Friday, March 6

You Make the Call...Structure Fire

I am assigned as the engineer/operator of a single engine resource of 2 persons, called out just before dawn for a report of smoke from a house.

On arrival we have smoke showing from a side door, there are no other signs at the house indicating anything other than a fire near that door in its early free burning stage.

On scene I establish a water source and supply water to the pre-connect attack line as an additional engine arrives at the scene.

My firefighter and the second engine crew make entry and begin their duties of searching the house and extinguishing the fire.

As the minutes tick by all seems well and I am the defacto IC/ Safety Officer until our Battalion Supervisor arrives. Since my pump panel faces the building I remain as safety officer.

Soon after, the Chief Officer arrives on the scene to survey the action. He is dressed in blue jeans, tennis shoes, an unbuttoned turnout coat and a filthy white helmet. (Not from fire, more on that another day) As I give my report on conditions, the fire is out, just checking for extension, I advise him that full PPE are required on the fire ground. He turns away and walks towards the fire building.

I use my portable radio to call the IC and advise him that there is a member without full PPE in the hazard zone. He responds to have that member return to their apparatus and don full PPE before conducting their tasks.

Since I have crews inside still needing water, I am hesitant to leave the pump panel. As I'm trying to wrap my head around the situation, the Chief Officer walks around the building towards where the hose line enters the house and I lose sight of him.

What do I do? You make the call.

PS - Don't take the easy way out and ask about more personnel on the scene to help. There are 6 of us. 2 on each engine, 1 Battalion Officer and 1 Chief Officer.


Dantarious said...

Hahahahaha, won't comment. Was innitially reading this thinking "when are you ever on a two person Engine?" Oh, now I get it. I know too much to comment. Did he have golf course landscaper dirt on his helmet?

firefighter / paramedic said...

i know where this has happened!!! same place that a battalion chief ( i use the term loosely) would eventually get caught in so many lies he would be reduced to ff before we was shown the dept's out door! Or someone might be written up for posting a caution letter on a money eating coke machine. Good times