Firefighting

Timeless Tactical Truths

Issue 5 and Volume 161.

BY ALAN BRUNACINI Early in my career, I developed the habit of writing notes on things I would see, comments I would hear, and thoughts I would have about stuff that related in some way to trying to understand my job as a firefighter. Most of them in some way had to do with firefighting and fireground operations. I thought I would depart from my usual column and talk about some of the old truths and a few recent ones. You can only save the savable. We must always operate on the fireground with the understanding that we typically inherit a tactical situation that is underway when we arrive. The fire has created physical damage/injury/death that is basically irreversible—simply, we cannot “UNburn” the structure and its contents or “UNinjure” the occupants the fire has beat up (or murdered) before our arrival. A major challenge for us is to estimate how…

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