“Risk a Lot to Save a Lot” is B.S.

 

* Image from Ukiah Blog.

Ok, now 'dat I have your attention you better sit down and have some of this Irish regulah wit' me because I've got a feeling this one is going to get me in some trouble. Here goes…

"Risk a lot to save a lot" is B.S. No offense to Chief Brunacini but what has become a fire service golden rule is, in my opinion, a myth. The over-simplified saying attempts to take our entire job and box it up in a nice little saying that rolls off the tongue and can easily be remembered standing outside a burning building at 2 A.M., unlike RECEO and COAL WAS WEALTH and all that other crap. Along with its sister-sayings of "risk a little to save a little" and "risk nothing to save nothing" , "risk a lot to save a lot" has been bastardized to justify some actions or to crucify others. And I think it's crap. Maybe my logic is flawed but here's why I think so.

The Brother from  FF Robert Wiedmann of FDNY Rescue 2 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn; FF Jon Davies from Worcester Rescue 1; the Worcester 6; FF Paul Brotherton, Lt. Jeremiah Lucey, Lt. Thomas Spencer, FF Timothy Jackson, FF James Lyons and FF Joseph McGuirk; FF Corey Ankum from Chicago Truck 34 and FF Edward Stringer from Chicago Engine 63. What do all these men have in common? They have been seriously inured or killed while fighting fire where people were reported to be or thought to have been trapped. What else do they have in common? They saved no one. Does that mean that their memories are somehow tarnished? Does it mean that there was no reason for them to have been in a situation where their lives could have been at risk? My humble opinion is a resounding, "NO". Each of these men, and thousands of others, have been injured and killed doing a job that is predicated upon one thing; risking our own lives to help someone else. Nowhere in any oath that any of us took does it say that there absolutely, positively must be someone trapped in a fire building or another emergency. No where does it say that we absolutely must have infallible knowledge that someone is in there, under there or on top of there. Wherever there happens to be. We risk a lot every day just by going to work and rarely do we ever make true saves.

One of the closest calls I've had in my career occurred on an interstate highway at the scene of an MVA. It was a minor accident. A couple people with neck pain who wanted to go to the hospital be checked out. I was holding the head of the backboard while we removed one of the drivers from the vehicle. My back was to the lane of traffic that was still open and our apparatus had been placed in a blocking position behind the accident. At the time I had one of those big Mag Lights hanging from my truckman's belt and it usually hung right off my right butt-cheek. Just as the patient was being moved onto the board a car whose driver was obviously far to important to be held up by all this traffic, used the inside break-down lane to pass all the slowed or stopped vehicles. Problem was there was a Mass Statie cruiser sitting in the break-down lane right even with the accident. So this moron jerks his wheel to the right, cuts across two lanes of traffic heading right for us, jerks it back to the left and continues on his way. But not before he hit that Mag Light hanging from my belt hard enough that it flipped up and struck me in the back hard enough to leave a bruise that lasted for weeks. I thank God every day I had that bruise too because a couple more millimeters and it would have been much worse. What did I save? A patient who wanted to go to the hospital to get checked out probably for no other reason than to strenghten their court case when they sue the other guy? Yet I risked everything. It's my job. It's what I was called to do.

Operating in the roadway at an accident; operating at a structure fire; natural gas leaks; electrical hazards; Haz Mat jobs; domestic violence or other EMS runs. They can all injure or kill you just as quickly as searching ahead of a hose line looking for someone who may or may not be there. In my eyes at least, the risk is the same but the end-benefit to most types of runs we take in is far less. For most of those types of runs the only thing that will be saved is property. And it seems as though in todays fire service property isn't worth any risk. But do we still go on those runs? Of course. Should we stop going on those kinds of runs? Of course not. Do we need to develop risk matrices and acronyms for every type of run we might encounter? If that's what happens I'm throwing my helmet at someone and walking out of the firehouse giving a double one-finger salute. We do our jobs. We train to minimize risk. When the bell goes off we go. We use our knowledge, training and experience when we arrive to make decisions and act upon them. That's what we do. We are firefighters and Jakes-of-all-trades.

There are those that will say of the Brother from Rescue 2 Brother Wiedmann, "He shouldn't have been there!", "There was nothing to save!", "It was too much risk!". But what if he had been burned when the natural gas leak he had been investigating in the same apartment building, with all the residents standing safely in the street, found an ignition source and exploded? Then it would be, "What a brave firefighter!", "Their job is so dangerous!", "You just never know.", and other such statements. Yet the end-result would have been the same. A burned firefighter who risked everything in doing his job to save what? "Risk a lot to save a lot", my ass. We risk a lot to do our jobs. Period.

 

20 Comments

  • James Johns says:

    Great post brother. It needed to be said, Firefighting is an inherently a dangerous profession. This is written on the inside of every set of turn out gear I have ever put on. You can't just decide that there is no one in the house because there is fire coming out of the front. If we as fire fighters are going to do that, then why don't we start making the same type of decissions on other calls. We never refuse to do CPR on a working code or go the extra mile for the patient that is trapped in a car that we know is more likely to die then survive.

  • Teague Kenny says:

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment James. I guess that over the last few weeks, with all the tragedies and near tragedies that have taken place, and watching many of the videos and listening to the audio and then reading the comments by the internet firefighters out there, my B.S. button was pushed. Everyone is an expert and everyone would run the perfect fire watching it from the comfort of their computer keyboard but rarely do they take into consideration what it was like to be on scene, adrenaline pumping and making decisions in seconds. I've been guilty of it in the past too. 

  • William R. Mora says:

    You make a fair point but what solutions do you offer? All risk has to be managed in a calculated manner and on a routine basis before the alarm, after the alarm is transmitted and during the fire. Read "When Primary Searches Kill" on Firehouse.com by William R. Mora for some solutions to the unecessary and extremely dangerous primary search tactic. Anyone can reach me @ capmora@aol.com
    William R. Mora, Author U.S.Firefighter Disorientation Study and contributor to the IAFC Rules of Engagement update Committee.

    • Teague Kenny says:

      Captain Mora, thank you for reading and commenting. I think that we will probably have to agree to disagree. I am familiar with some, but not all of your work and would like to thank you for your dedication to researching and improving firefighter safety. That being said…

      Perhaps I failed to make my point clearly. I do not advocate a caution-to-the-wind attack or search in all cases. I also do not agree with standing outside with a subjective matrix and deciding the fate of anyone possibly still located within a structure that is on fire. I agree that risk has to be addressed, prepared for and managed before, while responding to and during an alarm, but I advocate doing so through training and experience and while leaning towards giving people the greatest shot at life. While the experience may be hard to come by for some firefighters, quality training should not be. I realize that is in a perfect world and that many rural departments do not have access to the same training that many urban departments do but sometimes it falls upon the individual firefighter to make a commitment to his or her career (FDIC, Fire-Rescue International, regional classes etc.). This discussion, however, also goes far beyond primary search or Victim Survivability Profiling. And that was the point of my post.

      My post addresses the risk in all forms that we face on our job and why, if we are going to state that some activities are not worth that risk, are others? Hence the examples of gas leaks, electrical hazards etc. Your article you cite above talks about those very things (training and risk/reward), but yet I feel as tough you are making the argument that primary search is unnecessary (“the unecessary and extremely dangerous primary search tactic“). Using the incident from Brooklyn yesterday as an example. Given your article the same outcome would have occurred. Brooklyn dispatch was receiving information of someone possibly trapped on the upper floor. Upon arrival bystanders reported the same. Given the information and what we can only assume to be fire conditions that did not appear as they were in the video, the decision was made for Rescue 2 to conduct a primary search. During this search conditions changed resulting in what we view in the video. Your article accurately and fairly discusses the tunnel vision and ready ability to lose track of changing conditions around us when conducting a search. So does this mean that we should abandon the search because there is too much risk? I would disagree with that statement. Again, looking at the video, the hose line is obviously being advanced and is operated into the fire apartment as the firefighter is just exiting the window. This tells me two things; the search was initiated with the understanding that a line was being readied to support the members searching and secondly; those conditions changed right now and probably left very little time to view, process and act upon the information the firefighter was seeing inside the apartment. Is this the case in all incidents? I think we can both agree it is not. Some firefighters are injured and killed conducting searches or other activities in environments that they are probably aware are very bad and that they are extending themselves into a distinct danger zone. Is it necessary or unnecessary? I guess the answer lies in if they remove a victim or not or if they are killed or injured and no one is located.

      Technology. The great savior of us all. I’m sorry Captain Mora but I disagree with your statements in your article regarding 911 calls, cellphones and bystander interviews. Will I take the word of a 911 caller who tells my dispatcher that everyone is out? Depends, is the simple answer. Is it a resident of the house? Is it just a neighbor who thinks everyone is probably out? Same goes for the bystanders with the cell phones. Who are they? The last job I pulled up on the only person outside was a local wine-o who was sitting on the curb watching the pretty fire. Not gonna take his word for it. I’m all for a reliable witness with reliable information and I will take their information into consideration but I refuse to entirely base my decision upon it. One thing I will agree with you on and advocate is the use of the TIC, however. The problem lies in the industry. Until the manufacturers can produce a reliable, affordable model for every member to have on his person or integrated into his gear somehow, there will remain firefighters who will be searching without the benefit of one.

      So, what solutions do I offer? To what problem? There are those of us that accept that our job is risky and that despite all precautions being taken we could still be hurt or killed and there are those that believe any injury or death to a firefighter is too much and unnecessary. I believe that the evaluation and assumption of risk is best left up to on-scene IC’s, company officers and individual firefighters. If you happen to be any of those on a scene then your level of risk exposure will certainly be different than mine. You have to be ok with that if someone who was failed to be found during a primary is pulled out during overhaul. I have to be ok with it if I am in a burn unit recovering and no one was found. But the bottom line to my entire post and tis discussion is very simple; People are going to decry this latest incident as an unnecessary risk that was taken by FDNY based upon the hind-sight that the person was safe the entire time and the fact that a firefighter was nearly killed. My argument is that we risk ourselves every single day in hundreds of different situations for far less than a human life. So what’s the difference/

  • I am a huge Brunacini fan, and I think all of them have put Phoenix on the map. My spin on this is, we have signed our own death warrants the day we joined. We have all signed up, to put our lives on the line, and still do everyday. 
    I am a firm believer in being cautiously aggressive- if I or my crew, can get in and make a quick stop in a safe Enviorment, then we are going. If there is a REMOTE chance, it will jeapordize the safety of me or my crew, we will surround & drown, because I would rather see the dumpsters in a driveway, than a hearse at the firehouse.
    i don't think you can classify an entrapment scenario in this situation, especially when it is a RIT scenario, or a child, to me, I will push my boundaries to make that save especially for a brother.
    Part of the problem as I see it, is 3 fold- 
    1. The construction of buildings are lightweight, & much more flammable especially using TGI's.
    2. Our equipment is so good, that we can go further, & deeper than ever before.
    3. Common sense is sometimes being thrown to the side.
    Not knowing all the details of all the recent tragedies, I won't comment without knowing the facts. But I would not comment based on none of us were in these above mentioned situations, at the time of these tragedies, we can only armchair quarterback what could have been going through their decision making process, because none of us were there. Have safe holidays, hope our injured brothers recover, and wish the families of those who have fallen, the peace & serenity needed to get through the holiday season.

    • Teague Kenny says:

      Chris, thanks for reading and commenting. I think I’m basically in agreement with you on everything. The one thing I ask all readers of this article to keep in mind is that I’m not trying to singularly address structure fires but everything that encompasses our job. I like your analogy of signing our own death warrants the day we sign up, although a little farther than I might go. I liken it to the droves of America’s service members during the Gulf War-Part I. If you remember there were many who were trying to get out or going AWOL because we had gone to war. Many of them made statements to the affect that they had only joined the military to go to college or learn a skill and had no intention of actually going somewhere they could actually be shot at. What?!? You joined the military you idiot! I guess that’s how I look at our situation too. Anyone who thinks we can go through our careers and not face uncontrollable risk in some form or another is fooling themselves or misinformed as to what our job really is. I guess that’s really what my whole point boils down to.

  • William R. Mora says:

    Teague,
    After reading your reply, In general, we are both in agreement but sometimes it is difficult to put what we're trying to convey into words. Although we should try to avoid all risk that can be avoided, I am only focusing on the primary search issue. This is for any of your readers.  First of all, structure fires must be taken on a case by case basis because it would not be safe or effective to try to apply a singular sog or approach to every fire and this also applies to primary searches. We all know there are several risks associated within the different aspects of the Fire Service and yes, firefighters may die even tough everything humanly possible to prevent it from happening took place. In structural firefighting, one which has haunted firefighters is conducting a primary search and dying or becoming seriously injured when no one was in the structure to be saved. That's the problem and the complex focus of the "Kill" article. And if we just blow it off or just believe remarks by safety advocates are annoying and do nothing, it will just continue. Several issues have to be addressed to try to prevent it.  Some include an evalution of the type of evolutions used by responders. As you probably realize some develop much more quickly on the fireground than others and therefore provide a greater chance of achieving a successful rescue but also a much greater chance of preventing the first company to arrive from being caught in a flashover or rapid fire spread while either attacking the fire or conducting a primary search. Other issues include properly training call takers to ask if everyone has exited the structure if known. Here command will still have to try to confirm or disprove this as quickly as possible by sizing up conditions at the scene that indicate a rescue is or is not needed. This of course requires the first arirving officer not to accept the first statement as the truth but to quickly try to confirm validity. This does not require an extended interview only a few words with persons at the scene, like: who are you? and is everybody out? Since as you know victims who have exited a structure typically are stunned or overcome and say nothing as firefighters arrive and enter to conduct a primary when everyone has exited the building . Therefore, citizens have to also be trained to speak up at the scene or call in on cell phones to the dispatch office as soon as they know everyone has exited since a fatal  outcome can hinge on a call quickly made, received and relayed to command. And seconds count in these scenarios. Again, Command needs to confirm.  So, it's not that a primary search is unnecessary because on occassion they are, it's that conducting a primary search of a structure when occupants are already out is unneccessary because it may expose firefighters to too much risk and kill them or burn them unnecessarily. It's that simple. In addition, keep in mind there have been incidents where occupants did inform command that everyone had exited and a primary  search was still conducted, one resulting in two firefighter fatalities. So, this problem in the fire service is significant.  Because excellent firefighters die in this recurring scenario, I think, as well as I'm certain you do, that firefighters are smart enough to try to determine and study the real issue and come up with solutions which, although not totally iron clad, may begin the process of preventing some injuries and LODDs nationally. However, because we have to take care of our own and even though this problem cannot be totally prevented,  we still have to try to minimize it.  And it includes as you correctly mentioned,  not placing total reliance on a report that everyone has safely exited a structure from those who may not know the facts, as the "Kill" article stresses, like the concerned bystander, passer- by or the wino who may say " There might be someone in there! In these situations, Command must know what and how to ask the right questions, determine and consider the source and then decide. This would then reduce the knee jerk reaction that often results in an unnecessary and extremely dangerous primary search. Because I've been down that road before, The " There might be someone in there!" comment would'nt cut for me personally and after quickly conducting a size up, I would be glad to justify the decision not to conduct a primary search if that was my conclusion. Concerning the Brooklyn fire and like any other incident, all of the details must be known before any kind of safety evalution can take place or critical remarks made. Concerning this fire,  I don't even know if  the firefighters took the report from dispatch and bystanders that some one may possibly be in the building as confirmation of the need to conduct a rescue but it seems that way. That incident would make a good case for NIOSH to investigate and for the fire service to benefit from should the FDNY request it. If you should need more clarification don't hesitate to send me an email.
    Later,
    Happy Holidays!

  • Matt Flagler says:

    Your article is stupid! Okay, now that I have YOUR attention, I’ll pull back on the reins a bit. Your criticism of “risk a lot to save a lot”, COAL WAS WEALTH and all that other “crap” (your words) does not seem to be with the principles themselves, but rather how they are applied on the fireground or discussed after a critical incident. In that way you have a very good and timely message.
     
    However, a firefighter is not a hero if they are badly burned, or have a roof fall and crush them, or suffocate when they become disoriented and run out of air. Those guys (and all Firefighters for that matter) are heroes for putting themselves in harm’s way to help others. They are tragedies for being killed or injured while performing heroic actions. That is an important distinction. Injuries and deaths to firefighters are tragic whether they occur in a fire, on a Haz Mat, or even an EMS run. Having been the IC on incidents where guys were hurt and wrapping my arms around 30 year old widows has driven that point home in my own life, and I pray it does not ever happen to you or your guys.
     
    A study of any LODD reveals a perfectly bad chain of events leading up to the critical incident. Breaking any link in that chain would have prevented the tragedy. Sometimes it is the misapplication of the risk-benefit analysis, sometimes it is lack of training, or improper PPE or imperfect communications. Being a good (heroic) firefighter means doing those things well and preventing tragedy. It does not mean you are willing to die to prove how brave you are.
     
    Firefighters should be aggressive. Efficient firefighters rapidly employing sound tactics saves lives and property. But at some point, you gotta pull the plug. We just finished remembering the “Worcester 6”. No discussion of that incident is complete without remembering the IC at that fire Chief McNamee physically standing in the door of the fire building and telling the troops “no more.” Who was the hero in that scenario? All of them.
     
    So get in there, do the right thing, get in its guts or whatever phrase you use in your part of the world. Be aggressive. Save lives and property. Be a hero. But for God’s sake be careful! Take risks when its worth it, and pull back when it is not. That is what we are there for, not to sacrifice our own bodies for the sake of heroism.

    • Teague Kenny says:

      Um, Matt, thanks for reading and responding. I think. I’m not sure if you completely understood the point I was trying to convey, but what I was definitely NOT trying to say was that any firefighter who is killed by a fire is a hero for having done so. The whole slam on RECEO, COAL WAS WEALTH, and the very saying I used in the title is because I personally don’t believe I need to be reciting these things while looking at a building to try and determine what my next actions will be. That’s what I meant when I said, “Risk a lot to save a lot” had been bastardized. I think people around the country took something that was supposed to be a reminder about safety and began using it as a size-up tool to determine tactics. Sure, it can partially be used for that but again, you’re not going to catch me standing in front of a building reciting it like a mantra.

      So, basically I agree with your last 3 paragraphs, but that’s not what I was trying to talk about. Very simply put I was trying to say that we put ourselves at risk on a daily basis for far less than human life coupled with the fact that it is our job. It is NOT our job to die, but it could happen in the performance of our duties. See my response to Chris Aldrich below.

  • Robby O says:

    I think the large problem is the value people base this risk on….sure we should assume some risk for property and lives, but they are not on the same level, yet you constantly have people taking unneeded risks for property.
    It should be we risk ourselves for LIFE and property not LIFE AND PROPERTY…if that makes any sense.
    Should these guys who have recently been injured or killed been where they were? I dont know, what I do know is that aggressiveness should not be a geographic location on the fireground, it should be about actions….delivering a 2 1/2 from the exterior on an advanced fire prior to goiing in is aggressive, taking on that same fire from the inside with a red line is not aggressive its stupid.

    • Teague Kenny says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting Robby. I get your basic argument. It makes sense that a life would not be held to the same level as an davenport sitting in someone’s front-room. However, it is part of our job to protect life AND property. There are many who say no building is worth dying for, and I’m in agreement for the most part. But I do believe we should make every effort to save the building and contents within our ability to do so. It seems as if more and more people are using VSP, the dangers of light-weight construction and many other issues to hide behind and say that if no one is in the building (see Captain Mora and my discussion below) then it’s ok just to let the fire burn and come to us. I disagree. Let me give you a couple scenarios and see if what I’m trying to say makes any more sense.

      You pull-up on a single-family newer construction that given the neighborhood has a very strong probability of being built with light-weight construction methods and trusses. You have the entire family, dog and cat included, standing in the front yard (oh, and everyone is sober) and they are telling you no one else is inside. You have fire showing from two windows on the second floor with smoke pushing from the eaves. Do you go in or, since everyone is out, do you sit outside, wait for the fire to come to you and then put it out when it burns the roof off?

      After you clean up from that job you get sent to a gas leak in an apartment building. You show up and you have a three-story ordinary construction with about 30 apartments total. Given the lack of people standing around outside there does not appear to be an evacuation. You and your crew enter and find the caller standing in the hall. You talk to her and she says she’s been smelling gas on and off all day but it’s gotten much worse lately. You begin your investigation and are getting increasing LEL and gas readings on your meters. You trace the gas to an apartment a little down the hall and on the opposite side of the hall from the caller’s apartment. She’s still standing in the hall watching you and tells you that the unit is vacant and has been so for a while. Your meters are now screaming. You carefully force the door and once you get in the apartment is LOADED with gas and you hear it blowing from behind the stove. So now, do you commit your members to evacuating the building and trying to stop the leak if at all possible? Or do you still put your personnel at risk to evacuate the building but then pull out, evacuate the rest of the block and wait for the gas company or the building to blow, whichever comes first? I can’t answer for you or your department but when I was on this call, we evacuated the building and then went to the stove and shut off the stop-cock coming through the floor which stopped the leak.

      So, why do we risk ourselves in the gas situation where, if we can evacuate the building and the block before it blows, there is only property to save and we wait for a roof to burn off a house so that we don;t expose anyone to the risks of lightweight and truss construction? That’s all I’m trying to say. There is lots of risk in our job, it takes many different forms and it is still our job to DO our job. Sometimes you just can’t say “It’s too risky so I’m not going to risk anything at all.” Make sense?

      • Robby O says:

        Both of your responses make alot of sense. I think there are to many variables involved to determine and always mentality, however that seems to be what some people want.
        Its unfortunate that when someone makes a decision to either go or no go and something goes wrong they are branded either a safety sally, or to aggressive and unsafe. Instead we should fully evaluate there decisioon making process and analyze why this person made the decision with the variables they have to work with…it may turn out that they made the right call for them, even if it is not for you.
        Very thought provoking stuff, keep it coming!

      • GaryLane says:

        In the first example I would of taken the cat and thrown him back inside… Just kidding…   This is a great post and discussion.  Keep it going!

  • Robby O says:

    One thing I will add and this is kind of along the lines with Survivability profiling is that we use a triage system in EMS when dealing with patients especially in dealing with Mass casualty situations.
    My point is no one has ANY heart burn over determining someone dead in these situations, yet we have major heart burn over determining that somoene is dead within a fire building. I am curious as to why that is.
    essentially it is accebtable to play god in one instance but not in another, Why?

    • Teague Kenny says:

      As for this comment Robby, I think I can answer this fairly simply and without the long, drawn-out stories. As medics we can look at certain injuries and know pretty reliably if an injury is survivable or not. Sometimes, as firefighters, it is much more difficult to look at a building, not a human being, and know if anyone can survive or not. That’s where the argument develops between the more safety oriented people and the more “aggressive” people. The safety people say you can look at a building and determine if someone is alive in there. Then there are those of us who say, yes you can, when an entire room is involved in fire, determine there is no one alive in that room but what about everywhere else in the structure? I think that’s the big difference in my mind anyway. Looking at someone with half their head missing from the shotgun blast is a pretty easy call. Looking at some windows pushing smoke isn’t.

  • Cameron Paus says:

    Great article, I agree and get the gist of what you are saying. From my point of view our safety doesnt start when we get to any scene but the moment we put that jacket on and step in the truck. Everything has a remote danger to it but its how we prepare for it and adjust that makes the difference. Its the little things we do that help protect ourselves and our brothers and sisters. Its like putting on the seatbelt when we get in the truck, is it going to keep us from getting injured…probably not but it does make the difference between life and death. It becomes habit. We have a very risky job but we have taught ourselves how to take those risks in a safe manner. In your scenario with the fire in the 2nd floor and all parties evacuated, my answer would be of course were gonna go in, it is very possible to make a property save and perhaps make that difference in someones life. Is there a risk .. hell yea there is.. but like I said it starts just by putting on that jacket and stepping in that truck. Very well put post and thank you for putting it out there

  • J. Tart says:

    Teague,
    Its refreshing to hear from a hard charger….I am a firm believer all of the acronyms you speak of are used purely to help the non hackers sleep with themselves at night knowing they failed to act, and either let somebodies child die or their home burn to the ground… its a way for them to justify NO ACTION…..
    Believe me when i tell you; you speak for multitudes who feel the same way you do and refuse to conform to the new kinder, gentler, ineffective fire service…..
    Stay low brother,
    JET

  • Teague Kenny says:

    I would loke to take a moment to try and explain something to everyone who is reading the article and the comments.

    It is simply this; I do not like to stratify or feed into the two-camp belief of "Safety Sallys" and "Aggressives". Any time I use those types of words it is merely as an illustration to explain two different views. I believe you can be both safely aggressive and aggresively safe. What I do not believe in is using safety, and a misinterpretation of whatever safety aspect you are using as an example, to hide behind in order to not do our jobs. Risk is inherrent to our jobs and I believe that, to a certain extent, it can be managed. How we manage it is where I believe myself and some of my readers disagree. I lean more towards training and experience and some others lean more towards trying to engineer in safety or limiting what we do on scenes.

    I mean no disrespect to anyone who has taken the time to read this post and comment. I think open discussion is good and constructive and more is needed in our field. Even though opinions differ we are all still brothers and sisters and ultimately, we are all striving for the same things. 

    Thank you again to everyone for reading and please stay safe out there.

    ~TK

  • Tommy says:

    Cautious aggression is sticking your neck out far enough to get killed and then extending the time your exposed. If it’s too bad for us we shouldn’t be there, but if we choose to to go, we have to go in fast, with overwhelming force and fully supported. Violent aggression is safe, pussy footing around is not.

  • Truckie463 says:

    Rational aggressiveness mixed with a heaping of experience, copious helping of training, a dash of luck sprinkled with some common sense often proves to be the best recipe for success. Unfortunately most nowadays rely on the use of “knowledge” as an excuse to be overly passive in their strategies and tactics

1 Trackback

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Tailboard

Comments
Shoshana
The Craziest 10-Minutes in Firefighting
I pay a quick visit every day some websites and information sites to read articles, but this webpage provides quality based posts.
2013-12-13 20:32:49
Robert
The Craziest 10-Minutes in Firefighting
Taking the Engineer off the pump panel during heavy fire fighting operations is a dangerous call, small dept or not.  That water supply is the life blood of the firefighters in the IDLH.  Ideally while this engineer is running around the building doing what he thinks are critical tasks everything operates perfectly. No harm, No…
2013-12-04 19:54:56
Cal Fire FOBS
On Training and Taking Personal Responsibility
In my opinion, what you described is on the Training Bureau and participating company officers.   If the stage isn't set during the classroom portion of the drill, and the desired outcome fully briefed, you get what you paid for.   Somewhere in your department it became OK to take a less than serious view…
2013-08-15 14:27:05
Vicki
About
Just a bit on the hazards of lightweight construction. . working to get this message out. . Tks Keep safe. .  http://firechief.com/blog/determining-fire-behavior-modern-construction-furnishings-related-video
2013-02-28 07:57:19
Rltr. John R. Petalcorin
Have You Been “Departmentally Institutionalized”?
I am a new think-tank of an organization that is very strong but has not accomplished it's 40+ year old mission. I was searching the net on how to put my mesage in a capsule. The term Organizational Paralysis is just the right term I need. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. You are immortal.
2012-10-18 18:57:42

Disclaimer

This site is in no way intended to imply that the opinions or positions expressed herein are reflective of my employers official position, rules, regulations or standard operating procedures. My employer neither condones nor supports this site.