Today we remember Lancaster, MA Firefighter Martin “Marty” McNamara, who was killed in the Line Of Duty 11-29-2003.
“Firefighter McNamara and members of his fire department responded to the scene of a structure fire involving a 2-1/2-story wood balloon frame residential building that contained multiple apartments. Two additional 1-1/2-story buildings were attached to the rear of the main building. Firefighters found a working fire. Firefighter McNamara was assigned as a part of a crew that advanced an attack line into the basement of the structure. After a series of explosions, the firefighters were forced to leave the building. Once outside, a headcount was completed and Firefighter McNamara was discovered missing. Firefighters immediately reentered the basement; they could hear the chirp of Firefighter McNamara’s PASS device but could not reach him due to fire conditions. After the fire was controlled, a rescue team entered the structure and located the body of Firefighter McNamara. The cause of death was listed as smoke and soot inhalation. Firefighter McNamara also suffered facial burns prior to his death. Three other firefighters were injured in the fire; including a deputy chief who suffered severe smoke inhalation during an attempt to rescue Firefighter McNamara. The cause of the fire was identified as the overheating of a power strip and extension cord in the basement.”
The Training topic from this LODD is PPV. “Many believe that a gasoline-powered blower should be in place during the initial stages of fire attack. While there have been studies that demonstrate some benefits of this tactic, we believe that there are many potential downsides that must be considered before starting the fan. Like the Bresnan distributor, high-expansion foam, and the piercing nozzle, positive pressure is a tool that has a time and a place on the fireground. It must, however, be used with due consideration of some critical factors. “
According to John Mittendorf, in his book Truck Company Operations, you may not want to use positive pressure:
-With balloon frame construction
-With attic fires
-When the location of the fire is unknown
-During vent-enter-search operations
-During search and rescue
Recommendations from NIOSH Include:
-Fire departments should develop and implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) addressing emergency scene operations, including specific procedures for basement fires.
– Fire departments should ensure that ventilation is closely coordinated with the fire attack.
– Fire departments should ensure that a Rapid Intervention Team is in place before conditions become unsafe.
– Fire departments should develop and coordinate pre-incident planning protocols with mutual aid departments.
– Fire departments should implement joint training on response protocols with mutual aid departments.
– 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.
Please, don’t let Martin’s Death be in Vain, Read the Reports and Drills, and more importantly do something about it. Go out and drill with the PPV, and discuss with your crews when to use and when not to use it.
NIOSH Report HERE
Never in Vain Drill HERE
Article from Billy G HERE