Saturday, January 21, 2012

"The Can"

Here is a very nice video of the can and how it can and does work.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chicago Fire Department - Everyone Goes Home

Its about a 40 minute video change the "chicago" and add your district its all the same.

What 5 thing are you gonna do?

Please pass this message along.
Thanks to CFD and NFFFTV.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Audio from the traped firefighters from yesterdays 2nd alarm box at FDNY.

Whats your game plan if this happened to you? Dont forget your LUNAR!!!
Whats your RIT's game plan?

And here is the RAW video of the MayDay...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Triple load

Couple quick videos on how to stretch and reload the triple load.
Everyone who uses these loads should know this and know how long they are deployed. It's really convenient that a 200' load is 56' stretched, also most homes sit about 60' from the street. Its funny how that works out huh! Stretched and charged in 30 seconds (with no obsticals) can be done.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Worcester LODD

First read this
I've done it and you've done it. It is going to happen again and it's going to happen soon. With every line of duty death the Monday morning quarterbacks come out and tell us all what they should have or should not have done. We preach and teach to learn from these tragedies by understanding the circumstances surrounding the incident. But, what are we doing to make sure that this doesn't happen?

Our job is dangerous. Worcester Fire Department is a highly trained department and according to some reports I have gotten, fight these types of fires every year. There are some additional factors like high winds and possibly illegal renovations that compromised the structural integrity of the building. Neither of these two factors can be anticipated or controlled. We have a job to do and when we are told that someone is in a building, we do what we can to get to them. As I write this I have not heard confirmation that there was or was not a victim found.

I have no doubt that we could dissect and scrutinize what happened and we would have done this or that differently. We will hear how simplistic it should have been and others pounding the table that we don't enter buildings that are compromised. Guess what? As soon as that building catches fire it is compromised!

What frustrates me more is that in the fire service many are real good at solving problems after the fact and few try to identify and solve them before they are actualized. It's not just judging the YouTube video or a line of duty death, no, it's many things. "That guy doesn't know what he's doing." "That guideline is outdated and inefficient." "That small time volunteer fire department doesn't know what they're doing." Of course, most of these "kitchen table experts" have no desire to be proactive or to put themselves out there to take the lead on a project to make a positive change.

Sometimes, and I'm not saying this is the case yet, things are not preventable. Sometimes we are going to lose. We hope not, but we are running into burning, compromised buildings to save lives and property. When someone comes to us and is telling us someone is in the building, if we can make a push, we will and we should. This is what we do and why we are here. There is no time to run down a check list to determine if a certain profile is met. We don't have time to switch our size up decision making. We have to consider the situation presented to us at the time and use our training and experience to do our best to attempt a rescue.

But, if we do want to be Monday morning quarterbacks I suggest a different approach. Take your expertise and knowledge to some less fortunate departments in regards to resources for training and teach. Share your experience and knowledge with these departments and individuals to keep bad decisions being made on the fire ground. I believe that this is the best way to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for others. Whether there were mistakes or not, we can help to prevent those who don't have resources to perform appropriately on the fire ground.

We recently did a class in a remote part of our state and had two firefighters arrive with some hand-me down gear and SCBA. Neither had worn the gear before and neither had ever had on an SCBA. They stated they had been fighting fire with self purchased boots, gloves and helmets. That's it. Nothing more. This is still happening. We had to pull these two firefighters aside and walk them through some basics about gear and SCBA operations. We took extra time with them just to teach them basic firefighter skills. They were more than willing to learn and were eager.

The point is this: let's put our efforts into training and teaching firefighters to operate safely instead of beating up departments, officers and firefighters after the fact. Can we learn from these tragic events? Absolutely! We should learn lessons in a constructive manner from not just tragic events, but from every call we run. There is always something to learn whether things went well or not so well.

Train, be tolerant and make a difference in a positive way. Stay safe and thanks for reading.

Then listen


Chevy Volt Traininig

The National Fire Protection Association, Chevrolet and OnStar have partnered to educate first responders about electric vehicles, such as the new Chevrolet Volt.
Here is there video:

The Chevy Volt operates differently in comparison to propulsion systems in other vehicles. If you drive less than 40 miles per day, this vehicle can be purely electric and charged in a regular electric outlet. According to Keith Schultz, if you drive more than 40 miles per day, the Volt has extended range capability. A four cylinder engine under the hood automatically turns on as a generator to supply electricity to power the car, allowing the vehicle to continue to drive an additional 300 to 310 miles.

In their training, firefighters were shown what they need to know regarding the growing number of hybrid and electric vehicles hitting the roads. Firefighters were also introduced to the Chevy Volt and some of its unique features, such as the high voltage system. Schultz remarked, "The vehicle is an electric car. It contains high voltage. To identify high voltage, we're using orange cabling. That is an industry standard. Those cables, we're asking first responders not to cut. We have identified a low voltage cable, or 12-volt cable, that we're asking first responders to cut." That low voltage cable is located in the left side of the rear trunk area and is clearly marked where the firefighters should cut. It will shut down the high voltage system and the airbag system.

One other alternative for first responders is the manual service disconnect. "If they can't make the cut at the designated location that we have identified, we're asking first responders to remove the manual service disconnect that's in the center console, as an alternative to shutting down the propulsion voltage," said Schultz. The battery pack runs underneath the car and is sealed so that there is no increased risk of a shock hazard if the car is immersed in water.

Another challenge to firefighters is the high strength steel used in the Volt. Schultz explained, "This vehicle's structure contains in excess of 80% high strength steel. If their tooling can't cut the high strength steel, there are methods that still can be worked in order to extricate victims in a vehicle." This can post challenges to fire departments that are not equipped with the proper equipment needed to get to a victim trapped by a crash.

"The other aspect, which most responders might not think of, is the ability for the vehicle to move unexpectedly, because we tend to use the sound of the gassing engine to indicate to us whether or not the vehicle is operating." A hybrid or an electric vehicle could be in gear and ready to move, even though the engine isn't making any noise," added Emery.

Kevin Southerland, Training Officer with the Orange Fire Department and a class participant said, "This is not the first class that I've been to, but I'm appreciating the way that they package the information here. We're better prepared to provide extrication or render aid in any kind." Another participant, Fire Captain Ron Gutierrez of the Newport Beach Fire Department, stated that he, along with other members of his department, will now feel more comfortable when they come on scene of an accident where they have to deal with different features of hybrid and electric vehicles.

First responders are also shown all of these techniques in a take-home video. Schultz claimed that the feedback received on the training so far has been outstanding and that first responders certainly are appreciative of the value of the training received. Emery added, "What the NFPA is doing here with Chevrolet, in regards to the Volt, is a small part of a much larger program. There's going to be a web-based platform for departments that we train in that manner. There's also going to be an instructor-lead portion of it, so there will be some field work as well."

This allows any fire department, no matter how they train, to have access to material on these vehicles. All of this material will be available by late Spring on their website

Friday, December 9, 2011

Harness seatbelts for Toddlers

While doing a Station Demo today I seen something that I have never encountered. The children that arrived were between 3-5 years old and were from a preschool program here in town where I work part time. As they got off the bus they were all wearing harnesses. These were not your typical kid on a leash harnesses that we have all seen parents have on their children.

These are a 4 point harness that secures them while being transported on the bus.

There can be 3 kids per sear as you can see. These "tether" points are exactly like the ones when tethering a car seat. A little pressure on the latch and you can operate these.
This image just shows that they are attached in the same fashion as a seat belt.

This is front of the harness showing that all they have to do to get them on is unsnap the black buckle, step into the leg straps, placing the arms in the arm straps, and reconnecting the black buckle. Walla!!!

The back is much easier to access, two zippers.

The school director told us that they are required to use these on all children under 5 that ride on a school bus in the state.This was a half bus and at full capacity could carry 25 children in harnesses? I don't believe any children in this age group posses the strength to operate the top two latches to self extricate.
So what would be the best way to extricate these children in a accident?If time was a factor/ not a factor. Would a rollover change that extrication?