By Ray McCormack
The possibility of becoming trapped by fire is something all firefighters need to consider.
Realization of entrapment often happens rapidly. Notifying others of your problem is just one component, but it does not solve your self-survival problem. What you do, the actions you take–to shelter yourself if possible, to breach if possible–are actions in your self-rescue progression.
If fire is entering the room you are in, you can attempt to seal that breach. How do you do that? Is there an object that can be placed to halt the fire’s entry? Have you thought about the room you are in and the items it can provide? Breaching a wall to move from one space to another is a skill set you must have.
This a process that must be drilled on and experimented with. If shouting Mayday is all we teach firefighters about self-survival, then we are missing a lot.
Keep Fire in Your Life
RAY McCORMACK is a 30-year veteran and a lieutenant with FDNY. He is the publisher and editor of Urban Firefighter Magazine. He delivered the keynote address at FDIC in 2009 and he is on the Editorial Board of Fire Engineering Magazine. For more on Urban Firefighter, visit http://www.fireengineering.com/urbanfirefighter.html.
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