The 3 Rs of Successful Roof Operations

Issue 1 and Volume 173.

By GARY BOWKER You don’t have to look very far on the Internet to find firefighters in rapidly deteriorating fire situations when conducting interior fire attack and roof operations. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports are plentiful of such examples. I won’t focus on why roof operations are important or how they should be accomplished but rather on developing your ability to read “red-flag” warning indicators before sending firefighters onto a questionable roof. You must be situationally aware of key risk factors to make better decisions about placing firefighters on a potentially fire-weakened roof. If you don’t understand the risk, you can’t effectively manage the risk. Just as reading, writing, and arithmetic were the foundations of education, a great foundation for risk management are the “3 Rs” of size-up: reading the risk, reading the structure, and reading the smoke. RELATED TRAINING Maximizing Roof Operations: Flat Roofs Making…

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