Original post found at: https://www.facebook.com/25toSurvive/posts/1159183510770414:0
The number of hours of fire behavior required for an American Firefighter to gain his certification has not changed from 4 hours since the Fire Service charged through the door of a house fire in ¾ boots and no SCBA. Does this mean fires have not changed? Has the environment not changed? Or, most importantly, does this mean the firefighter should stop learning and rely simply upon experience?
“Four major issues affect the change we see in the rapid progression of fire in the residential structure: construction methods, fuel composition, firefighter actions, and science. Each has a significant impact and, ultimately, causes the same end result: the propagation of fire in the residential structure.” Page 134, Chapter 13.
The firefighter committed to the “2,000-year mind” concept we offer is diligent in always being a student of the trade and adding his experience, good and bad, to the wealth of knowledge gained from learning. Fire behavior training demands this level of dedication, fire does not discriminate and dispenses hate on any and all it interacts with or impacts.
The first step in defeating our enemy is understating the 4 major issues and how we can learn more about each:
1. Construction methods:
a. How are the houses in your district being constructed?
b. Are they all old or new? Will the fire be vent limited quickly because it is a tightly sealed energy efficient new home or will it breath like an older home?
c. How long can you operate in and on this structure?
d. How to you expect fire to travel within this structure? Are there many voids or is it a compartmented structure?
2. Fuel composition:
a. What’s in this house? Do you observe the fuel composition of your homes when you run other calls such as medicals, fire alarms, lift assist, etc.?
b. Hoarding conditions? Multiple occupants?
c. How quickly will the room and contents fire turn to a structure fire based upon what is in the home?
3. Firefighter actions:
a. Do you define and drill on what coordinated ventilation is on the fireground? Or, do you just leave it to chance?
b. When do you vent? Who gives the order? When is it given? All questions you need to ask and answer specific to YOUR fire department.
c. When do you open the door? Engines chock doors, Trucks and Rescues control doors.
a. Is it friend or foe? Do you let someone else tell you what to believe science to showing us or do you learn for yourself and incorporate what you learn?
b. Fire is a scientific process and we are all part scientist, hydraulic engineer, ventilation expert, etc. Understand all the data in all aspects of our trade, pair with your experience, and then apply to YOUR FD.
It is a privilege that we work in a trade that is never stagnant and is abundant with a seemingly endless stream of data, opinion, and experiences. Use all these avenues to build your successful team and increase the probability of success on the fireground. This list only covers 4 issues and we all know there are more; but our goal is to start working on each of those identified and not leave it for the next generation. Lastly, always stay committed to fighting our number one enemy – FIRE! G.I. Joe put it best – “Knowing is half the battle” and it starts with knowing the problem and learning the solution.