Here’s why there were so many fire trucks parked around downtown Burien


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You may have noticed what looked like some kind of “Fire Truck Show” in downtown Burien near the old bank and City Hall building at 415 SW 150th – a bunch of trucks and emergency vehicles parked all over the joint!

Well don’t worry – it’s nothing serious – it’s merely being used as a training ground by fire agencies from throughout South King County.

Firefighters are practicing “survivability” – how to perform live-saving actions if they become lost, trapped, injured or low on air inside a burning building.

The training will continue for several weeks.

Here’s are some pics and info on what they’re learning (photos courtesy the City of Burien):

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2014 SCBA Confidence Course / Fire Ground Survival – Teaching Points

Introduction / Overview

  • Purpose of the IAFF Fire Ground Survival Program is to train for Mayday Situations.
  • Firefighters must be trained to perform life-saving actions if they become lost, disoriented, injured, trapped, or low on air.
  • Training applies to lessons learned from fire fighter fatality investigations conducted by NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health).
  • The practical skills stations will review:
    • Self-survival and calling a Mayday
    • Skills section – Entanglement Hazards, Low Profile Situations.
    • SCBA Familiarization and emergency procedures
    • Search and Rescue, victim removal and use of TIC

Self-survival Course:

Scenario:

  • Your crew is assigned to Fire Attack and Primary Search on floor 1 of an office building. You have a partial structural collapse in the area you are working and have become separated from your crew. You are on the last section of a 200’ pre-connect. You need to complete the following tasks:
    • Call a Mayday
    • Follow the hose line out
    • Couplings

When you reach a coupling confirm you are going the right direction:

“Smooth, Lug, Lug, leads to the plug.”

  • Great time to give a CANA report to Command: if it only takes a couple minutes to travel 50 feet, good progress. If it takes longer, additional resources may be needed to assist with extrication.
  • Obstacles/obstructions
  • Use skills taught in the skills section of this training and from the 2013 SCBA drill

Calling a Mayday

  • Use the communications order model to get IC’s attention.
  • Radio “Command from Engine 1, Mayday, Mayday, Mayday”
  • IC will clear the air for emergency traffic for the Mayday
  • Radio your Unit #, and your PLAN.

P – Problem

L – Location

A – Air

N – Needs

  • “Command from Engine 46 3rd person. We have a partial structural collapse on floor 1 and lost our water supply. I am separated from my crew. I am following the hose line out. Start a RIC crew to my location. Air is 1500.”

SCBA Skills Section:

  • Reduce Profile/SCBA Shift
    • Keep air pack on/straps buckled
    • Loosen straps
    • Grab onto your left shoulder strap with your right hand to maintain control of your regulator hose
    • Position air pack to the left side of your body
    • Navigate through obstacle
  • Back Swim Technique
    • Back up to stud bay and position air pack between studs
    • Lift one arm up over your head and back through stud bay
    • Continue to rotate your body while bringing the other arm up and over
    • Navigate through obstacle
  • Forward Dive
    • The firefighter should center them self between the obstacle and place both arms in front through the obstacle.
    • Once the SCBA is clear of the obstacle, they can use their arms to pull themselves the rest of the way through.
  • Removing SCBA
    • Loosen shoulder straps and unbuckle waist strap.
    • Maintain control of the left shoulder strap / regulator side of SCBA.
    • Position SCBA so the cylinder valve enters obstacle first.
    • Check for holes or elevation changes before you enter the obstacle – don’t want to lose your SCBA.
  • Entanglement
    • If you encounter an entanglement: Stop, back up, and remain calm.
    • Size up hazard, direction of wires, identify high side / low side attachment points.
    • To go through wires, stay low and rotate your body so the SCBA bottle slides along corner.
    • Cover your “eagle” on your helmet with your bottom hand, and use your upper hand to “swim” through the wires.
    • Create a “ramp” with your bottom arm / elbow so the wires go up and over your body.
    • Wire cutters should be carried by every FF.
  • In skills section all members should practices:
    • GRAB LIVES procedure – Activate Pass, Make Noise, Flashlights On, Control Breathing
    • SCBA Emergency Ops –RIC Trans-fill, Trans-Filling, Regulator Sharing or Buddy Breathing, Bypass Breathing and Filter Breathing

Search and Rescue:

Scenario:

  • This station will have 2 crews. The first team will begin a Search with the other in a standby position. Working as a crew of 2 or 3 you will perform an oriented search for possible missing employees at a commercial occupancy. During this evolution if you can’t see your feet you will need to crawl. Using a TIC you will search either Left or Right wall staying oriented as your search. When the victim is found you will need to calculate whether your team has enough air to remove the victim, if not you can launch your back up team and tie with them to complete the task. Points to remember;

    • Dragging a victim on carpet is time consuming and physically difficult.
    • You may need to hose strap the victim’s legs together.
    • Lifting instead of dragging maybe necessary.
    • You may need your back up team to assist with victim removal
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