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Kitchen Table Debriefs - Hostile Fire Events (Part II)

Edward M. Raposo


As I stated in PART I, the label you place on the hostile event –Flashover, Backdraft, Smoke Explosion- is of little concern. They will hurt or kill you if you don’t pay attention.

Thick, black/dark-brown/mustard, charging, turbulent/boiling smoke means watch out! Something bad is about to happen! The fire burns bright, and is the main show; the attention getter. If you want to know what the magician is doing, watch his other hand; watch the smoke!

Situational Awareness remains the top-contributing factor to firefighter close calls, according to the National Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting System. This means we need to pay more attention!

One last thing: I would also like to thank Mr. Faucher and I hope that he would be happy to know that I finally got it (read PART I on Pyrolysis)! Thank you for giving me your attention!

Stay Safe and Keep Checking Under the Smoke!

Chief Ed Raposo (Ret.)

This series of articles takes on a very informal approach in discussing key aspects of Fire Service issues relevant to today’s firefighters and officers. Similar to a post-incident debriefing back at the firehouse, this series, titled “The Kitchen Table Debrief – (Title)” will hopefully foster discussion, and comments. Possibly, if we are not careful, we all may actually learn something from each other along the way!

This series is a collection of excerpts from a new book called “SmokeEater 101 – Anatomy of the Fire Incident”, and soon to be completed!