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.
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.
E-Mail Chief “Ike” at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
I will not make excuses for supporting Aggressive Interior Firefighting. I have supported Direct Water Application since the 90s and have been teaching it for nearly 15 years. I supported going through the front door even with fire venting through that same door way before some test burns proved that we don’t PUSH FIRE with straight and SOLID streams. Urban Firefighters have been teaching Direct Water Application/Entry through the front door most of the time regardless of fire location. They taught this based on hundreds of FIRES they had been apart of extinguishing, at all times of the day and night. Fires that were not in a controlled environment in the middle of the day. These fires were in all types of structures with different fuel packages and different tactics. There was a time that the Urban/Fireground Experienced Firefighter was valued. Their time fighting REAL FIRES under emergency conditions were valued as a positive and not as a negative. It seems that some feel just reading books and spending time on social media certifies them to tell others how its done. I realize not all firefighters have the opportunity to get fight fires frequently and that’s ok. I respect the firefighter that continues to read and train so when the do have a fire, they are that much more prepared for BATTLE. Battle is what fighting fires is and always will be. You can not completely replace or reach the same level without the experiences. Its like our USA Women’s Soccer Team. They won not only from skill but the experience of playing in BIG MATCHES. Experience Matters! Take classes, Train in a drill tower, Get Acquired Structures, do whatever you can to prepare yourself for BATTLE. But at the end of the day you cant fully replace time compressed decision making under emergency conditions. The Fireground is a unique place and so many can do a certain tactic on the drill field, but fail to be able at 2am when fire is blowing out multiple windows. Time teaches us all that experience matters in so many parts of life. Kids thin their smarting than mom and dad until they get older. Life teaches us lessons. I wish more were looking to study the Urban Firefighter and working towards making the most with their staffing instead of making up excuses. Time Delayed Tactics is part of limited staffing. Figure out what needs to be done and then prioritize. You may need to delay some tactics until more staffing arises. Stop Making Excuses and figure out how to do the best you can, with what’s provided to you. I realize some do not have the staffing to vertically ventilate. But just because you do not have the staffing does not mean its not needed, just that you can’t do it based on staffing levels. We haven’t been doing it wrong. We have been very successful in the fire service at saving civilian lives and property. We continue to save lives everyday. We must continue to look for the best way in and sometimes/most of the time that’s the FRONT DOOR.
If we do not slow down on this push for exterior fire attack at fires, Civilians Lives will be lost in larger numbers. I have studied a large number of civilian rescues/grabs. The Grabs/Rescues were done on firegrounds were AGGRESSIVE INTERIOR TACTICS were used from the start. Civilians are mostly dying from smoke inhalation and not thermal burns. You can FLOW WATER from the yard all day and COOL the environment. But if FIREFIGHTERS are not getting inside rapidly to locate and remove the trapped civilians, they will die regardless of how COLD your HARD FROM THE YARD is. This is not a HOT and COLD topic. Its a LIFE and DEATH topic.
Lets get back to putting the CIVILIAN FIRST!!
I am VERY proud to tell my family and neighbors that they come first when I am on-duty ready to SERVE. I am ready to serve them like the Soldier is serving all of us to provide FREEDOM. We are/become so SAFETY CONCIOUS were almost hang cuffing ourselves. Safety is Great until it cost more Lives than its saving.
Let me say that again….. SAFETY is GREAT, Until it Cost More Lives than its SAVING!!
Aggressive Firefighting Saves Lives and Property.
If you want to save firefighter lives than push for better diets, more time getting physically fit, better annual physicals, less stress in the firehouse, and WEARING SEATBELTS..
Wish I had more time to RANT.
I support Transitional Attack when staffing or the Fire Dictates. But I do not respond looking to do that as my first option. I hope that staffing and fire conditions allow an Offensive Interior Attack, utilizing the front door.
It’s Critical to Know Your
Flow. You must pick a hose and nozzle that fits your department.
I personally like the 7/8 for 3 and 4 person Engine Companies that primarily fight house fires. The 7/8 gets you 150 GPM, with 60+ feet of reach, at only 60 lbs of nozzle reaction. When you think in terms of Gallons Per Second and the nozzle flowing 2.5 GPS and your able to Flow as you go; this is putting more water on the FIRE/in the building, than 185 or 3 GPS, if the nozzle firefighter has to gate/shut down frequently. To really test what works and how much water you can throw; you need to use a flow meter and track the flow while an attack crew pushes into the drill
REALISTIC Attack evaluation for a REALISTIC F I R E!!!
Not all forcible entry bars are created equal. Many are poor copies of
the original, by manufactures who did not understand correctly the
proper application of the tool in the field. The Pro Halligan Bar (black
grips) At 30-inchs in length fits in the smallest common door opening
and works well in tight hall areas. Its thinner curved fork allows easy
driving through the jamb, the curved “Adz” end not only fits in a
tighter jamb, but develops leverage for easier one person forcible
entry. The sharper longer pike, is easily driven while attacking such
things as carriage bolts.Last but not least its forged one piece
construction makes it a lifetime tool and extremely durable. Forgive me
if I have missed some items, but the better of these two is a well known
fact even for an engine guy like me.
Now that your best in class Halligan Bar has gained you entry to the structure, extinguishment must follow! Many of you would have easily
identified the superior tool above just by looking at them. But can you
do the same with your attack handline hose?
Which of the three attack handline hoses below would you pick to carry your suppression agent to the seat of the fire?
After all, it is a well know fact that water equals life. The attack handline hose is literally the conduit of the end game the “critical flow” the knock out punch in the interior. It is commonly purchased by low bid, which to me equals hooliganism against the rank
In many ways the attack handline hose decision is a more complex
question, with a high amount of life saving potential wrapped up in the
equation. Personally I would choose none of the above, not based on
manufacturer, but construction and design. Much like the Halligan’s
superior construction and design along with a history of proven
successes makes it the obvious choice, the same holds true with hose.
Above the current gold standard of hose construction is represented. It
is based in the historically proven design of the double jacketed cotton
fire hose of years and fires past. It will not pack down tight, it will
not be the lightest, it will not have the newest material, and it will
not be pitched to you by the salesman. It will resist burn through, it
will have a low enough friction loss for common attack handline flows,
it will have a low delamination failure rate, it will have reduced
kinking, it will have reduced nozzle whip, and it will probably last up to ten
years of heavy use. I am not against progress and new material, but before you make a leap of faith look where you are jumping to first, many times it is into the unknown.
The way I see it, the Halligan of current hose construction at a minimum
1) Double Jacketed (Nylon or Polyester or a blend) “Filler Yarns” are to
be filament type to ensure adequate strength “Warp Yarns” are to be the
spun / entanglement type to both resist cutting and abrasion, but allow
load transfer when damaged.This construction should also ensure a large
amount of the coating is thoroughly absorbed by both jackets during the
protective coating process.
2) EPDM rubber liner, minimum wall thickness of .040-inches with a
preference towards vulcanized rubber adhesion of the liner and jacket
3) A minimum pick count of 9.5 picks per inch (increased strength and
4) Withstand Abrasion Test defined in FM Class Number 2111 to 20,000
Cycles minimum with a goal of 30,000 Cycles.
5) The outer jacket shall allow less than 1/16^th -inch expansion under
pressure below 200psi. Hose shall maintain its internal diameter through
its service life under normal working conditions (not to exceed service
6) Goal Service Test Pressure of 400psi, but not less than 300psi
7) The inside jacket shall be manufactured using a reverse twill process
to reduce friction loss.
8) There shall be a durability coating of the outer jacket.
9) 1 ¾” Total Coupled Weight goal of 17-20 pounds per fifty feet section
10) 2 ½” Total Coupled Weight goal of 25-30 pounds per fifty feet section
Unfortunately you cannot currently get a true internal diameter attack
handline hose (1.75 & 2.5-inch) yet in the above spec. This advancement
to the past practice and common sense will significantly reduce charged
weights by less water per foot and improve deployment characteristics
such as kinking and nozzle whip by slight increases in friction loss. To
make this option a reality will requires “US” working on it, this is a
joint effort.The proper knowledge must be shared among the rank and
file, spec matters design and construction are critical. Let us not bake
failure into the cake in advance of our arrival; this type of action is
the definition of professionalism.
The end user (those that are a student of the craft, not a believer of the sales pitch) should have the largest say, the / hoseman , nozzleman, doorman… THE ENGINE COMPANY… Those committed to moving and deploying the attack handline in the interior.Those with the exposure to the risk
have the inherit right to be better served by their equipment and their
executive leadership. After all they apply the water, which is in pure
and direct service to the citizen. We must ensure we are purchasing and
spec-ing the best tools of the trade, not just the newest fanciest ones.
A hooligan’s opposite is a protector, sometime the answer is in the name.
We hear all about the issues of staffing in the fire service: its limitations and its benefits. First things first! Your staffing is your staffing and typically doesn’t change much except for the variable of the alarm assignment strength. Volunteer response is a deployment model that tends to have more radical staffing swings. So now, what are you doing about this “given” when it comes to community fire protection?
Is your staffing commensurate with your buildings? Are your hosebeds assisting your handline deployments? Are you able to check the boxes and perform interior attack? Comparisons between what is perceived as ideal staffing and minimal staffing is not the point.
The question should be is staffing adequate for the majority of your fire attack incidents? This is a critical need and should be looked at critically. Interior fire attack is handled by a nozzle firefighter who should have a backup firefighter assisting with that nozzle function and advancement. Fire extinguishment also needs to be supervised by an officer. That’s three people. Can we do it with more? Sure, add a firefighter further back to assist with line movement.
The bottom line is that this is the model. You may or may not have a complete version of it, but that only cuts you so much slack. If you switch roles or you assign two tasks to each firefighter, or you improve your interior advance techniques, that’s creative thinking. If you only opt in for a staffing model you will never attain, that is fantasy.
Benchmarks are a common form of fireground measurement. Here is a simple model for fire extinguishment. How much hose will be used on the interior of the building? If it’s on length ( 50′), then that is a staffing model. If twice that is needed, that is another. This is why the interior model doesn’t vary much. Getting the hose to the point of operation is typically the real variable that staffing impacts. Vertical and horizontal distances matter and often account for increased hoseline staffing both inside and outside the fire building. There is no need for two nozzle firefighters for a single hoseline but there is often a need for a door firefighter. The fire service needs to adapt and overcome its excuses and dreams and focus on the issues that impact operations and fireground lives by moving towards efficient extinguishment.
There is much talk in the fire service regarding how some pass downs have been proven wrong due to current research. In some categories, this legacy behavior has been explained utilizing a more scientific language which is one aspect of research. The other is how to avoid the legacy outcome regardless of what you label it now (hint : Better Engine Company LeadershIp).
Another aspect to be watched more closely is the false premises where a fire example is given along with a bad solution and now we fix it with a modern solution. The problem is if you were applying the original solution to the problem, then you didn’t understand basic firefighting anyway. So now we have SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) or a talking head who comes along with a new solution to fix it for you. You should have known this solution and you should be able to recognize silliness when you see it. The point is that some fire attack videos are giving you solutions to problems that should not have existed. Beware the peddler and their improved and enlightened ways. It’s only enlightening if you have had your head buried in the sand.
Get informed and pick up on what you’re being shown and just as importantly, what you’re not being shown.
If you want to improve the fire service, work on yourself first!