How to Attack a House Fire

At FDIC on Wednesday, March 23, Fire Department of New York Lieutenant Ray McCormack offered his years of firefighting wisdom to an attentitive crowd on the subject of house fires and the proper and improper ways of setting up and executing your fire attack.

McCormack said, “This class explained how and why we do things differently in different part of a home. The idea behind the class was to define areas of operation within a house and explain why we need to distinguish between them as to attack style and methodology.”

McCormack taught a primer for extinguishing house fires according to their locations within the house and customizing the fire attack. He also explained when, where, and how to apply hose stream for maximum effectiveness in single-room and multiroom fires and fires involving stairways, hallways, attics, lofts,  kitchens and bathrooms, basements, and garages. He also gave tips on how to stretch up and down stairways, select the best location for the attack line, and combat fire extension.

“The private house fire and apartment fire are the most common fires we encounter,” he said. “Firefighters must fully understand what is needed and how to provide successful attack principles which increase our rescue capability and our operational safety.”

Among the house fire operations McCormack used in his presentation was how multiple-room fires require the nozzle team to sweep the floor more often and more deliberately then they might with a single-room fire, a basement fire requires an attack plan based on available entry points and stair location, and why control of the hallway is so important and why some forget this basic principle in favor of flawed attack theories that propose less damage. 

McCormack concluded, “This class has been extremely popular because it give answers. It provided shareable teachable techniques that attendees can repackage for their own department.”

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