April 5, 2010

In the line of duty

On March 30, 2010 we lost a firefighter in the most tragic of ways. In the Line of Duty. Brian Carey had a dream of becoming a full time firefighter and finally that dream came true 2 mos. ago. I never knew him personally but firefighters are a band of brothers and sisters that is unbreakable.

There are always what if's when you fight a fire. The best outcome is that everyone goes home when the fire is out. You always critique and play Monday morning quarterback. Could this have been different? Could that have been prevented? In the case of this fire it was speculated that there were oxygen tanks in the home. Some people are on home O2 for various reasons, COPD, emphysema, bronchitis, vent dependent, realistically it could be one of a variety of disease processes. If that home O2 tank was to blame do you think the fire department should've known about that before the fire even happened? Oxygen is not flammable but rather supports combustion, or, in other words, it just fuels the fire. Oxygen tanks are under pressure, you drop one and the valve gets damaged that tank becomes a missle that will penetrate just about anything in its path.

The number one mantra we have is scene safety. If the scene is not safe you do not enter. Obviously, fire is a different animal but you still need to make sure you're assuring personal safety. Should persons on home oxygen be required to notify the fire department that oxygen tanks are present in the home? Could that have made a difference in this fire? That tank had the potential to launch at any time under the right conditions possibly endangering the public. It's recommended that a sign be placed on the door of the home, but in the event of a blaze will that sign still be there when firefighters arrive? At the very least I believe that Oxygen tanks SHOULD be registered with the fire department, the number of cylinders, the size of the cylinders, and locations within the home. In departments with CADs this information could be at the tips of a dispatcher and s/he could notify responding departments that oxygen tanks are in the home. If CADs are not available it could be stored in binders in the engine or truck. Would you support a law of this nature? If it saved just one life it's worth it. Brian's Bill perhaps?

1 comment:

  1. So sorry to hear the loss of a brave young man, Audrey. It certainly would be worth trying to pass this law.


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