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Flagler County Board of Education, Training Division. Rapid Intervention and Fire Fighter Safety and Survival By Gerard P. Forte Captain Palm Coast Fire Department. CREDITS GO TO. Firehouse.com “Firefighter Survival Tactics” by John Salka Jr.

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flagler county board of education training division

Flagler County Board of Education, Training Division

Rapid Intervention and Fire Fighter Safety and Survival

By

Gerard P. Forte

Captain

Palm Coast Fire Department

credits go to
CREDITS GO TO...
  • Firehouse.com “Firefighter Survival Tactics” by John Salka Jr.
  • Staff of Firefighter Rescue Inc. to include John Norman, John Salka, Fred Eendrikat, Paul Hashagen, Bruce Newbery, Ray Maguire, Joel Kanasky, Donald Rowan, Frank Fee, Mark Frappied. Firefighter Rescue and Survival School, 2003. Clearwater Beach, Florida.

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credits also go to
Credits also go to...
  • Fire Engineering, “Ten Commandments of a Safe and Effective Search” by Robert Moran; August, 2002.
  • Fire Engineering.com “Fire Fatalities in 2002” By USFA.
  • “Firefighter Survivability” at www.ci.vancouver,wa.us/vfd.
  • Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute at www.mfri.org
  • Staff and members of the Palm Coast Fire Department.

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primary search
Primary Search
  • Conducting a safe and effective primary search is one of the most dangerous fire ground operations you will be asked to carry out during your firefighting career.

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primary search5
Search with a partner

Conduct a size up

Carry a tool and light

Use proper PPE

Ensure people know where you are

Have a plan

Stay in contact with a wall

Control the door

Monitor fire conditions

Remain orientated

Primary Search

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primary search search with a partner
Primary SearchSearch With a Partner
  • When you have a partner, you can quickly communicate your every move to the very individual who undoubtedly will play a major role in ensuring your safety.
  • Allows for a great deal of tactical freedom relative to the methods and techniques used.

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primary search conduct a size up
Primary SearchConduct a Size Up
  • A thorough and effective analysis of a burning structure prior to making entry is one of the most valuable tools you can use to ensure your safety on the fire ground.
  • Information such as secondary access and egress points of the structure, the location of trapped victims, window locations, and laddering points will give you the opportunity to develop a mental picture before entry.

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primary search use of proper ppe
Primary SearchUse of Proper PPE
  • Fire ground safety starts with you.
  • Materials made today burn hotter and produce more dangerous toxic gases than ever before.
  • If you are issued PPE, wear it. If it was not issued to you, you would not go into a burning building.

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primary search carry a tool and hand light
Primary SearchCarry a Tool and Hand Light
  • Every firefighter, when conducting a primary, must carry a tool. It will not only aid in searching, but will assist in saving your own life.
  • Use a hand light that allows for “hands free” work. It is difficult to work and hold a light.

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primary search control the door
Primary SearchControl the Door
  • Whether you are attempting to maintain control of a door to provide the engine company with a coordinated entry by confining the fire, giving firefighters an area of refuge, or to give yourself time to complete your search, control all doors.
  • Automatic garage doors strings must be pulled to eliminate accidental door closure.

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primary search have a plan
Primary SearchHave a Plan
  • This strategy should be developed while at the fire academy, practiced throughout your career,and promoted by your peers.
  • Thinking alike, as a team, will increase the efficiency and safety of the operation.

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primary search stay in contact with a wall
Primary SearchStay in Contact with a Wall
  • It is highly improbable that firefighters will be familiar with the interior of the building involved in fire.
  • Residential structures typically follow repeated patterns, ie., Ranch, Split Level, Colonial, etc.
  • Commercial structures are more complex. Detailed Pre Fire Planning eliminates the unknown and allows for accurate accountability.

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primary search ensure people know where you are
Primary SearchEnsure People Know Where You Are
  • Without knowing where the interior search crews are, IC cannot effectively direct placement of ladders, stretching of back up lines, venting the structure, and most importantly, the deployment of RIT teams.

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primary search monitor fire conditions
Primary SearchMonitor Fire Conditions
  • Continually reevaluate the smoke, heat and fire conditions in which you or others are operating. Monitoring the rapid change in conditions will allow for quick removal of you and your partners from a hostile environment.

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primary search remain orientated
Primary SearchRemain Orientated
  • Personnel must become familiar with their location within the building by identifying as much as possible any object they come in contact with.
  • Beds will be in bedroom, toilets will be in bathrooms, couches and tables will be in living areas.
  • This allows for our immediate identification within the structure.

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primary search16
Primary Search
  • Primaries get more dangerous when staffing shortages, inadequate equipment and deficiencies in training are thrown into the mix.
  • These guidelines will reduce the chances of being affected by these concerns, keep you safe, and assist you in conducting an effective primary search.

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according to usfa
According to USFA
  • In 2002, 102 firefighters died while on duty in the United States.
  • The loss of life was felt directly in more than 86 communities, in 35 states.
  • 20 Firefighters died in wildland incidents.
  • 37 were Career Firefighters while 65 were Volunteers or seasonal.

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according to usfa18
According to USFA
  • 2 Central NY F.F.s died trapped in a basement.
  • 2 St. Louis F.F.s died trapped in the interior of a burning business.
  • 3 NJ F.F.s died in a burning residential collapse.
  • 2 Florida F.F.s died in a training exercise.

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according to usfa19
According to USFA
  • Half the Firefighters that died on duty died of traumatic injuries.
  • 11 died of asphyxiation.
  • 2 died of burns.
  • 3 were crushed
  • 36 died as a result of trauma from a vehicle crash.

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according to usfa20
According to USFA
  • Heart Attacks continue to be the leading cause of firefighter deaths, killing 31 Firefighters in 2002. This represents almost one third of the 2002 total.

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case study
Case Study
  • Lt. John Nance, Columbus Ohio. 1987
  • Fell in a hole in the floor and dropped to the basement.
  • Other firefighters can touch him, but not pull him out of the hole.
  • A ladder was used, he could not get himself out. He kept trying but he has hitting the floor above.
  • Heavy smoke conditions were present as a result of an oil burner fire.

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result
RESULT
  • Hand Cuff Drill or Love Knot
  • If the downed Firefighter is alert and oriented, they can make the knot in the hole, apply it, and be pulled up by the rescue crew above them.
  • If unconscious, a Firefighter can be lowered via the rope to the victim and place the rope around downed firefighter’s hands hands. The rescuer is lifted out after the victim is safely removed.

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handcuff knot
Handcuff Knot
  • DEMONSTRATE the method used to make the knot.

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handcuff drill
Handcuff Drill
  • Rope is lowered to an awaiting victims.
  • It is either lowered to a conscious, or applied by a rescuer.

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handcuff drill25
Handcuff Drill
  • Several rescuers can then pull the victim up. At least 4 people should be used to remove the victim.
  • The more the merrier.

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handcuff drill26
Handcuff Drill
  • Lifted straight up.

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handcuff drill27
Handcuff Drill
  • A carribeaner can be used to center the victim in the through the hole.
  • That would eliminate the problem of getting the victim over the edge.

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case study28
Case Study
  • Mark Langquist - Denver Fire Department 1990.
  • Commercial Structure with active fire.
  • 2 story rear, one story front, brick veneer office building with wood interior.
  • Fire was set in multiple areas on first and second floor.
  • There was a partial floor collapse behind him and he could not get out the way he entered.

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case study29
Case Study
  • He was lost and trapped and was low on air.
  • He was able to signal for help with his flashlight.
  • He was at the end of a hallway with a window. Windows had bars.
  • The hallway was 11 feet long and 28 inches wide due to the cabinets and shelving units.

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case study30
Case Study
  • The Window and the Firefighter -
    • 20 inches wide
    • The sill was 42 inches off the floor.
    • He was 6’1” tall and dressed in full turnouts
    • Weight was approximately 250 - 300 lb.

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case study31
Case Study
  • What happened?
  • Rescue team after rescue team entered the structure by ladder, only to find they could not lift the downed firefighter over the window sill.
  • The firefighter was never left alone.
  • After 50 minutes, he was dead and was removed by breaching the wall and removing the cabinets.

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case study32
Case Study
  • End Result:
    • They were never able to get him over the window sill!
    • They returned to the location afterwards to try other methods of removal. Same circumstances, they were never able to remove a firefighter in less than an hour.
    • They needed to develop new skills and techniques for lifting a firefighter in a confined space.

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the denver drill
The Denver Drill
  • Single Rescuer -
    • Crawls over the victim to his legs.
    • Readjusts themselves to allow the victims legs to be raised in the direction of the window sill.
    • The victim is then pushed to the window, feet first.
    • Rescuers outside then pull the legs while the interior firefighter lifts from the shoulder straps of the air-pack.

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the denver drill34
The Denver Drill
  • The window is 42” off the floor.
  • 23” wide
  • At the the end of 28” hallway.

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the denver drill35
The Denver Drill
  • Victim is found head first by a window.

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the denver drill36
The Denver Drill
  • Head at the base of the window, the victim exhausted trying to get out the window.

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the denver drill37
The Denver Drill
  • The rescuer enters the window low, over the victim.

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the denver drill38
The Denver Drill
  • After the victim is placed in a supine position. The feet are raised and raised to the window.

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the denver drill39
The Denver Drill
  • The body is bent, naturally, to begin the roll out the window.

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the denver drill40
The Denver Drill
  • The rescuer then grabs the neck of the air bottle and the belt strap and begin to pull upward, toward the awaiting firefighters outside.

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the denver drill41
The Denver Drill
  • The rescuer then advances the victim high, using the bottle to help roll.

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the denver drill42
The Denver Drill
  • The rescuer uses the bottle to continue the role out the window.

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the denver drill43
The Denver Drill
  • The victim is given off the outside rescuers.

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the denver drill44
The Denver Drill
  • 2 Rescuer -
    • Both Firefighters enter over the victim. One rescuer pulls the victim to a seated position with their arms, the second rescuer sits at the base of the window approximately 6 inches off the wall (behind the victim).
    • The first rescuer pushes under the legs of the victim, while the second rescuer pushes upward with their legs.

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the denver drill45
The Denver Drill
  • A rescuer sits behind the victim and uses their legs as a pivot point.

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the denver drill46
The Denver Drill
  • The other Rescuer then pushes under the victims legs, while the second rescuers lifts the victim in a rocking motion.

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where does this lead to
Where does this lead to?
  • OSHA Regulation 29 CFR 1910.134
    • Physical evaluation and annual face piece fitness testing.
    • Minimum 2 personnel whenever FF team is in an IDLH environment.
    • A rescue team must be available to rescue FF team.
    • FF team may begin SAR for known victims without a rescue team in place.

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where does this lead to48
Where does this lead to?
  • NFPA Standard 1500, Chapter 6
    • Minimum of 2 personnel available whenever FF team is operating in an IDLH environment.
    • Rescue team must be ready to rescue FF crew; should not be performing other duties.
    • FF Team may begin SAR for known victims without rescue team in place.

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concept of the rescue team
Concept of the Rescue Team
  • Minimum of 2 personnel with sufficient training and equipment to perform rescue of other firefighters.
  • Team should be positioned to be readily available when needed.
  • Team should not be performing any other functions such a pump operations or position of Incident Command.

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rescue team equipment requirements
Rescue Team Equipment Requirements
  • Portable Radio or Radios
  • Forcible Entry Tools
  • Hand Lights
  • Rope Bag
  • Spare SCBA for quick swap out
  • Charged Hose line
  • Ladders at Upper Levels for Possible Egress
  • Thermal Imager

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risk management philosophy
Risk Management Philosophy
  • Alan Brunacini, Fire Chief; Phoenix, Az.
    • “1 - Risk a lot to save a life”.
    • “2 - Risk a little to save property”.
    • “3 - Risk nothing to save nothing, the property is already lost”.

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personal items
Personal Items
  • Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Personal Alert Safety Systems:
    • Should be checked periodically.
    • Operator should know how to operate in manual mode.
    • Battery should be replaced periodically.
  • Self Contained Breathing Apparatus.

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full ppe always
FULL PPE…Always!
  • Helmet?
  • Tools?
  • Hose line?
  • Where is the ladder placement supposed to be?

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buddy system
Buddy System
  • Always Work in Pairs.
  • Stay in Contact with Each Other:
    • Visual
    • Voice
    • Physical
  • Share Senses:
    • Hearing, Seeing, and Feeling

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scene safety zone
Scene Safety Zone
  • Hot Zone - Area of immediate danger. High IDLH. Can contain toxic gases, possible explosive or fire hazard, potential structural collapse, vehicular instability; full PPE is required.
  • Warm Zone - Adjacent to the hot zone. Buffer between hot and cold zone. Protective clothing required.

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scene safety zone56
Scene Safety Zone
  • Cold Zone - Staging area; no protective clothing required.

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evacuation signals
Evacuation Signals
  • Notification shall be done by radio; if urgency is required, three blasts of the air horns will be repeated until all personnel are evacuated from the building.
  • Command will have Station Tones sounded to ensure all personnel are notified.

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rehab areas
Rehab Areas
  • Command will have areas designated for rehab and make them known.
  • An Advanced Life Support medical unit will be on location to monitor personnel after leaving the hot zone.
  • Safety Officer will be made aware of any personnel needing additional assistance.

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firefighter safety and survival
Firefighter Safety and Survival
  • PCFD Standard Operating Guideline
    • Accountability
      • Checking in and tag system or Riding Lists. Apparatus must have all personnel accounted for, command will receive apparatus designation each morning at shift change.
      • Each Firefighter will have 2 ID tags.

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Firefighter Safety and Survival
  • Accountability con’t.
    • Officer Controls the Crew
    • Crew Works in a Team
    • Officer Directs Work
    • Reports Details on Progress to Command
    • PAR Reports Given in a Timely Interval

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firefighters safety and survival
Firefighters Safety and Survival
  • Command Controls Operations
    • Orders Specific Tasks in Specific Areas
    • Communicates with Officers
    • Assigns Sector Commanders
    • Gets the BIG PICTURE

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firefighters safety and survival62
Firefighters Safety and Survival
  • Radio Designation
    • Command establishes working channel(s) to assign crews work.
    • Engines will be designated as a working company. E-211 is pumping to the fire…211 is the inside crew. Tower is on scene. Tower 2 is working as O/V. RIT 1 or RIT 2
    • Officers will be designated as assigned; safety, rehab, interior command, etc.

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firefighters safety and survival63
Firefighters Safety and Survival
  • Radio Designation con’t.
    • Fire Building Exposure Designation
      • Front of the building is “A” side.
      • To the left is the “B” side.
      • Rear is the “C” side.
      • To the right of the front is “D” side.

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firefighters safety and survival64
Firefighters Safety and Survival
  • May Day
    • Definition
      • An immediate call for distress by a firefighter in imminent danger.

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firefighters safety and survival65
Firefighters Safety and Survival
  • When would you call a May Day?
  • Firefighter is unconscious or suffering life threatening injury (most important).
  • You are aware that a firefighter is missing.
  • Firefighter is trapped. This is transmitted by themselves or a witness.
  • An indication of possible collapse or structural collapse has occurred.
  • Fire has cut off a firefighter.
  • Firefighter lost in smoke.

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Firefighters Safety and Survival
  • May Day Procedure
    • “May Day, May Day, May Day” Engine_______to Command May day”
    • Command will clear all radio traffic.
    • Command will immediately contact the May Day to determine firefighter’s condition.

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Firefighters Safety and Survival
  • Command will ascertain...
    • Where you are operating?
    • What Floor?
    • Front, Middle, or Rear?
    • Who were you with and what is their condition?

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firefighters safety and survival68
Firefighters Safety and Survival
  • Command will Ascertain…
    • How did you get there?
    • What doors did you use?
    • Fire Escapes?

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firefighters safety and survival69
Firefighters Safety and Survival
  • Can You Hear Anything?
    • Is a saw going or windows breaking out?
    • Can you hear firefighters forcing a door?
    • Do you hear fire apparatus running?

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firefighters safety and survival70
Firefighters Safety and Survival
  • Can you feel anything around you?
    • Are you on tile or rug?
    • Do you feel a bed or a sofa?
    • Can you see or feel office cabinets or or are you in the warehouse area.

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firefighters safety and survival71
Firefighters Safety and Survival
  • What is your Air Supply
  • What are your Fire Conditions

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Firefighters Safety and Survival
  • Command will then develop a 2-prong attack to find or assist the firefighter.
  • The firefighter must remain where they are.
  • The firefighter must activate the PASS devices and listen for the RIT Crew.

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may days
MAY DAYS
  • SOMEONE IS MISSING WHEN THEY CAN NOT BE LOCATED.
  • ESTABLISH CONTACT AND CANCEL THE MAY DAY.

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personal survival evacuation personal survival tips
Personal Survival /EvacuationPersonal Survival Tips
  • Communicate “May Day”.
  • Activate Emergency Button on Radio (if available).
  • Shine light on ceiling or out windows.
  • Turn PASS device on manual, let it ring.
  • Consider personal survival techniques.

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personal survival evacuation interior wall breaching
Personal Survival /EvacuationInterior Wall Breaching
  • Locate wall studding.
  • Locate the space between the studs.
  • Push forcible entry tool through wall to be certain the wall is able to be breached, and where you are going is better than where you are.
  • Force hole every 6 inches and clear out just enough to clear you and the air pack.

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personal survival evacuation interior wall breaching76
Personal Survival /EvacuationInterior Wall Breaching
  • Locate the wall studs.
  • Push a forcible entry tool through the space between the studs to check the next room.
  • Make holes enough to get your body through.

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personal survival evacuation interior wall breaching77
Personal Survival /EvacuationInterior Wall Breaching
  • The studs may be too tight to pass.
  • Low profile or air pack removal may have to be used.

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personal survival evacuation interior wall breaching78
Personal Survival /EvacuationInterior Wall Breaching
  • Conditions are so that you need to breach a wall, try to get through the hole without removing the pack.
  • TIME, TIME, TIME.

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personal survival evacuation low profile wall passage
Personal Survival /EvacuationLow Profile Wall Passage
  • Size up the area to pass.
  • Loosen the belt buckle and remove the right shoulder strap extending it as it is removed.
  • Shift the belt buckle to the right and place the bottle under the left armpit.
  • Move through the obstacle, and return the air pack to proper donning. (You may have to lean to the right to drop the shoulder strap into position.)

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personal survival evacuation low profile wall passage80
Personal Survival /EvacuationLow Profile Wall Passage
  • Loosen the shoulder straps and belt buckle.
  • Remove the right shoulder strap and slide the regulator to the right.

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personal survival evacuation low profile wall passage81
Personal Survival /EvacuationLow Profile Wall Passage
  • Place the bottle under the left arm and proceed through the wall opening.
  • Continue through to allow for your partner
  • Return to proper position.

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personal survival evacuation air pack removal
Personal Survival /EvacuationAir Pack Removal
  • Loosen both the shoulder straps on the SCBA. Disconnect and extend the belt buckle.
  • Remove the air pack off the right shoulder and bring around the back to the left side. NEVER RELEASE THE LEFT SHOULDER STRAP.
  • Pass tools, radio, and helmet through the opening.

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Personal Survival /EvacuationAir Pack Removal
  • Place the air pack in front of you and advance it through the opening. Keep the regulator close to your mask.
  • Lay on the floor and use your arms and feet to maneuver through the opening.
  • Place the air pack back in proper position and continue.

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personal survival evacuation air pack removal84
Personal Survival /EvacuationAir Pack Removal
  • Loosen the air pack straps and disconnect the buckle and extend it.

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personal survival evacuation air pack removal85
Personal Survival /EvacuationAir Pack Removal
  • Remove the air pack off the right shoulder and NEVER let it out of your left hand.

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Personal Survival /EvacuationAir Pack Removal
  • Pass tools, helmet, and radio through the opening.

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Personal Survival /EvacuationAir Pack Removal
  • Place the air pack in front of you and slide the bottle regulator last through the opening.
  • Lay on the floor and use your feet and arms to pull you through the opening.

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Personal Survival /EvacuationAir Pack Removal
  • Don the air pack when you clear the opening.
  • All your equipment should be directly in front of you.
  • Gather and advance to allow your partner room to pass through.

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personal survival evacuation firefighter drag
Personal Survival /EvacuationFirefighter Drag
  • A - Airway; ensure the firefighter is able to breath. If they still have air, reposition head to allow for air movement. If air is depleted, get more air or remove mask. If they are out of air, they will suffocate with the mask on their face.

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Personal Survival /EvacuationFirefighter Drag
  • B - Buckle; remove the belt buckle and wrap around the right leg of the downed firefighter

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Personal Survival /EvacuationFirefighter Drag
  • C - Chest Strap; secure the chest strap by tying the tabs in the center. An overhand safety knot can be placed on the shoulder strap to keep from slipping.

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Personal Survival /EvacuationFirefighter Drag
  • D - Drag the firefighter as far as you need, to get to an area of refuge.

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Personal Survival /EvacuationFirefighter Drag
  • Floor Drag - 2 Person
    • First rescuer pulls the downed Firefighter by the SCBA strap, headed in the direction of the area of refuge.
    • Second rescuer lifts the right leg of the victim and places it over their left shoulder. The rescuer then pushes the victim like a tackling block.

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Personal Survival /EvacuationFirefighter Drag

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Personal Survival /EvacuationFirefighter Drag
  • Stair Drag - 2 person

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Personal Survival /EvacuationFirefighter Drag
  • The rescuers arrive to the bottom of the stairs.

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Personal Survival /EvacuationFirefighter Drag
  • Both Rescuers then grab the SCBA should straps and are pulling upward with the straps.
  • The downed firefighter is placed on the second stair by both rescuers

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Personal Survival /EvacuationFirefighter Drag
  • The second rescuer is below the victim with the legs of the victim over their shoulders.
  • The second rescuer is thrusting upward.

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Personal Survival /EvacuationFirefighter Drag
  • This is done no more than 2 steps at a time.

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personal survival evacuation ladder bail
Personal Survival / EvacuationLadder Bail
  • Baltimore FD
  • Heavy Black smoke is thickening as a firefighter enters a room for a quick search. Ladder is in the proper location

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Personal Survival / EvacuationLadder Bail
  • Rushes to the window as the smoke turns to flame

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Personal Survival / EvacuationLadder Bail
  • The room ignites.

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Personal Survival / EvacuationLadder Bail
  • Jumps into the arms of a brother,

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Personal Survival / EvacuationLadder Bail
  • Safely out of the room.

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personal survival evacuation ladder bail105
Personal Survival / EvacuationLadder Bail
  • Find the ladder at the base of the window.
  • Bail out and guide yourself out with your feet.
  • Advance yourself rung by rung.

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personal survival evacuation ladder bail106
Personal Survival / EvacuationLadder Bail
  • Insert your arm through a rung and lock in at the elbow.
  • Reach ahead to the next available rung with the opposing hand.
  • Control the descent with your feet in the higher rungs.

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personal survival evacuation ladder bail107
Personal Survival / EvacuationLadder Bail
  • Throw your head over short arm side of the ladder, your feet will go the opposite direction.
  • Slide around on your hip until you find the ladder.

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rapid intervention teams
Rapid Intervention Teams
  • Definition - A Standby unit, specifically dedicated to protecting committed fire units, operating at a scene should the unexpected occur.

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rapid intervention teams109
Rapid Intervention Teams
  • IT IS TOO LATE TO LEARN RAPID INTERVENTION TECHNIQUES WHEN A FIREFIGHTER BECOMES LOST!

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Rapid Intervention Teams
  • Missing, Injured, or Trapped Firefighter.
  • May Day
  • Collapse, Flashover, Backdraft, Explosions Extending Fire Conditions.
  • Sudden fire extension threatens operations unit.
  • The unexpected may not have anything to do with the fire.

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sudden fire extension
Sudden Fire Extension
  • Typical Residential Job.
    • Heavy smoke from the front door.

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Sudden Fire Extension
  • Thicker black smoke builds

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Sudden Fire Extension
  • Flash

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Sudden Fire Extension
  • The Engine has not yet arrived.
  • Consider a bystander (cop) could have tried a rescue.

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Sudden Fire Extension
  • Total involvement in seconds.

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could this be unexpected
Could this be unexpected?
  • What was he assigned to do?
  • Where was the ladder?

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very unexpected
VERY UNEXPECTED!
  • Who is going to do the work of the guy on the bottom?

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what will this do for the rest of the operation
What will this do for the rest of the operation?

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rit crews
RIT Crews
  • RIT is not a new idea. For years they have been incorporated in other areas of the fire service.
    • Haz-Mat
    • Confined Space
    • Back up hose line

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rit crew
RIT Crew
  • We are more likely to encounter a dangerous environment at a structure than at a confined space or Haz-Mat Call.
    • SAR at a house fire requires immediate attention. We automatically enter the environment if life is in jeopardy.
    • Haz Mat requires distance monitoring for safety.

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rit officer
RIT Officer
  • Must report to the command post / ops post.
  • Maintain information updates on operation.
  • Maintain team control.
  • Monitors communication.
    • RIT will not be involved in work that requires commitment, as they must be able to hear all radio transmissions.

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RIT Officer
  • Standby Mode
    • Requires deep-seated discipline. Has to keep control of the event while others want to enter the scene.
    • Must get the team in standby mode after RIT assignment/rescue is completed.

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rit tools and equipment
RIT Tools and Equipment
  • Portable radio or radios
  • Forcible entry tools
  • Hand lights
  • Rope bag
  • Spare SCBA for quick swap out
  • Charged hose line
  • Ladders at upper levels for possible egress
  • Thermal imager

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size up for the rit team
Size Up for the RIT Team
  • Building Type:
    • Wood frame or block.
    • Residential or Commercial.
    • Sprinkler or non-sprinkler.
  • Time of Day:
    • Middle of the night at a residence.
    • Mid-day at a factory.

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Size Up for the RIT Team
  • Initial Report
    • What was the call dispatched as?
    • What was the initial fire report?
    • What was the condition when IC took command?
    • The RIT leader can then analyze progression of the fire?
  • Smoke Color
    • Black, white, colors? Is it changing.

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Size Up for the RIT Team
  • Fire Location
    • Basement.
    • Attic.
    • Bedroom.
  • Placement of the ladders
    • All egresses have a ladder at the window. Ladder to the roof.
  • Exposures
    • The potential fires

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Size Up for the RIT Team
  • Hose-line Placement and Availability:
    • How many lines, where are they going, who is on them?
    • Which apparatus are supplying the lines?
    • Is the water supply adequate for the flow?

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other functions for rit
Other Functions for RIT
  • Set ladders at windows before they are needed.
  • Foot ladders.
  • Set jacks for aerial apparatus.
  • Move hoses into position to protect firefighters.
  • Short assignments that can be completed quickly.

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rit can set a ladder and return to standby mode
RIT Can Set a Ladder and Return to Standby Mode
  • Good ladder placement!

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RIT Can Set a Ladder and Return to Standby Mode
  • RIT can throw a few ladders in a small period of time with little effort and commitment.

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rit can foot a ladder and return to standby mode
RIT Can Foot a Ladder and Return to Standby Mode
  • RIT can foot the ladder so firefighters can safely enter the building. Again, not a long commitment.

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rit can defend a ladder and return to standby mode
RIT Can Defend a Ladder and Return to Standby Mode
  • RIT can quickly hold a fire in check when firefighters are descending on a ladder.

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rit team
RIT Team?
  • Lots of people on the roof, but no ladder.
  • If they are pulling the ceiling on the first floor, was there fire?

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what is this firefighter saying
What is This Firefighter Saying?
  • Put down the camera and get me a ladder!

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self survival tactics
Self - Survival Tactics
  • “One of the most effective ways to survive the hostile environment and dangerous conditions encountered at interior structural fire operations is to prevent yourself from getting into a serious life threatening predicament in the first place!” John J. Salka Jr. BC FDNY

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Self - Survival Tactics
  • Just thinking about what you are doing and why you are doing it can have a tremendous effect on most fire ground operations.
  • NOT Thinking, but just performing certain tasks because you have been instructed to do so, is a dangerous way to go through your firefighting career.
  • If you don’t know why you’re performing a function or tactic and you run into trouble or can’t complete a job, you won’t know what the consequences are to yourself or the other firefighters on the scene.

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Self - Survival Tactics
  • Every action you take, every tactic you employ and every move you make on the fire ground should be well thought out and understood.
  • If you know what to do but don’t know why, ASK at an appropriate time!

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Self - Survival Tactics
  • There are literally hundreds of activities going on at working structural fires.
    • Engine Companies - Search and Rescue, stretching hose, laying supply, operating master streams, advancing to interior fires, etc.
    • Ladder Companies - Search and Rescue, forcible entry, ventilation, overhaul, etc.

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Self - Survival Tactics
  • There are some tactics that firefighters can take at all fire operations to reduce their chances of being injured in sudden dangerous occurrences or getting into a situation that they are not able to escape from.

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Self - Survival Tactics
  • There are FIVE basic tactics that, if performed at every interior structural fire operation, will dramatically increase a firefighters chance of surviving the operation.

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Self - Survival Tactics
  • Staying Oriented
  • Staying Low
  • Monitoring Conditions
  • Monitoring the Radio
  • Staying Calm

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self survival tactics staying oriented
Self - Survival TacticsStaying Oriented
  • Simply put, this means knowing where you are, where you came from, where you are going and how to get out rapidly at any moment.
  • Many firefighters killed inside structural fires just got lost. They may run out of air frantically searching for a way out, panic and rip their mask off, or fall into a shaft / opening.
  • The importance of knowing exactly where they are inside a burning building is paramount in assuring their survival when things go bad.

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Self - Survival TacticsStaying Oriented
  • There are several levels of orientation to be understood before a firefighter can truly know where they are at any given time.
  • First is the general location within the building. What floor are we on? What section of the building.

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Self - Survival TacticsStaying Oriented
  • The second level of orientation that must be understood is the room layout that the firefighter is operating in.

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Self - Survival TacticsStaying Oriented
  • The third level of orientation a firefighter must realize is their exact location in the room.

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Self - Survival Tactics
  • Staying Oriented
  • Staying Low
  • Monitoring Conditions
  • Monitoring the Radio
  • Staying Calm

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self survival tactics staying low
Self - Survival TacticsStaying Low
  • One of the biggest mistakes made by firefighters today is not getting down on the floor when operating at fires.
  • Advancing hose into a structure or beginning SAR operations. Firefighters operating inside structural fires are much safer when they take a position close to the floor.

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Self - Survival TacticsStaying Low
  • Where is the heat?
  • Where is the smoke?
  • Where is the fire?
  • Common sense should tell you to stay as low as possible to operate in the most conducive atmosphere where the heat and smoke conditions will be at their lowest levels.

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Self - Survival TacticsStaying Low
  • Visibility - Should be at its best lowest to the floor.
  • Visibility - Most victims found inside burning buildings are found on furniture such as beds and couches or on the floor.
  • Rarely documented instances show victims of fire standing up in the room! They won’t be there!

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Self - Survival TacticsStaying Low
  • A firefighter that is suddenly exposed to high heat or flame spread in a room will have those few extra seconds to think and react …if they are low to the floor.
  • The same firefighter standing up will be severely exposed and burned if the upper atmosphere they are in ignites.

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Self - Survival Tactics
  • Staying Oriented
  • Staying Low
  • Monitoring Conditions
  • Monitoring the Radio
  • Staying Calm

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self survival tactics monitoring conditions
Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • Many of the firefighters who are injured or killed at interior structural fire operations were never aware of the dangerous conditions they were in until it was too late.
  • Being aware of the conditions around you inside a burning building is vital to a firefighter’s survival.

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • Awareness is not just taking note of the obvious happenings.
  • It is the deliberate monitoring of every possible condition that could suddenly increase:
    • Increase in Heat.
    • Decrease in Visibility.
    • Direction of Travel.

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • The actual monitoring of conditions begins with the dispatch call. What did it sound like when the initial call came in?
  • It then progresses to the on scene arrival reports from the company officer, followed by the incident commander.
  • How did it change? What variables are now progressing?

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • Monitoring conditions can be a very localized tactic that may vary from floor to floor and room to room inside a structure.
  • For this reason, every firefighter must be continuously performing this tactic while operating inside.

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • Basic Observations-
    • Smoke behavior, movement.
    • Smoke density and fire is simply watching the level of visibility immediately upon entering the building. From there, is it
      • Improving
      • Worsening
      • Staying the same

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • If conditions are remaining the same as you advance towards the fire, you can continue to advance and monitor.
  • If you are advancing and conditions are becoming more severe, you must begin to consider other factors such as heat levels and the direction from which the heat and smoke are coming.

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • Monitor Heat Conditions
  • Knowing how hot it is will not only help us decide whether or not to enter an area but it will be a deciding factor of when we may have to evacuate or retreat from an area.

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • This is a tremendous area of concern. Firefighters are accustomed to operating in high heat conditions. Our protective equipment does well in insulating and protecting us from that heat.
  • How do we know how hot hot really is?

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • A way to check the heat in a structural fire operation is to reach up into the area overhead and make a very tight fist with the gloved hand.
  • This allows the glove to tighten around the back of hand and knuckles and allows the heat to penetrate to some degree onto the firefighters hand.

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • Another method that is not recommended is to partially remove the back of the glove to slightly expose the skin to the temperature in the room.
  • This can be dangerous as it is partially removing the glove to expose skin…a violation of safety and frowned upon by standards and safety.

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • Whatever method you employ, monitor the heat conditions that you are operating in and under in order to give yourself those few extra seconds to retreat to an area of refuge.

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Self - Survival Tactics
  • Staying Oriented
  • Staying Low
  • Monitoring Conditions
  • Monitoring the Radio
  • Staying Calm

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self survival tactics monitoring the radio
Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring the Radio
  • Portable radios, when worn by firefighters at interior structural operations, give that member a direct audible connection to every other member on the fire ground that also has a radio.

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • The fire ground “network” allows firefighters to transmit important information from their area of operations to other firefighters or to Incident Command.
  • This also allows Incident Command to be informed of rapidly changing events.

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • From a survival point of view, a radio may well be the one piece of equipment that makes the difference between the life and death of a trapped or disorientated firefighter.
  • It is not uncommon for firefighters working in teams to become disorientated or separated from from each other while operating under extreme conditions.

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Self - Survival TacticsMonitoring Conditions
  • If a firefighter does become lost, disorientated, or suddenly confronted with a dangerous condition, they can immediately call for assistance if they are radio equipped.
  • Now the IC can ascertain the floor , building side, fire condition and firefighters major difficulty instantly.

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Self - Survival Tactics
  • Staying Oriented
  • Staying Low
  • Monitoring Conditions
  • Monitoring the Radio
  • Staying Calm

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self survival tactics staying calm
Self - Survival TacticsStaying Calm
  • There are as many different types of people in the fire service as there are in every other walk of life.
  • Some firefighters react excitedly simply by hearing about or being assigned to respond to a working fire.

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Self - Survival TacticsStaying Calm
  • Mastering the tactics such as Staying Low, Staying Oriented, Monitoring Conditions, and Monitoring the Radio will do absolutely nothing for the firefighter who panics.

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Self - Survival TacticsStaying Calm
  • Being excited while responding to and operating at routine, non eventful operations gives a pretty good indication of the probable response this same firefighter would have to a sudden dangerous situation inside a burning building.

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Self - Survival TacticsStaying Calm
  • A firefighter that panics will not be able to remember the important steps that must be taken to escape that situation.
  • Instead, their mind will be racing through hundreds of random thoughts with none being brought to conclusion.
  • All thoughts are probably good ones recalled from training, but they are being replaced so quickly by the next thought that no one idea is ever completely acted upon.

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Self - Survival TacticsStaying Calm
  • What we, as firefighters, need to do is to be prepared to insert ourselves into ongoing and escalating emergency situations with an eye towards regaining control of the situation.

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Self - Survival TacticsStaying Calm

When the fire department arrives with a calm, professional attitude; they will…

  • Become a conditioned response
  • Will be demonstrated not only at routine operations but it will be the automatic response for all calls
  • Training that firefighters will fall back on when confronted with sudden hostile conditions.

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“The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'.” - unknown

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