10/11/09 134 W - + 15 - 11 Vitriol

On Wednesday, Statter911 surfaced the story of a fire prevention demonstration in Washington, DC with live fire that went wrong. One firefighter received burns on his cheek and hands, and was admitted to a burn center. His story includes a complete video of the demonstration, and the footage and story is making the rounds on news and blog sites. On Statter's site, nearly 100 comments have been posted and they represent a range of passionate opinions and perspectives. Some take swings at the department, others at fire officials. Career versus volunteers is lobbed out. Suppression techniques are argued, as are safety practices. And, of course, anonymous versus named posters. It's virulent stuff, and perhaps characteristic of online discussions in the DC/Baltimore area. Such as their Watch Desk forums, which are also quite... colorful.

Colorful is putting it very, very nicely….
Silver - 10/11/09 - 18:40

That was actually an awesome demo of sprinkler, had it gone well.. Honestly these guys were just doing what anyone else probably would have done, but I do agree with some of the posts that extinguishment from a slightly farther distance might have been a better option.
Mike - 10/11/09 - 20:25

That was a great demo. The failure came when the attack team didn’t take into account that: 1. The plastic was on fire, and 2. They put themselves right under the melting/burning plastic. Along with that, the person in charge of sending the hose team in for extinguishment *should have noted that situation and alerted the nozzleman to it in case he didn’t see it himself.

I’m not laying blame at all. But there were those and possibly more lapses in judgment that led to the firefighter getting burned. Add to the attack team’s placement, the safety team wasn’t payning attention enough to see that the attack team was on fire.

Now I know in our line of work, we’re taught to go into harm’s way. But in training, we’re taught techniques and skills that should help us stay safer in those situations. And even in demonstrations such as these, we ALL need to fall back on our training and operate as safely as possible, especially when the situation is “controlled” as in this case.

Comment as you will. This is my opinion.
Duda - 10/12/09 - 15:52

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