articles copy

Firefighter Proving Grounds

"Firefighter Proving Grounds is a community dedicated to the advancement of strategy and tactics in firefighting and technical rescue."
Urban Fire Training

KIDS IN THE ATTIC!

Copy-of-Cordless-Angle-Grinder

The deadly half-story living space of a 2.5 wood frame private dwelling

 

Those working in areas with numerous 2.5 frames with interior stairs leading to the attic have all seen the living space above. These top floor living spaces are often bedrooms for kids, especially in urban areas. If there is a fire on the floor(s) below these rooms, they can be a death trap for anyone. Being above a fire is an extremely dangerous place to be, especially for kids.

Recognizing the 2.5 frame with fire below on-approach is extremely important, especially during sleeping hours when most fatal fires occur. On arrival, the “mind-triggers” registering with the crew should be automatic. Whether the fire is on the first floor to the second, the second to the attic, or all floors below, that half story should be treated as a priority. Looking through the windshield and seeing fire or smoke showing, you already know where it’s going. Now, assignments, size up, and coordination with the engine and truck must be instantaneous.

butler1These are the things we must consider:

Apparatus Placement (Engine, Truck)

Where’s the access? (Engine)

How many sections? (Engine)

Fog or smoothbore? (Engine)

Ground ladder or aerial? (Truck)

Any obstructions present? (Truck)

Proper radio channel? (very important for everyone!)

Is there anyone out front on arrival that can answer that first question, “is there anyone inside?”

 A mother acting hysterical in a bathrobe pleading with you to get her 3 kids out of the attic is probably not exaggerating. A mother-in-law in the basement apartment with a second-floor fire is a lot safer than 3 kids in an attic above. The on-approach interview can be so valuable.

Life is the number one priority and with good evidence of entrapment it’s time to make decisions based on conditions and manpower. Consider that you may be arriving with just an engine or truck and working alone for a few minutes, and plan in accordance.

 

butler2There are many variations of the half story living space in a wood frame home as far as windows, dormers, finished or unfinished attics, and those may factor into fire conditions, ventilation and egress to name a few. Also, the entire structure is combustible. Another factor is the presence or absence of smoke detectors. Even if they are present and working are, they placed at the bottom of the stairs or the top? Often, they are placed at the bottom causing a delayed alarm.

Consider the fire load in a “sleeping” area. A smoking mattress alone is enough to kill everyone in the loft but consider the fire BELOW on the second floor that usually has 2-3 bedrooms and a hallway. That smoke and fire is heading north right to the interior stairs leading to the half story living space, the attic above. The door on the second-floor landing leading to that sleeping area may be closed buying them some time. But it’s not a fire rated door and will burn through quickly.

There are usually two ways out of a burning attic, the interior stairs or the window(s). Consider the stairs may be compromised with fire and smoke making it impossible to descend. The other option is out the window which is 2.5 stories above ground level.

Hopefully for those in the attic, the fire department response is quick and a ladder is placed to that window while simultaneously attacking the fire below and sending a member above to search for life. This can all be done with 5-6 firefighters, but there are situations when apparatus and manpower won’t be enough. We should always train for these situations BEFORE they occur. I like to call it “event-forecasting” and it’s a great kitchen table or drill night discussion for any department. Whether you’re the first arriving engine with a ladder that won’t reach or the first arriving truck with no water (outside the can) we must improvise, adapt and overcome, especially during a rapid rescue situation with kids in the attic.

 

butler3

Some things to remember:

Many 24’ and 28’ ground ladders will reach attic windowsills and balconies where they need to be placed for rescue even if the angle has to be adjusted to “improper.” I assure you the victims won’t complain.

Start attacking the with tank water. With 500+ gallons, water supply is often never needed for 3 rooms and a hallway and there’s very limited time to make a grab in the 2.5 frame.

There is no “I” in VES for the 2.5 frame as the door to isolate is at the BOTTOM of the stairs on floor below and that would be counterproductive to enter the area of search and pass any potential victims to go down the stairs, close the door, and come back up to search.

Use that mind-triggering and think about the kids above anytime there’s fire below the attic in the 2.5 frame.

Author: Brian Butler  @urbanfiretraining

Continue reading
  3008 Hits
  0 Comments
Truck Tactics

Becoming a Successful Ladder Company Chauffeur

Ladder Company Chauffeur

Ladder company chauffeur’s have a lot to consider when responding to a fire.  A successful apparatus placement is only attained when the operator is focused and is taking all factors into consideration during response.  So how do we set ourselves up for becoming a successful ladder company chauffeur?

ladder

Achieving a successful aerial placement begins long before the apparatus even leaves the barn.  There’s a lot more to being a competent truck driver then driving around, tootin’ the horn and waving to your fans.  The operator must have an in-depth understanding of the vehicle and the expectations placed on them when responding. 

Take a class, learn from, and listen to your senior men and experienced operators. Ask questions.  Well thought out, appropriate questions.  Members should be more than happy to help you, as long as it looks like you’re paying attention and trying to put it all together.  They can’t just hand you their knowledge and experience. You’re going to have to put in your own time and earn your own experiences.

Read and understand your operator’s manual.  Don’t have one? Get a copy.  Somebody has to have it.  This will help you to better understand the actual capabilities and limitations of the apparatus. It will also help to clear up any inconsistencies or reinforce some concepts you weren’t quite getting.ladder 2

Understand the limitations of your vehicle, and be good with regular maintenance.  Take the information you’ve gained from reading the manual and talking with experienced operators, and put it to work for you.  Hopefully when you do apparatus checks, you check the vehicle in the same spot every time.  There’s value to this.  I know people want to get out and set the truck up in different places, but when it comes to routine checks and maintenance, consistency is important.  Try and set it up in the same spot.  Why?  It’s good because if the rig sounds the same and reacts the same way when you’re doing the truck checks and putting the aerial through its paces, you’ll gain confidence and an understanding that things are in working order.  If for some reason when you’re doing your checks, and the vehicle begins to react differently, or is making strange sounds, it’ll be easier to troubleshoot the problem.  This will pay off on the street when you’re working the truck and something happens or doesn’t sound right. 

Once you’re comfortable and confident with the operations and functions of the apparatus, it’s time to hit the streets.  Get used to driving the truck.  It’s not your F350.  It’s bigger and heavier, and doesn’t handle the same way.  Pay attention to the length and check your mirrors frequently.  Anticipate rear end swing and make sure you plan for it.  We could write a whole article on the actual driving of the apparatus, that’ll be for another day.

Practice. A lot. All over your response area.  Set your rig up on real structures on real streets with real obstacles.  During the day, at night, and at routine calls.  Your town expects you to do fire department stuff when there’s an alarm.  Take advantage of these opportunities and work to get good spots.  It will raise your confidence and ability, and show others what is needed to get a good spot.  In training, it’s ok to fail.  I’d much rather you try and get a spot at 3 in the afternoon in a no stress environment and not get it, then fail when I need you to get that spot at 3am when it matters.  When you get out and set the truck up in places and fail, you learn what that looks like, understand what is needed to modify your position to get the spot, and can reposition.  You also learn that some spots just can’t be had.  Listen - If you only go to the high school on Sunday morning and set up in an empty parking lot with no obstructions, you’re not going to learn very much.

ladder 3 Let’s talk about preparing for response.  You need to be constantly sizing up.  Time of day, weather, traffic patterns, seasonal changes that affect your town, etc. the considerations are endless.  Know what’s important and how this will affect your response and set up.  And this is all before the bell hits.  At the receipt of the alarm, you need to start thinking about these considerations and put it all together. Based on the address you should be able to get a picture of the what you might be responding to.  Is this a commercial or residential area? What types of building construction and occupancies are usually found in this area? It all matters.  Start to think about it now, and not when you’re making the turn on to the block.  Continue to listen to the radio for updates and modify your plan as necessary.

Know your streets? The smart box – cell phones and GPS – are no substitute for an educated driver.  Knowing your neighborhoods and streets will raise your confidence when responding.  Getting directions from a computer that has no idea what you’re driving or what you’re trying to accomplish can set you up for failure.  Expecting your officer to give you turn by turn directions is also unacceptable. Your officer has a lot to consider and needs to focus on the situation at hand and formulate a plan.  You should at least know how to get to a particular neighborhood by taking the appropriate main roads and routes.  Streets don’t move.  So, if you’re serious about your craft, you’ll pay attention and learn them.

Once you get close talk with your officer and discuss any last-minute considerations – direction of travel, side of the road the fire is on, approaches of other responding units, wires and any other potential obstacles.  Driving around the block to approach from the opposite direction might pay off in the end with a better spot.  Talk it out.

ladder 4

Approaching the block.  This is where you will earn your keep.  Slow down.  Speed here does not equate to being aggressive, and it will only lead to limitations later.  As you approach your target, be professional and talk it out.  Confidence is contagious.  When you talk out what you see, this helps to slow you down, focus the crew and set a professional tone.  Identify your priorities, as well as any obstacles and obstructions. What does your officer want you to focus on?  Call out the fire location, any victims, wires, trees, parked cars, whatever you think is going to have an impact on you getting a good spot or not.  Talking it out gets everyone on the same page and sets the expectation.  Maybe the crew in the back sees something the crew in the front doesn’t. Work out the plan with your officer and crew, and verbalize the final expectation.  “I’m going to park on the A/B corner, kick the cab out and shoot the outriggers between the parked cars. That’ll get us two sides and the roof.”  If the officer has any problem with this, now would be the time to discuss it, otherwise, it’s a go, and the expectation is set. If you need a spotter to get into a tight location, let someone know before you hit that parking brake.

ladder 5

Being a successful and relied upon ladder company chauffer takes time and practice.  Pay attention to the details, be honest with your abilities, and your confidence will go up.  The end result is that you will become a competent and confident operator that your peers will learn to depend on.

Author: Nick Esposito @truck_tactics

Continue reading
  8637 Hits
  0 Comments
Firefighter Proving Grounds

Tool Breakdown: Cordless Angle Grinder By: Top Floor Tactics & Urban Fire Training

Cordless-Angle-Grinder

The DEWALT 4.5-in 20-Volt Cordless Angle Grinder an incredibly lightweight and useful tool that unfortunately gets overlooked more often than not, simply because many don’t understand the full capacity of where and when to apply it. DEWALT 4.5-in 20-Volt Cordless Angle Grinder has become a tremendous addition to the roof or outside vent firefighters complement of tools. Weighing in at only 4lbs yet delivering 8,000-RPM of high-power cutting and grinding fury. This little tool can pack quite the punch on the fireground.

 

Two separate blades can be used with this tool, similar to a partner saw.IMG 3613

Diamond-Cut Blade, with up to 70x more life as an abrasive disc. This single blade will outlast as many as 70 abrasive blades providing the lowest cost per cut. Unlike traditional abrasive discs that shrink with use, the Diamond Cut Blade maintains its size and consistent cutting depth, even after a thousand cuts. However, these blades cut noticeably slower than the traditional abrasive disc.

Aluminum Oxide blade or (abrasive disc) is much more affordable and alternative than the diamond cut blade. You will cut much faster with the abrasive disc but expel your blade almost instantly when attacking something of substantial size.

I prefer the aluminum oxide blade over the Diamond Cut Blade for this tool solely for the application of an angle grinder. Most times, this tool is for attacking quickly and taking short cuts rather than using a forcible entry partner saw, where your cuts are extended, or a large area needs to be opened up, such as roll down gates or faced with multiple locks.

Now let's talk about why the DEWALT 4.5-in 20-Volt Cordless Angle Grinder has become a game-changer on the fire ground and examine some of the scenarios where you might want to put this tool into operation. Yes, this tool makes quick work of standard padlocks and steal linked chain, but it's so much more than that. Think about the roof firefighter operating on the floor above in a fireproof multiple dwelling. By law, all multiple dwellings should have child safety gates in place. If conditions dictate to get the KO curtain into operation quickly, or more importantly, the Life-Saving rope, the angle grinder will make quick work of the child gates clearing your area quickly and effectively to carry out your job like a professional.

IMG 3615With that in mind, some companies carry bolt cutters to the roof (especially when taking the adjoining building) strictly to ensure you will be able to remove any fencing that separates yourself from the actual fire building.The angle grinder only weighs 4lbs, and if modified with a sling or strap, in my opinion, it’s a no brainer to take it over the bolt cutters when going to the roof.

Also, carrying the DEWALT 4.5-in 20-Volt Cordless Angle Grinder, when assigned the outside vent position, provides almost countless opportunities to put this tool to work effectively. Think about how many obstacles you face merely just getting yourself into position. Locked gates, chains, and fences, just to name a few. I can think of more times than not where I've thought to myself fuck I wish I had the saw while making my way to the rear. Now once you gain your position on the fire, you can attack window bars, child gates, or fire escape gates like a gentleman.

IMG 3618

Also, this tool becomes a tremendous asset while operating at vacant building fires.Think about how awkward attacking carriage bolts of HUD windows can be, especially when operating a saw above your head from a portable ground ladder. With the angle grinder, you can now comfortably take HUD windows where previously it had been challenging to get the saw into position.

Whether it’s operating off a ground ladder, cutting locks, gates, window bars, or fencing, the DEWALT 4.5-in 20-Volt Cordless Angle Grinder is a tool that will change the way we operate on the fire ground. Be aware there are many Cordless Grinders on today's market that hit different price points yet are very similar in use. Find what works for you and your department, and take steps to change the game.

Authors: Mick Farrell @Topfloortactics

Captain Brian Butler @Urbanfiretraining

Continue reading
  4525 Hits
  0 Comments
Top Floor Tactics

“You got the irons tonight kid”

“You got the irons tonight kid”

So, you have a few fires under your belt, and are feeling confident, when the boss finally says, “You got the irons tonight kid.” You think that tonight is the night to prove yourself. This is the moment you've been waiting for since the day you walked into this place. After a busy start to the tour, and a few forcible entry tips from the senior man, you feel like no door in the city could hold you back. For the first time in your career, you truly feel ready to go into battle.

IMG 1804It's 2:00 AM, and you receive a second due phone alarm for a fire on the fifth floor of a six-story, non-fireproof, occupied multiple dwelling. Falling back to your training, you've been sizing up this fire from the moment you received the alarm. What time is it? Is it still snowing out? It was windy as hell before; all the cards begin to fall. Your company turns the corner as the first due engine transmits the working fire signal. It's go time! You hustle to the lobby as the line is being stretched, only to be met with hysterical occupants fleeing the building. You navigate your way through the chaos, pass the fire floor, and remind the first due officer that you're going above. You arrive at the floor above, conditions are far from ideal and yet, still discerning the task ahead, you ask yourself, "now what?" 

IMG 0485Sizing up the door

Door size-up, when gaining entry to the fire apartment or the floor above, goes far beyond the gap, set, force mentality. We were taught in the early stages of our careers to always “try before you pry.” This is done to ensure that the door is indeed locked before taking on the sometimes tedious task of forcing it. We do not often speak about the size up of the door and whether or not the door is locked. Most firefighters would assume an unlocked door is a good thing, because quick access to locating the seat of the fire with zero delays in searching for victims makes sense. However, understand it can be more challenging than you may think. Although advantageous at times, an unlocked door can be a red flag to an apartment that is outfitted or modified with illegal single room occupancy or “SRO.”

 

IMG 1798The term “SRO” originated in New York City in the 1930s and refers to tenants renting a single room, as opposed to a full flat (apartment). While roommates informally sharing an apartment may also have a bedroom and share a bathroom and kitchen, an SRO tenant leases the SRO unit individually. This leads to individual rooms being padlocked and illegally partitioned walls being put in place, possibly blocking the second means of egress. The danger that lies within the parameters of fighting fires in apartments outfitted with illegal SRO's is among one of the most threatening we can ever encounter. 

Be cognizant of the fire location, as well as confirming access to and discering the location of fire escapes. In addition, pay close attention to the status of the hose line and the progress of water on the fire. It is imperative to have a grasp on these are key components before committing yourself, and your crew, further into the apartment. Once you have ensured you have a second means of egress, this area becomes your threshold. This threshold will be your point of return when conditions rapidly begin to deteriorate.

Resize the building up from this point and orient yourself from the inside out

Resizing, simply put, is sticking your head out the window and observing how far you have traveled, fire location, and the progression of the line, all the while keeping in mind the isolation of the room. Also, window integrity becomes crucial while operating without a charged hose line. Do not disrupt the flow path in this situation. 

IMG 1800Swimming in the ocean can be used as a simple analogy here to emphasize the importance of resizing the fire building from the inside out: you're swimming in the ocean, all the while thinking you are in fact swimming in the exact spot where you entered the water, only to resurface and realize you have drifted two hotels away. Translate that to the fire floor where we almost always think we've traveled farther than we really have. Knowing the actual distance we've traveled allows us to make more accurate decisions. Discipline yourself to dial it back at fires such as these until you can confirm your second means of egress, or ensure a charged hose line is advancing. Once you've discovered that you are dealing with an SRO, be sure to give that report over the radio. 

 

Hell, make it URGENT! Your life, as well as mine, depend on it!

Continue reading
  4068 Hits
  0 Comments
Firefighter Proving Grounds

Multiple Dwelling with exposure issues

Untitled-design-3

Building Information:

Non-Fireproof Multiple Dwelling with Single Room Occupancies throughout (SRO)
Heavy Clutter on third and fourth floors


Note: For this drill the first due engine is connected to a positive water source and is 50 feet from the main entrance

This drill is part of the Firefighter Proving Grounds "Size-Up Series". This series is designed for firefighters to drill and train with their departments using their SOP's

 

Continue reading
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Jimmy Davis
Awesome website! Nice job putting this together in a very user-friendly format!
Friday, 10 April 2020 10:25
  2101 Hits
  1 Comment
Firefighter Proving Grounds

FFPG is a Proud Supporter of HEAT STRAPS LLC

Untitled-design-5

Continue reading
  2253 Hits
  0 Comments
Firefighter Proving Grounds

"Size-Up Series" Mixed Occupancy #4

Untitled-design-1

 

 


This drill is part of the Firefighter Proving Grounds "Size-Up Series". This series is designed for firefighters to drill and train with their departments using their SOP's

 

Continue reading
  1610 Hits
  0 Comments
Firefighter Proving Grounds

"Multiple Family" Private Dwelling

Copy-of-Size-Up-Series-4_9_19-private-dwellin_20190409-215801_1

Building Information:

 3 Story Peaked Roof Multiple Family Private Dwelling

***There are two entrances with different addresses***

Note: For this drill you are responding to a report of a fire in a private dwelling with people trapped.

 


This drill is part of the Firefighter Proving Grounds "Size-Up Series". This series is designed for firefighters to drill and train with their departments using their SOP's

 

Continue reading
  2062 Hits
  0 Comments
Firefighter Proving Grounds

Mixed Occupancy #3

Copy-of-Size-Up-Serie_20190227-163825_1

Building Information:

4 Story non-fireproof mixed occupancy

No sprinkler System


Note: For this drill the first due engine is connected to a positive water source and is 50 feet from the main entrance

This drill is part of the Firefighter Proving Grounds "Size-Up Series". This series is designed for firefighters to drill and train with their departments using their SOP's

 

Continue reading
  1659 Hits
  0 Comments
Firefighter Proving Grounds

The Murder of John Nance

The-murder-of-Columbus-firefighter-John-Nance-2

“Firefighter rescue from a lower grade, confined area, collapse voids, where basement situation can be one of the most difficult rescue efforts to perform. As was revealed in a firefighter fatality incident in Columbus, Ohio involving fire for you John Nance, the difficulty of raising the unconscious weight of a firefighter (approximately 200 to 300 pounds) vertically is extremely difficult and dangerous to both victim and rescuers. The following case study provided humbling experience that awakens the fire service to the need for improved training firefighter rescue and survival

-Excerpt from “Firefighter Rescue and Survival” By: Ray Hoff and Bob Kolomay Pg: 195-198

Lt. John Nance, Columbus Division of Fire.  Killed July 25, 1987 while fighting a fire in the Mithoff Building at 151 N. High St.

The Story:

Saturday, July 25, started out as a routine day for Nance and the other men of Engine House Number Two. They began their 24-hour tour of duty at 8 that morning, and much of the early part of their day was spent doing the routine: They ran checks on a few fire hydrants. They polished their fire engines. They cleaned up around the station house. Saturdays usually are fun days to work at a downtown fire station. The mood is more relaxed than it is during the regular work week. Fire and squad runs are more infrequent. The thousands of downtown office workers are home in the suburbs. For the weekend, at least, their safety is the responsibility of some other fire department, or some other Columbus fire station.

This was Pizza Night at Station Two-a Saturday tradition that got started out of sympathy for Nance, the popular but overworked station-house cook. Fixing three meals a day for 21 hungry and finicky men is not an easy job, and not one that carries extra financial rewards for a shift’s designated cook, although he or she does then escape other chores. Nance was a good cook; his Sunday breakfasts-Army-sized helpings of eggs, ham, sausage, hash browns, waffles, pancakes and other dishes-were legendary. On Saturday nights, though, he rested, and the men ordered out for pizza.

The pizza arrived about 9:30 pm, just as Nance and a few other men were finishing a volleyball game on a makeshift court behind the station house. Volleyball is a big deal at Station Two. The firefighters play it to keep fit and to relieve the boredom that accompanies their hurry-up-and-wait profession. The men were sweating as they walked into the kitchen and sat down at the big dining room table. It was hot and muggy that night, the temperature still well into the 80s. Assistant safety director John Morgan was visiting as dinner began. Morgan, a dedicated fire chaser, often dropped by the station house just to check out the action. The group ate and talked.

Meanwhile, on the other side of downtown, a figure moved through a dark basement in the Mithoff Building at 151 N. High St. He pushed aside empty cartons and cardboard boxes, poured out a flammable liquid and set one, maybe two, possibly three, fires. As the men from Station Two were finishing their pizza, the person who had set the fires fled the building. The flames spread up the wall to the ceiling and the wooden floor joists in the basement. Smoke appeared over High Street.

The alarm

The first emergency telephone call rang into the divisional Fire Alarm Office just before 10:10 pm. It was someone calling from a pay phone inside the Clock Restaurant, next door to the Mithoff Building. Smoke was pouring out of the first-floor windows, the caller told the fire dispatcher. A few seconds later, two more calls came in-one from someone at a pay phone in the YMCA, another from a streetside phone on High Street. Both callers had the same report: smoke in the area of the Mithoff Building.

The fire dispatcher turned to his colleague on the alarm control board and reported the fire. The board officer pushed the alarm button and a high-pitched alarm tone echoed into the department’s two downtown fire stations, Engine House Number One, on the northern edge of downtown on North Fourth Street, and Nance’s Engine House Number Two. Capt. Ted Porter, the commander at Two that night, remembers hearing the tone and thinking, “Well, it’s time to go to work.”

The crews from Station Two boarded their fire engines and sped north on Fourth Street, sirens blaring. The caravan of green and red vehicles turned left on Long Street, going the wrong way on that one-way street, and took a right on High Street. The crews from Station One were closer. They raced west on Nationwide Boulevard, turned left at High and were in front of the Mithoff Building within seconds.

The first company to report on the scene was Engine One-at 10:12 pm. Arriving and reporting immediately after that were Engines Nine and Three. Nance was the acting lieutenant on Engine Three, which meant he was in direct command of three firefighters: engine driver Marvin Howard and hosemen Tim Cave and Don Weldon.

The initial attack

The fire department uses a special battle plan to fight downtown office building fires. Firefighters and equipment from the two downtown station houses are organized into two corresponding attack forces known as Task Force One and Task Force Two. These firefighting units have the specialized equipment designed to fight fires in high-rise buildings.

Task Force One took up position in front of the Mithoff Building. Arriving firefighters saw smoke coming out of the Wall Flower Shop, which was on the ground floor in the center of the four-story, 11,500-square-foot structure. Assistant Chief Neil Mills took charge at the scene, setting up a command post on High Street. Firefighters broke the glass front door of the flower shop with an ax and advanced a one-and-a-half-inch hose line from one of the engines into the building to search for the fire.

In the meantime, personnel from Task Force Two, Nance’s group, already had arrived at the rear of the building and were setting up in a staging area on Wall Alley. The firefighters saw smoke coming from the rear of the structure-in a one-story section that doubled as a storage area for Russell’s Tall Girl Shoes. The smoke was fairly heavy but was hanging close to sidewalk level. That indicated they were dealing with a basement fire. Capt. Porter took command in the rear. As the firefighters put on their air masks, he looked for water connections for the hose lines. He also was responsible for assessing the danger the blaze presented to nearby buildings, including the YMCA and the Clock Restaurant.

Nance’s Engine Three crew had been first on the scene in Wall Alley. It also was the first to complete suiting up. As their hose lines were charged with water, Nance, Cave and Weldon prepared to enter the shoe shop storage room. Cave used a sledge hammer to knock down the door. All three then went into the building, dragging the heavy hose line with them. Cave almost immediately had problems with his air mask and had to leave the building for a short time. By this time, however, crews from Ladder Two, commanded by Lt. Jim Welch, and Engine Two, commanded by Lt. Melvin Olney, had followed Nance’s group into the storage room. About 10 men from Task Force Two were now in the building.

Their job was to find the fire. “The smoke was dense, so we crawled forward,” says Don Weldon. “We were advancing the nozzle forward. The line was charged at the time, so it was hard to pull in. We were yelling back for people to feed us more hose in so we could advance more. While advancing, we were feeling the floor, testing the floor to see if it was spongy or if it was weak. And we were listening. Sometimes you can hear the fire actually popping or cracking. And we were looking for the glow.”

The second alarm

At 10:21 pm, Assistant Chief Mills called for a standby second alarm. That meant that extra equipment was to be sent to a staging area near the fire scene so that it could be drawn upon as needed. But the fire became a full-fledged, or working, second alarm even before the equipment reached the staging area. At 10:40 pm, it was upgraded to a two-alarm fire with extra companies. Firefighters still hadn’t seen any fire, but the volume of smoke was growing.

Battalion Chief Jerry Lindsay was part of the second wave of firefighters reporting to the scene. He went to the back of the building and took over command of Task Force Two. He remembers noticing that the smoke billowing from the building was starting to become thicker. He crouched in the rear doorway of the shoe shop, trying to size up the situation amid the noise and confusion of the fire scene.

As he looked into the building, he could see that the smoke seemed to be clinging to the floor of the storage room-a clear indication that there was fire in the basement.

Lindsay had fought basement fires before-they weren’t that tough to put out, as long as firefighters were able to get to the seat of the fire. But for some reason Lindsay felt nervous as he watched the smoke roll across the floor. In a report he filed after the fire, he wrote that there was something particularly “ominous” about this basement fire. It made him uncomfortable-gave him an unexplainable feeling of dread.

Fire hunting

Meanwhile, inside the smoke-filled building, the search for the fire continued-unsuccessfully, at first. The firefighters in the front and back were hampered, most of all, by the size of the building. It was more than 350 feet deep, from High Street back to Wall Alley. With all the smoke, the going was very slow. Crews had to crawl on all fours, keeping close to the walls or hose lines so they wouldn’t get lost.

The firefighters in the front-in the flower shop-had poor visibility, less than three feet with lights. They also encountered a lot of obstacles: merchandise, coolers for the flowers, display counters. Nevertheless, they managed to find a stairway down into the flower shop basement. They started to take a hose line down, but soon reached a point where they couldn’t advance the line any farther. Either the line was too short, or it was too heavy to carry with all the water charging through it. Their air tanks soon began to run low; they’d used a lot getting into the building and even more lugging the heavy line into the basement. So the firefighters in the front left the building, some of them running out of air before they could reach the street.

At the back of the building, Nance and his crew encountered the same visibility conditions. Even with flashlights, they could see only a few feet in front of their faces. They also felt excessive heat coming up from the floor, evidence that the fire was beneath them. They looked for an entrance to the basement, but couldn’t find one. Part of the problem was that they thought that the heat they were feeling was coming from the same basement that the Task Force One group had just found in the front of the building. In fact, there were two basements, separated by partitions and hallways.

Many of the firefighters in the shoe shop storage area were now becoming exhausted by the heat and were running out of air. Numerous men, including Nance and the firefighters in his crew, left the building to change air bottles and be hosed down with water. “Warning bells on the self-contained breathing units were ringing, and men were becoming physically exhausted from the combination of the hot, muggy weather, the heavy, nonporous turn-out gear, the extra weight of the air bottles and equipment, and the increasing heat from the fire which was building below them,” wrote Lindsay.

Lindsay says he saw Nance and the rest of his crew before they went into the building a second time. They were standing at the door, getting ready to make the second assault. “I talked to John,” says Lindsay. “I said I wanted him to take a rope with him. I wanted him to tie off a rope, a lifeline, and take it in with him. And I remember him saying, ‘Can’t we just follow the hose line in?’ And I said, ‘No, I want you to take a rope.’ Nance followed the chief’s orders and took the rope into the building.

Shortly after that, Lindsay ordered several other firefighters to take power saws into the building. The idea was to open holes in the floor so that firefighters could get water onto the fire. Two power saws were brought to the storage room door. Both were started before the remaining firefighters re-entered the building.

Firefighter down!

No one knows exactly how John Nance fell into the shoe shop basement. But fire officials now believe he was searching for a place to cut a hole in the floor when he tumbled through a hole that had been burned into the floor by the fire. The hole was about 70 feet from the Wall Alley doors, just to the left of another door in the storage room’s far wall, an entry to the shoe store.

Nance and his crew had reentered the building not knowing that power saws already had been ordered in to cut the floor. Cave was with him in the storage room at the time, checking the floor and looking for the fire. “I said, ‘We’ve got a fire burning underneath us. We’ve got to open the floor up,’ remembers Cave. “He said, ‘Go ask Chief Lindsay. Get the saw and ask him where he wants it opened up.’ ” Cave left the building, figuring that Nance would wait close to the hose line until he got back with the saw. But when he got back inside he saw another firefighter with a ladder and a saw standing near the hose line. But no Nance. “Where’s Nance?” Cave asked. “I don’t know,” the other firefighter replied.

While Cave was outside the back of the building, however, things were happening in the front. The crews from Task Force One had found the door from the shoe shop leading into the storage room, although they didn’t know that that’s where it led at the time. They thought they had reached the back of the building and the alley.

Brian Willison, the acting lieutenant on Engine 10, led the Task Force One crew. They had broken a window to get into the shoe shop, and were following the interior walls looking for the fire when they found the door. There was a lot of smoke, and they couldn’t see. Willison was confident they had reached the alley. “I was thinking if we were that close to the alley maybe we could go back and assist them with the lines,” he says. “So I started to go out the back, and as soon as I stepped out into the doorway I fell into the hole. As I was falling, I was grabbing for whatever. I got ahold of something and fell across the hole and I pulled myself out. And in the middle of pulling myself out I heard John screaming for help.”

Willison knew Nance was in deep trouble. The heat in the hole was intense; his legs had been burned as he scrambled to pull himself to floor level. He also noticed that the hole was about 12 feet deep and clogged with thick smoke. It was going to be hard to get Nance out of there. “The only thing I could see was an orange glow,” he says. “I couldn’t see any flames or lights or anything. All I could see was an orange glow. Of course, there was a lot of smoke. I answered him and then I radioed out that we had a man in the basement yelling for help.” Willison repeated the message three times. “Engine 10 to Command Post, we have a firefighter down! A firefighter has fallen into the basement and is trapped!”

The communications to Chief Mills, however, were garbled. He heard that a man was down, but didn’t get the information on where he was trapped. Mills assumed it was one of the guys who went in with Willison in the front of the building. He started checking heads. Finally, he determined it was one of the men from Task Force Two that was trapped. He then went to the rear of the building.

One of the firefighters who clearly heard Willison’s transmission was in the flower shop basement at the end of the hose line. He yelled on the radio for someone to drop a light through the hole so he could find the trapped firefighter. But that effort was futile. Nance was in a different basement.

At this point, Willison was running out of air and had a long way to go to get back to the front of the building. After he made his radio broadcast, he saw men with lights advancing through the back door. “I told John to hang on,” says Willison. “That they’d be with him in a second.”

One of the lights Willison saw was being carried by Tim Cave, who had reentered the storage room to tell Nance about Chief Lindsay’s saw order. When he couldn’t find Nance, he went ahead and followed the hose line to where it ended. “I heard someone say ‘Help!’ ” says Cave. “I had no idea it was John. I said, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘I’m right up here.’ ”

There’s an unwritten rule in the fire department: Never leave the safety of a hose line. In a smoke filled room it’s your only sure way out. But Cave had to leave the hose line to reach the source of the human voice that was calling to him. “I crawled on my stomach with my flashlight,” says Cave. “I found the hole and my arm went down. I asked, ‘Can you see my light?’ I stuck it down there. He said, ‘Yeah, I can see it.’ He was very calm, like he was just standing there waiting for me to get him the hell out of there. I said, ‘OK, how far down are you? Can you reach my hand?’ And he reached up and grabbed my hand. He must have been standing on some stock because it was a real deep basement. I was able to reach down and I could see his blue glove meet mine. All I could make out was a hand with my light on it.”

Cave tried to pull Nance out of the hole with one hand. But as he tugged, he began to feel himself slipping. “I was starting to slide into the same hole, too. Just the weight of him. I was starting to slip and I felt my shoulder starting to go. And I said, ‘I can’t pull you out.’ And he very calmly said, ‘OK,’ and gave me my hand back.”

“In retrospect, that’s kind of the way John was,” says Cave. “If I were in a hole and I was panicked and somebody stuck their hand down at me, I’d think that I’d hold on for all I got. He had enough presence of mind, knowing that he was trapped, that there was no way I could one-hand him out of there.”

Cave saw lights advancing toward him from the alleyway and yelled out. Lt. Welch and several other firefighters hurried their pace and gathered with Cave around the hole.

By this time, Willison’s frantic radio message had reached every firefighter on the scene at the Mithoff Building. Everyone was aware that someone was trapped, although most had no idea yet who it was. “The next few minutes bordered on pure confusion,” wrote Lindsay in his report. As firefighters lunged out of the fire building, desperately low on air, Lindsay called for fresh crews to attempt a rescue.

“There was no doubt in my mind at the time that we were going to go in and get him. It was as simple as that. I just couldn’t conceive of not being able to get him out of there.”

Lindsay waited by the storage room door, “fully expecting at any second to see one or more firefighters dragging or carrying the firefighter from the building. I became more and more concerned as the smoke became the thicker and no rescued firefighter appeared.”

The rescue attempts

Inside the building, things were just as hectic and confused. Lt. Welch and firefighter Weldon and others had brought in another hose line and rope to try a rescue. The first man on the hose attempted to pour water into the hole to cool Nance off. But the hose wouldn’t reach. The men then found the rope that Nance brought into the building and decided to lower it to him and pull him out. Nance grabbed the rope. “There were three of us that pulled up,” says Lt. Welch. “We had a weight on the rope, but when we got up to within about three feet of the hole we just lost all the weight. It was like you got a fish on the line and then the fish fell off. I knew we needed more people to hoist the line because there was a tremendous amount of weight on there.” Nance stood 5-foot-8 and weighed 162 pounds-but with his equipment he probably weighed closer to 300 pounds. Welch went outside for more help.”

In the meantime, the firefighters still at the hole tried another rope rescue. This time, Weldon tied a bowline knot in the rope to give Nance something to hold on to. Nance himself tied two more knots in the rope once it was lowered to him. There were more men pulling on the rope this time. But the attempt failed. Nance, who by this time was becoming exhausted by the heat, fell off the rope about halfway up. Somebody yelled that they needed a ladder. Nance agreed. “Get me a ladder,” he said. Within minutes, the firefighters had more ladders than they knew what to do with. Everyone wanted to help.

One of the ladders was lowered into the hole. But the hole was not big enough to allow a man to squeeze through it with a ladder in place. So the firefighters spent the next few frantic minutes enlarging the hole.

While they worked, the conditions in the building and especially around the hole were deteriorating. The heat in the hole was intense; the firefighters could feel it through their knee pads and gloves, which are rated to withstand temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees. Nance’s protective fire gear was keeping him from being burned. But he also was running out of air; carbon monoxide from the smoke was entering his bloodstream, making him lightheaded and disoriented. Several firefighters heard him say, “I need air.”

With the hole finally enlarged, the firefighters worked quickly to lower the ladder again. Nance started to climb-but he was coming up the wrong side, the underside of the ladder. He struck his head several times on the floor joists. Firefighter Tim Strominger, of Station Two, leaned into the hole and tried to help Nance get turned around. An air bottle was lowered into the hole.

“I was on my stomach, trying to reach down,” says Strominger. “I shined my light down there and he started climbing up the ladder. He was climbing up the ladder, but he was climbing up the wrong side. There was no way he could get up. I reached down there to try and get him around to the other side. I had his hands, trying to turn him around. I thought he was home free... And then he fell... I could see the fire where he was, where the hole was. Then my air bottle started ringing, and I had to get out of there.”

The conditions in the hole were becoming hellish. Strominger had been in the hole only a few minutes. But when he got outside, steam was rolling off his body. He couldn’t move. He just fell to the ground. Strominger’s hair was so hot that a fellow firefighter burned his hand lowering the exhausted firefighter’s head to the ground. Later, at a hospital, his body temperature was measured at 106 degrees.

Back inside, firefighter Art Wiley tried a dramatic rescue. “Wiley started to climb down the ladder, but didn’t have sufficient clearance to get down with his air bottle on,” wrote Chief Lindsay of the rescue attempt. “At this point, there was a lot of heat and smoke coming up through the hole, and some fire visible from the underside of the floor. He asked to have someone cut the hole larger so that he could get down.” Wiley then took a hose and again started down the ladder into the basement, taking the hose with him and trying to knock down the fire as he descended toward Nance, who by this time was unconscious at the base of the ladder. Wiley reached the bottom and grabbed hold of Nance with one hand, using the hose in his other hand to fight back the fire. He pushed and pulled for several minutes, as the flames spread around him. But he did not have the strength to pull the unconscious firefighter up the ladder. The heat was too intense. Wiley was running out of air and was becoming exhausted. Finally, when the warning bell on his air tank went off, Wiley was forced to try to save himself. He let go of Nance and struggled back up the ladder. He managed to get out of the building, but collapsed in the alley and passed out.

As Wiley was leaving the building, other firefighters could hear the warning bell ringing on Nance’s air tank. A rescue was critical now. The unconscious Nance had only two minutes of air left. Firefighter John Brining, of Rescue Two, was next to go into the hole. He, too, went down the ladder with a hose line, fighting the fire as he went. “I kept stepping off trying to find him,” Brining recalls. “As I went down, I thought I was close to the floor. I kept reaching out with my foot to step off to the floor. But there was no floor there. I went down another rung and it was the same thing. Finally, I got down to the floor level and stepped off. Evidently, I just stepped over top of him or he was behind the ladder. I’m not sure which. I took an inch-and-a-half hose line and I was probing around with my feet, throwing water to keep the fire down. The fire was rolling between the joists, like in slow-motion animation. I was below that. There were a bunch of cardboard boxes down there. And by this time, his bell had quit ringing. I couldn’t find him. If he would have had some kind of alarm system device so I could have located where he was at, or a flashlight, it would have been a lot easier to find him.”

“I think I stepped on him on my way out,” Brining continues. “But my alarm bell went off. When you get low on air you’ve got about two minutes left when the bell starts to ring. And I knew I was deep into the building. Sometimes two minutes is not enough. By the time I got to the back of the building I was sucking the mask to my face. I was out of air.”

Nance was out of air, too. The building was getting hotter and smokier by the second. Fire began to show in the upper floors. Conditions were beginning to look as though they might soon be ripe for a flashover, or perhaps even a backdraft explosion,” recounted Lindsay. “I wasn’t sure how many firefighters were still in the building. Chief Mills indicated to me that we’d better be thinking about ordering everyone out of the building.”

“It was about this time that Victor Runkle of Rescue Two came up to me and said, ‘Can I try to him?’ At first I said, ‘No-things are going downhill too fast-we can’t risk it.’ But not willing to give up at that point, Runkle persisted and I told him, ‘OK, but I want a rope tied around you, and have someone else go in with you.’ Gary Cox of Ladder Eight joined Runkle as they entered the building. They followed the hose lines toward the hole. But before they could reach it, the fire and smoke conditions got dramatically worse and Mills and Lindsay decided everyone had to be evacuated. Flames were clearly visible on the upper floors now. “I grabbed two fresh firefighters from the crew of Ladder 13 who had responded to the third alarm,” remembers Lindsay. “I carefully instructed them: ‘I want you to follow this rope and hose line into the building and tell everyone in there to get out immediately.’ They did so, and in a minute or two everyone in the fire building-except acting lieutenant John Nance-came out into the alley.”

The building was now completely engulfed in flames. Still, the firefighters wanted to go back in and get Nance out. Some even tried to enter the burning building in their street clothes. “There was a guy down there,” says Arson Squad Lt. Greg Lee. “We don’t lose guys. We save them. We can whip fire. Fire can’t whip one of us. It was just inconceivable to accept the fact that there was nothing you could do.”

“The mood outside was total emptiness,” adds Capt. Porter. “You are watching that building burn and you’ve got a friend in there. My thought was, ‘What’s going through his mind?’ Of course, at that time he was unconscious, I’m sure. But you just look at that building and it’s burning and there goes a man’s life. It’s a horrible feeling.”

There were several last-ditch rescue attempts. Several firefighters opened manholes to see if they led into the basement. None did. Other men tried to cut a hole into an old elevator at the side of the building, in hopes that it would lead to the basement, too. It did not. “By that time it was obvious to all of us,” says Porter. “We knew he was long out of air. It became a situation where we just wanted a recovery. We didn’t want him to stay there. And there was that one-in-a-million shot. You just keep thinking, ‘Maybe, maybe, maybe.’ ”

But it was not to be. The fire spread throughout the building. It went to four alarms and was finally contained at 5:07 am. Nance’s body was recovered from the rubble in the basement shortly after noon on Sunday. The unused second air bottle that his comrades had lowered to him was lying beside him. The Franklin County coroner later found that the carbon monoxide level in Nance’s bloodstream was 64.7 percent. A level of 6 percent is enough to cause death. The coroner said the cause of death was asphyxiation.

“Murder” is the term the police and fire departments are using. So far, they have no suspects.

Columbus fire department arson investigators are not talking about their investigation into the Mithoff Building fire. They have confirmed only that the fire was set, and that it probably started in the basement of the Wall Flower Shop.

“We cannot discuss the specifics of the origin of the fire,” says investigator Jack Ward, who is working on the case with Lt. Greg Lee. “These specifics are known only to the person who set the fire and to our investigators. This is the only tool we have to discern between persons who have actual knowledge of the fire and persons who claim to have actual knowledge of the fire.” In other words, it’s the only way they’ve got to weed out the crazies who like to confess to setting big fires.

Arson investigators are working closely with the Columbus police homicide squad on the investigation. The first few months were spent interviewing witnesses to the fire and tenants in the Mithoff Building. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also is assisting with the investigation by doing lab work on the debris taken from the fire scene.

The Mithoff Building was owned by 155 North High Ltd., a limited partnership headed by Charles J. Ruma-a major Columbus real estate developer and co-owner of Beulah Park race track. Partnership papers filed in 1982 show that Ruma was the general partner. Limited partners included Ruma’s brother, Steven J. Ruma; Columbus architect Phillip T. Markwood; David C. Swaddling, vice president of Discovery Systems; and Fergus A. Theibert, an employee of the local office of NCR Corporation. The partnership purchased the four-story office building in August, 1982, for $795,000. Franklin County property tax records show that it had a current market value of about $1.1 million: $703,100 for the land and $396,900 for the building.

Ruma says he has no idea who would want to burn his building. “I just don’t know,” he says. “I know that the arson squad has been working on an investigation for the past couple of months. I really hope they bring it to a conclusion. We had nobody in that building who was controversial with respect to us as a landlord. It was a typical downtown office building. I can’t believe somebody would want to do it-that anybody would have any kind of a motive to destroy that building. This has been a very, very sad deal for me and, I’m sure, the Nances.”

Ruma says the partnership had $1 million insurance on the building. But he estimates that it would take $2.5 million to replace. (Fire department officials set damages at $3 million.) “When we pay off our mortgages we end up with nothing,” he says. “It was just a bad deal. The worst part was a life was lost. The second worst part is that we lost our investment.”

Less than half the space was rented at the time of the fire. Ruma says the first floor was occupied by the Wall Flower Shop, Russell’s Tall Girl Shoes and the Central Ohio Transit Authority’s customer service office. The upper floors were occupied by several businesses and organizations including the Ohio Public Interest Campaign, the Ohio Environmental Council and R.L. Polk & Company, makers of Columbus city directories.

The building was demolished after the fire.

It’s a 51-mile drive from Engine House Number Two to the 82-acre farm at the bottom of the hill on Long Run Road. Even on a good day, it takes more than an hour to get there from downtown Columbus. But John Nance didn’t mind the ride. He had grown up in Milo Grogan, a run-down inner-city neighborhood where barbed wire, not trees, lines the streets. He purchased the farm in 1974 because he wanted something better for his wife and three children. He bought himself a few cows, planted a little corn. The farm was his escape-from the city and from the pressures of his job. When he wasn’t farming, he might be hunting or fishing. He went to so many antique shows-looking for tools and furniture he could use on the farm-that his firefighting buddies took to calling him the “Junk Collector.” He enjoyed working with wood and metal and made little knickknacks which he often gave away as gifts. It was a simple life, built around his family and the farm.

By 1987, his children were grown and had their own families. For Nance, all that remained was to retire and fix up the old farmhouse. He and his wife, Linda, planned to do a little traveling-to see their daughter in Kansas City and a son in Toledo. But most of all, John Nance just wanted to ride his tractor and tend to his crops and cows.

The tractor still sits where he last parked it, next to a sheet-metal pole barn on a knoll overlooking his farm house. Across from the pole barn, an aging corn crib still bulges with the lumber Nance had planned to use on the house. He had cut the wood himself, from trees on the farm. There are other reminders of John Nance here-little things that show how much he loved this farm. Nailed to a post on the cattle pen is a handpainted sign that reads, “John’s Girls.” It was a Christmas present from one of his wife’s friends. Mrs. Nance often joked that John treated his cows more like children than animals.

Down the hill, near the back door of the farmhouse, is another Christmas present: a bell given to Nance by one of his sons. Nance had painted the bell and hung it high on a pole that sits in the shade of a 100-year-old oak tree. Linda used it to call him in from the barn when dinner was ready.

These days, the dinner bell is silent. But inside the farmhouse, there is a bustle of activity. Dozens of firefighters from Columbus and other Ohio cities have spent the past four months renovating the house-completing the work that John Nance began. It’s their way of coming to grips with the death of a close friend.

Bonds are formed when men and women depend on each other for their lives. But even by fire department standards, the camaraderie that existed between John Nance and other firefighters was special. His coworkers respected and admired him. But the feelings and emotions ran deeper than that. When he died, they didn’t just lose a colleague. They lost a member of the family.

“If you could pick yourself out a friend, this was just about the kind of guy you’d want to pick,” explains Columbus firefighter Mike Miller, a close friend of the Nances and a leader of the remodeling project. “John was the type of guy that every time somebody else needed a hand, he was always the first one to jump in. He’d do anything for you, and you felt like you’d want to do anything for him.”

And so, working on their free time and using their own money, 70 to 80 of John Nance’s friends have quietly pitched in. They put up a new roof. They replaced all the windows and doors. They installed siding, poured a new cement floor for the basement, added a heating and air conditioning system, rewired the electrical systems, reworked the plumbing, put up new drywall, remodeled the bathroom and the bedrooms.

“We wanted to do something for him,” says Miller. “He was a good friend.”

For Linda Nance, the outpouring of help has been overwhelming and comforting. “I never expected anything like this,” she says. “It was a total shock. I knew John had a lot of friends. But these guys are just something special.”

Mrs. Nance-an attractive, petite woman with a touch of gray in her curly dark hair-didn’t stay at the farm much in the days and weeks after her husband’s death. The memories were just too painful. The fellowship and generosity of her husband’s friends have been bright spots in a bleak four months.

But as she walked around the farm on a recent autumn day, her emotions jumped from gratitude to sorrow. Standing on a hill overlooking her farmhouse, she suddenly became aware that once the work was done and the firefighters were gone, she would be alone. She cried.

“I’m just trying to take it one day at a time, sometimes an hour at a time. I know I’m staying here. But as far as anything else, I just don’t know.”

“John was not one for prestige or recognition of any kind,” Mrs. Nance added. “He did his job and he did it well. When the job was over, he wanted some peace and quiet and family around him. And I did, too.”

But that was taken away from Linda Nance on July 25-by an arsonist who never knew John Nance or cared about his dreams. “I haven’t had a chance to express the anger yet,” says Mrs. Nance. “And maybe I won’t. I hold things inside. Yet, the anger is there.”

“What do you do about it?”

Story By: Michael Norman a staff writer for Columbus Monthly

 

 

FFPG Drills: Firefighter Removal "Hole Through The Floor"

john Nance drill 600X

FFPG Drills: Firefighter Removal "Hole Through The Floor" Also known to FFPG as the "John Nance Drill"

FFPG conducted this drill to demonstrate one way of removing an unconscious firefighter from a basement. This drill was complete in 3 minutes, 33 seconds. Here is the drill uninterrupted and shot from multiple camera angles. In the future we will conduct this drill again in a more realistic scenario with a smoke condition. The purpose of this drill was mainly to feature this rope technique. Note: This procedure is used as a last resort. If stairways are compromised, if there is no additional access to a basement, and if portable ladders through the hole are not feasible, then this can be a go to move. It's also important for FFPG to mention that the fire conditions will dictate if this procedure is possible. Positioning a hand line is paramount to providing protection to both the down member and firefighters tasked with his removal. Your department and or company must train on this procedure extensively in a controlled environment prior to utilizing it at a true Mayday!

This procedure is an advanced skill and should only be performed by experienced and properly trained firefighters.

This is also dedicated to John Nance!

Please read the full story of his LODD when you can "The Murder of John Nance".

As always stay safe -FFPG

Links:

The murder of Columbus firefighter John Nance

Pain of that ‘terrible night’ remains for firefighters

 

Continue reading
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Skip gehm
Awsome site!
Wednesday, 25 July 2018 23:31
  6191 Hits
  1 Comment
Firefighter Proving Grounds

Private Dwelling: "Queen Anne"

queenanne600x300

Building Information:

"Queen Anne"


Note: For this drill the first due engine is connected to a positive water source and is 50 feet from the main entrance

This drill is part of the Firefighter Proving Grounds "Size-Up Series". This series is designed for firefighters to drill and train with their departments using their SOP's

Continue reading
  2945 Hits
  0 Comments

Topscore.png

Firefighter(1).png