Fundamentals of Fire Protection Essay

Fundamentals of Fire Protection Essay

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Fundamentals of Fire Protection

Tragedy in Worcester December 3, 1999

December 3, 1999 is a day that forever changed the Worcester Fire
Department. Six career fire fighters died after they became lost in a
six-story, maze-like, cold storage and warehouse building. Those lost
were, Joseph T. McGuirk, 38; James F. Lyons III, 34; Lt. Thomas E.
Spencer, 42; Timothy P. Jackson, 51; Paul A. Brotherton, 41; and
Jeremiah M. Lucey, 38. (Firehouse.com/worcester May 2002) This
research will discuss the importance of operating within the incident
command system, the importance of an accountability system, crew
integrity, rapid intervention teams and the use of thermal imaging
cameras, and operations at abandoned occupancies.

The first report of the fire was made by an off-duty police officer
who was passing by. The officer reported that smoke was coming from
the roof of the structure. The first alarm was struck at 1815 hours.
Responding on the first alarm were Engines 1, 6, 12, and 13, along
with Ladders 1 and 5, Rescue 1, and Car 3. Engine 1 was first to
arrive on the scene at 1816 hours and reported heavy smoke showing.
Units were assigned to search the building for victims and locate the
fire. At 1819 hours, car 3 arrived on scene and assumed command (IC#1)
and requested a second alarm be struck due to the size of the
building. Units responding on the second alarm were Engines 2 and 16,
Aerial Scope 2, and Car 2, which later became Incident Commander Two
(IC#2). At 1820 hours, IC#1 requested any available building
information from dispatch, but no information was ever found or
received. The lack of pre-fire plans created confusion amon...


... middle of paper ...


...
Firefighters across the nation should study this incident and learn
from the mistakes made that December day. Perhaps if all crews
operated within a well structured incident command system, managed
personnel accountability, maintained crew integrity, utilized
tag-lines and thermal imaging cameras, four of these firefighters
lives might have been spared. Most importantly, if a pre-fire plan had
been conducted on this structure, interior operations would not have
been initiated therefore preventing the loss of lives December 3,
1999.


Works Cited

Firehouse.com www.firehouse.com/worcester May 2002

National Institute on Safety and Health. Fatality Assessment and
Control Evaluation Investigative Report #99F-47 Sept. 27, 2000

Sendelbach, Timothy "Managing the Fireground Mayday" Firehouse.com 26
June 2004

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