Gallons Per Second, Summit Lake Apartments, Hartland Wisconsin

Fire in Hartland (Courtesy: Andy Fallon)

An early morning multiple-family dwelling fire on Wednesday, March, 31st, 2021 at the Summit Lake Apartments in Hartland Wisconsin was punched in the throat, CFT Gallons Per Second style. The first engine on the scene in the video below began FLOWING enough water to truly overwhelm the BTUs, seeing a RAPID change in conditions.

In this video from Hartland Wisconsin, Gallons Per Second decreased significant property damage to the other homes throughout the apartment building. As discussed in a previous CFT article, Gallons Per Second also provides the best chance of survival for THEM.

Weapon selection makes a difference when taking on the enemy. Learn more about choosing the right weapon for your next fire from Chief Isakson at the bottom of this article in Brass Tacks & Hard Facts Episode #1.

Nozzle Overview: Weapon Selection with Curt Isakson – Brass Tacks & Hard Facts Episode #1

62 Watts Street Manhattan FDNY – The Influence of Historical Fires

The influence of historical fires on modern fire operations allows firefighters an opportunity to learn from the past. A triple Line of Duty Death (LODD) fire event on March 28th, 1994, now known as “The Watts Street Fire” created several lessons learned opportunities that still apply to present-day fires. From their deaths, it is our obligation to learn from history, to prevent a recurrence of the past. After Watts Street, the FDNY made a significant operational update and overcame politics holding back necessary equipment. The fire reinforces the need for all firefighters to be combat-ready when going above the fire to perform any fire ground activities, recognize the warning signs of hostile or extreme fire events, and how actions taken in ventilation limited fires affect the whole fireground. Utilize the lessons learned by brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice to do your best to return home to your family.

Technical Data & Reports to Review

What Happened?

On Monday, March 28th, 1994 at 1936 hours, Engine 24, Engine 55, Engine 7, Ladder 5, Ladder 8, and Battalion 2 responded to Manhattan Box 308 for a telephone alarm reporting smoke on the top floor of 60 Watts Street. Following the FDNY’s standard operating procedures the inside team of the 1st due Truck (Ladder 8) operates in the fire apartment. They perform forcible entry for the Engine, and primary search in the fire apartment. The inside team of the 2nd due Truck (Ladder 5) searches the floor directly above the fire. Unknown to the first arriving companies the fire had been burning inside the fire apartment for over an hour creating a ventilation limited fire. Several updates to the building had occurred since its original construction in the late 1800s. Prior to the fire, the fire apartment had seen several updates to increase its overall energy efficiency that includes energy-efficient windows, extra thermal insulation, and new doors.

Upon arriving at 1940 hours, Ladder 8 noticed smoke from the first-floor apartment of 62 Watts Street and transmitted the 10-75. The roof firefighter from Ladder 8 entered the fire building thinking it was Exposure 4 of the dispatched address, 60 Watts Street, to get to the rear of the reported fire building. He later gained access to the roof by climbing to the roof of Exposure 4, crossing over to the fire building’s roof, and opened the scuttle above the open stairwell in the multiple dwelling to allow for the escape of heat and fire gases once the apartment door was opened.

Ladder 5 notified Ladder 8 they were going above the fire, and Ladder 8 started forcing the apartment door on floor one. Ladder 5 encountered a fortified door to the apartment on the second floor, and the additional entrance normally found in this building style had been removed by construction. Engine 55 laid out their uncharged hose line near the apartment entrance awaiting water. Ladder 8 forced the apartment door open, and smoke from the fire apartment initially pushed into the hallway and then pulled back inside. Ladder 8 was unable to enter the apartment due to high heat conditions and ordered the Ladder 8 OV to vent the front windows.

Upon taking the windows the fire began overtaking the first floor, filling the stairwell, and Ladder 5 transmitted an “URGENT”. Engine 55 began attacking the fire and the intensity had increased tremendously. The fire was filling the entire stairwell from the first-floor apartment to 10 to 15 feet above the roofline from the scuttle and skylight. Moments later Engine 55 and the Ladder 5’s tillerman discovered Ladder 5’s three-person inside team badly burned with one fatality. This hostile fire event occurred within the first 10 minutes on the scene. Firefighter James Young died on the day of the fire. Firefighter Chris Siedenburg died one day after the fire. Captain John Drennan died 40 days later from his third and fourth-degree burn injuries covering over 60% of his body.

The men of Ladder 5’s inside team experienced temperatures over 2,200 degrees for 6½ minutes based on NIST modeling that occurred as a result of a backdraft. Previous attempts to upgrade from boots and long coats to encapsulating bunker gear from Morning Pride were denied by the previous mayor (Dinkins) and the budget office as too costly. Political arguments about the survivability of Ladder 5’s crew had they been equipped with turnout gear ensued, and firefighters stood firm that their brothers may have still been injured, but survived. The newly seated mayor that took office three months prior to the fire said the city would find a way to afford the 10 million dollar expense. Mayor Guliani even took the budget office director that denied previous requests, to the hospital to see the burned firefighters and impress the need for this personal protective equipment. The goal was to provide bunker gear that would sustain a 17.5-second flashover. The FDNY also added the FAST Truck on the transmission of the 10-75.

What This Means For Firefighters Today

  • This event pushed lagging departments nationwide to move into Turnout Gear from long coat & hip boot configurations.
  • Going green, and energy efficiency building initiatives are not going away. Tighter homes will continue to increase the potential to produce hostile/extreme fire events in ventilation limited fires.
  • When operating above a fire, notify the Engine and Truck companies below where you are going. If time allows, establish an area of refuge prior to the companies operating under you opening up the fire apartment.
  • Know the location of other companies operating on the fireground, and understand the greater impact your tactical actions can have on other firefighters operating within a fire building.
  • Be prepared to protect the interior stairs in a single or multiple-family dwelling.
  • Have all your bunker gear on and buttoned up, SCBA on, and flowing air. Anticipate rapid changes in conditions when the fire apartment door is opened up, and with modern combustibles.
  • All firefighters need to understand fire behavior and reading smoke. Drivers are critical to keeping watch curbside even if an incident commander is present. If smoke conditions are not improving, hostile conditions may be imminent.
  • The Watts Street fire had a significant hostile fire and flow path event. Another significant flow path fire event killed Firefighter Mark Falkenhan, January 19th, 2011, in Baltimore County Maryland.
  • Fireground Commanders must be ready to deploy a rapid intervention team when crews are operating within the IDLH atmosphere and have an immediate plan if the first due unit is making an immediate rescue.
  • Recognize near-miss events as learning opportunities through tailboard talks and AAR’s.
  • Discuss this fire with your crew, and assess how you would operate in a similar fire situation.
  • Know the TPP rating of your PPE, know what it means, and utilize time delayed tactics if needed.

Death on the Nozzle, Boarded Up, Trust Your Gut, Nozzle Firefighter, Coordinated Attack

A coordinated fire attack is essential in our modern fire environment where fires are burning hotter and faster than ever with our synthetic home furnishings. Civilian lives are depending on the synchronized actions of firefighters to remove heat and improve their oxygen-deficient atmosphere. Together the fire conditions and civilian lives present tremendous challenges for the incident commander and the nozzle firefighter that at times will require you to listen to that voice inside called gut instinct.

Oscar Armstrong

County Fire Tactics asks you to take a moment of pause while reading this article to remember the loss of Firefighter Oscar Armstrong II 18 years ago today, March 21st, 2003. In March 2003, Firefighter Armstrong was assigned to the nozzle position when his life suddenly ended in a flashover during a residential fire at 1131 Laidlaw Avenue in the Bond Hill section of Cincinnati Ohio. At the time of his death, he was 25 years old and left behind two children, and a fiance expecting the birth of another child.

 

When the incident commander arrives on the scene, regardless of rank or vehicle style, the framework for the overall success of the fire begins with the scene size-up, selection of the tactics that will put out the fire based on manpower available, and the tempo at which the tactics are carried out. The photo shows smoke coming from a one-story wood frame with a central hallway leading from the front to the rear. This older home is sealed up tight, boarded up windows, and a damaged roof tarped with furring strips. A gut instinct by the IC drove a slightly slower tempo in recognizing the potential for extreme fire conditions upon opening up this oxygen or ventilation limited fire.

257 Elm Street Atlanta Georgia

This fire occurred less than six months after Firefighter Steven Solomon lost his life in a fire that occurred on November 23rd, 2006 at 257 Elm Street in Atlanta Georgia. Chief Isakson attended Firefighter Solomon’s funeral and received a first-hand account from an Atlanta Fire Chief regarding the initial conditions and operations where Steven lost his life. Isakson’s gut instinct to slow the tempo and open up before letting his firefighters advance was based on the fire behavior similarities that the two fires presented.

Steven Solomon

The unedited house fire video below shows in real-time how the nozzle firefighter is challenged more than ever to read smoke, understand fire behavior, and prevent rapidly changing fire conditions through the proper application of water with a gallons per second mindset. Gallons Per Second is a firefighter’s primary weapon to level the playing field and defeats the enemy by controlling and reducing the heat, also known as the third leg of the fire triangle. The video also captures the actions of both firefighters and the driver operator confirming proper stretch of the attack lines, proper operational pump discharge pressure, and adequate fire flow to get water on the fire in the right gallons per second.

 

 

The time-delayed tactics employed during the operation included utilizing the booster backup concept from the second due unit, and utilizing the third due unit for a sustained water supply. The fire was controlled with only about 1,500 gallons of tank water from the first two engines on scene. Employing actions like these place people before water in support of incident priorities on the modern fire ground.

During the initial fire attack, the ongoing size up revealed a separate one-bedroom apartment only accessible from the Charlie side of the structure. The line going down the Bravo side continued the interior fire attack in this section of the converted single-family home. Direct water application through interior fire attack allows firefighters to rapidly remove heat, and replace it with oxygen through our fire ground tactics. Water creates and maintains survivable space giving trapped civilians the highest probability of survival. View a related article titled “Gallons Per Second, Creates Survivable Space, 2.50″ Smooth Bore Attack, Water On The Fire”.

As referenced above, from the Nozzle Firefighter to the Fireground Commander, knowledge and understanding of fire behavior and fire dynamics is more important than ever before. By studying ALL of the UL studies we can continue to operate as an aggressive fire service utilizing scientific facts to occupy interior space and improve incident outcomes for civilians and firefighters. Part of this knowledge must include the opportunity for more than one flashover event.

Maurice Bartholomew

While the first room may flash in as little as three minutes and twenty seconds (00:03:20), other compartments within the structure will continue to heat and await additional oxygen as seen in this ventilation limited fire. UL has conducted tremendous fire behavior research in real structures over the past decade. UL’s scientific research indicates the first flashover in a structure occurs between 00:03:20 and 00:04:50 during four experiments under similar conditions from 2009 to 2020. View the newly produced UL fire video.

Fire conditions rapidly evolve and as professionals, we must continue to educate our peers, and superiors on the need for training, proper fire flows, and nozzles capable of punching the fire in the throat. Train and mentor your brother and sister firefighters. This article is written in memory of Maurice Bartholomew, Steven Solomon, Oscar Armstrong, and all firefighters who have died on the nozzle.

Gallons Per Second, Creates Survivable Space, 2.50″ Smooth Bore Attack, Water On The Fire

“Water on The Fire” with the mindset of “Gallons Per Second” is a tactic that creates and maintains survivable space for fire victims. Regardless of rank, we must evolve our fireground mindset from Gallons Per Minute, and Punch the Fire right in the Throat!

If you are FLOWING enough water to truly overwhelm the BTUs, then in only SECONDS you will see a RAPID change in conditions. Gallons Per Second will provide the best chance of survival for THEM. Utilizing a 2.50″ Smooth Bore Nozzle at the right pressure on advanced fire conditions makes a difference for the citizens in only seconds, lots of gallons per second.

The video below shows a mobile home well involved with fire and a back bedroom that had a fully survivable space for occupants. The 2.50″ hose and 1 1/8″ tip in the video punches this fire in the throat. Even though the fire rapidly self-vented from the front windows, the temperature in the rear bedroom never surpassed 100 degrees because the bedroom door was closed, and only had light smoke infiltration.

Tip Size and Water Delivery in Gallons Per Second on 2.50″ hose.

  • 1 1/8 at 40psi = 3.95 GPS
  • 1 1/8 at 50psi = 4.42 GPS
    • 55 Gallons in 13 seconds
  • 1 1/8 at 60psi = 4.85 GPS
  • 1 3/16 at 40psi = 4.40 GPS
  • 1 3/16 at 50psi = 4.93 GPS
    • 55 Gallons in 11 seconds
  • 1 3/16 at 60psi = 5.40 GPS

Modern fires must be “Hit Hard, Hit Fast, and Backed Up”. Not all citizens have the benefit of an Engine and Truck Company rolling out of the same station to their home when it is on fire. While a number of initial fire ground tactics are necessary, fire ground incident commanders and initial company officers must choose how to make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time.

This can be seen as an example of “Time Delayed Tactics”. A number of tactics must be accomplished by the initial arriving companies at the scene of any incident. But implementing the ones that will make the biggest impact first is graduating beyond minimum standards and the “Check-In The Box” style of incident command.

By applying the right amount of water right away to offset the tremendous BTU’s makes a difference for the citizen. Gallons Per Second is like dropping a Five Gallon Bucket on a Cigarette. Damage to property occurs during a fire, however, “You Can Dry It Out, But You Can’t Unburn It, FLOW WATER”.

Water On The Fire makes everything better and on a 1.75″ hose the 7/8 tip is Chief Isakson’s personal choice. It’s is the original Select-O-Matic nozzle delivering solid water without fog.

Tip Size and Water Delivery in Gallons Per Second on 1.75″ hose.

  • 7/8 at 40psi = 2.38 GPS
  • 7/8 at 50psi = 2.66 GPS
    • 55 Gallons in 20 seconds
  • 7/8 at 60psi = 2.93 GPS
  • 15/16 at 40psi = 2.75 GPS
  • 15/16 at 50psi = 3.08 GPS
    • 55 Gallons in 18 seconds
  • 15/16 at 60psi = 3.33 GPS

Learn more about water delivery, fire attack, and Gallons Per Second at County Fire Tactics annual Water On The Fire Conference (WOFC) August 24th–26th, 2021, with two days of lecture, and one day of hands-on training at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Side Convention Center.

CF Tactics Seminar Agenda, Command & Control of Fires & Emergencies by Vincent Dunn, Chief Curt Isakson

$225 with 'FIRST20' Discount Code Full Registration Investment $299

Chief Isakson has released the agenda and for his upcoming two-day Command and Control class April 12th-13th, 2021, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Hilton Hotel on Pensacola Beach. This seminar-style event is limited to 48 professionals without only about 20 seats remaining. The program size promotes manageable classroom interaction and nightly networking opportunities.

 

This class offering will differ from County Fire Tactics “Commanding from the Sidelines” seminar that took place November 17th-19th, 2020 at the Pensacola Beach Hilton.

This seminar will blend Chief Dunn’s book with what Chief Isakson’s mentors have taught him, and what he has learned in 17 years of commanding fires as Battalion Chief in a diverse countywide setting.

Fire Officers today are juggling an infinite number of job duties related to administration, budgets, political interaction, medical response, fire prevention, inspections, and more.

The class agenda will be focused on topics from Command & Control of Fires & Emergencies by Vincent Dunn, to bring the active fire officer back to their primary focus, Fighting fires and responding to emergencies.

In a recent webcast interview with Strike the Box Training LLC, Chief Isakson said this class will be different from his other programs in the fact that he will discuss the need to have eyes on the fire building, allowing the incident commander to see in mere seconds what is and is not working, and make an immediate tactical decision. Why? … Because Tactics Put Out Fires !!!

CF Tactics Command & Control Seminar Agenda

  • Command Presence
  • Life-and-Death Decision Making
  • Locating a Fire
  • Size-up of a Fire
  • Command and Control at a Fire
  • Hoseline Placement
  • Preventing Fire Spread
  • Changing Strategy
  • Ventilation
  • Terrorism
  • Fireground Communications
  • Demobilization
  • Fireground Dangers
  • Products of Combustion
  • Managing Fireground Risks and Dangers
  • Epilogue
  • Answers to Study Questions
  •  

HOTEL DISCOUNT CODES HERE BEACH DINING & NETWORKING$225 with 'FIRST20' Discount Code.Full Registration Investment $299

CF Tactics 1st Due to Your E-Mail

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Default Aggressive Saves 29 Year Old, Escambia County Fire Ladder 12, “GRABS Podcast 57” Brothers in Battle

On March 3rd, 2021, LT Daniel Mills, FF Jeff Fangman, and BC Curt Isakson, from Escambia County Fire Rescue, Pensacola Florida, were invited to a virtual sit down with Brothers in Battle, GRABS Podcast host, Grant Schwalbe. Ladder 12’s arrival video is posted for you to see what they saw on arrival at this house fire with a civilian rescue on January 28th, 2021.

CLICK NOW TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

The podcast falls right in line with the update we posted yesterday on the academic research by Chief Brian Brush’s Firefighter Rescue Survey. Grant’s interview with the crew of Ladder 12 and Battalion Chief Curt Isakson, provides a deeper look into what it took for LT Daniel Mills, FF Jeff Fangman to get it done.

CF Tactics gives thanks to Brothers in Battle for inviting the members of Ladder 12 to tell their story linked near the bottom of this post. Podcast host Grant Schwalbe has fifty-six (56) other great stories of firefighters putting the citizen first, in their own words. Much can be learned from these first-hand interviews.

The Escambia County Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 4131 provided a glimpse into the mindset of the firefighters they represent with this statement. Though there was no report of anyone trapped, our “Default Aggressive” mindset from our culture dictates we still search until WE say the building is clear. Their quick actions, aggressive mindset, and years of training paid off with the saving of a 29-year-old male.

VIEW THE ABC 3 WEAR-TV NEWS REPORT AND FIRE SCENE VIDEO HERE.

Below you will find two links to listen to this podcast right here in this post by clicking play.

Grabs 57: Escambia County, FL (Jan 28, 2021)

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58ee5279e3df28ed23d33ebf/t/604047a3d667d703e404dd84/1614825406439/GrabsL12EscambiaFL.mp3/original/GrabsL12EscambiaFL.mp3

 

Listen to Grabs 57 on Apple Podcasts

Firefighter Rescue Survey Update, Chief Brian Brush, The Initial Results Are In

After two months of data collection, the results from the Firefighter Rescue Survey graduate research project continue to justify “It’s Worth The Risk”. Firefighters are rescuing significant numbers of civilians from fires in residential homes. We congratulate these Firefighters for putting the civilians first and providing them a chance to live another day.

To keep our readers in touch with this important data, We feel it is important for our readers to have direct access to Chief Brush’s most recent posts to influence and motivate those throughout their chain of command to put the citizens first. CountyFireTactics.com has created a page right here on our site for you to find the most recent updates from Firefighter Rescue Survey.

Across the United States between January 1st, 2021, and February 28th, 2021, Firefighters rescued a total of 594 civilians. Chief Brush has coined these statistics as “Fire Service Wins”. This is the first time someone has academically tracked this type of data.

  • 282 people rescued from Single Family and Mobile homes
  • 312 people rescued from Multi-Family dwellings
  • 10+ people rescued daily for the past eight weeks.

Continue reading

Pensacola Beach Firefighters Challenge, April 2021, CF Tactics, Engine Co Ops, Gallons Per Second

Pensacola Sports is hosting the fifth annual Pensacola Beach Firefighters Challenge April 23rd-24th, 2021, on the beautiful white sand of the Emerald Coast, at 41 Fort Pickens Road Pensacola Beach, FL 32561. In support of this event and the beach community, County Fire Tactics will provide event volunteers, contribute competition equipment, and sponsor up to five Firefighters Challenge teams.

E-Mail Chief “Ike” at cftactics@gmail.com to inquire about CF Tactics sponsoring your team.

On Friday, April 23rd, 2021, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Chief Isakson will ignite the weekend with his popular Engine Company Operations class known as Gallons Per Second. The course will take place at the Holiday Inn Resort and you will learn why it is necessary to think beyond GPM and engage in Gallons Per Second. The focus of the class is on exceeding fire flow needs and still managing water during the crucial initial hose line advancement in an interior offensive attack.

Click here to learn more about Chief Curt Isakson by reading his speaker biography.

Registration is now open through the event sponsor. Columbia Southern University will offer attendees of the Gallons Per Second course 0.3 CEU’s. Course attendees who participate in the challenge and the class will enjoy a reduction in cost from $65.00 to $40.00.

Register Now

Pensacola Beach Firefighters Challenge & Gallons Per Second Flyer Continue reading

Brian Brush, Firefighter Rescue Survey, This is going to be HUGE

Over the past 10-years, significant research has been conducted on firefighting operations, tactics, and service delivery. Studies on how we do business when the bell rings and we roll out of the fire station have been authored and published by NIST, UL FSRI, and the ATF. The results of these studies have driven significant changes in the fire service.

But until 2021, the fire service has been missing out on a huge data set that will be the next significant change in how we do business. NFIRS and other data collection programs focus purely on the negative, lost lives, property loss, firefighter deaths, etc. While we know that we have been saving civilian lives in residential fires all across the nation, Brian Brush is on a mission to prove it through academic research.

Welcome to the 2021 Fireground Civilian Rescue Research Project. Hold onto your seat, because the initial results are already astonishing. County Fire Tactics (CF Tactics, CFT) stands with and backs this initiative by Chief Brush. The final results are going to be HUGE, providing evidence to what we already know, that it’s worth the risk. Firefighter Rescue Survey is the first of its kind, focusing purely on saving lives, our primary mission focus.

Initial results of the 2021 Fireground Civilian Rescue Research Project Continue reading

Thank You Sponsors !!! HROC & CFT Fire School: Leadership & Tactics Conference

County Fire Tactics (CF Tactics, CFT), will host its annual High Rise Operations Conference (HROC), and CFT Fire School: Leadership & Tactics Conference, February 16th–18th, 2021, at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Side Convention Center in the Royal Palm Ballroom. The spectacular hands-on training will occur within a short walking distance of the Hilton, at the former Best Western Beachside Resort, which is scheduled for demolition.

CF Tactics extends a special thank you to The Best Western Beachside Resort, Innisfree Hotels, and The Hilton, Pensacola Beach for your continued support of our programs.

Furthermore, County Fire Tactics (CFT, CF Tactics) appreciates the investments made by our sponsors in the professional development and continuing education of firefighters from across the United States right here in Pensacola Beach, Florida. Their contribution to our programs makes a direct impact on the safety and survival of millions of people living in the United States.

Links to all of our sponsors’ products and services are listed below. Continue reading