Lieutenant Eddie Buchanan hit the nail right on the head (Letters to the Editor, January 1998) in reference to the "Saving Our Own" program. I, too, learned about the course at the 1997 FDIC. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Rick Kolomay and Rick Lasky about the history of the program. The one item that really hit home with me was the comparison of the floor collapse in the movie Backdraft with the floor collapse in the 23rd Street Collapse in New York City in 1966 in which 12 firefig
Firefighters may fall through floors for a variety of reasons. If you should fall through a weakened floor and have not been seriously injured, try to get your bearings as soon as possible while calling for help on your radio or yelling back to your partner or team. Firefighter fatality records indicate that the trapped firefighters never called for help and that some did not have a properly working radio with them.
The officer of the rapid intervention team, or RIT (see "The Rapid Intervention Team Officer, July 1997), should be "in touch" with the behavior of the building and the fire until released from the scene. This will require the officer to physically size up the building often. Even after extinguishment, many firefighters have fallen victim to injury and death during overhaul due to building collapse, injury from tools, falls, and many other causes. Although the RIT officer may be on the opposite
When considering the different types of situations involving the rescue of a firefighter, we might take for granted that of moving a downed firefighter up a flight of stairs. This task may seem quite simple, but it can be difficult. Often we have heard a firefighter say that he would have no problem removing his partner or a fellow firefighter from danger by taking him up a flight of stairs. When the time came to do it, however, whether it was during a drill or on the fireground, it just wasn`t
Throughout our fire service careers, we will continually train in several essential areas, such as the search for and removal of trapped occupants. Our goal is to get the victim out of or away from the smoke and fire as quickly as possible. One possibility that is not considered is our reaction when we find a downed firefighter. While these situations may appear similar, the latter requires additional action.
One question relative to the rapid intervention team (RIT) keeps coming up in personal conversations and the classroom: "What is expected of the officer assigned to head the rapid intervention team?" The individual asking the question believes in the concept but isn`t sure about what should be done.
Several years ago, I lost a good friend "in the line of duty." As often happens, it was at a single-family dwelling fire. This had a serious impact on my life and changed my teaching direction. I wanted to be involved with programs that had a direct impact on a firefighter`s ability to survive on the fireground. The best way to do this is to share vital information concerning tragic incidents in which firefighters were killed or seriously injured. "In order for a firefighter to survive the dang