Firefighting

APPARATUS POSITIONING: EARLY DECISIONS SAVE THE DAY

Issue 2 and Volume 159.

BY THOMAS DUNNE Ask any firefighter about the tools he uses, and he likely will talk about a nozzle or an axe. However, the engine or ladder apparatus is in fact the largest tool in his firefighting arsenal. A properly positioned apparatus can be the most influential factor in a successful fire operation. This proved to be the case at a fourth-alarm fire the Fire Department of New York battled last year. At that incident the apparatus placement decisions made by the first-due units helped confine a fire that had threatened to burn half of a city block of wood-frame homes. At 2019 hours, units responded to an alarm for a reported structural fire on Van Buren Street in the Bronx. Minutes later, the dispatcher informed me that I had a “good job” going, and I was assigned as the deputy chief. His choice of wording and the time of…

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