Page 142

On-Scene Operations It is known that the variables of fire growth dynamics combined with property and life risk determine the fire ground tasks that must be accomplished to diminish the loss. These tasks are interrelated, but can be separated into two basic types-fire flow and life safety. Fire flow tasks are those related to getting water on the fire. Life safety tasks are those related to finding trapped victims and removing them from the building. Fire flow tasks can be accomplished with handheld hoses or master streams (nozzles usually attached to the engine or ladder). Each 1-3/4-inch hose requires a minimum of two Firefighters. The hose can flow 150 gallons per minute (gpm), so when these lines are used, the fire flow is 75 gpm per Firefighter. The 2-1/2-inch hose can flow 250 gpm and requires a minimum of two or three Firefighters, yielding a flow of 75 to 125 gpm per Firefighter. Master streams can flow from 500 to 2,000 gpm each. They take relatively fewer Firefighters to operate because they are fixed to the apparatus. The decision to use hand lines or master streams depends upon the stage of fire and threat to life safety. If the fire is in a preflashover stage, Firefighters can make an offensive fire attack into the building with hand lines. The lines are used to attack the fire and shield trapped victims until they can be removed from the building. If the fire is in its post-flashover stage and the fire has extended beyond the capacity or mobility of handheld hoses—or the structural damage is a threat to the Firefighters’ life safety— then the structure is declared lost and master streams are employed to keep the fire from advancing to surrounding buildings. The life-safety tasks are based upon the number of occupants, their location, their status (awake vs sleeping) and their ability to take self-preserving action. For example, ambulatory adults need less assistance than non-ambulatory adults. The elderly and small children always require more assistance. SFFR performs aggressive offensive attacks whenever possible. The objectives being first, to put a hose line between the victims and the fire; and second, to contain the fire to the room of origin. If an offensive attack is not achievable, SFFR uses transitional or defensive strategies. When establishing on-scene procedures, a determination of whether the fire ground is operating under an offensive, transitional or defensive strategy must be made. A defensive strategy is one that allows for no interior fire attack; therefore, no rescue of trapped victims is attempted. All firefighting is performed from the outside of the structure with the goal of containing the fire to the initial structure involved. Conversely, the offensive strategy is an aggressive interior fire attack with the top priority being rescue. The offensive strategy requires that fire companies arrive faster than in the

140

2016 Standards of Cover Manual  
2016 Standards of Cover Manual