Fireside Reading

By John M. Malecky

Collapse of Burning Buildings
Video Training Program
By Vincent Dunn, Deputy Chief (ret.), FDNY

Available from:
1-800-752-9764 or 1-918-831-9421
Fax: 1-877-218-1348

Five DVDs: $109.00 each or $491.00 for all five
Five Videos: $89.00 each or $399.00 for all five.

This is a set of five DVDs or videos supporting Collapse of Burning Buildings by Vincent Dunn. They are broken down into five categories, Wall, Peaked Roof, Truss Roof, Floor and Wood frame Building Collapse. They each vary in time but average about 20 minutes each.

Each DVD starts out with a brief flashback of several fires from the past where firefighters were killed and/or injured due to collapse. The DVDs also are loaded with footage of actual fires and fireground activities. Each DVD has an average of four questions at the end, which can be used for discussions.

The DVD topics include:

Wall Collapse: Since more are killed outside the building by walls, there are four safe operating procedures to employ; new information learned within the past 10 years, types of wall material, bearing, non-bearing and free standing walls, three problems causing collapse, applying fire streams, accountability and five ways to be safe/productive against wall collapse.

Peaked Roofs: Five kinds of peaked roofs, their dangers and how they are compounded compared to flat roofs; how to familiarize yourself to the types of roofs in your community, how they are built, four reasons why firefighters must go up on roofs, how to size up and operate on the roof including a demonstration of the “roofer’s walk”, where to look for rotting and cautions around objects out side of the roof (porches, chimneys, skylights, etc.)

Truss Collapse: three ways they can collapse, types of buildings that have them, their makeup, heat sinks and crew reporting differences (inside verses outside) and which is more accurate.

Floor Collapse: Why they collapse and what the warning signs are, classes of construction, makings of a floor and its supports, four types of collapses and where firefighters would be found in them, deck, beam, arch and column collapse and the advantage and danger of fire cut beams.

Wood Frame Collapse: Includes light weight truss construction, three types of collapse, nature of wood frame collapse, how the buildings are designed, four types of construction through the years, what stages of fire are collapses likely to occur, how to protect yourself from collapse and distinguishing bearing walls from non-bearing walls.

There are many, many firefighters now deceased because of collapse. This program, ideally supported by the book and workbook, will provide firefighting forces with a new dimension to respect the potential danger and guard against it while at the same time doing their job of extinguishing fire.

John M. Malecky is a 32-year veteran of the Bayonne (NJ) Fire Department and a battalion chief (retired) with Battalion 2. He joined the department in 1970 and was named a lieutenant in 1987, a captain in 1994, and a battalion chief in 2000. He is author of Apparatus Deliveries in Fire Engineering.

Fireside Reading

By John M. Malecky

Emergency Rescue Shoring Techniques
By John P. O’Connell

Available from:
FIRE ENGINEERING’s Books, Videos, DVD’s.

Item Number: 0-912212-59-4

Price: $69.00 + shipping

This book is soft cover measuring 7 inches by 10 inches, and has 512 pages. The author is the lead collapse instructor for the FDNY, a New York State certified instructor, adjunct instructor for the New York State Academy of Science, and a certified instructor for the FDNY Division of Training. He has been with the FDNY since 1979 and with Rescue 3 since 1987. He is an editorial advisory board member and contributing editor for Fire Engineering Magazine, an FDIC advisory board member, and has been involved with FEMA urban search and rescue since its inception. He is also a lead instructor for the USAR system. He is the president of Collapse Rescue Systems, Inc.

This book is a thorough text on the subject of shoring. Its seven chapters contain detailed, easy-to-read information.

Topics covered include:

  1. Introduction to Emergency Shoring Techniques. This chapter defines emergency rescue shoring, explains “concentrated” versus “distributed” with respect to loads on remaining building supports after collapses, the shoring system, startup considerations, and additional information with shoring size-up. Types of lumber, storage of it, and use of existing lumber along with common sizes use, nails, nail patterns and wedges complete the section.
  2. The Use and Training of Rescue Personnel in Shoring Operations. This section details four- and six-member shoring teams. Each system has and officer, measuring, shoring, layout, cutting, and tool and equipment firefighters which are divided into two squads. It also features recommended training covering 11 areas totaling 140 hours.
  3. Setting Up Shoring Operations. This section covers three classes of shores, nails, cutting table, marking lumber for cuts, multiple cuts in one pass, wedges, prefabricated headers and posts, diagonal braces and raker shore angles, and calculated load weights.
  4. Interior Rescue Shoring Procedures. This chapter covers size-up and eight types of shores.
  5. Exterior Rescue Shoring Procedures. After discussing size-up, this section covers load transfer, raker shores, bad angle cut, splicing rakers, raker bracing systems, and the flying shore.
  6. Shoring and Cribbing of Sloped Surfaces. This topic covers the sloped-floor shore, split-sole, sloped-floor shore, sloped-floor shore, cross bracing and angles, and box cribbing.
  7. Tools and Equipment Utilized in Rescue Shoring. Covers hand tools of many types, and tool assignments.
  8. Tools to Order for a Shoring Operation. This lists various hand tools, electrical tools and an inventory for an initial shoring tool box. The book has a glossary and an index.

The book’s illustrations work well to impart knowledge to the reader while illustrating what is being explained.

John M. Malecky is a 32-year veteran of the Bayonne (NJ) Fire Department and a battalion chief (retired) with Battalion 2. He joined the department in 1970 and was named a lieutenant in 1987, a captain in 1994, and a battalion chief in 2000. He is author of Apparatus Deliveries in Fire Engineering.