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Early video of Gary, Indiana house fire.

Comments - Add Yours

  • Anonymous

    Really? Waiting to put on your mask until you’re actually standing at the front door of the fire building (with smoke showing no less!) and then to stand IN the smoke and donn your mask to trap the carcinogenic products of combustion so it’s even easier to inhale?

    And poor Gary, it appears that they can only afford the extra small B/A’s where the waist straps are too short to even be properly worn!

    Then, there’s that guy running around with NO PPE’s acting like some sort of fireman? Dude, if you’re a firefighter you need to put on your gear and work safely or stay back and do whatever it is you do.

    Good Luck Gary FD!

  • PGFF for Life

    The SCBA waist strap thing is the DCFD/PGFD cool way to wear your PPE. Now what took so long for the wagon driver to charge the line? In our area someone else would have pulled up and pulled thier own like and walked across thier backs to get that fire! I also agree, who was the dipstick running around with no PPE on swinging an Axe?

  • Anonymous

    Hoselines stretched inside to knock it pretty quickly… Looks ok to me…

  • Scott Lawson

    My only hope and assumption is that this guy in the rear is just a well meaning civilian with the intention of helping out an understaffed first arriving engine company. Under those conditions and in the absence of a ladder company, a good engine driver can make those back windows and door go away with a roof ladder and a little ingenuity (after the water in the handline is started). I hope the lack of venting on both floors is due to the staffing issues, as well.

  • the ear

    A normal everyday fire for Gary FD.A undermanned fire department with a tremendous workload for a city it’s size.Without the luxury of 4 person engines,trucks and squads that are right on top of each other.These guys do what has to be done and sometimes it might not be right but the fires get put out. Stop being concerned about how fast a line is charged and how to wear SCBA. Monday morning quarterbacks are not needed when they are not aware of conditions.

  • Rick Clever

    While underfunding is an issue for the majority of departments in todays times, it is NO excuse for the deplorable tactics that this FD uses. Every film out there, that I have seen in recent months, shows them doing things way out of any acceptable standards.

    What was this guy doing the in the back of this house? If you take a window out take them all out, get the heat, gases and smoke out of there. Wear you PPE and don’t take glass out with your bare hands. Time after Time after Time this departent just horrendously displays total ignorance on a fireground.

    Please, Don’t tell me that is the way it is, they get the job done cause that is just making excuses for them. They have no command structure, there appears to be no tactical structure, there certainly is no sense of discipline towards operations or PPE, even tactics for that matter.

    What a disgrace to fireman everywhere.

  • Kleetis

    I agree that videos of the Gary F.D. as viewed on this website, without exception depict a department that relies heavily on dumb luck to avoid LODD’s and serious firefighter injuries. It seems like each working fire they arrive at is their first experience with firefighting… ie. no game plan. No venting ahead of the line, No V.E.S., No laddering of the building … the list goes on and on. These basics must be addressed regardless of staffing issues. If that means keeping the front door closed and delaying commencement of the attack for a little longer until the pump operator takes the appropriate windows out then so be it. It also would be a good idea for Gary’s pump operators to wear their bunker gear if they are going to vent and ladder the building. There always seem to be more firefighters standing around outside in station uniforms at Gary fire scenes than there are in PPE fighting the fire…

    I disagree with those who say it took too long to get water in the attack line once they were ready to advance. They don’t need to have water in the line until they are ready to move in. To the ‘PGFF For Life’: racing other companies to fire scenes and free lancing on the fire ground may make young kids feel like heroes and give them something to brag about at the local gin mill on Friday night, but in the real world it creates chaos and puts civilians and firefighters at risk.

  • ladder18

    I have been a career service firefighter and officer for forty(40) years and have just recently retired. I was an officer for twenty (20) years on a moderately busy ladder in a good sized FD. I just get so sick of all the arm chair or monday morning quarter backs in the fire service it makes me want to throw up! Don’t view videos of this or other departments just to bad rap their ops or tactics, use it as a learning experience to better yourself or your crew members,If you have no idea of the situation these or any fire service personnel are in don’t show your inexperience by shooting off your mouth!!! The firefighters in any video are doing the best they can with what they are forced to deal with 24/7/365, yes safety, tactics and many other issues can be addressed, as well they can be of any fire department on earth ,however if you haven’t walked in their shoes in their department you have not a clue in the world! Remember if you cannot be part of a solution then you become part of the problem.

  • Dave LeBlanc

    I have come to the conclusion that the worst thing that can happen to your Department is to have someone post a video on the internet.

    Regardless of how you perform, you will promptly be shreded by those that watch it. And often they won’t even identify themselves.

    If people would learn to use these videos for constructive education, versus slamming the crap out of the depicted department, maybe we woul dget a bit farther.

  • Fyrecapt

    The SCBA waist strap issue is NOT a DCFD/PGFD thing. Depts nationwide have been doing this since the inception of the scba. Right, wrong or indifferent its a culture we have developed over the years. Here in Cali, we still have FF’s that dont wear their waist strap out of habit.

    Let’s not also forget, that in some depts the driver/engineer/chauffer whatever the title are utilized only for pumping and not for fire attack. Again, every dept is different in how they operate.

    I will agree with you on the scba mask being put on in the IDLH area-that is a bad habit. We had a co.officer do that very thing, and in the process the room flashed and recieved inhalation burns.

    Also, why pop out the windows?? Why not keep the fire contained in the area of origin? I dont know I wasn’t there.

    Other than a couple of things, I say good job Gary!

  • HookNcan

    ladder18 says
    “I have been a career service firefighter and officer for forty(40) years and have just recently retired. I was an officer for twenty (20) years on a moderately busy ladder in a good sized FD. I just get so sick of all the arm chair or monday morning quarter backs in the fire service it makes me want to throw up! Don’t view videos of this or other departments just to bad rap their ops or tactics, use it as a learning experience to better yourself or your crew members,If you have no idea of the situation these or any fire service personnel are in don’t show your inexperience by shooting off your mouth!!! The firefighters in any video are doing the best they can with what they are forced to deal with 24/7/365, yes safety, tactics and many other issues can be addressed, as well they can be of any fire department on earth ,however if you haven’t walked in their shoes in their department you have not a clue in the world! Remember if you cannot be part of a solution then you become part of the problem”

    You are spot on sir, and couldnt agree more with you!!!!!

  • dazed and confused

    I’ll stick to my volly crew. There were more civilians in station wear than firemen inside. What was with all those people who didn’t even bother to put on their TOG?

  • Captain Schwering

    I have to agree with ladder and Dave L. we go out of our way it seems to truely be our WORST ENEMY! Learn, Train and Teach you members. To critique is GOOD, to critize is not. Learn from mistakes, We all make them, it’s the glass house thing folks. Like Dave said, Hope videos of your jobs aren’t posted on the internet.

  • Fyrecapt

    Dazed: Every dept operates differently. Some depts use the driver strictly for pumping, getting water supplies and other equipment. Watching the video I would say thats how Gary operates. FYI,I have seen Vollies do the same thing.

  • Anonymous

    Man do we have some self-righteous P***Ks on here…a nickel and dime job. I could pick it apart, like how the driver did horizontal vent in the rear (or didn’t ), but some of you guys posting probably have no clue about urban firefighting. SCBA straps never killed a fireman. How about masking up in a stairwell after a long stretch? You might be in the IDLH but you are where you need to be and without the tunnel vision of yard packing around with the mask on.

    We now have a so called culture of safety over a common sense. I’ll take the common sense any day if it means saving lives and property. End of story.

    Capt., DCFD

  • 1835Wayne

    Welcome to G.I.! Where the residents in some cases will let their neighbors house burn until it starts to make theirs smoke! Then they call 911.

    Welcome to G.I., where a lot of the apparatus in the front line is in a state of disrepair that most of you would put it out of service for!

    Welcome to G.I., where the “War Years” of the 70′s and 80′s never went away. Just ask Batman, the arsonist thaat used to light a fire then go ring the bell on the front of the nearest station to wake up the crew, who then just had to wait for the report of the fire location.

    Welcome to G.I, where the Mayor wants you to take “Rudy Clay Days” and reduce the department to one fourth of its current size, which already has a hard time managing the call volume.

    I know a lot of these guys, hell in one recent video it was my buddy that the Capt was yelling “DARREN!” at to come out. Years ago when they still had the ride alongs, I rode with Capt. Barksdales turn on Squad 2 and H.I.T. 2 and saw for myself what fighting fire in an urban jungle was like.

    To all the critics, I say : It may not be done right all the time, but its all right!! Come step into their boots. If G.I. issued them boots that is.

  • Robby O

    I really dont care how undermanned, or underfunded there FD is….if anything thats more reason to play it a little safer becuase you know there is no one coming to help you out in a jam.

    I understand that we all do things a little different but COME ON MAN!!!!!! You cant tell me in any Fd in the country that a guy going to the rear and attempting to vent with no gear and sticking his hand into the window he “broke” is acceptable….That is what makes us our own worst enemy when we do things like this.

    Also you cant tell me that it looks profesional to be masking up at the door like that. When I look at it it almost looks they were surprised that they had a fire….they should be ready to go to work.

    Gary is a prime example of seeing a lot of fires and still not being very good at it…You can say people are Monday Morning Qbing all you want but bottom line is this is piss poor. Have the courage and the brotherhood to speak up if you see someone doing something stupid, thats real brotherhood not allowing your friends to die becuase you wanna be his buddy.

  • Steve

    Some of the excuses offered to defend this department sound an awful lot like those offered up by a certain chief in South Carolina that lost 9 firefighters due to poor tactics….”we have our own way of doing things here”. Its all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Limited manpower is no reason to be reckless.

  • Anonymous

    You know what. I don’t wear my waist strap either. What are you pussy’s going to do about it.

  • Scott Lawson

    Anonymous, It’s a shame that folks like yourself can’t comment in a mature and useful manner. The vidio is a good platform for discussing the challenges faced by a lot of departments, their apparent lack of training and discipline, and how to deal with these issues. I doubt anyone following this cares about your personal attire going into fires (if in fact you actually do) but, grow up and hold the immature comments. Aggree or not, you might actually learn something. Folks with an attitude like yours are the reason rapid intervention teams are neccessary.

    Steve’s comment really hit the nail on the head!

    On a lighter note, whether the guy in the rear with the axe is a FF or not, I’d like to watch him try to split firewood.

  • Anonymous

    Wait untill a firefighter gets that strap stuck in a doorway or a large piece of furniture and get exit the building, then what will you have to say. If you are going to wear the equipment, wear it properly!!

  • Anonymous

    “Anonymous says

    You know what. I don’t wear my waist strap either. What are you pussy’s going to do about it.”

    Why did you have to scare me like that, I just wet my pants!!!

  • Anonymous

    I think everyone is getting tired of listening to safety sally.

    Shut up and do your job with some common sense.

  • Anonymous

    Scott Lawson is a big coward!

  • depchief62

    Another video from Gary, as a forum we actually have some intelligent comments here. As a senior officer I very much appreciate these videos, not to criticize but as a learning tool with the troops. Its interesting the comments coming from long serving members usually resonate on the side of being supportive, hell we all have been lax at one time or another, its tough getting away with indiscretions with all the video and phone camming and the lot nowadays. There are obviously systemic problems within the culture in Gary, and the hierarchy of the Dept.,the leadership needs to be accountable. While its far from perfect best practices in firefighting, there do appear to be huge challenges were all unaware of. God keep them safe to fight another day. For all those with comments disregarding wearing your gear properly I refer you to the National Fallen Firefighters webpage and NIOSH, check under PPE, been to many LODD funerals, do not need anymore.
    Stay Safe, Think, Be Smart, Live Longer.

  • dave statter

    I want to play devil’s advocate with some questions about the discussion over if, when and how you provide constructive criticism in a forum like this.

    Understand, I am not in favor of the destructive, flaming type comments that say mine is bigger or better than yours.

    First, I accept as a given that all of you would put youselves in harms way to save a brother or sister firefighter, whether it is in Gary, Indiana or your own department. You are willing to stick out your necks to save a life because that’s what you do.

    But for those who believe there just shouldn’t be any comments about this video or any others, why wouldn’t you stick you necks out and simply speak up if there is the possibility of saving a life?

    I am not talking specifically about this video. That is not my focus. It is a much more general topic than that. This also isn’t me defending running the videos or posting the comments. That’s what I do.

    Whether we like it or not there are a lot more videos of firefighting operations than ever before. I have said many times, thank goodness almost no film exisits of when I was involved in fire & EMS.

    These videos are posted on a daily basis. They are out there.

    So, what is appropriate and how should you handle things when you see something on the video that you believe has the potential to harm or kill firefighters?

    More questions:If you had seen a series of videos of Charleston in action prior to the tragic Sofa Super Store fire and spotted similar actions that were eventually cited in the Routley report, knowing what you know now, would you or should you have spoken up? How should you have handled it if you weren’t a member of the department and just saw it on the Internet?

    This is just another one of those issues brought up by new technology where they may not be easy answers.

    Those of you who have taken a position previously on either side of this topic,or somewhere in-between, how about doing a little rethinking of your position, taking into account the questions I have asked and getting back to me.

    I don’t have the answers, just a lot of questions. That’s why I am a reporter.

    Statter

  • Chris Tesarz

    Don’t use brotherhood as a catchphrase. Believe in it, preach it, practice it. Our profession is under attack everyday, from all sides. The last thing we need is attack from within. Be constructive so that others may learn. Let us stop being our own worst enemy. Never has it been more important for our profession to come together to fight back against those that wish to destroy us and place our brothers and sisters and the public in danger.

  • Anonymous

    Looks like good work to me. Stop being little girls and crying about the actions of other fire departments.

  • Jason in Va.

    Good comment Chris. Now for those that want to pick this and every other video they see apart. Are you serious? Do you live in a dream world where every fireground goes perfect? It makes no difference whether you are from NOVA, DC, PG, Southern Va. or Western Md. We all have our own highlight reels and those that we wish we could go back to quarters and start again from the beginning. Sure, there were some questionable ops, but then again, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t taken a window or two (or 20) w/o PPE as the wagon driver because the truck was delayed or cut a roof without a roof ladder. This is not an attack on anyone but more of an observation. With the age of technology, you never know who is there and watching. Pictures and videos are on the internet before you can even get back in quarters. Before we get on a “holier than thou” kick, you may want to think about something. The next video on here may be you doing something that “The Book” says isn’t safe and then you will find yourself justifying / defending your actions.

  • depchief62

    Hi Dave, couldn’t agree with you more. I am struggling with doing just that with my colleague in Gary,lets suppose that they are not even aware of how they are being portrayed on the web?. Who and how should one approach the many issues that the forum brings up, one of my biggest concerns is do they not own any portable radios? never seen one in use. For what its worth I’ll try to initiate some dialogue from an awareness point of view. One of the knocks I get from junior members is they know everything, they may indeed be correct, but until they have 37 years of experience and can still talk about lessons learned, respect those who have and are tasked with keeping them alive. I for one very much appreciate all the work you do on behalf of firefighters on both sides of the border, the constant knocks you get from your capitol region departments etc really amaze me, I get it, not fair but you put it out there everyday as we do. Guys stop and take it all in sometime, Statter911 is one of the best things that has come along for Training & Safety Officers. Kudos Dave from a northern brother, coming to FDIC for the 4th year, hope I get to meet you. Nice to see Bill with the pic flying the maple leaf, the USA team has nothing to be ashamed about, hell of a game, our game none the less. Everyone Stay Safe, Think Smart,Retire and Enjoy.

  • Scott Lawson

    With the days of realistic live fire training in aquired structures pretty much gone, thanks to some people doing some very irresponsible stuff over the years, these videos (in some parts of the United States its pronounced and spelled the other way, but I’ll use what everyone else here is using) are the second best training tool available when teaching students about fire behavior, reading smoke and correct or incorrect proceedures. It just so happens there are times when people are caught conducting operations outside the realms of what are considered correct. As noted by several, this is a good means of sharing constructive criticism and learning from each other. Like others’ I’ve had my share of days that I wish I could have rewound and I hope someone beside myself has learned from them. Sharing the good, the bad and the ugly with others is a valuable way to learn. Keeping an open mind and paying attention to comments posted, even though you may not agree, is even better. Dave, you are providing a tremendous learning opportunity for folks in this business. Hopefully, this video and others like it are finding their way to the big screen in a lot of firehouse training rooms.

    Anonymous, did we work together in the 6th Battalion?

  • 1835Wayne

    Some here seem to think I was making excuses for the actions of my Brothers in G.I. Maybe I am to an extent, but I have the advantage of talking to some of the guys in these videos around the kitchen table at my job, where a couple of them work part time.

    You are judging them by what you see in the video, and in some cases rightfully so. Should the guy have been farther back masking up? Yup. But did he know the wind was going to shift pushing the smoke into his face? Nope. Should the Engineer with the axe have been wearing PPE? Yup. Was he able to complete the task safely? Yup. (I still would have worn PPE myself, but he was there looking at it and felt he could safely perform that task. Be honest at least with yourself, we have all done things because we felt we could safely in spite of what the book says.)

    In one video, the Capt is outside bellowing for Truck 4′s LT to come out. It looked from the video like they went into a bad situation without thinking. After talking to one of the guys that was on the line, I now know that upon their arrival the conditions were much better. They were deep inside the building and good ole G.I. FD doesn’t have the resources to issue enough radios to the crews, so the only way for the Capt to let them know they need to back out is to yell (I wonder how much a good speaking horn is these days compared to a portable radio…..) for the guys to get out.

    The problem with ripping some of these videos apart is, we don’t have the whole story.

    So, am I making excuses for the Brothers in G.I., or just trying to educate you as to the situation as I know it??

    Good work Dave, the question of saving a life, well, we all need to always look at what others do, and try to learn from it and grow in this profession. To often the ones slinging rocks are doing so to hear their own voice, not to try to educate or grow people as firefighters. There is a culture of violent bashing brought on by the readily available media on the internet. People can hide behind their keyboards and bash others fearlessly. would they do it to the faces of the Brothers in the videos? Or would they approach the topic more delicately and respectfully?

    Polite, respectfull discourse is important. If all you do is rant and rave, the very people who may need to hear the message will tune you out due to the tone and timber of the message, regardless of the merit of the message.

    In other words, stop acting like a**holes to each other and try to treat others like you would want to be treated.

  • Mark

    Some excellent points made on both sides of the discussion here.

    Sort of ignorant to think that anyone is above criticism, myself included. If these videos were of me, I would be thankful that I could look back on myself and try to better myself.

    As for those who think the brothers in Gary are above criticism because of lack of funding, running a lot of fires, etc, etc, etc. do you never critique a fire that you were on to find out what went right and what went wrong? Do you only look at criticism as a personal attack instead of means of trying to better yourself?

    Haven’t we learned from any of the fallen firefighters as well as the numerous active and retired firefighters that have cancer that things can be done better and safer with even minimal effort?

  • Ret.GFD Capt.

    1835Wayne, I’ll tell you 1st hand THEY get a clothing allowance just like other departments do, so it’s not up to G.I. to buy THEM boots. Whatever they buy with their clothing allowance is up to THEM!!! This B.S. about putting rigs out of service is up to THEM!!! Putting an SCBA on is up to THEM!! putting a helmet and other PPE on is up to THEM!! THEY can change THEIR Dept. and quit living in the 70′s & 80′s era if THEY choose to. Everything else is just EXCUSES!!!

  • Robby O

    Some great points and some not so great points.

    First off your right that we as firefighters are going to do our job. This could mean putting ourselves in harms way. So knowing this dont you think you should be ready. Right wrong or in different we run eith 3 man companies, and in order for critical tasks to get accomplished everyone has to be a soldier on the fireground so everyone has to be ready for battle. You will see our truck and engine chauf dress out on scene at every run except for EMS runs. That way if placed in a position (having to vent for an absent truck, etc.) they are ready for that job and have a safety margin to operate in.

    I would be fine in operating with no PPE if the decision to do this just affected the individual user….however this is not the case. It can affect the over all incident (now we have to fix you instead of the problem) your dept. (now they have to pay out money to either fix you, hire someone to replace you causeing them to run short staffed until they are trained or hire OT ) and it can affect your family (your there bread winner now your killed, or become a burden to them being on disabilty) All becuase you didnt want to take the few SECONDS it takes to do it the right way.

  • Erik with a K

    “In our area someone else would have pulled up and pulled thier own like and walked across thier backs to get that fire!”

    It’s sad that someone is advocating unsafe operations like this.

  • Ret.GFD Capt.

    It’s just plain old complacancy. These guys do this EVERY DAY!!! Just look at the other videos from this department. THEY are the ones who abuse the equipment!!! It’s easy to blame the City, yes they are partially responsible for mismanaging funds. Take some pride and ownership here folks. If it’s not safe, don’t use it, don’t make that excuse, it will bite YOU in the ass. Willful and wantful neglect is on the company officer. If you operate that rig KNOWING it’s deficient, YOU are responsible.

  • BOB

    1835Wayne, I’ll tell you 1st hand THEY get a clothing allowance just like other departments do, so it’s not up to G.I. to buy THEM boots. Whatever they buy with their clothing allowance is up to THEM!!! This B.S. about putting rigs out of service is up to THEM!!! Putting an SCBA on is up to THEM!! putting a helmet and other PPE on is up to THEM!! THEY can change THEIR Dept. and quit living in the 70′s & 80′s era if THEY choose to. Everything else is just EXCUSES!!!

    GOTTA CALL BULLSH*T RET GFD CAPT!!!!
    Our clothing allowance was cut in half this year!
    BOOTS-Haaaa THE CITY IS TO SUPPLY ALL PPE
    GLOVES….SEE ABOVE
    GEAR…SEE ABOVE
    THE GUY IN THE BACK OF THE HOUSE WAS OUR COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER DOING SOMEONE ELSES JOB…SOMEONE WHO WAS LAID OFF.
    NO MORE FOUR MEN TO A RIG…DOWN TO 3 NOW!
    IF YOU ARE A REAL RET GFD CAPT YOU KNOW HOW F’D UP THE FIRE DEPARTMENT IS!!!
    WE DO WHAT WE CAN WITH WHAT WE GOT.
    IF IT WASN’T FOR ME BUYING MY OWN GLOVES I WOULD STILL BE WEARING GLOVES THAT ARE 10 YEARS OLD!!!
    NO YOU MASK UP AT THE DOOR ARE YOU RETARDED?
    BROTHERHOOD IS A CATCHPHRASE,,,IF IT WASN’T ALL YOU”BROTHERS” WOULDN’T BE ON HERE TALKIN SH*T ABOUT US.
    FRIENDLY BOB SAYS”HAVE A NICE DAY PEEPS”