“Were just trying to do the best we can.”Engine 42 Lieutenant Catches Boy and Provides Training Questions for Engine Companies

Rescues at Roxbury apartment reminds us of the need for training under antagonistic conditions and the value of teamwork.

The rescue of a six-year old boy dropped from the thrid floor during Boston's six-alarm fire is making the news, especially the quick thinking of Lieutenant Glenn McGillivray. The initial companies on the scene did an outstanding job in rescuing at least 15 occupants after a man had attempted suicide by explosion in a first floor apartment.

The Boston Herald has an interview with Lieutenant McGillivray of Engine Company 42.
Below is an excerpt and the video interview.

“As we approached Westminster Avenue, I saw heavy smoke on the street. We pulled up to the front of the building, and I observed heavy fire that was evident in the first-floor window on the corner, and approximately nine occupants of the building who were screaming to be rescued from various ledges and windows.-"

Boston Herald: Firefighter Describes Saving Boy, Others
For some departments, training has become so routine – or stagnant – that smoke house or burn building evolutions are so stale members could do them with their eyes closed. When arriving prepared, ready to "Expect Fire", even the best crews can become too focused on one part of a scene. The good work by Lieutenant McGillivray should also be partnered with the work of the rest of the engine company members. When faced with occupants in windows – and no truck on the scene – that first floor fire still needs to have a line stretched. (Note: Engine Co. 42 is also quartered with Rescue 2 and the District 9 chief)

If you are an Engine Company officer consider the following:

  • Is my crew capable of sizing up the scene, selecting and stretching the proper hoseline without my direct supervision?
  • Could my engine driver handle giving the initial or additional sizeup information if I am busy with immediate obvious rescues?
  • Can my crew stretch the initial hoseline and throw a ladder or is this asking too much?

If you are assigned to an Engine Company consider the following:

  • Should the entire crew be focused on the obvious rescue?
  • If assigned the Lineman (Nozzle) position, does my officer have to tell me what line to pull?
  • When was the last time we trained on running a line and throwing the ladders carried on our engine?

WHDH: Suspect arrested after apartment explosion, fire

We encourage and support constructive dialogue and debate. View our comment policy.

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2 Comments

  • Chris Husont says:

    I personally believe in the philosophy  performing what will make the biggest impact. If the fire can be knocked down with a quick attack then perform that first. If you cannot elimate the fire hazard then perform resuces via ladders first.
    It's all based on the proficeny of your crews just like mentioned above. If your crew needs to have a babysitter the entire time then thats how you have to operate. If you can multi-task then thats even better, but make sure everyone knows their roles to avoid duplicated and wasted time/efforts.
    "Put the fire out and everything gets better."

  • Richie Kirrstetter says:

    The Boston Fire Dept. is a well trained & well oiled machine.  The Lt. did a great job, when lives are at stake it is your first priority.  Like the FDNY Boston FD were all over that job.  Well done Brothers.  I recieved a Dept. Medal while on the FDNY OVM position for catching a woman that had to jump.  After the catch you proceed to the job at hand. 
    Tip"O" the Helmet Brothers

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Comments
Bill Schnaekel
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Thanks, Greg. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed it and appreciate the feedback. Please be sure to look through all of the other articles here written by our friends. If you're feelin' squirrelly, check out the following sites on FB: Holding1and1 Firefighter Basics A View From the Front Seat Firefighter Behavior
2015-04-28 22:44:17
Greg Hall
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Bill, Your article hit the nail on the head. I think I just found a new Blog. Thanks
2015-04-18 02:51:05
Bill Schnaekel
On The Job
Dan, If you are willing to listen to advice, I might have some for you. Please feel free to contact me through my email. It is leatherlungs8@Hotmail.com.
2015-04-17 22:40:35
Dan
On The Job
I feel there is not much one can do other then pass all the test and wait. If a department wants you, they will take you. In my experience I have been more then qualified for a position, passed all the test and the person right off the street got the job over me. When…
2015-04-17 20:59:05
jason allen
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Great photo thanks
2015-04-08 22:07:34
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