Pressboard “I” Beam’s

This fire occurred in a vacant 3 story attached multiple dwelling.  There were three separate apartments in the building, one per floor.  All three floors were occupied by squatters.  First arriving companies found heavy fire on the first floor in the front room of a three story newly constructed Multiple Dwelling.  

Apparently the owners walked away from the units, leaving nothing behind.  Squatters broke in and brought mattresses and some comforts of home.  Companies stated that, in the fire apartment, there was no other furniture in the apartment other than 1 mattress and 1 couch.

Note the heavy damage from the small to moderate fire load in this apartment.  Note also the firespread into and throughout the second floor supports (thru the sheet-rock ceiling in areas where electrical lighting fixtures and ceiling fans were).  In many areas the pressboard web in the support has burned completely through.  Thankfully, there were no occupants or heavy furniture on any floor as the building was vacant as stated above.

A heavier fire load on the first floor, or just regular amounts of household furniture on the second floor could have let to a catastrophic collapse as units were operating.  Be aware!   If these are going into new construction in your area, note it,  and let responding members have this information as a part of “Critical Dispatch Information”.




More digital radio problems…

Despite the repeated and plentiful problems with digital radios in the fire service, more and more departments are beginning to use them.  Smart, right?

A recent report by the IAFC pinpoints a new hazard that firefighters of all levels should be aware of.  Very simply – high noise has a tendency to disruption in the “audible modulation” (that’s “ability to understand” for the rest of us).  While this may sound obvious, its related attributed directly to the technolgoy in digital radios.

There are alot of implications to this, but most notably is that during “MAYDAY” transmissions or RIT deployments.  A specific finding was that an activated pass-alarm in the area may eliminate the ability to transmit a understandable message.  The take home point is:

  • Firefighters should declare a “MAYDAY” before activating their own PASS alarm
  • RIT teams should silence the downed FF’s PASS alarm ASAP so that nessecary communication can occur.

Recent testing by the Fairfax County FD as well as experience during recent RIT training in the District of Columbia have confirmed these concerns….

More information in these reports:

Spring 2008: “Great Success”

This past spring was extremely exciting for Traditions Training.  Between January and May, 2008 we held 9 seminars and hands-on classes, giving us the oppurtunity to exchange information with over 600 students and traveling as far as central Maine.  Topics included engine and truck operations, rapid intervention and incident command.  This spring also saw the introduction of two new curricula: our 8-hour “Fighting Fires in Residential Buildings” seminar and a hands-on “Firefighter Self-Surival” class that was expanded to 16-hours. We look forward to the Fall and continuing to meet enthusiastic firefighters around the country.

Halligan Anchor Point

Thanks to TT Instructor Capt. Dan Shaw for this illustration of how to use a halligan bar as an inpromtu anchor-point.  Though primarily for emergency bailouts, its a good idea to keep in mind for whatever situation you may need it for.

Starting with the end of a rope having a Figure-8 on a bight, pass the loop of the bight between the blades of the fork.  Bring the running end of the rope around the pick and then make a hitch around the shaft, above the know.  THEN spike the halligan into the floor.  With practice, this can be accomplished very quickly.

  • You are in a emergency bail-out situation.  What other techniques / options do you have for a fast anchor point?
  • What are you carrying in your pockets that could help you get out of a bad situation?
    • Webbing?
    • Commercial bailout kit (Exo, etc?)
    • Just rope?


good ovm work…