7 Alarms…

Our friends over at TheBravestOnline.com have a posted another excellent video. The video is of a seven alarm apartment fire outside of Houston. Apparently, they were faced with significant access issues from blocked cars. You’ll notice the excellent use of tow trucks early on in the event to rectify the situation. Those wreckers were hookin’ and draggin’! Good call by the IC! He knew he was going to have a large number of apparatus on scene, and needed the room.

It’s nice to see the extensive use of ladders to the second floor. The importance of secondary means of egress should never be overlooked.

We need to remember: big building + big fire = big water!

We post these videos as a learning tool, and look forward to reading your thoughts and comments. –Jimm-

Click Here for Video

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Raker Shore… I think

I saw this attempt of a raker shore a number of years ago… I hope they don’t actually plan on ever using this method of shoring. This photo is a prime example of someone who “thinks” they are trained to perform a certain task. Even after being trained, we advocate utilizing the FOG manual when constructing shoring. Each one of the shores is professionally engineered, and needs to be constructed in a very particular manner. As with any other fire service task, on-going training is extremely important. -Jimm-

You perform the way you train!

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Ventilation Video

I love ventilation videos with aggressive music! As with many of the videos, pictures, and discussions we feature here, view this video as a training tool. Please feel free to leave comments on the pros and cons of some of these operations. We need to keep in mind that we were not on these roofs, so we don’t know what happened before or after each segment of the video. When viewing each segment, read the smoke, you can tell when you’re through the ceiling, and you should know what’s coming next. If you don’t, you shouldn’t be on the roof. –Jimm-

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjhwJMmxP3w[/youtube]

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Interesting Electrical Hazard

I have noticed a trend in many of our posts. They seem to follow the thought process of: What you see is not always what you get! I think this is an import thing to remember about our job. I believe that everyone who wears a lid should look at every single building and ask themselves or their crew “what if…” It is amazing the things you will find in your own first due area every single day! Captain Tom Redmond of Cocoa Beach sent in photos and a description of an interesting electrical hazard an alert Engine crew found while performing a Company Fire Inspection. Look closely at the picture, anything look out of place? Be sure to click on the supplemental page with more pictures and a complete description of this unexpected hazard. –Jimm-

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Door Chocks

Jason Jefferies from Charlotte Engine 37 sent in this simple and cheap door chock. He was quick to point out that he didn’t invent this himself, but we’re giving him credit for it anyway! All you need is a piece of 1″ or 2″ angle iron and an “S” hook. Check out the What’s in Your Pockets page for a description. –Jimm-

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Primary Search -All Clear- (Is it Really?)

It has been a couple of weeks since we’ve had a good series of comments about any particular subject… I was looking through some old comments and decided to bring this one up front so everyone could read it again. It originally appeared under the “Vertical Vent… Whatever it Takes!” discussion a few weeks ago. I didn’t want this important topic to get lost in the weeds.

The effective search is quickly becoming another “lost art of the fire service.” With the availability of thermal imagers, and other changes throughout the fire service, searches are either not being done efficiently, effectively, or sometimes not being done at all. Ask yourself this… On the last search you preformed, if the thermal imager malfunctioned, would you have been able to complete the search, or even find your way out?

Or how about this question…(Regardless of the interpretations of the highly misunderstood rule of two in/two out) You pull up to a residential structure in the middle of the night, a small room and contents fire, car in the driveway, bikes in the yard, no-one outside, DO YOU GO IN AND SEARCH? I think the answer should be obvious….But you’d be surprised.

The first comment to this post is a cut and paste of one of our reader’s opinions of the importance of the search…. What’s your opinion? –Jimm-

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Framing Square Foricble Entry

Our latest Tips from the Bucket comes from our brothers of Miami Dade Fire Rescue. This is an innovative way to force entry on a metal door while retaining the ability to secure the door after operations are complete. -Jimm-

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Deceiving Building Features

It is becoming more and more popular for developers to attempt constucting their buildings to look different from all the others. Unfortunately, when this happens it sometimes has a negative impact on Fire Department operations in the structure. These aesthetically pleasing features sometimes only “look” like they would have a significant impact on our operations, when in fact some of them are easily bypassed or removed. Our own Darrell Coates recently found some of these features on a structure in his first due and took these photos. -Jimm-

Please check out the supplemental Deceiving Building Features page for more pictures and descriptions.

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What’s in your Pockets?

Be sure to check out our latest addition: The What’s in your Pockets page. I have always enjoyed asking other firefighters what they carry in their pockets, and why they decided to carry each different item. Everyone is encouraged to send in pictures and or descriptions of what they carry and why. Normally each item has a story or reason. It should be interesting to hear everyone’s input. –Jimm-

Here is a pair of channel lock pliers that have been modified to be used as a key tool. Check out the new page for a description of this handy tool.

 

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Website Updates

We recently performed some much needed maintenance on the site… You’ve probably already seen the 20 most recent comments added to the sidebar. It should make things easier to follow. You’ll also notice that the sidebar looks more uniform, and the VentEnterSearch.com graphic on top is now clickable and will always bring you back to the homepage. We now have each of our pages opening in the same window instead of opening another window each time you click. We are trying to make the site as user friendly as possible.

These upgrades were ideas we received from various users… Thanks for the input! We are always looking for ideas and upgrades, so let us know! We will be changing the format of the links page soon, so keep an eye out for that.

We have not forgotten about the August articles, unfortunately we are a little behind schedule on them…

Thanks again for all of the support! –Jimm-

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