Mamaroneck Working: Innovative Ladder Rescue

Mamaroneck crews use single ladder off fire escape for obvious rescue.


First arriving crews find one in the window on the third floor at this working fire in downtown Mamaroneck Village. Firefighters use ladder to reach fire escape and then to reach the trapped occupant.
“Five rescued from apartment fire in downtown Mamaroneck”, lohud.com
(Not as exciting as Mic’s roof ladder/scaling ladder rescue, but just as good.)

This video and others like it bring up a common question for the first due engine company and obvious rescues:

Which comes first – the rescue or the line?

In my travels with work, I’ve heard many answers. What’s yours?

Related
“Grab A 24 – We’ve Got A Victim”, LeBlanc





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8 Comments

  • Mike Morton says:

    Is there an easy answer to the question of which comes first: the grab or the line? I don’t think so.

    In my mind, the first-due officer must immediately make his decision based on his size-up. It’s easy to say that the obvious rescue should be made first…but what if the nature of the incident means that the rescue effort will take an immense amount of time, or will require greater resources than what the first due engine has? What if the one obvious grab is not the only person that might be immediately endangered?

    I think it also comes back to knowing what you have available. For instance, if you’re in a small city’s understaffed career department that is relying on mutual aid from volunteers, you might have a different game plan than a heavily staffed metro department, or an all-volunteer department in a rural area with a horrible water supply.

    I think about these four questions that I believe should get asked at every scene, and for me they provide the guidance to make the best choice:
    (1) What is happening now?
    (2) What’s probably going to happen next?
    (3) What options and resources do I have?
    (4) What’s my plan?

  • Robby Owens says:

    We actually used this video for an impromptu training drill yesterday while on shift.

    Using our staffing and department profile, our consensus as a company (engine) that we would stretch the line interior and putt he fire out, and have either the next due engine company, or first in special service make the rescue.

    Another option as well was for our driver (wo is usually in full turnout gear) once the line had been charged and water supply established to throw the engine ground ladder (24 footer) and start the rescue and either complete it, or use it to keep the victim from jumping so help can arrive.

    We felt that the fire room had flashed over and the rescue profile in that room was zero, but putting the fire out could possible save a victim in the adjacent room, and the upper floors.

  • Ryan Berter says:

    I know many brothers are not going to like this however in this scenario given limited manpower why not give the fire a good shot from the street and stop its progression.

    Yes you are going to push steam and products of combustion into the building but its already flashed and is most likely extending into the common hallway anyhow.

    If I were to arrive with an Engine of 3. One member could manage the ladder rescue and one member could give it a quick shot from the street to darken it down.

    I agree that anyone within the fire apartment is already dead. But those above or adjacent to the fire apartment are vialble rescues. Only if, you can slow the progress of the fire or put it out.

    Choosing to attack the fire, in my mind leaves you open to all sorts of things slowing your advance. If you know without a doubt that you can quickly and effectively get into the fire apartment and put the fire out then feel free. However that depends on the complexity of the building and the experience level of your company, amongst other things.

    If you choose the fire or the rescue you leave the other situation to get worse. So I say do both simultaniously.

  • Robby Owens says:

    @ Ryan….I got no issue with that especially using a straight stream or smooth bore which will nto push the fire, it is definetly a viable option and like you said we are putting the fire out for the possible victims in the adjacent rooms not the fire room.

    Great point

  • Looks like some good work and quick thinking by the FFs in the video.

    What’s my answer?…Well, in this case I may take a different approach from what I posted in LeBlanc’s previous scenario.

    Being that this is a multiple dwelling vs. a house, it’s not as simple to say I could just pull a crosslay and quickly get to the fire, leaving my DE to throw a ground ladder. In this case, it’ll likely take a few minutes to make the stretch, especially the potential for delays (doors, stairwells, flaking out, unexpected obstacles, etc.). While there may be other potential victims, I can’t be sure until I get there, whereas the vic in the window is a fact. Also, even if I get the main body of fire knocked down, there’s still going to be a smoke/heat condition for at least several more minutes in the room where the victims presenting.

    For me, pulling up on one of our engines, I’ll likely help my FF with the ground ladders, and have the DE give the fire window a quick shot with the deck gun (only requires you to pull a lever), and start to make the stretch after that.

    On my current quint (that’s right, we can’t make up our minds), I’d likely have the DE put the stick to the vic’s window, while I help my FF make the stretch.

    Mike, you hit it on the head with your comments.

  • Dave LeBlanc says:

    For the record, the scenario is Bill Carey’s. I wrote the other piece about “grab a 24″.

    One other question…..what up with the dude dropping his pants by the engine at the 1 minute mark?

  • Nate Q. says:

    Yep, I was referring to the “grab a 24″ post, where I had a slightly different approach….as for the pants, I was kind of wondering about that as well. I thought it was funny that it seemded he also had shorts on underneath the pants. I guess it was just one of those layer days I hear about up north.

  • Dave LeBlanc says:

    I was thinking boxers…..not shorts.

    There are certainly many different perspectives based on every scenario you encounter. What is important is that you consider them, and your options, before they happen.

    “Chance favors the prepared mind” Louis Pasteur

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