Monday, July 26, 2010

Question of the Day #5

Ok Fire Buffs.... put you're thinkin caps on.... Here Comes the QOD #5

Who was considered to be the first fire chief in US history?

A. Jacobus Stoutenburgh

B. Benjamin Franklin

C. Jacobus Turck

D. Thomas Atkins

Answer Posted Below.....

Who was considered to be the first fire chief in US history?

A. Jacobus Stoutenburgh

During 1761, Jacobus Stoutenburgh became the head of the volunteer fire department for New York City. His title was “Overseer of Fire Engines The department was reorganized I 1762 and Stoutenburgh's title was changed to "Engineer," then to "Chief Engineer" in later that year and finally in 1763, "Chief." (This was the first time any firefighter in the U.S. was officially known by the rank of chief.) The rank of chief soon became popular with fire departments throughout the country, and the association of the speaking trumpet and a fire officer was starting. The earliest mention of trumpets in New York City was in 1752, when Jacobus Turck, who was in charge of the department at that time, was authorized "to purchase six small speaking-trumpets for the use of the Corporation." The first trumpets were made of tin and were painted. The officers called cadence through the trumpets to keep the men on the hand pumpers in time on the noisy fireground. The trumpets soon were being made from brass and were being presented as gifts to members of the department. Chief Officers used them for overall command at the scene of working fires. They also became part of the elaborate uniforms of the volunteer firemen. The speaking trumpet was in use for many years as a communication device. It has carried on to this day in a small way as an insignia of rank in most departments - one trumpet for lieutenant, two for a captain, and crossed gold trumpets up to five in number to signify chief of department.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Question of the Day #4

Happy Sunday to All !!!   In the spirit of Public Assembly fires of historical note... today, we'll add a neat trivia fact from the Cocoanut Grove fire...

but not what you think......

During the Cocoanut Grove Fire, this was used for the first time on burn victims:

A.  Burn Blanket

B.  Vaseline

C.  Morphine

D.  Saline Solution

Answer Posted Below......

Whoever post anon was correct!

During the Cocoanut Grove Fire, this was used for the first time on burn victims:

B. Vaseline

The Cocoanut Grove fire victims were treated by two hospitals: Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston City Hospital. While at these hospitals they were treated by doctors using medical advancements such as new drugs, procedures and a blood bank. Doctors Daniels Moore and Oliver Cope treated them at Massachusetts General Hospital in a process involving gauze smeared with Vaseline. It was the first major use of the hospital’s new blood bank- one of the areas’s first established by Dr. Lamar Soutter. The Cocoanut Grove victim was amongst the first to be treated with a new drug called penicillin as well.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Question of the Day #3

Ok fire trivia junkies... let's get to it... hopefully we start getting a little more interaction going here soon

Here is your Fire Trivia Question of the Day......remember.. no Google, no Cheating :-)

This was the Deadliest Public Assembly Fire in US History:

A. Dance Hall, Via Platt, LA

B. Rhythm Club, Natchez, MS

C. Iroquois Theater

D. Beverly Hills Supper Club, Southgate, KY

Answer Posted Below.....

Bi-Paula and @scribbles412 were right!  (...and who says movies aren't educational ?  LOL)

The Deadliest Public Assembly Fire in US History was:

C. Iroquois Theater

 Ever wonder why Fire Inspections and Code Enforcement are so important ? Read on........

The Iroquois Theater fire occurred on December 30, 1903, in Chicago, Illinois. It is the deadliest Public Assembly fire in United States history. A total of 602 people died as a result of the fire. Despite being billed as "Absolutely Fireproof" in advertisements and playbills, numerous deficiencies in fire readiness were apparent. An editor of Fireproof Magazine had toured the building during construction and had noted "the absence of an intake, or stage draft shaft; the exposed reinforcement of the (proscenium) arch; the presence of wood trim on everything and the inadequate provision of exits.” A Chicago Fire Department captain who made an unofficial tour of the theater days before the official opening noted that there were no extinguishers, sprinklers, alarms, telephones, or water connections; the only firefighting equipment available were six canisters of a dry chemical called "Kilfyre", which was normally used to douse residential chimney fires. There were also structural deficiencies. Large iron gates blocked off the stairways during performances to prevent patrons from moving down from the gallery to the dress circle or orchestra. Many of the exit routes were confusing; patrons seated in the front of the gallery had to turn left, climb four stairs, turn right, climb down a number of stairs, then turn and descend another staircase simply in order to reach the dress circle level, then descend another stairway to reach the foyer. The gallery stairways also converged on one point, making it more likely that the exits would become bottlenecks. Within the theater, curtains covered the main fire exits located on the north side of each level. The exits themselves were secured with bascule locks, a form of lock in which bolts run vertically out of the top and bottom of the door and which were almost unheard of outside of Europe at the time. The fire escapes that led from the north exits each served three doors and were too narrow to carry the number that could exit if all doors opened. Moreover, the last rungs of the emergency stairs were frozen in place and could not be moved. Many doors opened inwards, including the main stage door. The roof ventilation system was either nailed down or wired down, but in any event was not functional. At about 3:15 P.M., late in the second act, a dance number was in progress when an arc light shorted and ignited a muslin curtain. A stage hand attempted to douse the fire with the Kilfyre canisters provided but it quickly spread to the fly gallery high above the stage where thousands of square feet of highly flammable painted canvas scenery flats were hung. While the actors were fleeing through the back door, it was reported when they open the door a back draft was created. As the cold winter air rushed into the building, the fire created a bellows like effect that shot tongues of fire out across the audience. It took the Chicago Fire Department 13 minutes to get the initial call of the fire because of the lack of pull boxes in the area, and it took them only 2 minutes to arrived on scene after receiving the call. By that time when they arrived on scene, it was to an eerily quiet blaze with 572 people already dead before their arrival.

After the fire, it was alleged that fire inspectors had been bribed with free tickets to overlook code violations. The mayor ordered all theaters in Chicago closed for six weeks after the fire. The Iroquois fire prompted widespread implementation of the panic bar. A second result of the fire was that it was required that a fireproof asbestos curtain (or sheet metal screen) be raised before each performance and lowered afterward to separate the audience from the stage. The third result was that fire codes limited the maximum number of seats between aisles to six or eight for faster evacuation. The fourth result was that all doors in public buildings must open "outward" to prevent more death, but that practice didn't became a national effect until the Collinwood School Fire of 1908 were 172 children and 2 teachers had died in this fire.

Some great links to this fire I found :

Friday, July 23, 2010

Question of the Day #2

Ok Fire Buffs... no cheating... leave Google alone.... time to test your fire history knowledge....

Take your time... think about it  :)

The Deadliest fire in American History was:

A. The Great Chicago Fire

B. The Peshtigo Fire

C. The San Francisco Fire

D. The Great Baltimore Fire


Shell is Correct !!

The Deadliest fire in American History was:

B. The Peshtigo Fire

On October 8th, 1871, the same time and day as the Great Chicago Fire, 3 other fires, The Port Huron Fire, the Great Michigan Fire, and the Peshtigo Fire. However, only one of these fires is recorded as the most deadly fire in US History and that is The Peshtigo Fire. Reports have been said that the Fire Storm was so intense it jumped several miles over Green Bay and burned parts of the Door of the Peninsula. By the time the fire was over, 1,875 square miles burned, with 12 communities destroy in the fire. As a result of this, an accurate death toll has not been determined since local population records were destroys by fire. Reports have said 1,200-2,500 people had lost their life in the fire, however, the Wisconsin State Legislature listed on 1,182 names in an 1873 report. For years, these 3 fires have been mostly forgotten because of the Great Chicago Fire and the folk lore of it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Question of the Day #1

Here is the first in your series of Fire Trivia Question of the Day.  So without further ado....

Let's start easy, shall we ? .........

The Oakland Firestorm of 1991 ended up costing?

A.  $500 million

B.  $1 Billion

C.  $1.25 Billion

D.  $1.5 Billion

           .....Answer Posted below

 RescueMonkey is correct...

The Oakland Firestorm of 1991 ended up costing

D. $1.5 Billion

The Oakland Firestorm of 1991 was a large urban fire that occurred on the hillsides of northern Oakland, California and southeastern Berkeley on Sunday October 20, 1991, almost 2 years after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. The fire has also been called the Oakland Hills Firestorm, the East Bay Hills Fire, and the Tunnel Fire (because of its origin above the west portal of the Caldecott Tunnel) in Oakland. The fire ultimately killed 25 people and injured 150 others. The 1,520 acres destroyed included 3,354 single-family dwellings and 437 apartment and condominium units. The economic loss has been estimated at $1.5- $2 Billion. Developments of this fire was Fire-resistant building codes, Homeowners are mandated to clear vegetation, Neighborhoods access to firefighting equipment and water, and Firefighters given forest fire training and equipment, such as thermal imaging devices and portable hydrant systems.

Fire Trivia

Figured I would try something a little different with the blog... What's this you say ?  How about a little somethin somethin in fire trivia questions ?  Maybe a little fun can be had, maybe a little history can be learned... and just maybe... you can earn a free drink or two at the club LOL.

Each day or so.. I will post a multiple choice Fire Trivia Question... PLEASE!!! Fell free to comment and tweet what you think the answeres are....only fun if there is participation.... the next day, I will post the answer and the explanation of the answer in the blog and send it out.  

always good to learn the history of the job we love so much....

Today I saw a Soldier Cry

   O-Dark-early in the morning.  Cuddled in bed, dreaming of home.  Know that soon the day will begin and will have to leave my comfy sanctuary.  Had been a crazy shift the day before... a couple of which we still have no clue what was burning...and a minor trauma from a fall.  Hot and so bright your eyes would hurt if you forgot your shades.  The Air Conditioner was a welcome sleep-buddy.  Still wished I was home... 
    BANG! BANG! BANG!  Torn from slumber by the Chief hitting the door... jumped outta bed, just as if the tones had sounded... "Hey Cap! We've got some sort of an emergency at such and such location... and radios are down..."  Well, that's a hell of an ecouraginf wake-up....  "I'm on it, Chief"
   Threw my uniform on... picture Clark Kent in the phone booth... meet my driver at the truck... que dramatic chase scene music.... ok.. maybe just the scream of the siren tearing through the quiet as the sun is just peaking over the horizon... (sure there were some people that were not so  enthused about that).  No clue what the situation was.. just headed that way.. hoping we'd get some intel... still no sign of smoke.. hmmmm...
    As we round the corner.. Chief is hollerin an the radio to get the medics en-route.. CPR is in progress...  Well.. I guess no need for Coffee this morning to get my jump-start.
    Arriving on scene... doing my scene size up and safety check... the only thing I notice is the streak of what I assume to be yellow bunker pants screamin across the sand.... why yes.. bunker pants.. I was right...  My youngest firefighter with jump kit on the shoulder and AED in hand.... where the heck is he going ?  Finally.. for the first time of the morning... my driver.. who until this point I assumed was still asleep... spoke up "Hey cap.. this doesn't look so good... you might wanna get up there..."
  As soon as the blast of air from the paring break sounds.. I'm gloved up and gone... trying not to look rushed.. I'm the Cap.. gotta stay cool, right... at least until I get the full picture as to what is going on...
    Man down in a confined area... got 2 firefighters, or pretzels, not sure which yet, in this area with him, AED Hooked up.. compressions looking good.... then I notice this piece of equipment they are in is a giant metal box... with what appears to be an extremelt heavy "lid" being held jus above their heads buy nothing more than a small jack-stand... "Um.. guys... you're doing a great job... but... can we get him moved outside BEFORE you shock... oh ya.. and before this falls on your noggins ?"  It's amazing how quickly a patient can be boarded and moved to safety without ever missing a compression....
   CPR continued.. and I began my assessment.. this is gonna be a long day.  2 sharing compressions, 2 of us on airway... this battle was not going to be given up any time soon... we owed it to this soldier... we owed it to his family... we owed it to his men.  Still no shockable rythm.....
   I was relieved on airway... and began to look around at the warriors watching us... the fear... the hope on their faces.  These were his men... men who held each others lives in their hands daily... I needed to know what happened... Pretty sure this was not a heart attack.. had to be more going on... hoping what I had noticed with the equipment earlier had nothing to do with it...
   I see a soldier.. on his knee... obviously asking for a little help... help we'd greatly welcome... I asked this soldier.. who obviously needed to be part of the solution... what had happened...
    He looked at me, tears in his eyes... and simply said.. My Sergeant saved my life.... from his story, it appeared to me that the man we were so determined to save... had leaped in harms was to push this young soldier from the jeaws of peril, taking the full blow to himself.  Obviously respected by his men.. he gave everything for them...
    He watched as he explained the events.. watched the fight to save his leader... then " Shock Advised" and the wonderful sound of the box as it charges... shock was delivered.. and CPR resumed as his men watched and prayed.
   We brought that sergeant back that morning... I'm sure there was more to it than just our determination.  As we pulled in to the ER, he had a rythm and pulses, was fighting the tube and trying to breathe on his own...

For as long as I live.. I will never forget the tears in that warriors eyes.... the hardened look of battle gone... and just the hope and prayers for the Sergeant who saved his life...

Sometimes people forget.. our soldiers are no different than any of us... they have families, they have friends, they love and are loved.   Our soldiers just give a little more... to protect us and our nation.... and each other.

Today I saw a Soldier cry.... and I will never forget why I'm here

Friday, July 9, 2010

Serenade Me to Sleep

Press Play and Listen as you read... recorded this the other only

Imagine trying to live, work and save lives in a place where everyone just wants you dead.  Responding to a call for help, yet ever vigilant, ever cautious, watching for any indication the road might explode right in front of you.  The looks of hatred, the looks of fear, the looks of a people who are just plain tired.  The look of relief when you simply just give a smile or a bottle of water.
Soldiers, Airmen, Marines... working together... dedicated as one team to a common goal.... but also.... worn and tired.
These are the people I am here to protect, this is my world.  No matter what time, no matter what temperature... the risk will be taken... the call will be answered....
I am a Combat Firefighter
We are here but for one purpose
Protecting Those Who Protect Peace
Regardless of uniform... we are but one team.... we share but one goal... but even the bravest and most hardened must sleep.... sometimes
So serenade me to sleep... sing me the sweet 50 cal lullaby
the rythmic melodies of the M-4 and 60
The screech and bass of the mortars above
This is the music that lulls us to dreamland
The concert that never ends
Mostly.. the sound of men fighting for what is right and just
Sleep well, my friends.....Never you fret
The boys are on the job