Firehouse

JAN 2017

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Request information at Firehouse.com e-inquiry Firefighter Dan Healy said of the event, "I've often wondered if, when the need arises, I would remember or have the wherewithal to call the mayday. But after the fuel was completely consumed, I looked up to see if everyone was mov- ing, and immediately called the mayday, which just goes to show that doing it over and over in a training environment pays off. I didn't have to think about it; it was a 'muscle memory' reaction. It just happened the way it was supposed to." One critical point worth looking at is the response of this department (and yours) to a reported inside gas leak. Some departments send a full first-alarm struc- tural fire response—the right answer. It's a GAS leak and gas EXPLODES, so why wouldn't a department send a full first alarm? Any answers other than "we should" are not considering the incident potential for the civilians and firefighters alike. Imagine if the AFC sent a single engine without a meter and none of the members were geared up. This would be an entirely different story. The crews were extremely lucky to have survived this event. Even the per- sonnel who were on the exterior were lucky that the building did not completely explode, with a debris field, injuring them all. Remember, exterior debris from the explosion is what took the life of FDNY Battalion Chief Fahy in the Bronx, as pre- viously noted. Additional lessons from the crew: • Don't be complacent—always wear your PPE and make sure it is in excellent con- dition before the next run. • Conduct a size-up and then trust your gas-detection equipment and understand your readings; adjust tactics and PPE/ SCBA levels accordingly. • Establish a water supply plan initially. Don't wait until the explosion to get set up at the hydrant; be ready to flow water. • Follow established priorities and conduct a risk/benefit analysis. Address the life hazard and then work to minimize the potential for property loss. • A tragic event like this impacts much more than just the on-scene firefighters. Family, friends and the community are affected. You can't provide and care for your family or protect the citizens who rely on you if you don't use your PPE and training to survive. Final thoughts Next month we'll review some suggested fire department responses to gas-related emergencies, including incidents with a report of a gas leak, but no fire or explosion, as well as incidents where an explosion has already occurred. n Our sincere thanks to the officers and mem- bers of the Alpha Fire Company, as well as Fire Chief Chris Morgret and President Steve Laughman. Additional thanks to Deputy Chief Justin Myers as well as Firefighters Michael Cahill, Ray Boyd, Jay Ingle and Dan Healy. For More Close Calls firehouse.com/10251389 January 2017 l Firehouse l 29

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