High Rise Fire Operations

Report
High Rise Fire
Operations
• Most Challenging of all firefighting
incidents.
• Close Coordination and tight control
of all resources are demanded yet
difficult to achieve.
• Without direction and proper
coordination, confusion develops
rapidly and the risk of life safety
increases.
Guidelines give pre-determined
direction during high rise
emergencies.
• Proper training and experience
will play an important role in
the successful management of
these incidents.
Three Common
Problems
• Water Supply
• Functionality of fire protection
systems
• Occupant evacuation
Initial Assignments
First-in unit/Recon Team (Minimum 3
people)
Establishes Command, performs an
exterior survey, and gives an initial
size-up. The primary function of this
team is to locate the fire as soon as
possible. The second arriving unit
will assume command.
The Recon Group
Supervisor must proceed
with the following:
• Meets with management or maintenance
personnel (if present)
• Checks enunciator
• Obtains elevator drop-key and master
key/card
• Investigate the fire floor
• Give size-up
• Initiate suppression/rescue/evacuation
• Prepare to transfer to Fire Attack Group,
Evacuation Group or Division Supervisor
The Recon Group
Supervisor officer must
decide the following:
• What is the Tactical Priority?
• Rescue (Life safety, including their
own)
• Fire Control
• Property Conservation
Recon Team
• How much and what size hose will
be needed to extinguish the fire?
How far will the fire travel, allowing
the time for hand lines to be
advanced to the fire floor?
• Are there fire extension
considerations? How can the fire be
confined?
Recon Team
 After the Recon team gives its
size-up, it will be reassigned by
the Incident Commander as
needed. Options include
retreating to a safe area to wait
for the Fire Attack or be
reassigned as the Evacuation
Team dependent upon direction
of the Incident Commander.
Second Assignment
Command/Lobby/Water
Supply
• Second unit will automatically
assume command
• First arriving Truck may or may
not be assigned due to the need
for Aerial Operations
• Company Officer report to lobby
for command functions
Second Assignment
• Engineer obtains water supply
to building standpipe/sprinkler
systems
• Additional personnel will be
assigned to lobby control after
more equipment has arrived.
Lobby supervisor
• Coordinate incoming units.
• Check control room for alarms
and systems check.
• Controlling the entrances/exits
• Controlling the elevators and
access to the stairways
Lobby supervisor
• Securing the building manager and/or
building engineer. They should remain in
this area for technical advice as needed.
• Prepare for possible shut down of utilities
and HVAC systems.
• Maintain list and control all personnel that
enter the building.
• Coordinate with Evacuation Team on
established routes for evacuation of
occupants allowing for a minimum of
conflict with advancing firefighting
equipment.
Third Assignment
Fire Attack (Minimum six
personnel)
• The fire attack group has the responsibility
to mount an aggressive attack on the seat
of the fire with confinement and
extinguishment as the main goal. Two 3person companies should be assigned to
fire attack. The first crew will be the fire
attack and the second crew will be the
back up crew to provide for safety for the
first attack team. Hose lines should be
connected to the standpipe outlet one floor
below the fire.
Fire Attack
• Before ascending to the fire
floor, the fire attack office must
get specific instructions on:
• Stairwell to be used
• Fire floor
• Fire Location if Possible
• Elevator Use
• Radio Frequency
Fire Attack
• The Fire Attack Team will
report initially to Command but
will be reassigned to Operations
as the incident expands.
Fourth Assignment
Rescue/Evacuation
(Minimum Six Personnel)
• Locate, relocate, or remove any
trapped occupants.
• May only need to assist.
• Search Teams should be at least 3
personnel
• Lifelines may need to be used if
ventilation has not taken place.
• Could be large numbers of people
needing evacuation.
Search Team
Responsibilities
• Controlling and communicating
information to all occupants in
its assigned area
• Ensuring its area of
responsibility is searched and
cleared of occupants when
instructed to relocate or
evacuate.
Search Team
Responsibilities
• Carrying out an evacuation plan
with little direction
• Reporting adverse conditions
• Communicate with command or
operations to assure the best
stairwells are used in the event
of evacuation
Ventilation (Minimum
three people)
• Ensure a safe path for heat, smoke
and products of combustion to leave
the structure.
• Two fans to pressurize stairwell.
• Exhausted air should be ventilated
out of the stairwell that penetrates
the roof.
• Knockout panels should only be
removed after contacting command.
Ventilation
• Contact command BEFORE removing
any knockout panels.
• Always monitor CO levels when
using gasoline powered fans.
• Pressurized stairwells cannot be
used for ventilation until the
pressure has been relieved.
• The building engineer and pre-plan
should have information on the HVAC
system that will affect ventilation
Incident Command
•
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•
•
Time is utmost importance
Assignments take much longer
Call additional resources early
Put personnel 2 to 3 floors
below the fire early
• Anticipate longer and more
frequent rehab times
Incident Command
• The first arriving Battalion Chief
will receive a progress report
from the incident
commander and establish a
command post outside the
structure. The perimeter will be
dictated by the incident location
and the nature of the call.
Responsibilities of the
Incident Commander
• Assume command and establish an
effective operating position.
• Rapidly evaluate the incident (size-up).
• Initiate, maintain, and control the
communication process.
• Provide for the safety, accountability, and
welfare of personnel.
• Identify the overall strategy, develop an
incident action plan, and assign companies
and personnel accordingly.
Responsibilities of the
Incident Commander
• Coordinate overall emergency
activities.
• Coordinate activities of outside
agencies.
• Provide for continuity, transfer, and
termination of command.
•
Incident Command
Functions
• The Incident Commander is
ultimately responsible for the
successful management of the
incident. Functions of the
incident commander include but
are not limited to:
Incident Command
Functions
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•
•
•
•
Provide progress reports to radio
Check life hazards and evacuations
Check HVAC status
Ensure availability of building keys
Assign apparatus to FDC’s
Confirm the location and extent of
the fire
Incident Command
Functions
• Determine if a water flow alarm is in
operation
• Ensure elevator control
• Activate firefighter service
• Assign Elevator operator
• Call Building personnel (engineer)
• Ensure elevator company
representative is responding
Incident Command
Functions
• Get progress report from recon
• Assess situation status and ensure
adequate staffing
• Designate Base Area
• Assign Officer to Fire control room
• Assign personnel to check exterior
of the building
• Have Police establish a safety
perimeter around the building
Incident Command
Functions
• Request utility personnel and
outside agencies when needed
• Assign qualified personnel to
evaluate fire pump status and
related equipment
• Assign personnel to the incident
organizational structure as the
structure grows
• Be pro-active in deployment and
decision making
Tactical Functions
Base
• Assembly point from which
large quantities of personnel
and equipment are distributed.
• Primary point outside the
structure for personnel to
report and receive their
assignments.
Tactical Functions
Base
• Large area close for good response
but far enough not to hamper
operations.
• Base manager is usually first
arriving engine or truck officer
• Base manager reports directly to
command
Base Manager
Responsibilities
• Verifying the location of Base with
the incident commander
• Determining the most appropriate
access route to base for responding
units
• Coordinating with Lobby Control to
establish one or more safe access
routes to the incident structure
Base Manager
Responsibilities
• Maintaining an accurate log of
apparatus, equipment and personnel
responding to and within Base area
• Assuring that companies are kept
together and recording the time
companies arrive and depart from
base
• Assuring that equipment is delivered
to interior units as needed
Interior Staging
• Close proximity to the fire.
• Usually 2-3 floors below the fire.
• Same area used to rehab
personnel if large enough.
Interior Staging Manager
Responsibilities
• Verifying the location of Interior
Staging with the Operations
• Establish effective and ongoing
communications with Operations to
coordinate personnel movement
• Establish effective communications
with Logistics to coordinate
equipment movement and
deployment
Interior Staging Manager
Responsibilities
• Assure that the area is safe for
personnel to rehab and stage for
deployment
• Ensure that personnel do not by-pass
the Interior staging floor
• Plan for the layout of Interior staging
to keep personnel and equipment
that have been utilized separated
from ready equipment and personnel
Interior Staging Manager
Responsibilities
Ensure that a suitable location is set
up for Rehab of personnel and that
personnel are monitored for illness
or injury
• Maintain an accurate log of
personnel rotating in and out of
staging being sure to keep enough
reserves as needed by Operations
Interior Staging
• Additional personnel directed to
Interior Staging should always
bring priority equipment from
Base or Lobby. No one should
ever go to Interior Staging
empty handed!
Interior Staging
• The following list of equipment is
commonly stockpiled at Interior
Staging;
• SCBAs and Air Bottles
• Fire Hose, nozzles, hose appliances
and fittings
• Forcible entry tools
• Ladders
Interior Staging
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Fans
Salvage Covers and Tools
Medical Supplies
Portable Lights and hand lights
Food and Water with utensils
Any other items deemed
necessary for the incident
Rapid Intervention
Teams
• Safety of all personnel is paramount
• Maximum distance is one floor away
• RIT teams may be in somewhat
hazardous atmosphere and must be
rotated.
Rehab
• The operating time on a high rise incident will
necessitate rehabilitation for personnel operating
on the incident scene. The rehab group will
respond to the closest area that is safe and
conditions facilitate effective rehab for operating
personnel. The rehab group will usually be located
on the same floor as interior staging. This will allow
crews to move from operating positions to rehab
without exiting the building. After crews have had
sufficient time to rehab they will then be ready to
return to an operating position through interior
staging.
Medical Branch
• The Medical Branch will be designated in
the event of injury or illness to occupants
of the building. This is separate from the
unit that is responsible for rehab of
department personnel. Depending on the
number and severity of injuries to
occupants the Medical Branch can simply
be one unit or multiple units with the
triage, treatment and transport groups
reporting to them. The medical branch
director will report directly to the incident
commander.
Rules for Elevator Use
• The exact location of the fire must be
known before using elevators
• Check the hoist way initially and
periodically for smoke
• NEVER take an elevator to the fire floor,
always exit at least 2 floors below the fire
• Never move an elevator more than 5 floors
without checking for full control over the
car
• NEVER pass the fire floor
Rules for Elevator Use
• Never use the elevator until
Firefighter Operation has been
activated
• Always activate the emergency stop
before exiting a stalled elevator
• Always carry a forcible entry tool to
escape the car in an emergency
• Elevator use should be limited to 6
personnel per car
Rules for Elevator Use
• Due to the potential hazards of
elevator use, elevators should only
be considered for use for fires above
the 4th or 5th floor
• Do not use freight elevators unless a
special situation makes it necessary.
These elevators are generally
hazardous due to the trash and
debris stored around them
Communications
• The efficient coordination of
incidents, particularly high rise
incidents requires prompt complete
and frequent reports. Properly
functioning radios are essential for
good communications. Discipline in
radio communications can mean the
difference in life and death.
Communications
• Any person should use the mayday
call whenever a firefighter is missing
or trapped.
• Try to conduct as much face-to face
communications as possible
• Know who you are reporting to and
who is reporting to you
• Know which tac channel you have
been assigned
Communications
 In
the
event
that
communications are hampered
by building construction, try
talk-around channel for radio
transmissions
Expanding Complex
Incidents
• In the event of long complex
incidents, Incident Commanders and
Operations Section Chiefs can
quickly be overwhelmed with duties.
The need for the incident
commander to establish command
positions of Logistics, Planning and
Finance section Chiefs may become
apparent.
Expanding Complex
Incidents
• Crews may be assigned to
operate within these areas to
assist with staff duties. It is of
utmost importance that all
personnel be aware of their
duties, who they report to, and
who they have reporting to
them.
Summary
• It is important to remember that
time is the enemy at high rise
fires. Nothing is accomplished
in a moments notice. Intuition,
planning, experience, and
foresight are your greatest
allies as an incident commander
or group/division supervisor.
Summary
• High-rise fires require an
extraordinary amount of personnel
and equipment. The city of Los
Angeles states that most small high
rise fires require a minimum of 80 air
cylinders. It can be agreed upon
nationwide that the average fire in a
high rise utilizes a minimum of 50
personnel
Summary
• The logistical nightmare can be
best handled by a strong
presence of Command coupled
with a well trained and
organized force of fire
personnel. Communications,
coordination and teamwork will
be critical factors in the overall
success of the operation

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