06/12/07 36 W, 1 I - + 20 - 12 This Morning's Fire

Reported by passing motorists at 5609 Ashbury Cove Drive, near Delta Lake Road. Engine 17 first on scene with fire showing on second floor in Sector B/C corner.

Awesome to see a ladder thrown!!! The fever is catching!!!
Silver - 06/12/07 - 20:15

Now if we can just leave room for the ladder company in the front…..
Silver - 06/12/07 - 20:20

Maybe I’m judging the photos wrong, but it appeared to me that there was “adequate” room for the ladder company to take the front of the building but they just didn’t pull up all the way. I concur, it was good to see a ladder thrown, and a couple more wouldn’t have hurt either.

Also take note that the ladder was thrown by a single firefighter, which is a skill that is seldom taught or practiced anymore. Every firefighter, both enginemen and truckies should be able to competently be able to fully extend and throw a 24-28’ ground ladder.
Rides A Truck - 06/12/07 - 21:05

I agree, and I’m glad to see that the “outside team” was working together, but at the same time apart (does that make sense?). Either way, they were getting the biggest bang for their buck with one guy throwing ladders and the other (assuming their were 2 outside guys) performing other outside tasks.

I’d really love for us to get some “ladder company specific” training so all of us would be on the same page.
Silver - 06/13/07 - 08:26

Question for anyone that was there; it was obviously an aggressive interior attack, but why is there a stream being flowed from the outside? Is this not pushing it in on the guys inside? Not to mention the fact that this can actually contribute to fire spread.
Guest - 06/13/07 - 08:33

outside streams are mostley flowed to hit small spot fires on the outside of the structure or to “bump” the fire back while interior crews can position themselves to make an attack.
Guest from West. - 06/13/07 - 08:45

Silver, I follow what you’re saying. I’m a firm believer in splitting into 2 teams take care of fire ground duties, but a lot of Captains and Battalion Chiefs don’t practice this so the company officer can have full oversight of his/her crew. Micro-managing? Quite possibly. I think the company officer needs to train the crew and trust them to be able to operate in such a manner. The outside team would usually be within earshot of each other so they really wouldn’t be operating alone. Also, is this not why each firefighter is issued a WT so they can stay in communication with the CO or IC?
Rides A Truck - 06/13/07 - 09:37

Hello All,

I just wanted to throw something at you relating to firegrond operations. It has been my experience that Engine Companies (for the most part) conduct fire suppression and secondary line operations utilizing a minimum staffing of 3 personnel each. A Ladder Company is usually staffed with four personnel and those personnel are split into two teams (A and B). The A-Team may be assigned Ventilation Operations (vertical, horizontal, PPV, etc). The B-Team may be assigned to utilties and throwing ground ladders to upper floors for a secondary means of egress. During the B-Teams assignment they may become separated from each other for a short period of time, but as someone stated before (they have a means to communicate utilizing the W.T.). The Rescue Company is usually staffed with four personnel and those personnel are also split into two teams. The A-Team may be assigned to conduct the primary search while the B-Team is assigned to the RIT opearations. These assignments are based upon a 2 and 1 response with the addition of the Rescue to the box. Raleigh is very fortunate in that the typical structural assignment is a 3 and 1 with the Rescue. That affords the incident with an additional 3 personnel for the IC to utilize where needed.
As for the question relating to flowing water from the exterior, one needs to pay close attention to the construction features of this structure. If I’m not mistaken it appears that gasoline siding has been used to cover the exterior. Flames venting from upper floors are guaranteed to extend through the box and into the attic very quickly. It is a responsible tactic to shut that avenue of flame spread down by utlizing exterior streams to do so. The interior crews should feel very little effects from this operation. During a recent structural fire in Wake Forest, we utilized (2) interior lines on the second, (1) on the first and (1) exterior line to control exterior fires that were either extending into the box or threatning to do so. The exterior line also controlled fire conditions that extended into the crawl space underneath the home. At no time did interior crews feel any adverse affects.
I wasn’t anywhere near this incident in Raleigh, but it appears that crews made an excellent stop and many sound fireground tactics were implemented.

Just a few cents worth.

Take Care,
Chief Swift
chiefswift (Email) - 06/13/07 - 11:17

Rides, time to change the mindset then, ‘eh? And yes, that’s one reason why most of us have W.T.‘s. The key here is training. We ladder companies need to get out, even if it’s on the front apron, adn practice setting up a 24 footer solo. Practice laddering the roof and atleast simulating opening the roof with just your outside team. A basic roof job can be done with 2 folks, it doesn’t take 4. Review why it’s bad to flow water through a ventilation opening on a roof, especially when it’s done by the crew that opened it and hanging out on the roof!! Open it up and get the hell off!!!

To comment about “bumping the fire back”.....not familiar with that tactic. What I am familiar with though is a hand-stream that pushes fire through an attic space because you’re flowing from burned to unburned, versus unburned to burned like we’re trained to do. Applying a stream to “bump” the fire to me would also decrease your visibility conditions on the interior, not to mention your thermal balance.

A blitz attack is different. My solution would be to train, train, train on “making the stretch” and masking up so you can get in quicker, versus applying this “bumping” technique you speak of.

Chief Swift, care to comment?
Silver - 06/13/07 - 11:19

Chief Swift, you beat me to it.
Silver - 06/13/07 - 11:21

I too agree that it is great to see ladders starting to be thrown at fires.

I have a question and want to hear what everyone’s thoughts on the issue are. If you are going to throw a ladder like they did, why not go ahead and take/clear the window out as well so that it can be used if necessary. I know some of you say well that is now an uncontrolled ventilation opening. Before you take the window call the inside ladder capt or capt on the fire attack line and let them know that you are about to take the window. Also once you place that ladder, announce it on the radio that the ladder is there.

For everyone else on the fire ground, if a ladder is in place against a building ALWAYS (I use that word so rarely in the fire service) act or assume that the ladder is in use by someone and don’t move it. If you need a ladder somewhere else on the house or building get another one. Once that ladder has been thrown as a means of secondary egress then it needs to stay in place until the fire is out.

Someone else mentioned getting another ladder on the front of the house. Looking at the pictures that roof ladder that is leaned up against the tire could have been thrown on the front of the house. A single FF can tote both the 24’ and 16’ ladders at the same time to the house especially with the house being as close to the eng as it was.

Looks like a good job was done. I wasn’t there and these comments weren’t negetative comments,but constructive comments aimed at invoking some thoughts and maybe some kitchen table discussions.
Mike - 06/13/07 - 11:59

Excellent points….
Silver - 06/13/07 - 13:20

Silver I’m an interior kind of guy. I don’t believe in any exterior window attacks (bump backs) in the municipal setting (Unless the structure is unsafe to be in). As for the blitz attack, it would depend on conditions. Once you make the decision to attack a fire from the exterior utlizing portable or fixed master streams you will pretty much destroy the building. Remember; for every 250 gallons of water that you apply into a burning building, you are adding a ton of weight. The components that make up the residential buildings that we are running into these days are definitely not designed to withstand that kind of punishment. The force of the water being applied also produces some major damage. Be very cautious of re-entering structures after the master streams have been at work. At least open the floors and allow the water to drain away.
Getting off the main subject a little bit; we are in the process of adding Class-A foam capabilities to at least one of the attack lines on each of our engines. I’ve conducted some research and found that attacking a structural fire utilizing Class-A foam seems to be a huge benefit when you are looking for a quick knock down. It also seems that the foam provides a good coating to the sturctural materials thus preventing burn back or ignition of uninvolved areas or materials. Someone told me that Raleigh is utilizing Class-A on all types of fires. What type of benefits have you guys seen thus far?
chiefswift (Email) - 06/13/07 - 17:21

We have been using class a compressed air foam for several years now. It does get quicker knockdown if used properly. It also uses less water when compared to traditional ff methods. I consider this an advantage the way we all run shorthanded and with the rural water supply concerns. As far as leaving room for a Ladder Co. let the officers of the trucks make that decision as part of their tactics (first on scene). If the fire is attacked quick and proper then the ladder truck itself shouldn’t be needed. Alot of the houses in our district are set to far back and the Aerial can’t be used anyway. Everyone be safe!
Apex Batt Chief - 06/13/07 - 21:33

EngDrvr453, your input would be nice. Leave room in the front for the ladder…..it’s preached far and wide by major cities nationwide that actually have a focus on ladder company operations as well as aggressive firefighting departments. If you do it once, you’ll do it all the time. You aren’t necessarily taking “side a” for use of the elevated stream, but for the work that true ladder companies perform. Just remember, you can add hose but you can’t add ladder.

Room should be left in the front for the ladder, like it’s preached. Sorry ApexBatt, you’ll never win this argument with me. Drivers of both engines and ladders need to use the noodle and coordinate placement of apparatus as well as routes in to the scene. In a very rare occasion maybe, but other than that, I strongly disagree, as will other “truckies”. ApexBatt, perhaps you should check the thread on thewatchdesk.com when we thoroughly discussed this topic?
Silver - 06/13/07 - 23:24

Like Silver and some others have said. The Ladder/Truck/Tower etc gets the front of the building. Anyone who has had to carry all of their equipment for a block and a half because the engines blocked the truck (ladder) out will tell you this. I have had to do it on more than one occassion! The biggest reason for giving the ladder the front of the building is because it is the biggest toolbox on the scene! It’s not about whether the ladder can reach the roof, it’s about having the equipment there! If more depts would get in the habit of COMPANY operations, this could get fixed. I know Raleigh is trying these days, we can only hope it will catch on.
Wayne - 06/15/07 - 10:59

Chief Swift,
I have been on an engine with class A foam for about a year now, and I have been impressed with it so far. You will see quicker knockdowns and less water used for sure. The only negative that I have seen so far on the fireground is that with the foam you will knock the fire down fast enough that when you go in for overhaul it is still quite hot inside. Not a major problem, you just have to be ready for it.
firedriver - 06/15/07 - 21:09

I believe that ApexFD experienced this as well during a training situation a few years ago. It shows the need for adequate and effective ventilation in combination with aggressive fire attack, regardless of if you use foam or not.
CFP 7021 (Email) - 06/15/07 - 22:33

Sounds great guys. Thanks for the information.
chiefswift - 06/15/07 - 22:40

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