Firefighting, Structural Firefighting, Systems

Standpipe Operations: Preparation

Issue 4 and Volume 167.

BY BILL GUSTIN There is an age-old axiom in the fire service that more lives are saved by properly positioned hoselines than by all the ladders in a fire department. That is definitely true when it comes to fires in high-rise buildings because it is practically impossible for firefighters to rapidly control a fire and simultaneously rescue occupants. A protect/shelter-in-place strategy is the only option in high-rise buildings where a large number of the population are elderly and must use wheelchairs and walkers for mobility (photo 1). (1) The majority of this building’s occupants are elderly and use wheelchairs and walkers; evacuation by stairs was not an option. Miami-Dade protected their lives by rapidly extinguishing the fire while they remained in their apartments. (Photo by Eric Baum.) Imagine the fear and anxiety that the physically impaired must feel when the fire alarm system broadcasts a recorded message over public-address speakers…

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