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Fire Fighter Safety Quiz

Fire Fighter Safety Quiz

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Fire Fighter Safety Quiz

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  1. Fire Fighter Safety Quiz By: Gary Edwards

  2. QUESTION • To minimize risk of injury to fire fighters when fighting structure fires, fire departments should:

  3. Conduct pre-incident planning • Ensure the incident commander conducts a risk-versus-gain analysis • Make sure that all fire fighters are equipped with a portable radio that can talk to the incident commander • All of the above

  4. SUMMARY • On February 18, 2004, a 40-year-old male fire fighter (the victim) was fatally injured in a restaurant structure fire. The victim, providing mutual aid, had been searching for the seat of the fire with two volunteer fire fighters from another department. When one of these fire fighters lost the seal on his SCBA face piece, the fire fighter immediately abandoned the nozzle position and retreated out of the closest door along with his backup partner. In the black smoke and zero visibility, the fire fighters were unaware that the victim was still inside the structure. Soon after, the Incident Commander (IC) ordered an emergency evacuation because of an imminent roof collapse, and an air horn signal was sounded. Personnel accounting indicated that a missing fire fighter (the victim) was still inside the building when the roof partially collapsed. After several search attempts, the victim was found in a face-down position with his mask and a thermal imaging camera cable entangled in a chair. His facemask was dislodged and not over his mouth. He was pronounced dead on scene. The coroner listed cause of death as smoke inhalation. An independent toxicology report listed the victim’s carbon monoxide level at 51% saturation. There was no notable trauma.

  5. ANSWER • NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: • conduct pre-incident planning and inspections to facilitate development of a safe fire ground strategy • review, revise where appropriate, implement, and enforce written standard operating guidelines (SOGs) that specifically address: incident command (IC) duties, emergency evacuation procedures, personnel accountability, rapid intervention teams (RIT) and mutual aid operations on the fireground • train on the SOGs, the incident command system, and lost fire fighter procedures with mutual aid departments to establish interagency knowledge of equipment, procedures, and capabilities

  6. ANSWER • ensure that the IC maintains the role of directing fireground operations for the duration of the incident or until the command role is formally passed to another individual • ensure that the IC conducts a risk-versus-gain analysis prior to committing fire fighters to the interior and continually assesses risk versus gain throughout the operations • consider appointing a separate, but systematically integrated incident safety officer

  7. ANSWER • ensure that all fire fighters are equipped with radios capable of communicating with the IC • ensure personnel accountability reports (PAR) are conducted in an efficient, organized manner and results are reported directly to the IC • revise and enforce policies and guidelines regarding activation of personal alert safety systems (PASS) devices • ensure that fire fighters train with thermal imaging cameras (TIC) and they are aware of their proper use and limitations • ensure that individual fire fighters are trained and aware of the hazards of exposure to carbon monoxide and other toxic fire gases

  8. QUESTION 2 • Fire fighters that are exposed to electrical hazards during wildland fire operations should keep a minimal distance from downed power lines equal to:

  9. The span of two poles • The length of their fire apparatus • 100 feet • A 50 foot section of hose

  10. SUMMARY: • Among the various hazards fire fighters face are electrical hazards during wildland fire suppression activities. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 10 fire fighters died from contact with electricity during wildland fires between 1980 and 1999 (this figure does not include lightning strikes) [NFPA 2001]. As part of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program, NIOSH investigated two separate incidents in 1999 in which fire fighters died or were seriously injured from exposures to electricity while fighting wildland fires [NIOSH 1999a,b].

  11. ANSWER • Fire departments should do the following: • Keep fire fighters a minimum distance away from downed power lines until the line is de-energized. This minimum distance should equal the span between two poles. • Ensure that the Incident Commander conveys strategic decisions related to power line location to all suppression crews on the fireground and continually reevaluates fire conditions. • Establish, implement, and enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) that address the safety of fire fighters when they work near downed power lines or energized electrical equipment. For example, assign one of the fireground personnel to serve as a spotter to ensure that the location of the downed line is communicated to all fireground personnel. • Do not apply solid-stream water applications on or around energized, downed power lines or equipment.

  12. ANSWER • Fire departments should do the following: • Ensure that protective shields, barriers, or alerting techniques are used to protect fire fighters from electrical hazards and energized areas. For example, rope off the energized area. • Train fire fighters in safety-related work practices when working around electrical energy. For example, treat all downed power lines as energized and make fire fighters aware of hazards related to ground gradients. • Ensure that fire fighters are equipped with the proper personal protective equipment (Nomex® clothing compliant with NFPA standard 1500 [NFPA 1997], leather boots, leather gloves, etc.) and that it is maintained in good condition. • Ensure that rubber gloves and dielectric overshoes and tools (insulated sticks and cable cutters) for handling energized equipment are used by properly trained and qualified personnel.

  13. ANSWER • Fire fighters should do the following: • Assume all power lines are energized and call the power provider to de-energize the line(s). • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment for the task at hand—Nomex® clothing compliant with NFPA standard 1500, rubber gloves, and dielectric overshoes and tools (insulated sticks and cable cutters). • Do not stand or work in areas of dense smoke. Dense smoke can obscure energized electrical lines or equipment and can become charged and conduct electrical current.

  14. QUESTION • When conducting extinguishment efforts for residential basement fires it is most important to:

  15. Have total lighting in place before entering the basement • Cut a hole in the floor above the fire for ventilation • Secure a detailed floor plan that includes the basement • Ensure that ventilation is closely coordinated with fire attack

  16. SUMMARY • November 29, 2003, a 31-year-old male fire fighter (the victim) died while fighting a residential basement fire. The victim and another fire fighter were in the basement applying water to the fire on the ceiling. A Deputy Chief in the basement reported to I.C. that the fire was knocked down and requested ventilation. A positive pressure ventilation fan (PPV) was started at the front door as the basement windows were vented. Suddenly, thick black smoke filled the entire basement area as the hoseline became covered by debris falling from shelving in the basement. The Deputy Chief called for a Mayday as he was running out of air just after he told the crew to exit the basement. He was assisted from the structure, fell unconscious, and was rushed to a hospital. The victim’s rescue, however, was hampered by the heightened fire conditions. The victim was recovered approximately 1 ½ hours later and transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. CAUSE OF DEATH • The medical examiner reported the cause of death as smoke and soot inhalation

  17. ANSWER • NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: • develop and implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) addressing emergency scene operations, including specific procedures for basement fires • ensure that ventilation is closely coordinated with the fire attack • ensure that a Rapid Intervention Team is in place before conditions become unsafe • develop and coordinate pre-incident planning protocols with mutual aid departments • implement joint training on response protocols with mutual aid departments

  18. ANSWER • Additionally, • Municipalities should establish one central dispatch center to coordinate and communicate activities involving units from multiple jurisdictions • Municipalities should ensure that companies responding to mutual aid incidents are equipped with mobile and portable communications equipment that are capable of handling the volume of radio traffic and allow communications between all responding companies within their jurisdiction