When the Lord was creating Firefighters, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, “Your doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And the Lord said “Have you read the specification on this person?
Firefighters have to be able to go for hours fighting fires or tending to a person that the usual every day person would never touch, while putting in the back of their mind the circumstances. They have to be able to move at a second’s notice and not think twice of what they are about to do, no matter what danger. They have to be in top physical condition at all times, running on half-eaten meals, and they must have six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said, “Six pairs of hands…no way.”
“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems, ” said the Lord, “it’s the three pairs of eyes a Firefighter has to have.”
That’s on the standard model? ” asked the angel.
The Lord nodded. ” One pair that sees through the fire and where they and their fellow Firefighters should fight the fire next. Another pair here in the side of the head to see their fellow Firefighters and keep them safe. And another pair of eyes in the front so that they can look for the victims caught in the fire that need their help.”
“Lord” said the angel, touching his sleeve, ” Rest and work on this tomorrow.”
“I can’t, said the Lord, “I already have a model that can carry a 250 pound man down a flight of stairs and to safety from a burning building, and can feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck.”
The angel circled the model of the Firefighter very slowly, “Can it think?”
“You bet,” said the Lord. It can tell you the elements of a hundred fires; and can recite procedures in their sleep that are needed to care for a person until they reach the hospital. And all the while they have to keep their wits about themselves. This Firefighter also has phenomenal personal control. They can deal with a scene full of pain and hurt, coaxing a child’s mother into letting go of the child so that they can care for the child in need. And still they rarely get the recognition for a job well done from anybody, other than from fellow Firefighters.”
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Firefighter. “There’s a leak”, she pronounced.
“Lord, it’s a tear.”
“What’s the tear for?” asked the angel.
“It’s a tear from bottled-up emotions for fallen comrades. A tear for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American Flag. It’s a tear for all the pain and suffering they have encountered. And it’s a tear for their commitment to caring for and saving lives of their fellow man!”
“What a wonderful feature Lord, you’re a genius” said the angel.
The Lord looked somber and said “I didn’t put it there.”
Out of Air Emergency The Last Chance Rescue Filter
You are in a dark, heat, smoke filled room, and you are taking your last breath. You think to yourself “now what?”. Your mind quickly goes to a check list of things to do. During this check list, your family comes to mind. “Is this it?” “I’m never going to see them again”. The nervousness and anxiety is starting to overcome your thoughts. “Is it really time for this?”, “I never thought I would use this”. As you grab your pouch, you take a deep breath (your last from your SCBA supply) and tear open the bag and pull out your Last Chance Rescue Filter and exchange your regulator for it. Now you have given yourself a second chance, the last chance.
The Last Chance Rescue Filter is a device designed to give firefighters a last chance effort to escape a smoke filled environment when their air supply runs outs. You may tell yourself that you will never allow yourself to run out of air. I’m sure the past LODD involving out of air emergencies would have loved the chance to use this device in time of need. I personally teach on Out of Air Emergencies and a Firefighter Confidence and Survival course through Fire and Rescue Concepts. But that does not mean that I will never be in a situation where I will run out of air. I personally carry a Last Chance Rescue Filter with me while I’m on duty. I even carry one while I perform live fire training, whether it is an acquired structure or a burn building, because you never know when you may need it. I’d rather have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.
Where did the Last Chance Rescue Filter come from?
Eric George, a firefighter in Connecticut, invented a lifesaving concept for firefighters trapped in an out of air emergency. He licensed his technology to Brookdale (a DuPont company in Canada) to bring his idea to market. This was the birth of the” EVAC Pro”. The EVAC Pro was a big hit and highly looked at as a premier escape device. But It was discovered that Brookdale’s packaging design on the “Evac Pro” and related products was fatally flawed, which resulted in a total product recall; this was the end of Brookdale and the “Evac pro”. So if you currently have an Evac Pro, I suggest that you remove it from service immediately. With a huge void left in firefighter survival, Essex recognized the importance of keeping Eric George’s concept alive by giving firefighters a new plan for out of air emergencies. Essex Industries acquired Brookdale’s assets from DuPont along with the license to manufacture Eric George’s patented technology. Essex’s engineering team designed the Last Chance Rescue Filter® using materials that stand up to the rigors of fighting fires and successfully meet the EN403 standard through third party testing. Essex’s teamed up with Yale University to conduct a live burn in Hamden, CT to prove out the efficacy of the Last Chance and prove that there’s enough O2 in a structural fire to sustain life. Each day, firefighters are committing themselves to becoming leaders in the field by utilizing proven technology and solidifying their plan for out of air emergencies.
Is the Last Chance Rescue Filter compatible with my SCBA?
Currently the Last Chance Rescue Filter is compatible with the following
Contaminated air is drawn through the Last Chance Rescue Filters three main layers of protection:
• N95 pleated filter (Captures solid matter, soot and particulates)
• Activated Carbon Filter (Scrubs or absorbs the toxic gases)
• Manganese Dioxide/Copper Oxide (hopkalite) (Converts CO to Carbon Dioxide)
The makers of the Last Chance Rescue Filter certify their product to filter out the harmful particles and smoke for 15 minutes. This does not mean that you have an extra 15 minutes to allow you to stay in and work longer. But this means that the time needed for your escape or the incoming RIT team is there. Understand that the Last Chance Rescue Filter does not give you more 02. It only filters out the harmful particles in the atmosphere for short amount of time. Individuals wishing to use this product need to undergo training with the training unit in a non-smoke environment before In-service status the Last Chance Rescue Filter. The Last Chance Rescue Filter is encased in a vacuumed sealed moisture barrier and has a shelf life of 5 and ½ years from the date of manufacture. There is also a protective cover designed to carry and protect the filter. The protective cover can be attached to a SCBA waist belt or a bail out belt of some kind. Firefighters must understand that they need to take care of this piece of equipment just like any other piece used for life safety. I suggest that firefighters do a daily and after run check of the device to make sure the filter and or vacuum sealed moisture barrier has been damaged in any way shape or form. Once the filter has been used once or the moisture barrier has been breached, then the used of the filter is now void. Remember the main killer of the EVAC Pro was the fact that moisture was allowed to enter into the filter before use. The makers of the Last Chance Rescue Filter will replace any filter that is used in any firefighter escape in an actual incident.
When would you use it?
• A firefighter becomes lost and disoriented and is running out of air. There is not enough time to get out.
• With the Last Chance Rescue Filter® , he would be able to take the last breath of supplied air, clip in the Last Chance Rescue Filter® , have 15 minutes to get out and/or continue to update RIT for rescue.
• Also, his mask remains ON, ready for RIT to replace the filter with supplied air versus RIT having to replace the firefighters mask.
• A firefighter’s air pack becomes trapped and he can’t get out of the jam.
• Only in the extreme case should a firefighter remove an air pack. Without the air pack, the firefighter has no PASS device, transfill , or buddy breathing hose.
• By donning the Last Chance Rescue Filter® the firefighter can escape without the air pack!
• A firefighter experiences a sudden SCBA failure and suddenly you’re out of air.
• Don the Last Chance Rescue Filter® and get out!
• RIT team is called in for multiple downed firefighters and there is not enough supplied air.
• Carry additional Last Chance Rescue Filter® in RIT bags for this circumstance.
I invite every firefighter to watch to video below and let us know if you have any question.
You can purchase the Last Chance Rescue Filter on our online store or contact Eric Stroud at email@example.com
We also have incorporated the Last Chance Rescue Filter with our Firefighter Confidence and Survival Training
So you want to be a truckie, or even a nozzleman? Assuming these roles takes tremendous knowledge of the responsibilities and expectations to be performed which should not be taken lightly. These positions will make or break a good offensive fire attack.
These positions are the workhouses of the fireground and one does not perform or work efficiently without the other. For the moment, let's try to put aside our egos and focus upon the task at hand of getting the wet stuff on the red stuff. Following two large scale incidents in my first due area in recent months, I have had time to reflect upon some of our successes and our shortcomings of two identical fires involving mutli-family occupancies or large scale residences.
I started out my career assigned to several active engine companies and had some great officers and firefighters I have worked with throughout my tenure. I became a truckie after making Captain and enjoy the challenges of truck & rescue work. But in my 30+ years within the fire service, I have grown frustrated at the reality of having lots of nozzlemen and hose jockeys but few ceiling pullers and the lack of coordination between the two functions.
While true, chief and line officers are expected to direct the symphony of crews working to contain a rapidly progressing fire, many firefighters are under the fallacy tactics training is solely for white & gold shields and doesn't apply to the tailboard firefighter. But the reality is, these positions (nozzleman and celing pullers) will work without direct supervision of the line officer. This results in the IC relying upon the decisions of a firefighter to decide upon the appropriate hoseline and to accurately select the placement of a critical position to defend areas of non-fire involvement. During particularly large scale fires where the fire is "running the attic", several key tactics must occur in a timely fashion or our brothers & sisters will inevitably be overrun and will be losing the battle to stop the forward progression of a rapidly developing fire.
To understand fire travel is to fully grasp the concept of fluid travel and smoke reading. Fire is a fluid that will always follow the path of least resistance. Therefore, as the saying goes…" where there is smoke there is fire", and if gone unchecked or reversed the fire will eventually show itself sometimes more than we expect. So, our hooks and hoses must possess the ability to predict the stage of the fire, the level of heat production, and where it is headed based upon reading the color of smoke, the intensity, and the rate it is leaving the structure will impact the success of our attack.
Let's face it… we have all been there during the heat of the engagement… lots of screaming. noise, confusion, darkness, heat, stress… you name it. We open up the ceiling to get the nozzle into to position within the cock-loft or attic only to see the distinguishable signs of heavy fire rolling across the structural members (truss) above our heads. What should this indicate to the nozzleman and truck crews? And what immediate actions should be taken when these cues are indicated?
1. Observe the direction of the fire. Where is coming from and where is it going? Look at the amount of fire, heavy, moderate, or light?
2. Radio back to IC/Command the fire has passed your attack team. The IC continually needs this feedback in order to re-assess his strategy/tactics, his situation and resource status. He/she may prioritize the incident needs based upon your feedback or request/re-direct additional resources.
3. You are standing in a potential collapse area! Get out from underneath such areas! Because the fire is continually attacking the structural members, we lose valuable seconds of integrity trying to breach walls and ceiling only for them to come crashing down on our personnel. Lightweight wood and steel bar joist floors and roofs don't wait for you. They are coming down whether you are ready or not.
4. Re-Position your attack.
Why try to hold an ineffective position when the the fire is burning behind you? Truckies…Make inspection holes along the ceiling until you see no fire in the attic before deciding where to take up your new posture. when you pull the ceiling and see heavy smoke banking down on you, note the color of the smoke. Heavy black smoke indicates "Black Fire" This means you have high heat and are close to the fire which will be in your area in a matter of seconds! Moderate smoke provides some time to open up large areas and allows time to get hoselines in place. Make sure the nozzleman has the tools he/she needs to mount the offensive. Nozzlemen and Hose Jockies…Bring the attic ladder for goodness sake, don't rely on the truck company to bring it, they enough to do already! After all that IS where the fire is located. Have the hooks open up large areas in multiple rooms and hallway where the nozzleman can hit the fire as it advances from the floor. This is critical if using a large caliber stream such as a 2 1/2". Ever tried manipulating a 2 1/2" in an smaller room or attic space? The larger sized lines will not make the turns in a residence and should anticipate working from the floor and in a hallway or open space.
5. Find the seat of the fire and extinguish it! Often times, we forget that while trying to cut the fire off it isn't going to go out until someone cut's the head off the dragon! Get a line on the seat /origin of the fire and things will improve dramatically.
6. Maintain your egress!!! While engaging the forward progression of the fire, we forget the fire we passed may actually be cutting off our ability to evacuate. Get a back-up line in place, knock-down any fire impinging upon your escape route, or order the evacuation of all crews of an impending collapse or flashover of the area. If you are operating in the hot zone always have two or more ways to escape.
7. Listen to the radio! If you hear things being said such as "flowing the aerial", "Master Stream", "Defensive", "Roof Sagging", "partial collapse"… Don't hesitate to get you and your personnel to the hell out of a potentially catastrophic event.
8. Practice "Pro-actionarism" Pro-Actionarism is the act of being pro-active, taking initiative, taking action. Recognize when situations are going bad and make the necessary steps to mitigate them or make the decision to abandon the effort.