http://localhost:4503/content/fe/en/blogs/blognetwork/billy-greenwood.html2016-09-11T20:46:29.425ZTap the BoxAdobe Experience ManagerBlinder Mentalitynoemail@noemail.orgFETC Services<div style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator"><a style="clear: left; float: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em;" imageanchor="1" href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Rke1rZ1gHsU/T7bp7h1AZYI/AAAAAAAAAF8/mlswugmYvZc/s1600/horse_with_blinders.jpg"><img width="148" height="200" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Rke1rZ1gHsU/T7bp7h1AZYI/AAAAAAAAAF8/mlswugmYvZc/s200/horse_with_blinders.jpg"></a></div> <p>Life moves at a fast pace these days. So fast you can easily miss an opportunity to improve one self. The pace affects everybody from the firefighter on the floor, right up to the chief’s office. There are two common management models during these busy times, the first would be the progressive management model. Being progressive involves supporting the needs and requirements of the organization and predicting the future. The latter is called crisis management modeling. An organization that remains stagnant and waits for the next crisis to manage is often like going through life with horse blinders on.</p> <div style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator"><a style="clear: right; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em;" imageanchor="1" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-S5Q85QFDu1I/T7bvE2SMXtI/AAAAAAAAAHE/bKk0rsJ_vKE/s1600/FrontDoor.jpg"><img width="200" height="150" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-S5Q85QFDu1I/T7bvE2SMXtI/AAAAAAAAAHE/bKk0rsJ_vKE/s200/FrontDoor.jpg"></a></div> <p>After returning from this year’s journey to Indy, I took note of a new horse in our stable. For those who don’t know, we have horses at our small farm in New Hampshire. One common misconception about horses is that we (humans) teach them. What many people don’t understand about horses is how the horses can teach us (humans) a multitude of lessons. Things like developing life, responsibility and communication skills. Many of these leadership traits are similar to the fire officer’s responsibilities for supporting his or her organization. For example for those who know me, understand I am a fan of the fastest two minutes in racing. In preparation for those two minutes of brute power, “the horse’s development team” had to put in thousands of hours of physical and mental training toward the mission of winning. Sometimes in the process of training a young horse who has difficulty concentrating, a trainer will use blinders to make the horse focus on his task. Taking away the outside distraction(s) often yield positive results in getting to the finish line ahead of the pack. Our annual pilgrimage to the greatest fire service convention in the world is essentially my way of keeping the horse blinders off. FDIC is truly an annual tune up for the fire service. When firefighters get comfortable with their daily routine(s), they can easily get caught with blinders on. While seeing one view or perspective is purposeful for horse racing, it may not be beneficial if you decide to train that same horse for other disciplines.</p> <div style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator"><a style="clear: left; float: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em;" imageanchor="1" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LUn4NTiUlqA/T7brbJLU2qI/AAAAAAAAAGg/lXtgxHG3aC0/s1600/150Tradition.jpg"><img width="200" height="150" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LUn4NTiUlqA/T7brbJLU2qI/AAAAAAAAAGg/lXtgxHG3aC0/s200/150Tradition.jpg"></a></div> <p>In the movie Backdraft, Engine 17's kitchen had a fictional sign on the wall stating, “150 Years of Tradition . . . Unimpeded by Progress” The saying is often recited by firefighters throughout the world and piggybacked with “That won’t work here.” I usually reply with the standard, “May I ask why?” Then the firefighter provides a long winded answer saying . . . “Well because we have always done it that way!” Can you imagine if the world never changed the way things were done? If so we would all be dragging a steamer to the next fire with horses or holding our breath while attempting a rescue. Get my point yet? Why is the fire service so caught up on being set in our comfortable ways. Let’s face it the world is changing almost daily. Things are now developed to make life easier, produce products faster, or to make greater profits. The down side to all of these luxuries, is in the process of mitigating an emergency we now have new hazards to deal with. When we overlay training, tactics and techniques that were developed or delivered many years ago, it may be incompatible or incorrect for the modern day hazard.</p> <div style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator"><a style="clear: right; float: right; margin-left: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em;" imageanchor="1" href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JiuK_GrFo8U/T7b1I2_kqCI/AAAAAAAAAHU/hIO1aLYWlMc/s1600/TICinBurnTrailer%255B1%255D.jpg"><img width="200" height="133" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JiuK_GrFo8U/T7b1I2_kqCI/AAAAAAAAAHU/hIO1aLYWlMc/s200/TICinBurnTrailer%255B1%255D.jpg"></a></div> <p>This is why when we look at our mission, the focus should be on maintaining our training to the highest level. Simply put, without adequate preparation for the environment you are expected to work in, you are essentially walking around with horse blinders on. We all agree times are busy . . . but they can be financially challenging as well. Training budgets can be one of the first things politicians aim to eliminate. Don’t get caught in the crisis management mode when the budget is targeted. Progressive leaders understand the impact quality training has on our firefighters and can explain how that training benefits the public as well. Solid training for our troops is what keeps the boots on the ground working safely. Many progressive firefighters would rather work with older apparatus (that was obviously well maintained) with highly trained brothers than work with a shiny new fire truck and poorly trained brothers. Getting out of the house once in a while is a good thing. Going to a convention to see how other fire departments are operating, training, managing, gaining funding, and working at peak performance levels with the financial budget they currently have is one benefit of the “national convention” networking system. Even if you can only send one firefighter per year, the benefits of returning with a fully charged and battle ready brother will benefit the company or department he or she is working for.</p> <div style="clear: both; text-align: center;" class="separator"><a style="clear: left; float: left; margin-right: 1em; margin-bottom: 1em;" imageanchor="1" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rP9-0X_EvhI/T7btfl6msGI/AAAAAAAAAGs/dU8DfcnxiBA/s1600/FERadioBooth.jpg"><img width="200" height="154" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rP9-0X_EvhI/T7btfl6msGI/AAAAAAAAAGs/dU8DfcnxiBA/s200/FERadioBooth.jpg"></a></div> <p>On the road to life, don’t be caught regretting that you spent your fire service career with blinders on. Stay focused, stay progressive and situationally strong of the mission's requirement for a battle ready - battle tested firefighter. “Train as though your life depends on it, because it truly does.” - Tap the Box Baby..... TCSS - Billy</p> <div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width="1" height="1" src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7555659026012029154-6188124441737749902?l=billy-greenwood.blogspot.com"></div> tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7555659026012029154.post-61881244417377499022012-05-19T01:48:00.000Z2012-05-21T14:56:52.068ZFDIC 2012 - Interior Benchmarking Classnoemail@noemail.orgFETC Services<a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-s_nJnDLJ838/T2PxsyYrT2I/AAAAAAAAAE0/QmyJDQBYHqc/s1600/FETCLogo.jpg"><img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 122px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-s_nJnDLJ838/T2PxsyYrT2I/AAAAAAAAAE0/QmyJDQBYHqc/s200/FETCLogo.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5720681703432474466" /></a><br /><br />Any interior firefighter who spends enough time in an immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) atmosphere will eventually encounter some type of bad situation. Unfortunately, interior firefighters can become overwhelmed under these conditions and unable to escape the hazard. Part of the reason for these problems may be our ever-increasing budget cuts and the resulting lack of personnel on arrival, which leave officers no choice but to ask the responding firefighters to multitask. There are too many &ldquo;bad situations&rdquo; to list. The focus here is on lost and disoriented firefighters and identifying severe thermal insult conditions.<br /> <br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VlmEOXq7aGg/T2Px96tPRvI/AAAAAAAAAFA/Oh53UagY2uc/s1600/7-17-2006-20.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 135px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VlmEOXq7aGg/T2Px96tPRvI/AAAAAAAAAFA/Oh53UagY2uc/s200/7-17-2006-20.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5720681997723977458" /></a><br />&ldquo;Interior Benchmarking&rdquo; for greater firefighter situational awareness can assist us when we are caught in a bad situation. Over my fire service career, I have found that if firefighters can adopt this behavioral modification and acknowledge interior benchmarks, they can be safer interior firefighters or fire officers. <br /><br />INTERIOR BENCHMARKS<br /><br />Interior benchmarks are situational points we acknowledge at every fire. Locating the fire, knocking down the fire, completing the primary or secondary search on a floor, pushing down the basement stairs for fire attack, advancing to the floor above for fire attack or searching for extension are all traditional interior benchmarks.<br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4spMmfHirO4/T2PyLJp0bBI/AAAAAAAAAFM/ouXPZLc2pSk/s1600/Greenwood.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 135px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4spMmfHirO4/T2PyLJp0bBI/AAAAAAAAAFM/ouXPZLc2pSk/s200/Greenwood.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5720682225074465810" /></a><br />With my interior benchmarking concept, the interior crew acknowledges the benchmark and completes a quick firefighter safety and situational assessment. The next time you enter an IDLH atmosphere, stop yourself and your crew. Ask for quiet, gain control of the adrenaline rush, and assess the atmospheric conditions. This approach is as valuable for recruits as it is for seasoned veterans. To use the interior benchmarking concept, you must obtain baseline information you can use to compare with your next interior benchmark.<br /><br />Ask yourself these potentially lifesaving questions: What do I see? What do I hear? What do I feel? Where am I? What is the floor made of? Is my crew intact? Do we have a personnel accountability report (PAR)? What is our remaining SCBA air pressure? Let&rsquo;s break down these questions in detail.<br /><br />What Do I See?<br /><br />Can I see the fire? Is there rollover? What are the smoke conditions like? What does my thermal imaging camera read? Can I see thermal layering or smoke travel? Is the fire already rolling over my company? What is the floor made of?<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VBtYil5fyTw/T2PzAQ_orQI/AAAAAAAAAFY/PmqMjrNR_9A/s1600/TICinBurnTrailer.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 133px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VBtYil5fyTw/T2PzAQ_orQI/AAAAAAAAAFY/PmqMjrNR_9A/s200/TICinBurnTrailer.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5720683137578085634" /></a><br />Should you become lost, disoriented or experience a floor collapse, you should use your last interior benchmark for comparison. Did the floor construction change? What is the construction now and where am I? Am I in the kitchen, living room, bathroom, or cellar? All these rooms typically have distinguishable flooring or more common floor plans and window configurations. Identify them and report your location.<br /><br />What Do I Hear?<br /><br />Do I hear the fire crackling to my right or left? Many times we are too eager to enter and stick to a left- or right-hand search pattern, following basic habits instilled as a recruit. What if you stopped for a second and really listened? Listen as if you were a blind civilian searching for day-to-day directional cues. <br /><br />If you still can&rsquo;t determine the direction, cover one ear with a gloved hand. Does the sound get closer or farther away? Your uncovered ear will lead you to the fire or victims more quickly.<br /><br />Also, pay close attention to the audible response from sounding the floor with a tool. Thermal imaging cameras have given our vision back to a degree, but the vision has created some bad habits, such as forgetting to sound the floor.<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gR9RD6lYG0U/T2PzNcQQvQI/AAAAAAAAAFk/v2FIEZAQ3XM/s1600/tic.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gR9RD6lYG0U/T2PzNcQQvQI/AAAAAAAAAFk/v2FIEZAQ3XM/s200/tic.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5720683363938909442" /></a><br /><br />What Do I Feel?<br /><br />This is a big one. What was the heat like on initial entry? Think back to your last building fire; now, ask yourself how much time was spent getting off the truck and gaining entry. Most of us will say, &ldquo;As little as possible&rdquo; This is a great attitude to have, but let&rsquo;s face it: Sometimes rapid entry without making mental notes creates bigger problems for us in the future. The American fire service prides itself on quick, aggressive interior fire attack. Our forefathers created this tradition, and we should carry it on, but we must change our behavioral traits. Let&rsquo;s face reality: We have fewer building fires and less live-fire experience (firefighters and officers included). We are now wrapped up in greater head-to-toe protective clothing. Our battle with the red devil entails a much greater thermal insult from quick burning fires, and we all too often operate in underventilated structures because of tighter, energy-efficient homes. So I ask you: Can we really afford this &ldquo;rush-in&rdquo; mentality?<br /><br />The interior benchmarking question &ldquo;What do I feel?&rdquo; provides a baseline for future heat-index comparisons. Without the baseline input, you have nothing to compare until the seat of your pants computes, &ldquo;Damn, it&rsquo;s really hot in here!&rdquo; By taking note of the thermal insult during a benchmark, maybe we can identify rapid heat build up before it is too late. <br /><br />Completing the Company PAR<br /><br />The fire officer must maintain control and be held accountable for his crew&rsquo;s actions. The crew members must also have discipline and confidence to communicate their own individual hazardous situations. Never ignore situations such as not feeling well, a lack of crew integrity, firefighter disorientation (report it early), entanglement, or a low-air warning alarm.<br /><br />SCBA Air Consumption and Management<br /><br />The last component of the interior benchmarking process is the constant monitoring of your air consumption. How much air was used to get to your current location? Do you have enough air to make it back to the entry door? Calculating the distance traveled on the air already consumed drives the decision of whether you continue to advance; back out; or give a clear, concise, and early Mayday report. Given the right set of hazardous circumstances, sometimes our SCBA&rsquo;s low-air warning alarm provides a false sense of security and will not give us enough time to safely evacuate the building.<br /><br />&bull; &bull; &bull;<br /><br />Note I did not mention &ldquo;What do I smell?&rdquo; We cannot operate as our predecessors did. We cannot allow ourselves to go in too deep and not have enough air to safely exit the IDLH environment. Nobody can tolerate a few breaths of superheated gas and the ever-present hydrogen cyanide from the modern but routine building fire.<br /><br />If you implement the interior benchmarking concept at your next building fire, you will have ascertained an incredible amount of potentially lifesaving information. If you should encounter a bad situation, the more information you have the more likely you will feel you can manage conditions that are rapidly spinning out of control. Constantly compare your last download of information with what you are now experiencing, and make educated decisions. As you advance to locate your victims or the seat of the fire, continuously ask yourself these same interior benchmarking questions. If you do this on a regular basis, you not only will increase your situational awareness, but you also will find victims quicker, extinguish fires faster, and greatly increase your personal safety.<br /><br />We will be in Indy teaching "Interior Benchmarking" on Thursday April 19th, 2012. We look forward to meeting everyone who chose to attend the greatest conference in the world! Take care and stay safe brothers. Billy <br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Haa55QaRKJg/T2PzqNvVdXI/AAAAAAAAAFw/jrp34b1AQfM/s1600/TAP.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 151px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Haa55QaRKJg/T2PzqNvVdXI/AAAAAAAAAFw/jrp34b1AQfM/s200/TAP.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5720683858258916722" /></a><br /><br />Fire Engineering Training Blog Network<br />"Tap the Box with FETC Services" on BTR<br />www.fetcservices.com<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7555659026012029154-8370094144456000073?l=billy-greenwood.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7555659026012029154.post-83700941444560000732012-03-17T01:44:00.015Z2012-05-21T13:07:15.041ZTurning Down Time Positivenoemail@noemail.orgFETC ServicesToday during some down time between runs I took my company out on a building familiarization tour. The tour included looking at a really large, 4 story lightweight residential dormitory being built in our first due. The tour affords firefighters with the opportunity to get out and mingle with contractors, see new construction materials or techniques and really get to see behind the walls of a specific dwelling before they are covered up. A fire service x-ray of the structural support system(s). Firefighter survival within the modern construction era is the responsibility of progressive fire service leaders. History is played out time and time again within our service. NIOSH reports do not lie and many of us whether we are volunteer, paid-call or career continue to not learn from our "brothers" unfortunate incidents.<br /> <br />Fire sprinklers are designed to provide the occupants of a dwelling the chance to get out when a fire strikes. The protection industry has produced some wonderful results and often the system controls the fire to the point of total fire extinguishment. That said, the fire service must remember that the sprinkler system was not designed to extinguish every fire within that same building. There are many voids within a dwelling that are not protected by the sprinklers. Pipe chases, electrical conduit holes, heating / ventilation duct work, and the structural support materials themselves may afford lateral heat, smoke and fire spread underneath your feet.<br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RNPgKs9QRvU/T2EGmtvkV-I/AAAAAAAAAD4/eWn_1aiELJQ/s1600/BoxTrussChord.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RNPgKs9QRvU/T2EGmtvkV-I/AAAAAAAAAD4/eWn_1aiELJQ/s200/BoxTrussChord.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5719860263921145826" /></a><br /> <br />We all know that drop ceiling tile construction is loaded with many, many feet of grid wire which can entangle us firefighters. With the advancement of newer fuel efficient forced hot air furnaces (high pressure FHA for example) newer construction contains miles of basically "dryer vent hose" in the walls and ceiling. As the ceiling tiles drop and the plastic burns off the vent hose the wire is exposed. We are now faced with being entrapped in a gigantic slinky. Any of us who owned a slinky can appreciate just how difficult it was to untangle the coils when they became twisted. Imagine being literally trapped inside the coils while wearing our full PPE and SCBA.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9erZwMDjA1I/T2EG7DrpAuI/AAAAAAAAAEE/L-dFa8dTCXI/s1600/DropCeiling1.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9erZwMDjA1I/T2EG7DrpAuI/AAAAAAAAAEE/L-dFa8dTCXI/s200/DropCeiling1.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5719860613407638242" /></a><br /> <br />Getting out and seeing a building in the early stages of construction will produce a huge amount of life saving information. Things like that nice exterior brick or block wall from the street may not actually be true ordinary construction. There are many really lightweight exterior wall finishing&rsquo;s or &ldquo;facades&rdquo; that are really cost effective and go up relatively quickly today. This type of information will be important during the operational decision making process during a large fire. <br /> <br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VjsI3G2Oib0/T2EHJtEg3mI/AAAAAAAAAEQ/i-Efnn9QdBQ/s1600/Exterior%2BWalls.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 149px; height: 200px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VjsI3G2Oib0/T2EHJtEg3mI/AAAAAAAAAEQ/i-Efnn9QdBQ/s200/Exterior%2BWalls.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5719860865035984482" /></a><br /><br />Newer single or multi-family and even commercial construction are now using lightweight laminated I-Beam or Box Truss materials. The height of these beams (from top chord to bottom chord) are determined by the strength needed to hold up the weight above and the span from bearing wall to bearing wall. This dimension in turn, creates a larger than usual void space compared to our traditional 2&rdquo; x 10&rdquo; (or) 2&rdquo; x 12&rdquo; floor joist construction. Not only do we have to worry about the burn rate and collapse time of the lighter materials used for glue-laminate or I &ndash;beams, but the increased voids are now holding miles and miles of slinky duct work waiting for us as well. <br /> <br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-428qPuF5zuA/T2EHWpcdLhI/AAAAAAAAAEc/hzEmh6Ria1U/s1600/HeaderOnHangars.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-428qPuF5zuA/T2EHWpcdLhI/AAAAAAAAAEc/hzEmh6Ria1U/s200/HeaderOnHangars.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5719861087400963602" /></a><br /><br />Today's firefighter needs to carry wire cutters and a rescue knife, both of which that can be operated with your gloves on. We must be proficient in self-disentanglement to the extreme and not just wiggling by some small diameter rope tied off to the bannister railing in training. Don't be fooled by the fire prevention officer's creed of "I want to sprinkle everything". Remember sprinklers are designed for life safety - to provide time for the occupants to egress the building before we arrive. A relatively small fire in any one of these void spaces listed previously may go undetected and uninterrupted by any sprinkler head. <br /> <br />Maybe we do not burn the place down, but losing a company or two to an early, no warning, lightweight construction failure should be a concern. So get out and tour your construction sites before they are completed.<br /><br />Take Care and Stay Safe Brother and Sisters… See you all in Indy!<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Xm4fE9uNmas/T2EHmZ5G3YI/AAAAAAAAAEo/ErsRaDfsV3A/s1600/TAP.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 151px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Xm4fE9uNmas/T2EHmZ5G3YI/AAAAAAAAAEo/ErsRaDfsV3A/s200/TAP.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5719861358104075650" /></a><br /><br />FETC Services<br />www.fetcservices.com<br />(603)313-2982<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7555659026012029154-8246110337086240195?l=billy-greenwood.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7555659026012029154.post-82461103370862401952012-03-14T20:57:00.008Z2012-05-21T13:07:15.556ZSnow Loaded Roof Considerationsnoemail@noemail.orgFETC Services<div align="center"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rUyKLRuzKJ0/TuE8eLTXbFI/AAAAAAAAACM/xZgNriOMue0/s1600/FETC.jpg"></a></div><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rUyKLRuzKJ0/TuE8eLTXbFI/AAAAAAAAACM/xZgNriOMue0/s1600/FETC.jpg"><br /></a><p align="center"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rUyKLRuzKJ0/TuE8eLTXbFI/AAAAAAAAACM/xZgNriOMue0/s1600/FETC.jpg"><img style="TEXT-ALIGN: center; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; WIDTH: 200px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 112px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5683890693846035538" border="0" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rUyKLRuzKJ0/TuE8eLTXbFI/AAAAAAAAACM/xZgNriOMue0/s200/FETC.jpg" /></a></p><br /><div align="center"><br />Snow Loaded Roof Considerations<br /><br />With the recent multiple snowstorm incidents in the Northeast, the fire service needs to take a look up before we commit to an interior or exterior operation. The type of structural material, design and condition all play a big part on whether that snow load is going to be a problem for our companies.<br /><br />Yesterday I took a few minutes to travel around my response district and took an assessment of any potential hazards to my company. I was surprised to find that more than &frac34; of the dwellings in my district were still heavily loaded with snow.<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BG2YRfVEsfk/TuE9bBd7c_I/AAAAAAAAACY/kBw9B80GACs/s1600/Snow1.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BG2YRfVEsfk/TuE9bBd7c_I/AAAAAAAAACY/kBw9B80GACs/s200/Snow1.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5683891739178005490" /></a><br />In this photo: Older Farmhouse with a noted sagging porch roof<br /><br />When we arrive at a reported building fire, the dwelling&rsquo;s snow load should be directly considered when the incident commander determines a strategic plan. The potential of a roof collapse before the fire started should be a consideration as well. The structural support system holding all that snow may be directly or indirectly under attack by &ldquo;the fire&rdquo;, and that can add to the potential early onset building collapse. Another consideration should be on newer dwellings constructed with a lightweight &ldquo;truss-roof&rdquo; system. As seen in many past fire tests, a lightweight truss roof system once assaulted by fire fails at an alarming rate. None of those fire tests were ever conducted with a snow load as seen by our companies this week.<br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tNQjCwSHSqU/TuE9vwvNctI/AAAAAAAAACk/GikxzZsyjD0/s1600/Snow2.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 151px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tNQjCwSHSqU/TuE9vwvNctI/AAAAAAAAACk/GikxzZsyjD0/s200/Snow2.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5683892095464338130" /></a><br />Farmers porch buildup that hinders normal 8/12 pitch roof snow slide<br /><br />Heat loss from a building may result in some snow loss through melting between storm events. Roofs that allow heat loss to melt snow are called "warm roofs&rdquo;. This may be by design or lack of proper insulation. Other roof systems remove lost heat before it has a chance to melt the snow. These roofs that prevent heat from reaching the snow are known as "cold" roofs. Sometimes buildings are either unheated during winter months or are intentionally kept at or below freezing so there is no heat loss that results in snow melt or ice build-up.<br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-s9llLRvthT8/TuE-C3fVtoI/AAAAAAAAAC0/ALPMdbD2tpo/s1600/Snow3.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-s9llLRvthT8/TuE-C3fVtoI/AAAAAAAAAC0/ALPMdbD2tpo/s200/Snow3.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5683892423694333570" /></a><br />This photo displays both a Warm Roof (on top) and Cold Roof (porch)<br /><br /><br />One factor that needs to be considered by incident command is how does the FD safely commit to an interior firefight while considering the level of danger? What are the dangers to be considered? Well it is not as easy as what you see from the street. Understanding building construction has never been more important when you add-in snow loads. Do you expect normal tasks like fire suppression and search/rescue to be done quickly when firefighters encounter delayed ventilation? Interior companies will certainly encounter an under-ventilated fire condition. Interior conditions will not be the same as operating during the spring, summer or fall months. Ladder companies will certainly have a delay in providing vertical ventilation due to lack of access to the roof, snow banks that limit truck access, carrying a ground ladder in deep snow is difficult at best, and access to the physical roof that may be buried 18-36 inches below the snow. Adding firefighters to a potentially overloaded roof can trigger collapse as well. Not too often do we ask the truck company to bring a snow shovel with them to just find the roof&rsquo;s surface. Attempting to stay on the aerial to get the job done safely? Well good luck trying to shovel from there. These delays will definitely change the interior company&rsquo;s exposure to extreme heat build up and unique fire dynamics.<br /><br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zTh7NVPuKys/TuE-TksREOI/AAAAAAAAAC8/b24pkJZGHz0/s1600/Snow4.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zTh7NVPuKys/TuE-TksREOI/AAAAAAAAAC8/b24pkJZGHz0/s200/Snow4.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5683892710706057442" /></a><br />Lightweight Construction &ndash; Very Large Farmers Porches are great snow load collectors<br /><br /><br />Every firefighter on the fire ground from the Fire Chief right down to the newest firefighter needs to stay alert to signs of overhead hazards during the winter month operations. There has been a lot of focus on building collapse lately but staying cognizant to potential heavy snow or ice slides, that can cause serious personal injury or death to responders. This type of overhead assessment must be done on arrival and continued to be monitored as the incident is mitigated.<br /><br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nFA7d4F0Pj4/TuE-q5nC9mI/AAAAAAAAADI/nZy7yGysgWY/s1600/Snow5.jpg"><img style="float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 169px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nFA7d4F0Pj4/TuE-q5nC9mI/AAAAAAAAADI/nZy7yGysgWY/s200/Snow5.jpg" border="0" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5683893111458297442" /></a><br /><br />For you incident commanders, this is an excellent point to add to your exterior safety officer&rsquo;s checklist. We need to also stay alert for any signs of a building weakened by the fire or pre-fire snow loading, listening for strange noises of the building settling under the unusual load, noting any visual signs of sagging roof eaves or leaning / bowing / separating wall connections, interior wall board cracking or noting water seeping from above are all positive indicators of a potential collapse is pending.<br /><br />If you choose to go interior and aggressively mitigate from underneath, I highly recommend using my expanded command team approach to managing an incident and assigning an Interior Safety Officer to assess these specific hazards. As we all know, our initial interior companies are many times taxed beyond their control and may miss some of these potentially lifesaving signs of danger ahead.<br /><br />Bottom line is the fire service should use a strong risk verse gain decision making model, and chose the appropriate model to get the job done as safely as we can.<br /><br />Take care and stay safe.<br /><br />FETC Services<br />www.fetcservices.com </div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7555659026012029154-2855316268827460780?l=billy-greenwood.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7555659026012029154.post-28553162688274607802011-12-08T22:36:00.000Z2012-05-21T13:07:16.039ZAdvanced Search and Rescue Using - "Adult Victim Profiling"noemail@noemail.orgFETC Services<a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZHdH5l_-WB8/TjCvcfDPyNI/AAAAAAAAABo/OmICGZeEaSE/s1600/FETCLogo.jpg"><img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 123px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZHdH5l_-WB8/TjCvcfDPyNI/AAAAAAAAABo/OmICGZeEaSE/s200/FETCLogo.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5634196037746804946" /></a><br /><br />We all understand the mission of the fire service. Upon arrival to a given building fire, the fire department&rsquo;s number one priority is &ldquo;Life Safety&rdquo;. If we have any possible chance of locating and rescuing an occupant, we must start a rapid and systematic primary search. Many smaller fire departments in the United States with limited manpower are forced to perform search and rescue from the engine company's hose line. The assignment of search and rescue is a difficult and often dangerous task for firefighters. <br /><br />Fortunately for many fire departments, modern technology has aided the search team with the introduction of the thermal imaging camera. The TIC and the use of victim profiling can potentially expedite the primary search. We have all been taught the basics of size-up for potential rescue indicators like type of occupancy, time of day, vehicles in the driveway, childrens toys, etc. These are all very important &ldquo;visual indicators&rdquo; when nobody is outside upon our arrival. Uncontrollable factors in which the fire department are challenged with are pre-arrival exposure time of the victim to super-heated and toxic gases causing serious and/or fatal respiratory injuries.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NrxetMpq3gQ/TjC3yxl7M7I/AAAAAAAAACA/hwSucCZaaj0/s1600/TICinBurnTrailer%255B1%255D.jpg"><img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 133px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NrxetMpq3gQ/TjC3yxl7M7I/AAAAAAAAACA/hwSucCZaaj0/s200/TICinBurnTrailer%255B1%255D.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5634205216774239154" /></a><br /><br />OK, so the first due officer has decided to enter the structure and start a primary search. The crew should start on the fire floor. If possible search the fire room first, then the remaining fire floor. Once the primary all clear is given, crews should work to the floor above the fire. As you know, basic search training has taught us that toys for example can identify the presence of small children, unable to egress without assistance. Firefighters have been trained to process this vital information and adjust our search techniques accordingly.<br /> <br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PP-DI7yjfp0/TjCwmlSarqI/AAAAAAAAABw/4UQZNwDxuvg/s1600/TIC%2BSEARCH1.jpg"><img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PP-DI7yjfp0/TjCwmlSarqI/AAAAAAAAABw/4UQZNwDxuvg/s200/TIC%2BSEARCH1.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5634197310731366050" /></a><br /><br />This article is on "Advanced Building Search and Rescue &ndash; while using Adult Victim Profiling" so, let&rsquo;s talk specifically about this profile. If and when you locate an &ldquo;Unconscious Adult Victim&rdquo; the search team should quickly assess the victim&rsquo;s body positioning and note the direction of travel for a profile pattern. Fire Investigators have used this technique along with other physical evidence, to obtain the victim&rsquo;s activity and movement prior to becoming incapacitated. <br /><br />Statistically, adult male victims are more likely to sustain thermal insult injuries or death while investigating or attempting to fight an incipient stage fire than do women. With this said, an adult male occupant will be more likely to be located by the rescue company in the general area of the fire&rsquo;s origin or potentially attempting to get back to the sleeping area to assist with his spouse. Body position is the key to understanding any potential thoughts and movements of the victim. If the adult male victim is located in a well involved room for example, he may have been overcome during the attempt to locate or extinguish the fire. If he was located on the stairs though, especially heading up the staircase toward the suspected sleeping areas, the victim is likely heading back to assist with the notification and the evacuation of a spouse and/or possible children. <br /><br /><br />Now for adult female occupant, generally speaking they are more likely to be found incapacitated while attempting to assist with the evacuation of a child or loved one. (elderly in-law) Profiling a female victim who is found in a hallway or stairwell can potentially assist the rescue company with locating other victims within the area. When the search company finds an adult female occupant, they should look at her body position and direction of travel. Which way was she heading? A female victim that has become incapacitated and was heading AWAY from the normal entry or egress point is potentially screaming &ldquo;MY KIDS ARE THAT WAY." <br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AhEoqFlxLQA/TjCy2fdeOiI/AAAAAAAAAB4/-HlpplFyVP4/s1600/1000x500px-LL-875b5dc9_finger_pointing.jpg"><img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 102px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AhEoqFlxLQA/TjCy2fdeOiI/AAAAAAAAAB4/-HlpplFyVP4/s200/1000x500px-LL-875b5dc9_finger_pointing.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5634199783068285474" /></a><br /><br />If the search and rescue company lets the adrenaline rush overcome their conscious thought process, they can easily miss valuable information. Never, never, never just grab a victim and start heading for the door without assessing their position and direction of travel. Take a second to look at the &ldquo;victim profiling pattern&rdquo; with their position, location and possible direction of travel. This valuable but often missed information obtained from the adult unconscious victim combined with some other &ldquo;traditional&rdquo; basic size up patterns as previously stated, may expedite the search for any remaining victims. Even though the victim is unconscious, their body position can talk to you. Remember to keep your cool and assess the situation to maximize your obtainable information. We as fire service leaders and educators must continue to strive for ways to work safer, rescue victims faster and provide the best service possible with whatever means and capabilities we have for our community.<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZHdH5l_-WB8/TjCvcfDPyNI/AAAAAAAAABo/OmICGZeEaSE/s1600/FETCLogo.jpg"><img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 123px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZHdH5l_-WB8/TjCvcfDPyNI/AAAAAAAAABo/OmICGZeEaSE/s200/FETCLogo.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5634196037746804946" /></a><br /><br />Lt. Greenwood is a Pro-Board Certified Level III Fire Instructor and Owner of FETC Services. Billy also hosts the Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio Show "Tap The Box with FETC Services". Check us out at www.fetcservices.com<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7555659026012029154-566449779471839291?l=billy-greenwood.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7555659026012029154.post-5664497794718392912011-07-28T00:35:00.004Z2012-05-21T13:07:16.305ZAdvanced Firefighter Search and Rescue - "Adult Victim Profiling"noemail@noemail.orgFETC Services<a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZHdH5l_-WB8/TjCvcfDPyNI/AAAAAAAAABo/OmICGZeEaSE/s1600/FETCLogo.jpg"><img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 123px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZHdH5l_-WB8/TjCvcfDPyNI/AAAAAAAAABo/OmICGZeEaSE/s200/FETCLogo.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5634196037746804946" /></a><br /><br />We all understand the mission of the fire service. Upon arrival to a given building fire, the fire department’s number one priority is “Life Safety”. If we have any possible chance of locating and rescuing an occupant, we must start a rapid and systematic primary search. Many smaller fire departments in the United States with limited manpower are forced to perform search and rescue from the engine company's hose line. The assignment of search and rescue is a difficult and often dangerous task for firefighters. <br /><br />Fortunately for many fire departments, modern technology has aided the search team with the introduction of the thermal imaging camera. The TIC and the use of victim profiling can potentially expedite the primary search. We have all been taught the basics of size-up for potential rescue indicators like type of occupancy, time of day, vehicles in the driveway, childrens toys, etc. These are all very important “visual indicators” when nobody is outside upon our arrival. Uncontrollable factors in which the fire department are challenged with are pre-arrival exposure time of the victim to super-heated and toxic gases causing serious and/or fatal respiratory injuries.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NrxetMpq3gQ/TjC3yxl7M7I/AAAAAAAAACA/hwSucCZaaj0/s1600/TICinBurnTrailer%255B1%255D.jpg"><img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 133px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NrxetMpq3gQ/TjC3yxl7M7I/AAAAAAAAACA/hwSucCZaaj0/s200/TICinBurnTrailer%255B1%255D.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5634205216774239154" /></a><br /><br />OK, so the first due officer has decided to enter the structure and start a primary search. The crew should start on the fire floor. If possible search the fire room first, then the remaining fire floor. Once the primary all clear is given, crews should work to the floor above the fire. As you know, basic search training has taught us that toys for example can identify the presence of small children, unable to egress without assistance. Firefighters have been trained to process this vital information and adjust our search techniques accordingly.<br /> <br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PP-DI7yjfp0/TjCwmlSarqI/AAAAAAAAABw/4UQZNwDxuvg/s1600/TIC%2BSEARCH1.jpg"><img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 150px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PP-DI7yjfp0/TjCwmlSarqI/AAAAAAAAABw/4UQZNwDxuvg/s200/TIC%2BSEARCH1.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5634197310731366050" /></a><br /><br />This article is on "Advanced Building Search and Rescue – while using Adult Victim Profiling" so, let’s talk specifically about this profile. If and when you locate an “Unconscious Adult Victim” the search team should quickly assess the victim’s body positioning and note the direction of travel for a profile pattern. Fire Investigators have used this technique along with other physical evidence, to obtain the victim’s activity and movement prior to becoming incapacitated. <br /><br />Statistically, adult male victims are more likely to sustain thermal insult injuries or death while investigating or attempting to fight an incipient stage fire than do women. With this said, an adult male occupant will be more likely to be located by the rescue company in the general area of the fire’s origin or potentially attempting to get back to the sleeping area to assist with his spouse. Body position is the key to understanding any potential thoughts and movements of the victim. If the adult male victim is located in a well involved room for example, he may have been overcome during the attempt to locate or extinguish the fire. If he was located on the stairs though, especially heading up the staircase toward the suspected sleeping areas, the victim is likely heading back to assist with the notification and the evacuation of a spouse and/or possible children. <br /><br /><br />Now for adult female occupant, generally speaking they are more likely to be found incapacitated while attempting to assist with the evacuation of a child or loved one. (elderly in-law) Profiling a female victim who is found in a hallway or stairwell can potentially assist the rescue company with locating other victims within the area. When the search company finds an adult female occupant, they should look at her body position and direction of travel. Which way was she heading? A female victim that has become incapacitated and was heading AWAY from the normal entry or egress point is potentially screaming “MY KIDS ARE THAT WAY." <br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AhEoqFlxLQA/TjCy2fdeOiI/AAAAAAAAAB4/-HlpplFyVP4/s1600/1000x500px-LL-875b5dc9_finger_pointing.jpg"><img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 102px;" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AhEoqFlxLQA/TjCy2fdeOiI/AAAAAAAAAB4/-HlpplFyVP4/s200/1000x500px-LL-875b5dc9_finger_pointing.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5634199783068285474" /></a><br /><br />If the search and rescue company lets the adrenaline rush overcome their conscious thought process, they can easily miss valuable information. Never, never, never just grab a victim and start heading for the door without assessing their position and direction of travel. Take a second to look at the “victim profiling pattern” with their position, location and possible direction of travel. This valuable but often missed information obtained from the adult unconscious victim combined with some other “traditional” basic size up patterns as previously stated, may expedite the search for any remaining victims. Even though the victim is unconscious, their body position can talk to you. Remember to keep your cool and assess the situation to maximize your obtainable information. We as fire service leaders and educators must continue to strive for ways to work safer, rescue victims faster and provide the best service possible with whatever means and capabilities we have for our community.<br /><br /><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZHdH5l_-WB8/TjCvcfDPyNI/AAAAAAAAABo/OmICGZeEaSE/s1600/FETCLogo.jpg"><img style="display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 123px;" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZHdH5l_-WB8/TjCvcfDPyNI/AAAAAAAAABo/OmICGZeEaSE/s200/FETCLogo.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5634196037746804946" /></a><br /><br />William Greenwood is a Certified Level III Fire Instructor and Owner of FETC Services. Billy also hosts the Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio Show "Tap The Box with FETC Services". <br /><br />Please check us out at WWW.FETCSERVICES.COM<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7555659026012029154-566449779471839291?l=billy-greenwood.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7555659026012029154.post-5664497794718392912011-07-28T00:35:00.000Z2012-03-15T14:12:35.121ZInterior Benchmarkingnoemail@noemail.orgFETC ServicesINTERIOR BENCHMARKING <br /><br />Any interior firefighter who spends enough time in an immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) atmosphere will eventually encounter some type of bad situation. Unfortunately, interior firefighters can become overwhelmed under these conditions and be unable to escape the hazard. Part of the reason for these problems may be our ever-increasing budget cuts and the resulting lack of personnel on arrival, which leave officers no choice but to ask the responding firefighters to multi-task. There are too many “bad situations” to list. The focus here is on lost and disoriented firefighters and identifying severe thermal insult conditions.<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-n0bE67zh3GA/TewuapusjeI/AAAAAAAAABg/FEjy4ycj-xs/s1600/Greenwood1.jpg"><img style="cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 200px; height: 161px;" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-n0bE67zh3GA/TewuapusjeI/AAAAAAAAABg/FEjy4ycj-xs/s200/Greenwood1.jpg" border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5614913870837353954" /></a><br /><br />"Interior Benchmarking" for greater firefighter situational awareness can assist us when we are caught in a bad situation. Over my fire service career, I have expounded on this subject dramatically. I have found that if firefighters can adopt this behavioral modification and acknowledge interior benchmarks, they can be safer interior firefighters or fire officers. <br /><br />INTERIOR BENCHMARKS<br /><br />Interior Benchmarks are situational points we acknowledge at every fire. Locating the fire, knocking down the fire, completing the primary or secondary search of a given floor, pushing down those basement stairs for fire attack, or advancing to the floor above for fire attack or searching for extension are all interior benchmarks.<br /> <br />With interior benchmarking, the interior crew acknowledges the benchmark and completes a quick firefighter safety and situational assessment. The next time you enter an IDLH atmosphere, stop yourself and your crew. Ask for quiet, gain control of the adrenaline rush, and really assess the atmospheric conditions. This concept is as valuable for recruits as well as seasoned veterans. To use the interior benchmarking concept, you must obtain baseline information you can use to compare with your next interior benchmark. <br /><br />Ask yourself these potentially lifesaving questions: What do I see? What do I hear? What do I feel? Where am I? What is the floor made of? Is my crew intact? Do we have PAR? What is our remaining SCBA air pressure? Let’s break down these questions in detail.<br /><br />What Do I See?<br /><br />Can I visually see the fire? Do we have rollover? What are the smoke conditions like? What does my thermal camera read? Can I see thermal layering or smoke travel? Is the fire already rolling over me and my company? What is the floor made of? Should you become lost or disoriented or experience a floor collapse, you should use your last interior benchmark for comparison. Did the floor change on me? Where am I now? Am I in the kitchen, living room, bathroom, or the cellar? All these rooms typically have distinguishable flooring or more common floor plans and window configurations. Identify them and report your location!<br /><br />What Do I Hear?<br /><br />Do I hear the fire crackling to my right or left? Many times we are too eager to enter and stick to a left or right-hand search pattern, following our basic habits instilled as a recruit. What if you stopped for a second and really listened? Listen as if you were a blind civilian searching for the day-to-day directional cues. If you still can’t determine the direction, cover one ear with a gloved hand. Does the sound get closer or farther away? Your uncovered ear will lead you to the fire or victim(s) quicker and faster. Also, under what do I hear pay close attention to the audible response from sounding the floor with a tool. The use of the thermal imager has given us more vision, but has produced some extremely bad habits with firefighters forgetting to sound the floor. <br /><br />What Do I Feel? <br /><br />This is a big one. What is the heat like on initial entry? Think back to your last building fire, and ask yourself how much time was spent getting off the truck and gaining entry. Most of us will say, “As little as possible!" This is a great attitude to have; but let’s face it, sometimes rapid entry without making mental notes, creates bigger problems for us in the future. The American Fire Service prides itself on quick aggressive interior fire attack. Our forefathers created this tradition for us and we should carry it on, but we must change our behavioral traits. Lets face reality, we have fewer building fires, less live-fire experience (firefighters and officers included) are now wrapped up in greater head-to-toe firefighter protective clothing, our battle with the red devil entails a much greater thermal insult from hotter fires and we all too often, operate in under-ventilated structures due to tighter, energy-efficient homes. So I ask you: Can we really afford this “rush-in” mentality? The interior benchmarking question What do I feel? Provides a baseline for future heat-index comparisons. Without the baseline input, you have nothing to compare until the seat of your pants computes, "Darn, it’s really hot in here!" <br /><br />â€&cent; Completing the Company PAR. The fire officer must maintain control and be held accountable for his crew’s actions. The crew must also have discipline and confidence to communicate there own individual hazardous situations. Not feeling well, lack of crew integrity, early notification of firefighter disorientation or entanglement and/or a low-air warning alarm should not be ignored by anyone.<br /> <br />SCBA Air Consumption and Air Management.<br /><br />The last part of the interior benchmark concept is constant monitoring of your air consumption. How much air was used to get to your current location? Do you have enough air to make it back to the entry door? Calculating the distance traveled on the air already consumed drives the decision of whether you continue to advance; back out; or give a clear, concise and early mayday report. Given the right set of hazardous circumstances, sometimes our SCBA’s low-air warning alarm provides a false sense of security and will not provide enough time to safely evacuate the building. <br /><br />Never once did I mention “What do I smell?” Today’s firefighter cannot operate as our forefathers did. We are outfitted with self contained breathing apparatus for a reason, so wear it! We cannot allow ourselves to get in too deep and not have enough air to safely exit an IDLH environment either. Nobody can tolerate a few breaths of super-heated gas and the ever-present hydrogen cyanide of the modern but routine building fire of today.<br /><br />If you implement the Interior Benchmarking concept at your next building fire, you will have ascertained an incredible amount of potentially lifesaving information. If you should encounter a bad situation, the more information you have, the more likely you will feel in control of conditions that are rapidly spinning out of control. Constantly compare your last download to what you are now experiencing, and make educated decisions. As you advance to locate your victim(s) or the seat of the fire, continuously ask yourself these same interior benchmarking questions. If you do this on a regular basis, you will not only increase your situational awareness but you also will find victims quicker, extinguish the fire faster, and greatly increase your personal safety.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7555659026012029154-7590043834775380228?l=billy-greenwood.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7555659026012029154.post-75900438347753802282011-06-06T01:19:00.000Z2012-03-15T14:12:36.151ZPersonal Firefighter Survival In These Tough Economic Timesnoemail@noemail.orgFETC Services<div><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wNmwHKjOOPo/TbqsPkfH_lI/AAAAAAAAAAM/8Vj_R9KM_1I/s1600/TIR007.JPG"><img style="WIDTH: 134px; HEIGHT: 200px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5600978470080872018" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wNmwHKjOOPo/TbqsPkfH_lI/AAAAAAAAAAM/8Vj_R9KM_1I/s200/TIR007.JPG" /></a><br /><br />By Lieutenant Billy Greenwood, FETC Services - All Rights Reserved<br /><br />I want to welcome everyone to our new Fire Engineering Blog and would like to quickly introduce our training group to the community. FETC Services is located in Southwestern New Hampshire and offers Advanced Firefighter, Safety/Survival and Officer Development Seminars throughout the United States. We made the trip to present our Interior Benchmarking Concept his year at FDIC 2011 and had a wonderful time networking with many of you. Would like to extend a big thank you to Chief Bobby Halton, Scott and Byron for making this venture become reality. In the future, you will see material from FETC specific to our problems, target hazards, and solutions focused to the smaller city brother, in a paid and/or combination fire department setting. Stay tuned for the official announcement from FE for our live talk radio blog coming May 20th, 2011 called "Tap the Box" with FETC.<br /><br />Personal Firefighter Survival In These Tough Economic Times - <br /><br />This is for all who are currently earning a living in the Fire or Emergency Services field. How do we continue to survive in these tough economic times? Luckily enough we are afforded with the opportunity to have the job you always wanted... as some call it "My dream job".<br /><br />In this day and age of shrinking operational budgets and public outcry for reducing the bottom dollar, eventually the FD personnel line item is going to have to take a hit. Hopefully any and all expendables have been scrutinized with a sharp pencil, maintenance has been stretched, paid details, paid training, or in-house committees, and OT coverage goes before the line brothers get the axe. But what if your Fire Chief, who has already been your "Protector" in the past is now under the microscope of his or her boss, for more?<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LPaIbH_Llfc/Tbqs-Yb_LyI/AAAAAAAAAAU/o6CougNUCqk/s1600/ves.jpg"><img style="WIDTH: 200px; HEIGHT: 153px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5600979274300337954" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LPaIbH_Llfc/Tbqs-Yb_LyI/AAAAAAAAAAU/o6CougNUCqk/s200/ves.jpg" /></a><br /><br />We as brothers must "pay it forward" everyday, every shift, every call. Believe it or not, I struggled through a previous economic downside with the economy back in the 80's. To be honest back then I wasn't in my dream job yet but I was making a honest living turning wrenches for a major brand car dealership now gone bankrupt and bailed out by us recently. I was one of a handful who recieved "pink slips" from the owner of the dealership. Did I see it coming? Absolutely not, I was young and naive I guess, just a month before the pink slip was presented I was accepting a fresh turkey for a Thanksgiving bonus from that same owner who made an announcement that the company was struggling in the "current organizational structure". Just after Christmas Day, I was handed my very last paycheck that had a pink slip stapled to the envelope...<br /><br /><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gpIOY3eyqQA/Tbqw6Ygo2cI/AAAAAAAAAAk/83MMVmZqZTs/s1600/layoffnotice.jpg"><img style="WIDTH: 200px; HEIGHT: 200px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5600983603646880194" border="0" alt="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gpIOY3eyqQA/Tbqw6Ygo2cI/AAAAAAAAAAk/83MMVmZqZTs/s200/layoffnotice.jpg" /></a><br /><br />Wow, the economic times back then were far less dire than today but let me tell you I had bills, expenses and payments that were in need of a paycheck. Did I survive, yes I did. Was it easy? Well, it was easier because I was single, not married or nor did I have three children relying on my financial well being.<br /><br />So as we are awaiting the Obama Stimulis Plan to become fruition, how can we personally survive the current economic crisis that we are currently feeling? I for one, was hoping for a big fat check in the mail to payoff my mortgage but it appears "that ain't gonna happen" either.<br /><br />My first suggestion is to make ourselves as marketable as possible to our bosses. When I say our bosses, I mean our taxpayers. Now is the time to come in early or stay late if needed. We should be making the most of what we got, with our tools, equipment, gear and appreciate the fact that we are still employed. We should be working as hard as ever to produce the greatest product or service for the customer.<br /><br />Product? What the heck is this crazy person talking about? I am a firefighter man.... We are not producing a product, and this isn't a production line that we can produce an extra 50 items today. Well each and everyone of us are in the customer service business. Our business is making the customer, (that patient, that victim or that homeowner) feel as though their problems are OUR problems. We should use the Chief Brunicini model for keeping Mrs. Smith happy. By keeping Mrs. Smith happy, we are essentially keeping our budgets financially supported by the consumers of our service.<br /><br />As far as personal survival goes, if I had to make a decision between laying off a late, lazy firefighter who does the bare minimum everyday (or) a hard working, hard training, go getter... the answer is pretty clear brothers. Market yourself, do your job better than yesterday, train like your life depends on it (because it does) and don't complain about daily tasks or chores, complete them and ask for more. Better yet, you know what needs to be done on a daily basis,go get it done without being told to by your officer.<br /><br />Otherwise, when the hammer is about to fall... it is he, the more marketable firefighter who has a better chance of staying to "play another day". Remember this is the greatest job in the world and don't ever forget it!<br /><br />Stay Safe Brothers and Sisters<br />FETC<br /><br /><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2a8zt7eIw74/Tbqt8HlAYLI/AAAAAAAAAAc/n2m0xJ7xxZI/s1600/FETCLogo1%255B1%255D.jpg"><img style="WIDTH: 200px; HEIGHT: 122px; CURSOR: hand" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5600980334926651570" border="0" alt="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2a8zt7eIw74/Tbqt8HlAYLI/AAAAAAAAAAc/n2m0xJ7xxZI/s200/FETCLogo1%255B1%255D.jpg" /></a><br /><br /><br />Fire Emergency Training Consultation Services<br />www.fetcservices.com (603) 313-2982 </div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/7555659026012029154-6908517800461106753?l=billy-greenwood.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-7555659026012029154.post-69085178004611067532011-04-29T12:12:00.000Z2012-05-21T13:07:16.601Z 500

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