Fire Simulation: Attached Garage Fire

Fire in an attached garage

By Ted Nee

In this garage fire simulation, you are the Engine 1 officer and will be first-due at this event. You are in quarters when the following dispatch comes in: “Engine 1, Engine 2, Engine 3, Ladder 1, and Battalion 1 respond to 9623 Storm Cloud Avenue we have a report of a structure fire. The nearest cross street is Cirrus Drive.”

There has been a longstanding debate as to what is the best way to address an attached garage fire. Many in the fire service were taught to fight all fires from the unburned side toward the burned side., which would be an inside-out attack in the case of an attached garage fire. However, compromising the only fire-rated assembly in most homes never made much sense to me. Once a 360 report confirms that the door from the garage into the home is intact, it makes more sense to launch an outside-in attack. Interior lines should then be pulled to the key tactical positions in the structure to cover primary searches and check for fire extension.

Start the garage fire simulation video. You will be prompted to pause the video and give a radio report at several key points.

The first radio transmission you will provide is a standard size-up report. This radio report should include the following elements:

  • Arrival on scene
  • Building area/size
  • Building height (number of stories)
  • Problem description
  • Action being taken (assignments for the E-1 crew)
  • Assume and name command
  • Any resource needs

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At the next place, you are asked to pause the video you are prompted to give a follow-up report. This report should include:

  • Presence or absence of a basement
  • The number of stories from Side Charlie if different from initial size-up
  • Any immediate life safety or rescue needs
  • Incident problems or location if different from the initial size-up

You will be prompted to pause the video and make an assignment when additional units report on scene. Practice giving assignments using the Task, Location, Objective (TLO) format. An example assignment might be: “Ladder 1 pull a second handline from Engine 1, (Task) go to the Bravo exposure, (Location) get an “all clear,” and check for fire extension.” (Objective)

When Battalion 1 arrives on scene, make a command transfer using your department’s standard command transfer process (if applicable).

Formulate Conditions, Actions, Needs (C.A.N.) reports for the assigned units based on the visible conditions and information provide when prompted to do so.

Finally, have Battalion 1 give an assignment to Engine 3 using the TLO format based on the C.A.N. reports from the assigned units.

The most effective way to use the simulation is to get feedback regarding your performance (have an experienced officer or colleague critique your radio reports) and run through the simulation again, incorporating the feedback.

More fire training simulations:

Ted NeeTed Nee is a 34-year veteran of the fire and emergency services. He joined the Albuquerque (NM) Fire Depart­ment (AFD) in 1983. He retired from the AFD at the rank of deputy chief. After his service with the AFD Ted served as the lead command instructor and command training center coordinator for the Emergency Response Organization at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque for nine years. Ted is a Blue Card Command type IV and V Incident Commander and a Blue Card Command Instructor. Ted is currently teaching Fire Studio 6 Essentials and Advance Simulation Concepts workshops across North America. Ted is the co-author of the Fire Engineering DVD “Fire Dynamics” along with Dan Madrzykowski of the Underwriters Laboratories Firefighter Safety Institute and Lieutenant John Ceriello of the Fire Department of New York.

Ted Nee will be presenting the workshop “Training with Incident Simulations” on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 0800 at FDIC International.

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