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50 Ways Fire Fighters LIVE (Under Construction)
Updated On: Sep 10, 2008

From:  Retired Deputy Chief Vincent Dunn (FDNY)

  • When stretching a hose line to an upper floor of a building, do not pass a floor on fire unless a charged hose line is already in position on that floor.
  • Notify your officer when going above a fire to search for victims or vertical extension of flame or smoke.
  • When climbing or decending a stairway between the fire floor and the floor above, stay close to and face the wall.  Heat, smoke and flame rise vertically up the stairwell.
  • If you enter a smoke and heat filled room, hallway or apartment above a fire and suspect flashover conditions behind you, locate a second exit, a window leading to a fire escape or portable ladder before initiating the search.
  • Crouch down and keep one leg outstretched in front of you when advancing an attack hoseline in a smoke filled room.  Proceed slowly, supporting your body weight with your rear leg.  Your outstretched leg will feel any hole or opening in the floor deck in your path of advance.
  • To prevent getting driven off a fire floor by rollover of the sudden flashes of flame mixed with smoke (ignition of combustible gases at ceiling level) while waiting for the hoseline to be charged, crouch down outside of the burning room or apartment and close the door to the burning area.  When the line is charged, open the door immediately and attack the fire.
  • During a fire in a one-story strip store fire, vent the roof skylight over the fire before advancing the hoseline to prevent injury from backdraft explosion or flashover.
  • When it is not possible to vent the rear or the roof of a burning store quickly and signs of backdraft or explosion are evident from the front of the store, vent the front plate glass windows and doors, stand to one side, let the superheated gases ignite temporarily, and then advance the hoseline for fire attack.
  • SCBA must be worn before entering a cellar of a burning building, even if there is only a light haze of smoke.  Carbon Monoxide, a deadly, gaseous by-product of combustion, is colorless, odorless, explosive, and quickly builds up in unvetilated below-grade areas.
  • Notify your officer and wear SCBA before entering a cellar to shut off utilities.  If there is no confirmation of the shutoff within a reasonable amount of time or there is no radio contact, the officer must make an immediate effort to locate the firefighter and assure his/her safety.
  • Do not let the presence of an operating sprinkler system give you a false sense of security.  Wear SCBA before entering a cellar.  Carbon Monoxide gas can be present even when a sprinkler is discharging and controlling a smoldering fire.
  • At any collapse, stretch a hoseline and charge it to protect possible victims and rescuers from sudden explosion and flash fire.
  • Shut off all utilities {gas, electric and water} immediately upon arrival at a building collapse.  Do not wait for the utility company to arrive.
  • Heavy mechanical equipment, such as cranes and bulldozers, should not be used to remove collapsed portions of a building whenhand-digging is being done nearby.
  • Parts of a structure that are in danger of collapsing during a rescue operation should be shored up or removed with a crane but never pulled down by firefighters below.
  • When climbing a fire escape during a fire, always maintain a hold with one hand on a part of the fire escape itself to prevent a serious fall injury should a stair tread suddenly give way.
  • Before climbing a gooseneck ladder leading from a top-floor fire escape landing to the roof, vigorously pull the ladder away from the building to test its stability.  The gooseneck ladder could pull away from the building if the metal fire escape or the wooden or masonry structure to which it is attached is corroded.
  • When taking up from a fire, the fire escape drop ladder is returned to and secured at its normal raised position.  Firefighters should never attempt to decent to the street from the fire escape balcony by climbing down the drop ladder in raised position and then dropping down to the sidewalk.  Pendulum hooks holding the fire escape drop ladders have suddenly broken from their connections and firefighters on them have been seriously injured.  A Firefighter should use a portable ladder or enter an apartment served by the balcony in order to decend to street level.
  • Stand away from the weights when lowering a counterbalance weighted ladder.  They may collapse from the impact of the ladder striking the sidewalk.
  •  When forcible entry is required for an inward swinging door behind which there is intense heat and fire, the inward swing must be controlled.  A firefighter or officer should hold the doorknob closed with a gloved hand or short piece of rope while other members force the door.
  • A firefigher performing forcible entry on a door to an apartment on fire is extremely vulnerable to injury from backdraft or smoke explosion once the door is opened and air flows into the fire area.  The firefighter is in error if he can avoid a blast by observing warning signs or reacting in a split second.  Explosions happen too fast.  The only real protection a firefighter has against explosion is his PPE; gloves, mask facepiece, helmet, hood, turnout coat and pants and boots, properly worn and in serviceable condition.

    More to come...




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