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.

HROC Pensacola Beach, Forcible Entry, Door Control, FDNY Rescue 1, Captain Morris

FDNY Rescue 1, Captain Robert Morris (ret), lead the FDNY Engine Co. and Truck Co. Operations Hands On Training (HOT) Track last week at County Fire Tactics annual High Rise Operations Conference (HROC), at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Side Convention Center.

The forcible entry and door control training video below is only a glimpse of the amazing training nuggets FDNY Captain Robert Morris (ret), FDNY Captain Rex Morris, and other instructors provided the 100’s of Firefighters from across the United States who were in attendance.

When you attend a CFT event our goal is to provide our attendees the most highly experienced and knowledgeable instructors from all over the country who share a passion for making our profession as safe as possible while being as aggressive as possible. 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

Gallons Per Second, It’s Worth the Risk, Water on The Fire, Tactics Put Out Fires, Death on the Nozzle

Battalion Chief Curt Isakson, County Fire Tactics, Pensacola Florida The Fire Departments of Farmington, Lakeville, Burnsville, and Inver Grove Heights, in conjunction with the Dakota County Fire Chiefs Association, are presenting a weekend fire conference of Strategies and Tactics, featuring Battalion Chief Curt Isakson, of County Fire Tactics (CF Tactics, CFT), on March 13th, 2021, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and March 14th, 2021 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, in Lakeville Minnesota. The fire conference was also made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education.

Chief Isakson will deliver five different programs over this two-day event. He will present many of his most passionate programs including Gallons Per Second, It’s Worth the Risk, Water on The Fire, Tactics Put Out Fires, and Death on the Nozzle. The venue for the weekend fire conference will be the Lakeville North High School, approximately 25 minutes south of the Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport.

REGISTER NOW

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

The host has indicated the venue will open its doors one hour prior to the conference start time on Saturday and Sunday. Registration includes coffee, donuts, and a catered lunch each day. If you are traveling from outside the area, discounted hotel rooms are available at the Hampton Inn Lakeville Minneapolis Hotel utilizing group code LFD.
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Hub City Fire Conference, Spartanburg SC, Chief Curt Isakson, CF Tactics

Battalion Chief Curt Isakson, County Fire Tactics, Pensacola Florida

The Spartanburg City Professional Firefighters Association IAFF Local 369, will be featuring Battalion Chief Curt Isakson, of County Fire Tactics (CF Tactics, CFT), at their First Annual Hub City Fire Conference, August 7th-8th, 2021, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, in Spartanburg South Carolina, the city that is “Always Doing.”

Chief Isakson will deliver a two-day seminar featuring highlights from the County Fire Tactics conference series and the Fire School. The seminar venue will be Twichell Auditorium at Converse College.
Chief Isakson will be at Delaney’s Irish Pub on Saturday night for a social event with conference attendees. The seminar host will hold an early bird conference check-in event at RJ Rockers Brewing Co, Friday, August 6th, 2021.

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

Contact the Spartanburg City Professional Firefighters Association utilizing the information on the seminar flyer for additional details.

Click here to register and attend the Hub City Fire Conference.

Continue reading

Firefighter Rescue Research Project, Brian Brush

Chief Brian Brush with a very important research project on firefighter rescues.

This could be one of the most important documents, with real world data to support the effectiveness of firefighters. When we started firefighterrescues.com this was what we invisioned. Between Firefighterrescuesurvey.com and Chief Brush heading up one the most critical research in recent history, progress WILL HAPPEN. Tactically VES & VES BEYOND THE DOOR making its way into Suburban America as a Life Saving option at Fires 🔥 will save additional Lives. Let’s KEEP PUSHING!!

 

 

 

Free Webinar “Command Success” from Firehouse Expo Direct 2020

County Fire Tactics founder, Battalion Chief Curt Isakson presented a 60-minute “Command Success” webinar at Firehouse Expo Direct 2020, view the video below.

During this fast-paced 60 minute program, Chief Isakson will cover fireground size-up and what to look for based on the resources assigned to the alarm. It will cover Strategy,  Tactics, & Command Success in how you can make the most of the first arriving companies before all hands arrive.

View the video below for a limited time. Register through firehouse.com at this link to receive a certificate of attendance.


♦ Command Success: Commanding from the Sidelines ♦