What Would You Do? Nursing Home Fire

This fire occurs in an older nursing home. The exterior load bearing walls are masonry. The floors are supported by wood joists. The roof is supported by wooden rafters. There is a fire rated separation (doors) in the center of each floor dividing it into two wings.

There is a full stairway at each end of the building. There are 32 rooms per floor dedicated to patients with the exception of the basement, of which the rear half is for the kitchen, dining, and offices. Each room has two patients.

The fire occurs at 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday. Total capacity is 160 patients (plus staff). At the time of the fire, there are 154 patients and 6 staff in the building. Because of the date at which the structure was built, there is only a stand-pipe system with a riser at each end of the building in the stairway. There are no sprinklers. There is only a local fire alarm system in the building.

Assume you are responding as the first due unit. (Choose the type–engine, truck, heavy squad, or other–that you normally ride.)

Other units responding are what your department would send on a report of a fire in this occupancy type.

Answer the questions this worksheet (PDF) or make your own strategic, tactical, and task level questions to answer.

It would be great if you would give your thoughts on initial strategies and tactics on the comment section below or at our Fire Engineering page on Facebook.


Skip Coleman: Firefighting RoundtableJohn “Skip” Coleman retired as assistant chief from the Toledo (OH) Department of Fire and Rescue. He is a technical editor of Fire Engineering. a member of the FDIC Educational Advisory Board; and author of Incident Management for the Street-Smart Fire Officer (Fire Engineering, 1997), Managing Major Fires (Fire Engineering, 2000), Incident Management for the Street-Smart Fire Officer, Second Edition (Fire Engineering, 2008) and Searching Smarter (Fire Engineering 2011) and 2011 recipient of the FDIC Tom Brennan Lifetime Achievement

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