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Here is a quick and easy drill that we found on the internet a little while back. It is fun and promotes friendly competition between all members. All you will need is full P.P.E with SCBA, tape tools, a cone and a stop watch or other timing device.
Setting it up takes about 5 minutes. First figure out your starting point, measure out 10 feet and place a piece of tape on the ground. Place 3 or 4 different hand tools to one side or the other. Measure another 10 feet and place another piece of tape down. Measure about 25 to 30 feet and place a cone or other highly visible marker on the spot. You are now ready to perform the drill.
First you start with a rapid dress drill and start the stop watch. Have members get all gear on EXCEPT their face piece. Go to the first mark and select one of the tools. Move to the next mark and kneel down and put your face piece on and go “on air.” Make a radio announcement that you are entering the structure to perform a search. Go to the cone and around it then back to the second marker. Make a radio announcement that the search is complete and the time is stopped.
This is just a quick and easy drill to help promote a little friendly competition between your members. If you happen to know which department originally came up with this drill please feel free to let us know so that we can give them a little recognition for a great drill. Take care, be safe and have fun.
The topic for Flashover Friday is: Marginal Firefighter
1 . How do you deal with them
2. Tips for improvement
3. How to handle the rest of the crew tired of the marginal firefighter
We want to hear from the Senior Man all the way up to the Officer’s
Often times firefighters will wonder why during an advanced topic such as rappelling they are struggling with rigging and rope work in general. The answer to the question is because during Fire I they choose to not work until they can’t get their basic knots wrong. When you see an engine company who arrives first but is not the first line in the door it is because there is a lack of Basic skills training to deploy the line. The point I’m trying to make is no matter who you are if you have not mastered the basics you will not succeed when called upon to do advanced operations. Firefighters to often believe after finishing fire school they have mastered the basics; I can not even began to tell you brothers and sisters with less than ten years on the job that are not constantly drilling on the basics how you are doing yourself a disservice. I use the ten year mark because you have had a decade of time to practice until you can’t get it wrong. There are some who will read this that don’t fill the bill, but for the most part everybody believes basics are for the rookie. I challenge you to stop hiding behind what you feel is seniority and get up and do some more drilling on the basics.
Give your size up an incident operations based on what you see
My department and my company were involved in a large area search drill our last shift. This was a multi- company, multi -department event in an old automotive plant in a neighboring district. I urge everyone reading this to go to Urban Firefighter Magazine, volume 1 for the whole background on this drill, the Brothers on the West side of my State came up with this after the loss of one of their own, there is your background, Drill Time!
Large area can even be the engine room, if needed. Two teams, a search and a rescue team, of two members. First team, Officer leads in both members tethered together. Tools needed, TIC, tool, and a rope bag. The rope is secure outside the door to the search area. The first guy in sweeps the area for a downed member. The officer needs to take a look at the ceiling to check the temperature of the ceiling, if it’s up about 600 degrees are we going in? In a large area, big box store, automotive plant, etc, are we dealing with a basement? Normally walking in is acceptable. Officer take your time with the camera, use it correctly.
Second in on the search team is the “mule” this member is carrying the RIT/RIC bag. the search is performed while always being aware of air management and situational awareness. Stay in constant contact with command advising your status. When the Search team finds the downed member, advise command, give a situation report, and request the second team.
When the Rescue team is activated and making their way in, the Officer moves to position the downed member for removal, the “mule” holds the downed member in a sitting position if possible.
When the rescue team arrives, the second on the rescue team moves to assist the “mule” each grabbing a shoulder strap of the downed member. The Rescue Officer, turns while maintaining contact with the rope. The #2′s of both search and rescue grab a strap of the rescue officers SCBA, with the Search officer following a keeping the rope tight, it’s time to get out. The rescue officer leads both crews out with the downed member.
This takes practice and research on preparing ourselves to do this. Please read the article on LAST in UFM. This is a taxing drill, our drill area was smoked up very well and tested our skills, it truly was a rewarding experience. Just to be clear, the rescue officer is responsible for the downed members air, obviously with his second team member. If anyone does this different or has questions, please don’t hesitate to comment. Be Safe Everyone!
Like always, I’m not here to tell you your job. Do what’s in your SOP’s and what you’re told to do by your bosses. I’ve been bouncing around the city in my half a$$ promotional status and I’ve had the pleasure and displeasure of working with a variety of crews. I just want to review your apparatus operational checks that you do every day. Again, this isn’t a safety check or anything else, just thoughts.
1. Safety check, walk around, brakes etc…. DOCUMENT ALL ISSUES and send the report to the proper place.
2. Check the jacks for operation, and range of motion before setting them to throw the aerial. Do you know any override procedures and how the override affects the aerial operation? When you throw the aerial don’t just spin it and drop it in the bed. Throw it to the roof and climb it, one fire house I was at had a garden on the roof and it was the truck operator’s job to water it.
3. Saws need to be warmed up or they will gum up and won’t run properly. RUN them. Run the generators and hook up a load, flood lights, fans, whatever they should be loaded to get to full operating temperature just like the saws. If you’re allowed to, clean out the air filters.
4. Sharpen your tools. “Salty” tools look pathetic and unprofessional. Grind the burrs off, wire brush them smooth, and then a LIGHT coat of oil. They don’t have to be super sharp or you’ll just damage them worse the first time you use it. You’ll get the hang of it.
5. Check the jaws and open and close them, don’t forget to leave them open just a little. We have had issues where the motor ran fine but the pump wouldn’t work or a line was leaking. Unless you have a new style tool that can be connected and disconnected under pressure make sure you go back after you shut it down and operate all the valves to balance/release pressure.
6. A quick look at the ladders to see if they look right and make sure to operate any pencil/little giant that you have, they get sticky.
7. Finally; check on all those odd ball tools that never get used. They might be in that rusty compartment that no one knows about. Give a quick look and identify their uses. They all exist for a reason so make sure you know it. You might get to use them once in your career but that one time you’ll be glad you had it.
Let me know what I missed and Be Safe
So, after another frustration round of training where everybody knows everything and the boss gets shouted to the back row, I’ve come to a conclusion (again). You need to have an SOP that outlines what companies should do at different incident types. Lacking that there should at least be a list of minimum standards.
I’m going to start with water rescue because we just messed this up the other day, at a drill not an incident. I’ll just list the minimums and you can go from there.
1. PFD, PFD, PFD. Don’t go near the water without one. Stay in the spectator area if you are only going to contribute to the crowd. Otherwise you can/will fall in and become part of the problem.
2. If you have a dingy that you toss on top of your apparatus STRAP IT DOWN. If it’s on a trailer take the extra second to make sure it’s attached correctly to whatever is pulling it.
3. If that dingy has a motor shut the motor off when near people or floaters or whatever. Don’t operate the blender near flesh. Send a rescuer to the victim and pull them to the boat together. If you don’t need to get in the water DON’T.
4. Don’t let the non-swimmer do a damn thing. Keep them away from the water or they will find a way to add to the problem. Have them go get towels or something equally useful.
5. Remember water rescue in this order; Teach, Reach, Throw, Go.
Teach: “Hey, stand up!” or “Move that way”
Reach: “Grab the stick, Side of the boat, or That buoy”
Throw: “Grab the rope.” Grab the ring” Etc..
Go: “Jump in there Jr. Man” Make sure your guy has a rope on him. We don’t play the maybe game. If he goes out, we always have a way to get them back.
At training there should be a safety boat or another dingy that stays out in the water and does nothing but keep an eye on everyone in the water.
I only say these things because we messed most of them up. How do you do this all the time and still be clueless? And every time we go out and play in the water someone gets run over by the front of the boat and everybody laughs, me included, because if reinforces so many points
Ok Brothers and Sisters, we all run these things regularly. The drill portion of this is quick and easy, well maybe. We all have policies for AFA’s do we follow them the same at 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning? We all need a refresher from time to time.
1. get out the policy for responding to AFA’s see how many members know the policy as they should, Bosses you are not exempt.
2.Next pull a target hazard out, they normally have a slightly different SOP, SOG, whatever, do you know the policy for the target hazard or hazards.
3. Take the time to discuss with the members, probie or veteran, why these policies are in place and why they need to be followed religiously on every alarm. Answer questions about what you know to be fact Bosses. If you don’t know for sure find out, so your folks are safe!
4. Lastly, everyone, bosses included, reflect on enforcement of the policy. Do we follow this all the time even in 99 degree heat or do we slack off and what can happen if we throw caution to the wind.
5. This drill can be used in house, or while you are on the street, but, use it. It has worked for me, it will work for all of you! Enjoy!
Let’s take a look at identifying hazards in different structures. This drill is great because it can be used in-house or on the street and really should be used by officers and firefighters alike. This drill is gaged to make us think and use our common sense, yes I said it, Common Sense! Since this has the ability and should be expanded to meet everyone own first due and then some, I’ll give you ten occupancy types, identify a minimum of 3 a maximum of whatever your company wants, of construction, entrapment, fire spread, etc, hazards for each. These examples are out of my own town of 4 square miles. Enjoy!
1. Single family residential
2. Bowling alley
3. Occupied multiple dwelling
4. Auto repair Center
5. Big Box Store
6. Fast Food Resturant
7. Strip Mall
8. Car Dealership
9. High- Rise Structure
10. Large Shopping Mall
Double House Fire. Give your Size up and Incident Operations.1. Any Special Considerations you would make.2. How many alarms?
Please see drill below
Ok, while I’m not great at getting all the pretty visuals in here yet, this is another good drill for everyone, boss to probie.
Your company is dispatched to a dumpster fire at 01:30 in your apartment complex, your dispatcher notifies you that PD is on the scene with a dumpster fully involved at the location. As your company turns onto the street you pass the closest hydrant, you can see a glow from around the last building in the complex. You arrive to find a commercial dumpster going from end to end, with exposures on the B, C, and D sides of the dumpster. Vehicles on the B and D side and a wooden privacy fence, and electrical pole well involved on the C side. Dumpsters are a cake walk right, wrong! Here’s some questions to jumpstart the mind.
1. What level of PPE is required on this job?
2. Where should your apparatus be positioned?
3. What size line are you going to stretch?
4. What hazards present themselves with the dumpster?
5. Overall hazards of this fire?
6. Do you have procedures in place at your FD for overhaul?
7. What safety considerations are needed for your crew?
8. Trash line attack, or do you have other option?
9. Are bystanders or PD a reliable source of information?
10.Oh yeah, you have 500 gallons of water, now what?
South Carolina Low Country Firefighters you have been Challenged to a Bowl Off For MDA by The St. Andrews Fire Department
1st Annual St. Andrews Fire Department Bowl-A-Thon to Benefit MDA
August 20th &21st
1963 Savannah Highway
Phone __________________Fax _________________Email _________________________
Want to play or be a sponsor? Teams or individuals may sign up to play, or your company may do even more by choosing to be a sponsor. Some options include:
Team Registration Teams of four may sign up to play together. Don’t have a foursome?
Don’t worry, we will match you with other players for your convenience. $ 30 per person
Strike Sponsor Your company name/logo will be displayed on a sign at one lane for only: $50/one day or $ 75/two
# of people to register: __________ August 20th (Circle 1) 6PM-10PM or August 21st 12PM-4PM
Register one team of 4 players __________
My check will follow this fax via mail, made payable MDA.
_______ I will not be able to attend but please accept my donation of $ ______________ to follow by mail.
_______ I would like to sponsor a Lane. My check will follow via mail. Please contact me for sign information.
Deadline: August 13th.
Fax Your Fast entry form to (843)556-7826
Mail your check to:
Muscular Dystrophy Association
29 Leinbach Drive, Suite D-5
Charleston, SC 29407
To pay by Credit Card or to make a donation please call (843)556-3654.
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On Wednesday Dave Celebrated his birthday with our Copy Editor Kelly and it was an oversight on my part. Dave thanks for all you do and a Very Happy Birthday to you. Hope it was a great day!
I’m going to complain about officers today.
In the last week I’ve run into 2 different officers that are poisoning my department from the inside.
1st was a central station alarm. The engine arrived first and investigated with all their gear on. (The right way) The truck shows up a minute later. The officer on the truck sees us investigating the alarm with our gear on and decides he won’t stand for it. He gathers his crew for when we exit the building. He says “I got scared when I saw you guys in there with all your gear on, I thought there might be a fire!” He was wearing shorts and a t-shirt at this point. He and his crew get a laugh.
2nd was a central station alarm in a housing development. Turned out to be a fire in the penthouse. We were investigating and the officer wasn’t wearing any equipment except for his bunker coat. No radio, no air, no tools. So we find the smoke rolling down the stairs and request the box. I start heading up the stairs to find the seat of the fire and get a primary done but the officer won’t let me. He blocks the door and says “wait for the line” I understand, OK.
So tell me. ..
How do you deal with officers who are more concerned about being cool than doing their job? Besides making smart ass comments like I did.
Does your department have an officer rating program? If so, how does it work?
Is there an officer training program on your department?
On my department our training program goes like this: “Congratulations Lt. You are the boss on Ladder 2 group 1, good luck.”
Here is a quick a simple little drill for improving our knowledge of our portable radios, without even picking one up. Needed for the drill: Piece of blank paper for each member, a pencil, and hopefully, the memory is up to the test.
Every member gets to draw a rough picture of the portable they carry, including all pertinent buttons, knobs, bands, and explain all. When everyone is done, get a radio and compare how the crew has done.
Each members keep the drawing, for review at a later day. Simple and easy, the end results are interesting and a review we all need from time to time.
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Ok so I am not claiming to be an expert on loading LDH or anything but to see this makes me wonder. What are people thinking when they load hose? This is the rear of the hose bed. Who was in charge of the process? Paying attention to details can go a long way. Check all equipment before it goes back into service. Lets hear some comments on what you all think.
Hello all I’m Drillmaster, Fire Student asked me to keep the site in drills for basic company operations. I will be putting up drills regularly to give firefighters and company officers alike, a place to grab a drill for the shift. We train everyday, we train to be our best in our chosen profession, and we train to survive! Now let’s start the show.
Expanding on mayday procedures, here is the drill:
1. The next EMS run, at the conclusion, have a firefighter tell you how he/she would call a mayday from a room that you choose inside the structure, see if the guys were paying attention to their surroundings or day dreaming.
2. Next tour on inspections or building familiarization, stop and have a member call a mayday, from an area of the structure that you’ve been through.
3. Finally, if you don’t get out of the house due to weather or whatever, pick a member, let them know this is only a drill and they aren’t being kidnapped. Put a hood over their head, turn them around twice and take them to another area of the engine house. They should have a clue where they started, see how close they are to where they end up.
4. Last on the list, Bosses are not exempt! This is a great drill to learn your skills and build company pride, if you’re in a double house, challenge the other company, losers pick up the Ice Cream for the Shift!
Answer the following questions.
1. What is Balloon Frame Construction
2. What are the Hazards associated with Balloon Frame construction
3. What Classification does Balloon Frame construction fall under meaning Type