“Sad but True”Not everyone died in “Those Fires”

We're all going to die.          Eventually.

Author Note: A mistake was found in the data I record. Asheville, NC Captain Jeff Bowen was not included. This post and the Fire Service Sabremetrics page have been updated. – Bill

You will recall that we called your attention to an article which reported on a USFA department chief speaking at the Volunteer Chief Officer Symposium in Clearwater, Florida. During his presentaton, Ken Farmer is quoted as saying,

""Stop fighting interior fires," he said. "Don't go into those fires anymore. It's not worth it. They build disposable houses these days. Our lives are not disposable."

By fighting fires from the outside, he believes firefighters will be safer and more line of duty deaths will be prevented.

"Every day I drive by the flag. If you've ever been to the National Fire Academy and never seen the flags at half staff, you haven't been there for more than 24 hours.""

The reactions and discussions have been interesting, to say the least. As expected the range goes from chest-beating fatalisim to mother-may-I policy proposals.

It is important to consider, especially when one raises the issue of line of duty deaths as their reason, their support, that the proper understanding of data is known before joining an internet lynch mob. Below are our line of duty deaths specifically involving firefighting for this year, to date. 77 firefighters are officially recorded as having died in the line of duty. Of them, and not countng two that are officially linked to the effects of working at Ground Zero (according to USFA), 10 firefigters have died to date specifically, actively, fighting fire, either inside the burning structure or atop it. This does not include six who died fighting wildfires.

Deaths involving Disorientation: 1 [1]

Deaths involving Building Collapse: 3 [1, 2, 3]

Deaths involving Flashover, Backdraft, Explosive Incident: 5 [1] [2, 3] [4,5]

Deaths in 1- and 2-Family Dwellings: 2 [1] [2, 3]

Deaths in Multi-Family Dwellings: 2 [1, 2]

Deaths in Educational, Institutional, Commercial and Industrial Occupancies: 5

1: Church

1: Medical Office

1: Store

2: Coal Bin

Deaths in Vacant/Abandoned Structures: 0

10 out of 77, or if we include those linked to Ground Zero, 12 out of 77.

Why the fear? Why the absolutes, the "stop fighting interior fires" and generalization of "those fires"? Why, when the numbers tell us greater things are killing us?

More later…

Hey, I'm your fear
I'm the one who takes you out
Hey, I'm your fear
I'm the one who doubts
They, they betray
I'm your only true safety
They, they'll betray
I'm forever out
I'm your dream, make you flee
I'm your eyes, you cannot see
I'm your pain causing you to flee, sad but true
I'm your dream, mind astray
I'm your eyes while you're away
I'm your pain keeping you away
You know it's sad but true, sad but true

Video image courtesy Metallica. "Sad but True" lyrics, revised by author.

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



(function() {
var po = document.createElement(‘script’); po.type = ‘text/javascript’; po.async = true;
po.src = ‘https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s);
})();

Find us on Google+

You are not authorized to see this part
Please, insert a valid App IDotherwise your plugin won't work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

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.”

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Comments
Dave LeBlanc
Who Looks After The Victims?
Dave - I think the reason there is a debate is because the message is so contorted. From those that have chosen to manipulate the information to suit their position, the the ISFSI own website saying different things about what the tactics truly are. I agree 100% with giving everyone the information and letting them…
2014-11-20 22:06:56
Dave Skidmore
Who Looks After The Victims?
I'm glad you identified the "one issue no one is discussing, the lack of manpower on scene". My department runs a single apparatus, staffed with a minimum of 4 guys sometimes 5, with our second due being either our paid call or mutual aid - either option realistically being 10 plus minutes behind the first…
2014-11-19 22:01:40
Heath Smith
Who Looks After The Victims?
Great article Dave. I agree with your comment that "they became traditions because they work." And yes if you change the focus from life safety to your own safety how about holding a town meeting and letting those you swore to protect know whats going on, I am sure they will see your point!
2014-11-19 19:28:21
Ron Ayotte
Who Looks After The Victims?
Excellence as usual, Dave.
2014-11-19 03:39:35
Ron Ayotte
Your Eyes Are Useless When the Mind is Blind, Part III
David... excellent series.
2014-11-15 02:37:13
AFTDIMage
BostonFireGearImage
Plugin from the creators ofBrindes Personalizados :: More at PlulzWordpress Plugins