101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Friday, May 22

You Make the Call...Rescue

This has no right answer, so no followup on Monday morning, but just think about the "why" of your answer. I was asked this by a co-worker and it had me stumped. I'll post his response in the comments in a little bit.

You are searching the fire floor of a residential building when you come into a smoke filled room halfway down the hallway.
You are halfway in, and conditions are worsening, when you encounter two victims on the floor.
They are of similar build to you and to one another. When you turn to ask your search partner to help, he is gone.

One is caucasian and the other is african american.

Who do you rescue first?

You make the call.

14 comments:

Chris said...

The one who is least injured. If this is equal, the one who's panicking least. If this is also equal, the one closest to the exit I'll be taking, if this is equal, the one closest to me.

One could argue that genetically, the african-american is more likely to have a greater muscle mass, and therefore be heavier, in which case go for the caucasian first

Shasta said...

Ok, first of all, it is a myth that African Americans have more muscle mass, so that doesn't factor in. In fact, the "race" of the victims here is also irrelevant. Instead of this being a rescue question, it has become some sort of twisted affirmative action question meant to make you question your own attitudes. These are both human beings in need of rescue and their physical appearance, gender, socioeconomic status, etc. should NOT be a part of the equation. So the race of the victims in this scenario is a red herring. I say, you try to drag them both as far as you can until your search partner reappears.

The Happy Medic said...

My associate answered the question this way:

"Well, my right arm is stronger, so I'll take whoever is on my right."

I thought it was a simple, yet excellent answer.

Anonymous said...

Smoke filled room and we're able to identify race ????

Frankly, if it was anything like the fire I had last night you could have been luminous yellow and I wouldn't have been able to tell your color......so it's usually first come, first served (whoever you put your hands on first)......plus use that radio thingy on yer lapel to call for help.
Hate getting in a bedroom and finding bunk beds.....makes your heart skip a few beats !
doc176

Anonymous said...

Whomever is closest to me.

Big Show said...

you find your partner first. then worry about rescuing the victims.

Anonymous said...

Yup...As most would agree, race would not be a factor in any way, shape or form. It would depend on factors like which could somewhat help themself, how fast conditions were deteriorating, how close the next hose or search team was (situational awareness comes in handy at times like these) and so forth. The short answer is the one who is closest to the way out (so they are not in the way while you drag the other one out). This is also a case for emergency traffic for victim removal as well as having the IC calling a PAR since you don't know what happened to your partner. He or she might be in a world of trouble instead of possibly bailing on you because it was too hot. P.S. No more race baiting please. Triple J Fl

Dances with Corgis said...

I would go with whoever is closest to me as well. But I have no idea, and no training (yet!)... so interested to hear the consensus on this one!

Doc said...

First, I would call a Mayday. If my partner is not with me, that is a Mayday situation. My partner would be my highest priority. Also in my message I would indicate that there are two subjects in room halfway down the hallway on the second floor.

Once my partner is squared away and I know where they are and that they are safe or being helped, if I'm still primary on the rescue opp for these two that are down in the room I'm gonna grab one head to my exit point. Then next due is gonna grab the next. Honestly I don't care which one of the two I grab, I'm gonna do the best I can with what I have... After my partner is located and safe...

Zer0 said...

If it was still clear enough in there for m to identify race I would pull one a little way and then go for the other one. I would keep this up until I could not keep it up any longer. At that point, whichever one I had further out would be the one I took the rest of the way. ems-uncovered.blogspot.com

John said...

The lighter weight one!

Michael Morse said...

Whichever one I grabbed first.

Anonymous said...

I would probably just try to mentally flip a coin.

EliMae said...

Since I don't work in the field, it didn't occur to me to worry about the partner first... I would also go with the one closest to exit. Like one Anon. said, that way he's not in the exit path of the second. People accusing you of race baiting are off, because that didn't even enter into my calculations. However, though I'm no geneticist, I'm pretty sure different ethnicities have varying genes, so it is possible that one race is likely to have greater muscle mass than another. Yes, we are all equal, but that does not mean we are all the same.