Firefighter/EMT since 1985. Currently operating on a 75' Quint Ladder truck. Handling all phases of Fire/EMS/Rescue for a community of 38,000 bedroom community in Charleston, SC
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Lol, yes it can be a lot of drama. Our headquarters station is crowded with 10 guys and they gossip, prank, get ticked off over small things. But yes as soon as the tones drop everything else stops. We watch each others backs.
Risk vs Outcome. As you arrive you are looking at several things especially at night. Cars in the driveway? Toys in the Yard? these thing will increase the potential of having to put life risk first. But if it is a vacant home and it is significantly involved is the risk of injury equal or greater that the outcome of saving a fire damaged building. We are trained to look at many things from reading the smoke? You can read several things from the smoke. This video link will show you the signs that we look for specifically smoke puffing out of the building.http://statter911.com/2011/11/17/must-see-raw-video-smoke-explosion-at-texas-house-fire/ It takes a lot of consideration determining your choice of attack. But it all comes down to it night time fire are more of a initial rescue before suppression.
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Yes every 6 mths we test them to see if there working if they need greased, as in the caps, Public Works Depts handle repairing them. We tend to have problems up North with freezing pipes and the such. But we also flow them to makes sure nothing has been placed in the hydrant that can ruin or break our pumps.
Commitment is basically the same, to a point. Remember the volunteers have full time jobs and families and that takes a lot of time. Then tack on the volunteering time ,thats alot. I can have a fire tommorow when I go to work do my thing and then I am off for 48 hrs, I dont have to work a another job but most of us do. So vol. firefighters have less time available then we do.
We look at several things how long the fire was burning until we were notified. Usually house fire are electrical in nature and we can look at some of the wiring which by shorting out can cause the wires to weld together. Lots of things from witnesses, the residents telling us. Fire for the most time can be predictable in the amount of damage we can expect with known vairables from NIST testing. Can be a lot of detective work.
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