Find six for “Six”

An Education Prompt Honoring Fallen Firefighters

Each anniversary of a fire that killed a firefighter or firefighters there are many well wishes of support for the families and friends. Intermingled are various questions, some subtle, some disrespectfully blunt. They question our tactics, strategies, values and culture. It is good that they should, at least in a manner that is respectful, as firefighting is evolving, with or without us. What I and others have found interesting is that the more time passes with each anniversary, the more the social majority belittle tradition and training, with very little substance. These folks will buy the memorial sticker or wear the memorial t-shirt, but press them on getting down and dirty, training on what was learned from the the tragedy and all you hear are crickets. So much for being “combat ready”.

“Find six for Six” is a simple education piece that you can use to “honor” the six fallen Worcester firefighters. Simply put, a tool where you could improve yourself while remembering the sacrifice made by the fallen. Clean and simple, you can print it out as is or alter it to fit your response area.

Task: Find six (6) vacant/abandoned/unoccupied structures in your immediate response area that you might not have been aware of. If needed, enlarge your search to your box area, battalion or mutual aid area.

1. Address:
Special Notes:

2. Address:
Special Notes:

3. Address:
Special Notes:

4. Address:
Special Notes:

5. Address:
Special Notes:

6. Address:
Special Notes:

Proudly display that memorial sticker on your leather, but remember, it’s the knowledge underneath that pays the greatest tribute.

Note: I had reservations about posting this but was quickly encouraged by friends in the Worcester area to create, post and share. I purposefully used a photo other than one from Worcester (Riverdale, MD vacant building fire, courtesy PGFEMS PIO Mark Brady) to reinforce that no area is without its vacant buildings. Before December is over, I’ll add the ones I find in Prince George’s County.

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  • Dave LeBlanc says:

    This is not a big city problem, or even a little city problem.

    Knowledge of your first due is critical to be able to “make the right moves” when you get there. Knowledge of which buildings may kill you for no good reason is even more critical.

    I can think of no better way to honor the brothers from Worcester than to go out and make sure what happened to them doesn’t happen to you.

    Great drill idea….

  • Dave LeBlanc says:

    I have always felt that we owe it to the brothers that have made the ultimate sacrafice to learn from their experience………

  • Art Goodrich says:

    Dave is correct in his assessments.
    We are a small rural village. We have 2 abandoned buildings that we are in the process of pushing for demolition, several vacant houses that are for sale that I am in the process of getting a final count on and we have 2 farms in our district that have houses that are no longer inhabited and are scheduled for demolition.
    Here, our firefighters are trained in offensive and defensive tactics, know when to employ either and also clearly understand that they will not take unnecessary risks for an abandoned, vacant or unoccupied building.
    Yes; they have been taught the lessons of Worcester; among others.

  • Ron Ayotte says:

    My FD has taken an proactive approach, working with the building department, and code enforcement using the building marking system that was created after the W6 fire.

    Currently, we have 15 buildings marked for firefighter safety. 5 are no interior operations whatsoever, due to severe structural problems; the balance are marked for limited interior operations.

    All marked buildings are entered in the CAD system, so we know in advance what we will be dealing with.

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Backstep Firefighter

“To provide a point of critical thought about certain acts and events in the fire service while incorporating behavioral education and commentary in a referenced format.”
Burton Clark
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