Yesterday was Halloween and I jinxed myself with my last post. I had hoped that like with Hurricane Sandy, we may be spared.
It wasn’t too bad (as bad as it could have been or as bad as others had it) but in our line of work, even one call is too many.
I’m riding “the car” as the acting Battalion for the North side and, that’s never good news for our Brothers and Sisters of C-Shift.
Our first notable call was for a possible house fire. I was first in with the Chief’s buggy to find smoke showing from the attic (sides Delta and Bravo) of a single story, wood framed, family dwelling. I gave the size up, marked it a working fire and established Command.
Engine #2 was close behind, pulled past and was assigned Division 1 (offensive attack).
I had been met by the occupants, stating that the fire was in the kitchen but extending through the walls / ceiling. I relayed that info to Captain Graham (E2) as his crew made the stretch and I made a 360 degree walk around. My initial size-up held.
Engine #5 was next in and would lay a line from E2 to our closest hydrant just a block away. Ladder #2 took the address and was assigned “search” and “ventilation” and set portable ladders to sides Delta and Bravo at the gable vents.
Next in was E3 who made the stretch into the attic for extension, while Medic 2 established RIC (Rapid Intervention Crew). Medic Unit 101 was assigned as the Medical Division and Medic #5 was attached to interior crews.
Our EMS supervisor, RS1; was assigned Safety and took position on side Charlie. Engine #1 was held in staging while the South Battalion assisted me. All members on scene did a great job of bringing the fire under control very quickly.
This fire was small but had gotten into the walls and made its way to the attic.
The boys did a great job of getting above it, cutting it off and extinguishing it.
Walls had to be pulled both interior and exterior as well as some ceiling. Everything was wet down, checked and double checked with the TIC (Thermal Imaging Camera).
Crews had 3 lines off (all 1 3/4″). One on the first floor, another to the attic and the third on the exterior where they had to pull siding etc near the point of origin / extension.
Again, quick work and a job well done by all members on scene!
After this job, the calls continued to roll in. Just as we sat down for dinner, we were toned out for a commercial alarm a nursing home. This is one of our “regular” runs, 99% of the time a false alarm or system malfunction.
Dispatch called radioed me while en route to advise that employees had called 911 to confirm smoke from one of the rooms….. GEESH!
I marked another “working fire” before the first unit even arrived. I’d rather have em on the road and not need them than need them and have to wait. Especially at a nursing home.
As it turned out, most of the “smoke” was from where employees had discharged several dry chemical extinguishers. The incident was easily handled by 2 Engines and a Ladder so the assignment was downgraded.
The evening continued with MVAs (Motor Vehicle Accidents), Automated Alarms and Medical runs. Thankfully, we had no major losses and all our members went home this morning. All considered it was a good night.
There was both good and bad news out of Detroit.
The good news is that they didn’t see an increase in fires this year. The bad news is that they still had 93 fires over the 3 days they consider Halloween.
Rhett also has some raw video of fires in Detroit over on Fire Critic.com … CLICK HERE .
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Members in New York, New Jersey and many other States were still going door to door today looking for folks in need of assistance.
They found more than that. The death toll from Hurricane Sandy has now grown to over 80 across 9 states… 38 of those were in New York.
Gas mains are broken and burning, buildings are unstable and collapsing. Raw sewage is draining into water systems (the few remaining anyway). Electrical systems remain under water and cluttered with debris. Like I’ve said before, the situation my look better for the public, simply because the winds have died and the water receded; but for us the conditions are just as hazardous.
Members were working to save people they’ve never met while their own families and possessions were in danger.
Several members ended up fighting fires in their own homes and neighborhoods. Sandy was DEVASTATING to say the least.
These Brothers and Sisters represented our profession well. A true display of Tradition, Pride, Honor and Respect.
Now, they need our help … a show of BROTHERHOOD. How will these Departments rebuild? How long will it take? Where will the money come from? I want you to consider donating through the National Firefighters Endowment (NFE).
The NFE has set up a Relief Fund to provide immediate assistance. They have already received requests for an Engine and Ambulance and the NFE is close to filling the order.
If you can donate .. anything, use the link below. If your Department was affected by Sandy and needs immediate assistance for equipment replacement, use the link below. If you’re a company or business that would like to partner with us in our efforts, also use the link below.
Share and Post it to Face Book, Twitter and whatever Social Media you may use. Help get the word out and these Brothers and Sisters the equipment they need. ANYTHING you can do … ANYTHING you can send, we’ll take. If you’re not sure how to help or what you can do, call Shane Parkins, President of NFE @ (916) 572-1502.
TOGETHER, we can and will make a difference. BROTHERHOOD will prevail !
Stay SAFE and in House!