Station Pride Articles

Playing God

Reading social media these days can be a challenge. There are multiple pages set aside for nothing more than invoking a tactical debate, over a 5-second video. What good do these pages serve? It invariably becomes an argument of hose size and whether to grab a hydrant before or after fire attack. Invariably, the comment will be added: “no possible survivors”, “too much risk”, or “that’s a defensive only fire”. These pages only give a voice to the people, who shouldn’t be making these decisions.

Many people, promoted one step past competency, will disagree and even berate comments about aggressive search. People that are not vetted, with minimal experience, can speak to tactics they have only read about. Let me be clear…search is not an action of opportunity, it is a mandatory tactic to perform our mission. Survivable space is defined by the victim, not the company officer of an undertrained department, inept to the environmental changes behind a single closed door. Trapped occupants deserve a chance at survival, and we represent that chance. It’s not our job to play god…it’s our job to search any and all areas possible. If we fail at this tactic, we fail at upholding the meaning of our job. We remove all possibilities of a trapped occupant, seeing their families. We don’t even offer them a chance.

Eventually, all fires will burn out, and property can be replaced. Lives on the other hand, cannot. Social media is a great place to share and learn, but abundant caution must be used to ensure you’re listening to a credible source. Don’t let the misguided opinions of others dictate your next strategy. At the time of writing, 59 people perished in residential fires, during the last 7 days.

About Jason Hurley (6 Articles)
Jay Hurley is a 17 year veteran of the fire service, working as Fire Chief of a suburban department in Georgia. As a student of the fire service, Jay has undergone training in multiple areas, as well as being a graduate of Firefighters Laboring and Mastering Essential Skills, or F.L.A.M.E.S., and the Georgia Smoke Diver Program. Hurley serves as a member of multiple fire service organizations including the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs, and acts as a Task Force Leader for Georgia Search and Rescue Task Force 6 in NW Georgia. He has been an instructor at the Metro Atlanta Firefighters Conference, and a HOT Instructor at FDIC since 2017. Jay is currently working on a degree in Fire Service Administration, and is Co-founder of “Do Your Part Training”.

4 Comments on Playing God

  1. Scott Thompson // September 6, 2018 at 8:12 am // Reply

    Great article! The fire service needs to figure this out PDQ….


  2. So important to know your districts construction types occupancies vacancies permanent and temporary, and work that into your strategy.


  3. Excellent points. Thank you


Thanks for leaving a comment on!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: