11/30/11 223 W, 1 I - + 6 - 10 Combat-Ready Firefighting?

Came across this yesterday, a Fire Engineering Blog Network posting titled What is a "combat-ready" engine company? Firefighter Nick Martin (DCFD) answers the question, which was posed by one of his readers. For those who ride an engine, he writes, what is combat ready? His take is that every alarm should be treated as the "fire of your career" until proven otherwise.

So he stresses such points as (1.) come off the truck dressed and wearing gloves, (2.) don't don your mask until at the entrance to the fire (and do it quickly), (3.) establish a water supply every time, and (4.) if making an interior attack, make it an aggressive interior attack. He has a couple more points. Read the posting, discuss as desired. Good, meaty topic there!

Next question, what is combat-ready fire photography look like? Same thing. Treat every shoot like it's the big one. Your gear is always ready, from keeping your batteries charged (both in-camera and in-bag) to putting the memory cards back in your camera after you're done downloading. It means gearing-up on arrival, such as loading your pockets (or vest) with your goodies. Since you'll be parked farther from the scene, walking back the car to reload or grab your flash will surely mean missed shots. And even if your name isn't Shirley.

I also saw this article the other day. I believe that there are a lot of departments that could take a lot from reading this and putting some of these practices into play. We are in the business of saving lives and property, not standing outside waiting for the water to flow from the hydrant and actually making entry on structures. Nick Martin has other very good articles and contributes to Traditions Training, it is definitely worth taking the take to read the blog there.
726 - 11/30/11 - 20:30

Yes, Nick is an awesome instructor and fireman, but read closely, he is an advocate of bringing your own water in. I know, I’ve seen him in action. Departments “up there” actually establish more than one water supply on working fires, how nuts is that!?!?!?

Catching hydrants on working fires will always be a crutch unless you train on it, and train on it again.

In this area, fighting fires off of tank water is in the minority compared to the rest of the industry.
Water - 11/30/11 - 21:45

“Up there” they also do things a lot differently with water supply. First in engine does drop the line at the hydrant but they do not actually catch it themselves. The SECOND engine catches it whilst the first engine is either getting ready or is already inside.
726 - 12/01/11 - 00:38

Very true. The option to lay in dry WAS there, but NOBODY did it. Another fine example of us being our own worst enemies.
Layin'InWet - 12/01/11 - 18:41

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