FDIC 2015 Classrooms: The Five Most Dangerous Places

ISFSI Regional Director Forest Reeder

The Five Most Dangerous Places

ISFSI Regional Director Forest Reeder

Wednesday, April 22, 1:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

“Don’t Get in Trouble in the First Place”

“Everyone goes home, nobody gets hurt, excellent service is delivered, and we want all to retire happy and healthy,” are the takeaway lessons from Forest Reeder’s Wednesday classroom session, “The Five Most Dangerous Places.” He presented it at FDIC International 2015.

To ensure that the above points are accomplished, Reeder told attendees to consider the five most dangerous places on the fireground. These are above the fire, underneath the fire, inside “the box” (the structure), beside the structure, and in the road. For example, situations in which firefighters would be operating above the fire include vertical ventilation, on the floor above the fire, or operating above a basement fire. Each of these has particular safety hazards that must be evaluated before committing members to them.  

“Don’t get in trouble in the first place,” Reeder said. The key to achieving “everyone goes home” lies in training before encountering the dangerous situation. He outlined a training action plan that encompassed a given situation such as a firefighter with a low SCBA pressure, a firefighter separated from his crew, and firefighters operating on an unstable roof or floor, and an officer detecting signs of collapse. For each situation, there are related training goals for response to the crisis by the individual firefighter, the officer, and the incident commander and others operating on the fireground.  

Reeder outlined “the Rules of Disengagement,” indicators that firefighters should withdraw from a structure for safety, and memory aids for considerations in particular fireground situations such as operating in IDLH conditions: PALS: People (crew integrity), Air supply, Location, and Surroundings (environmental conditions).

“I’m hoping to make a difference in reinforcing the importance of firefighters understanding where things go bad.  Almost every day, there’s a new video that captures the main points of the class,” he said.

Reeder has attended FDIC for more than 25 years, and describes it as “the Super Bowl or World Series of firefighter training.” He’s been presenting at the conference since 2000. “I was overwhelmed and very intimidated at first, but I was thrilled to have that proposal accepted.”