101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Monday, February 16

You Make the Call...Training Drill...What Happened

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Unfortunately for me on this day, this officer is one who refuses to listen to those below them. Or above them, I learned.

As we went to make entry, me on air and the officer losing air quickly, I made every effort to point out what I perceived as a safety issue, but was pushed ahead by both the officer and the instructors. With no fire and no inhalation hazard, I chose to continue the drill, hoping the situation will be remedied immediately following the drill.

Just as we got the line to the back of the drill prop, the officer's low air alarm went off. Thinking I had lost track of time I checked my gauge: 3000psi. The air leak is worse than I thought. As I turned to assist the officer out, since we were alone, they were gone. I followed the line back and out and wasn't far behind.

"My airpack is malfunctioning" the officer said.
I raised my issues and explained I was trying to stop the evolution based on what I had seen and was told I didn't see what I said I saw. It was explained to me that the airpack was clearly faulty and that the officer was obviously properly dressed or they wouldn't be an officer.
When I asked the instructors if they had also seen the safety issues, they answered in the affirmative and simply told me there was nothing they could do. The officer was untouchable and never listened to anyone.

Great. Now I have to hold my supervisor's hand if we get a fire.

If you said do everything you can to keep your crew safe, you make the right call.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I read, re-read and read again that last paragraph and to say I'm horrified does no justice to my thoughts on this. I would climb the ladder of command until something gets done and this gets fixed. One time mistake? Hopefully. The only way to successfully train is how you would operate in the field. Complacency kills! I wouldn't stop until this is properly addressed. What if this had been a real fire? What will it take to fix this, death or someone getting hurt? NO! EVERYBODY GOES HOME!

Paul said...

Wow, if I was in charge I would have failed that officer there and then. I'd see to it that they'd have to go through the whole course if they wanted to even try qualify again!

If safety is involved you have to be strict.

The Happy Medic said...

Visitor Paul, you are correct. I would love nothing better.

Unfortunately this supervisor's issues became glaringly obvious when they recently refused to enter a burning building.

Luckily we are staffed so that 2 persons were able to make entry, confining a fire to a room and contents rather than a total loss.

This supervisor has yet to be reprimanded.

Chris said...

I agree with anonymous

Go to the guy's boss, or their boss....

Otherwise when he does eventually screw up big time, you'll feel guilty that you didn't try harder.

He's affecting your safety too. If something goes wrong whilst you're inside with him, you'll have to put yourself at risk to help him. Even if you didn't, you'd no longer have someone to watch your back.

He needs to be told

Dantarious said...

I just think you did what you could, saw the potential consequences, and will know how to expect things in the future. If you arrive on a fire with him, you know what to expect. You already had an idea in the excercise, and you may or may not see him in the future. Every department has several people like that. It's the "I'm right cause my helmet is white" mentality. Sometimes you just have to learn what to expect from different officers.