Examination for Lieutenant of Fire Patrol
Questions Propounded in the First Examination of This Kind Ever Held—The Best Answers Given by a Candidate
FOLLOWING are the questions on salvage operation asked in an examination for the grade of lieutenant in the Chicago Fire Insurance Patrol held on June 13 and the best answers submitted by a candidate. This is the first examination of this kind held for appointment in patrol service, according to Clarence Goldsmith, assistant chief engineer of the National Board of Fire Undenwriters, to whom FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING is indebted for the questions and answers:
Question No. 1
You are due on the first alarm to a fire on the 7th floor of an ordinary constructed sprinklered 7 story building divided by a standard fire wall with fire doors on the openings. Two enclosed elevators are located in the fire section one front and one rear. The fire has gained headway to such an extent as to open 4 sprinkler heads on the rear of the 7th floor. This floor is occupied by a furniture concern having desks packed for shipping and stacked with ends and tops on the floor. 6th floor used for furniture exhibit having bedroom, dining room sets, etc., divided by partitions to represent actual home and office conditions. 5th floor is occupied by a crockery concern having china and glassware arranged for exhibition on tables and shelves. The lower 4 floors are occupied by various wholesale dry goods concerns. You are in command throughout the operations. State your line of action from the time you arrive until you return to quarters?
Answer to Question No. 1
Assuming that the fire occurred after business hours, with no persons in need of assistance, would immediately locate and •determine the extent of the fire. Should the fire be plainly visible from the street in the building described would without further investigation send a man to call two patrols from the nearest fire alarm box.
Order the front door to the stair hall opened and the man assigned to that work proceed with the necessary tools to the upper floors and gain entrance thereon.
Assuming the arrival of the fire department at this time would order all men to follow with covers, leaving the fire department to handle the fire. Gain entrance to the elevator and if possible utilize this means of bringing covers to the upper floors, assign to this duty a man versed and previously taught the handling of elevators. Would during all the operations hereinafter mentioned keep the elevator running, carrying covers to the upper floors, using a few men from the companies to carry the covers from the apparatus to the elevator.
Have the men of my command enter on the 6th floor while I would go to the 7th floor, locate the position of the fire and water, then immediately go to the 6th floor and order covers spread, starting work directly under the fire. Build catch-alls and attempt to hold the water on the 6th floor.
Assuming that the fire was of such proportion as to release a large number of beads and that the water was threatening the adjoining sections as well as making it impossible to bold the water to the 6th floor, would send a man to call for one or more additional patrols. For the purpose of explanation will assume that I am in charge of Patrol No. 1 and that Patrols 2, 5, 3 and 6 arrive in the order named.
Send Patrol No. 2 to the fire floor in the adjoining section to bank the fire doors and prevent water entering as well as to spread covers and otherwise prevent water damage in the adjoining section. Nos. 5 and 3 to the 6th floor to assist in picking up rugs, bunching and covering the furniture on the 6th floor, thereafter laying catch-alls to hold all the water possible.
Patrol No. 6 to the 5th floor to cover shelves, instructing them to use care in covering crockery on the tables, doing this work after all other covering was completed by carefully setting chairs on the tables, laying the covers over the chairs in such a manner as to prevent knocking the crockery to the floor. Would see that all companies had brought in and placed carbic lights in operation providing building lights were not available. Immediately after the fire department has the fire under control would have the system shut off or the tongs inserted. Send two men in charge of an officer to the basement to cover elevator machinery if located at the base of the shaft and to skid basement stock, locate catchbasins and prepare for water down the elevator shaft. Would have rear elevator door opened and bring all available men. assisted by the fire department to sweep water to the rear elevator after which I would make a careful investigation as to the cause of the fire, consulting with the fire department chief in charge. Send a man to each floor opened and gather the necessary information relative to occupants, approximate loss and insurance carried, if possible. Replace sprinkler heads and place the system in operation.
Have assumed that Patrol No. 2 has prevented damage to the adjoining section and that the water was successfully held to the 6th and 5th floors. After the water has been removed from the 7th floor and catch-alls haled on the 5th and 6th floors, would report to the switchboard and relieve companies 5, 6 and 3 to report at such quarters as the operator may direct. If possible, would give the operator a telephone number and place Patrol No. 1 in service for emergency use at the fire.
Have Patrols 1 and 2 carefully overhaul stock on the 7th floor and in the event that the desks packed in excelsior had become wet due to the fact that they were not skidded would order packing removed and desk ends wiped dry. Carefully squeegee floors to prevent warping and when the drip had ceased remove the covers and have the apparatus of Patrol No. 2 return them to the nearest quarters, carefully making a count of the covers spread.
Examine roof openings and have roof covered and protected against rain. As soon as possible order Patrol No. 2 to quarters. Look over the condition of the stock and if necessary leave covers where drips exist. Close and fasten openings and leave a fire watch if in my judgment the conditions warranted.
If necessary leave two or three men in addition to the watch, drawing from Patrol No. 2 before their departure sufficient men to handle the situation, these men to care for drips and the folding of covers.
Would then return to quarters, report to the Operator and place the company in service.
Question No. 2
- Name eight conditions which would prevent the effective operation of an automatic sprinkler equipment ?
- What effect does paint or whitewash have on a sprinkler head?
- You respond to a fire in a building equipped with a dry pipe automatic sprinkler system, four heads have opened extinguishing the fire. How would you leave the system, in summer? in extreme cold weather?
- Upon responding to an alarm of fire which is of small proportions and quickly extinguished you discover that the sprinkler equipment is seriously obstructed by partitions recently installed. What action should be taken by our department? What would be your action?
Answer to Question 2-A
Eight conditions which would prevent the effective operation of an automatic sprinkler equipment in the order of their frequency follow:
- Water shut off sprinklers.
- Generally defective equipment -Unsprinklered portions.
- Defective water supply or supplies.
- Exposure or conflagration.
- Obstruction to distribution.
- Hazard of occupancy too severe for average sprinkler equipment.
- Faulty building construction, concealed spaces, vertical openings, etc.
- Explosion crippled sprinkler equipment.
Answer to Question 2-B
Acts as an insulator, requiring a higher degree of beat to fuse the head, depending upon the amount of whitewash or paint on the strut. Paint may stick moving parts together and prevent operation after solder has fused.
Answer to Question 2-C
In Summer — Should the engineer or other person having a knowledge of the dry valve and air compressor be present would have him set the system immediately, assisting him in replacing the heads. If no persons in authority were present would set the system in service wet. Should the fire occur in a cold storage house, having temperatures below freezing, would treat as in the following paragraph.
In Winter If no competent engineer was present would leave a man to watch the premises and attempt to get into communication with the engineer, remaining until system was placed in service dry.
Answer to Question 2-D
Our Department should report such violations of National Board rules to the inspection department of the Chicago Board of Underwriters for their disposition. Would politely confer with the owner or occupant and explain the hazard of such obstructions and upon return to quarters make a Written report to the chief of patrols.
Question No. 3
- What classes of construction and types of occupancy require special consideration to care for the safety of your company before ordering them in at fires?
- By what would you be governed in ordering your company from a building on fire?
- In what manners are patrolmen frequently injured? How would you guard against these injuries?
Answer to Question 3-A
Ordinary construction is hazardous when a fire is under sufficient headway to weaken supporting columns and joist, depending considerably upon the floor loads carried.
Judgment must be used with reference to the fire floor. A top floor fire, unless of truss roof construction, is rarely dangerous to men on the lower floors.
Fireproof, including concrete construction, is dangerous under certain prolonged heat conditions when spaling of outside walls may injure patrolmen entering the building. Under exceptional cases partial collapse may occur.
Truss roof construction of unprotected steel or wood is dangerous and must be given special consideration.
Types of occupancy dangerous under the following conditions:
Rag and paper stocks where large amounts of water are used.
Printing and machine shops in ordinary constructed buildings.
Chemical, drug houses, nickle plating establishments, where acids may be present.
Grain elevators, March mills, picker rooms, woodworking, etc., where dust explosions may occur.
Dry cleaning, garages, places handling volitile oils, where gas explosions may occur.
Cold storage where ammonia is used for refrigeration.
Answer to Question 3-B
By the extent of the fire, class of construction, type of occupancy, and the amount of water used. Would also order men from buildings where perhaps no immediate danger existed, where spreading of covers would not be of benefit, or where it is evident that covers spread would be destroyed.
Answer to Question 3-C
Accidents responding to fires. Would insist on careful driving.
Falling glass and debris. Insist on men wearing fire hats.
Falling into vertical openings and holes cut in floors. Instruct men to use care in stepping on floors in dark or smoky places. Also place obstructions at elevator doors when opened and also holes cut in floors.
Falling front shelves and stock. Be careful to see that shelves are solidly constructed and stock well arranged before ordering men to the top.
Falling in pole holes. Instruction in sliding and protection of the opening.
Cut with axes. Instruct men carrying an axe to hold the blade to the body when in close quarters to prevent other men cutting themselves on the blade in attempting to pass. Also use care in swinging an axe and warn men nearby.
Asphyxiation. Guard my men carefully to prevent and be prepared to remove men overcome to a place of safety.
Wet clothes in extreme cold weather. Relieve men for change of clothing consistent with conditions.
Question No. 4
- Assuming that you are in command of Patrol 1. a still alarm is sounded, location given 2614 W. Lake St., followed by a box alarm. Would you respond to this alarm on the still alarm, the box or would you remain in quarters? Patrols 7. 6 and 2 are out at the time. What would govern your decision in this case, explain in detail ?
- In responding to a fire, you find another fire en route, what would you do?
- In extinguishing a fire what appliances other than those carried on your apparatus could you use?
(Continued on page 374)
Examination for Lieutenant of Fire Patrol
(Continued from page 352)
Answer to Question 4-A
Immediately upon the receipt of the still alarm would look into the “Black Book,” which contains a list of high values. Should this number be listed and the still alarm followed by a box would respond to the location on the box alarm.
A still and box alarm designates, as a general rule, that two different persons have discovered the fire or that the Company Officer in charge is calling for help. In either event it is reasonable to believe that a fire of some consequence is in progress.
1 would be governed—
1st—By the Patrols out at the time.
2nd—Whether or not Patrols were located in a position to cover the High Value District.
3rd—The values involved.
4th By the Alarm.
5th—By the distance from quarters.
Answer to Question 4-B
Assuming a small rubbish fire in an alley or otherwise not of consequence would drop off a man with a chemical or hand pump to extinguish the fire. If a small fire in a building would stop, extinguish the fire, leave a man to carefully examine to prevent rekindle and proceed immediately to the location of the first alarm.
If a fire under considerable headway would stop, send a man to pull a box and notify the office of the action taken. Rescue or assist persons in danger, attempt to hold the fire with chemical and hand pump and upon arrival of the fire department commence Salvage operations. Should a second patrol respond to the fire I was attending, which is probable, due to the box being struck before the office had notice of my action, would send this patrol to the first location, provided their services were not required in assisting my company to spread covers.
Answer to Question 4-C.
Foamite and Sand in oil risks.
Carbon Tetrachloride extinguishers in Electrical Power Stations and oil risks.
Asbestos Blankets—Telephone Exchanges.
Steam—Dry Cleaners, Dry Kilns.
Chemicals, Hand Pumps, Axes and Pike Poles required in buildings designated by City Ordinances.
Stand Pipe Equipment.
Question No. 5
- How would you cooperate with the captain to bring your company to a high state of efficiency?
- In what manner should you as a company officer cooperate with the Fire Department?
- By whom and under what authority do the Patrols operate?
- You respond to a fire apparently of incendiary origin. State your duty?
Answer to Question 5-A
How to bring a company to a high state of efficiency—An efficient company must have an efficient officer and for this reason I would become proficient in my duties, by constant study and attention to duty. Familiarize myself with my district; particular attention being given to sprinklered risks. Learn location of sprinkler valves, floor drains, catch basins, stairways, means of forcing entrance, class of occupancy, construction of building, kind of stock and how stored, together with such other information that may prove of value in case of fire. Would notify the Chief of Patrols of fire hazards and attempt to hold the fire losses in my district to a minimum. Make careful investigation and reports of fires and be watchful of salvaged stocks in my district to prevent further damage until such stocks can be removed or otherwise protected.
Would regularly drill the members of my command in the drills prescribed by the chief of patrols. Instruct them in their general duties and read and explain the book of rules and the special orders issued from time to time.
Assign the men to the duties to which they are suited, taking into consideration their experience and adaptability. Divide the watch service and other duties fairly and equally among the members. See that the apparatus and equipment is kept in good order and ready for immediate use. See that everything in and about company quarters is kept scrupulously neat and clean. Make a careful inspection of their work in quarters and at fires, and bring to their attention any errors or neglect, warning them of a repetition.
Demand discipline and strict compliance with all written or verbal orders of my superior officers. Would suspend from duty any member for wilful refusal to obey orders, intoxication, or where the interests of the patrol would suffer by his remaining on duty.
Practice and enforce strict economy in the use of light, fuel, and supplies.
Be prompt and efficient, clean and orderly in my personal habits, just, firm and dignified in my dealings with the men, thereby showing a good example and gaining the hearty cooperation of the members in my command, without which no company can attain a high state of efficiency.
Answer to Question 5-B
Would attempt to establish a feeling of friendship with all fire department officers in my district. Carefully co-operate with them in gathering fire information, especially out of patrol district.
At fires where the fire department officer in charge is in need of assistance, and the salvage work is of secondary importance, such as at fires where persons are in danger, would immediately upon arrival report to the officer in charge and work under his orders.
Where lines are being brought up stairways to the upper floors, would instruct Patrolmen to assist in this work, while coming up the stairs with covers.
When first to arrive at fires would attempt to hold in check or extinguish the fire with the chemical or hand pump. In sprinklered buildings would report tor orders with reference to shutting the valves or inserting the tongs.
At fires where large amounts of water have been used would inform the fire department officer in charge of the existing conditions and seek his aid in covering stock and having the water removed.
When on tours of inspections, and violations of the city ordinances are in evidence would report to the chief of patrols for his information and he in turn would forward same to the fire prevention bureau.
Would be courteous to all fire department officers and promptly salute such superior officers in accordance with the rules and regulations. When such superior officers visits the quarters to which I may be assigned, would accord them the same courtesies required to be shown patrol officers.
Would prevent altercations between the members of my command and the members of the fire department, and report to the fire department officers any such altercations where their men are apparently at fault.
Answer to Question 5-C
Operated by the Chicago Board of Underwriters under a state charter.
Answer to Question 5-D
Consult with the fire department officer in charge. Leave the evidence undisturbed if possible and place a fire watch on the premises to prevent its removal. Ask the fire department officer to place a man, vested with police powers to assist in this work, until the arrival of the city fire attorney or his representative.
Immediately upon return to quarters call the National Board, arson department and notify them as to the conditions. Discharge the watch on the recommendation ot any representative of that department.
Make a written report to the chief of patrols, and fill out form furnished for that purpose.