit too cavalier in their actions, failing to brake the saw (stop the blade) between cuts and while moving from one area to the next, cutting with one hand, etc.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>While they were very good at what they were doing, a slip-up caused by their obvious comfort with a very dangerous piece of equipment could have brought severe consequences.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span><o:p></o:p></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">The moral of this story:<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Don&rsquo;t let your competence turn you from an asset to a liability.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Always operate with respect for your tools and for the conditions, never allowing complacency to affect your performance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span></span><o:p></o:p></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-4741210404528021358?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-47412104045280213582011-07-24T15:52:00.000Z2011-09-07T13:57:59.496ZDo you know your rig???noemail@noemail.orgAA<p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri;">One of the most basic requirements of a firefighter is to know his equipment.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Even more basic is to know where it is on the apparatus.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>There is nothing worse than having to rummage through the compartments for a tool that your officer has ordered and expected you to return with.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The consequences of this can run the gamut from embarrassment (and having to have someone show where a tool is that you should have be able to locate in the first place) to lost time in completing an assignment or tactical objective.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>All roads here lead to tactical breakdown, which leads to a compromise in safety.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>You, as an integral part of the company (team) must carry your weight.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In fact, your Company Officer will expect you to do your part.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>To that end, what is your responsibility?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>As a firefighter in a volunteer department, you should be opening the compartment doors and checking the equipment location every time you are in the firehouse.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Before you head to the lounge or take part in an evening drill, get in a little early, open the compartments, take the equipment out, and examine it.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In a career department, as soon as you get to the firehouse to begin your shift, you should go through the apparatus, and make sure your gear is in place, ready for response.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The cup of coffee can and should wait.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span><o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 10pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>If you are an officer, the aforementioned are expectations that you must set with your subordinates.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>You cannot expect them to meet these expectations unless you explain them, support them, and enforce them all the time.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The fireground is not the place to find out that your personnel are not living up to your expectations.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>To that end, and in context with this discussion, you must demand and expect that your people know where everything on the apparatus is, what it is used for, how it works, what to do if it doesn&rsquo;t appear to be working, and, equally important, know its limitations.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span></span><o:p></o:p></span></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-672740220817557452?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-6727402208175574522011-07-24T15:49:00.000Z2011-09-07T13:57:59.667ZSafest, most effective path of least resistance, part 5noemail@noemail.orgAA<h1 style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">OVERHAUL<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span></span></h1><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Overhaul can be divided into pre-control overhaul and post-control overhaul.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Knowledge of building construction to take advantage of the paths of least resistance is critical to both operations.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Knowing where to open the building ahead of a spreading fire is the first and most important portion of pre-control overhaul.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>For instance, knowing where a basement fire in a balloon frame dwelling is likely to spread will cause lines to be positioned in the attic early in the firefight, a strategy not usually pursued in buildings of other type construction.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Likewise, in ordinary construction, the building may be a maze of honeycomb-like voids, inviting many different ways for fire to spread in many directions at once.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Sometimes, fires will not spread as easily vertically and have to move relatively great distances horizontally before finding a vertical channel.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>One fire that started in a ceiling light fixture spread through the space above the ceiling, passing over room partitions to the other side of the apartment, where it found a vertical void adjacent to the chimney.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>It then spread to the upper floors and the cockloft.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>While it is usually best to check around suspected and known vertical openings (paths of least resistance), don&rsquo;t be lulled into neglecting horizontal paths of least resistance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Checking above drop and tin ceilings, checking inside soffits, cornices, and facades, pulling ceilings in exposures, and exposing barrier penetrations are all ways to check for horizontal fire spread based on building characteristics.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>Post-control overhaul tactics should take advantage of the same building openings as pre-control overhaul.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In addition, man-made openings such as light fixtures, plumbing and wiring areas, ductwork, and outlets are all paths of least resistance and must be checked.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In addition, the area directly over the fire may allow fire to spread into upper floors even where no man-made openings exist.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Conduction, convection, and radiation will be the culprits here.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The objective of post-control overhaul is to make sure the fire is out.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Keeping in mind the most effective paths of least resistance regarding fire travel will assist in ensuring this objective is met.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><o:p><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"></span></o:p></span></p><br /><h1 style="TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .25in"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Symbol; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-WEIGHT: normal; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold"><span style="mso-list: Ignore">·<span style="FONT: 7pt 'Times New Roman'"> </span></span></span><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">SALVAGE<o:p></o:p></span></span></h1><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoBodyTextIndent2"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Damage can be categorized into two areas.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Primary damage is the damage done by the fire.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Secondary damage is that damage done by firefighting operations.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This includes structural and contents damage conducted as part of fire control as well as water damage suffered as a direct result of suppression agent application.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Forecasting the most effective paths of least resistance for fire travel and then moving combustibles from those areas before they can become involved not only reduces the available fire load, but also saves property.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Take for example a building that is exposed to a fire occurring in an adjacent building via a shaft between the two.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The exposed building is of ordinary construction.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>It is a warm day so many windows may be open.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The most effective path of least resistance for exposure ignition from both radiated and convected heat will be via the open windows.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Closing the windows and removing combustibles as well as venting windows opposite the fire to dissipate heat are passive ways to lessen the heat&rsquo;s impact on the building.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Coating the building with water and stretching lines via the interior to the window areas of the exposed rooms is a more dynamic method.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Why do we do this?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The reason is because the window represents the most effective path of least resistance for fire travel into the building.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Therefore, in this case, it must be the first area protected in the exposure.<o:p></o:p></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">As stated earlier, water will always seek the paths of least resistance, but in a downward and opposite manner when compared with heat.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>When planning a property conservation strategy, the officer in charge of the Salvage Group must think like water.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>He or she must consider all the paths of least resistance in order to divert the water or place equipment aimed at limiting or eliminating water damage prior to the water arriving there.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In other words, identifying the most effective paths of least resistance for water runoff before the water actually gets there is a proactive method of reducing secondary damage.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><o:p><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"></span></o:p></span></p><br /><h1 style="TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .25in"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Symbol; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-WEIGHT: normal; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold"><span style="mso-list: Ignore">·<span style="FONT: 7pt 'Times New Roman'"> </span></span></span><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">COLLAPSE<o:p></o:p></span></span></h1><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>All collapses are gravity-dependent.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Once the pull of gravity is stronger than the integrity of the building&rsquo;s connections, collapse will occur.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Buildings will always fall in the path of least resistance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>For instance, a building that is connected on one side, but not the other will likely fall into the area where no resistance is given.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Lean-over collapses are a perfect example of this principle.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The building is likely to lean and collapse into the path of least resistance, which is the adjacent lot or street.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Although no one can predict exactly how and when a building will fail, determining the likely paths of least resistance can help establish both collapse zones and safety perimeters.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Collapse rescue is another area where an awareness of the paths of least resistance may pay dividends when developing a rescue plan.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Chief Officers developing strategies to rescue collapse victims must, however, take into very serious consideration that the most effective paths of least resistance are oftentimes not the safest paths.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Secondary collapse, fire involvement, and utility hazards are just a few of the problems that can complicate a rescue operation and make the most effective path of least resistance unacceptable as a rescue route.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Remember that when life is involved, the rule of thumb MUST be to utilize the safest, most effective path of least resistance to accomplish the objective.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>If the seemingly most effective path of least resistance is unsafe, it no longer satisfies the rule of thumb.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">The Incident Commander or Rescue Group Supervisor must weigh the risk of rescuing via unsafe, albeit most effective paths of least resistance versus the time it might take to access victims via safer, but more time-consuming access route.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This is a difficult decision to make.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Rescuers who become victims are no longer rescuers, but now part of the problem.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This same mentality must also apply to confined space, high angle, trench rescue, and other technical rescue incidents.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Command must never, under any circumstances, let the risks outweigh the potential gains.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><o:p><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"></span></o:p></span></p><br /><h1 style="TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .25in"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Symbol; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-WEIGHT: normal; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold"><span style="mso-list: Ignore">·<span style="FONT: 7pt 'Times New Roman'"> </span></span></span><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES<o:p></o:p></span></span></h1><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">It is interesting (and not surprising) to note that in direct contrast to proper tactics and their relation to the paths of least resistance, improper tactics will also take advantage of paths of least resistance and may lead to unintended consequences.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>For example, misunderstanding of building construction and the associated dangers of compromised structural components has led to death and injury when failing building components unexpectedly fall.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Misplaced hoselines due to improper tactics, lack of training, or lack of information in regard to the location of the fire can push fire into uninvolved areas.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Improper and misplaced ventilation operations will also pull fire into uninvolved areas, possibly jeopardizing rescue and attack operations.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In addition, improper and uncoordinated positive pressure ventilation will push fire into paths of least resistance, often burning the building down.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>There are many examples of misuse of the most effective paths of least resistance that have resulted in outcomes quite different than those intended.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>They must be learned from.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-2320447812673863376?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-23204478126738633762011-06-16T20:31:00.000Z2011-09-07T13:57:59.839ZSafest, most effective Path of Least Resistance Pt. 4: Search & Rescuenoemail@noemail.orgAA<p style="TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .25in" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Symbol; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold"><span style="mso-list: Ignore">·<span style="FONT: 7pt 'Times New Roman'"> </span></span></span><b><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">SEARCH &amp; RESCUE<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span></span></b></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoBodyTextIndent"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Most fire victims will attempt to escape the building using the most effective path of least resistance, the stairs and front door.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Other paths include, but are not limited to remote doorways, windows, fire escapes, and as a last resort, jumping (absolute path of least resistance and the most dangerous).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Many victims are found near doors or windows, having been overcome by the products of combustion that are also looking to follow these same paths.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Alternate paths of egress do not take advantage of the paths of least resistance, and as a result, take more time to get out and are far more dangerous, both to the victim and the firefighter. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes"></span>They also take more time. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes"></span>It is much easier and safer to take a victim down the interior stairs than it is to get them down a fire escape, an aerial, or tougher yet, a ground ladder.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The rope rescue is at the extreme, eating up personnel and exposing rescuers and victims to deadly risk.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoBodyTextIndent"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">In regard to primary search, some of the tools we can use to assist in maintaining the paths of least resistance out of a building are lifelines and thermal imaging cameras.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This is especially true in large area buildings, where these tools are an absolute must.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Knowing where paths of least resistance are in advance will save valuable time and will allow rescue teams to focus in on critical areas early in the operation.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoBodyTextIndent"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>One of the most dangerous operations conducted on the fireground are vent, enter, search (V.E.S) operations whereby firefighters utilize ladders, fire escapes, and porch roofs to enter a building&rsquo;s upper floors to search for and remove victims.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In these cases, windows become the most effective path of least resistance for entry.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This firefighter created path also creates a potentially deadly situation due to the fact that a path of least resistance for products of combustion opposite the attack line has also been created by the open entry window.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>For this reason, it is critical that the first action taken by firefighters on V.E.S. missions is to create a barrier between themselves and the fire and the attack team by closing the door to the room that they have entered.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>If this is not done, fire and the products of combustion can be driven by hose streams toward the open entry window, possibly incinerating the firefighter. <o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoBodyTextIndent"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">A firefighter was badly burned and suffered traumatic injuries when going to search the upper floors of a burning building.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The fire was in the cellar, and there was a rear door leading from the cellar to the main living areas which was open.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This was the path the search team took.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The fire extended to the first floor and when the line protecting the first floor began to attack that fire they pushed it at the rear stairwell.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>As a result, the products of combustion were pushed into the paths of least resistance, that being the rear stairs leading to the upper floors.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The ensuing fireball chased the firefighter up to the third floor where he was forced to jump out a window.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>He fell through an awning and narrowly missed an upside down wood picnic table.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>He suffered severe burn injuries as well as multiple fractures and internal trauma. <o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoBodyTextIndent"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">It is for this same reason that firefighters should never attempt to enter a fire building via the bulkhead door and stairway from the roof or utilize this artery to get to the roof from the interior.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The bad stuff will always seek the most effective path of least resistance, regardless of who is standing in it.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-4717841247074539661?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-25421715916148599122011-05-12T01:30:00.000Z2011-09-07T13:58:00.073ZSafest Most Effective Path of Least Resistance pt 3: Ventilationnoemail@noemail.orgAA<p style="TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .25in" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Symbol; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold"><span style="mso-list: Ignore">·<span style="FONT: 7pt 'Times New Roman'"> </span></span></span><b><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">VENTILATION<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span></span></b></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Almost nowhere on the fireground is the understanding of paths of least resistance more critical than during ventilation operations.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Just as proper and timely ventilation can effectively channel fire away from both victims and exposures, so too can misplaced, uncoordinated ventilation create havoc on a building and those still inside, including firefighters.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span><o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Contiguous structures with common cocklofts are often destroyed by inadequate ventilation, caused by a failure to take advantage of the most effective path of least resistance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This failure can be often identified by the one completely destroyed structure in the center of the row and the destroyed roof and top floors of all the adjacent buildings to the leeward (and if you really screw up, to the windward) side.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The key for success is to vent early over the natural vertical arteries such as scuttles, bulkheads, and skylights.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>On a lower floor fire, this should be sufficient in regard to vertical ventilation.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Opening and examining these natural arteries will take advantage of the most effective path of least resistance and channel the products of combustion upward.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>If the fire is on the top floor or in the cockloft, in addition to the aforementioned natural openings, cutting the roof as close as directly over the seat of the fire as is safe will also pull the fire up and out of the building.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This will slow the horizontal fire spread under the roof.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>If the fire is not given an opportunity to travel upward (where it wants to go), it will follow the other path of least resistance, horizontally throughout the cockloft.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span><o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Lack of ventilation can also cause fire forces to be chased out the building at best and burned at worst.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Suppose an attack team is positioned at the door to a burning apartment.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>To properly coordinate the attack, a vent team should be ready on the building&rsquo;s exterior, somewhere opposite the nozzle, to remove windows to allow the smoke and heat to exhaust to the exterior, away from the attack team.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This is how it is supposed to happen.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This coordination of attack is critical.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>If this attack support is not in place, leaving the products of combustion (and steam) no way out of the structure, the products of combustion will be forced to take the path of least resistance out of the structure, which will now be via the entry point of the attack team.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Many firefighters have suffered burn injuries and many buildings have been needlessly destroyed due to this lack of coordination and support.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoBodyTextIndent2"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">The wind can also play a major part in influencing the path of least resistance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Wind can make the products of combustion take unusual paths of least resistance in a building that the attack team may not be ready for.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Take for example, a fire in a building where the wind is gusting right into the fire apartment.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Suppose also that the apartment door has been left open.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Instead of allowing the fire to vent out the window, the wind has now changed the path of least resistance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>When the attack team gets onto the fire floor and tries to advance down the hall or into the apartment, it may be overwhelmed by fire and heat being blown at them.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In this case, the team may have to retreat to the safety of a stairwell while a master stream is used from the outside to knock down the fire, taking advantage of the wind-created path of least resistance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Uncoordinated exterior lines can have the same effect.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This is why opposing streams and interior/exterior attacks are so dangerous.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Exterior lines, which are usually larger, will always overpower smaller interior lines.<o:p></o:p></span></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-4694337661214037708?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-81201084726474930522011-05-12T01:25:00.000Z2011-09-07T13:58:00.400ZSafest, Most Effective Path of Least Resistance - Attack and Forcible entry issuesnoemail@noemail.orgAA<p style="TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .25in" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Symbol; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold"><span style="mso-list: Ignore">·<span style="FONT: 7pt 'Times New Roman'"> </span></span></span><b><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">FIRE ATTACK<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span></span></b></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">It is interesting to note that many of the paths of least resistance for fire spread are also the main routes of attack / egress.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This is where the major focus of the firefight is often concentrated.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>If these common (for lack of a better term) areas are surrendered to the fire, both egress and attack routes will be blocked and need to be altered, complicating the issue.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This may turn evacuations into rescues, and delay attack as lines are either abandoned for the need of more water (bigger lines) or re-routed (to alternate routes of attack or to exterior attack positions).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Operational modifications take time and place more life in danger, both firefighter and civilian.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>For this reason, the Incident Commander must be prepared to do whatever is necessary to win the battle for the paths of least resistance in the building.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span><o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><o:p><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"></span></o:p></span></p><br /><h1 style="TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .25in"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Symbol; FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-WEIGHT: normal; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold"><span style="mso-list: Ignore">·<span style="FONT: 7pt 'Times New Roman'"> </span></span></span><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">FORCIBLE ENTRY<o:p></o:p></span></span></h1><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoBodyTextIndent"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Forcible entry is an operation where the more common paths of least resistance may be unavailable for one reason or another either due to barriers or safety concerns.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Often, the Entry team will have to improvise.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Utilizing the mantra of the safest, most effective path of least resistance can often lead to the best (and safest) decision on how to enter a building.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>For instance, the front door is usually the path of least resistance both into and out of the building.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>If that door is heavily fortified and the situation is minor, it may be easier and less damaging to enter via a window than to try to defeat the door.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Reconnaissance may even reveal a less heavily fortified door at the rear or sides.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Although this may not be the closest door to the street, it may still be the most effective path of least resistance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>It is easier and quicker to force a wood side or rear door than to waste time and manpower trying to force an impenetrable front door.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>By the time, the door is forced, it may be the only thing left standing.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In the hallways of fire resistive buildings, the door may be steel set in a steel frame, but the wall may be sheetrock or even concrete block.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In many cases, especially if a hydraulic forcible entry (rabbit) tool is not available, it is easier and less time consuming to breach the wall, reach in and unlock the door.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Be flexible in your decision-making.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>At a residential high-rise fire in North Bergen, New Jersey, oxygen cylinders that were used for medicinal purposes were exposed to a fire that originated on a couch.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>When a cylinder exploded, it blew out the sheetrock hallway wall and the glass balcony doors.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The steel apartment door was left intact.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The explosion took the paths of least resistance.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-3558120081017968107?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-35581200810179681072011-04-29T15:40:00.000Z2011-05-12T16:48:41.187ZSafest, Most Efective Path of Least Resistance -- Building Constructionnoemail@noemail.orgAA<p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Knowing the building that is on fire is more important than knowing the fire that is in the building.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The construction of the building will have a major impact on the characteristics of the spread of the products of combustion and is the key to both understanding and forecasting the most effective paths of least resistance for both fire spread and fire control.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Factors such as the location of the fire in the building in relation to the location of vertical arteries will aid in determining strategy and tactics.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>For instance, barring any wind condition that might adversely affect fire spread, a fire in an apartment near a window is more likely to vent out that window (creating an autoexposure problem).<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>A fire in proximity to the entry door is likely to vent out the entry door, into the hallway, and up the stairs.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>These are the paths of least resistance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>A fire deeper in an apartment not in proximity to these arteries will also look to spread upward, but may more easily find areas such as bathrooms and kitchens where the largest pipe chases in the building will provide the most effective path of least resistance for fire spread upward.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span><o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.25in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Understanding the types of building construction and the inherent weaknesses in each will guide the fire strategist in determining tactics regarding where to vent, attack, force entry, conduct overhaul and salvage, as well as predicting how the building is going to fall apart.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>If you are unclear on building construction and how it influences the fire, you are merely guessing (non-educated guessing) in regard to your operations.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span></span><o:p></o:p></span></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-3632941368166268728?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-36329413681662687282011-04-29T15:37:00.000Z2011-05-12T16:48:41.561ZRules of Thumb: The Safest, Most Effective Path of Least Resistancenoemail@noemail.orgAA<p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"></span></o:p></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">To the untrained observer, fire operations, especially during initial phases, may appear to be a disjointed arbitrary set of actions, often bordering on the chaotic.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>For the undisciplined fire department, this may be more of the rule than the exception.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Unfortunately, property loss and civilian and firefighter casualties are often the result.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">For the well trained and disciplined fire department operating under a competent Incident Commander, quite the opposite will be true.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>An effective action plan based on a sound strategy is set into motion through effective communication and coordination.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Primary searches are launched in the areas of most peril, attack lines are placed to protect the search, cut off and extinguish the fire, ventilation is conducted quickly and efficiently, allowing even quicker advance of attack lines, and overhaul and salvage operations are carried out so that the structure suffers the least amount of damage possible, in other words, a textbook fire operation.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">What is the difference between these two diametrically opposed fireground operations?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The simple fact is that textbook fire operations do not just happen by accident.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>They are a result of training, coordination, and the understanding of the principles that guide the spread of the products of combustion as well as the disposition of the suppression agent used to quench the fire.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Knowledge of the enemy is of paramount importance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The fire strategist who can understand the principles that govern the enemy and apply them to the fire situation will more often than not have the upper hand on fire control and understand what it takes to say one step ahead of the incident.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">The principles referred to here are governed by the laws of nature.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Simply stated, the products of combustion: flame, smoke, heat, and gases will take the most effective path of least resistance upward until they meet a barrier, where they will spread laterally until another vertical channel is found.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Then, if they haven&rsquo;t given up the heat to the surrounding area, they will continue upward.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>This is why we ventilate natural openings on the roof, to unleash the beast in the most harmless direction.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>If one understands and applies strategy and tactics to this rule of thumb, what to do and more importantly, where to do it, begins to come into focus and make more sense.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>If you are able to figure where the fire will go next, you can take steps to cut it off, in other words, confine it to as close to its area of origin as possible.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>Water, our most common weapon against this enemy, will also follow the most effective path of least resistance, although, in the opposite direction.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Water will always attempt to seek its level.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>It will flow vertically downward until it meets a horizontal obstacle like a floor.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>It will then spread out until it finds a hole or other artery downward and its gravity-influenced path will continue.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Understanding this law forms the basis of salvage operations and sometimes surround-and-drown incidents.<o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>The task of the Incident Commander is to intervene on behalf of the fire forces (the Good Guys) using these same paths of least resistance to stop fire damage.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Placing personnel armed with the proper resources in these paths of least resistance will often affect the outcome of the fire incident in a positive manner.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Fire operations, of course, must incorporate safety into the equation.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Safety must always be the overriding concern of all fireground operations.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The rule of thumb then, utilizing this concern for safety as the common strategic and operational thread that guides fire operations then becomes &ldquo;the <i>safest</i>, most effective path of least resistance&rdquo; to accomplish the objective.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span><o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;">Take for example a second floor fire in a corner building.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The front door is on Side A, but there is also a door on Side D.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Heavy fire venting from windows have caused power lines to drop in front of the building and are blocking the front door.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>While the most effective path of least resistance may be the front door, it is no longer the safest due to the presence of the fallen wires.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In this case, the safest, most effective path of least resistance is via the door on Side D.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span><o:p></o:p></span></span></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1"></span>Let&rsquo;s look at a typical scenario of a four-story multiple dwelling of ordinary construction with a fire on the second floor.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>The most basic operational goal is to protect the interior stairs.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Why do you suppose that is?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Because it is not only the most effective path of least resistance for the upward spread of the products of combustion, but also, the safest, most effective path of least resistance for occupant egress.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In addition, it is also the safest, most effective path of least resistance for the attack operation.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In fact, one of the problems often faced is the logjam encountered as lines are being stretched up the stairs at the same time that occupants are attempting to escape down the stairs.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>Fighting for and maintaining this artery will afford the greatest amount of occupants the best chance for a speedy evacuation from the building.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>If for some reason this artery is jeopardized such as by an apartment door left open, allowing the fire to spread into the path of least resistance (the stairwell), evacuation would most likely turn into rescue as occupants become trapped on upper floors or are forced to use other areas of egress, such as fire escapes.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </span>In fact, the more occupants must deviate from the most effective path of least resistance out of the building, the more dangerous the situation becomes, the longer it takes and the more personnel required to make it happen.</span></span><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt"><span style="font-family:Times New Roman;"><o:p></p><br /><p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt">In the next blogs, we will take a look at some of the common fireground conditions and operations to see how this rule of thumb can be universally applied<o:p></o:p></span></p></o:p></span></span><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-2474739356775098981?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-24747393567750989812011-04-26T19:36:00.000Z2011-09-07T13:58:00.728ZRadio show Politics and Tactics coming 5/2noemail@noemail.orgAAI will be taking part in the radio show "Politics and Tactics" with Frank Ricci and others starting this Monday, May 2 at 7 PM and every other Monday after that. Tune into the show and call in to give your views.<br />Hopefully, I will have my own show as well soon. It is your show and your opportunity to chime in on what the business is all about and how we are doing. It should be fun. I hope you can all join.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-7306601966026628497?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-73066019660266284972011-04-25T19:41:00.000Z2011-05-12T16:48:42.544ZMore setting of expectationsnoemail@noemail.orgAAAs an Officer, what expectations do you set for your subordinates? How do you guide them to do the right thing? When they don't, who is to blame, you or them? How much of thier actions do you take credit or blame for?<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-4637886308944758140?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-46378863089447581402011-04-25T19:38:00.000Z2011-05-12T16:48:42.903ZThe Probienoemail@noemail.orgAAOnce assigned to a company, too many times, Probies do not know what is expected of them. This does everything from allowing them to fall in with "bad seeds" to leaving them to making their own decisions not only in the soft environment of the firehouse, but also in the hard environment. What expectations does your department set for new probationary firefighters?<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6268642383459493467-3080007429675028738?l=anthony-avillo.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6268642383459493467.post-30800074296750287382011-04-25T19:33:00.000Z2011-05-12T16:48:43.449Z 500

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