It is great to be back after a fairly lengthy hiatus due to the need to focus on the organization I serve Horry County Fire Rescue. Since coming to Horry County Fire Rescue I have had the opportunity to serve with a very dedicated caring group of people who have to overcome a lot of adversity everyday. These great men and women who serve tirelessly everyday serving the over 300,000 citizens and 15million visitors to the Grand Strand each year. With adversities like understaffing, aging apparatus, increased response volume and no pay increase comes the opportunity for individuals to become very negative and even disgruntled. I am sure this was the case with some but the majority always kept that competing edge of a positive attitude even when they were faced with issues. The Attitude is Everything series will embark on a journey looking into the components of just how Attitude impacts organizations and especially leaders. TheCompanyOfficer.com will explore further the concept of Attitude is Everything especially in servant leadership. Stay tuned to as we embark on a journey at one of the paramount times in the year for the fire service as we come together next week in Indianapolis for the 2013 FDIC Conference. I would like to invite you to come to my program Training Today’s Fire Service Wednesday afternoon April 24, 2013 at 3:30 in the Walbash 2 Room at the convention center. I hope to see you there!
Archives for christopher-naum-thecompanyofficer-com
Taking it to the Streets: “All Companies Stand-By”: Transmitting the Box for….Your Street on this DayNo comments
The fact that at times, our surroundings do become a blur and fade into the background does occur and should be recognized as a gap and corrected.
- Checkout other interactions on Buildingsonfire on Facebook HERE and don’t forget to to LIKE and pass the link along
At times, our surroundings become a blur and fade into the fabric that defines our response district, our first-due, our neighborhood, community, city or town. We tend to focus on thos…e areas that have an immediacy or frequency that defines day-to –day operations, shifts or alarm dispatches and transmission of “those” box alarms. You know; the ones that have a particular address that always grab our attention.
Company and Command Officers MUST be intensely aware of your area’s fabric, its state and condition, the subtle changes as well as those that a times result in what seems like major changes, renovations or construction that pops up literally overnight or in a matter of weeks. Individually, you should be running scenario through your head as to the “what ifs” for a particular building, structure or occupancy. Share these insights and option plays with your company, station, battalion or group…Invest in the opportunity to game plan and know your world; before the alarms go off and the bell hits and you’re in the street….
Understand how your buildings co-exist with each other, what defines their characteristics, features, profile, hazards and challenges…
This is Part One of a Two Part Post….”All units standby: transmitting the box for….”
- Checkout other interactions on Buildingsonfire on Facebook HERE and don’t forget to to LIKE and pass the link along
At first glance it looks like one BIG building. However, closer scrutiny reveals there are three (3) building occupancies sharing common party walls.
What gives you the first appearance that this may be one building versus three structures? There are a couple of immediate features that can take you down the wrong path if you’re not familiar with the building type, the inherent features as well as the apparent alterations that are now influencing it.
Reading the Building requires skill sets to keeping looking further beyond what is immediately obvious; that successive layers of observations upon arrival and fluid assessment expose other pertinent, Building, Structure, System, Occupancy and Operational Risks, hazards and Considerations in the development of the incident action plan and determination of strategic, tactical and task objectives and assignments.
Here are our Buildingsonfire Street Questions:
- Identify the Building Type(s)
- Can you differentiate the structural system present?
- How many buildings are there and why?
- What if inherent with the Building and Features?
- What is obvious from the Alpha Street Side?
- There are observable features that will be mission-critical related to Building Performance, can you identify?
- What is the expected Predictability of Performance of the buildings and occupancy areas?
- Occupancy Risk is projected to be what?
- Looking at the alleyway on the Delta Division, what can you identify that would be of importance to the IAP and company operations, both interior and exterior.
- What is the expected of the Perimeter Walls (PW)?
- Fire Travel and Propagation: Do you know what to project, anticipate and plan for?
- Operational risk might be what given moderate fire with extension on an upper floor?
- Give yourself some added considerations based on either: Engine Co., Truck/Ladder Co., Rescue/Squad Co., Commander (IC) or RIT/FAST role responsibilities;
- What questions would you seek to identify and answer or assume on the first-due as you read the building?
That’s plenty to keep you going…
Checkout the comments and interactions on Buildingsonfire on Facebook HERE and don’t forget to to LIKE and pass the link along
Here’s a PDF that you can download and share with the company, at the station or use of a quick in-service drill; HERE StreetsSidebySide
- What does the building envelope look like.
- What type of structural systems might be present?
- What would the least favorable system be?
- Projected occupancy load: Operational concerns for a major floor fire?
- Fire Extension probability?
- Occupancy Type?
- Occupancy Risks?
- First-Due Company or Command Officer critical operational considerations?
- Predictability of Building Performance: Lots more here than meets the eye on the first glance….
- What are the projected operational risks?
- Here’s the direct link to this discussion: HERE
- Don’t forget to LIKE Buildingsonfire on FaceBook and CommandSafety on Twitter
- We post frequent interactive sessions on Buildingsonfire on Facebook.
- Look for Ten Minutes in the Street returning to TheCompanyOfficer.com in March…..coming soon with new interactive and expanded content
Central Ohio FOOLS presents
Adaptive Fireground Management for the Company and Command Officer
This program presents insights into emerging concepts and methodologies related to the unique challenges during combat structural fire engagement that require refined strategic, tactical and operational modeling due to extreme fire behavior, building construction and occupancy risk. The principles of Adaptive Fire Ground Management (AFM) will be presented along with integrated discussions on:
- Predictive Risk Management, Command Resiliency, Tactical Patience & integration of Five-Star CommandTM model will be presented with discussion on key Building Construction Systems and Occupancy Risk factors for company effectiveness, operational excellence and firefighter safety
- The program will integrate key case studies, lessons from the fireground, insights into emerging fire ground tactical theory with a focus of understanding occupancy risk with today’s Buildings on fire.
- This is an interactive and thought provoking program that challenges conventional fire service paradigms and explores leading edge theories and fire service discussion points from across the American Fire Service profession.
- This program is for ALL levels of rank and experience, not just officers.
Friday March 8th, 2013 • 0900-1600 hrs. $50.00 per Student
Registration Opens at 8am Columbus FF Union Hall
Station 67, 379 Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215
CEU: 6 hrs. Provided by Columbus State Community College | Meet & Greet Immediately Following
Point of Contact: Jason Kay (614) 65-FOOLS, email@example.com
Registration: www.centralohiofools.com via PayPal
Analysis of Firetruck Crashes and Associated Firefighter Injuries in the United States
New study came out last month in the Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine entitled “Analysis of firetruck crashes and associated firefighter injuries in the United States.” The authors state that there are some 30,000 firetruck crashes each year and that it represents the second leading cause of death of on-duty firefighters. Their research indicates that much more emphasis is needed on improving seat belt use.
Take the time to read the report. Additionally, a timely video production on Company Officer Responsibilities, Shared responsibilities for Apparatus Engineer/Driver and the entire crew related to seat belt use, response mode, defensive driving and the need to arrive to make a difference…
Approximately 500 firefighters are involved in fatal firetruck crashes each year and 1 out of 100 of these occupants dies as a result of the crash. Despite changes in regulations that govern fire vehicle safety, the average fatality rate per year has remained relatively stagnant. Rollovers are the most common crashes that result in firefighter deaths (66% of all fatal firetruck crashes), and a majority of those fatalities were unrestrained occupants. Redesigning and improving firetruck restraint systems could reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that occur in firetruck crashes, but the restraint systems will only be effective if firefighters buckle them in while riding in the apparatus
Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for on-duty firefighters. Firetruck crashes, occurring at a rate of approximately 30,000 crashes per year, have potentially dire consequences for the vehicle occupants and for the community if the firetruck was traveling to provide emergency services. Data from the United States Fire Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that firefighters neglect to buckle their seatbelts while traveling in a fire apparatus, thus putting themselves at a high risk for injuries if the truck crashes, especially in rollover crashes. Despite national regulations and departmental guidelines aiming to improve safety on fire apparatuses, belt use among firefighters remains dangerously low. The results from this study indicate that further steps need to be taken to improve belt use. One promising solution would be to redesign firetruck seatbelts to improve the ease of buckling and to accommodate wider variations in firefighter sizes.
Each year, an average of 100 firefighters die and 100,000 firefighters are injured in the line of duty from a variety of causes including, but not limited to, extreme physical exertion, underlying medical conditions, and motor vehicle crashes (United States Fire Administration, 2011). The United States Fire Administration (USFA), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, cites motor vehicle crashes as the cause of death for between 20–25% of the annual line-of-duty fatalities. Motor vehicle crashes are the second highest cause of death for firefighters. The leading cause of death is stress and overexertion which accounts for approximately 50% of the fatalities. Other significant causes of death in the dataset include: caught/trapped (10%), fall (5%), collapse (3%) and other (7%) (United States Fire Administration, n.d.). Firetruck crashes, although rare in comparison to non-emergency vehicle crashes, tend to have grave consequences for firetruck occupants and for occupants in other vehicles involved in the crash. Despite revising national standards to improve firetruck safety and reduce firefighters’ risk of injury and fatality, the annual injury and fatality rate has remained essentially unchanged over the past decade.
The USFA has openly prioritized reducing firefighter risk as its number one goal (United States Fire Administration, 2010), intending to accomplish it through injury prevention and mitigation strategies to reduce the total number of line-of-duty injuries and fatalities.
This paper investigates the characteristics of fatal firetruck crashes and identifies some underlying issues that may lead to increased firefighter injury and fatality risk while riding in a fire emergency vehicle. The data presented comes from two different national databases with varying degrees of crash-level and occupant-level information.
Analysis of Firetruck Crashes and Associated Firefighter Injuries in the United States REPORT HERE
Raleigh Rollover: This video was shot by the Seattle Fire Department and created by Nuvelocity for training, educational and safety purposes for the annual Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indiana. We edited their footage into a dramatic and powerful story. http://www.seattle.gov/fire/ http://www.fdic.com/index.html
From the NFFF/EGH program: (HERE)
On Saturday, November 17, members of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Memorial Weekend Staff attended the Fireman’s Ball to present the Everyone Goes Home® Seal of Excellence to the department for its commitment to promoting firefighter safety.
“Under Chief John McGrath’s leadership, the Raleigh Fire Department has been a champion of firefighter safety and successfully has implemented the themes and concepts of the Life Safety Initiatives,” said Victor Stagnaro, director of fire service programs for the Foundation. “The department has focused on excellent customer service, professional service delivery and operational readiness through training and discipline. These characteristics epitomize the Seal of Excellence,” he explained.
A single incident reinforced the importance of fully embracing the tenets of the Initiatives. On July 10, 2009, Ladder 4, a tractor drawn aerial ladder, was involved in a single vehicle accident while responding to a report of a structure fire. Fortunately, there were no fatalities and all the members riding on the apparatus returned to work. Afterward, Chief McGrath and the members of the Raleigh Fire department committed themselves to preventing this type of incident from happening again.
The department sought out the best national training models to provide to its members. After researching the best practices related to apparatus driving, they joined forces with the Seattle Fire Department which was working on a comprehensive training program related to driving tractor-drawn fire apparatus. The result was an extensive training program for the apparatus drivers of the Raleigh Fire department and greater levels of protection and accountability within the organization. They also developed key points to remind all fire service members of the following:
- Safety is First
- Training is Essential
- Wear Your Seatbelt
- Control all Intersections
- Be In Control of Your Apparatus
- You Must Arrive to Make a Difference
The Raleigh Fire Department’s outreach did not stop there. In conjunction with the Seattle Fire Department, Raleigh chose to share the lessons learned and the heartfelt stories of the firefighters that were involved in the crash by developing a training video. Their willingness to openly discuss this close call took courage. But the lessons learned and the desire to prevent others from experiencing a similar event, perhaps one with a more tragic ending, took precedence. The Raleigh fire department pressed forward believing that the safety of firefighters is a crucial element in the culture of firefighting.
(Play from your Desktop – No Internet Connection Required)
» VFIS Online Training Center: Seat Belt Safety
How much thought and efforts do you place on looking beyond the suggested “routiness” of your response operations? You know, the redundancy, routiness and frequency of typical calls you run, the types of fire you engage in and the manner in which your company interfaces with the balance of the alarm response when working a job or multiple alarm operation. We talk about nothing being routine, yet we have a pace, a rhythm and regularity, a consistency that is predicatable yet, uncertain; expected but when presented; off-guard.
When things go wrong, they can go wrong at an escalating rate that may at times not be apparent. Think about the issues that affect Errors, Omissions, Unknown or Unrecognized Building Profile or Construction, Wrong Tactics, Lack of Resources, Dysfunctional Command, Inadequate skills, High Risk-No Value, Situational Awareness failure, Command Compression, Tactical Entertainment…
From a company level, what are your concerns related to the routiness or regularity of your operations?
How would you relate to the fact that: “It’s NOT always business as usual”.
The complexities of the modern and evolving fireground demand an understanding of the building-occupancy relationships and the integral functionals related to;
- construction and systems,
- predictive occupacny performance
- occupancy profile risk
- fire dynamics and fire behavior,
- risk respect
- firefighting capabilities
- safety consciousness
- situational awareness
- tactical patience
- fluid and adaptive incident command management,
- diligent company level supervision and
- task level company competencies,
- exceptional individual skills
Without the sum of these; You are derelict and negligent and “not “everyone may be going home”.
How much knowledge and formal training have you had as a Commanding Officer or Company Officer on Building Construction?
Have any clue on the performance of Engineered Structural Systems….?
Are your strategic plans and tactics aligned with Occupancy Risk and projected Building Performance, company capabilities and the fire dynamics?
There’s a lot that can be gleaned from your surroundings on any given day. We sometimes take for granted the subtle changes that are happening all around us as we take care of business on our rounds, runs and calls. We tend to focus in on the immediacy of the events that are happening in front of us that demand our attention but fail to take a look around to pick up on information, data and insights that can help us on that next run or down the road in the future.
Take a look at the construction that might be going up in your areas. I’m certain you’re paying close attention to what’s happening in your first-due, but what about that third-due area, that neighboring jurisdiction or the mutual-aid area that you occasionally run in to? When you’re on that next EMS run or an investigation of an odor or alarm bells service call, take a few extra minutes to walk through the occupancy. Conduct your own mini company level pre-plan.
Look at the layout, features, access and construction features. If you have a chance, verify the structural support systems employed by the building for the floor and roof systems. If you have time, take the company on a quick site visit to that building that’s under construction or the renovations that are again underway in that commercial or business occupancy around the corner from quarters.
These continuing challenging economic times places a great deal of influence on what’s being built, how it might be constructed, the manner in which a building may be operational one day, vacant the other and under renovation the next. Sometimes these transformations occur literally overnight.
Take a good look around, this is your town…your district, your response area. Know your buildings, understand their performance profiles, and assess the predictability of performance. Remember; Building Knowledge = Firefighter Safety.
If you think these factors are not important OR you dismiss them as being non-material-think again;
Do you know where you’re going? Have you checked your compass lately to see if you are still on the right track?
They are Mission Critical for firefighter safety and incident mitigation
As an officer, you need to stay abreast of operational issues and situations in order to be knowledgeable and conversant with the variables that may affect company deployments and subsequent operations. The National Fire Fighter Near Miss Reporting System (FFNMRS) has a vast collection of resources that are a few keystrokes and links away.
One of the most useful tools in the FFNMRS Tool Box of resources is the Near-Miss Report of the Week (ROTW). The direct link to the page is here.
Take some time to look over the content and subject matter available to you in the form of the weekly publication. The information provides insights and examples of situational near miss events and close calls that provide the lessons learned so that, when confronted with similar precursors or subtle indications, you may be able to draw from the ROTW and the from the lessons and insights of other Near Miss Reports that may prevent a similar close-call/near miss event or from escalating into a more serious event.
Take the time to review the ROTW, sign up for the weekly email delivery and most importantly- read the reports and integrate them into your training, drills, discussions, tabletops, chalk board or podcast talks. Get the FFNMRS reports embedded into your psyche.
Here’s what was sent out this week….
Multiple units responding to the same incident from different directions creates the potential for unscheduled arrivals at intersecting points. These points are most frequently intersections that are in one form or another controlled by devices ranging from stop signs to traffic lights. In this week’s ROTW, report 11-179, reminds us that a green light does not necessarily guarantee the way is safe to proceed.
[ ] Brackets denote reviewer de-identification.
“A municipal ALS equipped engine and a third service county ALS ambulance were dispatched by the same dispatch, on the same radio channel, to a local park for a trauma patient. While enroute, and less than two miles from our station, we approached a heavy traffic intersection, which is blind to the south side. Upon approach, the [brand deleted] signal preemption system (which both the engine and ambulance are equipped with) was delayed in capturing the light. The driver of the engine began to reduce speed and decelerate toward the intersection. As we approached the intersection we captured the light with the signal preemption system, giving us a GREEN light, but for whatever reason, the driver of the engine made a complete stop at the intersection. Just then the ambulance blew through the intersection, not stopping for the RED light. To our surprise, we didn’t hear or see this ambulance until they were in the intersection. Only because of the driver’s situational awareness and intuition (gut feeling) did we come to a complete stop to avoid a collision.”
Right of way rules, line of sight approaches, traffic light pre-emption devices and emergency response SOPs all support apparatus arriving at the scene of an emergency call. Despite all these efforts, human factor plays a role in the safe arrival of all units to their dispatched destination.
Once you have read the entire account of 11-179, and the related reports, consider the following with your colleagues.
- Many departments now have specific rules requiring units to stop at all red lights during emergency response. If your department has such rules in effect, are there any other recommendations for intersection travel to consider?
- The reporter states the driver’s “situational awareness and intuition” contributed to collision avoidance. How large of a role do you believe the two factors played? How do you promote/teach the effect of the “gut feeling” in your driver training sessions?
- How often do you encounter intersection situations with crossing emergency vehicle traffic? Given your estimate, what is your assessment of the likelihood of a collision based on the frequency?
- If your agency uses traffic pre-emptive signaling, how often is the system calibrated/fault-checked to ensure accuracy?
- How many “blind side” intersections exist in your response area? What is the significance of knowing where they are?
Emergency response ranges from high frequency, high risk to low frequency and high risk depending on how many calls for service a department receives. Reducing the risk associated, whether the frequency is high or low is an essential element of keeping our promise to the communities we serve. Doing your part by keeping your speed under control and being on the lookout for hazardous situations like intersections, will promote getting you to the scene quickly and returning for the next run.
Related Reports – Topical Relation: Driving: Intersections
Experience a near miss with another piece of apparatus while responding? Submit your report to www.firefighternearmiss.com today.
Note: The questions posed by the reviewers are designed to generate discussion and thought in the name of promoting firefighter safety. They are not intended to pass judgment on the actions and performance of individuals in the reports.
To Sign up to receive the Near-Miss Report of the Week by email, forward your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Firefighternearmiss.com is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. Founding dollars were also provided by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. The project is managed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and supported by FireFighterCloseCalls.com in mutual dedication to firefighter safety and survival.
We’ve provided some direct links from the ROTW webpage here, but there is a lot more on the firefighternearmiss.com site.
FFNMR – Report of the Week Archives [Direct Link, HERE]
|Page 1 of 7||1 2 3 4 5 6 7|
|File Title||File Size||File Description|
||990 KB||Cover and Spine Label to make your own ROTW Binder.|
||14.8 MB||Complete 2006 Report of the Week Library. ZIP File.|
||35 KB||FF becomes entangled in wires.|
||38 KB||Safety issues overlooked during emergency response.|
||36 KB||Sunshine fould driver’s vision.|
||49 KB||Fighting fire in a vacant structure, concerns addressed.|
||35 KB||Aerial stabilizer narrowly misses firefighter.|
||35 KB||Re-opening a roadway requires coordination.|
||37 KB||Wildland/urban interface fire reveals personnel/equipment needs.|
||37 KB||Apparatus electrified during test by contractor.|
||35 KB||Driver falls asleep on EMS call.|
||38 KB||Roof collapse ignites bedroom injuring firefighter.|
||28 KB||Engine contacts downed powerline at accident scene.|
||38 KB||Structure fire in concealed ceiling causes collapse, nearly trapping interior crews.|
||34 KB||Tire blows following apparatus check.|
||35 KB||Safety glasses do their job during extrication.|
|Page 1 of 7||1 2 3 4 5 6 7|
For some Program insights, check out the recent posting on CommandSafety.com: National Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting System; Untapped Resource
or go Directly to the Firefighternearmiss.com site, HERE
These are some of the Site File Categories;
- 2011 Calendar/Annual Report
- 2011 Calendar Modules
- 2010 Calendar / 2009 Annual Report
- 2009 Near-Miss Calendar
- Annual Reports
- Crew Resource Management
- Equipment Information
- Featured Reports
- Illustrated Case Studies
- Investigation Reports
- Media Center
- Near-Miss Matters eNewsletter
- Near-Miss Trainers
- Report of the Week Archives
- Reports for Training
- Sample Policies & Training Tools
- State Training Resources
- Table Top Training Exercises
National Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System on Facebook, HERE
For a direct point of contact at the NFFNMRS;
When was the last time you looked at the Initiatives?
- Define and advocate the need for a cultural change within the fire service relating to safety; incorporating leadership, management, supervision, accountability and personal responsibility.
- Enhance the personal and organizational accountability for health and safety throughout the fire service.
- Focus greater attention on the integration of risk management with incident management at all levels, including strategic, tactical, and planning responsibilities.
- All firefighters must be empowered to stop unsafe practices.
- Develop and implement national standards for training, qualifications, and certification (including regular recertification) that are equally applicable to all firefighters based on the duties they are expected to perform.
- Develop and implement national medical and physical fitness standards that are equally applicable to all firefighters, based on the duties they are expected to perform.
- Create a national research agenda and data collection system that relates to the initiatives.
- Utilize available technology wherever it can produce higher levels of health and safety.
- Thoroughly investigate all firefighter fatalities, injuries, and near misses.
- Grant programs should support the implementation of safe practices and/or mandate safe practices as an eligibility requirement.
- National standards for emergency response policies and procedures should be developed and championed.
- National protocols for response to violent incidents should be developed and championed.
- Firefighters and their families must have access to counseling and psychological support.
- Public education must receive more resources and be championed as a critical fire and life safety program.
- Advocacy must be strengthened for the enforcement of codes and the installation of home fire sprinklers.
- Safety must be a primary consideration in the design of apparatus and equipment.
The Following links From the NFFF/Everyone Goes Home web site, HERE
Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives Resources
Watch Media Resources:
» Overview & Explanation: View | Download
» Initiative 1: Culture – View | Download
» Initiatives 1 – 4 – View | Download
» Initiatives 5 – 8 – View | Download
» Initiatives 9 – 12 – View | Download
» Initiatives 13 – 16 – View | Download
For Your Computer:
» 16 Initiatives Desktop Wallpaper
Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning — creating conditions where kids’ natural talents can flourish.
Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.
Why don’t we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it’s because we’ve been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies — far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity — are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences. “We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson says.
It’s a message with deep resonance. Robinson’s TEDTalk has been distributed widely around the Web since its release in June 2006.
The most popular words framing blog posts on his talk? “Everyone should watch this.”
A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements. His latest book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, a deep look at human creativity and education, was published in January 2009.
The International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) presented at FDIC 2011, a full day program dedicated towards advancing two elements forward.
The first was to promote and present the ISFSI’s newly established Accreditation and Credentialing Program and series for Fire Instructors.
In addition, the day long program discussed the evolving elements of learning and education advancements that will not only challenge, but change the way the fire service, designs, develops, delivers and facilitates training, education and instruction.
Flipping the classroom is a phrase you’ll be hearing more about, if you haven’t already.
The one thing that is assured; training, education and learning is going to change and change in a big way, in the very near future- for the future is already upon us.
This video clip from TED provides a remarkable perspective on what is at hand and it speaks volumes.
Our three collective sites, Buildingsonfire.com, CommandSafety.com and TheCompanyOfficer.com are leveraging technology, the robust, emerging and revolutionary ways of integrating technology, media delivery systems and platforms integrating the emerging theories, concepts and ideas on what I have defined as Adaptive Fire Management TM (AFM) and the theory of Five Star Command TM .
We are working hard to bring to you an exciting new way of training, incorporating the best of advancing movement of learning, with the innovation of technology aligned and tempered with the originality of vision and insights from some of the leading fire service leaders in the United States.
It is all about integrating the Art and Science of Building Construction, Firefighting and Command Risk Management for Operational Excellence and Fire Fighter Safety TM .
Just wait and see what we have in store for you in the months ahead…..
- As a practicing or emerging Company Officer, Fire Commander or Fire Instructor are you ready to begin to rethink and reprogram the way the fire service needs to teach, train and educate our current and future firefighters, fire officers, commanders and leaders?
- Are your ready?
- TED Direct Link; http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html
- TED, link HERE
Video Clip provided by PGFD Captain Greg Zalenski, Station 812 -College Park (MD)VFD.
A mid-morning fire in a Single family (SFR) residential structure challenged arriving companies as they went into operations. A video clip depicting the responding fire chief enroute and arrival provides a good sequence of the events, fire severity and fire growth. The 2,074 square foot (SF) residential occupancy built in 1988 of wood frame construction did not have any immediate exposure concerns and was readily accessible for operating companies.
Make this a training opportunity; Some things to think about….
After reviewing the video, stills and aerials; as an arriving company or command officer-what some of the operational concerns you would have upon arrival with the volume of fire showing and progressing?
- In this incident, a second alarm was transmitted as a precautionary measure.
- How would you determine the need for additional resources?
- How effective would your box alarm assignment be based upon your current deployment critera?
- Would you have enough personnel and equipment to effectively and safely engage in combat fire suppression, search and rescue and support operations?
- How would the dynamics of this event change- if there were reports of unaccounted civilians?
- How would you defined the command or tactical risk profile of this evolving incident?
- What concerns would you have related to the actual or suspected construction features?
- In the event of a collapse, compromise, entrappment or fire induced condition resulting in a firefighter mayday and need for RIT; what operational considerations would you need to consider, assign or implement?
Incident Overview From PGFD NEWS; Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson
Firefighters from Beltsville (MD) and surrounding stations were alerted to a house fire in the 4100 block of Ulster Road on Monday April 11th morning just before 10:00 am.
Fire/EMS units arrived within minutes and encountered heavy fire coming from the 2-story single family home with an attached garage. A precautionary 2nd Alarm was sounded as fire consumed the garage and had extended into the second floor and roof area.
As firefighters were advancing hose lines and searching for any occupants inside the home, a roof collapse appeared imminent and all personnel were ordered to evacuate the structure. All firefighters self evacuated safely and the firefight continued from the safety of the exterior. Once the bulk of the fire had been knocked down, firefighters re-entered the structure to complete searches and extinguish the remainder of the fire. With the exception of a family pet dog, no one was home when firefighters arrived.
It required about 40 minutes to extinguish the bulk of the fire. There were 60 firefighter/medics, command officers and support personnel that operated on the scene of this incident.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and estimated fire loss is still being tabulated. An adult male neighbor sustained minor lacerations to his arm when he broke the window out of a rear door to allow a dog to escape from the burning home.
ISFSI – The Voice: Live from FDIC 2011: Brian Kazmierzak, Fire Instructor of the Year
Brian Kazmierzak, ISFSI/Fire Engineering George D Post Instructor of the Year, talks about local training as well as his involvement in firefighterclosecalls.com. HERE
FDIC is a tradition in the fire service and something every FF should experience. FDIC has a number of “traditions” and one of them that has been brought back in recent years is the relationship between ISFSI and FDIC. As some of you may know, FDIC was the ISFSI conference for many, many years, but was purchased by Fire Engineering several years ago. Without giving you a history lesson though, one of the most honored ISFSI traditions is the George D. Post Fire Instructor of the Year Award. Named after an honored ISFSI fire instructor from many years ago, it is THE top award for fire instructors in North America. Now called the Fire Engineering/ISFSI George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award, it recognizes the “best of the best” fire service instructors.
On March 24, 2011 the Fire Engineering/ISFSI George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award was presented to Division Chief Brian Kazmierzak from the Clay Fire Territory near South Bend, Indiana. Brian is the Director of Operations for Billy Goldfeder’s The Secret List and www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com. Day to day, Brian works 24/7/365 with FireFighterCloseCalls.com to insure that literally everything “behind the scenes” in delivering The Secret List as well as FFCC gets done.
According to Chief Billy Goldfeder, in a nutshell, Brian Kazmierzak’s high energy and enthusiasm IS what a veteran firefighter would recognize, and what a probationary firefighter would embrace as “what I want to be.” In addition to being a Division Chief of the Clay Fire Territory and Director of Operations for www.firefighterclosecalls.com, Brian is the 2006 recipient of the Dana Hannon Instructor of the Year Award (from FOOLS Int’l) and the 2008 The Indiana Fire Chiefs Training Officer of the Year. Brian was also in the original Blue Card Certified Fireground Command Instructor Course (www.bluecardcommand.com ) and serves as a Lead Blue Card Instructor and Train the Trainer Instructor.
Clay Fire Territory Web site, HERE
The Clay Fire Territory is a progressive, full-service combination Department that provides fire protection and emergency services for Clay Township, German Township, Harris Township Indian Village, and the Town of Roseland. Clay Fire Territory is located in northern St. Joseph County (IN). It is bordered by the Michigan state line to the north, Warren Township to the west, the University of Notre Dame, the City of South Bend, & City of Mishawaka to the south, and Elkhart County to the east. The population serviced by Clay Fire Territory is approximately 70,000 residents
The department is a combination department with 60 full time, 40 part time, and on-call firefighters. Firefighters work in 3 shifts with 2 Battalion’s working out of 5 stations. The Fire Chief, Operations Chief, Fire Marshal, Training Officer and Deputy Fire Marshal work Mon. – Fri. at Station #2.
- More information on the Fire Engineering/ISFSI George D. Post Instructor of the Year Award, HERE and HERE
- The International Society of Fire Service Instructors- ISFSI, HERE….not a member?…JOIN!
- ISFSI on FireEngineering.com, HERE
Two volunteer firefighters were killed in the line of duty in southwestern Ontario, Canada on Thursday while battling a commercial department-store fire in Listowel, Ont., which is 160 kilometres east of Toronto, Ontario
Perth OPP were called at 15:30 hours ET, to help the volunteer fire department deal with the structure fire. Published reports are indicating the fire had broken out in the roof of a Dollar Stop store, where roofers had previously been working.
A short time later, two firefighters were unaccounted for. Firefighters conducted a search of the building and found the two downed firefighters who had succumbed to injuries they suffered while fighting the fire.
No further details about the victims were available at the present time. The firefighters’ bodies were still in the building at 20:00 hours., ET, Thursday, and the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office had taken over the scene. Fire fighter Line of duty deaths is not common in Canada and having a fire in which there is a double LODD is even more unheard of.
Additional published reports indicated flames all along the west side and flames were shooting out of the roof, with a series of pops, like small explosions being reported.
Four fire stations – Atwood, Listowel, Monkton and Milverton – all responded to the blaze.
The firefighters were in the process of completing a primary search within the building when the roof collapsed, the QMI Agency has learned.
Update: More Photos HERE
Witnesses said smoke was first spotted coming from the roof of the Dollar Stop store at about 3:30 p.m.
A short time later, two firefighters from the North Perth Fire Department were reported missing inside the single-storey structure. They were later found dead, but their bodies had not been recovered Thursday night.
Killed were 30-year-old Raymond Walter of Listowel, and 56-year-old Kenneth Rea of Atwood. Rea was the deputy district chief for the Atwood station, one of three serving North Perth.
Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation, HERE
At 18 minutes after noon on February 26, 1993, a huge bomb went off beneath the two towers of the World Trade Center. This was not a suicide attack. The terrorists parked a truck bomb with a timing device on Level B-2 of the underground garage, then departed. The ensuing explosion opened a hole seven stories up. Six people died. More than a thousand were injured. An FBI agent at the scene described the relatively low number of fatalities as a miracle.Eight and one half years prior to the devastatingly fatal blows to the World Trade Center in New York, a Ryder truck carrying approximately 1,200 to 1,500 pounds of a homemade fertilizer-based explosive detonates at 12:18 in the afternoon.
The blast produced a crater stretching over 150 feet through five floors on the 26th of February 1993. Let it also be noted that this was the second anniversary of the ending of the first Gulf War. Initial reports suggested that the blast was the result of an exploded generator, but evidence gathered shortly thereafter suggested that it was clearly a malicious act that resulted in the injuries of over 1,000 people, and the deaths of six others.
The mastermind behind this terrorist attack was Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, a previously sought criminal who was suspected for the formulation of criminal plots against Pope John Paul II, President Bill Clinton, and potentially fatal attacks against numerous flights in 1995. Yousef’s capture later that year lead to the discovery of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden’s network of loosely tied Islamic militants. Yousef was convicted of the WTC bombing on November 12, 1997; however, a concrete analysis of the 1993 WTC attack must include an in depth examination of this figure, which will be discussed further.
On that fateful day in 1993, dispatcher Frank Raffa, of the FDNY, recalls the sentiment of the initial emergency phone call. “The working theory was that a transformer vault explosion had occurred in the basement of the World Trade Center Complex.”
However, as Raffa Writes, “Normally, when a fire or emergency occurs that generates numerous phone calls, the phones stop ringing once an apparatus arrives. This time the phones never stopped.” This was the sign that a major catastrophe was developing.” Such calls indicated that smoke spread through the first thirty-three floors of the WTC towers, as well as the Vista Hotel, within only three minutes. With such a mass volume of telephone calls from panicking personnel in need of immediate help, the incident command was divided into three zones, one for each affected building.
Even still, due to the sheer numbers of callers and absent the responders to field these calls, the acts of milling, rumors, and keynoting, the basic components to human interaction during a collective behavior situation, resulted in poor advice from certain actors and mediums. Such an event is described by Raffa:
“One of the newscasters went on the air and advised people in the towers that if they were having trouble breathing, they should break out the glass window. This was the worst thing they could have done. By now the entire tower was filled with smoke and was acting like a 110 story smokestack. About that time I answered a call from someone seeking instructions. By now, we were told to tell all callers to stay where they are, block all air vents with whatever rags they could find, stay calm, and wait. ”
“The caller told me he was going to break out a window. He was on the 54th floor. I advised him not to stating that there are over 500 emergency personnel on the ground and he’d kill someone with the falling debris. Not to mention the fact that the open window will allow smoke to enter the area and vent itself. He hung up and went to break the window. I advised the radio dispatcher to let the command post know to expect falling glass from the 54th floor. Later, the newscaster was “admonished” by his supervisors.”
The bombing was noted as having been the largest incident ever handled in the City of New York Fire Department’s 128-year history prior to September 11, 2001. In toll, based on the number of units that responded, the incident resulted in the equivalent of a 16-alarm fire.
On February 26, 1993, a 1,000-pound nitrourea bomb was detonated inside a rental van on the B2 level of the WTC parking garage, causing massive destruction that spanned seven levels, six below-grade. The L-shaped blast crater on B2 at its maximum measured 130 feet wide by 150 feet long.
The blast epicenter was under the northeast corner of the Vista Hotel
- FDNY ultimately responded to the incident with;
- 84 engine companies,
- 60 truck companies,
- 28 battalion chiefs,
- 9 deputy chiefs,
- 5 rescue companies and
- 26 other special units (representing nearly 45 percent of the on-duty staff of FDNY)
- The department units maintained a presence at the scene for 28 days
- It is estimated that approximately 50,000 people were evacuated from the WTC complex over a course of eleven hours, including nearly 25,000 from each of the two towers
- Six people died and 1,042 were injured.
- Of those injured;
- 15 received traumatic injuries from the blast itself
- Nearly 20 people complained of cardiac problems, and nearly 30 pregnant women were rescued. Eighty-eight firefighters (one requiring hospitalization),
- 35 police officers, and one EMS worker sustained injuries
- Fire alarm dispatchers received more than 1,000 phone calls, most reporting victims trapped on the upper floors of the towers
- Search and evacuation of the towers were finally completed some 11 hours after the incident began
Major structural damage to the buildings, absent the five-level crater, included partition walls blown out onto the PATH train mezzanine, damaged fire alarm and public address systems, as well as temporary termination of elevator service for several weeks.
There also resulted the almost complete termination of power to the complex, as primary circuitry was extensively damaged by the initial blast; in addition, water-cooled emergency generators shut down as a result of overheating when water supply was cut, thus disabling building-wide emergency lighting.
- FDNY Communications First twenty minutes (from http://www.hfdradio.com/FDNY.htm), HERE wtc022693
- Steve Spak Photos HERE
- USFA World Trade Center Bombing Report, HERE
THE WORLD TRADE CENTER-1993
The 16-acre World Trade Center site was bounded by Vesey Street to the north, Church Street to the east, Liberty Street to the south, and West Street to the west. Seven buildings (1 WTC through 7 WTC) were situated around a five-acre plaza. The complex included also the Port Authority-Trans-Hudson (PATH) and Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) WTC stations and Concourse areas. Underneath a sizable portion of the main WTC Plaza and 1 WTC, 2 WTC, 3 WTC, and 6 WTC was a six-story subterranean structure.The WTC complex was designed by Minoru Yamasaki and Associates of Troy, Michigan; Emery Roth and Sons of New York acted as the architect of record. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PA) was the original developer. Excavation of the site began in August 1966. The complex, which offered about 12 million square feet of rentable floor space, was occupied by various government and commercial tenants. The PA had transferred the entire WTC project to a private individual, under a 99-year capital lease, prior to 9-11.The seven complex buildings included the following:
- WTC, the 110-story North Tower. Its first tenant took occupancy in December 1970.
- WTC, the 110-story South Tower. Occupancy commenced in January 1972.
- WTC , the 22-story Marriott Hotel (west of the South Tower).
- WTC, a nine-story office building.
- WTC, a nine-story office building.
- WTC, the eight-story U.S. Customs House building.
- WTC, a 47-story office building (north of the WTC site; it housed the New York City Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management facility).
The World Financial Center (WFC) complex, built in the early 1980s, was to the west, across West Street. To the south were the building designed by Cass Gilbert, at 90 West Street, and the Bankers Trust building at 130 Liberty Street. The 1 Liberty Plaza building was to the east and the Verizon building directly to the north.
Who would have imagined in 1993 what events would unfold in 2001 at the WTC complex and for the nation….
As we’ve transition into a new year, and as plans begin to take place that frame and outline the year’s activities, foremost in this planning, preparation, scheduling and outlook should be those activities and commitments that training, education and skill development can be implemented and enhanced. Take the initiative to recognize and identify training and operational gaps and distinguish the risk and options available to lessen or eliminate the risk and reduce the gap deficiencies. Take the time to implement effective, accurate and frequent training and skill development drills, training curriculums and programs.
Don’t sacrifice or forego on this mission critical area when so much is at stake in the domain of combat structural fire suppression. Understand the predictability of performance in the buildings and occupancies not only in your jurisdiction, first or second-due areas, but also in those areas that you may be called upon to respond to for greater alarms or mutual aid. Remember Building Knowledge = Firefighter Safety.
Keep an eye in the rear view mirror; learning from the wisdom and knowledge from where you’ve been, what you’ve done and all your past experiences and practice; but at the same time focusing on the road before you with keen attentiveness on situational awareness, anticipating error-likely conditions and balanced risk assessment and operational management in both your strategic and tactical deployments.
Here are twenty (20) Suggested activities or initiatives for you to consider in 2010….
Above all, be safe in all your endeavors, assignments and incident tasks.
- Regardless of my years of experience, I will increase my understanding of the basic principles of Building Construction, because; Building Knowledge=Firefighter Safety.
- Identify ten (10) buildings within your first-due or response district and complete a pre-fire plan and present this to my company of organization.
- Identify an area where new residential construction is underway and follow the construction process from foundation through completion to gain an understanding of operational issues.
- I will complete the UL Structural stability of engineered lumber in fire conditions online course and implement the lessons learned in my strategic and tactical operations.
- I will not take any building or occupancy for granted, and shall take all precautions to ensure crew integrity and safety during my task assignments.
- Complete a 360 assessment of all buildings upon arrival, when ever feasible to gain reconnaissance information on the building and incident risks and implement this info into my strategic, tactical plans or company task assignments.
- Research the issues affecting; Engineered Structural Systems (ESS), Fire Behavior/Fire Dynamics or Fire Suppression Management/Fire Loading and develop a training drill to share the lessons learned.
- Select a new or previous published fire service text book and read up on a subject area that I may have neglected or ignored to increase my skill set.
- Implement an objective approach towards effective risk assessment and profiling of all buildings and occupancies during incident operations and implement balanced tactical deployment with aggressive/measured assignments; recognizing that my company and I are not invincible.
- During demanding Combat Structural Fire Engagements, I will; Do the Right Thing at the Right Time for the Right Reasons and will not practice Tactical Entertainment.
- Read the Report of the Week (ROTW) on the National Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting System web site and share the operating experience (OE) lessons with my company or department, to reduce the likelihood of a similar or more serious event.
- I will read Ten (10) NIOSH Firefighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program Reports and present the lessons learned in a discussion, table top, drill or training program.
- I will attend a regional or national training conference to increase my perspective and awareness of other firefighting, safety or operational methodologies, process or practices to increase firefighter safety in my home organization.
- I will increase my understanding of the NFFF Everyone Goes Home Program initiatives, including the Sixteen Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, Safety Thru Leadership and the Courage to Be Safe Programs and other new program initiatives and advocate and promote enhanced safety measures in my organization.
- I will advocate and promote safe and defensive apparatus operations during emergency responses and will always buckle-up my seat belt and ensure my crew is always belted-in, not placing my company at risk and obeying traffic signals and postings.
- I will implement the New Rules of Engagement during combat structural fire operations; while monitoring and reacting to on-going building performance and fire behavior.
- I will increase my understanding of the Predictability of Building Performance and base my operational deployments on Occupancy Risk not Occupancy Type.
- I will become a mentor to a new or less experienced firefighter and promote the traditions, honor and duty of our fire service profession, tempered with an emphasis on firefighter safety, survival and wellness.
- I will take NO emergency incident responses as being routine in nature, due to frequency , regularity or past performance, demands or outcomes, nor will I take any building for granted; Company, Team and personal safety and integrity is paramount and I will not be complacent, but remain vigilant based upon my training, skills and experience.
- This one’s for you to identify and fill in………..
Ensure you’re glancing occasionally in your rear view mirror to monitor where you’ve been, while driving your initiatives, programs, processes and actions forward. Above all, maintain the courage to be safe