Essay on Offensive vs Defensive fire attack

1693 Words May 4th, 2014 7 Pages
Fire Attack: Offensive vs. Defensive

Structural firefighting can be very dangerous and can put the lives of firefighters in situations were their decision can end up being very detrimental. History has proven when the wrong choices were made, and lives and properties were lost. From past structural events the choice of choosing the wrong attack could end up being in the papers and going to funerals for firefighters. That’s why choosing the correct fire tactic is so important. Offensive versus defensive tactics need to be made by competent personnel early and evaluated often, to ensure safety and structural stability is still intact. There are pros and cons for offensive and defensive attacks. That is
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When choosing between an offensive or defensive attack, crews need to be properly trained in the correct methods of extinguishing the fire. The training division and the assisted chiefs have the responsibility to make sure the firefighters that fall under their command know what they are doing. The competency of each individual is very important for the mission to be accomplished. Fire departments should have their own standard operating procedures to follow when doing an offensive or defensive attack. Any type of negligence should be avoided at all cost. If fire departments do not meet the NFPA standards for the proper way of doing these attack methods, they could be held liable and could go to jail or lose there jobs.
On June 18, 2007 in Charleston, South Carolina nine firefighters died in the line of duty, many more were injured. Several factors were contributed to the results of that fatal fire. “The fire began in trash outside the loading dock and spread into the enclosed loading dock. The fire spread quickly within the loading dock and moved into both the retail showroom and warehouse spaces”(The National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2010). Fire crews responded with an offensive attack to try to extinguish the fire. Then the unimaginable happened, and the fire spread too quickly from improper ventilation and the roof collapsed on top of them. If command knew the circumstances of the structure, they never would have gone with an offensive attack.

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