Improving the Health & Safety of all Emergency Responders

Fire Apparatus – Digital
chief concerns  | Richard Marinucci

Thinking About Truck Company Operations

So much of what is done as part of firefighting is learned and repeated behavior. Firefighters are trained a certain way to climb a ladder, wear personal protective equipment and self-contained breathing apparatus, advance hoses, force entry, and a whole host of other tasks required to be successful during an operation.

In some ways, we have taken this same approach to establishing tactics and strategy, often putting the operation on “autopilot” and doing the same thing regardless of the conditions being presented. But, one thing should be apparent today, and that is there is much variation in many of the fires being fought. Whether it is the contents or actual construction features and materials of a building, no two fires are exactly the same.

The basics of fire science are the same—rapid oxidation is taking place, and flashpoints, ignition temperatures, and flammable ranges all come into play. The challenge to firefighters is that in most cases they are operating in environments that they may have never been in before and must evaluate conditions so that proper decisions are being made. This is very applicable to truck companies, which have had the same basic responsibilities since their inception and have used the same tactics to accomplish their goals. But, the fires are not behaving the same, not because the basic principles of physics have changed but because the environment has changed. The conditions presented may not always warrant the same approach. All firefighters, and especially truck companies, must know as much as they can so they can base decisions on the situation being presented, not long-standing practices.

Read Full Article Here