Firefighting

Survivability Profiling: Are the Victims Savable?

Issue 12 and Volume 162.

BY STEPHEN MARSAR This is it—the one we all think about, the one we train for every day but hope never happens: Your department is called out in the early morning for a structure fire. While you are responding, the dispatcher gives you additional information, “Multiple calls with trapped occupants.” You are first on-scene and confirm what you knew in the pit of your stomach to be a reality: On the front lawn, a woman in her nightgown is screaming frantically that her husband and two children are still “in there.” How many of you have already decided to don your personal protective equipment and enter the structure or commit your crew to doing so? I’ll bet my career that most, if not all, of you have. There may be a minority of you who were unable to make that same decision because important information is lacking: Where is the…

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