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Week in Review: Dan Madrzykowski Interview

Wed, 22 Feb 2012|

Chief Bobby Haltonr reflects on recent fire news, include the resignation of Chicago Fire Commisionner Robert Hoff, and interviews NIST Researcher Dan Madrzykowski about the recent UL vertical ventilation tests.



Hi. Thanks for clicking on us this is Fire Engineering's week in review. My name is Bobby Halton and this week we're being brought to you by the Fire Department Instructors Conference. FDIC is just 54 days away so make your plans now. and be part of the largest and most comprehensive fire service training and networking event in history. FDIC will be celebrating it's 84th anniversary and with registration already at a record pace, now's the time to secure your slots in the hands-on training and workshops which are filling up fast. Four of the hands-on training classes are officially sold out, advanced vehicle extrication. Heavy vehicle extrication, man vs machinery, and live fire [INAUDIBLE] tactics and several other classes have very limited space left so please don't hesitate register today, and we'll see you April 16th through 21st in Indianapolis. Go to FDIC.com and register for your spot in history. And now to the news. Chicago Fire Department Commissioner calls it quits after 35 years of service. The major story this week has to do with the retirement of one of America's most beloved and admired fire service legends. Fire Commissioner Bobby Hoff officially announced his retirement last week as the Commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department. Most fire fighters today know Bobby comes from one of the most respected. And admired fire fighting families in the history of our great service. Just last week the fire service remembered the fiftieth anniversary of the fire which claimed the life of Bobby's dad. And it also served as the opening to the movie Backdraft. Bobby's brother Ray, who also served 30 years with the Chicago Fire Department and rose to the rank of Battalion Chief passed away earlier this year. Due to complications in a procedure to remove his gallbladder. During Bobby's career as Commissioner, he was twice received The Harrison Carter award. The Carter Harrison award rather, which is the highest award presented for valor in the Chicago Fire Department. He received it in 1992 for rescuing two elderly citizens during a gas explosion. And in 1997 for rescuing twin brothers from a burning building. He was honored by the state of Illinois for valor in 1998. And the 100 Club of Cook County award for valor in 1992 and 97. As well as several honorable mentions. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, shortly after the announcement of Commissioner Hall's retirement. Announced the selection of Jose Santiago, who was then deputy fire commissioner in the Bureau of Operations at CFD. Santiago has served as the executive director of the Chicago office of Emergency management and Communications. Commissioner Santiago joined in 1979 after serving in the United States Marine Corps where he continued his reserve duty for over 31 years. Richard Santiago worked his way up to the ranks from private to commanding office of the second battalion twenty fourth Marine regiment in the fourth Marine division. He served in operations such as Frequent Wind, Desert Shield, and Desert Storm. And all those no official confirmation, rumors were swirling this week that mayor Rob Emmanuel appointed Jose Santiago after an intense, unannounced search. Where he found an ally in his plan to wring millions of dollars of savings out of the Chicago Fire Department. Retiring Commissioner Robert Hoff said that he was deathly against closing firehouses or reducing the minimum staffing requirement on Chicago fire apparatus. City officials have stated that Chicago taxpayers could save $57 million dollars a year by reducing that minimum manning from 4, from 5 rather to 4. Hoff predicted a rise in fire deaths if that action is taken. Commissioner Santiago has publicly taken a more open position regarding the potential layoffs. Reducing manpower and closing stations. The commissioner is quoting as said, the new commissioner's quoted as saying. That's something we're looking at. We have all the maps out, everything and response times. We're setting down and we're looking at every option, said Santiago. Responding to the statements by the mayor and the new commissioner, Union President, Tommy Ryan, of Chicago's Firefighter's Local two. Had this to say. That he knows that the fight for staffing is going to continue. He said technology may have changed but fires are burning hotter and faster than ever. Technology can change all at once. You still need that power to put fires out. In other news, vertical testing on ventilation continues out of Underriders Laboratory in Northbrook, Illinois. Fire Engineering has been closely involved with the NIST and UL Fire Behavior studies, and the ventilation studies from their onset. The following is a brief interview that we conducted on the set of the latest vertical ventilation studies, with Dan Madrzykowski. Dan's the lead researcher for NIST and a long time writer and contributor to Fire Engineering Magazine. Is also a presenter at FDIC, who this year will be teaching a workshop on fire dynamics on Monday, April the 16th. >> Hi, it's Bobby Halton. We're out at UL Labs today. And we've got the lead researcher for the fire side of the NIST house, Dan Madrzykowski. A name that's very well known to fire engineering readers. And Dan has a great article coming out in the, I think it's March, or maybe it's April. Maybe it's March. >> I'm sure. >> It's March or April. I apologize. I'm editing right, working on the edit right now and the layout and fantastic on the wind driven fire LODD in Houston, Texas. >> Yes. >> And there was some tremendous lessons learned from that fire, much like we're learning today. >> It you know, it all gets down to ventilation and certainly in a wind driven fire the ventilation's extreme. Setting up of a float path. You don't want to be between where the fire is and now based on event, where the fire wants to go. That's a bad place to be. One on chief that we were presenting to sort of likened to be between the guy with the rifle and the target and the only question is when is he gonna pull the trigger. You don't wanna be there. So as far as, sizing up, you know, locating the fire, ensuring that, the wind, you're working with the wind if it's a windy day, but even if it's not, not a windy day you can set up flow paths in a home just due to ventilation, that can put firefighters in a bad position. And. >> [INAUDIBLE] And one of the things to take careful note of, as Dan's talking about, this particular instance and wind driven fires,. That was a single-story ranch home. We're not talking about high-rises, we're not talking about multiple floors. Single-story, ranch home, wind-driven fire, claimed a firefighter's life. >> In that particular case, 2 firefighters died, lost their lives. And, it's, it's any structure. Any structure fire. So, the impact that ventilation can have on structures, as we're learning here in this test today,. The fuel loads in some cases have overwhelmed the vertical vents. Where, you know, in the past, this was the question. When Steve Kerber completed his work on horizontal ventilation and then this followed that up with some tests in townhouses looking at horizontal ventilation. And then the question the firefighters always asked was what about, you know. The old school way. What about vertical ventilation? And of course people are concerned about being on the roofs with the trusses and lightweight construction and whatnot. So, then the follow on test is to look at vertical ventilation, and this is also going to a collaborate and do some work to complement the work that 's being done here in the lab out in acquired structures in the field, but basically give the fire service a nice package. For you know house sizes and in the lab, outside the lab. Sometimes their, cause the feedback. Well firefighters [NOISE] don't fight fire in the lab. ]. So we wanna do some acquired structures as well, to, to fill out that package. But I mean the works that being done here is really ground breaking. And it's shown us stuff we haven't see before. And one thing that seems to be coming out of the early tests [NOISE] so far is. You know the fuel package will overwhelm those vertical vents. You keep giving it more oxygen, which is what and there's enough hot fuel there to burn, the fire gets bigger, the heat release rate goes up, the hazard goes up, for anybody trapped in the house and the firefighter. So its gonna look. This data and the video's really gonna have the fire service thinking about options and tactics, and you know, what people have long believed. You know? You vent to cool. Is, is no longer, no longer seems to be the case. >> You vent, and temperatures are rising. >> Yes. >> And, and, we've seen that consistently out here. >> Yes. >> Every single time. >> Yeah. >> We. Temperatures go up. Now Dan, you're teaching at FDIC this year? >> Yes four hours of fire dynamic workshop Monday I believe and it will include you know, some of this type of information along with some of the basics. But the bottom line is to make the fire ground safer and try to appreciate heat transfer, and the hazard, and what you can try to do to control it and mitigate it better. And people always ask us they say how do we get copies of the newest videos how do we get this. If you come to FDIC this year go to Dan's booth and the folks at NIST will load you up with CD's information reports anything you want NIST will give to you that's pretty much correct right? >> You guys bought and paid for it we're your government envy to try to give you better information to try and help you do your job safer and more efficiently. You can also check us on fire, the website fire.gov. Simple as can be. >> I'm Bobby Hulton, we're out at UL doing some testing, this is Dan Majekowski, and we appreciate your time. Well that's the news, hope you enjoyed the interview with Dan Majekowski, my name is Bobby Hulton, remember FDIC is only 55 days away, so you still have time to make your reservations. I'll see you there, and remember, be careful out there. [MUSIC]

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