Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

RIT Team Comments, Part 2

Captain Harris' comments continued from part one...
  1. The first RIT officer to enter should keep in mind that you probably will not be the team to remove the victim. Your crew will clear a path through the debris and locate the firefighter. Short of following a hose line or trying to follow a wall, you have no clue as to where you are going. Pay close attention to your route so you don't become a victim. Use the Thermal Imager but don't make it your only means of keeping up with your surroundings. Our Thermal Imager completely "whited out" due to the flames and heat therefore it too was useless. It is a tool like everything else we have. There is no better tool to have than clear thoughts.
  2. You must maintain constant communication with the Division Chief or IC. Request a channel to communicate with a designated person while you conduct the search and know who that person is. There are far too many things happening on the fire ground to attempt a rescue operation while remaining on the primary TAC channel. Rescue communications must not be interrupted by anyone for any reason. At the McDonald's fire, the dispatchers did an outstanding job. They insured that all radio traffic ceased and made certain that the words I spoke were getting back to the IC.
  3. Leave a trail. Take extra hand lights, strobes or whatever so you can find your way out of the building and/or others can find there way to you or the victim.I believe we should have at least 1 RIT on small fires such as a house; 2 RIT's for apartments and other comparable structures and 3 or more for large scale incidents working in an offensive mode. I also believe ladder truck crews should be the IRIT due to the fact that ladder trucks carry a much larger array of tools and rescue equipment. Also, when activated, remind the IC to make another RIT ready to go. Trust me, by the time you locate the missing firefighters,you will be out of air and running on adrenaline. There were at least 6 firefighting crews involved in locating and removing Lewis Mayo from the McDonald's restaurant and, it took every one of us every ounce of energy we could muster to complete the task.Take this job seriously. No one likes to be given this assignment but it has the potential to be the most important job on the fire ground.


(emphasis added)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Which one...

of these kids is most likely to grow up to be a fireman?

RIT Team Comments, Part 1

Good thoughts on RIT teams written by Captain Russell Harris (68-A), from the Houston Area Firefighters Newsgroup, in response to a question about general advice on RIT team use at a fire. Captain Harris was part of the RIT team that found Lewis Mayo at the Mc Donald's fire. His "voice of experience" will be presented in two parts.
Steve, My personal experience in the search brought the following points to light:

  1. You must do a 360-degree walk-around of the building as soon as you are given the RIT assignment. This will give you a clear idea of where all the secondary means of egress are as well as the best point of entry. Make sure ladders are in place if needed. You may also find a better route to gain access to injured firefighters while conducting the walk-around by getting a visual of exactly where the action is taking place. The front or back door is not always the best point of entry.Let the IC know where you want to take a osition.He/she does have the right to over-rule your choice.
  2. When your RIT is activated, take a moment to talk to your crew and calm them down. You are about to enter hell and it is imperative that you have your mind right before you go.
  3. Take an attack line with you. If you have taken a position away from the command post and the IC agrees to let you assume that position, take a line with you and have it ready to go. You won't use the attack line in the same manner as you would in an initial offensive attack. It's more for the protection of the rescue crews and the victims. We needed the line to knock down a few areas so we could continue the search.
  4. The officer in charge should be the one to make the decision about what his crew takes with them. The only tools we needed were the usual tools of destruction;axes, halligan tool, etc. We had to breech a wall between the dining area and the kitchen to get to Lewis. Ropes would have been useless. We burned the hose line up so I really doubt the rope would've lasted very long.
(to be continued)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Captain Carter's Article

Here's Captain Carter's Firehouse Magazine article.

News Report: Junk Cars Turned To Gold

(Click to play.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Monday, March 19, 2007

Aggressive Interior Firefighting

Click image.

Today's Starting Lineup 3/19/2007

Click above for today's starting lineup.

Overtime Assignments

Click image to get overtime assignments for this coming days off.

(Captains, please notify affected crew members.)

Three Weeks. Still Here.

Sunday, March 18, 2007



are due
no later than
March 21st.
Update: 7's TEAP was turned in on March 5th
.............8's, 17's turned in March 19th.
.............All in. Thanks, Captains.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Overdue Plugs

District 8-B is better than most on overdue plugs. But there are a few outstanding plugs on these lists sent from downtown. Most of them are for Station 17. Click here and here to see the lists.

Celeste On Cover Of Firehouse Magazine

That's Celeste Fatheree on the left. She's the one wearing SCBA.

AFLAC Info Meeting Today at 3 p.m.

District meeting today at 8's at 15:00. AFLAC representative will talk to us about open enrollment.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Overtime This Coming Days Off

Click image to get overtime assignments for this coming days off.

Captains, please notify affected crew members.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

8-B Vacations Updated March 5th, 2007

Click image for the latest vacation form.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

High-Rise Firefighting Basics: Standpipe Connections

Above is a short YouTube video showing the difference between PRV and non-PRV standpipe connections.

Buckle Up!

Above is Captain Carter's video about the rollover accident of Engine 508, seat belt use and emergency response safety.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Next Tour's Manpower

Click above.

Overtime Request Sent In

Here's the overtime request sheet exactly as it was sent in this morning.

Lineup 2007.03.05

Here's today's lineup.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Reminder: TEAPs Due March 21st

Captains, remember that TEAPs will be due no later than March 21st.

Update: Captain Therault turned in 7's TEAP on March 5th.

Emergency Vacation: It's Not What It Used To Be

It used to be that calling in and requesting emergency vacation was no big deal. People requested it often, and most chiefs didn't hassle them about it.

Things have changed. Now that all the districts have maxed-out their scheduled vacation time, emergency vacations cause them to exceed their total. That means staffing has to call in (and pay for) more overtime than the department has budgeted for... which makes the Deputy and Assistant Chiefs unhappy... which means they require detailed, written explanations from District Chiefs... which makes them unhappy... and so-on.

Let's try to avoid this from now on. Really, anyone should be able to get off almost any day--simply by trading for other vacation days later in the year. You can even trade days with other people in the district.

If you have a real emergency that you need to deal with, of course, you can ask for emergency vacation. But nowadays there are usually other, better ways to get time off if you need it.


Here's overtime for March 6, 7, 8, and 9. Captains, please notify affected crew members, if any.

Lineup 3/3/2007

HERE's today's lineup.
Update: Call-in overtime Captain B. Strong, 41-D1, 071597 to 8's. Still holding 1 unwilling FFE at 8 and at 17. (Looking for volunteers for OT to replace them.)
2nd Update: Firefighter holding at 17 will stay 24. Firefighter at 8's replaced by 3rd man from Squad 17.