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 servicediscussion 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
A second alarm fire occurred in a four-story apartment building in the 20500 block of Reserve Falls Terrace, Loudoun County, VA that took command of over 13 apartment units.
The fire was reported at 07:39 hours on Sunday morning November 20, 2011.
Arriving companies found heavy fire was coming from the building. Fire crews initiated an offensive attack but were forced to evacuate due to potential structural collapse considerations.
A second alarm was activated and a defensive attack was mounted until it was safe for crews to get back inside. Firefighters from Sterling, Lansdowne, Ashburn and Fairfax responded to the fire. Crews remained on the scene for several hours performing overhaul and checking for hot spots.
At least 13 units in the building were damaged, displacing over 26 occupants. There were no reported injuries.
Alpha Division Aerial View-Street Side
Bravo Division (note grade change from the Alpha to Charlie sides)
Fire Extension thru Roof at Bravo Division Charlie
Operational Considerations at Garden Apartment Complex and Residencies
Fire ground operations at Garden Apartment Complex and Multiple Occupancy Residencies require due diligence and well-coordinated multiple company operations that have well established operating protocols, clearly defined ( but flexible) company and response duties and an effective and well-practiced and experienced cadre of company and command officers.
Due to the likely demands and complexities of evolving and expanding incident conditions at fire involving Garden Apartment type buildings and complexes, couple with the civilian life safety concerns due to occupancy density and numbers, immediate and timely resources are necessary to conduct multiple and concurrent functional assignments that demand effectiveness, efficiency and trained company compositions.
Strategy and Tactics at Garden Apartment Complex and Residencies required special instructions, insights and knowledge that goes well beyond the practices and methodologies typically deployed at single family residential fire incidents.
Multiple occupancy dwelling units, occupancy loads, multiple floors, building construction, structural systems and assemblies, construction and material, methods of construction and building and occupancy layouts and configurations results in fast spreading and extreme fire conditions, common avenues for internal and exterior fire travel, congested travel paths and access/egress points, multiple hose line deployment strategies with adequate fire flows, effective building laddering, forcible entry support and concurrent, mobile and skilled search and rescue capabilities.
The ability to deploy and operate multiple hand lines is mission critical at fires in these multiple occupancy dwellings. As are a number of other strategic and tactical functions; but again, If the fire is controlled and goes out- all the other escalating, concurrent and immediate demands, needs and requests along with highest risk factors for survivability to occupants and firefighter alike diminishes rapidly and can be managed.
Here are some discussion points to chat about around the kitchen table;
Are your engine companies effectively set up and outfitted to stretch out and deploy extended lines, multiple lines on common floors or within various floor elevations?
Have you and your company practiced coordinated multiple company search and rescue protocols for multiple occupancy floor areas?
Have you considered the needs, impacts and operational deployment for a RIT on a common floor during extreme fire conditions that required interior common hallway access and extraction of a firefighter in distress or incapacitated?
Do you have the capability to deploy and implement multiple companies for coordinated roof ventilation operations? IF so, have they training together in the past?
How effective and knowledgably are you and your company in initiating and completing multiple trench, strip or louver roof ventilation cuts?
Are you aware of the signs for potential or imminent collapse for the various types of garden apartment buildings in your response area? Did you know there are different considerations based on the vintage, age and construction systems and assemblies utilized?
When was the last time you either pre-fire planned any of your garden apartment building or complexes? Or did a company walk-through?
Which ones are protected by a fixed sprinkler system?
Do you what the water fire flow capabilities are for the hydrants and system in any of these garden apartment building or complexes?
Have you done any table top exercises considering a standard alarm assignment fire, or an escalating multiple alarms incident?
Do you consider occupancy risk versus occupany type for the buildings you respond to?
Are your considering the effects of extreme fire behavior and the potential for wind driven fire conditions in your IAPs?
Are you considering the collapse and compromise potential for floor and roof assemblies in your assignments?
Are you fully prepared for immediate or multiple RIT needs and deployments?
Do you understand how these garden apartment buildings are constructed, configured and will impact your strategic and tactical assignments?
Do you have the right skill set for performing safely and effectively in your assigned role and responsibilities? If not, what are you going to do about that gap?
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,
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?
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 this scenario and download the details or project the post on a screen and work through the incident and parameters with your company of command officers. Take ten minutes and discuss the operational issue and factors at the Kitchen Table at the firehouse or in the dayroom between calls. Make it a training opportunity today.
Ten Minutes in the Street: On-scene, with Engine 13….You’re dispatched to a commercial building address in your first-due area along with the Truck Company for a report of smoke coming from the building. As you (Engine 13) and Truck 2 respond, another alarm goes out for a reported structure fire with civilians in distress….( take a look at the concurrent Ten in the Street Scenario-Second Alarm that we’re posting along with this scenario HERE). Since you didn’t have enough to do…. Your box alarm assignment is just one and one (Engine and Truck) with a staffing level of five personnel on each company (yah, I know…it’s a real good day on staffing today).
You arrive and are on-scene with Engine 13 and find “some” smoke issuing from the Bravo side (office) and from the Delta side. Both sides have access limitations due to secure fencing.
The building is a commercial building, approximately 100 feet wide x 140 feet deep.
It appears to be a single story; however you can see the grade slope downward on the Bravo Side to the rear: looks like another level in the rear. The Delta side also has a secured fence that separates a vacant exposure structure, which appears to be a vacant convenience store.
Smoke is getting more pronounced..you might say, heavy smoke showin’ at this point.
You’ve got command in the absence.. of a commanding officer. A chief’s enroute, but due to the other alarm, is going to be delayed (either a greater alarm Battalion Chief, or a mutual aide chief is coming). You have additional resources you can call for.
Here’s what you have:
100’ x 140’ Unoccupied (Appearing) Building, 14, 000 SF. Circa 1940’s built Type II construction.
Masonry perimeter walls, appears to be a heavy wood timber gable truss roof…
Security Fencing on both Bravo and Delta sides
Apparent vacant exposure structure on the Delta side.
Appears to have multiple levels due to grade change on the Bravo side
Heavy smoke showing…
Forcible entry will be required to gain access
You have other resources available, But they are not enroute
Hey what about the 360? …what’s up with the Charlie side….?
You have another alarm that was dispatched while you were enroute, that sounds like a job with possible civilians’ in distress… so a number of other companies are being dispatched to that call
You’re the officer of Engine 13, On-scene with some showing, assuming command….
What are you going to do?
We’re looking for the usual…IAP, resources, safety, strategy, tactics, limiting factors, risk, operations, construction or occupancy hazards…..
Check out the Ten Minutes in the Street: Second Alarm scenario HERE, it’s the other incident that’s happening across town that we mentioned above, while you were enroute to this alarm….
The Newest radio show on FireFighter Netcast.com at Blogtalk Radio…
Taking it to the Streets with Christopher Naum.
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A Buildingsonfire.com Series and Firefighter Netcast.com Production.
Advancing Firefighter Safety and Operational Integrity for the Fire Service through provocative insights and dynamic discussions dedicated to the Art and Science of Firefighting and the Traditions of the Fire Service.