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chief interview -3-send to alex for web

Mon, 18 Jul 2011|

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[MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO] This is Bobby Halton, with Fire Engineering, and we are out in Joplin, Missouri, still interviewing the command staff of the Joplin fire Department. Chief Randall was kind enough to allow us to interview his. Folks, today we've got his two training officers. We have Scott Cranford and Mike Redshaw who are their training officers and we're going to talk to them a little bit about what they went through that day and then how their trainings going to be affected going forward. How they're going to, manage these events in the future, and, and some of the lessons learned that they can share with the rest of the fire service. Because you went through, obviously it was the most significant tornado in the history of the United States... With a 159 as of today, I believe it is, or 156 confirmed fatalities. >> One fifty-eight yesterday. >> One fifty-eight. >> I'm not sure if they've updated it today or not. >> We're at 158. >> One fifty-eight, which is unbelievable in and of itself. And then the, amount of destruction is. In, incredible. And Mike was just talking about in the EOC one of the things you were able to do with GIS. And, one of the things we were talking about was, I, I, the reason it came up was we were talking about the before and after shots of the neighborhoods. How what can you do at GIS now during these disasters that you learned at this event. Well one of the things the first time i got done in the oc was they had large ball size maIgnore suggestions utilizing satellite photography that show the damaged path is freshen up and fresh tornadoes. So we could actually see a map of the city with the overlays of the streets, and what we'd outline, what we'd thought was the path and overlayed everything. We could see where the damage was by satellite view. And then we were even able to take that a step further whenever we were doing search patterns, latter in the days. Post-tornado where it showed red for the heaviest, most significant damage and then yellow for moderate damage. Had various colors so we could break it down into different grids and focus our resources and maximize where we were sending those resources. >> Now, Mike, how long have you been on the job here? Here in Joplin I've been on for eight years. >> And is Joplin your first fire department or did you come here from- >> Well, I, I was a volunteer prior to this, down, a little town southwest of here called Purdy, Missouri. >> Okay, Purdy, Missouri. >> Yeah. >> So you've got about 13- >> About 16 years. >> 16. >> Between volunteering and here and. And some profession EMS before I got into the professional fire service. >> So do you ever think you'd ever see anything like this. >> No and I've, I'm, I was there in 2003 when Pierce City got hit, by the tornado. Pierce City >> Yep, sure. >> Carl Junction when that outbreak occurred. And then the May 10th. Was it 2008 or 2009 when the tornado, F-4 tracked/ from Pitcher/ all the way through Purdy, where my hometown is. But, [COUGH] neither compares to anything like I saw coming in to town for this. >> Right. I saw, pit, Pitcher, and this is completely off the scale. How long have you been the training chief? For a little over a year now >> Okay, best job, best job in the fire service. >> Yup, one of the best. >> You know, don't ever tell the chiefs, but the guys who really effect change in the fire service, who really can really change a fire department, that's training. That's the training division. >> Yeah, absolutely. >> The bad side about training, is when everything goes wrong, it's a training issue >> It's a training issue >> It's a training issue. We slept daily. So Scott, how long have you been on? >> Absolutely, all of two months and a few days. >> Oh my goodness. >> Yeah, April 14th, I believe was my first day here at Chaplain Missouri, just tired, fresh out of interview, and >> Now where'd you come from? >> I'd spent most of my career, at Sni Valley Fire Protection District. Districts that these square miles just east of Kansas City about 28 miles from Kansas City and I've done a majority my career there before I came to Southwest Missouri just a few years ago. And really I crossed over from there to the chief part of doings things. Got my degree, education in place. 'bout 17 years experience in. Welcome to Missouri. Talk about being baptized by fire, Welcome to Joplin, absolutely. How's it working out for you so far? We're fire fighters, this is where we want to be. No one wants to home watching a fire on TV. You know, cause you just end up cursing A Shift or whoever's on. You know >> [LAUGH] >> Those guys aren't as good as us, if I was there. That kind of stuff, but, you know, you wanna be where you're gonna get good work and do good work. >> I absolutely wouldn't have asked for a bigger crew or management or support from anyone else but this department. This community, it has really pulled through. And I continue to pull through the support that we've received from everyone, has been above and beyond what it is to be an American. >> Yeah. It, it's. >> I'm grateful. >> You know, people say that we're not who we were back, baloney. America gets better every day. >> Yeah. >> You know, the good, the greatest generation were the greatest generation of the 40s. I've got young sons in the military now. They're the greatest genera, I mean, every generation of Americans has exceeded, and we're gonna continue to. >> Yeah. >> Well, just when you, just when you think [LAUGH] damn this country, I don't know what's happening to it. Something like this happens and everybody steps up. >> That's exactly right. >> And they're right there for their brothers and sisters, our brothers and sisters in the fire service, and as well as the. People of the community and we've had people from New York, California, all corners of the country come here to help out in some way or means. >> Anyway they can. >> Yeah. [CROSSTALK] >> So where were you, Mike, on Sunday night? >> I was actually at home. That. I still live in Purdy, which is. About 50 minutes to an hour away from here. >> Okay. >> And one of the guys gave me a phone call. I got a cellphone call. And I had no idea the weather was even bad. It was nice and sunny at home. I was playing outside with my two boys. >> Wow. >> And he said hey, I just heard Joplin got hit by a tornado. Oh, it's like oh, okay so I turned my radio on, was listening. They called me back, said, I heard one, two or our stations got it. Well at that point, where I was starting to hear a little bit of the tra, radio traffic. And texted Chief Burkins and Chief Randalls, about do I need to get up there or what's going on? Because where I live, even as a call in chief. Been in our way. You know is this something that's, >> Right. >> Major that I need to be there for? >> Is it enough zeroes. Yeah is this broken windows and shingles off roads or is this. >> Is it, gonna be done by the time, yeah, exactly, yeah. >> So they just type back, y'all come. >> I got, I got a, yeah, I got a yes from chief, chief Randle and I,. Phone call from Chief Perkin saying get up here and get whatever warm bodies you can, we've got three other guys that work here, that live down by where I do, a couple in Perdi, and a couple in Pier City, so we made contact, and headed up this way. >> Now, are Perdi, and Pier City, they're under mutual aid, so they were probably, they probably sent folks aswell. >> Yes, the department also sent people to assist. >> Now, where did you get detailed once you got up here. Once I got up here and checked in, I got first detailed the area of 20th Connecticut, as I came in they were giving a report of a structure fire at 18th and St. Louis, one of the mutual aid companies was here and they weren't sure how to get there, so, I just walked in, there you go, I can meet you there. So I grabbed one of the department vehicles and led them there. That's when I first realized, the way we had come into town, trying to side skirt everything we saw tractor trailer roll overs and debris. Like okay, no big deal, but whenever I've topped the hill about 16th and Connecticut, and saw, Oh my Lord. That what just happened here. And we've been talking to our folks out there in Internetland about the fact that Joplin is rolling hills. >> Yes. >> And as you crest the hill coming in to Joplin, about half mile, maybe a mile and a half in to the city limits. You see it, you know and, and all the sudden, it's there. >> It is there, and it takes... >> Or what's not there. >> Yeah, the view from Saint Marie's might be the worst view of all, when you stand in that church parking lot and you look to the west and you look to the east, and you just go, oh my God. >> Yeah and the pictures on the TV just do not do it justice, you know. To stand in the middle of it and be able to look as far as the eye can see, east and west. >> So you went right to fire duty? >> Yeah, I went right to fire duty and [UNKNOWN] were talking for taking about the finding things, being disoriented. All the landmarks are gone and you don't realize until you're in the middle of it how much you rely on landmarks, like the green house there on the corner. Sure. >> That's 18th Street. And finding, as you know, one of the things we pride ourselves on here in Joplin is knowing our streets, and knowing our addresses and how to find them. It took forever to find the intersection of 18th and St. Louis. Let alone the time to get there because everything is gone. There was no street signs. There was nothing marking, hey this is St. Louis. >> and everything is down to basically street level. >> Yeah. >> I mean you can see forever. There's nothing, nothing really above 5 or 6 foot. >> Right. >> Survived there. I mean as far as you can tell. >> Yeah. You can tell that there was no. There's no structure fire. >> By the remains, really there was no structure there. >> It was just debris fire. >> It, it was just debris, and there wasn't even a fire, I don't know how the report came in, but, we ended up, we ended up getting freed up from that, and actually one of my crews, one of the crews went to the grocery store there on 20th street. The Dylons store and ended up doing some rescues and pulling some people out of there. And I ended with another crew doing some s,s, quick grid work and search work until I got reassigned. And to come back down to the command center and get reassigned. >> Well you know one of the things that the chief went over with us with Perkins, which I thought was fascinating and I'd never thought of it, you know, there's so many things that are coming out in these interviews which I think. As we go forward in our emergency management training our disaster preparedness that we're gonna have to start considering. He said you have to remember that if I had a fire, the possibility for that thing to spread exponentially was, unbelievable because of all the debris on the ground and it's all flammable. And it's all contiguous now, it's just on the ground. That you have you have a wild land fire from hell type situation. >> Exactly. >> Cause its heavy to breathe its kinda burn hot and fat but its that same three of I've got all these fuel on the ground, >> I never thought, I never thought and then he tell us about how old that little drains all the house, all the house lines are cut, >> Yeah. >> All of the small business lines are cut,. So the water pressure's gone, because you've got, you've got 8000 leaks. >> Yeah >> I've never thought of that, I mean just the stuff that's coming out, it's like, well that's >> Even, even a three quarter or one inch line, you pop thousands of them >> Thousands of them >> And sprinkler systems in places like Home Depot, Wal Mart. I'll just >> You know, even the four inch mains coming out of those sprinkler systems. It sucks a lot of water down pretty fast. >> So you're rolling up and you've got no hydrants now cause the system's down. The system's maxed >> Right >> Unbelievable. So Scott, where were you and what was your first experience? Well we had just gotten moved into our new home in Webb City, just a little bit North of the border of Joplin city limits, and no tv, no radio, anything like that to warn us. So, I had just got done, sat down in the front yard relaxing and next thing you know, the sirens go off. Well, I've got my family, and my five beautiful kids, and all them, "Honey, get, get in the restroom". You know, get them into the restroom, it's a small space. They're in the bathtub, bunch of towels, you know, they're doing the best they can. I run and grab my radio, and like probably every firefighter, I ran outside to see if I could see anything. HAHA. Yes, I'll admit that. That's the classic. What's the Jeff Foxworthy deal? There's always some guy in hip waders walking through the water and its your cousin. Yes. There's always some fire fighter going where the heck is that? That's when I noticed when listening to the radio, turn on my handheld and. I'd heard that the damage come across from Station 2. I heard the battalion chief ask if everyone was okay, and at that moment I knew that this was a pretty significant event, and I went in, got dressed and course while I'm gettin' dressed everybody else was there with the, please God, don't let the tornado hit with me half naked. >> [LAUGH] >> I don't want to [LAUGH] anybody ever have to go through that. And got dressed, and you know started immediately towards the station and kissed my babies goodbye. Which was kind of emotional. >> Yeah, I bet. >> You know I'd never actually seen a, a tornado real life, up close. But from sitting outside, you could hear what started like beginning thunder. Like the beginning of thunder, and it never quit. And my wife had step up for a second right before I got ready to leave and to I'd already hear that and she goes, yeah, it sounds like thunder I go jest but it hasn't stopped. >> It just gonna whoo, whoo. >> They're, they're getting hit you know, and that's when traffic ame over the radio, he went back to the, to the backroom of the kids and kissed the goodbye. And I started towards the station immediately. And, you know, coming into the station from the north side, you could see just, copious amounts of tree tops. You know? Kind of chopped off. At the time, nothing to big or damaged or anything. I got to station one. And I saw chief Perkins, standing upstairs. Chief, where do you want me? He goes, I need you downstairs in the EOC center now. And so the first thing I did was, I went right downstairs. And, again, I didn't see daylight for, I think til the first time I saw you, and I didn't even recognize you. I thoroughly apologize for that. >> No, no, it's quite alright. But you know immediately I, I, I. >> So just that the viewers know what the Chief's talking about I would, we were at the home demo parking lot. It was about about noon the next day and he had just gotten out from being underground for 12 hours and was on a mission doing something going from somewhere to somewhere. And we were gonna grab him for a quick interview, and if you could'a see the look in the, of focus in your eyes, it was like, unless you're a, unless you're a Sherman tank, you're not getting between this man and anything >> [LAUGH] >> Fire fighters are naturally task oriented. >> Oh, you were tasked, you were, you were, you were moving. You were on a bee line for your vehicle, and let this man pass, so. So then from the EOC where did you go? >> Well I went downstairs to the EOC and they were just setting up everything. Battalion Chief Tim Woodward and Keith Stammer and all the rest of the wonderful staff were getting the room set up the way it needed to be. Tim sent me over, battalion chief of that shift of that day, sent me over to dispatch. I walk into the dispatch center [CROSSTALK] >> Let's send the new guy to dispatch. Yeah. >> [LAUGH] This is a guy that has no, you know, resident knowledge of the town, of exactly where things are supposed to be. But I'd been in dispatch a few times prior and saw what it was supposed to be like. That was nothing [LAUGH] like what it was supposed to be like. But. what I saw was very organized dispatchers. I saw a firefighter at each station with each of the dispatchers taking complete notes, writing on notepaper about one, two, ten, 15, 20 calls per page. And they, they gathered them all up and they handed, here you go chief, because I was the only white shirt in the room. I go, what do you want me to do with this? [LAUGH] So immediately, I took that back over to my battalion chief and we set up a sit stat board and started prioritizing each call, if you can call it prioritizing because. You're talking, just about [CROSSTALK] >> There's so many critical cost. >> Yeah, >> You just start getting to 'em. >> And I, I had a couple of photos of the first boards that we wrote down, and it's just, it was and we took photos of them because we didn't have anybody to do data entry on a computer. >> You wanted to capture that? >> Absolutely. >> Historical record. Every single call that came out, we wanted to make sure that we documented thoroughly and we knew that, how important that process would be later on. >> Well, you all did such an amazing job. When you, you know, and we've said it over and over again, when you think of how fast this department really triaged and, and then, primary, did the primary. And this entire community, really before the sun set. At least before the came up the next day, you guys had been over this land at least once thoroughly, because we got here within 12-14 hours and it was marked, and, the primaries were done, and you were already moving to, really secondary searches and. Void searches which is amazing when you look at the size of this event. >> Yeah. >> Just amazing. >> Just the width of the, of it, and length of the track. >> And the complexity. >> It's not just, you know, a little small town. >> No and, it's multiple story homes and single story homes and school buildings. And it's church buildings and apartment complexes. >> And it was 5 o'clock at night so people are, on a Sunday, so people are literally everywhere. Right. You know it's not like on a, like right now, Tuesday afternoon, you know the school...you can forget where people might be, but on Sunday evening there's so much going on and you really did such a great job, I mean you really did. So, you...your're of the EOC now, you're out in the street working as a chief again, I got assigned to so many different things throughout the next. A few days as well as a [UNKNOWN] and which was a remarkable experience for both of us together at the same time. Basically throughout the entire next few days I don't think that we got but maybe an hour or two hours of sleep. We were of that long, we went and got rest upstairs on the floor of our training room office, next to, you know, back in the weight room, whatever we had to do to get rest for short periods of time and make things happen. Past that, I thought that Chief Randalls, I thought that Chief Perkins, our deputy chief of operations. Did an outstanding job. >> Unbelievable. >> For a chief to have lost his house and to deal with what is going on on a personal note, and then also to do an entire assessment of a town, come back an hour later into the e.o.c. And give an, an assessment of where the damage paths were which gave all of us a picture of where everything was. Our mapping could then, from there, work on grid system. We could start getting, coord, getting coordinated rescue operations out to the most hard hit areas and from that point we called out. As many search and rescue teams urban search and rescue teams as we can get on the way. Dog, dog teams. And just about every area [UNKNOWN] Lake fire department that was available. And we kinda knew that anybody to the east of us was getting hit with the same storms. >> And nobody, could, we got hit with [UNKNOWN] Tulsa guys, so we got hit with the, with the weather part of it. But we didn't get. I think you're the only ones that really got nailed with a tornado. I think up in the Kansas way >> Yeah >> They got some tornado activity up there but nothing like what y'all, what y'all got hit with. So, so there you both are ,you're, you're doing all this and then you come back. As the dust settles as they say, which I know it's still settling >> Yeah, it's still settling >> It's still, yeah it'll be settling for months for you all but, and we really do appreciate you taking the time out of your day for us >> No problem >> Thank you so much. But, trading wise, what had you done before hand that, cause your folks all the folks around here handle themselves in such an exemplary way, what are the. What are the skill sets that you really think that men and women should always have, what we routinely call the basics but in order to cope with something like this? >> On a training aspect, that's one of the things we actually talked about in the days after the storm was. [COUGH] You, you can't train for something like this. If, if we'd have done even a tabletop of hey, let's take a F5 tornado, wipe out a hospital and track all through town, everybody looked at you and said okay, let's do something realistic. >> Right. >> So. You know, you can do your mass casualty training, you know which we've done. We've done command training and things like that. But to try to do a worst case scenario like this, you could never prepare. >> And what you're saying is so true because it is a true story. Came out of Oklahoma City that before the Oklahoma City F5 hit, they were going to do a training exercise. Someone said well let's do a F5 tornado scenario. And some [UNKNOWN] very room, a planning guy, a guy who gets paid to do this kinda stuff >> Yeah. >> Says, nah, that's too unrealistic. It will never happen. You know and, and now we've got Oklahoma City, and now we've got you guys with two F5s through the middle of it. >> Yeah. >> I mean, an F5 in farm country is a big deal. >> Right. >> But when it goes through the middle of a heavily populated 50,000 person city,. That's a big day. And I mean. >> Yes, it is. >> Would you say that's you densest population for residential? 'Cause that was pretty dense. >> Yeah, 'cause they're, we're talking about an area of, like, 20th and Connecticut. There's several two, three story apartment complexes in there. And right behind Wal-Mart that got hit, another set of apartment complexes. >> And even down by St. Mary's, those neighborhoods are. Thirty of forty years old. So they're on those older city lots, you know, >> Right >> So, they're a little closer then we build to today. >> Right, you know over by St. John they hit hospitals, densely populated and a nursing home and things like that. So, yeah, Probably our more densely, tighter what you'd picture, you know. Probably suburban type housing where their 100 foot from each other, but they're still pretty tight and compact as opposed to a small town where they're further away. >> So what are some of the things that and people are gonna be picking your brains for years to come, so get used to it, I'm not, I'm just the first guy, we're not gonna stop cuz. No one's gone through what you've gone through. The Oklahoma City guys had a little different experience because, as they cut the [UNKNOWN] through, although it was horrific and a tremendous amount of damage. Not nearly as comprehensive in terms of what happened here in Joplin, and they were. And what I mean comprehensive, size-wise, Oklahoma City's got a million by and a half, two million people and think they've got six or seven hundred firefighters. It's a big job. You guys have your 80 men and women, fifty thousand people and a third of your city's been torn asunder. So, what is some of the training. Cuz you're gonna have to keep working out there. What is some of the training things you would want to, skill sets that fire fighters should have, for these kind of events? >> I think it goes down to the core basis of what we do with training. It's [COUGH] being able to work under incident management. [INAUDIBLE] And being, being, disciplined and working under that type of system. Everybody reports to somebody the guys that need to take command take command. Another aspect and as you've listened, as we've listened to the radio traffic here and there is having guys that know how to keep their cool. When station two got hit. And you hear over the radio, I, I wouldn't have blamed the guys one bit if they sounded freaked out over the radio, but they weren't it was simple, you know, battalion one be advise station two has extensive damage. We're out of service. And then call in that they had a, they were gonna need heavy equipment to get out. And, they're they're already pulling mags off the truck saying people have seen the video on the weather channel and things like that. Where they're pulling equipment off the trucks. Using their heads and getting into that gear that we know what we need to be doing. This is what's in front of us. This is what we need to do even at the basic level. We're going to have injuries. Were gonna have, were not gonna be able to handle the heavy stuff right now, that even as it, even man job for me, we have an instructional collapse team. But when you get hit, that's instruction collapse team is out the window. >> Alright. >> We can't even use that right now. >> Is having good solid knowledge with your hand tools and, >> Yeah, I wanna well, thanks that come output, its even on a quarter of my, lot of my emails. This one thought, this one people, this one action; and those three core things are what our guys showed and exemplified. You know, they, they were disciplined, they knew what they needed to do, they worked within the command structure, they did what they had to do and stayed within that. And then, you know, their thoughts. This is what we need to be done and the folks will know what to do and then their actions tied rightly in with everything, with those core values and doing what firemen do. >> Right, like the Marine Corps, everybody's a rifleman. >> Right, everybody's a rifleman, even the, the captains and all that throwing rescue equipment on a. Beat up pick up out of a parking lot because that's the only thing we can get free because this is our job. >> You're still fire fighters. >> We're okay, we gotta get this equipment out here to do this, even though our truck's buried under the station, we can still improvise adapt and overcome, because this is our job. This is what we've gotta do, this is what we're trained to do. We can get the basic equipment to do it, let's go do it. >> Since I've been here for the last few months and we've had two different academies. A driver academy and a new hire academy. I mean, for people that we brought on board. And one of the things in the interview process >> [CROSSTALK] Now, before you go any further, what do they come to you with? What if someone, if someone's looking to say, hey I'd like to become part of that Joplin, fire department, because you, you're gonna have a lot of people wanting to come here after seeing how squared away you are >> We require, at minimum a VMT, and fire fighter, IFSAC fire fighter one and two certification. And then we have, of course, a testing process and all that. And then beyond that, to test for driver they have to have a minimum of six months on. Then we put them through an academy that's comparable it, it integrates a lot of the the driver [UNKNOWN] driver operator. And they can actually test when they get done for that certification. But also we tie in a lot of what we want them to know. Now we, [CROSSTALK] >> Local rules. >> How we pump and things like that. >> In advance basics if you will. >> Yeah. >> Like polishing what they should already know prior to and in doing that it kind of empowers the new hire, empowers. Sense of self pride and respect >> [CROSSTALK] So they feel like a system, they're in the system before they get into the system. >> Yes >> Yeah >> So you, you were saying that you've been through two academies >> Two different academies here, both the driver and the new hire academy, and, top quality candidates they select the best through a good process. From there they have, candidates who are willing to, go through what they're, they're taught and put aside things that they knew in the past and open their minds to, new techniques, the way they have done things here, introduce them to a good culture. And from what I've known and seen here so far this is probably one of the best cultures, at least in the Southwest Missouri. Part when it comes to fire department has no insulting any other fire department. But I'd like to see a department that's has got it together. And I like to see good command structure. You have fire fighters that are willing to pick up the dishes even though the chief's fighting with them not to do it. You have fire fighters who open the door for the public. Customer service is number one, and you're going to see it here. You can see the professionalism and I [INAUDIBLE] I wouldn't doubt it if every firefighter walked out that door with the sense of hey that I belong to something good and that I'm doing something good for the citizens of Joplin. And they know that it's their job, but you know personally I'd like to thank them. >> [INAUDIBLE]. Good. >> And I'm glad to be a part of this department. >> You just did. We''ll make sure stays >> Thank you. >> Don't edit that out guys. >> Yeah. >> [LAUGH] >> That's, that important. So what's some of the training that you want to recommend having seen what you've seen. What are some of the things, you're doing heavy rescue. How are you gonna, how are you gonna, what are you gonna do differently? How are you gonna improve it? How are you gonna, what are you gonna add to it? What are you guys thinking you'd like to do with your new hires? >> Real quick. You're going to laugh at this one. July of 2011 was supposed to be mass casualty incident training, for this month. >> For, for our EMSCs. [LAUGH] >> And he played with us back in the, in. [CROSSTALK] >> I, I think, I think we can write you off on that. >> Yeah. Yeah. >> I think we've hit that one. >> Yeah, you've covered that. >> Yeah. I Maintaining what we've been doing is a big thing. This program, this is something Chief Perkins has set up years ago and has tweaked and tweaked. And when I came in I got the opportunity to jump in with Chief Perkins and start adding my ideas. >> Now is he a training Chief also, or? >> Yeah. He wa, he was until. What? March or so? >> About eight months ago. Six eight months ago. >> Yeah, if, if that even. He just, he, he recently got promoted. He's been doing the job of deputy chief since probably December or so. But but yeah. When he got promoted to deputy chief, [UNKNOWN] training chiefs position and. Fire Chief Cranston. >> You got the right guys, I tell you. >> And now we get to tie his ideas in and take it the next step. But I really think focusing on, kind of like our history wall, and this is one of the first things we do with our new hires. This is the history of this department. You chose us. You know, we didn't come looking for you, we hired you, we want you. You chose us for a reason. Now understand the history of our department. And why we do things. You know, not just well we use a triple layer load on our attack hose. Why do we use that, why does that work for us, and even the history of the department, the little things. >> Joplin thread. >> Yeah, for a hundred, yeah the Joplin thread, why do we have Joplin Thread, and for 130 years almost, since 1882, we've been there, we've been doing this, there's been somebody here. You're now part of that and this is what we expect of you. And the very first day is a lot of that. It's history, it's meeting with the chiefs, it's getting their expectations before we even start getting into how we do things. And so [COUGH] and really, and then, getting into the, this is what we expect of how, this is how, you know, discipline. This is how we work our ranks. Little things, like every morning coming in. Cleaning the station, make, making sure you're truck's ready to go. Little things like that, I believe a discipline, and, I mean, and the military caught on to this for hundreds of years. Little things instill discipline and disciplined people become disciplined, and, and the people around them become disciplined. And with that they can gain knowledge. They're not, you know, sitting in a recliner all day, they're reading, you know, reading fire engineering or whatever magazine may be available. >> Read em all. >> Yeah, the, the online, doing things like that, that's one thing we still, be a student of the job. You can have the arguments about what a professional is, but when it comes right down to it, this is what we tell them. A professional is a student of the job. When you look at doctors, and lawyers and the engineers, they constantly having to learn their trade. This isn't a job you come in, you sit 3 or 4 week in the academy,. And I get to cruise from here, You have to constantly learn. >> It's interesting you say that too Mike, because what we discovered after extensive research, that all the big things are made up of thousands of little things. >> Thousands of little things, exactly. >> Nothing is just suddenly a big thing, you went through the... Largest tornado, most devastating tornado in the history of the United States. >> Yeah. >> And your success was predicated on the fact that every single one of your people knew how to do everything right. And, and were focused and kept going from one task, to the next, to the next. Te, tell me how you handled the gas emergencies, because those must have been scary as heck. >> well I could say from an EOC standpoint, we had a representative which was Roger Harris from MG who also had showed up in the emergency operations center we talked with him we set him up with a radio for direct communications with the center and. >> . . Every emergency that was reported was relayed to him. For him and his crews. But of course they were overwhelmed. >> Sure. >> immediately. Past that point, we had other crews working at mass casualty here, a multiple patient incident here, trapped victims. We literally also was you know, relied on some citizen rescue teams, cert teams, citizen volunteers to go out double check make sure there was an actual gas leak at the location to confirm it. Cause you >> You basically had 8000 emergencies simultaneously. >> Exactly. >> Absolutly.>>>Yeah and I got to watching one of the interviews somewhere one of the guys talked about it. This wasn't one incident this was 8000. Each person had their incident. Every hurt person is another incident. Every house is another incident. >> Right. >> Every, every gas leak's an incident. >> Every down telephone pole, every >> Yeah, and you always have to prioritize it. I mean, I hate to say the nice thing, about the tornado coming through, while it, while it knocked out, and we had gas leaks everywhere. It also knocked out all the ignition sources. >> Oh good. >> So yeah, the major gas leaks are a major concern. The gas company, we, we could prioritize it in the field and say, like you know at St. Johns when they had that major gas leak there, we need somebody here. >> We found that one. We actually parked in that parking lot. >> [LAUGH] >> We were a part of that reporting system. >> Yeah >> Yup, there's a gas leak here alrighty. Yeah, and >> That was a big one. >> Yeah, and if we can shut it off, we can shut it off out in the field. >> Right >> If not, you know, is this killing somebody, is it an immediate threat? If not, okay. We can get to that later, and we can call in from the field to command and say hey, I got a gas leak here, and, these guys I hate to see what it was done like down there, taking notes and. And things like that, you know, gas leak at 22, 23 Moffett or whatever it may be. Boom. Writing it down and having it organized, but we were able to do so, and then having that unified command, having all those representatives in there from Empire Electric and Missouri Gas Energy and Missouri American Water and the fire department, police department, EMS, having everybody in there. You, you know, NIMS, as much as somebody may cuss it, has its purpose and the principles of it do work. Especially that command system >> [CROSSTALK] I think you need to be as versed in it as you possibly can >> Yeah >> You need to be as eloquent in NIMS as you possibly can, I think we need to understand. Level four and fives in the blue card system or whatever they're doing now, you know. >> Yeah. >> That's a great system, and then everything builds on that, you know >> Right. >> and you have to understand that, and if you can't operate at a type one incident, then you're really not any good to me. >> Right. >> You have to be able to operate at the fours and fives and the ones and twos just as well. Even if you don't understand all the paperwork, as long as you don't understand that principle of it, that this is what I need to do to make this work. You can make it work. >> Right. >> Even if it's not exactly how they have it in the plan. We can make it work. Just like command. It may, it may, there's paperwork to. >> And those ,and those type, those type of team people are gonna help you with that paperwork. >> Exactly. >> They're gonna come in and they got the expert so they can >> Yeah. >> Line you out there, but as long as you got the basic. Parameters set up and you have seen the paperwork. You've been through the courses, and you know how it relates to it. Because getting logistics for an event this large, you know, after 24 hour, it's going to be daunting if you haven't prepared. And a Presidential visit. Did you get to meet the. President when he came in? >> I did not, I was actually doing search operations >> [CROSSTALK] You were still working huh? >> I was actually in charge of operation Sound the EOC >> But that's important too, I mean the, you know he comes and people need to know that the, the boss knows what's going on. >> And they were very good about trying to make as minimal impact on us as they could. >> What was that >> Which was great >> What was amazing is we called from the very getgo, key stammer. We knew we needed help right off the bat. We contacted FEMA, CEMA, Southwest Instant Support Team, and literally we had personnel there within two hours. >> Uh-huh. >> Of the incident. We're talking logistics, planning, everything associated with what we need and our needs were set up. And the first thing they said, we're not here to take over. We're here to supplement and help. Anything that you need to get this done. >> Only an idiot would have taken over. [LAUGH] >> And. [LAUGH] And they got us everything, anything we needed. And I will thank, I will thank those guys til my, my dying day. That was very good. >> Now, Did you, did you, As you look at your EOC now and you've been through a major, a super major event. You, you've earned the CE credits. Would you change the setup in any way? Have you, have you looked at the well this worked really well, this didn't work so well, or are the annexes in the right place, were the, were the phones set up correctly and all that good stuff? Did you, did it work, did it work the way you thought it was gonna work? >> I think it really did. I mean, for. Something of this magnitude for something that our merchant management operator or, director, Mr. Stammer has done a good job of planning this. And I think it worked as well as you could hope it would. >> That's good >> It was literally right across the table, three feet away was public works who had access to all the heavy equipment. Across the table to, to right in front of us was law enforcement. At any moment we had an issue of any sort we could call have them take of that issue. We had Red Cross set up behind them. Health, then we had also EMS behind us. >> And I know for Joplin you have great communications. And you guys have great relationships and with your four lack of better terms, sister cities that. The folks in Branson and the folks in Springfield. And you four cities have created a kind of a super plan there with that hazmat and mass triage and all that good stuff. >> Right. >> Which is fantastic. Because those relationships. Training is great. Relationships is greater. >> Right. >> Knowing the guy that. Hey Tommy, bring this or bring that. >> Yeah. Sets, y'all come play we need you. Talk about the, the communications just for a second if you will cause I know that we're still battling with that in the fire service, we're still struggling with my radio can't talk to your radio cause I'm on this frequency, you're on that frequency. >> And we did have some of that and, It helped that we have, we have the ability to do cross-band repeaters, and of patches in our dispatch, and all of that stuff. >> Did they bring in one of those, I, I, I can't, for the life of me I forget what they're called. But they have a machine, they have basically a machine that can plug everybody in. You give em your radio, one of. If you can get one of everybody's radios, they can make them all work. >> I don't remember if we did or not. I don't remember. >> I think, they brought a command center out to the high school command post and said that up for a brief time. >> It has, it has a name, it has a. >> Yeah, I, I, I know exactly what you're talking about. >> Holder. >> You just take the radio, pop it in there and, and it, and it ties everything together. >> Ties everybody together. Yeah >> Right, yeah >> But which is amazing technology >> Yeah >> You wonder why we can't just all have one of those >> Right, you know >> Right >> Because the [LAUGH] >> [LAUGH] >> It makes grand sense, that's right >> Right >> Imagine that >> Yeah, yeah, which is getting harder and harder to come by >> Yeah. So, are you gonna do anything different with your training going forward? Particularly for your guys, as you two guys are the, you're in. >> I really just think what we need to do now is capture everything that we've done. >> And write that article for fire engineering. >> There you go. [LAUGH] >> And capture everything that we have to get it on paper get. Everyone's story. Everyone, what they were doing. Similar to what you're doing with us here. >> Right. That's what we want. >> And we're [CROSSTALK] We're in the process of putting all that together. Putting it on paper. We'd like to get it on record. And then, from that point, we're going to be able to make accurate measurements. See where we need to be. >> Yeah. >> See if there's any training gaps we need to. to pursue. You know we still get to have a chance to do a after action review even on it. Life goes on, and its one of those things when it rains it pours. After the tornado we burnt some 40000 square foot building. Had a, as soon as we arrived, a fire through the roof. Wow >> In the midst of that we had, in the middle, literally in the middle of this fire we had to break guys loose to go rescue a volunteer out of a well, that fell into the well. We had a debris fire that burnt probably two or three houses worth of piled up debris. Wow. >> So we >> Secondary Events. >> haven't had the chance to slow down to do an after action review yet. >> Wow. >> It's just the heats, the hits keep on coming. >> Well, you know, what I saw while I was out there. Was watching the crews working with their hand tools. You know, and we have structural, cuz that's what we are primarily, structural firefighters. But when you think about it, use of levers and pry bars, and knowing how to make purchase points and how to use, you know, crimping properly to- >> [LAUGH] >> Yeah. >> To get an advantage. I mean I can see a whole new realm of familiarization. The, the, about that. Like, the San Francisco guys spend a huge amount of time in their training process about how to operate with levers and pullies and >> Yeah >> Cause they're in San Francisco and they know soon or later, >> They're gonna have >> They're going to have to do it by hand. >> That's, that's, one of the things I kind of, I try, we've been trying to instill on our new kids is. They start off, we start off really basic. You know, here's the tools we use, here's how to use them. By the time they get out and one of the things we stress to them is, we, you should understand the principles. You should understand that a halogen works this way, this way and this way, so that... Yeah. We use a halligan to open a door and we know how to do that, but at the same time we use those same principles in a structural collapse. It's like you're talking about, using those basic hand tools, understand the concept of how those tools are used, and how can I take this tool and use it in this scenario. It's those little bitty basic things. Not just that, oh a halligan is just for opening a door. The halligan's a prying tool. It's a purchase point tool, things like that. And recognizing I can use this tool to do this. And its, it goes right down like we were talking earlier. Going down to the very basic level and think you know, instilling into these guys these very basic things. That here's the principal. It's not just pop it in there and twist. This is, why this is doing this. And then [CROSSTALK] breaking it down. >> This is why you have to have your own knife and your own pliers and your own chalk. Know all your stuff, know your own rope and all your webbing. All the stuff that you put in your pockets. It's not there for show. It's there for help. >> What can I use it for? Oh, I've got this. This will do this. By the end of their four weeks when we really start to put it to the test. We start seeing some of that, of... Here's the task I gotta do, hey I can use this and make, and make this easier, or do it this way and this and that and we start seeing them think for themselves using those little bitty basic tools >> [CROSSTALK] We saw your guys out there with their webbing using their, you know they had their webbing over both their shoulders, and then another guy prying up, you know >> Yup. It was, it was great to see. It was really great to see. So, what is, what does Joplin need right now. What would help you guys out? >> I think that two new fire stations. [LAUGH] [CROSSTALK] >> Actually three, you've got one in the. >> A training center. Yeah. >> I know you need iPads >> That's a tough questions. >> Cuz the chief, the chief said if you had more iPads out there they could get training done easier and electronically and some stuff like that. So, hopefully the Apple Corporation's paying attention. >> Yeah. I mean, I mean that, that's, that's a hard question really. I mean you could think of things. That would be great to have until somebody asks you [LAUGH] >> Yeah right. You want until somebody says what, it's like when people say what do you want for your birthday. >> nothing. >> Yeah nothing, and then after your birthday you think, I wish I'd have got that >> A new bike would have been nice. >> Yeah we talked the other day as part, part of those hits keep coming we had a A fire at one of our big manufacturing plants, and it's something we just, it just hit us that, it was a tractor, tractor trailer rig that caught fire at the loading docks. Thankfully, you know, it's a General Mills plant, so it's a pretty big facility. Thankfully they thought to shut the door which kept the fire out of the building, but the ventilation. And we're sitting there talking about, we use positive pressure here. Even on are initial attacks and trying to figure out, 'cause we just recently, what, three months ago, I think it was? >> How many fans do you need for a General Mills plant? >> Yeah. For the box stores and all that. Because we've had fires at box stores and this is a problem we currently run into. >> Right. [CROSSTALK] How do I do this? >> Those MVUs, those mobile ventilation units. >> That's, that's what popped up. It's like, you know what? >> [INAUDIBLE] >> We could use one of those. >> Oh, yeah. >> And looking back at how many times we could have used one of [UNKNOWN] >> Illinois's doing a lot of great work with those in Chicago. >> Chicago, yeah. >> Yeah. They're doing a lot of great work with the MVU. And a lot of other cities that use them. Dallas uses them. Yeah >> And the highrise fires, you can pressurize those stairwells just like that. >> And even they've got the misting nozzles on them, one of the things we looked at was mass rehab. We're getting ready to have a 4th of July thing and we're reaching those 100 degree temperatures, things like that >> I think. You know, oh my gosh, there's potential and things like that. We'll take this concept and what can we use this concept, and I guess one of the things Joplin, that I like to think we've always been good at is we can adapt things, adapt those principles and make it work for what we need to work for. >> We'll, I think, I think that, what I think and it. For what it's worth. From watching what I saw out there day one was that you've got squared away people, you've got great leadership, you've got an incredible community. People have asked me, you know, having been here you know, do you think Joplin it's absolutely gonna survive. I think that area of town is gonna look somewhat different. You know, it's, you're never gonna recapture that picturesque gold 1940s and 50s neighbor hood look. >> Right. >> It, it'll have more modern structures in it, but it's gonna come back. >> Yeah. >> I mean, it, it's just too pretty a place, you know, this, this is not a dagger through the heart of Joplin. This is too vibrant a community. >> Right. >> A lot of folks don't really understand how. Vibrant Joplin is because, at night it's 50,000 people, we say 50,000, but in the day time it's 200,000. And the, you, you, you two guys both work here but you live in the, in the feeder cities and, and, Joplin has a tremendous importance to Oklahoma, Arkansas. And Missouri economies. And, and it's gonna continue to, you know, it's only ten miles across the Oklahoma border. And Arkansas border's what, 30? It's not. >> About 30, 40, maybe. >> Yeah, it's not, it's just, you know, it's nothing. >> We're, I always kinda like to joke, we're about an hour from everything. We're an hour from Springfield, we're an hour from northwest Arkansas. Maybe two hours from Tulsa and Kansas CIty. >> Yeah, yeah. >> I mean we, we get a lot of those outside places. Coming, even as a kid growing up and hour from here, we always went Joplin. You know, what the closest big city to us. And we get a log of that coming into this town. >> And so, beautiful city. It's absolutely a gorgeous city. And it still it, people need to know that too. Joplin is still beautiful. Place to come and visit and, you know, a third of it's been devastated, but I heard the Home Depot is just about back up. >> When I went by it, I can't, just a couple days ago, they had the foundation cleaned off. That, the Walgreens right in front of it. >> Walgreens, Walgreens. >> Walgreens, up and I wouldn't be surprised if it gave away the shells today. >> That's amazing. >> Yeah, I didn't even, I forgot that there was a Walgreens there. >> Cause it sits right in front. >> It probably hadn't been open six months. And the other day... Holy cow, there is a Walgreen there. >> That whole area is probably, ten, maybe ten years old, right, I mean that whole area is, all that, those new shopping centers up there and that big sports place >> Yeah, the academy, academy >> Academy Sports >> It was, it's been built since I got here at least, probably the last three, four, five years. Home Depot's pretty new. >> That's what we're talking about to is that the, you know, you talk about usually you got a collapsed [INAUDIBLE] or something and it's one type of building. You guys went to everything from a type one to all the way to >> Oh yeah >> 1930. >> Yeah, dealing with a different type, the tilt up constructions like Home Depot. The a. Block with [UNKNOWN] like Wal-Mart. The, you know, the ordinary construction like a Walgreen's, the residential construction, yeah we've, a little bit of everything. >> Was it anything that withstood the power, >> No. >> of that wind in it's path. It took everything out. Shoo. Anything directly in the path, it, nothing really held up well. >> I'll tell ya, you know as a, as a training publication and a FDIC and fire engineering. Listening to you two guys talk re, reconfirms everything we believe. That the main interest in the fire services training. Because it, it's training that got you through May 22nd, and 23rd, and 24th. It, it wasn't, you know, dedication which is important. And passion and all that other good stuff. It all falls back, and we laughed about this in the beginning, but it alls based on your training. >> Right. >> And you can never. There were some good friends of mine at an apartment, a buddy of mine runs an apartment back east, let's say he was getting complaints from some of his guys because they were doing, doing too much training >> Well you can't >> Not in this profession >> No, cuz when you look at something like this, you've got the structure fires that you, that we had to deal with. Definitely >> So you're using all that fire fighter training, you're using your rescue training, you're using extrication training >> Yeah your extrication your >> [CROSSTALK] you had, you were extricating people from cars that were crushed in ways that nobody ever imagined. >> Yeah, there were cars on top of cars, there were cars on top of roofs, >> Wrapped around buildings >> Wrapped around trees, I mean it was the ultimate let's take everything we do. HASMAT, Fire, EMS and Rescue, and let's just throw the dice and throw it across town. You use every little thing. >> You would have thought that someone in our, or some of the firefighters in that cruise would have been overwhelmed when they first stepped out and saw this, but not any of them. They went to each call, they went to each incident they were assigned to. They cleared it. >> Oh that's what we saw. You're exactly right. The professionalism was unbelievable. Just the level of integrity and the level of just focus, dedication and discipline. I mean, these people, it was the great example. There's a great book out by Pete Bladder, Blabber, who is a Delta Force guy. And it's called The Mission, The Men, and Me. And that's what you saw here. It was the mission. It was try to save as many people as we could save. Try to restore as much order as we could restore. Working for the citizens of, of Joplin. Then it was taking care of the men. And that's what you two guys were doing and Chief Perkins was doing. Y, y, you know, that's what was going on there. And, and then it was about you. >> Right. >> You when you talk about your boss who's house is gone. His family is living in his office. And yet he's right there. Boom, boom, boom. >> And more. And making sure. Yeah. It, it's the little things that you don't even realize until afterwards. >> And he's more concerned about you all. >> Yeah. >> Than, than anything else. >> And it goes up. Yeah. So, we're, we're out there making sure the guys get rest and realize. Tuesday night. You know what? I haven't had a lick of sleep yet. >> You guys have epitomized the mission, the men and then me. Cuz there was a it was truly one of, there have been great moments in America that have been surrounded by tragedy, Pearl Harbor, 9/11, and now we have May 22nd in Joplin where. Men and women like yourselves stepped up and said, my community needs me and here I am. >> You never want that to have happen. >> No, but if you, if you, if you want to look at an example of American exceptionalism, like you said, there it was. You know, and, and it's gonna continue to be and that's why I think the downside for Jofflin is you're gonna. Probably in fifty years there'll be a lot more Joplin, because people are gonna wanna come and live with this kind of people. People are gonna wanna be part of this kind of environment. This is the heart of America, and you guys were beating strong, and you're still beating strong, and on behalf of all the firefighters out there. We're, we're just so proud to have guys like you being such a shining example of what real professionalism is all about. And it doesn't mean if you're career or volunteer. Everybody out there was a real professional. And, and they came from all around. And we just want to thank you and Mike. >> Appreciate it. >> For taking time from. We know how busy you are and you've got better things to do. >> Thank you. >> Than jaw bone with. [LAUGH]. An old fireman. We really appreciate it. We wanted to get your story out there. Scotty, you know, they couldn't have gotten a better guy in here. You wouldn't know you were born and raised, cause you're just perfect for Joplin. >> You know, they, when I first came in, I don't know if it's kind of a nickname kind of thing, he's gonna kill me for this. >> [LAUGH] His last name's Renshaw and I'm Cranford, right? So throughout the entire incident, they called us Cranshaw. >> Cranshaw? >> It's one, one of >> The training twins. >> [LAUGH] >> I like it. You kinda look like bookends. [LAUGH] Yeah. One team. >> We got the same follicle impairment going here? >> [LAUGH] >> The guys are gonna get back me back on this one, I know it. >> We'll leave, we'll leave that in. So we have the Crenshaw twins. Make sure we keep that in there. >> [LAUGH] That's terrible. >> [INAUDIBLE] that one. >> Well, thanks again for spending some time with us. We sure do appreciate. Appreciate it. And, you know, if there's anything we can do for you, please reach out and let us know what it is. And we'll make sure we get it out there to everybody. And hopefully we get see you both at FDIC. >> Hopefully. >> We'd love to have you as are guests so [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]

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