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Home>Topics>>Week in Review: February 13, 2010

Week in Review: February 13, 2010

Mon, 15 Feb 2010|

Chief Bobby Halton discusses recent firefighting news, including a massive explosion in Middletown, Connecticut.



Hey thank you tuning into the week -- review on fire engineering dot com. I'm your host Bobby Alton. And this week were being brought to you by our good friends -- the FDNY foundation. The FDMI foundation is presenting a special operations symposium. This march 15 and sixteenth on Randall's island. This once in a lifetime opportunity for this one of a kind training symposium. Is closing fast. The best minds in the industry direct from the ranks of FDNY. Including battalion chief Joe Downey -- buckeye -- -- Freddie La Familia. And a host of others will be presenting on special operations. And how you can get better at these incredibly dynamic and challenging events. Don't miss your opportunity to attend the FDNY Foundation's special operations symposium. -- -- FDNY foundation dot org. And register today as space is limited and this event will sell out so if you're in the greater Connecticut new York New Jersey area. Get online and register today and now the point of view. Good point of view we'd like to take chance -- and incorporate what I think was the major news story of the week -- the point of view. Last Sunday in Middletown Connecticut at the clean energy plan there was a tremendous devastating in fatal explosion. The subsequent explosion killed five workers -- injured scores of others and presented a tremendous challenge the responders from the Middleton area. The Milton areas served by three separate departments the south district with a first responders. To the -- explosion. And we had a tremendous honor this week -- speaking with south district fire chief. -- -- -- She's the double gave us a brief overview of how his organization -- the challenge. And was able to effectively coordinate and manage one of the most catastrophic explosions of this type ever. The tremendous implications surrounding this particular explosion. We won't get into that here the chief McDonnell has promised to produce a podcast. An article for fire engineering as well as a presentation for FDIC 2011. On this incredibly important event. The chief -- agreed to incorporate the talents of who win a comprehensive article outlining how they responded. And how they succeeded in spite of overwhelming challenges. I spent Sunday last week listening to the radio transmissions. And as I listened I was completely and thoroughly impressed by the professionalism. The calm demeanor and the -- -- focus and competency of all involved. The entire fire service -- the most -- recently by the events in Haiti. We often think that -- balance of this type are going to happen in countries less sophisticated. And less advanced than the United States. But on Sunday morning explosion in -- Should serve as a wake up wake up call to -- This was the first time that they deployed -- or use our team under the command of John -- This was the first time a plant of this type a clean energy plant had such a catastrophic explosion. This was a mass casualty and -- with an active gas -- fire. And not just any -- -- fire but -- 600 PSI. Guess -- fire. Imagine the challenges. For the operations chief for -- imagine the safety challenges for John war. Imagine trying to conduct a -- actually incident a collapse and a catastrophic fire all the same time. One must remember that these departments are more represented of the American fire service than most. Of the 33000 fire departments in America most of us look like them. Middletown south district than we do FDNY. Or LA city. The south district fire department has a compliment a sixty men and women. Men and women who proved that day to be as competent as talented and as reliable as any metro fire department. This -- the first major explosions and what we call today at 24 hour news cycle. Where everything you say and everything you do is captured instantly for the entire world to see in critique. Well the world saw south district and -- firefighters challenged and the world saw them win. The world saw chaos. And the world saw how chaos is created and then -- The world saw devastation. And how it happens without warning and the world saw hope. And that hope came in the form of firefighters. Professionals to coin a phrase from lieutenant colonel Dave Grossman -- warriors. Men and women who were willing to risk their lives and their own personal treasure in order to preserve protect and defend. On behalf of firefighters everywhere -- -- -- dumb -- and all the the firefighters who served with him on that day. -- -- heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Our admiration and our gratitude. For your commitment to excellence. And now to the news. Collapses have to be the news of the day. I must say it's important that we all go to fire -- dot com and review just how many collapses America experienced last week. From Philly to Texas to say nothing of the catastrophic fires and and damage that occurred in fire houses that collapsed around the Maryland DC area. Dealing with the weather is always going to be challenging. And the subsequent results of dramatic weather fall squarely on the shoulders the fire service. The unexpected snowfall in the Washington DC Maryland area challenged firefighters. In extreme weather conditions to collapses and fires. Our condolences to those that lost their fire stations and our hopes that those stations get repaired quickly and efficiently. Our engineering would like tests and their deepest condolences. And sympathies to the family and friends of chief Burton Phelps who passed away this week. -- was a longtime instructor at the national fire academy and -- chief from an uncle county fire department. He was a leader in our industry a great man and a good friend. We hope that he rest in peace and we know laws family. Do well in the future our deepest thoughts and prayers with -- -- Now would like to assure you brief clip that we have our good friend George healing battalion chief from FT and -- We -- up to George while he was attending the -- well live burns which were studying how ventilation. Happens inside of residential structure fires you well the official research partner of fire engineering and FDIC. Actually reconstructed. 3000 square foot two story. And a one story ranch of about 18100 square foot to see how different -- -- profiles affect -- behavior. Listen now and find out what George ought to tell us what George thinks of the fire service in general and we're potentially -- George really of the -- and why is going in his career. Right here with chief George -- with the FDNY and George it was great to see it's different and yes round here burn stuff down it's always a good time Mexican it's in the name aside silly season we'd -- in Chicago -- and other people's stuff balance that's what they useful for so we tried that in house it is. The revelations. That this is tremendous I mean I think in the last several years to -- service has really come to a greater appreciation of the fact it. That there are questions that we need -- incident and the fighters have changed. And we have this relationship now with the fire protection community. Fire protection engine news and these develop these relations and and -- -- on the show that the fruits of only of use and most on asked the questions and and proof. What we hope is is viable tactics of -- -- and and we've proven now with the wind driven -- from Saddam's chief Tracy itself. The port only from Toledo -- governors. And you guys if you had some great success with new tactics that came out of absolutely we've we've really come full circle and we've recently experienced the wind driven fire. That had only -- -- of of tragedy and it was a fire that was quickly mitigated. With with minor injuries to both civilians and operating personnel and it was a tremendous success story. Now -- look and -- residential housing and natural mineralization. We keep going with these tests and probably more. Tactical adaptations gonna come out of this optimistically I mean that the fire service I don't believe his have had a great appreciation for -- dynamics by growth and smoke. And these -- things that we really need to to learn about. To have sound tactics and it that are based on the science of qualified as we deal in a world of science and and we really need to marry those two together -- tactics with the science. Of what's going on -- these structures. And I think we need talk about our tactics from New York to California to Chicago to it and we've got this stuff on here from Sweden so. The united there's somebody's doing something that somebody else can use absolutely and the exchange information. And communication is is gonna be won the keys to this home venture. That's it's sad to see in our budget crisis is now that when the first things is always gets its head lopped off as the training budget. FDNY -- special operations symposium the go to WWW. -- my foundation dot org. And you can -- special ops suppose -- -- you plan on attending her. Absolutely we had we had a great outpouring of support last year we did -- high -- symposium the FDNY had been running them prior to nine elevenths. And with the events -- I don't have and we kind of got out of it for awhile but it's all about the exchange of information and and this year is that the thought process was you know not every department fights -- is -- highrise structures but special operations. Construction. Incidents. Emergencies occur throughout and and try and just abroad everyone's appreciation for but so where -- in publisher Simon is right now I'm assigned to -- one battalion in in south ozone park queens and on the laughed off the -- for several weeks for this training initiatives that we're really taking the tactics that we developed on Governors Island in Chicago in Toledo. And would bring -- -- to the troops and and we teaching them what we've learned them with disseminating the information. And we've given them the tools and now we're gonna we're gonna start to see these tactics more more in the field. And I think -- -- my hat's off to you well labs obviously you know Chris has broken Steve Gerber and and any magic asking all the guys Nelson brought our own people -- -- you -- and -- and they've really kind of lit a fire in the fire service for greater appreciation for science and research and I think aren't that this is the best use I can think of the fire -- -- You know that that you can imagine is this is really gonna save a lot of lives. Absolutely and I think we have both the need is of the -- service industry and you well in this and -- on the same page in and were -- driving. In the same direction -- world driving our own entities to move in in in the common and common direction and -- Romans at least this time have a son Chicago in the medal -- and were indoors to select just a last time brother you're knee deep in the snow. George thanks Olympus than surprises thank -- about his -- right. Remember FDIC is coming up soon April 19 124. Classes are filling up several -- classes are already completely fall and the workshops are starting to fill up as well. But FDIC dot com and register today for the finest largest and most comprehensive training symposium in the world. On firefighting. This year were being treated to some very special classes safety and survival being put on by our good friends at the IFF. And wellness fitness initiative class being put on by the for our workshops actions. Today firefighters more than ever need to put these two issues together. If you're not fit you can't self rescue if you're not well you can't fire fight. Come and see how the -- -- and I AFC have collaborated. On these two incredibly dynamic. And fantastic classes. -- FDIC dot com. And register for the IFF workshop on fitness and wellness and CIA FF by AFC safety and survival program. Remember the safety -- they remember the rescue special rescue symposium on Randall's island from the foundation -- the in my foundation. Please go and register for that this is great train. Great training produces great firefighters. So sign up now and get great training. I'm Bobby -- this is fire engineering dot com and remember.

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