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Reprimand or Outside The Box Thinking?


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Seen this on The good old Twitter today. Definitely an interesting one and I thought I’d see what the thoughts were on here old hands and new? Operational discretion maybe?


For context, it’s apparently a training exercise. I’ll leave the rest up to yous to debate 😃

  • Haha 1
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Training, absolutely no way.

Incident, would have to be life critical to even think of doing that and the time taken to set that up would not be practical for time critical rescue.

Whilst they are in WAH kit, so have a safety system in place, I see no benefit over getting an ALP out as your working platform.

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Perhaps an ALP cannot get close enough, or arrive soon enough. Our local ALP just did a 46 mile run to a rural shout.

Certainly in my day that would be top knotch; we old folks don't remember these routine shouts going wrong. Operator is on two lines, just get the job done.

Quite impressed though with the platform the operator is stood on, that was definitely the hard part.

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I think this is either a Hurst advert or one of those UKRO type demos that have so many ‘what ifs?’ that the scenario becomes unrealistic. But as a way for my crews to use as much varied kit as possible, work together to solve problems, trying different approaches, R&D, communicating throughout and most of all - enjoying their training, apart from the tools not being part of the W@H system so could fall and kill someone - I have no problems with it at all and would be up there with them.

Ladder to the third or car on all 4 wheels isn’t going to keep anyone interested or challenged is it, so making training interesting, enjoyable - fun even with everyone having input has got to be the way to go.

Its like ‘my’ RTC scenario attached - the need to ‘break a cars back’ and Tirfor back on itself to rescue someone has never been needed in the history of the horseless carriage - but in terms of ‘could we?’ ‘how would we?’ with loads of kit being used safely by everyone on Duty for their Maintenance Of Competencies… why not? You never know!


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5 hours ago, Percy said:

I think this is a Hurst advert

That's exactly what I thought Percy. The photo is well cropped, so you can't see what's holding it up, but it looks like its floating in thin air off the side of a bridge. Other than there's a sky hook in use.xD

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Lol. No. Do I want to do it? Hellyeah. Can I ever think of any justification for doing so when I've got tech rescue in that opposite yard to me? Nah. Given how Grenfell attendees were hauled over the coals, I'd struggle to see how id justify this if anything went wrong. 

So once you've created space with your magic holmatro hoverboard technique, what are you getting the casualty out onto?..........

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Yeah probably not today. It's a novel idea that would have been deemed good firemanship by crews 15-20 years ago but today your feet wouldn't touch.

Nowadays in some brigades you have to stand in a pop up pool to fart.

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I think if you ever needed to do that in real life scenario after exploring all the options within your normal proceedures you're probably in operational discretion territory. 

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I really do not know enough about that kit or scenario to comment directly. But for those who have expressed shock and outrage , let's think about training and why we do it.

The standard drills provide skills and confidence of know how to use the kit safely - almost instinctively.  But to try and use kit with 'drill book' restrictions in real scenarios does end up tying your operational hands behind your back.

Consider ladders. Consider how limiting it would be insisting three rounds above the cill and only one person on each extension (if that is what is still trained). This is why when I was a watch manager, I ensured my watch did a mix of formal drills and scenario ladder work.

This might be 'target training', where a piece of insulation tape was place on the top rung and it had to be lined up with a chalk mark I made on the drill tower wall with minimal adjustments. On other days, we would do ladder training on site, even at derelicts. This were really useful as crews got experience breaking windows with the head of the ladder.

Before I was promoted and when 135 ladders were introduced, we did training to discover the minimum amount of FFs needed to pitch the ladder. We achieved it with one guy with a struggle, but managed it easier with two. We even found a way to add two sections of a short extension ladder to the head of a 135 using hose beckets and a hydrant bar. It was scary but at least we had that knowledge to use if absolutely necessary.

I repeated this 2 man 135 drill and a discussion about other options when I was promoted to watch manager at a one pump station as we may have a crew of 5 for some time upon arrival. Months later, my driver press-ganged shocked and bemused members of the public standing at a bus stop to help him pitch a 135 at a persons reported as the rest of use were busy at the back of the shop laying a jet and committing a BA crew, and no signs of supporting appliances were evident.  

Other practical training we did was RTC training at a muddy scrap yard. We would get a grab excavator operator to smash the car around a water filled foam canister and then cut it out. Sometimes corners were cut, but never to foam barrels !!!! We took a flask and picnic for elevenses and spent the morning doing the best RTC training I ever did 

My point is that training is all about using the kit safely in a controlled environment. Good light, dry weather and no time pressures or real casualties to worry about. It promotes lateral thinking in problem solving in ways that slavishly sticking to procedures never can. Trying these idea first on the foreground at 3am in a storm is not a great idea. So pushing the boundaries in station yards has to be the best way

Just don't as me about abseiling with long lines and having to rescue a member of the watch suspended upside down as we were all laughing uncontrollably 😂

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Did anyone notice that they’ve lanyarded the spreaders as well? 

Something else I thought about was should they have maybe taken the battery out of the spreaders to avoid accidental activation with a kick of the foot? 

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