After-Action Review: Fire in a Residential High-Rise - PDF by ProQuest


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									                               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

                                       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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