Posted By Near Miss Team/ Wednesday, January 9, 2019 / Print
What was the initial size-up?
Heavy fire conditions on arrival. Confirmed entrapments, jumpers, civilians burned and injured.
Our engine company responded with multiple units to a working apartment fire with confirmed entrapments and civilians jumping from balconies. Upon arrival, our assignment was to conduct a primary search of three apartments closest to the bulk of the fire. While our three-member crew was searching the top floor apartment, one crew member fell through a weakened floor caused by heavy fire conditions. I was on the second story balcony having just completed a search of the second story apartment when I heard the "Mayday." I immediately went back into the second story apartment to see my driver halfway through the "burned out" floor of the second-floor apartment. I assisted him out of the hole and to the balcony where the "activated" RIT team met us. My driver was escorted onto the ground ladder where an awaiting med unit met him. It was approximately four minutes from the time the "Mayday" was called until my driver was safely removed from the hazard zone.
Describe the lessons learned at this event. What recommendations do you have to prevent a similar occurrence?
Our minimum staffing is three firefighters per apparatus; minimum staffing should be four firefighters on all engine and truck companies. Rescue companies should have minimum staffing of five. The span of control should be limited during high-risk incidents. More divisions should have been created. Incident commanders should consider using assistants or incident command technicians (ICTs) to help with accountability and resources. There should be a RIT/RIC team for every division (i.e., Alpha division and Charlie division). Quality portable radios and experienced dispatchers should be assigned to handle "Maydays." Dispatchers should know what resources are needed. Radio traffic was excessive; Training on radio discipline is recommended. Officers need quality talent and trainable firefighters.
What changes are being implemented due to this event?
New radios were issued and critique performed. Too early for drastic changes.
Describe the leading practices you noticed at this incident:
Responders were task saturated at this high-risk low-frequency incident. Entrapments, jumpers, collapses, civilians hurt, and a Mayday overwhelmed firefighters. The span of control was too large.
Which of the following occurred, if any:
Date the event occurred:
Approximate time the event occurred:
Location of the emergency/ event:
Was a 360-degree size-up performed?
Which strategic mode was initially implemented?
Were you responding to a known a life hazard (i.e. CPR in progress, known rescue, critical patient entrapment, etc.)?
How many life hazards were there?
Confirmed entrapments, jumpers, civilians burned and injured. Heavy fire and smoke conditions, potential collapse conditions.
List any other info that was important for situational awareness. What were key indicators and factors to consider?
Heavy fire and smoke conditions, numerous civilians needed rescue, responders were task saturated.
Not enough resources
Structural or physical conditions of the building
Were unsafe act(s) performed?
Resources and Weather
Which of the following resources were on scene when the event took place?
Approximate number of personnel per unit:
Ambulance (Medic, Squad)
Did the weather/environmental conditions impact operations or the event?
Were there civilian injuries or fatalities?
How many civilians had major injuries?
What was the nature of their injuries?
Burns, broken bones.
What caused the injuries?
Jumping from balconies because of a fast-moving fire.
Were there any firefighter injuries?
How many firefighters with injuries?
If injured, did the individual:
Get transported to the ED/Hospital
Broken ankle caused by falling through the floor while performing a primary search with heavy fire and smoke conditions.
Was work loss time incurred because of the event?
If so, estimate the number of days lost?
Was there substantial property/equipment damage or other cost?
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