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.