Monday’s morning commute started off horribly for drivers in the San Gabriel Valley when a big rig carrying fruit overturned on the 210, blocking lanes in both directions in Monrovia for most of the morning.
The big rig crashed through the center divider just before 5 a.m. near Myrtle Avenue. Three westbound lanes and two eastbound lanes will be blocked until about 9:15 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.
Westbound traffic appeared to be backed up to the 605 freeway.
Where should the Chief of Department be at a major, multi-jurisdictional event?
Yesterday we looked at the professional background of Steve Abraira, the first outsider appointed Chief of Department in Boston. Thirteen of the 14 deputy chiefs shared their frustration about Chief Abraira's command style with Mayor Menino (and the rest of the world).
Boston Fire Command Structure
There are 35 fire stations in the 47.3 square mile city. Organized into nine battalions and two divisions,
Each of the nine battalions, called "District" in Boston, is comprised of three to five fire stations. There is a District chief assigned to each battalion.
The city is divided into two Divisions, supervising four or five Districts. A Deputy Fire Chief is assigned to each Division. The Deputy responds to second alarm incidents. Boston averages four multiple alarm fires a month, as many as nine (June 2010).
Traditionally, the Chief of Department responds to third alarm incidents. There were 11 events in 2012 that went beyond a second alarm, one going to a sixth alarm. In 2011 there were 16 events that went beyond a second alarm, two were fifth alarm fires.
Retired firefighter and photographer Bill Noonan, when discussing this issue on FaceBook, noted that the last Chief of Department was responding to second alarm events.
NIMS does not require Chief of Department to be the Incident Commander
In a Boston Globe article by Travis Anderson about the issue:
“I think the big issue for them is, they think that because I’m not called the incident commander, I don’t have responsibility, and that’s not true,” said Abraira, who previously led the Dallas department and was an assistant chief with the Miami Fire Department. “I’ve reiterated that. . . . I’m still responsible for what goes on there.”
He said he polled 29 big city fire departments last year to see if their chiefs are required to take command of a scene, and only the New Haven department said it follows that policy.
The chief also denied an assertion in the deputy chiefs’ letter that he took a picture of himself at a six-alarm fire in East Boston on the roof of an adjacent building, to capture the blaze in the background, and that he was “worrying about his ‘scrapbook’ ” instead of fire safety. Abraira said he went to the roof to see what the roof of the other building looked like but called the notion that he took a photograph of himself “just crazy.”
The 2008 update of the National Response Framework removed the designation of "Incidents of National Importance" in order to create a more agile response. Still, events like the Boston Marathon generate tremendous attention and preparation by local, state, regional and federal resources. The role of the Chief of Department may be within the senior command of the Joint Field Office, interacting with all of the other senior agency representatives as they process real-time input and send resources to a dynamic, unfolding incident.
Big city fire departments rarely act alone when operating at major fire incidents, the role of the Chief of Department changes under the National Response Framework.
(update) "Stop dancing around the question – when should the CoD take command?"
For third alarm structure fires, the past practice was the Chief of Department would arrive, announce that he has command and the Deputy Chief commanding the incident would move in to command the most critical activity. This started long before NIMS and is a baked-in command practice. It works and makes sense.
Earlier Fire Chiefs have accumulated 20-30 years experience handling fires in Boston and intimately know the neighborhoods, built environment and fire history. The Chief of Department has worked with the command staff on thousands of incidents as the CoD went from Lieutenant to Captain to District Chief to Deputy Chief.
Chief Abraira does not have that experience database, going to the roof of an adjacent structure to determine construction details during a six-alarm fire is understandable. He has little experience with his subordinate commanders, no shared close-calls, no local history. No trust.
Learning-as-you-burn is not a good technique when you start with a third alarm event, I appreciate the deputy chief's lack of confidence in the fire chief as an incident commander. Chief of Department needs to be the commander of third alarm or higher events.
If the current or future Chief of Department wants to change the Boston model, will need to provide training and practice to implement.
Update 2: Demonstration of the Chief of Department activities at a major blaze
Tip of the digital helmet to Bill Carey, who posted this portion of a "48 hours" segment on the Boston Fire Department battling a 9-alarm blaze in 1989 on Firefighter Behavior:
I needed a fourth topic for our statewide annual symposium. The other three were well crafted with crystal clear presentation deliverables.
Proposal four: “This class will help experienced instructors deliver a program that is focused on clinical evaluation and EMT critical thinking. See effective learning techniques independent of the National Standard Curricula. Learn how educational standard templates can be used to evaluate student competency.”
Nice description but the deliverables were works-in-progress.
Adopting concepts and practices for developing medical critical thinking for EMT application.
Going through a toolbox of effective learning techniques, which are best for experienced EMT instructors.
Have rubrics but no Educational Standard competency templates.
Restoring my state instructor/coordinator credentials last year required teaching a lot of EMT sessions with many organizations. Found instructors addicted to commercial National Standard Curriculum (NSC) presentations and struggling with the new topics, especially pathophysiology.
Publisher provided Educational Standard powerpoints are far less detailed than the NSC slides. It is ineffective for instructors to teach an Educational Standard EMT course reading from commercial powerpoint lectures.
After submitting the courses, I lobbied to teach a four-hour “Trauma for EMT” recertification. Developed a great presentation for a municipal client that I wanted to bring and brag at the symposium. Of course, the faculty contract is for “Naked EMT Teaching.”
The value of focus and clarity
Art Hsieh, a collegue and the ems1.com editor, felt that my first version of this month's column was a little unfocused. He was kind, the scattered stream-of-consciousness document was closer to a Version 0 draft than a finished product.
A lot of open ended questions, fuzzy connections and imprecise language.
Art worked on the opening and asked if I could finish it up. It is a tremendously better column than the one I submitted.
Now the reader has two take-away items from the column and I have two bullet points for the presentation.
Is a course that EMT instructors could attend that provides ems-focused anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology that would include teaching techniques and examples.
Asking instructors to read a physiology textbook may be as effective as my experience filling in for a physician educator.
It was a last-minute schedule conflict during a paramedic refresher class. The physician was held up in the hospital and asked me to cover the diabetic lecture. He said “You have seen my presentation before, just use my slides.”
This is the same powerpoints he uses with medical students. He provides a great class that increases the paramedic's understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease and encourages out-of-hospital caregivers to become critical thinkers.
In my hands, they were background for a disjointed presentation that covered the minimum required content. I left a few gallons of flop sweat behind the podium.
"Naked EMT Teaching" is Saturday, November 9 @ 1:30
The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to give the Fire Department $1.6 million to reverse a controversial new ambulance staffing plan.
The money will pay for the agency to add 11 new ambulances to the department's fleet through June. And it will put at least a temporary halt to a redeployment that as of Sunday reassigned 22 firefighters per shift from engines to medical rescue ambulances.
The council did not commit to staffing the new ambulances next year, which Cummings said will cost $9 million.
For now, firefighters will be asked to work overtime to staff the ambulances, he said. On days the agency cannot find enough volunteers to work overtime, Cummings said he will opt to staff the ambulances instead of fully staffing the firetrucks.
He said he could not guarantee that the new money will keep firefighters on firetrucks. "I'm staffing for the community need, which is ambulances," he said.
On Friday, Cummings rejected a request from members of the City Council to postpone Sunday's start of the plan.
In Matt Lee's "A Pictorial History of the Fire Engine – Volume 1"(Page 257), there is a picture of an early rig with a Holloway chemical tank which had -"popped a seam while preparing for a Fourth of July parade killing fireman Fred Heavrin" of Bloomfield, Nebraska. The apparatus also suffered major damage.
Blown high in the air by the force of an explosion of the chemical tank on the fire truck, Fred Heavrin, driver of the truck, sustained injuries which resulted in his death about 40 minutes later.
The accident happened on the main business corner of town where a popcorn machine (!!!) had caught fire. In endeavoring to turn on the chemicals, the contents of the tank were mixed before the safety valve had been opened.
From Bill "Firegeezer" Schumm:
Yes, sidewalk popcorn machines were substantial in size. My dad ran one when he was a teenager. His father owned a bar / pool hall next door to the town's first movie theater. Back then the theaters hadn't yet wised up and started selling their own (profitable) snacks and candies inside. So folks would have to bring snacks with them. Before showings, Dad would roll out the large popcorn machine onto the sidewalk, fire it up and sell bags and bags of freshly popped corn. The aroma was irresistible.
… at least we still have 4th of July fireworks at the National Mall
There are two events at the IAFC Fire-Rescue Med that make the conference unique. The EMS section business meeting and the Federal Roundtable.
The bi-annual business meeting provides the section members with an update on projects and initiatives. One of the most valuable aspects of the meeting is a report of the liason partners to the IAFC EMS Section. You get an up-to-the-minute snapshot of what is happening around fire-based ems.
Normally held the evening before the first general session, noticed that the always-present Drew Dawson from the U. S. Department of Transportation was not at the meeting.
The second event started a couple of years ago, a panel of federal representatives that have an impact on EMS. Coordinated by Chief John Sinclair, these sessions were great in understanding the nuances of federal ems involvement.
Sadly, the federal roundtable that was scheduled for this morning was cancelled. No funds for federal travel.
Professor Robert Holzman, writing in the December, 1955 American Heritage Magazine, describes the formation of the first paid fire department in Cincinnati on April 1, 1853:
After a particularly bad street brawl, during the course of which a building burned unnoticed to the ground, the Cincinnati city council voted to have a paid fire department of selected men, the selection to be on the basis of virtues other than bellicosity.
When delegations of irate smoke-eaters invaded the council chambers, it was timidly explained that the city was about to purchase an expensive, fragile steamer, and this equipment could be entrusted only to trained technicians.
Cincinnati volunteers, pulling and operating hand-cranked fire pumpers, were replaced with horse-pulled steam engines that weighed 10,000 pounds.
What required a mob of 20 to 30 volunteers to generate a water stream was replaced with a team of three “trained technicians.”
The steam-powered pumpers generated better master streams than the largest hand-cranked pumpers.
A New York delegation witnessed the capabilities of the Cincinnati steam fire pumpers at a July 1854 demonstration.
The first steam pumper, the 1853 Uncle Joe Ross was featured, pumping through eight attack lines from 2" to 3/4" nozzles with a fire stream range from 90 to 106 feet.
A repeat of this performance eighteen months later had a different outcome.
One Dead in Cincinnati Steam Engine Explosion
On December 5, 1855, the Uncle Joe Ross pumper was making a demonstration for visiting Chicago officials
From the December 6 Cincinnati Commercial, reprinted in the New York Times:
About 4 o'clock … pressure at 180 psi … the receiving chest exploded, instantly killing JOHN WINTERBOTTOM …
A. B."Moses" LATTA, inventor of the steam fire engine, was badly scalded in the face and on the arms.
The force of the explosion was so great that it threw Mr. W some distance into the air, dismembering his legs and otherwise injuring his body, which fell some yards from the engine.
From 1857 to 1864 paid fire departments were established in St. Louis, Louisville (KY), Chicago, Richmond, Boston, Memphis, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Detroit, Nashville, Dayton (OH), Washington DC, and Covington (KY). Often the city outlawed volunteer firefighting within the jurisdiction.
(1854, July 20) The Steam Fire-Engine – A Visit from New York Councilman (From the Cincinnati Gazette 7/16/1854). The New York Times.
(1855, December 10) Terrible Explosion of Steam Fire Engine in Cincinnati – One Man Killed and Several Wounded. The New York Times.
Greenberg, Amy S. (1998). Cause for Alarm: The Volunteer Fire Department in the Nineteenth-Century City. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
King, William T. (2001) History of the American Steam Fire Engine. Minolea, NY: Dover Publications. (reprint of 1896 book)
The novelty of being the designated adult/primary caregiver has worn off.
We are in the day-to-day grind of assuring a safe and comfortable environment for a couple who are struggling to maintain as much independence and autonomy as they can while medical conditions continue to change.
Just before Mother's Day in 2011 was an intense effort get Mom out of a hospital and into an assisted living facility that evening. Worked with Dad to visit a couple of places and make a decision by early afternoon. Not a lot of choices within our timeframe.
Followed by an evening stand-off with my Dad who wanted to take her home (where there was no assistance in place and physically inappropriate).
We told you …
The language of federally-regulated health care ranks right up with airline travel. Accurate statements made in a neutral tone using industry terms.
They were told on admission that she was on "observational" status and would be discharged in three days. They did not realize it until her last night.
Even with this issue, the federally-regulated part of health care provides much better information than the unregulated parts of health care.
"What I want is …"
… not what we can get you. It sometimes feels like I am explaining to a 9 year old why he cannot drive the car.
When I wrote the original post I was at work at the university. It was the final day of EMS testing and I was looking at the list of things to do that week. Wondering if it is safe to make a business trip and resenting the probable answer.
On Mother's Day 2011 I finally understood the complex emotions felt by the children when we delivered their Mom for a visit in 1971. Relationship defined by decades of experience, conflict and compromise.
The students that are currently taking the EMT class will not be eligible for EMT certification. All EMT courses must be coordinated by a state certified EMT coordinator. Unfortunately, the coordinator that we were using this year, Craig Kolls (Kyle Fire Department), was recently arrested and consequently fired from the Kyle fire department for embezzling funds used to pay for these coordinating services.
He did not register our school with the state or submit the paperwork necessary for our students to be eligible to sit for certification. We did not find this information out with enough time to find a new coordinator and get state approval needed to sit for certification. We were not the only schools affected, Hays and LBJ high schools were also subject to this unfortunate situation.
We are in the process of obtaining a new coordinator and medical director for next year, but unfortunately this cannot be done in enough time for this school year. The students this year will defiantly receive credit for the course at Lockhart High School, but will not be eligible to sit for the NREMT (National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians) exam.
This will not effect next years EMT classes. As I mentioned above, we are in the process of contracting a new coordinator and should complete the necessary paperwork by the end of June. That sucks… You just broke a bunch of kids hearts and dashed their dreams… Don't worry jerk, we will find a way to help these kids.. to the kids involved… Don't worry, ems is a small family.. we will find a way… Share, tag, let everyone know
This appears to be the other shoe dropping from a March arrest.
Following a month-long investigation by the Texas Rangers, a former high-ranking officer in the Kyle Fire Department, Richard Craig Kolls, Jr., is facing criminal charges.
According to the Hays County Sheriff’s Office jail records, he was charged with abuse of official capacity, a Class A Misdemeanor, and with forgery, which is a Felony.
According to Kyle Fire Department Interim Chief Clay Huckaby, Kolls was allegedly conducting firefighter and EMT training courses in Hays County and around the region under the auspices of the Kyle Fire Department. The work included signing contracts that legally bound the department for up to $1 million in liability damages. Yet the invoices were in his name and the fees were paid directly to him and not reported to the department.
Sources close to the issue told the Hays Free Press that former Kyle Fire Department Chief Glenn Whitaker, who resigned in February, knew about Kolls and his illicit activity and was going to terminate him. Whitaker was supposedly persuaded by a now former fire department officer to put Kolls on probation for one year and require restitution of the funds. Kolls was still employed at the time Whitaker left the department.
Wonder if the Texas Office of EMS can provide a creative and effective remedy for the three high school EMT programs affected by this individual?
Inside the FDNY's training facility on Randall's Island, an exact copy of a subway tunnel — replicated with details right down to the tiles on the walls — fills with smoke and recorded screams as mannequins stand in for injured riders.
"The more realistic you can make your training, the better people are going to do when they’re at the real scene," said FDNY Chief Tom Robson.
The subway tunnel was added to the training facility just months ago. Federal agencies and military units have also used it for training.
Mike pointed out that I responded to his original blog post:
Nice article Mike.
It is tough to be comprehensive, accurate and correct. It seems like some buff books are assembled from a collection of someone’s photos, with the captions coming from someone else.
The same situation exists with technical and textbooks. I remember cringing when reading the first edition of Fire Officer when preparing to write the second edition. While the writing got better, there are things in the second edition that make me hang my head.
Maybe the third edition will be perfect (… who am I kidding!). Always appreciate your work and perspective.
Mike Ward – 07/07/12 – 13:55
Thanks for the thanks, Mike. And we must admit to our influences and sources. I have stood and continue to stand on many shoulders.
With historical information, each core “fact” is going to “travel down the line.” Hopefully accuracy is preserved, and through citation and paraphrasing and rewriting.
But there’s this pesky problem with the authors: they’re human! Just, say, handwriting some notes in a library can introduce errors, or they can manifest when those notes are typed onto a computer, and then again when retyped in a manuscript, and then again at the hands of an editor. Etcetera. One day I shall enthusiastically shout “no more books! That’s it!”
Legeros – 07/07/12 – 14:04
The photo from the Legeros Man Cave/ Research Library includes a set of books we both appreciate.
History of Chicago Fire Houses by Ken Little and John McNalis. The comprehensive, four volume series, covers the fire stations established from 1858 to 2009.
Each station description explains the
significant events and related history that makes this fire house unique
UL fire safety is at the forefront of research and knowledge that helps safeguard firefighters and the communities where they reside. Understanding how modern buildings have changed, UL conducted innovative experiments to quantify how much more dangerous today's fires can be, while also pointing out areas where new fire containment and suppression strategies can be implemented. And now, through exclusive on-demand eLearning from Knowledge Services, UL is sharing its unique thought leadership with fire professionals around the globe.
Based on proprietary research and cutting-edge industry expertise, these courses present tangible data from live burns and provide a better understanding of hazards and risks associated with the modern day fire environment.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available with each training module and can be attributed to an array of learning paths in tactical firefighting or fire science.
There's a video of what happened, and readers can (and perhaps already have) commence merrily second-guessing the story writers. Of course, this isn't really apples to apples. The Statter story was posted earlier, and draws from news reports. The FireNews story came later, and includes information from the CFD PIO.
But this begs a larger question. How important is word choice, in communication about unusual (or significant) events on the fireground? It depends on the purpose of the communication, as well as the outcome.
Choosing your words carefully can downplay or overplay an event. You can minimize or maximize a reaction, by the amount of words (the detail) and you provide. This applies to anything from a quick e-mail note, to a fireground incident report, to a formal press release, to, ahem, a blog post about a fire.
Readers, what have you liked or not like about particular words when they're used in stories about fires? Just be alert of the impressions formed within you. As you rise in the ranks, so will the opportunities for wider and more impacting "wordsmithing." Anyway, here's the video. House fire on Eastway Drive. Member of Engine 3 was quickly rescued by crew. No injures. Good to hear.
"After asking for money and not receiving it, I am moving forward.” Chief Cummings said. “What we need is additional ambulances."
On May 5, staffing at 22 LAFD Light Forces (tiller truck + pumper) will be reduced from a staff of six to a staff of five. Eleven EMT-level ambulances will be placed in service.
This represents a 1/3rd increase in staffed EMT ambulances (total 45) and should reduce the workload of the 89 paramedic ambulances and the need to send a fire company first responder to medical calls.
After a high profile crisis in public confidence in 1999, the department embarked on an ambitious expansion program that was funded by the city council.
By the end of the expansion, LAFD increased the transport fleet by 40%. A June 2005 snapshot showed:
83 paramedic ambulances
45 EMT ambulances
6 part-time transport units
"Paramedic asset" in every fire station
EMS Supervisor (Captain II) in every battalion
Expanded staff of civilian ems educators
The department added 210 paramedic positions.
Recession Erodes Resources
LAFD has been shrinking on-duty resources since 2008, reflecting the continuing impact on the city budget. We estimated that the department had 228 fewer firefighters on duty every day in July 2011 than they had in July 2005, with temporary closure of stations. At the start of the FY 2012 budget they closed 12 engine companies and 6 light forces, eliminated a division chief and 8 EMS Supervisors. A total of 357 positions were eliminated.
While the budget has shrunk since 2008, the number of requests for ambulances has increased. On May 5, 2013, LAFD will have an ambulance fleet that is 6 paramedic ambulances larger than the 2005 fleet. There were 316,866 calls for EMS in calendar year 2011 – 298,205 in calendar year 2007
After a recent tragedy where 4 families members perished after a home fire, Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor addresses a congregation of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden about fire safety. Still picture of incident courtesy PGFD Fire Chief Bashoor.
Bill Carey posted the information about the February early morning fire with four fatalities:
As friends exchanged memories and sorrowful wishes at a memorial service Monday, the common sentiment was that the Price family, who were the victims of a fatal house fire Feb. 21 at their home in Glenarden, had a positive impact on whomever they came in contact with.
“It’s not just a family loss, but a community loss,” said John K. Jenkins, pastor of First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro.
The deaths of Darrell Price Jr., 36, and three of his four daughters – Daijah Price, 11, Tania Price, 8, and Patrice Price, 4, all of Glenarden – has rocked the city.
Friends, family and area residents filled nearly the entire lower seating section of the 4,000-seat First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro to show their support to mother Teresa Myles-Price and her daughter, Tamia Price, 8, who survived the blaze.
Tip of the helmet to PGFD PIO Mark Brady for posting the video.
V8 Supercars/NASCAR Driver Swap:
The boys have been out on track for the Driver Swap at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin – with James Courtney and Kurt Busch hitting the track.
Courtney tweeted after the experience: "That was nuts… Felt like I was wrestling a bear."
Wednesday 24 April 2013 16:30
By: V8 Supercars
Today in a prelude to the first ever event in North America, 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Kurt Busch and 2010 V8 Supercar Champion James Courtney drove each other's cars around Circuit of The Americas.
The Australian V8 Supercar is 400lbs lighter than a Sprint Cup car, but only has 650 horsepower compared to 950 in NASCAR.
The NASCAR was faster accelerating in a straight line but the V8 Supercar far quicker through corners, making it a relatively equal contest between the two.
Furniture Row-Racing's Busch had to adapt to sitting on the wrong side of the car, a sequential shift gearbox and a dramatically smaller steering wheel. Courtney also found himself on the other side of the car from what he is used to and had to revert to using a H-pattern gearbox that hasn't been used in V8 Supercars since 2007.
The only similarities between the Chevrolet SS NASCAR and the Holden Commodore V8 Supercar comes from their road-going versions – the same car is sold in both markets in respective left and right hand drive versions.
"It's amazing, there are similarities and differences between the two cars," Busch said.
"Sitting on the right side, shifting a bunch of gears with my left arm, you're not in your comfort zone and it's hard to understand what task of the car is next until you start checking things off your list that you learn the racetrack as well. So there were quite a few things going on. Information overload, to say the least.
"But it definitely makes it interesting to drive both cars on the track at the same time.
"The quickest way I can compare an Australian V8 Supercar to what people are familiar to in the States is it's a muscle car but it's a sports car at the same time.
"Much more power than what you see in the GT classes in the Grand Am series. And the ability, though, for what I see on TV, for these guys to run side-by-side, nose to tail, is the control of the cars, the balance they have makes it a treat to drive."
Holden Racing Team's Courtney and fellow Championship contender Lockwood Racing’s Fabian Coulthard were on hand at the Circuit of The Americas for today's activities as well as last weekend's successful inaugural MotoGP event where they undertook demonstration laps at the venue.
For the vastly experienced Courtney, today's track action was a dramatic twist for the Australian who has driven a wide range of machinery including Formula 1, Le Mans and Japanese Sportscars, Formula 3 and Formula Ford.
"It was pretty wild sitting on the other side of the car and shifting an H-pattern gearbox," Courtney said.
"The car was bigger and heavier. It has so much power. It's really quite an experience. It was also quite cool to blow past the V8 car on the straight. It was really good. I'm forever grateful that the team gave me this opportunity.
"The steering wheel, it feels like it's massive. But to run side-by-side I was pretty nervous because it's moving around a bit more than what I'm used to.
"But the car was excellent. Changing with an H-pattern gearbox is different; it's done almost automatically in the car at home so you never think about it. But another thing that is quite different is the braking performance.
"It's built for Speedways, not really road courses. It's a very different machine."
Courtney and Coulthard will return home this week to prepare for the next round of the V8 Supercar Championship, the Chill Perth 360 in Western Australia, on May 3-5.
For 85 years the Fire Department Instructor's Conference has been the mecca for new ideas and innovative trends.
The 1950 "Little Drops of Water" presentation by Lloyd Layman generated a dozen years of structural firefighting using a high pressure pump to inject water spray into a structure.
In the 1980's positive pressure was incorporated in structural fire attack.
In most cases, we were adopting new equipment to do our jobs better, faster and safer.
Using science and engineering to analyze fires
In 1999 the Engineering Lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was asked to assist with the investigation o the Line Of Duty Deaths of Firefighters Anthony Phillips and Louis Matthews in Washington, D.C.
"Simulation of the Dynamics of the Fire at 3146 Cherry Road NE Washington D.C., May 30, 1999 (NIST IR 6510)," describes the results of calculations using the NIST FDS that were performed to provide insight on the thermal conditions that may have occurred during the fire. Input to the computer model was developed from 3 sources; the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department Reconstruction Committee, photographs and measurements taken by NIST staff during a June 3, 1999 site visit, and from material properties taken from the FDS database. An FDS model scenario was developed that best represented the actual building geometry, material thermal properties, and fire behavior based on information from the Reconstruction Committee and physical evidence.
This work by Dan Madrzykowski started a 14 year study of thermal flow in structure fires. The research methods and technology has dramatically improved, resulting in "Science Hitting the Streets" providing us with vital information on fire growth and dynamics in a range of structure fire categories.
Four presentations on fire suppression research at FDIC 2013
Madrzkowski and Steve Kerber (Underwriters Lab) are presenting back-to-back presentations on fire research results tomorrow at FDIC.
I am on the way to a big room presentation where FDNY, NIST, UL and others will describe how this research is shaping structure fire strategy and tactics.
After this week, looked for something different to watch.
Uploaded on Aug 22, 2011
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Hop in the car with Kelly as she takes her first ride and learns how to navigate the roads of Miami in a Ferrari. Watch as she asks all the questions and learns about all the different modes, buttons and gadgets.
Imagine Lifestyles luxury rentals has a full fleet of luxury and exotic rental cars. Please visit our locations in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and New York and you too can drive these exotic sports cars for a day, 2 days or even more.
Last year Dave Statter shared his experience about the 2007 line-of-duty death of Technician I Kyle Wilson in Prince Wiliam County. (Dave's article HERE). Dave is concerned that the Virginia Tech massacre overshadowed the tragedy at 15492 Marsh Overlook Drive.
I am re-posting my response because we will never forget. I am in the midst of getting the third edition of the Fire Officer textbook out. The lessons learned from Kyle's sacrifice remain vital.
The after-action analysis and discussions were painful, emotional and worthwhile. I closely followed the process and spoke to with many of the participants. They are my friends and colleagues.
My "bully pulpit" is a textbook that is used by many for their Fire Officer I and II training.
In Chapter 16, "Fire Attack" this is how the section on Smoke, Wind, Size and Fire Flow looks in the second edition (2010).
Let's start the Fire Department Instructor's Conference week with an in-station drill on one of these topics:
Burning Type V residential structure behavior in high wind conditions
Determining initial attack fire flow in high wind conditions
Austere crew (thin staffed) fire attack procedures
Why the NFPA 1710 single family dwelling does not match your first due (you can find an analysis starting on page 188 of the Prince William report.)
Fire departments should develop SOP’s for incidents with high-wind conditions including defensive attack if necessary. Weather can be considered as critically important when at the extreme, and relatively unimportant during normal conditions.
Wind has a strong effect on fire behavior which includes supplying oxygen, reducing fuel moisture, and exerting physical pressure to move the fire and heat. Wildland fire fighters are very familiar with these effects of wind on the rate at which fire spreads.
According to Dunn, “When the exterior wind velocity is in excess of 30 miles per hour, the chances of conflagration are great; however, against such forceful winds, the chances of successful advance of an initial hose line attack on a structure fire are diminished. The firefighters won’t be able to make forward hoseline progress because the flame and heat, under the wind’s additional force, will blow into the path of advancement.
Fire fighters should change their strategy when encountering high wind conditions. An SOP should be developed to include obtaining the wind speed and direction, and guidelines established for possible scenarios associated with the wind speed and the possible fuel available, similar to that in wildland fire fighting. When the interior attack line has little or no effect on the fire, the line should be withdrawn and a second hoseline should be advanced on the upwind side of the fire. This method may require the use of an aerial ladder or portable ladder, if safety permits.
The major factors in the line of duty death of Technician I Wilson were determined to be:
• The initial arriving fire suppression force size.
• The size up of fire development and spread.
• The impact of high winds on fire development and spread.
• The large structure size and lightweight construction and materials.
• The rapid intervention and firefighter rescue efforts.
• The incident control and management.
Thanks to Dave Statter for making an important observation.
What makes a Hummer look like a Geo Metro? A 1941 American LaFrance fire truck, that's what. With a 256 horsepower engine under the hood and a unique modification in back, this classic beauty not only runs like a dream, but is also the most practical vehicle in Jay's collection. All that, and it only costs a measly 200 bucks to fill up the tank.
Rig had only 11,000 miles when Leno acquired it.
Installs Telma inductive braking systen
Jay puts Telma's innovative induction brake system in his 70-year-old monster fire truck, then loads it up with 10 people and takes it out for a test drive.
We found a place where the automobile is king and speed is the one true god. It's a piece of land shaped roughly like a frying pan—flat and hot—bordered by mountains, and crusted in fine white granules of salt.
To get there, drive west for about an hour and a half from Salt Lake City, Utah on the I-80 towards Reno. Drive past the vast pools of sulfur, where there's no escaping the smell of rotten eggs. Take exit No.4 and keep going until the road ends. You'll feel a bump as the wheels of your car drop off the edge of the pavement and then start rolling across the Bonneville Salt Flats.
It's been in the same family for the better part of 50 years. Been modified with performance and weight savings in mind, and is one of the sleekest looking cars we've ever come across. This 1955 Ford Thunderbird is no secretaries car, but a purpose built award winning street machine that was built in a time before resto-modding old cars was all the rage.
In the opening of the video, we find Milner donning his helmet in the Corvette Racing garage, and walking out to pit lane. He then briefly discusses with the crew chiefs before eventually hopping into a C6.R race car, powering away under the cover of night. As always, the raw noise and power of the Corvette C6.R is intoxicating, and there’s plenty of it in this 11:40 minute video.
Published on Mar 19, 2013
DRIVER'S EYE with Corvette Racing's Tommy Milner around Sebring International Raceway. Featured in this video, Corvette Racing's new rear facing radar system.
The 12 Hours of Sebring started off great this year. We had the lead for the first two hours; when Richard took over, he had to pit a few laps short of his scheduled stop because of smoke in the cockpit. There isn't a worse feeling than seeing your car in pit lane with a relatively unknown problem. These things can take a long time to diagnose and fix. My first reaction was, “There goes the race.”
Instead, the Corvette Racing crew identified the problem as a frayed wire that had shorted and caused all kinds of problems with the dash and electronics.
Oliver hopped in and set back out to try and continue to lap while the team could devise a plan of what to do. Our C6.R had lost the function of its taillights, and IMSA quickly pointed out we needed to pit and fix it. A few laps later and Oliver was in. Dave Marin, our crew guy who had spotted the melted wire, just cut the wire to the offending unit, and everything was fixed. We no longer had the “lock-up lights” in the cockpit that indicate if we've locked or are about to lock a wheel under braking, but that's just a minor creature comfort for us drivers. No other issues remained, other than being down a lap-and-a-half from the GT leader.
I was amazed we only lost that little amount of time. It felt like ages while the car sat in the pits. Every second matters in these races, and a lap-and-a-half with nine hours to go in the race is not insurmountable. I knew we still had a shot and so did the rest of our team. Oliver drove a stellar stint to close the gap considerably on the leader, and then a yellow came to put us right with the leaders, meaning we had a shot to get our lap back. As it would shake out, I got in the car for my second stint of the race and came out of the pits buried right in the middle of the GT fight, but still one lap down. I knew this would be our best chance to get back on the lead lap.