7-31-15 Journal Entry

Fire Behavior Notes

There are 4 Phases of Managing a Fire Response

  1. Detect
  2. Define
  3. Assess
  4. Favorably Influence the Situation

Air Tack/Flowpath Management can be done with a door, curtain, a blower, or a stream

Nothing good happens after 500F. Just ask your PPE!!

Conditioning fire Combustibles with a Enhanced Water Stream Lowers Heat Growth on the Access path to the fire compartment

Source: Unknown


HOW DO YOU WANT THEM TREATED? 1, 2, 3 & 4.- Re-Post from TSL

A Re-Post from The Secret List…


For those of you who are old-er and are original or “senior” members of The Secret List starting back in the early 90’s (we started The Secret List about a week before Al Gore invented the internet) – you may recall that we used to write about

“NTS: Non Thinking Syndrome.” 

Sometimes we simply don’t think. Sometimes we get comfortable, all of us, it’s human nature. At the firehouse, for example, officers don’t always supervise or correct our actions, or simply nothing “happens” or goes wrong- so we keep doing it “that” way.

The more we do things wrong, the more they seem right. 

Until something goes wrong.
Personally I’ve been human since the 50’s and a fire officer since the late 70’s. I am very well aware that this can happen. It has happened to me many, many times and still can and has.  Sometimes its a simple as always acting in the same way that  we would want our family treated…pretend it’s “your” house, kid, loved one. Whoever matters to you.

How do you want them treated? Lead? Trained? Operating at a fire?

Training – and lots of it – usually fixes it. 



+ TRAINING in a serious DISCIPLINED Environment. Disciplined as in taking the stuff seriously at all level.

You have to hope that “leadership” is focused on what’s going on within-and outside of their FD.

Many get it. 

Some don’t. 

Some have “walls” around their FD and feel they have nothing to learn from whatever anyone else or any other FD is doing. Maybe doing it better. Remember the pre-June 18, 2007, Charleston SC FD? Or the Hartford, CT firefighting hood issue earlier this year. Sometimes it takes a crisis for any of us to look outside the walls and find out how other FD’s “do it” …and in some cases, have been doing it better for years.

So in the past few days, there have been some pretty amazing examples of what we hope is NTS…vs actual intentional means of operating this way. Nothing “went wrong” so to speak…so we get comfortable

. All’s well. Sorta. 

Try this-imagine your kid is a Firefighter in these recent events…how would you want them treated or to behave…if it was your kid?

# 1: 


For example, here is a so called mobile training van. Seriously. Lets fill the back of a van up and light the sh!t on fire. Google NFPA 1403.  Would you stick your kid in there?




Find the above interesting? Learn how some Firefighters were seriously burned in a similar way:


More than a few firefighters have burned to death when training fails to follow existing standards-standards that were developed because more than a few firefighters have burned to death in training.

…Nothing went wrong “this time” above-but it did here:



Or remember MILFORD, MI:




With all the Firefighters suffering from cancer, one would hope the message is getting out there… (fyi-I don’t care how many fires anyone goes to, put a f*cking SCBA on with your gear….just ask some of the former 230 lb firefighters…the ones who are now rotting away at 100 lbs due to firefighting cancer…)

Interior firefighting? Absolutely.

Just WEAR what you are issued-and just don’t breathe that sh!t. Would you allow your kid to breathe that crap?



…Nothing went wrong “this time” above-but it did here:



WTF. Seriously. WTF.

This guy wearing the SCBA but no other PPE is a firefighter from “out of that area” who is lending a helping hand. I definitely “get” staffing issues and I “get” wanting to help….but seriously? The guy in those pictures is not a member of that department or a mutual aid department responding to assist. He is from another fire department who was in town as a visitor. That Firefighter felt the need to jump into action. Read more of the facts below from the Lake Placid FD.





…Nothing went wrong “this time” above-yet-but it did here:





And then there is this incident in New Mexico. A FF (who has since resigned) repeatedly asks if a young shooting victim is breathing, but when the caller gets annoyed with the questions and snaps at the firefighter using “bad language”, the Firefighter tells her she’s on her own and hangs up on her.

Customer service.

Here is the 911 call.


HERE is more:



It definitely went wrong on this one. When you have your “worst day”–who do you want answering 9-1-1? What if it was your kid needing rescue?

Every once in a while we all personally, professionally or organizationally need a “reset” – a “refocus” so complacency and NTS doesn’t creep up and repeat predictable history.

Sometimes it’s a simple as acting in the same way we would want our family treated…be it your “kid” the firefighter going thru training…your kid the firefighter operating without gear…your kid the firefighter not using an scba and breathing sh!t…or your kid who needs EMS-now.

How do you want them treated? 

What would be your response to the parents in any of the above cases-as far as “why did you allow this to happen?” 

It’s a reasonable question with very simple answers.

Take care. Be Careful. Pass It On.


The Secret List 7-29-2015-0900 Hours


7-29-15 Run Down

WTF!?! Too Hot for Turnout Gear?! HERE

A Good Fire Vid HERE

Leave this job better than you found it HERE


Enthusiastic HERE

Reliable HERE

Fire Jealousy and Keyboard Heroes HERE

Am i my Brothers Keeper? HERE

Comfort is the Enemy HERE

Hie “em High, Hit “em Out HERE

Getting the Jump HERE

The Greatest Gift HERE


Where to look when textbooks are wrong HERE

T-Shirt Management HERE

What’s the Takeaway? HERE

Thanks for taking the Time, Ethan Bansek

7-29-15 Journal Entry

7 Tips for Type 2 Buildings

  1. Beware of the Fuel Load
  2. Know the Difference between Noncombustible & Fire-Resistive
    1. Noncombustible- Does NOT add to the Fuel Load
    2. Fire-Restive- Building Resists Fire for a Specific Length of Time
  3. Steel Fails
  4. A Structure is Only as Strong as it’s Weakest Link
  5. Get off the Roof
  6. There are 4 Factors that Determines How Fast Steel Fails
    1. The Fires Temperature
    2. The Load Stresses
    3. The Steels Thickness
    4. The Fires Size
  7. Protected Steel is often unprotected

Source: Vincent Dunn

A Really good Fire Video

I Don’t post a whole lot of fire videos, for a variety of reasons. However, this is one that came across my desk today.

It shows a well involved attic fire, and Crews making an aggressive interior attack (After a quick dash from the outside).

A Couple of things i like in the video:

  • There is  a ground ladder up on the A Side
  • EVERYONE is in FULL GEAR!!! (Even Chiefs (White Helmets)
  • The Crews gave a quick hit then proceeded to go interior
  • Crews are moving with a purpose!

A Great Video!

Give it a Watch, Give your on-scene Run Down, and then Play the Scenario out with your crews!

7-28-15 Journal Entry

Tactical Tips for Garden Apartment Fires 

When running a fire in a garden apartment fire, anticipate the following:

  • Your pre-connected attack line may come up short have a plan to extend it
  • Fires in kitchens and or bathrooms may extend via common pipe chases. Get to the floor above and check for extension early
  • If extension is found on the floor above you need to check the attic/cockloft ASAP
  • On all working fires in garden apartments it is imperative you floor below is checked for drop down fire.
  • When possible save the front for the ladder truck/tower. Hose stretches ladders do not.

Source: David Polikoff HERE

7-26-15 Run Down

Required Reading!!!!!! The Untouchables HERE

An OUTSTANDING PPT!!!! Make a Good Size-up HERE

***Note: If you cannot download this File for whatever reason please email me (ebansek@gmail.com) and i will get a copy to you. Dropbox is really weird sometimes***

This week’s Tactical Fire Problem HERE

Firefighter Training Podcast- Enhanced Water Streams using Novacool- An Interview with Bill Oke HERE

60 Second Safety- Ladder Training HERE

The Sunday Preach- Do you Push it in, or pull it out? HERE

Firefighters need Tactical Training on TICs HERE

2015 Ohio Fire and EMS Expo- Columbus, Ohio

Following is the 2015 Class List for the Ohio Fire and EMS Expo in Columbus Ohio. September 23-25, 2015.

Make sure to track me down and say Hi.



Thursday September 24th, 2015

8:30-10 Am

Poisoned-Today’s Toxic Fireground | Fire CE

Learn, in detail, what gives firefighters cancer, what makes them sick on the fireground and what causes sudden cardiac arrest days after smoke exposure. Come and find out why it is more important than ever to wear SCBAs and take other prevention measures to protect todays firefighters from the most toxic fire environments the fire service has ever seen.

Chief Robert Fling Dix Hills Fire Department Long Island, NY

90 Tactical Tips in 90 Minutes | Fire CE

This presentation provides 90 strategic and tactical level tips based off years of experience, over 60 published articles, and instruction throughout the world. Each street level tip is presented through case studies with pictures and videos to provide information that can be directly applied to your next extrication incident. This high tempo presentation covers the entire extrication process from preparation to termination and the simple, cost effective tips can be applied at any department.

Les Baker City of Charleston Fire Department Charleston, SC

School Bus Extraction | Fire CE

Attendees will be instructed on school bus characteristics, how to gain access and how to systematically remove injured patients from the bus. The types of buses, construction and their weaknesses will be addressed. Stabilization of buses in an upright, side and roof presentation will be explained. Battery location and fuel systems will be discussed. Initial access can be problematic depending on the damage to the bus. Entry through the front and rear doors may be impossible. Techniques will be shown to gain access through windows, doors, sidewalls, floors and roofs. Dealing with entrapment, seat removal and patient immobilization will be discussed and compared to actual runs. Throughout the presentation, students will be given proven tips to deal with and plan for the media, spectator and security issues surrounding such high-profile events.

Deputy Chief Paul Hasenmeier Goshen Township Fire and EMS Loveland, OH

Can They Refuse? | EMS CE

Daily, EMS agencies are challenged to determine if a patient is able or capable of refusing treatment or transport. Patient refusals can be precarious for EMS, and could pose liability to agencies if not managed appropriately. The objective of this presentation is to provide responders with the tools necessary to determine the patient’s capacity to make informed decisions regarding their care. We will learn subtle clues that will help us determine if the patient is truly capable. The need to educate patients on the potential consequences of their decisions will be discussed. We will address the necessity of concise and detailed documentation to limit liability. Medical control, mental health and even law enforcement can assist EMS with managing those patients that refusing transport; we’ll discuss the need to develop those partnerships. The ultimate goal is to assure that all patients receive medical treatment when needed.

Chief Todd Owens Reading Fire Department Reading, OH

Geriatric Trauma | EMS CE

Jeffrey Caterino, MD Emergency Medicine Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine, The Ohio State University College of Medicine

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

KEYNOTE: Leadership and Teamwork

Chief Bobby Halton, Ret. Editor in Chief Fire Engineering Magazine Collinsville, OK

1 – 2:30 p.m.

Open Mic Discussion

Chief Bobby Halton, Ret. Editor in Chief Fire Engineering Magazine Collinsville, OK •

Resuscitation Controversies and Pitfalls – A Panel Discussion | EMS CE

Ashish Panchal, MD Emergency Medicine Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine, The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Eric Cortez, MD Associate Medical Director Columbus Division of Fire Chief

Jim Davis Columbus Division of Fire

2:45 – 4:15 p.m.

Firefighting Principles and Practices – “What happened to the basics?” | Fire CE

Firefighting can be a very dynamic profession. With all the latest in technologies and test studies concerning fires, it is easy to see the confusion firefighters might have about what to do in different situations. One very important area of concern not talked about is getting back to the basics of job knowledge and capabilities. As the fire service has more and easier access to information available it seems sometimes initial basic training or follow-up knowledge is forgotten along the way. This presentation will illustrate good, principled firefighting practices and look at engine and truck operations and how they apply especially in bread and butter type structures and regular fire ground operations. This presentation will review operations concerning different types and kinds of structures found in all communities big or small, and how combined engine and truck operations and their principles can work for a successful outcome. The class will also study videos of actual fires and will go over things like size-up and initial concerns and firefighter safety.

Assistant Chief Jeff Shupe City of North Myrtle Beach Fire Dept. North Myrtle Beach, SC

We Win with Water!! The Engine Companies Guide to Winning | Fire CE

This program is designed for anyone from command staff to a line firefighter. The class will cover essential aspects of Engine Company Operations, such as size up, job assignments, and managing the initial attack line. Additional topics to be discussed are overcoming difficult stretches, using the reach of your stream inside structures and options for limited manpower situations. The class will cover drills which can be used to become proficient in engine company operations. The students shall be exposed to aspects of go and no go situations. When we do go the students will be given the critical knowledge of what it takes to win the fight. Starting with positioning of the apparatus, size up, line selection. A special emphasis will be placed on the pace of the attack, flowing water while advancing and using the reach of your stream inside the structure. Also overcoming difficult stretches and dealing with knee wall fires will be discussed. The fire service continues to have close calls and LODD’S due to rapid fire growth. With the modern fire environment we must throw more water than BTU’S being produced. Whether it’s interior or a transitional attack, bottom line… WATER WINS!!

Lieutenant Steve Robertson Columbus Division of Fire Columbus, OH

Tips, Tricks and Tactics for the Engine Company | Fire CE

This presentation is designed to give Company Officers and Firefighters skills that they can use to increase their chance of success on the fire ground with all emphasis on the First Due Engine. We will look at things the engine can do before the fire to increase their chances of a successful first line stretch and quick knock down of the fire. We will discuss the “little things” the engine can do before the fire that will pay big dividends on the fire ground. The information presented is based my 30 years experience riding on 2,3, and 4 man engine companies the last (18) as an Officer. We will discuss Preconnected Hand lines, Hand tool assignments for the first due engine, Developing an Emergency Pump Operator Skill Set so when thing go bad our Pump Operators are prepared to step up and Strategy/Tactics for the First Due Engine using a series of videos of actual incidents. The Strategy/Tactics portion of the class is designed to be very interactive with the audience members.

Lieutenant Tom Sitz Painesville Township Fire Depart. Painesville, OH • Room TBA

Trauma Assessment | EMS CE

This is a thorough head to toe assessment. It includes traps to look out for when assessing the trauma patient and prioritizing to produce the best possible outcomes.

David Evans, MD General Surgery Assistant Professor, Surgery, The Ohio State University College of Medicine

ECG Rhythm Interpretation: The Process of Elimination | EMS CE

As EMS providers, ECG rhythm interpretation is one of the most critical skills that we exercise on a regular basis in the field, and patient outcomes are often directly tied to our ability to interpret a Lead II ECG rhythm quickly and accurately. But as we all know, ECG interpretation can be a complex blend of both art and science–every ECG strip is different, and not every waveform is clearly visible in every strip. Consequently, there is an element of subjectivity in every attempt we make to identify a rhythm. This presentation will introduce you to a simple and easyto-apply system for quickly identifying ECG rhythms using a process of elimination. I developed this system over the past ten years of teaching ECG interpretation to paramedic students at the University of Cincinnati. All categories of rhythms (sinus, atrial, ventricular, and junctional) will be covered, with a special section at the end on how to instantly and correctly identify any AV block using this method.

Peter R. Obermark, Ph.D University of Cincinnati

Friday September 25th, 2015

8:30 – 10 a.m.

Did You Ever Stop to Think and Forgot to Get Started Again? 11 Ways to Enhance Your Thinking Acumen | Fire CE

Good thinkers are always in demand. Good thinkers solve problems, they never lack ideas that can build an organization, and they always have hope for a better future. If you change your thinking, you can change your life. Do you want to master the process of good thinking? Do you want to be a better thinker tomorrow than you are today? We will show you 11 ways to engage in an ongoing process that enhances your thinking acumen.

Chief Mark Martin Perry Township Fire Department Massillon, OH

Tornado – What’s your plan? | Fire CE

Get first responders thinking about a plan for when disaster strikes their first due in the form of a tornado touchdown. Talk about some collapse awareness issues i.e. building construction types that are commonly affected by wind events, and what the hazards are with each. Discuss actions for first due companies, windshield surveys/recon/report intel to command. Discuss first due actions for Incident Commanders, eyes on the whole scene/ unified command/ call for resources (how and where from), accountability.

Firefighter Craig Mignogno Columbus Division of Fire Columbus, OH

“Surviving The Truck Company Ops” Assignment | Fire CE

This is an interactive class where I will discuss the strategic and tactical side of the operations along with assignments, duties, responsibilities, and SOPs/SOGs. I will also talk about the mental and physical demands on a firefighter who’s assigned to the tasks of a truck company. Along with that, the reason why simple tasks are forgotten about at structure fires will be discussed. The pride and honor side of the truck company will also be addressed. This class is designed for members who range from career to volunteer, large to small, has/doesn’t have a truck, or anyone who operates as a truck from the engine or ambulance. No matter what your organization has or doesn’t have, we have a DUTY to execute functions that fall under a “truck company’s operation!”

Firefighter EJ Mascaro The City of Charleston Fire Dept. Charleston, SC

Evaluation of the Patient after Taser Deployment | Fire CE

An entertaining review of the function and design of TASER as well as historical review of documented injuries, and Deaths to develop a rational approach to evaluation of these patients.

Rob Lowe, MD Board Member of COTS, President EMS Committee of the American College of Emergency Physicians

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.

Dealing With the Difficult Employee or Are They Just Different? | Fire CE

Organizations are made up of all kinds of individuals. Some of those individuals are a pleasure to work with and others drive us to the brink. What is it that makes that employee so difficult? We will look at some of the different behaviors displayed by employees and strategies to deal with these employees.

Chief Mark Martin Perry Township Fire Department Massillon, OH

“The Firehouse NCO” | Fire CE

Many people in the fire service try to draw parallels between the military and firefighting. They often compare military officers to fire officers, when in fact there is a closer correlation between Non-Commissioned Officers and fire officers. From working their way up through the ranks, to being on the front lines leading small teams the similarities are numerous. Non-Commissioned Officers are the backbone of the military and are taught to lead from the front, an attitude that would serve well for many fire officers. This class will look at military leadership and preparation and bridge the gap to the fire service.

Firefighter Charles Swank Washington Township Fire Department Dublin, OH

Thinking Outside the Box with Capnography | EMS CE

This workshop will help take your patient assessment skills to a whole new level. Including invasive and non-invasive monitoring, this class is geared towards the caregiver who is looking for challenge beyond the standard status quo curriculum that is too often behind the leading edge of patient care. As a caregiver who thinks outside of the box with capnography, you will learn to think counterintuitively. You will question conventional methods of assessment and discover the hidden power capnography has to offer. Discussion will include when and how to apply the technology with your assessment and incorporate a whole new view on patient treatment and outcome. Several case studies will be provided and critical thinking skills will be required. A major paradigm shift in patient care will be evident. Thinking outside of the box with capnography is the key to taking your patient assessment skills to the next level and beyond.

Jon Seiverth, AAS, NREMT-P City of Perrysburg Fire Division

1 – 2:30 p.m.

Normalization of Deviance – How to Overcome Complacency | Fire CE

This course will focus on the phenomenon known as the “Normalization of Deviance” and how we as a fire service are surrounded by it at all times. This topic is similar to situational awareness but highlights all aspects of complacency on and off of the fire ground. There will be a focus on organizational learning and leadership as well as strengthening our personal leadership qualities to navigate through the “Drift into Failure” process. This discussion will not be merely a theory or thought laden class. We will focus on the “How To” as we learn to become more self aware of what the drift looks like and learning how to avoid, overcome, and battle this very observable course of actions to help prevent firefighter injuries and deaths.

Lieutenant John Dixon Bergen County Fire Academy Wantage, NJ

“ISFSI Principles of Modern Fire Attack – SLICE-RS” | Fire CE

This session is an introductory, abbreviated version of the full 8-hour “Principles of Modern Fire Attack – SLICERS” course developed by the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) and currently being delivered across the country as part of a Federal AFG grant to educate the fire service on modern fire dynamics research and tactical application. Topics include modern fuel energy release, flow path, water application options, VEIS, incident case studies, and summaries of the groundbreaking research projects conducted by UL, NIST, and the ISFSI. Cultural challenges and implementation of modern tactical options in your department will be discussed, leaving students with a road map to further training and implementation.

Lieutenant Brad French Dayton Fire Department Dayton, OH

Drawn by Fire: A Decade of Fired Up ‘Toons! | Fire CE

Paul Combs has been creating fire service editorial cartoons for over a decade and has the stories, successes, failures, and backlash scars to show for it! You will get an inside look at Paul’s creative process and see what makes one of his zany cartoons come to life. Paul will also show a selection of work that has made a difference in his career and share the cartoons that have evoked the strongest reactions – the good and the bad. What’s more, you will be encouraged and motivated to find your own voice to make a positive difference in the fire service by exploring your own tools (skills).

Firefighter Paul Combs Bryan Fire Department Bryan, OH

ODPS – High School Fire and EMS Training Program Panel Discussion | Fire CE

This panel discussion will review the secondary public safety core curriculum for firefighting and EMS training programs.

Doug Orahood, Fire/Testing Education Coordinator, Ohio Department of Public Safety

Linda Wilson-Mirarchi, PhD, EMS Education Coordinator, Ohio Department of Public

Safety Eric Landversicht, Ohio Department of Education

Child Abuse: From Discovery to Prosecution | EMS CE

Child abuse affects everyone. It occurs all neighborhoods and all socioeconomic classes. Every EMS provider will be exposed to abuse in some form during their career. This session will inform the learner of the 4 primary types of child abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, and neglect. Physical and behavioral signs and symptoms of abuse will be discussed. Also covered will be reporting requirements for EMS and other health care providers, as well as tips to testifying in abuse cases, if subpoenaed.

Kenny Hoffman RN, BSN, CEN, EMT-P EMS Coordinator, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus, OH

2:45 – 4:15 p.m.

Leadership Exemplified – How to Lead Ourselves So We May Lead Others | Fire CE

This course is designed to help define and identify true leadership. The goal is to recognize characteristics and traits that everyone can utilize in their professional and personal lives. Through group discussions and real life situations the students will evaluate their own set of core values and sharpen leadership qualities that they already possess to become effective leaders. Learning to lead ourselves so that we may lead others.

Lieutenant John Dixon Bergen County Fire Academy Wantage, NJ

Modern Rapid Decision Making | Fire CE

This is an essential presentation of modern decision making models for every Firefighter, Company Officer and Fire Chief. This class will provide necessary tools used to develop an effective scene approach including; size-up, personnel risk assessment, and an “Incident Algorithm”. This vital information will identify the right strategy and tactics needed to successfully implement a universal Incident Action Plan. Topics Covered: Size-up models, Modern Fire Attack, S.L.I.C.E. R.S. vs. RECEO VS, Decision Making Algorithm, Fire Scenario Presentations

Captain Rob Cloud Prairie Township Fire Department Columbus, OH • Room TBA

Hunter Rescue | Fire CE

This lecture discusses the scenarios found when dealing with sick or injured hunters who are stuck in their tree stand. The class will talk about how to find hunters in distress and equipment that they use, safety precautions when dealing with hunting equipment and types of medical and trauma injuries that hunter can have when they are in distress. The lecture also covers how to safely gain access to the hunter and different rope rescue systems that have been tested and proven effective in the rescue arena.

Curtis Kyer, Lieutenant, EMT-P St. Clairsville, Ohio, Cumberland Trail Fire District #4 Assistant Fire/EMS Coordinator Belmont College

R.C. Fellows, Firefighter, EMT-P Pleasant Valley Fire District Fire/EMS Instructor Belmont College

Make Sure to attend this great event.

Ohio Fire Expo Website HERE

Follow Them on Facebook HERE & Twitter HERE

Thanks for Reading, Ethan Bansek

Remembering John Nance LODD Columbus, Ohio 7-25-1987

Lt. John Nance, Columbus Division of Fire.  Killed July 25, 1987 while fighting a fire in the Mithoff Building at 151 N. High St.
Lt. John Nance, Columbus Division of Fire. Killed July 25, 1987 while fighting a fire in the Mithoff Building at 151 N. High St.

Today we remember the Line of Duty Death of John Nance in Columbus, Ohio 7-25-1987

On Saturday July 25, 1987 (3-Unit),F.F. John Nance was the Acting Officer on Engine No. 3. An alarm was reported at the Mithoff Building located at 151 N. High St. in downtown Columbus, OH. At 10:40 Assistant Chief Mills upgraded the assignment to a 2nd alarm. The Companies were fighting the fire with heavy smoke conditions. Firefighter Nance fell into the burning basement thought a hole burnt into the store floor. Ladders and ropes were lowered into the floor opening and many other rescue attempts were made to save John W. Nance. All proved unsuccessful. This was determined an arson fire and John’s death was ruled to be a murder.

From John’s Death comes the “Nance Drill” (See Below Story and Links)

Excerpt from “Firefighter Rescue and Survival” By: Ray Hoff and Bob Kolomay Pg: 195-198

“Firefighter rescue from a lower grade, confined area, collapse voids, where basement situation can be one of the most difficult rescue efforts to perform. As was revealed in a firefighter fatality instant in Columbus, Ohio involving fire for you John Nance, the difficulty of raising the unconscious weight of a firefighter (approximately 200 to 300 pounds) vertically is extremely difficult and dangerous to both victim and rescuers. The following case study provided humbling experience that awakens the fire service to the need for improved training firefighter rescue and survival.


Having been a firefighter for the Columbus (OH) for the department for more than 27 years, John Nance, was 51 years of age at the time and was also planning on retiring during the early months 1988. But on July 25, 1987, those plans changed forever. The 8:00 p.m. start of a 24-hour shift started as any routine shift with normally started. Station #2, when Nance was assigned, housed 16 firefighters who are assigned to Engine #2, Engine #3, Ladder #1, and Rescue #1. According to the Saturday night tradition, the cook was given a day off, and it was declared “pizza night!” Dinner arrived around 9:30 p.m., which was later than normal due to a volleyball game. At 10:10 p.m. the tones dispatched Station #2 companies to an old building downtown called the Mithoff Building at 151 North High Street. An arsonist had spread a flammable liquid in the basement and ignited a fire. John Nance, the acting lieutenant on Engine #3, along with driver Marvin Howard and firefighters Tim Cave and Don Weldon departed for the fire scene. 


Companies arrived within two minutes and saw smoke coming out of the ground floor of the four-story, 11,500 ft building. As the command post was set in the front of the fire building, the first arriving Engine forced open the glass door and advanced a hose line. As Nance positioned his company in the rear, he then reported heavy smoke coming from the first floor shoe store. As Engine #3s line was charged, Nance, Cave, and Weldon geared up to enter the rear storage room of the shoe store to search for the fire. Following Nance and Engine #3s crew were Ladder #2 and Engine #2, now totaling 10 firefighters in all. 


Within about 11 minutes the IC had requested a standby second alarm to fill the staging area with additional equipment and personnel. As the interior companies were having difficulty in locating the fire and the fire conditions were worsening, the IC then upgraded to a second alarm response. Battalion Chief Jerry Lindsay responded on the second alarm and took command of the rear sector. He noticed that the smoke was becoming thicker and was from floor to ceiling. The heavy smoke conditions and the size of the building hampered the interior companies. The firefighters in the front had poor visibility–less than the 3 ft with hand–held flashlights. SCBA cylinders now started to run low, and the heat could be felt through the floor indicating it to be a basement fire. Battalion Chief Lindsay had noted during his size–up that the fire conditions were “ominous,” giving him a very uncomfortable feeling based on his past experiences with basement fires.


Although the engine company in the front of building had located a stairway into the basement of the building, the companies in the rear of the building above the shoe store could not find anyway into the basement. Feeling heat coming up through the floor and have been used up much of their SCBA air, Nance and his crew left the building and refilled their air. Chief Lindsey stated he saw Nance and his crew start to enter the building for the second time. Lindsey stated that, “I started to talk to John, I said I wanted him to take a rope with him. I wanted him to tie off a rope, a lifeline, and take it in with him. “I remember him saying, “Can’t we just follow the hoseline in?” I replied, “No, I want you to take a rope.” Nance followed the Chiefs orders. Shortly after that, Chief Lindsay ordered several other firefighters to take power saws into the building to cut the basement floor for ventilation and to open a vantage point so as to put water on the fire. No one knows how John Nance fell into the shoe store basement, but fire department officials felt he was searching for an area to cut the floor when he fell into a section of weekend floor about 70 ft. from the back door entrance. Firefighter Wilson from Engine #10 crawled in from the front of the shoe store and had proceeded through an interior door that led into the storage room and had also fallen into a hole grabbing for any possible handhold as he went down. The heat in the hole was intense with heavy smoke and an orange glow could be seen as his legs would be burned causing him to desperately pull himself to safety. As he pulled himself out, he heard Nance screaming for help. 


Wilson had noted that the hole was about 12 ft deep. Wilson stated, “I answered him (John) and then I radioed that we had a man in the basement yelling for help.” Communications became very difficult after Wilson transmitted his request for help three times. Companies in the flower shop next to the shoe store did not realized the basement below have been divided into two separate rooms thereby making it making accessibility to Nance impossible. By this time, Wilson‘s air had begun to run out.


At this point Tim Cave left his hoseline and came to the hole with the light. According to Cave, “I found the hole and my arm went down. I asked John if he could see my light. He replied in a very calm manner that he could see it, like he was just standing there waiting for me to get him out of there.” At this point, a very important lesson in firefighter rescue was learned as firefighter Cave extended his hand to grasp the hand of trapped firefighter Nance. Cave asked Nance ”Can you reach my hand?” Cave noticed that as Nance reached up to grab his hand, he must have been standing on some stock because the basement was deep. Attempting to pull Nance out, Cave realized that he was slipping into the same hole. At that point Cave told Nance, “I can’t pull you out.” Nance calmly replied, “Ok, give me my hand back.”


Inside the building things became confused as the fire conditions became increasingly worse and the other firefighters learned that a firefighter was trapped. Rescue attempts by other firefighters who had reached the whole them commenced. The first strategy was to run a hoseline to provide protection and cooling for Nance, but the hose would not reach and had to be extended. Next, after finding the rope that Nance brought into the building, the rescuers decided to lower it into the whole to pull Nance out. Once Nance grabbed the rope, with the help of three rescuers he was pulled up to within 3 ft. of the whole, but then slipped, falling back into the basement. Realizing the amount of weight that had to be hoisted up, an additional call for help around the hole was made. A second rope rescue was then attempted by tying a bowline loop in the line to give Nance a better grip on the rope. Once the rope was lowered, Nance tied two more additional knots in the rope himself. However, even with two additional firefighters on the rope, the rescue attempt still failed as Nance had fallen off the rope when he was only about halfway up.


Nance was becoming exhausted and low on SCBA air. The suggestion to send a ladder into the basement through the hole was announced. Nance was in full agreement with this suggestion as many ladders were moved into the area of the hole. One of the ladders was lowered into the hole only to find that the hole was too small to allow a firefighter to fit through it with the ladder in place. Once the ladder was pulled out of the hole, rescuers worked desperately to enlarge the hole. In the meantime, the fire conditions were quickly worsening throughout the building as well as around the hole. The heat coming from the hole is becoming more intense, and Nance was running out of air, as several firefighters heard him say, “I need air.” 


While the hole was being opened up and the ladder was being positioned back into the hole, and air bottle was lowered into the basement. Nance then started to climb up to the hole. Unfortunately, he proceeded up the underside of the ladder which resulted in him striking his head several times on the floor joists. As a rescuer reached in and around the ladder while fighting the extreme heat venting out of the hole, he tried to pull Nance around to make it through the whole. After repeated efforts, Nance suddenly fell again to the floor. Heat and smoke levels around the whole we’re becoming intolerable and some visible fire was apparent. Firefighter Wiley attempted another rescue effort by entering the hole, but the hole was still not large enough for him to fit through. After entering the hole, the hole was enlarged again. Entering the hole again, and taking the hoseline with attempting to knock fire back as he descended, he found an unconscious Nance  at the bottom of the ladder. Wiley fought back the fire and grabbed Nance with one hand dragging him with the idea of trying to lift him up the ladder. The heat conditions, the spread of fire, and Nance’s weight would not allow Wiley to rescue him from the basement.


Totally exhausted and almost out of SCBA air, Wiley had to get out and allow another rescuer a chance. Firefighter Brining attempted the same type of rescue. Once in the basement, he discovered that Nance’s low air SCBA alarm had quit ringing and that he could not find him in the heavy smoke. Brining also had to leave the basement for the same reasons, still without Nance. At this point, Battalion Chief Lindsay approved one last interior attempt for a rescue. However, fire was showing out of the upper floors and the fire conditions had severely changed.


Consequently, all personnel were then ordered out of the building. The fire had gone to the four alarms and was finally contained 5:07 a.m.  the next day. Nance’s body was removed from the building Sunday afternoon. The Franklin County corners office determine the John Nance died of asphyxiation with a Carbon Monoxide level of 64.7%, whereas 6% is enough to cause death. We cannot say for sure what the outcome would have been if the rescuers had been aware of the Handcuff Knot rescue, but perhaps John Nance may still have been able to retire in 1988 as he originally planned.”
Pain of that Terrible Night Remains for Firefighters

The Murder of John Nance

Training Days- John Nance Drill

What Happened to John Nance?

Clock Ticking in 28-Year-old Fatal Arson Case HERE

Nance Drill  never_in_vain_0725_154

The Murder of FF John Nance PPT

Firefighter Survival and Rescue PPT Sec09_FFRescue

Reading this information is NOT ENOUGH, Please go out and do the Nance Drill and do some RIT evolution’s today, that is the ONLY way we can truly honor John Nance

Thanks for Taking the Time, Ethan Bansek


Remembering Bridgeport, CT 7/24/10- Double LODD

Remembering Bridgeport, CT 7/24/10- Double LODD

Today we Remember the double LODD of Michael Baik and Steven Velasquez in the City of Bridgeport, CT on 7-24-2010. Do yourself a Favor and watch the video below and read the reports. ALL YOU CAN DO IS BETTER YOURSELF!!!!!!


Much to be leaned from this, as well as all LODD’s!


Thanks, Ethan Bansek

7-24-15 Journal Entry

First Due Hazmat Considerations

  • Dentists / Doctors– Radioactive Materials & Oxygen
  • Photolabs– Nitrocellouse
  • Pool Stores– Chlorine and Other Chemicals
  • Auto Stores– Flammable Liquids and Corrosive Materials
  • Hardware Stores– Pesticides & Fertilizers
  • AC Stores– Refrigerants
  • Dry Cleaner– Solvents & Corrosives
  • Drug Stores– A Witches Brew of Chemicals and Hazards
  • Plumbing Company– Flammable Liquids, Propane & Acetylene

*Information Taken from “Fireground Strategies” By: Anthony Avillo

USFA releases new report on Civilian Fire Fatalities in Residential Buildings (2011-2013)

Finding include:

• Thermal burns and smoke inhalation were the primary symptoms leading to death, accounting for 90 percent of all fatalities in residential fires.
• Bedrooms, at 50 percent, were the leading specific location where civilian fire fatalities occurred in residential buildings
• The time period from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. accounted for 52 percent of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings. This period also accounted for 49 percent of fatal fires in residential buildings.
• At the time of their deaths, 36 percent of fire victims in residential buildings were trying to escape; an additional 33 percent were sleeping.
• “Other unintentional, careless” actions (15 percent) and “smoking” (14 percent) were the leading reported causes of fatal fires in residential buildings.
• Males accounted for 58 percent of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings; females accounted for 42 percent of fire fatalities.
• Adults aged 50 to 69 accounted for 36 percent of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings.
• Children less than 10 years old accounted for 11 percent of civilian fire fatalities in residential buildings.

  1. What Does this mean for our search’s????
  2. What does this say for VES Operations???

The Intelligent Search HERE


Take a Read HERE.

Some Interesting Stuff!!

Thanks, Ethan Bansek

7-22-15 Journal Entry

Moving an Injured Firefighter as an Interior Crew

Note: This is not as a RIT Team, this for an interior crew who came upon the down firefighter

ABCD Method

  • Airway

-Check for an air supply on the downed firefighter, If there is no air supply, pull hood over regulator and go to step “B”

  • Belly Strap

-Loosen the Belly Strap and Do a Waist strap Conversion

  • Chest Strap

-Tighten up the Chest Strap (If there is one)

  • Drag

Drag Victim out of Building. Use the Drag Rescue Device if there is one.