Amongst the debates in the Fire Service, one sticks out to me the most, the Nothing Showing Debate. There are some out there that suggest we get rid of the term “Nothing Showing” from our Brief Initial Report (BIR).
I personally believe we should NOT eliminate this term. We should say what side of the building we are reporting from, as well as that this is only an exterior view.
NIST & UL have shown, as well as countless YouTube videos, that fires go Ventilation-Limited quicker, usually before our arrival, causing us to see “nothing showing”. There is a video out there of a test burn in Chicago, which there is no smoke or fire showing, the initial arriving crews open the door, and a large amount of smoke then becomes visible form the second floor, and the fire “re-ignites”.
If you have members that are slowing down, or De-Gearing because we say this term, the problem is NOT with the term itself, it’s with the complacent ridden, non-training attitude, and Leadership of your officers and department heads. Members should ALWAYS be in a “combat Ready”, “expect fire” Mindset.
So what do we do about this? I personally think it comes down to 1 thing… TRAINING! Officers and Firefighters alike must be trained and educated, and we must break this complacent mindset that Nothing Showing means it’s a False Alarm, or nothing going on.
There are countless examples over the years of department’s being complacent, thus getting into trouble and Not being Ready when they pull, up at the building they run 5 times a day for Burnt food, and Automatic Alarms and suddenly find heavy fire blowing from the 15th floor. YOU ARE ALREADY BEHIND THE 8 BALL!
The Point is you must be ready for the WORST POSSIBLE fire of your career, on EVERY run you respond to. You Must “Expect Fire”!
Until Next time Train Hard, and Stay Safe. Ethan Bansek