Fire Service Lemmings

lemming

 

Know what pisses me off? Well, yeah, that. That too. Yep, that. Ok, smart alecks how about I just tell you what pisses me off this particular time? Firefighters who don’t read. Which wouldn’t be you guys reading this because, well, you’re reading this and I don’t have a lot of pictures on my stuff.

In particular I hate firefighters who look at a picture and don’t take the time to read an associated article, post or what have you, and then comment on said picture. I had been thinking about this post for other reasons but then went to Facebook to do some mindless tooling around. I came cross Bill Carey’s page on which he had shared a photo from the Fire Engineering Training Community and the article associated with it, see below.

bill carey fb 2

Here’s the really, really ironic part. The article that is associated with Bill’s FB post is written by Lt. Brian Bastinelli and is entitled 1/250th of a Second. It talks about exactly what I’m talking about, how a photo is 1/250th of a second in time and we don’t know for certain what occurred before or after that captured moment in time. Lt. Bastinelli’s article can be found here. I highly encourage you to read it, it’s very good. So back to Bill’s FB post. At the time of this post there were 45 comments on the photo Bill posted. Exactly 41 of them were commenting on the hydrant flushing operation, the lack of hydrant maintenance or the argument over whether or not this was a real job and why the Engineer doesn’t have gear on. The fact that Bill was commenting on flushing your mind and doing some research on something and posting a picture to illustrate that  was completely missed by 91-freaking-percent of the people that chose to comment. Bill’s a very smart guy but I doubt even he meant to illustrate his and Lt. Bastinelli’s point so succinctly. SMDH.

This fire service ADD doesn’t just include photos and the comments that are made after them. Oh no. Lest we be accused of singling out one particular type of media we also apply it to the written form of communication too. LODD reports, NIST and UL studies and other forms of the more classic form of written communication fall prey to this abomination as well. Most often this comes from firefighters who only read a headline, or a summation of an entire report and draw conclusions from that little bit of information. Take the transitional attack and flow path arguments that are so en vogue right now. The research that is cited in many of these arguments is often times so bastardized that I find myself constantly questioning whether or not I missed something when I read the different publications because what is being spewed as gospel wasn’t in the bible I read.

Take some time to make yourself a better, more informed firefighter and actually read the reports. Do some research into a picture you’re seeing and have an issue with. Maybe there is an explanation as to how or why something is being done in a particular fashion that you aren’t aware of from looking at 1/250th of a captured second. Quit sounding like an idiot and making us all look bad when you type something without understanding or comprehension.

Stay Safe

Chris

Fire Behavior and Tactical Considerations UL/NIST

Some of you may have already seen this video talking about UL/NIST’s research into modern fires and ventilation. There are several out there regarding this particular subject so perhaps this is one you haven’t seen yet. We watched this for drill the other day at my job and while the information wasn’t particularly new to me some of the other guys were having it explained to them for the first time. The presentation is done a bit better than most of these types of research videos and there are plenty of pictures and videos to keep it going. I’ve it a watch and learn what all the talk has been about the last several months.

‘Dis One’s Gonna Be Quick

Things I’ve learned so far at firefighter camp;

1)  I really have no business writing a blog because I’m dumb.

2)  I have so much more to learn.

3)  Some of the people who would have every right in the world to be arrogant, pretentious jerks aren’t because they’re firefighters who love the job and love passing on their knowledge just like you and me.

4)  Whudder means water when spoken by someone from Philly, or Camden.

5)  With newer, more energy efficient construction a first-arriving company can pull up on a fire that is either heavily involved or has darkened down on the inside and left very little signs of active fire on the outside (which leads to a “light smoke” or “nothing showing” radio report) and as soon as you force the front door or a window fails that space will reach flashover in 60 – 90 seconds. Go to Underwriter’s Laboratories and check out the research for yourself if you don’t believe me.

6)  Our tactics have to change folks. They have to. And in order for our tactics to change our thinking has to change. That’s where the hard part is. 100 years of tradition…

7)  Aggressive tactics can also be safe tactics. But in order for them to be so you need to be trained and educated.

8)  Operating safely on the fire or emergency scene is NOT synonymous with doing nothing, going defensive or being unaggressive. It simply means you are taking every precaution humanly possibly to minimize the risk to yourself and your crew while carrying out the tasks that need to be completed for the job you are working on. Sometimes that means saying the job simply can’t be completed.

9)  Walking back and forth from the hotel to the convention center with all my gear 6 times sucks. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world for the experiences of the HOT classes.

10) Being in the room to hear Bobby Halton’s opening remarks, seeing Firefighter Larry McCormack from Chicago’s Squad 5 receive the Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award and hearing Chief Steve Kraft’s keynote address was a moving experience. I encourage every firefighter who cares about this job to do it at least once in person.

People I’ve met while at firefighter camp (and some of whom have known me too!);

1)  Jason Jefferies ( Working the Job )and I finally got to meet in person. It was touching and kinda uncomfortable all at the same time.

2)  Jonah Smith ( The Hose Jockey )

3)  John Mitchell ( Fire Daily ) Ok, truth be told, John doesn’t really count. We used to work together but he’s way more famous-er than me.

4)  Gabriel Angemi ( CMD FD )

5)  Ray McCormack  ( Urban Firefighter Magazine )

6)  Pete Van Dorpe, Chief of Training, Chicago Fire Department

7)  Robert Hoff, Commissioner (Ret.), Chicago Fire Department, Deputy Chief, Carol Stream Fire Department

8)  Rhett Fleitz ( Fire Critic )

9)  Willie Wines, Jr. ( Iron Firemen )

10) Paul Hasenmeier ( Paul Hasenmeier )

11) Christopher Naum ( Buildings on Fire )

These are guys that I think are some of the brightest and most talented firefighters, officers and writers of our time. And to actually get to meet them and have conversations with them, and on top of that to actually have a couple of them know who I am, was surreal and an honor. I’m really looking forward to meeting some more tomorrow and to be in some classes and learn more to lessen my dumbness, but for now I’m going to take some Prilosec to calm down the bar-b-que I had for dinner and get some rest.

Be safe!

Chris