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?
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