We must ask "WHY?"

We must ask "WHY?"



Friday, June 3, 2011

A hypothetical story

Andy Palumbo blogged about the Sullivan St Fire.

One point about that fire. It being on a holiday weekend, it was difficult to get off-duty guys to go to the fire. Why? Would you want to risk your life after having a few? Remember, They were off duty. This is a very good reason why 12 men per shift are not enough. That the second building was saved was due to nothing short of the almost superhuman efforts of the on-duty firefighters.
For the cost of two men per shift, Leighton is willing to risk our lives, your lives and your homes. As he complains about overtime he does not mention the 20 plus men we are short. As he pats himself on the back for getting a 'splash park' he ignores the safety of citizens.

I would like to tell you a hypothetical story.

You are asleep in your South Wilkes-Barre home.

Around 1 AM you are awakened to the smoke detectors shrill tone. You wake up your spouse and open your bedroom door... and are greeted to a wall of thick black smoke and intense heat.

You can't get to your children. You must get out while you can. You and your spouse barely get out through the bedroom window.

You can't get back into the house, the fire is blocking you. You must do SOMETHING to save your children.

Your spouse has already limped to the home next door to call 911.
Seconds pass like days, minutes seem like months.

It seems like forever until Engine one is on scene. The captain and a hoseman get out and start pulling lines while the driver puts the engine into pump and then charges the lines. You tell the Captain that 2 children are in the home. Less than 2 minutes have gone by since the Engine got on scene.

The Captain and hoseman begin the attack. The driver is balancing time between the pump controls and helping feed the hose line to assist the attack team.
One minute has gone by since the hoses have been charged, about 3 since they arrived on scene and the engine is below 3/4s of a tank of water.

The attack team is having a hard time with the heavy fire load, but you have hope. the ladder truck, Truck 6, is there and 2 more men are now helping the attack crew.
Two minutes have gone by since the hoses have been charged, about 4 minutes since they arrived on scene and the engine is below 1/2 of a tank of water.

The Ambulance crew is taking your spouse to the ambulance, you refuse to go. The chief (when did he get there? You can't remember) is asking you questions, but your attention is on what was your home.

Three minutes have gone by since the hoses have been charged, about 5 minutes since they arrived on scene and the engine is now below 1/4 of a tank of water.

The attack team is now getting out. WHY???!!!
They have less than one minute of water left, and without it they can not do their job.
Why don't they hook to a hydrant! There it is! It's at the corner!! That is the job of the second due engine. Still minutes from arriving because Engine 3 is out of service.

Engine 2 is now on scene, They had to come from all the way across town. They are now hooking up to the hydrant. 2 minutes later and they are getting water.
Will it be soon enough? Leighton says yes. I say if you play Russian Roulette enough and someone will die. This is a stupid game to play (especially since we are paying for top coverage) and when you play stupid games you win stupid prizes.

Don't let Leighton play games with your lives.

Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote

Add on: part 2 is here and part 3 is here.


  1. Good post Dan but remember the reduction to 12 from 14 followed the reduction from 16-17 to 14. Factor what we really should be at (17) in your story and the reality of only at 12 really comes to light.

  2. That story is coming in a few days. Along with a flood scenerio and a disaster scenero