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Hypotheticals / Structure Fire Entanglement Hazard
« on: May 07, 2011, 10:37:51 PM »
You're fighting a fire in a medium sized commercial premises. The ceiling falls in on you and your partner. In the mess of ceiling tiles and assorted debris lies bundles and bundles of electrical, telephone, network, and other assorted cabling. The airconditioner ductwork has burnt through to its metal ribbing and has falling in on you as well.

You and your partner are stuck, and massively entangled. You've got a minimum amount of movement but its obvious that you're not going anywhere fast. Visibility is low, as always. You've been in there a while, and your cylinder is emptying by the breath.

What do you do?

Both the "CFS Volunteer Position Descriptions" and "Membership Issues Discussion Paper" are available to view and comment upon via the Members only section of the CFS website, under "Volunteer Strategy and Support"

What do people think of the issues raised?

I think it's great to see some of the issues (and solutions) raised at Brigade level are actually making it into documents such as these for discussion. Weather anything will come of them is another thing altogether.

Interesting to note this:

Must have successfully completed appropriate courses of training approved by the Chief Officer

In the position description for Brigade Captain.

SA Firefighter General / Further information on response pages
« on: January 22, 2011, 12:42:38 PM »
A question that may merit some interesting discussion...

What further information should be included on a response page / MCT Message? Are there things that SHOULDN'T be included?

Personally I see a large amount of superfluous information such as "Call from SAPol" "SAPol and SAAS En route" "Clean up only" "U/K Entrapments" Does it really bring anything to the message?

Do we need to know what agency received the call? If we need further info, does this request not go through Adelaide Fire anyhow?

Do we need to know that the other emergency services are also responding? (Isn't this assumed? Any deficiencies should be covered in your Arrival Message and SITREP anyhow)

As per [A document I now can't find], we are meant to be canning "Clean up only" for a multitude of reasons... eg:


Additionally, why provide information that may restrict crew turnouts? We all know people pick and choose their calls.

Why state that there are Unknown entrapments? If something is not confirmed, why waste space in the page with it?

As I write this, the classic example has come up:

22-01-11 13:58:20 MFS:e: BOUND.,DALK19 VIRG19 -oo-

If that's not a shitfight of information, I don't know what is. Also note that the page is now split over two pages, thus preventing the response tone from activating for longer that 2 seconds.

Is it that hard to keep response page information clear and concise? A location + X Street + landmarks + Confirmed entrapments/persons reported should be enough. If you're unsure of entrapments, then it should be an RCR response, if just cleanup, then Vehicle Accident. Oh to be back in the days of MVA Spillage's.

We're not meant to be interrogating that pager... it's simply alerting us to a need for our appliances at a given location.

SA Firefighter General / Open letter to the SES
« on: July 31, 2010, 08:50:54 PM »
Dear SES,

If a job is important enough for you to travel to it with your visible and audible warning devices operating, why are is the local Fire Station deemed unworthy of being responded? Are you THAT jealous of the Fire Station being able to turn out and get to a job in under an hour? Scared of the local fire trucks finishing the job before you arrive? Why so cagey?


The Fire Brigade.

SA Firefighter General / Incident Type Protocol?
« on: June 28, 2010, 02:44:24 PM »
So, as an uneducated pager scanner observer, I have to query the following:




These all appear to be of similar incident type, with nothing being confirmed, yet they get different incident types? Additionally we've all seen the "Smoke in Area" with further information "Smoke issuing from factory" and the "Domestic Fire - Fuse box smoking" Any reason that there appears to be little consistency between incident types?

I can understand new operators, and the willingness of some Comms operators to overstate the potential nature of the job, but it seems to happen far more frequently than it should.

Not to mention that the number of incident types seems to be horridly restricting - perhaps adding to the confusion?

Why comms? Why?

SA Firefighter General / So, for all you Fireground photographers...
« on: December 11, 2009, 11:35:05 AM »
Very interesting. Photo is in link:

WINNIPEG, Canada — The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service is investigating the circumstances surrounding a pair of firefighters' decision to pose and take a cell phone photo in front of a Redwood Avenue blaze.

On Thursday evening, Free Press photographer Boris Minkevich took a photo of a defensive fire with two Winnipeg firefighters in the foreground. One posed for a cellphone picture shot by the other while they waited for aerial equipment to be set up.

On Friday, WFPS Deputy Chief Ken Sim said his department planned to investigate in the evening, when the firefighters in question returned to work.

"Our perspective at this time is this was inappropriate," he said. "This is one of those pictures that begs the question, 'What were they assigned to do that allowed them to take the picture?' "

While firefighters are provided with cameras to document evidence, Sim said it appears the camera depicted in Minkevich's photo was a "non-issued device." Sim said his department will take "whatever action is necessary to take" once the firefighters in the photo are identified.

The president of the union representing Winnipeg firefighters shrugged off the investigation, noting the personnel in the photo could not do anything but wait until more equipment arrived to douse the blaze.

"Is it inappropriate? Probably. But we deal with life and death every single day," said Alex Forrest, president of the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg. "I didn't get one call about (a recent) fatality and the firefighters who risked their lives trying to save someone, but I got a dozen calls about this one."

Free Press photographer Minkevich, meanwhile, said he did not intend his photo to cause any harm.

"It seemed so innocent. There were numerous firefighters waiting for the apparatus to be set up," said Minkevich, a recent winner of an award from the International Association of Firefighters.

"This only lasted a moment. I perceived it as an innocent thing I would do myself. I've been to a lot of fires."

Media interest in Minkevich's photograph came from as far away as the San Francisco Chronicle which wanted a copy of the picture for its website.

So, perhaps the were innocently taking a photo, but at the end of the day its all about public perception!

All Equipment discussion / PBI - Hated by CFSHQ Since 2005
« on: December 10, 2009, 11:22:05 AM »
So, I hear rumours of a "memo" from somewhere "up the chain" that is commanding that we only wear PBI to *Confirmed* Structure fires and nothing else?

No AFA's, no RCR's, no rural jobs...


All Equipment discussion / NSWRFS Training Brochure
« on: August 17, 2009, 03:35:26 AM »
So as I was trawling through to find out CABA operator stats I came across this:

It's a grand outline of all the courses offered to those in the RFS, what they aim to achieve and how the jigsaw fits together.

Its interesting to note that they now have a distinction between Bushfire courses and a cut down Grassfire version. Sound familiar anyone?

Not to mention looking at how the PSTP modules line up the SACFS courses is food for thought.


(And SACFS State Training Section please note, I want you to produce one of these documents.)

ALL Rescue / Dash Roll with B pillar removed.
« on: January 31, 2009, 01:55:14 PM »
Just a quick question to see what people are thinking.

If you need to perform a dash roll, yet you've already removed the rear door and B pillar, how do you/your brigade generally go about it?

Use the spreaders as a base to ram off? Cut the sill and hinge down to create a base? Do you have Hurst Quick Kick style ram support? Not bother about Rolling the dash and go for a dash lift? Break out the pulling chains/whinch and roll it that way?

SA Firefighter General / Jaws of Life... Off the back of a truck...
« on: January 23, 2009, 09:20:56 PM »

Quote from: AP
17:52 PST Highland Home, Ala. (AP) --

Highland Home's volunteer firefighters are trying to figure out why anyone would want to steal the "jaws of life." The $12,000 equipment, which is used to rescue people trapped inside vehicles after car wrecks, was recently stolen from the department.

Department President Stephen Wilson said he doesn't know why anyone who wasn't a firefighter would want the 60-pound device.

The Crenshaw County Sheriff's Office is investigating the bizarre theft. The thief didn't take a television set or two air tanks worth $10,000.

Well there you go, anyone need some new RIV gear? ;)

SA Firefighter General / Recruiting the younger generation.
« on: December 19, 2008, 05:44:47 PM »
My brigade, like most around the state is having issues crewing, both generally and during the day time. Many of the older members are wary of trying to actively recruit people in the 16-20 age bracket as they are seen to be moving on quickly, immature, and not worth the training and PPE investment. I don't hold this opinion and see the younger age group as being an untapped resource of enthusiastic people with fresh ideas, as well as having an increased daytime availability. Perhaps even a higher degree of fitness than those older members. People may leave or reduce their input to the brigade once they 'start their life' so to speak, but if you can get 4-5 years decent service out of a person, that is a great thing no?

So are any Brigades/Units actively trying to recruit the younger members of the community? Are there any specific strategies that you have found useful? The fact that CFS (and I assume SES) courses can count towards SACE is a great incentive, but once again its seen by some people in our brigade as being a negative due to people not joining for the 'right' reasons.

SASES / Domestic and Industrial Rescue
« on: December 18, 2008, 11:30:28 AM »
I have just one quick question, and yes I am being serious which is something new for me when the SES is involved.

Are SES units trained in Domestic and Industrial rescue such as finger/limb entrapments? If so, are ALL units trained in it as part of the basic general land rescue package, or is it a more specialised course?

If the SES aren't trained, who has responsibility for that kind of rescue? CFS RCR Brigades certainly don't have the abilites...

SA Firefighter General / Big ideas!
« on: December 12, 2008, 05:37:18 PM »
At the risk of starting some meaningful discussion, are there any interesting ideas/procedures/bits and pieces that people have seen used around the place or at their station and would be willing to share? I know that some are only to going applicable to certain areas/brigades, but I'm sure most of you can work through that and not get hung up on things like "That doesn't work in rural areas". If it works for someone somewhere, then thats good enough to be here.

So, to get the ball rolling:

The Mt. Barker rostering system. I like the fact that there is a consious effort made to ensure that there is enough correctly trained crew on trucks during certain hours. That and the fact they have made a rostering system work with stubborn people who are 'just volunteers'.

I also ran into a crew accountability system somewhere... I forget where, but it was basically snap hooks with nametags on helmets, with buckets next to the door. As you get on truck, tag goes into bucket, thus the everyone knows who is on the truck. It's a little better than trying to guess cars/gear hooks.

SA Firefighter General / Exercise Team Spirit
« on: October 07, 2008, 11:00:57 PM »
Glad to see that our IMT's are getting ready for FDS with Excercise "Team Spirit"


SA Firefighter General / Tricks of the trade
« on: October 03, 2008, 11:06:42 PM »
What tricks have you picked up along the way? You know, the little things that solve those unsolvable problems and make the new guys go wow!

Halligans and Axes make great door stops

Got a thermal detector that won't reset? Purge a BA cylinder up towards the detector - Hey presto!

Need to look busy? Grab an expenisve piece of equipment and walk around with purpose.

Security Guards are useless and any words they utter should be ignored, without question. ;)

Country Fire Service / CFS Funding
« on: September 21, 2008, 08:47:50 PM »
Rather than clutter up the Incident Ops threads, lets get into some funding discussion!

It wasn't that long ago that her in SA, brigades did have to fundraise to pay their phone bill, (if they even had a phone!), put fuel in the 25 year old truck, which they still had, because their community didn't have the capacity to raise enough funds to buy a newer one...

Some areas were lucky, and had good support from the local council, and the basics (and sometimes more) were funded.  Other areas had a very supportive council, but that council didn't have the capcity to pay much....

In the mid to late 1990's there was a Group in the Mid North, who survived on the same amount of money as one Hills brigade......

It is all very well to go on about how lucky SA is compared to other states, but it only because there was a lot of pushing done in the mid to late 1990's to enable a state based funding model to come's just that the other states are just along way behind us!!


In terms of funding models, it would be interesting to see how the budget of the CFS stacks up against that of both the CFA and RFS in terms of funding per capita. SACFS appears to receive around 95% of their budget from the Community Emergency Services Fund (This appears to be where the ESL ends up) with the rest being made up from fees/donations, etc, whereas both the CFA and RFS receive a high proportion of their budget (over 70% for both) from insurance companies, and only around %20 from Government/Councils. Does the money raised from insurance premiums in the East equate to what we pay in ESL?

No doubt the comparisons have been done... I would hope?

Country Fire Service / Turnout Confirmation
« on: September 02, 2008, 12:43:46 AM »
There are a few systems getting around the country that deal with turning out fire/rescue personell that aren't attached to a station 24/7. Basically both the volunteers and the retained folks.

One of the better ones I've seen turns out the station, then calls the members attached with a recorded message basically stating: "Fire call, are you able to turn out? 1 for yes, 2 for no, 3 for unsure(eg: checking with boss)" This then reports back to comms, stating who (all based on numbers, not names) has been contacted and their response. This allows comms to have the jump on brigades that have low numbers and the possibility of requiring another brigade to be turned out.

Would something like this work for the CFS? Maybe we look at setting up day/night/weekend lists. Certain people get called 24/7 others not during 9-5 etc etc. Although integrating a system like this would no doubt be very difficult to do considering the amount of changes no doubt required, and the fact that some people no doubt don't want to be 'accountable' for turning out to things.

It would help with more speedy brigade defaulting, especially in time critical incidents such as structure fires and also give members already at the station a better idea of the amount of crew coming in. No one else coming? then you don't need to wait for another 5 minutes 'just in case'. Its not as invasive as set rosters, but also allows people to put down what times they are contactable for.

All Equipment discussion / Monitors
« on: August 27, 2008, 12:59:03 PM »
So which Brigades around the place have monitors? Either Ground or Roof mounted (No, not your tiny 38mm one - REAL monitors)

Do they get much work?

What nozzles do you carry for them?

Would they be a valuble investment for Brigades that do a fair amount of surround and drown? (EG: Hay Sheds)

Hypotheticals / MFS: Respond DOMESTIC FIRE
« on: August 18, 2008, 01:26:16 PM »

Oh no! Domestic fire!

You and your other local brigade are turned out. Your brigade is about 5 minutes from the location, 2nd brigade is about 10-15 minutes.

En Route, comms reports multiple calls.

You have a 34P, they have a 34. Its just after lunch, luckily you manage a crew of 5, the oncoming brigade have 4.

Your 34 has 4 BA and 3 operators. Oncoming: 2 sets and atleast 1, maybe 2 operators.

Upon arrival you are greeted with the attached picture. (Minus the fireman and the snow :wink: )

Neighbours inform you that they believe there was someone in the house earlier in the day, but they are unsure if they are still inside.

There are mains along the street, usually around 400kpa, the hydrant is around 100m away from this house.

You know the drill, Discuss:

(Thanks CapeCod FD for the pic)

All Equipment discussion / I'm Horny
« on: August 05, 2008, 01:07:05 AM »
CFS appliance need Air Horns fitted as standard. These pissy little electronic horns just don't cut the mustard. I have never seen traffic scatter like they do when Air Horns are involved.


OFF Topic / You'd better run Higgs Boson....
« on: August 03, 2008, 05:39:19 PM »

All Equipment discussion / CFS Appliances - Not so bad?
« on: July 25, 2008, 10:47:58 AM »
As much as we all whine and moan about our appliances, we seem to lose sight of the fact that as both a fire service and a *volunteer* fire service we have things pretty good...,22049,24071672-5006009,00.html

Fire trucks so old 60km/h's a struggle and defy safety laws

By Joe Hildebrand, Political Reporter

July 25, 2008 12:00am

SOME NSW fire trucks are so old they struggle to reach 60km/h - and 100 are in breach of the Government's own safety regulations.

Five years after the Government raised the maximum age of fire trucks from 15 to 20 years, The Daily Telegraph can reveal some trucks are 30 years old.

Firefighters are now threatening a work ban because the trucks are too slow and unsafe - a move that could leave regional communities exposed.

Just this week a 17-year-old truck was brought into Sydney's central fire station in Castle- reagh St because a newer machine was pulled out of service.

A breakdown buried in NSW Fire Brigades' latest annual report reveals that 93 trucks breach the 20-year cap.

Two trucks date back to 1978, another was commissioned in 1983 and 90 between 1984 and 1986.

Yet the Government's own 2004-2008 Fleet Replacement Program states unequivocally: "The attached plan has been formulated around the need to ensure operational appliances are replaced at no later than 18 years of age and are retired as service exchange vehicles by 20 years of age."

Even then NSWFB management came under fire for extending the lifespan from the previous 15 years. Two of the trucks are now twice that old. Officers say many of them struggle to reach 60km/h.

The Fire Brigades Employees Union will act unless the Government replaces the vehicles.

"The union is considering a ban if it focuses the Government on providing a modern fleet," FBEU secretary Simon Flynn told The Daily Telegraph.

"But the concern we have is that if we ban these old trucks then huge swathes of the state will be left completely unprotected and fireys take their responsibilities very seriously."

However Mr Flynn said the trucks themselves compromised public safety.

"These trucks are so old they have exceeded their design life and the manufacturers' guidelines," he said.

"These trucks barely hit 60km/h on a flat road, so there is an impact on response times."

A NSWFB spokeswoman said the average age of the 669-strong fleet of fire appliances - which includes fire engines, 4WD bushfire tankers, and aircraft - was just over nine years.

However she conceded there were older vehicles.

"As new vehicles are delivered, older ones are decommissioned or those in the best condition are kept in reserve to use as 'service exchange vehicles' and for major emergencies (such as natural disasters and prolonged bushfire campaigns)," she said.

"Some of these vehicles are under 15 years and others are over 20 years old."

SA Firefighter General / Paid employment
« on: June 18, 2008, 01:27:45 AM »
As there seems to be plenty of anger in the SAMFS recruitment thread, now is the time of the year to look elsewhere. A quick heads up to those happy to move interstate:

As usual, Qld applications are open 24/7

NSWFB applications are open until the 27/6 (This is for you if you love ugly trucks and the Mardi Gras)

MFB applications open 01/07 and close 29/08 (This is for you if you are unsure of your sexuality and have blond tips in your hair)

Best of luck!

SA Firefighter General / Farewell decent discussion.
« on: April 24, 2008, 04:51:01 PM »
So whats happened to this place? I go away for a happy camping trip for a couple of weeks and this place has died in the arse!

Surely there is something worth talking about beyond "Oh wow, a firecall page"??

Well, in any case, if things don't start looking up soon, I'll start picking apart and critiquing the operations of XYZ service...  :wink:

SA Firefighter General / Guidelines or Procedures?
« on: March 12, 2008, 10:17:10 AM »
We all have been taught the basics of firefighting, or rescue, and along with this have come numerous documents, such as SOP's and FGP's.

There seem to be many people in ESO's that love to teach and live by the book, and any deviation from that is plainly wrong and should not be tolerated. More than a few people on these boards seem to be of the same thinking.

On the other hand there are a few that take on board things that are taught, yet are far more willing to adapt the procedures and teachings to achieve the best possible outcome. More like operating by the spirit of the book, not the letter.

What are your views on this?

I understand that organisations have to have structure and defined practices to be followed to avoid the possibility of legal action if things go pear shaped, and to provide a stable base of fundamentals upon which to learn and operate. This is especially the case in organisations such as the CFS and SES where many people don't have THAT much operational experience as they only do a handful of jobs a year. For this reason it is perhaps best to stick to the basics, as they are safe and easy to remember.

Be this as it may, it still worries me when at incidents you see actions taken that may be by the book, yet should have been modified to fit the incident. Thats the whole issue with emergency incidents, they are fluid and ever changing.

I'm certainly an advocate for doing things is in the spirit of the book, so that we can uphold our duty to the community, as long as any deviation is performed in the safest manner possible. I would also like to see the CFS follow other ESO's and rename their Standard Operating Procedures to Standard Operating Guidelines so that it reflects the fact that they are not rigid and should be used more as a guide than a procedure.

Over to you!

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