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LayTheLine

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About LayTheLine

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  1. This is a great thread. I'm not up on my foam operations but after reading this thread and doing some research it's helped a lot! Thanks
  2. How old is the current communications center? It seems odd they would build a brand-new backup center and just have it sit there. Is the old center bigger and perhaps this will be just a scaled down center to use in an emergency? $3 million doesn't seem like a lot of money, so my guess is it doesn't have all the bells and whistles like a break room, kitchen, showers, or even a spot to pull out bunks. But the idea is a solid idea no matter what the set-up. Many places don't have a solid back up plan.
  3. Okay, letsgo1547, I'll start by saying I respect your opinion but don't necessarily agree with it. There are challenges to overcome in doing anything new. All in good fun I'm going to put you on the spot: The County of Putnam calls you and tells you they are looking for a full-time Putnam County Fire Chief who will oversee, coordinate, organize, centralize and even consolidate where necessary. They are going to give you $160,000 a year, with a car, full medical benefits and you'll go into the retirement system. Pretty tough deal to pass up I would think. So, now you're it. What do you do and how do you set things up? Nothing is off the table here, you have a clean slate. You can mandate a policy that restricts any type of rescues or tech-rescues all together - don't even dispatch them. You can transition to a County Fire Department and find a source of funding to hire career people (maybe a SAFER grant?). You can sell all the rescues because they're not needed and no one is qualified to use them and buy 10 additional tankers. It's your ballgame and the Commissioners are giving you full power and the authority to back it up. So what do you do? Ready? GO.......
  4. I guess my only question to all the Naysayers is what other option is there? I suppose you could call another county mutual aid for a tech-rescue team but that would take time. I don't know the financial status of Putnam County or it's towns, but it sounds like if they are going to hire career firefighters to cover even the basic calls because of lack of manpower they need to concentrate on the basic daily responses with the career staff before creating a tech-rescue team. So let's assume it's a horrible, terrible, dumb idea to create the tech-rescue team with volunteers from the departments within Putnam County. No-way, no-how!! They'll buy people cool t-shirts anyhow to appease the 75% of the people who are in it for that. So there is nothing. Now, let's take the example of the construction worker who is up to his neck in a collapsed trench. Time is an important factor here. The call goes out to the local department at 1pm on a Tuesday afternoon. The first-due engine pulls up and has 3 on-board (Joe who is retired truck driver, Tom who is Captain and works in the local deli, and Sue who is an EMT). None of these members have experience or training in any type of tech-rescue. So they walk up to the guy who's buried and do what? There is no Putnam County team to request, mutual aid tech-rescue is too far away to be of any good, and the engine crew is not up to the task. The captain tells the worker there's nothing they can do for them and the crew climbs back on the engine and returns to quarters. That, of course, is ludicrous!!! If there were a tech-rescue team, this is probably an incident they could handle. Sure the response might not be immediate, but in the meantime another department could be called in mutual aid to the scene to have manpower there and perhaps at least stabilize the scene until tech-rescue shows up. I know nothing of tech-rescue, but perhaps boards could be built up around the worker so more dirt doesn't fall on him. Maybe the EMT could get close enough to slip an O2 mask on the guy. Maybe they could prepare the scene by moving dump trucks and other vehicles out of the immediate area to give the tech-rescue team clear access to the scene. Maybe they could lay out tools on a tarp which the tech-rescue team might need (shovels, pails, ropes, etc.). So I ask the people who are against this, what are the alternatives? Not go? Go but then return? Have Lawn-Chair 1 respond so they can put out lawn chairs and tables and serve lemonade and sandwiches while they watch the guy die? Very simple solution which I stated before: 1) If it's a minor situation like a child has his hand stuck in a bicycle chain, the first due engine can most likely handle that. 2) If it's a more serious incident like a guy buried up to his neck in a trench, the first due engine assesses the situation, calls for the tech-team, calls a mutual aid engine and tries to at least stabilize the scene and cause no further harm. 3) If the tech-rescue team arrives on location and it's a guy down an abandoned 200 foot deep well that is caving in, the tech-rescue team may decide they need heavier equipment and call additional tech-rescue teams and call on the private industry who has the equipment to deal with this. Perhaps they would have to dig a hole 50 feet away and then tunnel in to get him out. A very extended operation. But, the first due engine identifies the problem and calls for help. They immediately cordon off the zone so no one else falls in or loosens anything else which will fall in. They ascertain the number of victim(s), age(s), medical condition(s), etc. When the tech-rescue team shows up they realize they will need help and call for another tech-rescue team and ABC Drilling & Well Company. Perhaps the tech-team can feed a camera with audio down the hole to see if the person(s) are conscious and evaluate the situation. Who knows, maybe they could even snake an O2 mask down to the victim(s). The tech-team realizes its going to be an extended operation (perhaps 24 hours) and they set up a Planning & Logistics section and create an operational period chart. They may even call in an Incident Management Team. It comes down to common sense, training, experience and knowing when "this is bigger than we can handle" be it the first due engine or the tech-rescue team. To do nothing you might as well nail the doors shut on the firehouse and have everyone volunteer at the local food bank; which by the way offers cool t-shirts too!!
  5. I like it - sharp looking truck. I'm not crazy about politicians putting their names on vehicles.
  6. I'm a little in the dark here. What exactly is an ambulance service unit? I'm guessing it doesn't transport. It's marked Ambulance and has lights. Is it an MCI vehicle or a re-stock vehicle of some sort?
  7. This reminds me of the talk of Haz-Mat responses back in the 1980's when departments were just getting involved in Haz-Mat responses. There were extreme ideologies back then as well. Some thought it was inevitable and something the fire service could not avoid. Others thought it was pure craziness and the barn doors should be kept shut if there was a green cloud floating through downtown. I think that starting a Tech-Rescue team is a good idea whether its career or volunteer. What are the alternatives? Have some child fall down a well and the totally untrained towns people gather together and try to form a human chain down into the well? With that being said, proper judgement has to be used by a Haz-Mat team or a Tech Rescue team when things are beyond their capability and that comes with training. If a local Haz-Mat team got called to a train derailment and there was some really severe Ethel-Methal Bad Stuff mixing with Super-Duper Sticky Stuff and it was obvious that special teams from the production companies and a professional clean-up crew would be needed to mitigate the situation, then perhaps the best approach would be to evacuate, pull-back and try to protect the environment if able to. The same would hold true for a Tech-Rescue team. If they respond to an old excavation site to discover someone has fallen 100 feet into a 2 foot diameter hole, they may decide they need to call a professional excavating company and a professional rigging and shoring company to come in and assist. In both cases training, judgment and size-up are needed to determine, "can we handle this?" A chief wouldn't send a crew of firefighters into a fully-involved, collapsing house on a report someone was inside - same idea.
  8. I am by no means a seasoned veteran (run a lot of medical calls & fire alarms) but the volume, pressure, and thickness of smoke coming out of the building between the 11 & 12 minute mark is the heaviest I've ever seen!
  9. This has been a fascinating thread. I've watched the video 4 or 5 times. Many different good points were made. It proves that there is no one perfect way to attack a fire. Here's my idea, which I thought of the first time I saw the video. I would order an 1 3/4 inch stretched to the garage door. I would then order one of the upper panels on the garage door pulled down, probably a halligan & a pike pole would do the trick. I would then direct the hoseline into that opening for 30 seconds to a minute. In the confined space of the garage the fire should get knocked down quickly with the steam generated. I am a firm believer that you need to knock down the main body of fire which is generating the most heat and the most BTU's. The other advantage to this tactic is that the steam will follow the flow pattern of the smoke and hopefully will help stop the hidden fire spread. I wouldn't be too worried about steam generated affecting any victims, because either they got out of the house or are unconscious on a bed or the floor. Any steam that settles to the floor level will be somewhat cooled. After the quick application of water into the garage, I'd wait a minute or two to see what was happening with the fire and smoke. I wouldn't commit anyone yet, but I'd order the hose stretched to the front door and prepare for entry, I would order 2 ladders set up for secondary means of egress, and I'd assign someone to the back of the house to give me a report on what they see. Assuming the heavy fire in the garage was darkened down and the smoke emitting from the house began turning lighter in color, I would then order the line into the front door for fire control & extinguishment while searches and ventilation went on. If things seemed to be going well, I'd then order the garage doors removed to complete fire extinguishment in the garage.
  10. A different set-up. I always thought GEMS was much like the fire department, police department or DPW for that matter - part of the town. I never knew it was a private organization. I wonder how it was set-up once the fire departments, police department & Back Country Ambulance gave up their ambulances to create GEMS? In fact, GFD is one of only a handful of departments that has career firefighters that don't provide first responder service to the town. Once they gave up the ambulances they gave up everything. The police does the first responder service for the town. Not saying good or bad, just a different set-up than I've ever seen before.
  11. dwcfireman - Great posts. Please keep us updated.
  12. Always easy to 2nd guess, but I think I would have started an exterior attack.
  13. PCFD EN58 Please share a little more if you don't mind: 1) I believe at one point dispatch was done at the fire stations. If E58 had to respond, then E59 station would handle dispatch & vise-versa. Did that end years ago and how is dispatch handled now? 2) I read about the PCFD would put a career firefighter in Rye Brook on the overnights. Is that correct? If so, how did they manage that with only 8 firefighters? With 58 & 59 staffed 24/7 who would go to Rye Brook? 3) I didn't realize there were 16 career personnel at one time. When did they start reducing staff through attrition? Sorry if my questions aren't exactly correct or are taking you back into ancient history, but it's been 25 years since I've been in Westchester. I do remember hearing "KNEZ 923 Village of Portchester on the air transmitting Box XXXX for XXXXXXXX, E58 or E59 with 2 volunteer engines, 1 ladder & the rescue....."
  14. nfd2004 - I can see you have your heels dug in on this one and won't budge, which is understandable with the fire service problems in your own city. Do I think that regionalization is a good idea? In many instances it is and I've stated that. Without beating a dead horse all my point was is that any regionalization should be well thought out. You helped prove my point by referring to the Northern Hudson Regional Fire Department, which sounds like a success. But if you look at the history of its creation, you'll see that the early planning and discussions began back in the early 1980's and the department became a reality on January 11, 1999. So obviuosly they took their time, thought through potential problems, garnered public support and figured out the funding. It wasn't a flip the switch over-night and off we go. Final thought: Go slow, tread lightly and make sure your citizens really are aware of what they're signing up for.
  15. NFD2004 - I agree that fire depatments work for the citizens and not themselves. Any changes should come at the will of the people, not the fire chiefs. Perhaps I focused too much on the fire service alone. Before the citizens of any village, town, county, etc., make any changes to what the y pay for, they should be aware of what they are voting to change, be it fire, police, DPW, schools, sanitation departments, etc. Perhaps the fire service is the closest of any government service that should consider consolidation. But it should be considered with due diligence. Study the good models (Fairfax, LA County) to find out what works and what doesn't. Who will have control and will each department have a seat on the governing board? How will it be funded? Is there an escape clause? I've seen a consolidation of fire districts that went horribly wrong. I've also seen 3 towns consolidate into a school district without much thought. Town A had double the population of either Town B & C. Now the elected officials come from Town A. Town A pretty much rules the roost. The elementary schools have been consolidated, making for very long bus rides for children from Towns B & C. This could have been avoided if certain controls were in place, such as each town gets at least one seat on the school district committee, or perhaps make a central middle school & high school but allow each town to have control over their elementary schools (as is done in other regional school districts.) Once a few years go by and the elected officials turnover, there may be a whole new set of ideas of how to run any governmental department which may not be in the best interest of all members in that district (be it fire, police, school, etc.)