Monday, March 9

You Make the Call...Structure Fire...What Happened

The initial report is HERE, along with comments.

Needless to say, I was simply stuck. I had exhausted all my options at that time and felt since I notified the IC on a recorded line my butt was covered should anything go down, but I don't want anyone hurt, no matter how foolish they are.

As soon as my team exited the building I was on my way to find the Chief Officer. He was around the back of the building, still in tennis shoes and blue jeans and the coat still unbuttoned.

I made a comment along the lines of the building still being a hazard and recommended to him that he at least put on turn out pants, boots and button his coat.

He ignored me and told me to return to my pump panel, so I did.

At the post fire analysis we gathered in the driveway and each person discussed what went well and what did not. When it got to me I went into what was later described to me as a very sarcastic monologue.

I told the group about the importance of PPE. I went and showed everyone how the entry crew's coats were buttoned and touched the fabric of their pants describing how they protect us from heat and flame. I reminded everyone that safety is #1 on the fire ground and that no one is immune. I then looked directly at the Chief Officer and said, "The fire doesn't know what rank we are, we all need to be careful."

He looked at me and, I could not make this up, pointed at his helmet and said, "See this? This means I'm right and you're wrong."

It was this incident that had me applying at the local private ambulance company the very next day. I ended up staying a bit longer, but we learned to do our jobs around this particular supervisor.

If you said get that man in full PPE or off the fire ground, you made the right call.


Chris said...

I bet you thought of loads of come-backs, just too slow.

I know nothing about how the FD work, but surely the safety officer can over-rule *anybody* in order to protect scene safety?

What did you do in the aftermath? Report him?

He was a firefighter, right? Mot just some wannabee with a turnout jacket and an oficer's helmet?!

The Happy Medic said...

This was the Chief Officer of the Fire Division of the City I worked in. He was the highest ranked person on the force.
What did I do in the aftermath? I finished my schooling and got a better job with all new clueless supervisors.