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(Fire Critic)   Ever wonder what it's like going into a burning house? Here's one fire fighter's POV during an aggressive interior attack   (firecritic.com) divider line 109
    More: Cool, helmet cam, safety gear, second floor  
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13999 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Mar 2012 at 1:54 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-20 12:09:48 PM
Well executed.
 
2012-03-20 12:12:41 PM
That's funny, I executed an aggressive interior attack just last night.
 
2012-03-20 12:15:31 PM
images.wikia.com

FOOL!
 
2012-03-20 01:05:05 PM
They don't pay those guys enough...whatever they make, it ain't enough.

Not sure what is scarier-fire above you threatening to drop a ceiling on your head, or fire below you threatening to drop you through the floor.
 
2012-03-20 01:15:23 PM

mr_a: They don't pay those guys enough...whatever they make, it ain't enough.


Some do it for free.
 
2012-03-20 01:21:50 PM
I've gone into a burning building for training a couple times. The thing wasn't much more than a 3-story building with some feeder pipes at the bottom. They'd pipe in some fuel and set it alight, then we'd have to go in and practice putting out a Class B fire.

Good times.
 
2012-03-20 01:28:58 PM
Words cannot express my disappointment at the fact that nobody yelled "did you check that door for heat?" I'm starting to think that Backdraft might have lied to me.
 
2012-03-20 01:43:29 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: mr_a: They don't pay those guys enough...whatever they make, it ain't enough.

Some do it for free.


That's how it is around here, all volunteer in these parts. Local fire whistle goes off (as do their radio pagers), they drive out to the station, suit up, hop in the truck and head out. Generally for a structure fire a half dozen or more fire departments show up from nearby towns. Somebody's gotta do it.

/glad that somebody isn't me
 
2012-03-20 01:52:01 PM

nekom: glad that somebody isn't me


You should try it out. Rewarding as well as (very) exhilarating. There are downsides though.
 
2012-03-20 01:54:16 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: nekom: glad that somebody isn't me

You should try it out. Rewarding as well as (very) exhilarating. There are downsides though.


I could probably handle some of it. Around here a LOT of what they respond to are field fires, which I think would be relatively safe to fight as long as you didn't do anything stupid. What would get to me would be the car accidents though, especially if I was first on the scene and there were children injured or worse. Not sure I could maintain.
 
2012-03-20 01:59:21 PM
Don't need to watch it..as i did it for years. Pretty much how its like, but they had good light, and usually you don't because it's night, the power is out, and smoke usually fills the whole house. You cant feel shiat..and you pray you don't accidentally "flip the room over" on yourself. Bad times.
 
2012-03-20 01:59:54 PM
This is why firefighters are everyone's hero.

/firefighters > cops
//all damn day long
 
2012-03-20 02:02:21 PM
One can only imagine what going into a 5 alarm fire would look like.
 
2012-03-20 02:02:22 PM
Hero tag suffering from smoke inhalation?
 
2012-03-20 02:02:41 PM

nekom: What would get to me would be the car accidents though, especially if I was first on the scene and there were children injured or worse. Not sure I could maintain.


I was on for 9 years before I worked a child fatality. We had 5 that year though. 1 fire and 1 MVA. None since. But the accident I linked to above could only be described as "horrific".

The thing about some scenes is that you are never required to respond and if you do, we make it a point to keep those that might not feel comfortable busy doing other things. On that one we had to lay a line (someone had to work the panel), set up an LZ and pull jaws...All things that didn't require viewing the scene.
 
2012-03-20 02:06:39 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: nekom: glad that somebody isn't me

You should try it out. Rewarding as well as (very) exhilarating. There are downsides though.


My wife, her sister, and their mother were all firefighters... and all three stopped running because they got tired of every call being horrible car wrecks, and never actually fighting any fires. It just took its toll over the years.
 
2012-03-20 02:06:47 PM
Yep.

Adrenalin is a hell of a drug.
 
2012-03-20 02:06:57 PM
I work in fire training, so I'm really getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2012-03-20 02:07:13 PM
i have wondered. that was very interesting.
 
2012-03-20 02:07:55 PM
As a gf of a FF, I can honestly say that video ran chills down my back.
 
2012-03-20 02:10:10 PM
My home, hell entire parish, was flooded after Katrina. I feel for those homeowners, hope downstairs was still salvageable.

/Looks like yellow eyes called in a favor.
/obscure?
 
2012-03-20 02:10:36 PM

Alonjar: It just took its toll over the years.


Indeed it can. There is a "response team" that will come up from Abilene FD after particularly tough incidents (like the one above) to help guys work through it but th thing that I try to remember and tell myself is I didn't put them in that situation. We all have different ways of handling it but yes, it can wear on you. Thankfully, scenes like that are (for us anyway) few and far between.

/knocks on wood
 
2012-03-20 02:10:50 PM
Did it for 7 years in my hometown in CT as a volunteer. The camaraderie was wonderful.
Losing my best friend's dad to an unseen downed power line at a car accident one stormy night was one of the most awful things I've ever been through.
 
2012-03-20 02:11:43 PM

Miss_Alice: My home, hell entire parish, was flooded after Katrina. I feel for those homeowners, hope downstairs was still salvageable.

/Looks like yellow eyes called in a favor.
/obscure?


www.supernatural.bz

wut.
 
2012-03-20 02:11:57 PM
POV, burning house, aggressive interior attack?

are we talking porn or fire nonsense.
 
2012-03-20 02:13:13 PM
What moran included the FB comment get var?

I mean, seriously?
 
2012-03-20 02:13:45 PM

The Shatner Incident: This is why firefighters are everyone's hero.

/firefighters > cops
//all damn day long


So much THIS!
 
2012-03-20 02:17:24 PM
bostonist.com

Three hundred sixty five degrees....burning down the house.
 
2012-03-20 02:21:27 PM

funzyr: Hero tag suffering from smoke inhalation?


Perhaps, but the Ironic tag would approve of the Cool tag here.
 
2012-03-20 02:23:46 PM

nekom: What would get to me would be the car accidents though, especially if I was first on the scene and there were children injured or worse. Not sure I could maintain.


A classmate of mine went on to become an EMT in our hometown/region. He had to move away after a few years because he couldn't deal with cleaning people he knew off the pavement.
 
2012-03-20 02:26:00 PM

mr_a: They don't pay those guys enough...whatever they make, it ain't enough.

Not sure what is scarier-fire above you threatening to drop a ceiling on your head, or fire below you threatening to drop you through the floor.


Personally? The floor.

Depends on where the fire is though. Basement fires scare me. They tend to be hard to get to, and often times will soften the hell out of the floor without much to show that that's happening.

Stories about guys entering through a front door and immediately falling through the floor down to a fully engulfed basement are sobering, and a great reminder to always stomp the hell out of whatever floor you're about to step on.
 
2012-03-20 02:31:40 PM

Thunderboy: nekom: What would get to me would be the car accidents though, especially if I was first on the scene and there were children injured or worse. Not sure I could maintain.

A classmate of mine went on to become an EMT in our hometown/region. He had to move away after a few years because he couldn't deal with cleaning people he knew off the pavement.


There is a reason that a shrink is on staff at most metro area departments. When I was volunteer, I saw loads of stuff I still can't forget. Like grey matter while the person is still living-ish.

/end not to CSB
 
2012-03-20 02:33:08 PM

mr_a: They don't pay those guys enough...whatever they make, it ain't enough.

Not sure what is scarier-fire above you threatening to drop a ceiling on your head, or fire below you threatening to drop you through the floor.


But see, if you pay them squat, you make sure you only get those that LOVE doing it...

/or so I am told...
 
2012-03-20 02:33:26 PM

Thuull: Depends on where the fire is though. Basement fires scare me. They tend to be hard to get to, and often times will soften the hell out of the floor without much to show that that's happening.


The 550 gallons of diesel in my basement would dissuade me from fighting a fire down there.
 
2012-03-20 02:37:38 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: mr_a: They don't pay those guys enough...whatever they make, it ain't enough.

Some do it for free.


Several of my co-workers do it for free. Me? I'm too old and broken.
 
2012-03-20 02:38:15 PM
once upon a time, i was an emt for a regional service in new hampshire. we would have to roll out for every fully involved structure fire. we'd have to hang back 500 feet, to and sit and watch. in my opinion it was still too close (i hate the heat). we'd provide medical assistance to anyone who needed it. thankfully, most fires we handed out water, and snacks, and nothing else. other times we had a parade of ambulances coming and going. to me the worst part was having to get close to the burning bits to help assess injuries, and move the poor guy or gal into our bus for transport and treatment. we never lost a firefighter. but some will never be the same again. firefighters have that kind of crazy/brave, that cowards like me respect, but i am totally fine with not having it.
 
2012-03-20 02:38:30 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: mr_a: They don't pay those guys enough...whatever they make, it ain't enough.

Some do it for free.


Like me. The satisfaction of the job outweighs the pay.
 
2012-03-20 02:40:06 PM
Badass.

My dad spent thirty-plus years running out to burnt dinners, smoking washing machines, heart attacks, dropped cigarettes, car accidents, BBQs gone wrong, flaming grass, false alarms, the odd railway suicide, and an occasional spectacular Hollywoodesque structure fire at all hours. He finally aged out at the end of December, thus allowing my mom to exhale for the first time since they met (oddly enough, watching a fire).

The piercing squeal of his alarm going off at 2am, followed by his rushed steps out the door, is burned into my memory.
 
2012-03-20 02:42:28 PM
My roommate's dad was a firefighter for 30-something years. He would still be doing it if he hadnt fallen out of a ski lift and shattered his leg. He has since retired and is taking community college courses to fill the time. I think he still goes down to the station and hangs out with the guys. I feel like thats a bond that doesnt break.

/CSB?
 
2012-03-20 02:44:58 PM

QuinnTheFetus: Thunderboy: nekom: What would get to me would be the car accidents though, especially if I was first on the scene and there were children injured or worse. Not sure I could maintain.

A classmate of mine went on to become an EMT in our hometown/region. He had to move away after a few years because he couldn't deal with cleaning people he knew off the pavement.

There is a reason that a shrink is on staff at most metro area departments. When I was volunteer, I saw loads of stuff I still can't forget. Like grey matter while the person is still living-ish.


I fought wildfires in my youth. Dead bunnies are easier to deal with than dead or dying people. I don't have the skin to deal with injured people or the families if the dead. Dead is unsettling and usually messy, but families of the victems will rip your heart out.
 
2012-03-20 02:52:20 PM
Ever wonder what it's like going into a burning house?

I've done that. Not as a firefighter but as a neighbor.

Some years ago my neighbor got drunk, fell asleep and set her connected apartment on fire with a small heater. My Boston Terrier started going nuts and I realized there was a problem but by this time she was awake and was running around outside screaming for help. Her apartment happened to connect to my immediate neighbor and his apartment was in danger too so we couldn't wait for firemen to arrive. Me and Chris struck into action. Chris grabbed for the water hose but the one he grabbed was cut and not connected. I grabbed the correct one and took off for her apartment. When I get to the front door my female neighbor is missing. She had went back in to the smoke filled apartment without us realizing it. Oh shiat.

We could hear her screaming but there was so much smoke that you just couldn't see anything. I pushed Chris into the apartment to look because I was having no luck finding her. Turns out she had had trouble breathing, fell to the floor and crawled behind the front door on her belly. The next thing I know she's flying out the front door like those fish people throw in Seattle. Out comes Chris and in I go. We didn't realize that in all the excitement nobody had called the Fire Department and I was on my own.

By now, about 15 minutes after the fire started, the entire bedroom and bathroom were on fire. The clock on the living room wall had already melted and I was worried about the whole place going up with me in it, but I had no choice. It would have burned us all out if someone hadn't stopped it. I got it put out after about 25 minutes but the apartment was a total loss. The FD was never called either because as I found out later the girl was worried about being drunk when the fire started. Even though she thanked me for saving most of her stuff the landlord never did. I'll say that I'd do it again if I had to but I really wouldn't want to try.
 
2012-03-20 02:55:16 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: mr_a: They don't pay those guys enough...whatever they make, it ain't enough.

Some do it for free.


This.
They sent me to EMT school for free, but ya, no pay around these parts.
Also, remember to add about 80 pounds of clothes, air tank and gear.
 
2012-03-20 02:55:23 PM

PlatinumDragon: Badass.

My dad spent thirty-plus years running out to burnt dinners, smoking washing machines, heart attacks, dropped cigarettes, car accidents, BBQs gone wrong, flaming grass, false alarms, the odd railway suicide, and an occasional spectacular Hollywoodesque structure fire at all hours. He finally aged out at the end of December, thus allowing my mom to exhale for the first time since they met (oddly enough, watching a fire).

The piercing squeal of his alarm going off at 2am, followed by his rushed steps out the door, is burned into my memory.


Hah...in my area, that's *exactly* what we get...except for the railway suicide. We don't really see much fire, couple of big ones a year perhaps. The *vast* majority of what we get are the "BBQ too close to the house, melted the siding" kind of calls.

In the past year, we had one real internal attack. And I missed it, think I had my daughter at soccer practice or something. The other two were declared defensive upon arrival (for those that don't know, it means that the fire is so well progressed that you don't enter the building).
 
2012-03-20 03:02:09 PM
They save a lot of basements.
 
2012-03-20 03:02:41 PM

draa: I've done that. Not as a firefighter but as a neighbor.


Rule #1: Never go in without gear.
Rule #2: Never go in alone.

Our retired Chief violated both those rules a few years before I moved here and joined. New dispatcher on and she didn't know how to properly work the pagers. Three tones before she started speaking. He responded direct (everyone else responds to station then out on the trucks) and heard the screams of two young girls. As he said it "You hear that and the rule book goes out the window." He went in and didn't make it too far before the smoke got too thick for him and he bailed...barely. He still suffers from the effects...It's been over 20 years.
 
2012-03-20 03:05:33 PM

Thuull: In the past year, we had one real internal attack. And I missed it, think I had my daughter at soccer practice or something. The other two were declared defensive upon arrival (for those that don't know, it means that the fire is so well progressed that you don't enter the building).


How is that determination made? Is there a specific criteria or is it just up to the fire chief to say "Nope, we ain't going in there"? Last fire we had in town was vacant, when they arrived I told them it was vacant as far as I knew but they busted down the door and went in anyway, but it was confined to one room downstairs and just starting to spread to the outside wall when they got there.
 
2012-03-20 03:05:58 PM
this one wasn't too bad. (of course for the home owner it is) but looked like a pretty simple knockdown to me.

/dad was a fire fighter. got to ride along to a few "all hands" emergencies as a kid.
//nothing can compare to the pride felt when dad comes out of a burning building with a kid.
///engine 51 ladder 73 responding.
 
2012-03-20 03:08:32 PM
As a guy with a total of 10 years on the job, some full time, I can tell you that typically visibility is almost nil. That was fairly unusual seeing that.

Of course, a lot of structure fires are at night anyway.

Also- while you might think there'd be a pucker factor to something like that, when you're carring an 1 3/4" hand line, you get pretty brave. You can supress a lot of fire with that.

For some fires I've been assigned to the aerial or rescue and done the primary search before any venting or initial attack. That's way scarier.

And as much as I hate to armchair the guy, we have adj. fog nozzles for a reason. That fire looked well vented, no need for straight stream. My favorite white hat always told me this about interior attack- if you're not moving forward you're moving backward.

/almost old enough to be a COJ
 
2012-03-20 03:11:21 PM

Mose: As a guy with a total of 10 years on the job, some full time, I can tell you that typically visibility is almost nil. That was fairly unusual seeing that.


How do you know where you're going, especially if you don't know the layout of the building? If visibility is zero couldn't you fall down a hole in the floor?
 
2012-03-20 03:14:03 PM
I lived through a house fire when I was about 4. It was the dead of winter and the house we used to live in was at least 40+ years old then with shoddy construction everywhere. Something with the chimney went wrong and the next thing we know the entire wall was ablaze and spreading fast. Mom only had enough time to get me from my room upstairs and an armfull of clothes before the smoke got too bad to be able to do much else. Dad went back in to grab whatever important documents before the fire crawled to the doors so he couldnt get back in. The image of walking down the stairs to go outside and seeing the entire living room and kitchen on fire is literally burned into my mind. And I think that is the only reason my dad became a firefighter a few years later.
And no, my dad doesn't get paid squat. Only thing he gets paid for is the mileage he has to drive.
Though he has saved many lives and has a lot of medals and thank you cards to show for it. He's only fallen through a roof once, and his worst stories come from when he couldn't save someone. I've only seen my dad shed a tear once, and that was when he had to gather a burnt up one year old little girl and carry her to the squad and her awaiting grandparents.
Firefighters deserve so much more, it's crazy how most people forget about them or how often they get over shadowed.
 
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