Survival Zone

Mayday Monday: Stay Low and Stay Alive

Stay low to stay alive

By Tony Carroll

This past weekend, members of the Chicago Fire Department were caught in a flashover during a fire in a two-story house. Some of the firefighters were burned and some jumped out of the building. Thankfully, all of those injured are going to be okay. 

The Chicago firefighters were exposed to extreme heat. Do you know what you will encounter during a firefight? DC Fire Recruit Class 364 painted a door at the Training Academy to illustrate temperatures found in a fire. You will notice there is a big range of temperatures from the two-foot level to the top of the door: 70oF to 2000oF. We can live at 70oF but not at 2000oF. What do we need to do? Stay low and stay alive. Here are some more important temperatures:

Temperatures and how they affect firefighters

We need to train to recognize the temperatures found in a fire. Think of ways you can determine how hot the environment is you are operating in. Come back next Monday when we will have more Firefighter Survival Tips.Until then, Stay low and stay alive and make sure you stay hydrated.     

Tony Carroll is a captain with the safety office of the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department.

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