Improper Positioning of Staff and Equipment
Occurrence of fire in office building and residential places are a common phenomenon. Firefighting companies often come in during such times to help save lives and prevent further loss of property. Firefighting department is one of crucial divisions in any public administration jurisdiction. It is tasked with the responsibility of fighting fire outbreaks and other life threatening events. However, several fire engine companies have experienced problems prompting researchers to focus on identifying potential solutions on the fire-ground. For instance, discussions have revolved around possible problems such as crew cohesion, proper understanding of tasks and expectations, and having knowledge of what crew members are doing on firefighting scenes. However, this paper focuses on one major problem about staff equipment positioning on the fire incident scene and possible solutions.
Findings and Analysis
Fire engine companies across the world make a dozen positioning errors during firefighting. These errors cover both engine and staff positioning; these are statements by Greg Jakubowski, a fire protection engineer and a licensed safety professional. Currently, Greg serves in the executive level of management at Lingohocken Fire Company in Bucks County, Pa as a chief. According to him, most fire companies place equipment and staff in scenes that exposes both to danger (Jakubowski, 2010). Moreover, improper positioning also poses danger to fire victims and property. For instance, fire engine companies may place themselves in areas that are not ideal for using firefighting equipment. Consequently, staff may not place themselves appropriately. In the instance that a fire fighter does not take into account progression of fire, it is difficult to contain it. For that reason, the rig may start out in an excellent place then later force a person to deploy the deck gun in an inappropriate position. This means that, if the deck gun is not intended to maneuver 360 degrees about the apparatus, there is a big problem.
Improper positioning is a major problem to firefighting companies. Research studies have established that it makes it difficult to reach water supply (Kupietz, 2010). It is a fact that ample water supply and pressure is critical when it comes to fighting fire incidences. Therefore, inadequate supply of water may make it difficult for firefighter to quickly put out fire. In 2015, the federal government reported that insufficient water supply contributed to deaths of two firefighters in Ohio. Moreover, it also makes it difficult for firefighters to deploy proper hose-line to mitigate effects of fire in different circumstances. For that reason, navigating the hose-pipe towards direction of fire is an uphill task exposing fire victims and property to further loss and damage.
Fire may occur in buildings due to unpredictable natural occurrences like earthquakes or electric faults. It is important for firefighters to reach affected building floors. However, improper positioning may make firefighters unable to deploy aerial ladder jacks to get access to such points thereby endangering their lives and those of victims. During firefighting activities, many people take part including onlookers, human right activists, and humanitarian officials among others. If firefighters do not place themselves and equipment appropriately on the scene, staff and other concerned parties are at risk. Furthermore, firefighters can deploy hose-lines that potentially block access points for trucks and rescue people. Transporting injured patients to hospitals is a challenge as emergency rescue people may not access the scene to easily load patients to units of transport. Lastly, firefighters may put headlights that do not adequately illuminate the scene for incoming traffic or rescue activities. Proper lighting allows firefighters to move around the scene with ease and not stumble down or fall over equipment. Consequently, proper positioning of lighting equipment enables firefighting commanders to detect early signs of structural botches. Firefighting professionals opines that the public is increasingly becoming desensitized to emergency lighting because they see much of it on school buses and trash trucks (Kupietz, 2010). For that matter, firefighters should properly light up scenes to make it visible and help the public in distinguishing it from other set of flashing lights.
It is important for fire companies to scale up current happenings especially as they arrive in the scene. For instance, their staff must check whether small fires have the potential to grow or find out whether larger attack lines can be stretched. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that firefighters must find out whether a particular fire is likely to lead to the collapse of an adjacent building. Considerably, fire engine companies must effectively place themselves at the scene to give access and prevent further loss of lives and injuries.
As discussed above, improper positioning at fire scene may be harmful to staff, victims and property. Solutions include; first, the need to connect effectively to fire department connections in buildings having them, for instance, fire assembling points. This ensures that every fire engine arriving at the scene is connected thus making firefighters align and place themselves in such a way that they can gain access to water supply and other critical resources.
Furthermore, people protection on the scene has been a topic that many articles published have discussed. For that matter, to effectively align staff, fire engine chauffeurs must find out where their crews will be operating and to align apparatus in workable angles. Moreover, they must shut off headlights of apparatus and equipment at the scene. This will prevent injury to staff as they will be visible to oncoming drivers.
Lastly, Chauffeurs must increase space for more equipment and people arriving on the scene. For instance, emergency units will have to get in and out of the scene, aerial equipment and light towers will need to get close to critical points on the scene. Researchers opine that allowing more room front and rear sections of a fire building will create turntable point to allow entire face sweeping of buildings on fire (Kupietz, 2010). Fire equipment engineers reiterates that, to place aerial apparatus, the equipment must be able to lower its jacks and so the need to leave an extra space on both sides of the device.
Depending on how fire situation unfolds, it is important for fire engine chauffeurs to give more thought to the positioning process. Significantly, poor positioning is costly as it will hamper the ability of staff and equipment to efficiently work. Moreover, such a situation will create problems at the emergency scene. Therefore, fire engine supervisors and staff should take time to walk through hazard areas and preview how operations are to be handled. Safety is an important aspect that any fire engine company must take into account as it promotes work ethics and ensure employees satisfaction.
Jakubowski G. (2010). Engine Company Positioning Problems and Solutions. Fire Rescue
Magazine. Web. Available from: http://www.firerescuemagazine.com/articles/print/volume-5/issue-3/firefighting-operations/engine-company-positioning-problems-solutions.html
Kupietz K. (2010). Excellence in Fire Leadership and Management Research. International Fire
service Journal of Leadership and Management. Volume 4, Number 2. Retrieved from http://www.ifsjlm.org/sites/default/files/past-edition-pdfs/IFSJLM_Vol4_Num2.pdf