Mon, 5 Jan 2009|
Chief Bobby Halton discusses the major stories of the week, including the first line-of-duty-death in 2009 and a massive night club fire in Thailand.
Hello and welcome to fire missionaries we can review I'm bombing -- and editor in chief of fire engineering. And today is January 2 2009. This week's we can review is being brought -- by the fire department instructors conference this year being held April 20 to 25 in Indianapolis Indiana. FDIC is America's oldest largest and most extensive. Fire service training conference FDIC has been for 82 years the premiere event where America's firefighters -- to get the latest in training. In firefighting education and networking. Last year over 28000 of America's bravest gathered for this five day event. On line registration is available at FDIC dot com and organizers have informed us that several hands on training classes have already sold out. This morning -- are sad duty to report on the passing of the first line of duty death for 2009. 57 year old Elizabeth, New Jersey -- -- Whose function is -- acting captain on an engine company suffered extensive head and chest trauma. When the fire apparatus that he was directing backed over him at approximately 2:30 this morning. Gary Stevens a twenty year veteran of -- New Jersey fire department. Never regained consciousness after the accident and is listed as the first line of duty death for 2009. Captain Stevens was directing the apparatus which was backing under a bridge supporting New Jersey Turnpike laying down supply line for structure fire several blocks away. Tragically the apparatus backed over captain Stevens it has not been determined at this time. What occurred captain Stevens to be underneath the apparatus as it was backing at approximately five miles an hour. Fire engineering and everyone here would like to express its extreme condolences to the family and friends of captain Stevens. Would also like to express our sympathies to all the members of the community of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Especially our fellow firefighting Brothers and sisters. Of the Elizabeth, New Jersey. Fire department. And the story this week comes from Bangkok Thailand. This New Year's Eve in a crowded nightclub in Bangkok a huge fire. Very reminiscent of the station nightclub fire in Rhode Island claim the lives of 59 people and injured. Over 200. Much like the Rhode Island fire this one is also currently believed to have been caused by fireworks. Igniting noise proofing insulation on the ceiling. And again much like Rhode Island access and egress were impeded by the design of the club. Investigators. Are already saying that the club's safety system was substandard. Even by Thailand's -- code. It's estimated that over 1000 people were in the club at the time of the fire when it erupted. It was described as an affluent -- student crowd where European models and westerners often frequent it for a drink. Video footage and reports all describe a fast moving aggressive fire with -- extremely thick choking smoke. Firefighters can be seen in the video affecting rescues while simultaneously attempting to battle the fire. Firefighters may remember the following the tragic station nightclub fire in Rhode Island which claimed over 100 lives. Rhode Island an active aggressive laws requiring sprinklers in all places of assembly that serve alcohol. The should serve as a wake up call once and for all. And again that we need to have well designed sprinkler systems anywhere where pyrotechnics. And crowds come together. Next story involves extreme fire behavior. Firefighters in northeast Philadelphia early on the morning of January 2 responded to a fire in a three story 62 unit apartment building. Which quickly went to four alarms. After two and a half hour for a fight the blaze was brought under control the fire displaced over 100 residents and claimed the life. But -- seventy year old woman whose name is not yet been released. Firefighters describe blowtorch like conditions as the wind driven flames swept through the apartment complex. The fire service currently has several studies underway. Involving the issue of wind driven flame fronts the national institute of standards technologies study. Regarding when -- when fronts and structural firefighting is well under way. The wild -- fire -- community for years has been extremely aware of the -- ability to create fast moving in deadly fires structural firefighters have traditionally only associated. These wind driven flame fronts with high rises were elevated buildings expose the fire to high winds above grade. Recently however several residential structure fires and low rise apartment fires. Have been the scene where wind driven flame fronts have killed and or injured firefighters. The National Institute of Standards and Technology. Along with several other organizations are studying this phenomena. There have been live fire field tests but the fire department of New York Toledo and Chicago along with fire engineering. Where wind driven flame fronts have been studied along with the tactics and strategies to combat these extremely dangerous events. Reports -- -- currently still being compiled. However several excellent presentations. Are currently available for the American fire service including one from Jerry Tracy battalion chief with the -- -- -- will be presenting. The results of his investigation into this along with this at FDIC in April. Tragic news from Philadelphia. Four adults and three children lost their lives Friday and fired a three story brick duplex the cause was an exploding kerosene heater. Early reports state that woman living in the apartment was poured fuel into the kerosene heater while it was operating. As a heater began to overheat she attempted to take it outside when suddenly exploded killing her instantly. Investigators believe she may have been trying to use gasoline. Instead of kerosene in the heater. The other six victims of this fire were found huddled together in the basement. Where in violation of Philadelphia -- code there was only one -- Investigators also report that there were no working smoke detectors in the home. For the people present at the time were able to escape the flames. Although the -- firefighters had an excellent response of less than three minutes it took thirty minutes to bring this fire under control. Firefighters must remember. And be extremely aware of the fact that there may be potential fuel sources stored throughout residents who are using alternative portable heating devices. We must continue to drive home the need the critical need for every home and American -- working smoke detectors and CO detectors. They save lives. We always need to be aware or near misses near misses how we learn and this week we have a near miss from Canton Ohio. Nine firefighters. Are thankful to be alive today. Battalion chief shut goodly but the cannon fire department reported that six firefighters were transport hospital. After fighting a fire which spread to three homes in the city of camp. Over thirty -- firefighters. Battle this fire for over three dollars. During that fire -- floor collapsed injuring several firefighters. Then several other firefighters. Suffered electrical shocks when power wires contacted. The aluminum gutters and then the aluminum bat -- on which firefighters working. None of the engine far fires were reported at any serious injuries. However they did require transportation. To a hospital. A double near miss the camp fire department and an excellent opportunity to capture some lessons learned. From -- -- on floor collapses. Go to the underwriters laboratory website and go to the you'll university. There you'll find an excellent class that you can take online on floor collapses. This class has several segments and several excellent videos where you can learn a great deal about the deadly potential these floor collapses -- More information on this topic will also be presented the shared FDIC. When Chicago firefighter Jim Dalton. And underwriters laboratory researcher Steve carver will present more on this topic at FDIC 2009. Firefighters and citizens in Buffalo, New York remember their fallen from 25 years ago this week. Firefighters and citizens across the city of buffalo were called this week the tragic fire from 1983. When two days after Christmas five buffalo firefighters. And two civilians were killed in a tragic explosion on north division street. Among those killed that day it was at 31 year old -- the Michael -- -- -- -- Firefighter -- -- -- left behind a wife and four sons Michael mark. Chris and necklace all of his sons and attempted at one time or another to become buffalo firefighters. And one of his sons Christopher is currently on the list awaiting appointment for the buffalo fire department. Civilians might funded that the some of the firefighters who lost his life line of duty would wanna go to the same work. But we who know that work. Know that our families understand are calling to serve. And most of us are in the sons or daughters or the fathers and sons. And mothers of public servants. Call the service is one that every firefighter recognizes in their hearts at a very early age. And although our children may not become firefighters. In most assuredly will find some way to serve others. Buffalo fire chief and commissioner -- Lombardo said it best. When he was speaking about Christopher attempt to become a buffalo firefighter he said what could be a better testament. To their father. And and to go through all of that and still want to be a firefighter. A Catholic mass was set on December 27. Commemorating -- -- -- fifth anniversary of the explosion. And an honor of the seven people lost their lives. And now finally from are no good deed goes unpunished category. The -- of Bristol Connecticut this week received a -- to replace a 765. Dollar door to the apartment of one miss Melanie eakins. It seems -- firefighters responding to a welfare check at the sickens apartment. And needed to force the door. Firefighters were alerted by an ex boyfriend of Mexicans that she may be in danger. This -- was talking to a -- boyfriend when she suddenly stopped speaking during a cell phone call. Attempts to reconnect with -- -- were unsuccessful the boyfriend and dialed 911. Firefighters responding to 911 call found mistaken cell phone outside with -- purse in the seat of her car. Going concerned they attempted to knock on the door to rise in the seconds and were unsuccessful. After forcing the door firefighters found mistaken is asleep and lethargic in a chair and her apartment. Identifying her as being an altered state they transported her. To Bristol hospital where she was treated for an allergic reaction to a prescription medication that she was taking. City leaders and Bristol stated that they have received many calls for reimbursement for damage to apartments but generally that that comes from law enforcement. While they were taking actions to arrest people and they can never recall anyone sending them a bill for saving their lives. Go figure. I'm Bobby -- This has been -- injuries we can review have a happy new year and remember. Be careful out there.