T Nation

Firefighting

I think the fires we here in England face are different to the ones in the US. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe houses in the US are mainly wood whereas in the UK they are bricks and mortar and dwelling fires tend to be more confined, at least initially. Most fires I have dealt with were confined to one room and it’s not very often that the whole structure is involved. Venting as a general rule tends to be done once the fire is out or at least under control.

On a “lighter” note: Not long ago we were called to a car overturned. As we rocked up four paramedics were attempting a “controlled roll” of the vehicle with the casualty still inside it…

[quote]robbiminator wrote:
I think the fires we here in England face are different to the ones in the US. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe houses in the US are mainly wood whereas in the UK they are bricks and mortar and dwelling fires tend to be more confined, at least initially. Most fires I have dealt with were confined to one room and it’s not very often that the whole structure is involved. Venting as a general rule tends to be done once the fire is out or at least under control.

On a “lighter” note: Not long ago we were called to a car overturned. As we rocked up four paramedics were attempting a “controlled roll” of the vehicle with the casualty still inside it…[/quote]

Hey Robb,

Is there alot of flat roof construction in England?

[quote]robbiminator wrote:

On a “lighter” note: Not long ago we were called to a car overturned. As we rocked up four paramedics were attempting a “controlled roll” of the vehicle with the casualty still inside it…[/quote]

don’t get me wrong, paramedics are amazing people, but they have a knack of doing things like this it would seem - we’ve had an rta where we were trying our hardest to gently prize the dashboard off a casualty’s broken leg without hurting her, only for a paramedic to get bored with the whole procedure and just rive the fucker out, with the cheerful quip: “look, I can move it!”… I had to cover my ears at this point as the lady in question starting screaming like a Banshee (unsurprisingly).

I’ve also seen them ‘miss’ the ambulance doorway with a stretcher as they attempted to load a casualty with suspected neck injuries into the van; they somehow managed to bounce him off the side of the door.

[quote]bullpup wrote:
This particular fire was a multiple family dwelling,( apartment), it did not have any firewalls between units. Upon initial arrival it was engulfed fairly heavy.

The reasoning behind ventilating was to try and keep the fire contained in one section, and not have it spread to other units searching for more oxygen.

I didn’t make the call, I was just doing as I was told.

I made the first cut with the chop saw and the heat coming through the gap was enought to melt the blade guard.

when I was making the last cut the panel fell through, and the fire broke out from there.

The man on the hose nozzle on the roof with me was using the water stream to keep some of the heat off of me and during the process melted the nose cone of the nozzle.

when the roof gave it didn’t fall out from under me, it just sagged at an alarming rate. We were still able to get down with out much harm, but it was scary as hell riding a roof

Bullpup[/quote]
Couple questions, and to qualify myself, been in a VFD for 9 years.

Did you have anyone inside on any kind of attack and did you consider going through side vents or eave vents on the house to gain access into the attic?

I’ve been on several house fires where we gained indirect attic access, enough to flood it, through a vent on the end of the house or by tearing out eave vents or soffit vents. Sounds like y’all got stuck on a hot roof way too soon, someone should have gone in and attacked from below or the side.

I’ve been very lucky in 9 years and have had no close calls or harrowing stories. Never been left by a partner in a burning house, never had the whole roof come down, never fallen through a floor. And frankly don’t want to.

When we are faced with that scenario…row homes with no firestop in the attics we usually ‘trenchcut’ the roof of the next unit to prevent the spread.

[quote]bigflamer wrote:
Hey Robb,

Is there alot of flat roof construction in England?
[/quote]
No, they tend to be pitched covered in roof tiles.

Robb,to answer your question;alot of the newer homes are “lightweight” construction.A good deal of the materials are much stronger than conventional construction,but are extremely vunerable to fire.I went to a “smoke reading” class a couple years ago,and found out that todays home designers/architects only have to guarantee fifteen minutes for occupants to evacuate a fire before possible colapse.

[quote]lawsonsamuels wrote:
bullpup wrote:
This particular fire was a multiple family dwelling,( apartment), it did not have any firewalls between units. Upon initial arrival it was engulfed fairly heavy.

The reasoning behind ventilating was to try and keep the fire contained in one section, and not have it spread to other units searching for more oxygen.

I didn’t make the call, I was just doing as I was told.

I made the first cut with the chop saw and the heat coming through the gap was enought to melt the blade guard.

when I was making the last cut the panel fell through, and the fire broke out from there.

The man on the hose nozzle on the roof with me was using the water stream to keep some of the heat off of me and during the process melted the nose cone of the nozzle.

when the roof gave it didn’t fall out from under me, it just sagged at an alarming rate. We were still able to get down with out much harm, but it was scary as hell riding a roof

Bullpup
Couple questions, and to qualify myself, been in a VFD for 9 years.

Did you have anyone inside on any kind of attack and did you consider going through side vents or eave vents on the house to gain access into the attic?

I’ve been on several house fires where we gained indirect attic access, enough to flood it, through a vent on the end of the house or by tearing out eave vents or soffit vents. Sounds like y’all got stuck on a hot roof way too soon, someone should have gone in and attacked from below or the side.

I’ve been very lucky in 9 years and have had no close calls or harrowing stories. Never been left by a partner in a burning house, never had the whole roof come down, never fallen through a floor. And frankly don’t want to. [/quote]

I was on the second truck in, they had already made a fast attack on the second story kitchen and had it knocked down, they were in the process of ripping the ceiling to fight it in the attic. The oven/stove vent wasn’t sealed properly and it caused the flame to go behind the vent through the cabinets and into the attic.

Bullpup

I loved the line from tonight’s Rescue Me,

Tommy Gavin: [i]Listen honey, I’m way, way, way more bad boy than you’ll ever be able to handle.

So do yourself a favor.

Go blow a drummer.[/i]

[quote]robbiminator wrote:
bigflamer wrote:
Hey Robb,

Is there alot of flat roof construction in England?

No, they tend to be pitched covered in roof tiles.
[/quote]

Tile covered roofs suck – makes it hard to stand on.

I have been a ff for 9yrs and love my job.

As far as it being required to be a medic – that will depend on the city and such. It can be a great plus in many areas for hiring purposes.

Do any of you guys ever go to the World Fire Games?

[quote]firebug9 wrote:
robbiminator wrote:
bigflamer wrote:
Hey Robb,

Is there alot of flat roof construction in England?

No, they tend to be pitched covered in roof tiles.

Tile covered roofs suck – makes it hard to stand on.[/quote]

I inspect homes on my off days and every time I get on a roof for an inspection I want a roof ladder.

I guess I’ve been spoiled :-]

[quote]firebug9 wrote:
Do any of you guys ever go to the World Fire Games?[/quote]

I’ve never been to the World Games, but I have competed twice in the FF Combat Challenge.

[quote]bigflamer wrote:
firebug9 wrote:
Do any of you guys ever go to the World Fire Games?

I’ve never been to the World Games, but I have competed twice in the FF Combat Challenge.[/quote]

I actually started a thread about the 2007 games not too long ago.
It will be in Australia this time.
Any guys here going to compete?
Cool thread by the way.
I have just returned from a skills maintenance weekend and we were actually discussing the American procedure of roof venting. It isn’t something we do here though, esp. as most of the houses in my town are of a single story, timber and iron construction, we usually just use a positive pressure fan.
Do you guys practice Compartment Fire Behaviour Training? As in using short controlled bursts of water to cool the smoke to reduce flashover etc.
The training is becoming a big thing in Australia.
Cheers
Cain

To the OP.
I have to agree with everyone else on here in that it can be the most rewarding and challenging job. Nobody at my station would dream of doing anything else. You will make friends for life and be a special part of a brotherhood that would be hard to find in any other career.
Cheers
Cain

[quote]firebug9 wrote:
As far as it being required to be a medic – that will depend on the city and such. It can be a great plus in many areas for hiring purposes.

Was gonna say the same thing. I’m trying to get into the business myself and from experience, being a medic will generally make the applicant pool alot smaller. I think alot of it depends on if you also WANT to be a medic. Yes you are a FF also but YOU being the medic will be the one running the medical calls.

[quote]firebug9 wrote:

Do any of you guys ever go to the World Fire Games?[/quote]

Yes, I was there last year in Quebec City. We put a team in for 7’s Rugby…great fun.

Cool thread. I’ve been thinking about getting into firefighting for just over 2 yrs. now. Would fit in great with my jobs now as a tennis & fitness instructer. Can’t wait to start reading this thread. Chat with you all soon!

Question, I just turned 30, that’s no biggy of a deal, right?