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FARS vs. Elevators:
The Re-Match
Part 2 of a 3-Part Series

By Captain Mike Gagliano, Seattle Fire Department
BC Brian Kazmierzak, Penn Township Fire Department

In part one of this series we evaluated the impact of time on elevator and stairwell operations at high-rise fires.  You can read Part 1 here.

For Part 2, we’ll shift the focus from the impact of time and look at manpower and reliability as it pertains to using elevators vs. FARS for air supply. As in the first article, there is simply no comparison or equivalency between the two. Elevators are a late stage air solution. FARS is the only early stage solution.

What’s your body count?

There is no way to exaggerate the impact that insufficient staffing has on an emergency scene. We cringe at times when reading after-action reports or strategic models that seem to imply a maximum amount of staffing in their conclusions. To count on optimum staffing before and during a fire is Monday morning quarterbacking at its absolute worst. The bottom line is that you get who shows up based on numerous factors including your base staffing, ongoing alarms, traffic, weather, mutual aid resources and a host of other variables that are not fully within your control. Stated very simply: You get what you get.

During a recent presentation on FARS, the department hosting the class responded to a query about their initial response to a high-rise fire with the following reply: We’d have two engines, staffed with 2 members each, on scene within the first 3-5 minutes. Additional help would be available within 10 minutes and we’d expect another 8-10 firefighters. If you start filling in the various assignments needed for a fire of this magnitude it becomes readily apparent how quickly you run out of members to fill the needed jobs. Now add in the challenge of having those limited resources figure out how to transport sufficient air for resupply when the need is a half a football field or higher in the air. They will not have the air they need even if the elevators are working. That is the difference between late stage and early stage air. With elevators or the stairwell as your option, you won’t have air for replacement for a long time. With FARS, it is immediate and does not depend on the use of your initial limited manpower to fulfill that function.


Technology And
The Modern
Fire Ground

By Brian P. Kazmierzak

I recently returned from a couple days in Oakland, CA after attending the National Fallen Firefighters (NFFF) Technology Summit.  This is the second time I have attended an NFFF technology event, having attended in 2014 as well.  It combined some of my favorite things – firefighting, research, and technology. At the conference, we looked at all different types of technologies, from radios to incident command to training to a great research presentation to NFPA.  We also heard about something that was totally new to me, building-installed Firefighter Air Replenishment Systems (FARS).
     When we look at today’s fire service, technology truly is all around us -- our apparatus has multiplexed electrical systems, fire pumps have digital controllers and electronic valves, and our turnout gear and SCBA have been improved due to research and technology.  

Get A Live

October 18-20
At Firehouse Expo
In Nashville

      For the first time ever, members of the fire service can get a hands-on demonstration of an installed, fully-functional FARS at an industry event.
      RescueAir will be at the Firehouse Expo in Nashville from Tuesday, October 18 - Thursday, October 20, providing hand-on FARS demos. Look for this banner in the area across from the exhibit area, where the HOT classes are scheduled. 
     "At Firehouse, we pride ourselves on presenting the latest and greatest tools and resources for the fire service, and we consider FARS to be one of those," says Timothy E. Sendelbach, Editor-in-Chief of Firehouse. "We are very pleased that our show will be the first fire service event to have a working FARS system in place for attendees to get a hands-on demonstra-tion."
Use Our Registration
Code and Save!
Friends of RescueAir can get free access to the exhibit hall and discounted registrations for the show. Go to this link and use promo code RAS2016.
Hope to see you there!
Safety During Overhaul
By Rich Marinucci
Executive Director,
Fire Department Safety
Officers Association

     There is a great sense of accomplish-ment, and to some extent relief, when fire crews bring a hostile fire under control. For all practical purposes, the damage has been confined and the risks are greatly reduced. This does not mean that all the danger is gone or that the work is done. The next step of the job is known as overhaul and it begins the process of making sure that the fire is completely extinguished and that there will be no rekindle. Crews look for hidden fire and put out “hot spots.”
      Overhaul can be defined as “those operations conducted once the main body of fire has been extinguished that consist of searching for and extinguishing hidden or remaining fire, placing the building and its contents in a safe condition, determining the cause of the fire, and recognizing and preserving evidence of arson.” (IFSTA Essentials, 5th Edition) 

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