Fire Officer's Handbook of Tactics, 3rd Edition / Edition 3

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Modern firefighting is a continually evolving science. New technologies are constantly being applied to the fire service, both from within and without. In the latest edition of this perennial favorite, author John Norman examines these new technologies and how they affect fireground tactics. He also details the new role firefighters play in homeland security. What is offered here is a guide for the firefighter and the fire officer who, having learned the basic mechanics of the trade, are now looking for specific methods for handling specific situations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593700614
  • Publisher: PennWell Corporation
  • Publication date: 6/15/2005
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 452
  • Sales rank: 679,903
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Deputy Assistant Chief John Norman is a veteran of more than 35 years in the fire service, with a wide range of experience. He has fought fires in rural, suburban, and urban settings. Since Sept. 11, 2001, Norman has been the Chief of Rescue Operations with the New York Fire Department. Until that date, as a Battalion Chief, he had been assigned to the 16th Battalion in Harlem. In the days after the collapse of the Twin Towers, Norman was designated as the Search and Rescue manager for the World Trade Center site. He operated in that position as a member of the Incident Commanders General Staff for two months before assuming his assignment as the Chief in Charge of the Special Operations Command on a full-time basis. He is the best-selling author of Fire Officer's Handbook of Tactics, Second Edition, also from Fire Engineering Books & Videos.
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Read an Excerpt

The key to successful hoseline selection is to look at the situation briefly before taking any hose off the apparatus. Make sure that the line stretched is appropriate for the task. Far too often, firefighters have stretched an inappropriate line because "that's the line we always stretch." This often involves stretching booster, or red, lines into structures, a totally unsatisfactory solution. In at least two large departments, the administration is so strongly against this practice that the booster lines have been removed from the apparatus. Stopping short of such drastic measures means that the members riding on the pumper must be able to make the right choice based on the situation at hand.

Regardless of the method of attack you choose or the type of stream you employ, two criteria determine whether your effort will successfully extinguish the fire. The first is that the amount of water discharged be of sufficient volume to remove the heat being generated. The second is that the water actually reaches the heart of the fire and not be carried away by convective currents or turned to steam. These two criteria combine to determine what size hoseline will be appropriate.

The first consideration, required volume, is relatively simple. In fact, formulas that can predict the required amount of water flow have been devised based on the volume of the area and the weight of the fire load. These formulas, discussed in chapter 2, vary from 10 gpm for every 100 sq ft in a low fire-load setting to 50 gpm per 100 sq ft for high fire-load areas. This is determined by the amount of heat that the fuel can produce. Materials vary as to the amount of heat they give off. For instance, one pound of wrapping paper will give off about 7,100 BTUs, whereas one pound of styrene foam gives off about 18,000 BTUs. In this case, the styrene foam would require about 2½ times more water to extinguish than would the wrapping paper. Still, in either case, if you don't apply enough water, the fire won't go out. Simply stated, firefighters must apply enough water to absorb all of the heat being given off or the fire will continue to extend. (Water absorbs about 9,275 BTUs per gal when raised from 70° to completely vaporized, so in the case of the pound of wrapping paper, a little less than 1 gal of water would be required to cool the burning paper, while nearly 2 gal would be required for the same one pound of styrene foam, assuming complete vaporization.)

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Table of Contents

Part I: General firefighting tactics

* General principles of firefighting

* Size-up

* Engine company operations

* Hoseline selection, stretching, and placement

* Water supply

* Standpipe and sprinkler operations

* Ladder company operations

* Forcible entry

* Ventilation

* Search and rescue

Part II: Specific fire situations

* Firefighter safety and survival

* Private dwellings

* Multiple dwellings

* Garden apartments and townhouses

* Commercial buildings--Taxpayers

* High-rise office buildings

* Buildings under construction, renovation, demolition

* Fire-related emergencies: Incinerators, oil burners, gas leaks

* Collapse

* Fire department operations at potential terrorist acts

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