All posts by plamb

Tactical Fire Problem – Apartment Fire floor 2

This week the tactical problem is a second floor apartment in a congested area. Take a look.

1.) Did you even notice the smoke hanging low under the balcony porch area before it broke out? Rewind and play it again. This is the reason that when you are approaching a scene you should be traveling slowly and observing on approach. (There are a bunch of YouTube videos out there that show apparatus arriving on scenes and going 30 MPH on approach, I will discuss that in a separate post later on)

2.) Look at the building features particularly on side D (Side 4 for my NY folks!). How are those windows for entry and/ or rescue?

3.) How about working room in the street for ground ladders apparatus and other foreground operations ?

4.) Can the incident commander get a wide enough vantage point to see what is going on? (More on that one in a separate post as well)

5.) think about the three basic question, What have I got?, Where is it going?, what do I need to control it?

Thanks and stay safe!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Aerial Ladder Consideration

In major cities, this problem is less prevalent then in small departments that might have minimal manpower and less fire duty and don’t use their aerial as much as others.

This is not an aerial ladder program by any means but just some random thoughts for a small training on aerial use.

Make sure all drivers and operators are specially trained and re-trained as necessary on a regular basis.

Do not overload or use beyond design strength or performance ratings.

Inspect after each use completely and document and report deficiencies.

Make sure that ladder and all ground ladders are tested annually.

Use extreme caution on any uneven surfaces and steep hills.

Ladder will have less load carrying at lower angles.

Ladder will have less load carrying at greater extension.

Use caution with loose gear around the turntable area.

Operators should be attentive to inclinometer during use.

Always be aware of overhead obstructions, wires, overhangs, etc.

Keep the tip visible and lit well during night operations.

Maintain hydraulic system constantly. Take precautions in extreme cold weather.

Operate within the manufacturer’s instructions and or specifications.

In general get the rig out and have operators perform certain designated tasks, such as placement drills, speed of set up (safely!), and smoothness in operation of controls.

Do not trust that an operator with only limited operating experience will be able to use this vital piece of equipment when needed.

Train with nightime operations as well!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Personnel Accountability

Just a small reminder that the rules of accountability state that you should be within VOICE, VISUAL, or TOUCH with your partner and crew.

The next time you have an incident or a drill, try and do that and see how
really difficult it is. Practice this when you are on the simple “smells and bells” calls.

At your next call or training drill have someone see how many times this rules gets violated

This is a real chore and can be a pain in the neck.

As conditions change and the area becomes filled with smoke, the visual goes away.
Move closer!

The voice becomes muffled by a mask and you now have to be much closer than you were.
Move closer!

Smoke banked to the floor and high heat….you must be in touch contact in case something goes wrong, you can assist your crew members.

At your next five incidents try to maintain this level of accountability.

E-Mail back and tell us how difficult that really is.

It’s hard work to stay safe….but really give it a shot, you and your family are worth it!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Tactical Fire Problem – Furniture Store

This week the tactical problem involves an extremely significant fire problem. This is an older building, taxpayer style, with a furniture store on floor 1. Lets take a look.

1.) It is always a great size up feature when the age of the building is right on the front! Lets look at the height of the building above the second story window tops. What does that indicate?

2.) What types of problems do the two vehicles create for the stretch? What is your pre-connect length and how will that be affected by pulling up “on the curb”?

3.) Fire showing floor 1 on the A/B corner and the storefront window has blown. Based upon previous fire history and study, with a load of modern furnishings and this increase in air at a low level, how much time do you have to make a stretch with a big line?

4.) Conditions on floor 2 are relatively clear but it looks like the cockloft is roaring. How big is your crew, how much help do you have, and get you react and operate on the floor above, with a significant void space fire?

5.) Preplan any of these buildings that you might have in your area. Also this might be the time to remember the old adage ” Go Big, or Go Home!”

Send feedback and answers to info@petelamb.com , and I will discuss your thoughts on this problem.

Stay Safe!

Pete Lamb

Cold Weather Operations – Some random thoughts

I probably should have put this one out earlier but with a bunch of serious fires here in Massachusetts and Rhode Island lately, and the single digit temperatures, I thought I would get it out now.

* Always, always circulate water in the pump during cold weather operations. Don’t forget quint apparatus either!

* Sand and speeding dri can be used at the front doors and entry points of working fires to prevent members from taking a tumble.

* Keep nozzles flowing to avoid freeze-ups

* Notify the water department so that hydrants that have been used can be drained down, or have anti freeze added.

* Dress in layers whenever you can. I never heard anyone complain about an extra pair of wool socks.

* Camping supply hand Warner’s and foot Warner’s can be used. (Don’t tell the crew they will call you sissy names, but at least you will be warm!)

* If hose and equipment is badly frozen, contact your local towing company and they will assist you with a flat bed so you are not twisting, folding and compressing hose and items that might cause damage.

* Chauffeurs should be extremely conscious of battery maintenance in the extreme cold. Also depending how cold the temps are tire pressures can fluctuate considerably.

* Check for excessive condensation in air brake systems and air ride suspension systems on ambulances.

* Keep your SCBA regulator inside your coat whenever you can due to condensation buildup during use, and temperature change from inside to out.

* Consider a plan for taking care of residents affected by the fire, keep them out of the elements when you can.

* Consider additional alarms sooner. Things will freeze, men will operate slower, and conditions dictate more manpower.

* Remember in single digit temperatures, smoke color may be lighter due to frozen water vapor, and may move slower, and this could affect size up and your initial read of the situation.

* Make sure hydrants, dry hydrants and water holes are cleared out as early as possible.

* Make sure access to boat ramps and ponds are cleared and not ignored, so you have access for ice rescues.

There are tons of these, so feel free to send along any others to info@petelamb.com

Stay safe…….and Stay Warm!

( This post is not intended for our readers in the warmer climates and does not apply to friends I have on the job I’m Florida who tell me it’s cold when it is 45 degrees either!)

Pete Lamb @ Copyright 2012
For information contact pete@petelamb.com

The I Stair – The Green Maltese Website

This article crossed my desk yesterday and I won’t even paraphrase it or change it all, but will just provide the link.

This is a new construction technique that involves a pre fabricated staircase with multiple gusset plate connectors.

Please pass this important safety bulletin throughout your department.

The I Stair at Green Maltese Website

Also if you have not already heard about the Green Maltese or do not have their page bookmarked, please do so there is great information on their website!

Thanks and stay safe!

Pete Lamb @ Copyright 2012
For information contact pete@petelamb.com

Tactical Fire Problem – Accident with Fire and Entrapment

This week we will look at a vehicle accident. There is 1 person pinned and trapped in the vehicle. This is an active roadway with traffic flowing.

1.) Based upon what you see here think about the manpower and resources you would need to call and list them on a sheet of paper with the tasks you would assign each company. (Think outside agencies also)

2.) What is in the truck? How could different potential cargo affect your decision making or resources?

3.) In most extrication scenarios we always have a charged line present. When was the last time you drilled while using the tool under a hand line protection (flowing water). (If you practice this use extreme caution due to reduced visibility and the tools being slippery)

4.) How familiar are you with the technique of using dry chemical extinguishers in conjunction with a hose stream for vehicle fires, tire fires etc? Try it and experiment with it when you have a live fire opportunity, you might be surprised.

5.) this case has no exposures. How would the scenario change if this were a “middle lane scenario” with vehicles on both sides?

Next time you are driving the highway, look around and play a little mental “what if” game. Hey at least I did not make it a tanker! (Well, not this week anyway)

Pete Lamb @ Copyright 2012
For information contact pete@petelamb.com