Defend-in-place" strategy - The department employed a "defendin-place" strategy immediately and this was responsible for safeguarding more occupants than any evacuation could have. If the building has a public address system, it is imperative that the occupants be notified of the situation and to stay in place.
FIREFIGHTER TRAINING >>> By ARMAND F. GUZZI Jr. After-Action Review: Fire in a Residential High-Rise Part 2 – Engine and Ladder Company Operations and More Lessons Learned P art two of this article takes up aid can give a small to midsize depart- this was responsible for safeguarding where we left off in April, when ment a “big city” response if employed more occupants than any evacuation we discussed a fire in a residen- properly. Fires in these types of occu- could have. If the building has a public tial high-rise and some of the lessons pancies demand a sufficient number of address system, it is imperative that the learned or reinforced. This post-incident personnel. The lesson reinforced here is occupants be notified of the situation analysis involves an apartment fire in to get those companies on the road as and to stay in place. Because of the Long Branch, NJ, on Sept. 27, 2009. soon as possible. Here, mutual aid was nature of the occupancy and construc- We continue with our lessons learned requested within the first few minutes. tion (residential, fire resistive, Type I) and and reinforced. • Training – Training is the key to the benefit of compartmentation, occu- • Staffing – Our department can any fire department operation. Pre- pants with the exception of those in the ultimately field a second-alarm assign- paring for a fire in a high-rise building fire apartment should be left in place. ment that consists of eight engines, two demands hands-on training, not only in There may be exceptions, such as ladders and one heavy rescue. Person- basic engine and ladder company oper- fire extending to the apartment above nel numbers vary depending on the ations as they relate to this occupancy, and endangering occupants, but bar- time of day. As such, any large-scale but training in the command and control ring this, leave everyone in place. The incident relies on mutual aid to accom- of such a fire. Effective command and department made the crucial decision plish the many tasks that must be control allows for a smoother-running to notify the desk in the lobby and the completed. The fire that is the subject and more effective operation. For numerous occupants who called asking of this article was a “40-person fire.” departments with high-rise occupancies what they should do were instructed to In other words, given the location and and even those departments that may stay in place. Also, notifying your emer- extent of the fire, about 40 members be called upon for mutual aid to these gency communications center as to were needed to handle all of the tasks. fires, quarterly training would increase the department strategy would answer A fire of greater magnitude on a higher department effectiveness. incoming 911 calls requesting informa- floor or a windswept fire would have • “Defend-in-place” strategy – tion as to what occupants should do. easily required 100 or more personnel. The department employed a “defend- • Designation of stairs – Our Mutual aid or, even better, automatic in-place” strategy immediately and department routinely will designate One initial action was the designation of stairwells. The
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