Firefighting, Structural Firefighting, Truck Company

How We Got Burned: Lessons Learned from a Wind-Driven Dwelling Fire

Issue 11 and Volume 164.

BY MIKE PIPER Two firefighters suffered serious burns while conducting a primary search at a dwelling fire in suburban Arvada, Colorado, in the early morning hours of April 3, 2011. Tempting as it may be, dismissing their injuries as the simultaneous convergence of many improbable factors would be a disservice to the burned firefighters and their loved ones, the Arvada Fire Protection District (AFPD), and ultimately to the fire service. The reality is that if firefighters get seriously burned, something went drastically wrong. The members of any such organization have a responsibility to identify what went wrong and to make the changes necessary to prevent it from occurring again. Finger pointing and an impulsive rush to judgment are inappropriate under such circumstances. Organizations must have the courage to be honest and transparent when their firefighters are seriously injured or killed, as did the Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department following the death…

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