FDIC 2012 welcomed Michael Daley and Kirk Allen to its lineup of Wednesday afternoon classes. Each class examined issues dealing with scenarios that all firefighters will face at one time or another.
HEAVY TRUCK EXTRICATION
In Room 134/135, Monroe (NJ) Township Lieutenant/Training Officer Daley presented a slideshow and accounts of a series of real-life scenarios to students for a first-hand look at the best ways to deal with accidents and extrications involving large trucks. “These vehicles tend to change the rules associated with vehicle extrication as it pertains to passenger vehicles and automobiles; they are heavier to lift, higher to stabilize, and have considerably more points of movement and the potential for injury than the automobile in the extrication arena,” Daley said.
“Rescuers that arrive at these incidents without a working knowledge of the hazards present and the logistical needs of handling these vehicles puts the rescue company in line for failure.”
Daley, having worked along the New Jersey Turnpike extensively during his career, is no stranger to these types of incidents.
“When you deal with vehicles with hydraulics systems in accidents, you are gonna have all kinds of hoses, running through all kinds of different things; you gotta make sure you don’t cut them. They are steel-reinforced, and you have hydraulic oils running through them, which could cause of lot of problems.”
Daley said that the main objective of the class was to “arm the rescuer who responds to vehicle extrications involving commercial vehicles to understand the hazards associated within these vehicles, how to safely deenergize the energy sources on them, and be able to safely work around and through these vehicles in the event of a commercial vehicle extrication.”
In Room 234/235, Kansas (IL) Fire Department Chief Allen put more than 18 years of flow experience to work as he led this discussion on the inner workings of and issues with hydraulics.
“The biggest gain from the class is to prove to everyone that they MUST ask two questions the next time people throw numbers at them as fact with no foundation. Those two questions are: ‘Says who?’ and ‘With what proof!’”
“Nozzle manufacturers don’t make hose,” Allen said in response to his request from the 16 manufacturers on fact-based friction loss numbers. “All they did was reprint what was in some other book somewhere. There’s a lot of different [nozzles] out there; test them.”
Allen laid stretched hose between the seating sections of the auditorium and proceeded to enlighten the students on flow rate test results as well as other test results from specific hose and nozzle manufacturers, allowing students to see for themselves which companies provide the best product for their life-saving endeavors.
“I provided two hours of documentation of fact-based testing that PROVES the formulas being used have little to do with fire ground success and more to do with passing a test for promotions.“
“When they leave the class, we pray that they ask ‘Says who’ and ‘With what proof?’ each time a salesman tries to sell them something that has to do with hydraulics.“
“They will learn the most common pitfalls in apparatus plumbing and the simple fix to ensure they get what they need, not just what they want,” Allen concluded. “If they’re not using calibrated flow meters, pitot gauges, and in-line pressures gauges to test their flows then they don’t KNOW what they are really flowing!”