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Firefighters trapped… …a case study December 2, 1995 52 South Morton Avenue Morton, Pennsylvania Edwin PowerPoint Presentation
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Firefighters trapped… …a case study December 2, 1995 52 South Morton Avenue Morton, Pennsylvania Edwin C. Kline Objectives. To demonstrate the need for proper MAYDAY training.

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Firefighters trapped… …a case studyDecember 2, 199552 South Morton Avenue Morton, PennsylvaniaEdwin C.

  • To demonstrate the need for proper MAYDAY training.
  • To understand that strategic goals and tactical objectives must be set by an incident commander.
  • To understand the importance of firefighter accountability and pre-fire planning.
  • To demonstrate why fire ground channels MUST be monitored by trained dispatchers.
  • And to become passionate about firefighter safety.
the incident
The Incident
  • December 2nd, 1995
  • 0300 hours
  • Apartment building fire
    • 3 story
    • 18 apartment units
    • Center hall
    • Stairways front and rear
the incident4
The Incident
  • Civilians reported trapped
    • Apartment 16 (3rd floor)
    • Hanging from windows
  • One civilian fatality
  • Arson
the incident13
The Incident
  • 911 Fire & EMS dispatchers use predetermined response cards.
  • Automatic mutual aid response of three volunteer fire companies and additional EMS.
    • Co. 11 - Morton
    • Co. 13 - Rutledge
    • Co. 14 - Swarthmore
the response
The Response
  • The initial fire company resources dispatched includes six engines & two ladders.
    • 13-1, 13-2
    • 11-3, 11-5, 11-1
    • 14-5, 14-2, 14-1
the response15
The Response
  • At this incident I responded as the Captain on the Swarthmore’s aerial ladder (14-5).
  • 14-5 was staffed by
    • Captain (apparatus commander)
    • Engineer (driver/operator)
    • Three Firefighters (4 max.)
upon arrival
Upon Arrival
  • A sea of people in the street
  • Fire Showing from the front stairwell
  • Subjects trapped at second and third floor windows
  • Reports of an invalid trapped on the second floor
firefighter entrapment
Firefighter Entrapment
  • The crew from Ladder 14-5 made one ladder rescue and made two attempts to vent, enter, and search the building from ground ladders.
  • The crew then combined with Engine 11-3 and entered the rear stairwell.
  • An attack and search of the second floor was made for an invalid reported to be trapped.
  • Firefighters became trapped when a partial collapse occurred.
audio recording
Audio Recording
  • This audio recording has been used to create new procedures.
    • MAYDAY transmissions
    • Incident Command System
    • Firefighter accountability
    • Assignment of rapid intervention and rehab sectors
    • Training of dispatchers
  • Note actions or inactions which affected the outcome of the incident.
play audio tape
Play Audio Tape
  • Dispatch
  • Company 11
  • Company 13
  • Company 14
  • Medic 102
  • 52 South Morton Avenue, apartment 16
  • Structure with Entrapment, 0302
audio tape
Audio Tape
  • Medic102 responding
  • 11-9A responding (Morton Fire Company Deputy Chief)
  • Police reporting heavy fire with quite a few fire victims, we will be getting a couple ambulances out
  • Okay, get us a few ambulances and an additional ALS (Paramedic Unit)
audio tape22
Audio Tape
  • 14-9 responding (Swarthmore Fire Chief)
  • 11-9A?
  • Received original call from apartment 16, the phone line is still active we believe that the subject is trapped
  • On location fire showing second floor hallway in the front of the building
  • Medic 102 to fireboard, can you go up to channel four please
audio tape23
Audio Tape
  • 14 confirming (Swarthmore has a crew)
  • 14-9 to fireboard, multiple subjects trapped third floor
  • 11-9 (Morton Fire Chief) is 10-3 (on-scene) in the rear
  • 11-9A reports multiple people trapped on the second and third floors requests companies 44 and 18 to respond and stage at Rio’s Pharmacy
audio tape24
Audio Tape
  • Medic 102-7 responding
  • Medic 102-7 okay, channel four for EMS
  • (Engine) 11-3 & 9B (Asst. Chief) responding
  • (Ladder) 14-5 is responding
  • Find out if they want us in the rear or the front
  • Fireboard to 11-9 (twice)
  • (Engine) 13-1 & 13-9 (Rutledge Fire Chief) responding
audio tape25
Audio Tape
  • Fireboard to 11-9 or 9A
  • 14-5 to the front or rear of the building, you want them?
  • 14-5 to the front, (Ladder) 11-5 to the rear
  • 44-9A (Deputy Chief) responding
  • Okay we are coming down Yale now
  • 11-5 responding to the rear
audio tape26
Audio Tape
  • 11-3 on location, dropping a line at Yale Avenue and laying in to the rear of the building
  • 14-5 on location, on location
  • (Engine) 14-2 on location
  • Tower 44 responding
  • 11-5 on location
  • 11-9, orders for Tower 44?
  • Front of the building to assist 14 with removal of occupants, 11-5 place your stick to the third floor
audio tape27
Audio Tape
  • 14-2 will be laying in from Rio’s
  • (Engine) 14-1 responding
  • (Engine) 44-2 responding
  • 44-9A to 11-9
  • Anywhere in particular you want our apparatus?
  • 44-5 in front to assist with evacuation, have your next engine lay in from Rio’s, and another pick up the hydrant
audio tape28
Audio Tape
  • 44-9A gives orders to 44-5 (Tower 44) and 44-2
  • 11-9, Company 18, what’s our orders?
  • 18 come into the rear to assist 11 with evacuation and firefighting
  • 13-1 to (Engine) 13-2
  • Tower 44 on location
  • Fireboard to 11-9 our message?
  • Establishing Morton Avenue Command
audio tape29
Audio Tape
  • 13-1 to 13-2 I need water!
  • (Engine) 11-2 responding
  • Rescue 44 is responding
  • Orders for 11-2?
  • Pick up the hydrant at Mellace’s, 11-3 laid in from there
  • (Captain) 14-12 to 9 {First Collapse}
  • 14 unit, go to Morton Avenue Command
audio tape30
Audio Tape
  • 11-9A?
  • Meet Morton Avenue Command at his car behind you
  • Location?
  • Meet me at my car
  • 14-9 to 11-9
  • Go head to Morton Avenue Command
audio tape31
Audio Tape
  • Be advised we have a two and half going into the front door to the ground floor and an inch and three quarter line going through an apartment on the second floor
  • Be advised we have lost the stairwell in the front of the building
  • 44-9A to 11-9!
  • Do you have manpower on the third floor of the building?
audio tape32
Audio Tape
  • We have a crew attempting to get up there I am unaware if they have made it or not yet, they went up the rear
  • Okay, we are going to attempt to take the tower up the side alley and take the windows out
  • Car 99 to Fireboard
  • I am going to request that the Red Cross be dispatched to this Morton fire. See if you can get a hold of the state police and CID, we have had several fires at this location.
audio tape33
Audio Tape
  • (Ladder Captain) 14-C5 to 14-9!
  • 14-C5 to 14-9!
  • 11-9 I believe 14, one of the crew from the ladder is trying to contact you
  • 14 unit go head Morton Avenue Command
  • Morton Avenue Command the air bank’s enroute
  • I didn’t copy Fireboard I believe you said they evacuated
audio tape34
Audio Tape
  • 14-C5?
  • 14-9 to Morton Command
  • Do you have crews working on the interior from the rear of the building?
  • Affirmative
  • Be advised all crews from the front of the building have removed themselves from the building
  • Okay
audio tape35
Audio Tape
  • 14-9 to Morton Command
  • Morton Avenue Command to fireboard, gas and electric to the scene
  • Morton Avenue Command, number one, do you have PECO (utility company) enroute to this location? And secondarily, you have a severe exposure problem on exposure B
  • Repeat you message I got the part about the exposure problem on side B
audio tape36
Audio Tape
  • Morton Avenue Command the fire has got your electric supply and exposure to 56 Morton Ave
  • (Engine) 44-1 responding
  • 14-C5 to 14-9!!!
  • 44-9A to 11-9
  • All units clear the air, (Engine Captain) 14-C1?
  • {Tone}
  • All units clear the air, Fireboard to 14-C1
audio tape37
Audio Tape
  • 44-9A to 11-9
  • 44-9A clear the air!
  • 14-9?
  • Fireboard to 14-9
  • I believe you have a unit 14-C-Kline trying to call you, I do not know what the problem is
  • Stand-by
audio tape38
Audio Tape
  • 44-9A to 11-9!
  • Repeat, I am not picking up on the portable
  • 14-C5 to 14-9
  • Second floor, we entered from the rear with an inch and three-quarter, we searched all the apartments on the second floor, not everybody’s out, we have collapse of the second floor floor and the ceiling from the third, I still do not have all my crew out, hold on
audio tape39
Audio Tape
  • I could not copy most of that, we have part of your crew coming out the front second floor right window, can you make it back to that point?
  • Charge my supply line
  • {Tone}
  • All units clear the air for 14-C5
  • Go head to 14-C5
  • Are you in or out?
audio tape40
Audio Tape
  • I’m out, I’m out, I’m trying to find my crew
  • Reporting crew out fireboard, thank you
  • Where are you, out front?
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Create and train on a may-day transmission procedure regularly.
  • Have an automated personal accountability safety system (PASS) on every SCBA.
  • Initiate a personnel accountability system for all operations.
  • Create and train on a personal accountability report (PAR) procedure.
lessons learned42
Lessons Learned
  • Preplan your buildings.
  • Use automatic mutual aid to insure that sufficient resources area available on the fireground.
  • Conduct a size-up that provides firefighters with strategic and tactical direction.
  • Train on and use the incident command system at all incidents.
lessons learned43
Lessons Learned
  • Establish command early.
    • Set primary goals and objectives
    • Assign command and general staff
    • Assign required sectors, groups, or branches
    • Do not operate outside of the span of control
  • Establish a rehabilitation sector for firefighters.
  • Assign rapid intervention (RIT) teams.
lessons learned44
Lessons Learned
  • Maintain control of communications.
    • Insure specialized units receive critical incident information
    • Assign additional channels
    • Use and train on emergency traffic declarations
    • Provide other communications equipment
  • Insure that dispatchers are properly trained in emergency traffic and mayday transmissions.
52 south morton avenue
52 South Morton Avenue
  • This incident was a life changing experience.
  • I am proud to know that because of this experience numerous firefighters have learned the importance of training and planning for when things will go wrong on the fireground.