Balto City FD. Report on triple LODD released

Capttomo

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The City of Baltimore FD had released its investigative report regarding the triple LODD of three firefighters in a row house earlier this year (January). May these three members continue to Rest In Peace and may God continue to watch over their families.

 

Lebby

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The City of Baltimore FD had released its investigative report regarding the triple LODD of three firefighters in a row house earlier this year (January). May these three members continue to Rest In Peace and may God continue to watch over their families.

 

Capttomo

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Capttomo

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Dave - they did a pilot program called XRay according to the report, which was similar to CIDS but discontinued it. Additionally, the the city building department inspected the subject building several years ago and classified it as a vacant - but there was no nexus or notifications to Fire according to the report. Sad - but they are not the only city with these breakdowns and problems. The report details that the fourth due engine (E8) was out of service for 11 days at the time of the fire due to needed repairs and NO RESERVE APPARATUS!
 

GFD70

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Interesting. Keep in mind that while the building was vacant, the initial dispatch reports stated people were trapped. I'm sure it's a fairly common occurrence in Baltimore. It's also worth noting that they were in the process of pulling the crews out when the collapse occurred and that it took a while before they realized the number of members that were trapped.

Reading through the report, it seems that the city failed to put basic protections regarding accountability and firefighter safety in place to possibly avoid this outcome. One of their last LODD's was a fire investigator who fell through a hole in the floor into the basement after the fire was out and wasn't found until the next morning when a civilian called to report that the investigator's car had been running in the street all night.

Baltimore is a rough city with a very dedicated, proud department. They deserve much better.
 

Capttomo

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Interesting. Keep in mind that while the building was vacant, the initial dispatch reports stated people were trapped. I'm sure it's a fairly common occurrence in Baltimore. It's also worth noting that they were in the process of pulling the crews out when the collapse occurred and that it took a while before they realized the number of members that were trapped.

Reading through the report, it seems that the city failed to put basic protections regarding accountability and firefighter safety in place to possibly avoid this outcome. One of their last LODD's was a fire investigator who fell through a hole in the floor into the basement after the fire was out and wasn't found until the next morning when a civilian called to report that the investigator's car had been running in the street all night.

Baltimore is a rough city with a very dedicated, proud department. They deserve much better.
Well stated - pulling the crews out after only 5 minutes on scene. However the most egregious error was by the crew of engine 14 themselves two of the three interior team left their radios in the cab of the truck. I dealt with this in my department as well. Pure laziness and complacency - we should never be anywhere on a run of any type while without our radios. Can you image if the city or any city said we are going to cut back on the number of radios we issue to save money. We would go ballistic- and rightly so. The radio is a safety and survival tool. In some
Cases akin to a life support tool. We all make tactical errors, no scene is ever perfect and everyone wants to be a keyboard commando and arm chair quarterback- for all those reasons I will not comment on the report any further except to thank Balto for sharing and learning from and revisiting many of the topics that were discussed in the report Again wearing your issued radio/ and making sure it has a fresh battery and knowing how and when to use the EAB is an absolute no discussion must and the responsibility of all officers to make sure it is followed with the understanding as to why. May these three brothers and sisters who lost their lives that day continue to Rest In Peace.
 

CFDMarshal

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Reading the findings of the report it looks like the department let little procedural omissions coupled with budget cuts and lax oversight all accumulate to the perfect storm disaster. I was impressed at how thorough the review process was and how excluded no one, including the city council. I liked the recommendation for a chief's aide.
 

Extra One & One

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Let me begin by saying, “But for the grace of God, go I.”

I was a volunteer firefighter for years and a career fire dispatcher. From my experience, I can confidently state that what occurred in Baltimore could occur in any other fire department in the nation. How often I (we) lucked out when things weren’t going right that none of us were seriously injured or killed! May the brothers and sister Rest In Peace.

I think what amazes me the most is how fast this whole thing occurred. From the time of dispatch, to time units were responding, to time numerous units got on location, to time hose lines were stretched to time of collapse was approximately 7 to 8 minutes, 10 minutes tops! I understand this is a city department and stations are closer together and travel times are less, but still, this happened so fast. In my experience (non-city dispatching or firefighting) it may take a full 8 or 9 minutes before one unit with 3 personnel arrive on the scene! It may be 12 minutes before a dozen personnel are on the scene, which obviously slows down the speed of rescue and fire attack.

Firefighting has never been and never will be easy or an exact science. We do the best we can and we try to learn from our mistakes. Hug your family each and every time before you go to work, because life could change in seconds! Stay safe.
 
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DaveReinstein

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Dave - they did a pilot program called XRay according to the report, which was similar to CIDS but discontinued it. Additionally, the the city building department inspected the subject building several years ago and classified it as a vacant - but there was no nexus or notifications to Fire according to the report. Sad - but they are not the only city with these breakdowns and problems. The report details that the fourth due engine (E8) was out of service for 11 days at the time of the fire due to needed repairs and NO RESERVE APPARATUS!
The o pu reason I say that is I listen to a podcast by Danny Sheridan, he’s a BC in the Bronx. He talked about a job where he was responding in, requested CIDS on the building and was told per CIDS “no ones to enter the building”. Requested everyone out and shortly after the last guy was out the building collapsed.
 

Capttomo

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Let me begin by saying, “But for the grace of God, go I.”

I was a volunteer firefighter for years and a career fire dispatcher. From my experience, I can confidently state that what occurred in Baltimore could occur in any other fire department in the nation. How often I (we) lucked out when things weren’t going right that none of us were seriously injured or killed! May the brothers and sister Rest In Peace.

I think what amazes me the most is how fast this whole thing occurred. From the time of dispatch, to time units were responding, to time numerous units got on location, to time hose lines were stretched to time of collapse was approximately 7 to 8 minutes, 10 minutes tops! I understand this is a city department and stations are closer together and travel times are less, but still, this happened so fast. In my experience (non-city dispatching or firefighting) it may take a full 8 or 9 minutes before one unit with 3 personnel arrive on the scene! It may be 12 minutes before a dozen personnel are on the scene, which obviously slows down the speed of rescue and fire attack.

Firefighting has never been and never will be easy or an exact science. We do the best we can and we try to learn from our mistakes. Hug your family each and every time before you go to work, because life could change in seconds! Stay safe.
Well stated and so true. Stay safe brother
 

nfd2004

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Let me begin by saying, “But for the grace of God, go I.”

I was a volunteer firefighter for years and a career fire dispatcher. From my experience, I can confidently state that what occurred in Baltimore could occur in any other fire department in the nation. How often I (we) lucked out when things weren’t going right that none of us were seriously injured or killed! May the brothers and sister Rest In Peace.

I think what amazes me the most is how fast this whole thing occurred. From the time of dispatch, to time units were responding, to time numerous units got on location, to time hose lines were stretched to time of collapse was approximately 7 to 8 minutes, 10 minutes tops! I understand this is a city department and stations are closer together and travel times are less, but still, this happened so fast. In my experience (non-city dispatching or firefighting) it may take a full 8 or 9 minutes before one unit with 3 personnel arrive on the scene! It may be 12 minutes before a dozen personnel are on the scene, which obviously slows down the speed of rescue and fire attack.

Firefighting has never been and never will be easy or an exact science. We do the best we can and we try to learn from our mistakes. Hug your family each and every time before you go to work, because life could change in seconds! Stay safe.

THANK YOU "Extra One & One", for your firefighting service, as well as telling us this story.

I too fully agree with you

I remember talking to an FDNY firefighter and I was telling him I was from a very much smaller, and of course less fire activity department than that of this FDNY very busy fire company.
A firefighter there then asked me if I ever went to a building fire and I said; "yes, of course".
He then said to me, "well the heat and the smoke is the same here as where you are from".

Fighting fires is certainly a very dangerous business whether it is in a major city, or small town, USA.

"Pray for them as they go past, every ride may be their last".
 

entropychaser

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The BCFD Board of Inquiry report is about three hundred pages too long. The crux of this incident hinges on decision making. The report evaluates none of that.

Who ordered the inside attack?
Who could have countermanded that order before 0600?
Who could have ordered an evacuation before 0600?

"When reports of fire fatalities from any type of building are studied, certain questions keep coming to the fore. "Why are those fire fighters where they where? What was the potential benefit from the risks undertaken?" Too often the answers to those questions have been unsatisfactory."

"The volume of fire gives a clue as to how long the floors will last. Ordinary wood-joisted floors are not formally rated by any standard fire-resistance test, but it is dangerous to trust them for more than 10 minutes. It's important to note that the 10 minutes may have expired before the arrival of the fire department."

Building Constuction For The Fire Service Third Edition Francis L. Brannigan, 1992

The BOI could have quoted Brannigan or Vince Dunn's " Collapse of Burning Building", but chose not to.

Actually, members here will find the book "The Challenger Launch Decision" by Diane Vaughan published in 1996 very informative. The book obviously covers the process of the decision to launch the ill fated Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986. On paper, everything was done correctly. But yet....

She introduces the concept of "Normalization of Deviance".

"A phenomenon in which individuals and teams deviate from what is known to be an acceptable performance standard until the adopted way of practice becomes the new norm."

I think it's gonna explain everything.
 
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