Here a few pictures from a recent trip to Nashivelle, TN. We were walking back from LP Field after the half-marathon and this building was right next to the pedestrian bridge we were on. I stopped and started taking pictures and thinking. Of course I got behind and my wife had to explain to everyone else in the group that I was a just a wierd firefighter who does this all of the time.
These two techniques are great and you can see that one must be comfortable and well trained in the use of the SCBA. Confidence comes from continued use and training. You must master the basics and know your tools like the back of your hand. This allows you to perform the more advanced tasks without worrying about the simple things because they become second nature.
This marks the 6th anniversary of the Black Sunday fire in New York City. Two brothers, Lt. Curtis Meyran and Lt. John Bellew. Four other firefighters were severely injured after jumping out of the fourth floor of an apartment building, Firefighters Jeff Cool, Lt. Joe DiBernardo, Firefighter Eugene Stolowski and Firefighter Brendan Cawley to escape severe fire conditions.
It should be a habit that every time you come off of the truck for an alarm there should be a tool in your hand. And take a tool that you can do something with. Some of the most common tools are the Halligan and a flat head ax. You can take a pick headed ax and/or a sledge hammer, depending on what your function or task is.
Here is a video from our friend Dale Pekel that shows a technique for rescuing a firefighter through a floor. Everyone has their own thoughts and methods for different types of rescues and this one is no different. It is not applicable for all downed firefighters but has a place in your tool box.
What I am asking all of us to do is to pay forward the opportunities, experiences and hard work that we have been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of. I know that you can’t always accommodate all situations, but we, as a fire service cannot forget about the less fortunate in our own profession. I feel we have a duty and an obligation to find these smaller departments and offer them our help and not wait to be asked.
Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal with the Sullivan Fire Protection District, a combination department, and a career firefighter/paramedic with the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District in North St. Louis County.