Category Archives: TACTICAL PROBLEM

Tactical Fire Problem – Bakery Fire

This week a look at a commercial bakery fire.

1.) Where should the first line go?
2.) What types of additional hazards can be expected with a bakery fire?
3.) What are your best ventilation options for this scenario?
4.) How much hose would it take to reach a rear second floor apartment?
5.) Where in the building is the most likely source of this fire?
If you want feedback on your answered take the above quiz HERE.
Send any questions or feedback to
Feel free to use the send voicemail tab at the side of the page.
Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Tactical Fire Problem – Leaking Tanker

This week a leaking tanker on the highway.

1.) A pressurized tanker with a “bucket box” at the rear. What form or state of matter is the material carried inside?
2.) What could be the potential products that might be inside?
3.) Using the scenario you see here and using the NAERG Book, what guide number would you follow?
4.) Is your department equipped to handle this emergency as presented? If not, what are your closest local resources?
5.) This tanker could have a red or a green placard. You cannot see it because of the angle and the leak. What is the simplest way of confirming what product is on board?

Take this quiz HERE. or
send your responses to if you want feedback or use the Send Voicemail tab at the side of the web page. All responses receive replies
Thanks and stay safe, and stay thinking!
Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Tactical Fire Problem – Auto parts store

This week the problem is a tire and auto parts store. Take a look.

1.) What size line is needed for this fire?

2.) What is the type of building construction here and what does that do to your tactical considerations?

3.) A brand new building would be sprinklered. This is an old existing building in a suburban community and it is not sprinklered. What does the lack of sprinklers mean in a building that could have steel bar joist roof construction?

4.) Have you ever considered, practiced or used foam hand lines on an interior attack?

5.) What does the high BTU fire load mean to your departments operation? Lots of water flow, requires lots of personnel. Heavy hydrocarbon fire load means lots of SCBA work in large spaces among cluttered stock. Are you ready?

Take the quiz if you want!

Leave comments by using the send voicemail tab along the side of the website, or send an email to

Stay Safe, stay Thinking!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Tactical Fire Problem – Small Cottage

This week we are looking at a small residential structure.

1.) How advanced is this fire based upon the visual presented?

2.) Is the smoke coming from the roof vents a sign of a problem, or should that be expected behavior?

3.) Is the a basement under this structure? Slab only? Crawl space? What do each of these mean to your tactical considerations? Does it matter?

4.) List some difficulties in operating with a crew and hand lines in a smaller structure.

5.) Use caution when operating with a crew of personnel and a line when you are standing on a home built deck. Most of these are always ok, but putting 750-1000 pounds of personnel and a hose stream is a pretty significant live load. Make sure the deck is real!

Send any comments or your thoughts using the send voicemail tab on the right hand side of the page, or just email

Stay safe, and stay thinking!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Tactical Fire Problem – Loading Dock Fire

This week, the cab of a tractor trailer at a loading dock. Take a look.

1.) Let us start with the basics, what size and how many lines, how much water and how many personnel?
2.) Under the category of where is it going, what it is in the box trailer, is it empty be cause it was just unloaded, or is it full because it was just loaded? Have you ever operated at a fully loaded tractor trailer fire? What is it like to get water at the seat of the fire and what is it like to overhaul?
3.) I believe extension into the building is not likely at the moment, and hopefully the building is sprinklered but what is your plan to make sure fire does not get in? How much manpower does that take?
4.) While I don’t believe there will be extension, I certainly believe there will be extensive smoke spread into the building. What is your department’s plan to clear smoke out of a structure this large?
5.) Get out I your response district and look for the large buildings and develop a plan before you need one!
If you want to leave feedback or interact use the send voicemail tab at the side of the page.

Stay safe, and stay thinking!
Pete Lamb @ Copyright 2012
For information contact

Tactical Fire Problem – Large Older Home

This week we look at an advancing fire in a large older home, that could be a colonial or an old farmhouse.

1.) Think about the age of this structure and consider the possibility of balloon frame construction with a large number of void spaces.

2.) Just looking at the structure, do you believe it is occupied, or vacant and what things might lead you to your conclusion.

3.) What is the impact of that fence in front on your hose stretch? How much training do you do to prepare for that? Do you always “shoulder” the hose load and pay it out that way? PRACTICE!

4.) What size ground ladder do you need to reach the dormer windows?

5.) Considering your department’s resources and manpower, how long will you be operating at this fire, and how big of a deal would this be for your organization?

Please feel free to use the SEND VOICEMAIL BAR on the right hand side of the website for feedback, or send and email response to

Stay safe, and stay thinking!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Tactical Fire Problem – Box Truck Fire

This week an exterior truck fire near a building.

1.) A modern truck will have a number of fiberglass body parts and pretty good fire load within the cab.

2.) It appears by smoke from the roof of the box truck that there has been extension into the box. The side indicates it may be from a lumber company. Besides lumber what else might be carried in the truck?

3.) By knowing the businesses in the area you would know if the trucks are generally loaded from the night before, ready for morning delivery, or are they stored empty?

4.) If this truck becomes fully involved what additional problems exist in this scenario?

5.) What problems could exist in a truck fire that might be different then a standard automobile fire? Hydraulics, tires, rims, piston sizes etc.?

When you are out looking around your response area, don’t just focus on the buildings and access but look for other things like vehicle storage or outside material storage. The building fire you respond to my have started from the outside in!

Stay safe, and stay thinking!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Tactical Fire Problem – Attic Fire Ranch House

I am hoping that this week’s problem is an easy one, but we should still review it to see if it can be a refresher. This is an attic fire in a ranch house.

1,) Daytime fire, relatively low square footage dwelling, good open space with limited exposure problem. How many people do you respond with during the daytime, and what tasks need to be done here? (NFA fire flow formula) (NFPA STD – 17 personnel)

2.) The fire is directly under the roof deck so roof ventilation might be in order. The question is, in your department, can you get a ground ladder, a roof ladder, a two man crew and get there before burn through? Have you even considered the time it takes and use your limited manpower to do something else when you know there will be a vent? This is radical thinking! The fire will always vent at the highest point directly above itself. In this photo, how much time before we begin to have a burn through?

3.) In a small ranch house what is the access to the attic space? Small scuttle opening 2 x 2? A pull or drop down stairway? How substantial are those pull down stairs for 1 or 2 firefighters and a handline?

4.) What decision making process do you use before you have firefighters enter the attic area? (Read, confined space, IDLH, flammable toxic environment, with a restrictive single exit)…,…or do we just go, because that is what we always do?

5.) Other attic fire considerations…..does the attic floor have plywood down, or is it joists and insulation? What is the storage situation like? Is the attic space a narrow space surrounded by “stuff” packed right to the eaves? How does that affect overhaul?

Think about this, stay safe, and stay thinking!

Feedback and discussion welcome at

Pete Lamb @ Copyright 2012
For information contact

Tactical Fire Problem – Hotel

This week we are taking an interior view. This simulation is broken into three logical parts and I encourage you to watch about 20 seconds, pause the video and make some decisions.
You are a four person crew and have just walked up from 2 flights below to get to this floor to investigate an odor of smoke, reported by someone from a room on that floor.
Take a look.

1.) The type of call here is strange because you are receiving a call before the detection system has sounded. Does this mean the caller could be in the room of origin or an immediate adjacent room. Think rescue!
2.) Is the building sprinklered and what impact will that have on your operation, and smoke spread.
3.) What suppression equipment do you take with you when investigating alarms of this type. Do you always carry a “can”?
4.) How will you handle taking the window in the fire room? Does the interior crew take it or can you properly direct a ladder company from the outside? Or a combination of both attempts at the same time?
5.) It is a four person crew operating in a well constructed modern building. When a member goes to low air, what do you do? Does everybody leave? Does the member leave by themself because of the construction of the building and possible safe areas of refuge? Do two members leave and two members make the push and knockdown into the room? Send you thoughts to
Stay safe! Stay thinking!
Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

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