04/22/10 164 W, 1 I - + 4 - 3 This Morning's Major Fire / W. Millbrook Road

Two alarms at 221 W. Millbrook Road. Engine 9 arriving at a two-story, wood-frame commercial structure with 2,226 square-feet. Built 1978, dentist office. Heavy smoke from front of structure. Interior attack, with fire found in attic. Battalion 1 assumed command on arrival, and called for a second alarm within a couple minutes. Ladder 1 backed into parking lot, and deployed in front of building. Utilized for roof operations, with crews ventilating.

Staging on both Millbrook Road, and in parking lot across street. Medical monitoring and rehab also located in parking lot across street. Dispatched 7:13 a.m. Controlled 7:49 a.m. And another hour or abouts for extinguishment. No injuries. Cause determined as accidental. Outgoing "A" shift personnel relieved by incoming "B" shift personnel. Units on scene included E9, E16, E17, E4, E15, E11, E6, L1, L4, L_, R1, R3, B1, B2, B4, C10, C20, A1, C1, C2, EMS 3, EMS 16, D1, D4, M9_, T1, WC1. See photos by Mike Legeros.

Tax records call the thing a single-story, but with a partially finished mezzanine. And, since you asked, here’s a Wikipedia page on what exactly a mezzanine might be! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezzanine_%..
Legeros - 04/22/10 - 21:18

Wasn’t there, but this is what I’ve got; seems to be a fine example of aggressive work. The Brothers (and Sisters) showed up to do work on this one, which could have gone bad real quick. Great to see the hooks and tools being carried and used. Ground ladders are in place. And, I imagine some aggressive hook work was being done on the inside too. Those smoke conditions spell heavy fire involvement on the interior, some places would cringe and punt.

Seems we’re going to make a truckie out of Johnny V. yet!!!!!! Knew he had it in him!! Hahahahaha….good job and be proud of this one. Just my .02…..some might disagree (or agree) and that’s fine.

Anyone that was there (RH, FF), enlighten us on how it went please. Any lessons learned? Share…..
Silver - 04/22/10 - 21:43

Oh yeah, one more thing; man it will be nice when we can have two ladders on the initial dispatch to fires!
Silver - 04/22/10 - 21:45

Question for RFD members….I would like constructive feedback on pros and cons of letting communications staff handle moveups on anything involving a second alarm assignment or more. Currently its done by the in-service Batt Chief who tells us who is going where. Would you be in favor, would you not, or would you not care at all?
dispatcher 2383 - 04/23/10 - 00:01

Was Ladder 4 really the next closest Ladder company or was someone else out?
Marcus - 04/23/10 - 00:17

Silver, is RFD changing it to 2 ladders on initial dispatch to fires?
joey p - 04/23/10 - 08:54

Mileage from closest Ladder stations to incident address:

Ladder 4 – 2.3 miles
Ladder 3 – 4.4 miles
Ladder 2 – 4.6 miles

CAD had it right, Ladder 4 is closest.
Google maps - 04/23/10 - 10:17


I would think a pro would be a quicker deployment of resources for move-up. A con would be that the BC usually has information about their companies that the dispatcher may not be privy to, such as manpower issues, apparatus limitations, or simply trying to “spread the love” of having to fill in.

My 2 cents from the back seat…
Fire boy - 04/23/10 - 10:21

@ Google maps; Ummmm, according to google, Ladder 4 is 6.9 miles, not 2.3. The other two estimates are accurate. I think you may be confused, L-4 is responding from South Dawson St., not Northway Ct. Anyone from communications, was L4 the next available ladder the other morning?

@Joey P…eventually you’ll see two ladders on all fires. Per the Chief, once the 9th ladder goes in, it’ll change.

As far as dispatchers handling move-ups, I like the idea. It’s one less thing for the Chief’s to worry about.
Silver - 04/23/10 - 11:08

Station 1 as half the distance to Station 17??

Checking GM and even Mapquest shows closer to 6 miles and change.
That Can't Be Right - 04/23/10 - 11:09

Hey Silver, I think it went well from my point of view. From what I saw when E16 got there 2nd in, heavy smoke was pushing out of every hole it could find. Batt 1 called for VV early. After getting a line to E9 we were sent for a search of the building. The roof was opened up and after some glass was removed from Div 1 it helped out alot. I think it went well, everybody did there job, very aggressive work. I heard from THE Chief himself, LT. Black put L1 right where it needed to be, E9 was up and out of the way for the ladder. It was a great job by everyone there. I didn’t see much of what was going on outside, but it seemed to go smooth. Thats how I saw it. Take it with a grain of salt, as I don’t know anything.
HAND - 04/23/10 - 13:46

Hahahaha, thanks for the play by play Rob. Heard a few things today that were interesting, but I’ll leave them off here. You guys didn’t pull a second line?
Silver - 04/23/10 - 14:30

Move ups or coverage should be preprogrammed and automatic to be consistant and effective. It should be a countywide program utilizing all departments to insure adequate coverage throughout all areas. It can be linked to generate coverage during any prolonged or involved incident (fires, mva’s, mass-cas incidents, etc). When the $h!t hits the fan precious moments are lost unless it is already set to automatically occur. Relying on someone to manually relocate units on such a large scale would prove difficuly to say the least. On a side note, I know when major working fires are underway (City or County) WCEMS has implemented steps to allow their supervisors to send fire first responders only when absolutely necessary (in the region of the major fire). Because they know resources are reduced during such a major incident, smart on their part.
olddisp - 04/23/10 - 14:40

We as in E16 didn’t, we were told to do a primary. I know a inch and a half was going in the front door and a two and a half was up a ladder and in to Div 2 through a window on Div A.
HAND - 04/23/10 - 15:54

Need to correct some information. Ladder 4 was not present, and incorrectly identified based on the reserve apparatus present. Another ladder was riding the reserve 1995 platform, and has probably had some laughs at our speculations. Sorry!
Legeros - 04/23/10 - 17:23

Was the big smooth bore assembly removed from Lad-1 before it was deployed? I notice some pictures with the smooth bore on it and a couple of pictures look as if it was removed…..Great work Mike.
Chris - 04/23/10 - 18:58

Chris, now I am not certain since we weren’t on duty, but if I am correct in your views on the photos, allow me to interpret what you saw. Ladder 1 has its tip placed in “rescue mode” where the nozzle is left at the end of the 1st fly section, allowing the second fly section to extend to a window or narrow area without the nozzle or guard hanging below. Hence when you saw the ladder set up in the beginning shots, you see the ladder fully retracted, the nozzle at the end. When they extended to the roof line to operate off the tip, the ladder was extended, but the nozzle remained in the “middle” of the ladder sections.
Meier RFD L-1 - 04/23/10 - 19:42

Chris, look at picture #50. It shows it better than my words can.
Meier RFD L-1 - 04/23/10 - 19:43

@Hand….Unbelievable. I guess some were sleeping during January’s training class for Ladder Ops. We’ve heard the term before; “rush to the tip”. If everyone on the fire-ground has a hose, and wants to “fight fire”, who will be doing the truck work? If you like “fightin’ fire”, transfer to an engine. If you like breaking stuff, cutting stuff, and searching, ask to go to a ladder. When the team is in defensive mode, who cares, everyone can have a hose. But, when you’re in offensive mode, everyone has their tasks.

Primary should never be delayed, especially when a ladder arrives in the early stages of an incident….just my .02 (of frustration).
Silver - 04/23/10 - 20:03

Hey Silver, maybe I didn’t say something right. E 16 was 2nd in L1 backed in the parking lot. By the time I charged the hydrant and got to the front door, not sure how long it was but I wasn’t moving slow, not long. E9 was in the front door with a 1.5 line and a hole was being cut on the roof. The ladder did a good job, they on the roof not long after they were told to go ahead and vent it. I think the 2 inch was pulled and taken to Div 2 after a delay in finding the stairs. It was a Dooctor’s Office and the floor plan was cut up pretty bad and smoke was to the floor on Div 1. I feel the crew from the ladder did a good job, the roof was cut and we had ground ladders setup if we needed to bail out. Fire attack by the first in, Ladder was working on venting, and Second in laid a line and did a primary when we hit the door. It wasn’t like you got it where everybody was pulling lines. Don’t worry the Ladder was doing their thing and I think they had your tools on the roof. You can call me if that doesn’t clear it up or just talk to them on Monday.
HAND - 04/23/10 - 23:48

Meier I assumed it had a rescue/escape mode setting, but picture number 48 caught my attention. It looked as if the gun assembly had been removed from the mounting plate. It could just be shadows or my imagination, but the photo caught my eye. Thanks for pointing out the other pics.
Chris - 04/23/10 - 23:58

The second ladder, operating the 1995 reserve platform and perhaps only glimpsed in the photos, is likely Ladder 3. While it would be easy enough to call the gang at Station 17 and confirm— or, heck, just ask anyone at the scene!— it’s of course much more fun to analyze, deduce, assume, presume, etc.** The second ladder arrived from West Millbrook Road, thus likely excluding Ladder 2 from Station 11. It arrived pretty quickly, thus likely excluding Ladder 7 from Station 24. It wasn’t Ladder 4, which was operating a different reserve platform. And all the other ladders would not have arrived as quickly.

**Why is that, to analyze, deduce, assume, presume, etc.? Well, guess it’s more challenging. It’s a puzzle to solve, versus simply the mendacity of picking up a phone and asking a question. There’s some ego in there. You get to hold the talking stick and display your prowess of analysis, versus simply relating a piece of found information. Or if you approach from a confrontation angle, perhaps get gain a small position of power. Lots of reasons, I guess.
Legeros - 04/24/10 - 07:11

Is perfection possible on the fireground? Maybe that’s a discussion topic for a future day. This was one heck of a save, with kudos all around. But as this discussion shows— and is mirrored by any station crew that was there, or is seeing the pics, or just listened to the call— even the smallest details are seized upon, and can generate surprisingly passionate perspectives or opinions. Outsiders looking in might scratch their heads. But it’s a former of knowledge transfer. Personality, ego, observational skills, critical thinking, memory, experience, etc. It’s utilized in a stew of discussions that, well, dissect the incident. On blogs and other social media web sites— at least those that allow anonymous postings— such dissections can end up overburdened with negativity. But it’s still a learning curve, there. Everyone’s getting better, I think, at their named or unnamed voice, when talking about fires after the fact.
Legeros - 04/24/10 - 07:23

Meier, it was my imagination…..I blowed the pictures up this am and can see it clearly now. What year model is Lad-1?
Chris - 04/24/10 - 07:24

@HAND...Ok, thanks for the info. It helps to get feedback, especially now that we’re revamping things to see how thigs are progressing.

@Legeros…while no fire scene is perfect or identical, it is possible to have a smooth running incident. It’s our nature to dissect, it’s just what we do. The Ladders and Rescues are now under a microscope to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing. When things are on the offensive, and a four member ladder company arrives before the rescue, two members should be inside, performing a search, helping locate the fire, opening up on the inside and pulling ceiling for the engine crew. The other two members should be working the exterior; throwing ladders, venting, and controlling the utilities. This is bread and butter truck ops, tried and true by tons of other departments which pride themselves on aggressive firefighting techniques, not a new invention by any means.

There’s no doubt, this was an awesome save. Is it possible that some things can be done better/more efficiently? Yup, and it happens at just about every fire.
Silver - 04/24/10 - 08:52

@ Chris…. L-1 is a 1999/2000 Quality Spartan Gladiator. The dedication plate says 1999 but it was delivered to Sta. 23 for storage in the fall/winter of 2000. It is a 75’ Sick, 1500 gpm single stage pump. As for the actual booster tank capacity, when they cut the tank for the 5” hose bed, they never figured out how much water they lost. It has been safe garded as saying 300 gallons, with possible 20 – 30 more.

It originally was destined to be sent to station 24 and run as a quint, but the CAD of the day couldnt understand the term “Quint”, and the powers that be said it had to be called and engine or a ladder. Since sta. 24 wasnt ready, the members at station 23 worked the system, got off of the 1982 Mack they were riding, and we took over the Quint and eventually got to keep it as E-23. Then to Station 24 as Truck 24, then back as Truck / Ladder 23, and then Ladder 4 /now Ladder 1.
Meier RFD L-1 - 04/24/10 - 09:47

@Andy….lil’ long winded, ‘eh? Hahahaha…
Silver - 04/24/10 - 15:02

@Silver….must be the ladder company Kool Aid I was drinking!
Meier RFD L-1 - 04/24/10 - 22:59

Silver - 04/24/10 - 23:01

Chris (and Silver) – the ladder on L1 is an Aerial Innovations (AI).
lee - 04/25/10 - 01:47

Thanks Lee, I saw the AI logo on it. Is there any other RFD ladders or ladders in NC that anyone knows of by Aerial Innovations. I think they quit manufacturing in 2001. They were a part of Pierce at one time along with Snorkel/Telesquirt, then ALF/LTI which was owned by Diamler-Chrysler.
Chris - 04/25/10 - 03:14

@Chris L-1 was the first and I believe only ladder bought by RFD that had the aerial made by AI. Not sure if its true or not, but had heard that AI was started by a younger brother of someone up at LTI. The logos are even similar.
Meier RFD L-1 - 04/25/10 - 08:52

Reading through Walt McCall’s “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Fire Engine Manufacturers” and “The Evolution of Aerial Fire Apparatus”...

LTI was formed in 1973 in PA. The new company began making the aerial ladders previously built by Grove, which sold that division of the company. The founder was Mahlon Zimmerman. By the early 1980s, they were selling complete aerial apparatus, with canopy chassis including Spartan, Hendrickson, and Pemfab. In 1985, they entered the pumper business. In 1985, they were purchased by the Simon Group in the UK, which made the Simon Snorkel. The company’s name was changed to Simon-LTI. In later years, they’d mount their aerial towers on Duplex chassis, and marketed same as Simon-Duplex LTI. That’s who built our 1995 platform, the one incorrectly identified as reserve for L4 at the above fire.

In 1993, also in PA, the LTI founder and several other former employees formed AI. Their first product was a “heavy-duty, three-section, 75-foot rear-mount ladder with a 500-pound tip load.” Then they followed soon with a four-section 100-footer, for mid, rear, and tiller applications. They acquired the aerial products line of Boardman in 1995. They acquired, if I read correctly, the Simon Group’s LTI division in 1998. And one year later, both were merged into a division of the newly reformed American LaFrance.
Legeros - 04/25/10 - 09:24

Charlotte Fire Department operates several AI ladders (both 75’ & 105’) as reserve companies. I’m not sure if the entire ladder fleet was at one pont all AI, but I know most of it was- L1,L2,L4,L13,L23,L24,L29- Unsure what rigs L26 & L27 had before the Smeals. CFD also had two 85’ AI platforms assigned to L16 & L18, both of which were sold.

I think Kannapolis FD has an 85’ AI Platform as well.
Rides An Engine - 04/25/10 - 11:21

“On a side note, I know when major working fires are underway (City or County) WCEMS has implemented steps to allow their supervisors to send fire first responders only when absolutely necessary (in the region of the major fire). Because they know resources are reduced during such a major incident, smart on their part.”

@olddisp: Every call should get an ambulance dispatched, regardless of the circumstances. If an area is taxed due to an on-going incident, Key Station coverage using AVL should prompt the telecommunicator to move the closest available asset to cover the area. That unit would be dispatched to the second event. A supervisor could redirect a unit responding to the EMWF that was not yet committed to the scene to the other close-by event and then have the next closest EMS unit replace the unit that was responding to the EMWF. Only having first responders go to a 911 medical call is not a viable option.

@dispatcher 2383: The standard approach to this would problem would be to do what EMS has done – designate Key Stations in each region that have to be covered with one (or a set) of units with capabilities. For fire, you would state that in any given area, at least 2 engines and 1 ladder should be in-service for response (theoretically speaking). The given area could be a Battalion or other designated response zone. EMS has grouped several stations geographically into these coverage zones, with the center “station” being the anchor for that zone. When nothing is in-service in that zone, an in-service unit is dispatched to cover that anchor station. Or when only 1 in-service unit is in the zone, that unit is moved to the anchor station to provide equal coverage response for the entire zone. For fire, the result would not only apply during MWF scenarios, but anytime that a given zone is without resources due to whatever conditions (multiple calls in storms, etc.) AVL makes this much easier and more efficient to effect, but is not an absolute requirement.
Olson - 04/25/10 - 13:16

I dislike the idea of abrogating our ability to direct moveups during major events. Typically the Chief officers on duty have the most up to date and clear information of units capabilities, manning, and the usage they have had during previous events. Also, there is a fairly significant difference between fire and EMS responses-as well as county unit responses-both in day to day duties, and large events. The operational expertise lies in the officers in the field, not in a computer program, and that is where it should remain.
Goose - 04/26/10 - 14:19

I agree move ups should be handled by people, rather than computers, but they rarely occur because the people are so involved with the incident they don’t have time. So that leaves automatic computer move ups, just sayin’. Cheers!
fieldguy - 04/27/10 - 18:28

I strongly disagree. Every major incident I have been involved with-whether at a Batt. Ch. station, or filling in- or monitoring from the station – has had move ups occur as needed. And let me emphasize every. Out Batt. Chiefs have a system in place for assistance both on scene and monitoring coverage for the city. Their in-depth knowledge of people, apparatus, workload, and city needs provides a far more effective use of personnel and resources than an “automatic” computer action. While this may not be true for other cities or county agencies, or even other disciplines, it works well for the City of Raleigh. Other jurisdictions and organizations should research and define their unique needs and utilize whatever system meets their requirements. However-don’t assume that system is a blanket application for every organization. As noted-each has a unique set of requirements for their particular system.
Goose - 04/28/10 - 08:49

the reason the reserve platform was there was because it was operating as ladder3. ladder 4 was not there. it is operating the snorkel. apparently the snorkel does not fit at station 17, but the reserve platform will.
charles - 04/30/10 - 18:42

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