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Must see video: Blast raises roof as private ambulance burns in Prince George's County, Maryland. Bladensburg VFD on scene.

This is video Bladensburg VFD Chief Randy Kuenzli shot yesterday at 38th Street and Rhode Island Avenue in Mt. Rainier, Maryland which is within spitting distance of PGFD Station 855, Bunker Hill. Station 855 was assigned elsewhere and the call was handled by Station 809, Bladensburg VFD. It's engine responded with seven on board and got there after the explosion that blew the roof off the ambulance. I am assuming that is an oxygen tank letting loose.

The explosion occurs at 1:10 in the video. I added a slow-motion version at the end of the video. There are a number of other smaller blasts in the video. Some that you would expect with any vehicle fire.

Thanks to Chief Kuenzli for sharing.


Comments - Add Yours

  • PPFD

    I about S(*t myself when that let loose! 

  • Jason Low

    M tank makes big noise.
    On our ambulances the big tank is directly behind the driver's seat in the tall narrow compartment visible at the front left corner of the box. If it had blown, I would have expected that compartment to come open/apart.

  • Mike

    Vehicle fire with O2 tanks exploding….     Ambulances carry several of them, right? 
    So the attack crew felt the need to stand 3 feet from the back doors to effect the attack and the chief videoing the event didnt call them back?  What isthe effective range of a 1 34/ line again?
    Come on man!  I'm just saying….

  • backseat firechief

    Let me guess if the chief had a handful of cold fire in his pocket the fire would never have gotten so large

  • internet

    I started eating Cold Fire so if need be I can just whip out my small line and run off of the old booster tank in case I run into anything like this. It helps if you've had a few.

    • Burns BCoFD

      This one didn't bounce off my head, got a good laugh

  • Americanjoe

    Just wondering if 855, a career house, ever showed up.  Looks like 809 an all volunteer house alerted second call arrived on scene to handle the fire.

    • Anonymous

      55 was transferred to 26

  • Molly

    I like this kind of video because….
    They arrive on scene geared up and ready to go.
    Appriopriate PPE is used.
    They go straight to work with their riding assignments.
    They demonstrate a sense of urgency without running around like lunatics.
    Water flowing in less than 60 seconds.

  • Randy Kuenzli, Chief

    Mike,  all of the remaining O2 tanks had been removed from the vehicle by the ambulance crew prior to arrival of the fire department.  Bladensburg is an aggressive department, all volunteer, in a combination system that answers over 125,000 calls a year.  Station 9 answers between 6000 and 7000 as one station.  I'll put my guys up agains anyone, any day.
    AmericanJoe;  no they did not.  They were apparently assigned elsewhere for the day tour, why they were ever dispatched I don't know.  Station 9 was alerted a good 4 minutes into the call, they arrived within about 3 mintues from time of dispatch.
    As for Cold Fire, CAFS and all that other stuff out there, I guess we are old school as Water does just great on all of your run of the mill fires.  It is plentiful and when applied properly and aggressively it works great.

    • dave statter

      Chief, the Cold Fire reference is likely tongue in cheek based on an ongoing thread in this forum.


  • Dallas

    In 1986 there was a private EMS unit burning in the Route 29/Cherry Hill Road area in Montgomery County.  The units from Station 12 arrived on the scene and were making an attack when the O2 tank cut loose.  Nobody was seriously injured but as I recall a couple of them were transported to the hospital.  Between that and having my own bad experience with an M tank of O2 in a house fire I am very circumspect about burning EMS units.
    If the fire has gotten into the patient compartment more stand-off distance is a good thing.  Finding a hydrant and lobbing some water onto the fire from a deckgun at a prudent distance until the fire is knocked down is generally my thinking.  After all, once the fire gets to the point shown in this video there isn't anything to ‘save’; at that point we are just dealing with a glorified dumpster fire and a public nuisance (although one that can bite us if we aren’t careful).
    Also, it would be interesting to know if it was in fact the M tank that did cut loose or whether it was a smaller tank stored in the patient compartment.  Looking at the video you can see the vent on the compartment behind the driver’s door breathing during most of the video which leads me to believe that the fire wasn’t free burning in there.  If that is where the M tank is on this unit I would also expect that if it had cut loose that we would have seen more damage in that area of the unit.  I am guessing that what cut loose was a D or E tank stored inside the unit.  If that is the case it really gives you an appreciation of what an M tank would do…  I know that if you are inside a house and one cuts loose it is quite impressive, but I wouldn't recomment the experience.

    • Fred

      That was PG A419 (A841 now) back in 1984, caught fire returning from a run.

  • EngineBoss

    Gotta agree with Mike… No need to get right up to the back of the squad like they're loading a patient in it!    They pulled up in front of it so why not knock it down from there and then go down closer to it once it's safer. 
    Quick deployment of the line and mostly everyone ready to go, I'm sure they saw it well before they got there.  I don't know how a Chief can stand back and videotape his men doing something this unsafe.  He watched an explosion just push the roof off the thing and blow fire several feet out the back door…   So his only concern is that 500 gallons might not get it?  500 thousand gallons won't get it if you cripple your crew! 
    It's an ambulance.  It's insured.  It's totaled well before the fire department gets there.  It's contained.  The only life risk is the firefighters that walk right up to it, and their chief allowed it.  Sad.

  • DickRowe

    EngineBoss you are a Boob!

  • EngineBoss

    Chief… Is that your voice on the recorder advising the engine that one tank already exploded, questioning if 500 gallons of water is going to get it, and saying to someone that the things got a lot of O2 on it, it already blew the top off it?  At no point do I hear anyone say anything about all the O2 is out of it. 
    Why even assume that?  In the heat of the moment do you really trust the ambulance crew 100% that they removed it all?  Oh, except for that one spare under the seat the crew prior to us threw on…  
    Yeah we're an aggressive department too when it is going to make a difference.  You tell me how getting right up to the back door or hitting it a little farther away from the front would have changed the outcome for the ambulance. 
    I like your pride and it's great to have a chief who believes his men are just as good and just as aggressive as anyone else.  However, I think everyone out there would agree if we look at the video objectively, being overly aggressive for no reason at all other than "because thats how we do it" under the direction of a chief that stands back with a video camera and lets it happen is eventually going to catch up to someone. 

  • EngineBoss

    Why, Dick, am I am boob? 

  • Scooter

    NICE JOB 9 Engine !  Good stretch and water flowing in about 50 seconds.  Line stretched by one firefighter with one firefighter helping flake out, mask on ready to go before arriving, no wasted time (did you notice in the stretch no kinks instead of a heaping pile of hose laying on the ground).  Again bread a butter operations and we see so many departments on here having trouble performing the basics.  I hope they are watching so they can see how its done! agressive but safe!  again GREAT JOB 9 ENGINE !  K (like my Chief Says "put the fire out and 95% of your problems go away)  Strike the Box !  K   

  • lashedup

    EngineBoss might be blunt, but it is a post-incident critique take-away to think about and talk about after the incident. You never stop learning things, even as a Chief. 

  • AmericanJake

    If you weren't so concerned with trying to insight a "career vs. volunteer" arguement, you would see that Co. 855 "WAS ASSIGNED ELSEWHERE" at the time of the incident. Which means they were out of position.  Co. 809 is right up the road from 55. It takes them no time at all to arrive in that area. Not to mention that, being as squirrely as many of the north side companies are, i'm sure Chief 9 called his firehouse ahead of the dispatch to tell them to get on the road.
    So climb back into your bunk at your tick house and go back to sleep, You still have a few hours before the career guys go home and you can go back to riding your "100% Volunteer" fire engine and dodging ambulance calls.

    • That Guy

      Nobody got a "jump or was squirrly" if you listened to the dispatch, or if your not from PG and aske someone who listened to it, you would learn the infact C9 called in the fire over CH1.  Which infact is the universal dispatch channel for PG County incase you didn't know that either.  May i add that if people want to go into the what ifs about oxygen cylinders exploding in a fire, would you not go into an interior attack if there was a fire in a Hosp. or nursing facility due to possible explosions? Everyone in going into what if situations there are plenty of possible what ifs about life.  If you cant handle the risks associated with the fire service then you probably shouldnt be in it.  and IS IT NECESSARY to associate something with volunteers or career?  Both are acceptiable to injuries on the job, just because someones a volunteer doesnt mean their a free loader i know plety of career staff that are volunteers. 

  • pipeman

    Such a beautiful sight, and ambulance on fire!

  • Engine9truck

    So engine boss so with this model vehicle we should attack it from the front and risk taking out our knee caps from the gas strut bumper exploding? If i was riding the seat I would of went in the back because theres no gas struts for a Bumper back on that style of ambulance. There’s a million and one ways we could of put out that fire. The way we did it happened to work out and the fire went and no one was hurt or killed in the process. I trust Randy and the rest of my officers to make a safe decisios and I feel what they did was safe. Maybe he’s rethinking the way we did things but on the other hand its not fair for you to sit there an bash him being A Monday morning quarter back.

  • Major, PGFD

    Monday morning quarterbacking is a funny thing.  There are some good points and there are some bad.  Fire fighting is a "Risky" business.  This Chief in question is very educated and an excellent fire ground commander.  He runs a very strict and disciplined station that trains well.  There is risk in anything a firefighter does.  We could carry the glorified dumpster comments even further;  there really isn't an exposure problem so why pull any lines at all, why not just let it sit there and burn.  Why even respond to the call?  There was no life or exposure involved so this should have been a routine response, because of the risk involved.  When they arrived, we could eliminate even more risk by not pulling handlines, afterall, one of them could have gotten hurt doing that.
    Safety aspects must be recognized in every operation but with every facet of every operation there in inherent risk.  There is a tremendous risk with every car fire, O2 or not, so do you fight every car fire from a distance with a deluge gun instead of a handline? Because your crew may get hurt!
    A great job to the crew and accolades to the Chief, who runs one of the best volunteer stations within our system.  It is always a pleasure to work with him and his crews because you know the fire is going out, quick and safe.

  • LocalFF

    I will not monday mornig quarterback, just remind everyone that there are often more than one large tank onboard. Some lifestar ALS units carry a compressed air cylinder as well for blending with O2.Also, don't assume the crew did a check of their unit to even know that. Had crews been as close as they were when a second tank went off, we may be discussing a worse outcome. The crews did many great things, and certainly any of us may have done the same tactic, so I won't knock them at all. Just asking folks to watch that explosion and remember that should they ever be faced with a similar fire. Good work to the crews. Everyone goes home!

  • EngineBoss

    Engine9truck:  All Econoline vans I can think of have a spring steel bumper directly mounted to the frame.  Hoods are held up with a prop rod.  You guys stretched a line and parked in front of the ambulance.  Your argument is invalid.  This is not a bash to PG county.  I neither live, travel through, or am friends with anyone from any of the stations.  I offered a point of view that had a solid foundation.  I am not some punk who criticizes every little thing, nor am I one to not do anything enless it is absolutely safe.
    I made a point based on a single fact.  The chief of the company whose Engine arrived first witnessed a catastrophic explosion inside the ambulance.  It startled him enough that he was not able to keep the camera steady.  He was a couple hundred feet from the fire.  I'm sure he felt it.  He then continued to videotape it, and subsequently allowed his members to go into harms way not knowing if a second explosion would happen. 
    I am blunt.  I also don't like to hear about firefighters getting hurt doing dumb stuff.  I am not saying your chief is overall incompetent nor am I saying your officers are either. 
    The video made it out of his recorder to a public forum that allows comments.  This is a public forum and IT IS FAIR for me to come on here and give my opinion on a video that was about as cut and dry as it could be.  My comments are about as cut and dry as they could be too. 
    Bottom line: There are not " a million and one" ways to put that fire out.  You knock down a majority of the fire from a reasonably safe distance and angle and then you move in to complete the task.  If you watched the video and saw the fire come out the openings of the vehicle when the explosion occurred and you still feel that walking up to the back of the ambulance before putting any water on it, opening the doors, and then knocking it down was the safest way to do it, then god bless you.  Your pride and ego have managed to pass your brains ability to control your common sense. 

  • Medic565

    Those of you who are discussing paid versus volunteer on here are IDIOTS!! Just because a firefighter has another job and fights fires for a "hobby" doesn't mean he/she is less of a firefighter. Where I am from some paid firefighters and medics actually volunteer in their spare time because there aren't enough people willing to risk their lives for free. Volunteers here must go through the exact same amount of training as the paid crews. The only difference is the paid crews punch a time clock and they pay dues to be part of the IAFF (of course the ones who pay IAFF dues don't volunteer and look down on volunteers)…Just keep in mind if you are a paid firefighter and the gov't keeps cutting budgets, the person who shows up to save your butt in a bad situation may just be a volunteer…It's no difference then being in the Marines and having an Airman fighting by your side, sure when your drinking a beer you may raz each other for not being in the same branch but when your in theater you don't care what branch is by your side as long as the wear the American flag with pride!!!  So grow up stop bickering and be proud to be brothers/sisters or if not, then get the hell out of the service because you're just a thorn that may cause problems down the road….Also keep in mind that according to IAFF there are 350,000 paid firefighter but OVER 800,000 volunteers….

  • pipeman

    Burn them all!

  • Anonymous

    Can’t download the video. Buffeting forever. It sucks I want to see it cause I work at Lifestar in nj

  • Anonymous

    It would be ironic if they were transporting a burn victom.

  • Mexican

    AUTO FIRE…I repeat..AUTO FIRE! Are you guys really trading ego driven comments over an auto fire? Are you the salty guys that report your staffing as “4 MEN” or go on the scene with “an auto WELL OFF”? Get over yourselves and don’t over estimate your importance in the world of firefighting. Tactically things could have been better. Unless there is a patient in the box, the OIC should have attack the ambulance from the left front quarter panel at approximately a 45 degree angle. This keeps the firefighters uphill from a potential fuel tank failure or brake release, as well as provides them access to what is really on fire. Chief, was any concern given to isolating or evacuating the gas station? Too often now a days, Wagon Drivers, Officers and Chiefs pre-occupy themselves with video’s and still frame pics upon arrival. If this is for critiques or a drill, great. If this is done for self or company promotion or at the sacrifice of needed fire ground activities, you should re-examine why you are a fireman. “Firefighter Porn” and jerk off company videos crowd the internet. If you need these things to tell yourself or others that you’re a “Fireman”, you may not be a fireman. The guy in the center of the room, beating on his chest, telling everyone he is a “Salty or Aggressive” fireman, is most likely the first one to bail, if he goes in at all! Critique this, use this as a drill, but trading shots over Volunteer vs. Career, PG County vs. other jurisdictions is pathetic and weak. It was an AUTO FIRE!     

  • Scooter

    Well put Major PGFD.   Stretch a line and put the fire out.  If you hit it from the rig then there goes your 500 gallons, the fire continues to burn and a better chance of additional O2 cylinders explode.  Come on man!

  • PGFD 37

    good job to station 9, the line got stretched quick, the fire went out, and no one got hurt, thats all that matters right, yall know you are a trained group of individuals who are as aggressive as you are smart, so dont worry about all these comments

  • Gil

    It Kentland was there they could have drove the ambulance away after the fire was out.

  • rizz

    You get what you pay for. Nice job chief………………..not 

  • burned-out medic

    that was a big bang

  • Nicholas J Pata

    You guys that think your Tactics of laying back and watching an Ambulance burn dont really pose a good argument for yourselves.  In that case anything can happen right? Well then What if there was a car driving by with a family and a cylinder let go, God Forbid hurting or killing the family within the car?  God Forbid that was your family?…..Is that enought reason to be aggresive and assume a neccesary risk on the fireground? You tell me all you Mr. Smarty pants Chiefs and officers out there that say its "Insured" or who cares theres no life hazard, maybe you need to look at your command structure and tactics a bit closer and re-evaluate the oath you took. I happen to be A SGT in Bladensburg, and the United States Army. I am Very proud of that and the service we provide, the job we do on a daily basis and all of my fellow Officers, Chiefs and most of all Firemen. 

  • William

    I bet all these firefighting safety experts that are jumping on 9’s nuts would have stayed outside that house fire in Mogadore with their pretty little command vests properly arranging accountability tags on the command board too huh? Guys like you have ruined the fire service where departments
    like Bladensburg and many in and around PG are keeping it simple and justices putting out fires.

  • EngineBoss

    Ya know I went to bed last night and thought about what "Mexican" wrote.  You are right, the back and forth over a car fire is a little ridiculous.  How it went to a vollie/paid argument wasn't even an issue.  Mainly the only defense to any negative comment on here is coming from firefighters who must be from this area. 
    Stop with the mentality of no one got hurt and the fire went out… right?  What will you say when the fire goes out but guys got hurt?  Part of the job?  It happens? 
    To Nicholas Pata:  Nobody on here said the fire can't be put out.  Where is that?  The comments about the tactics suggested an attack first from a distance.  The same water would be put on the fire however you would keep the firefighters somewhat safer for the first minute or two.   The first arriving chief made no attempt to secure the gas station, or have the road closed.  If people were driving by and another cylinder let go and people got hurt or killed, the first finger to be pointed would be to the chief who grabbed his camera instead of establishing a safe zone.  There was no attempt made to secure the area or the street.  Think about this:  If you really think a family driving by on the street a couple hundred feet away could be hurt or killed by another cylinder exploding, Just how dangerous is it to be a couple feet away from the exit point?
    I'm not attacking anyone here.  I am directly criticizing the chief.  The guys on the Engine did not see the explosion the chief saw.  "William", another comment here from a local, I'm calling your bluff here too.  Guys like me haven't ruined the fire service by trying to make you a little safer.  Guys like me love you like a brother and I don't even know you.  Some of us are very blunt and call it like we see it.  I know theres plenty of armchair IC's with little real world experience that love to hate on every video that they are not in. 
    What ya need to do is learn from the mistakes and move on.  Coming on here and saying good job, quick knock, it went out, nobody got hurt, don't listen to the critics, blah blah blah are either just trying to convince yourselves that it was ok or just don't get it.  Maybe you need to have a couple scary moments in your career that will make you rethink just exactly why you got into the lifesaving business if you don't care about your own. 
    Lastly, Nicholas Pata… Thank You for your service to the country. 

  • mark

    Ah yes, the ole "Fire went out and nobody was hurt" comment. If all other reasoning fails, we can always rely on that statement.
    Every fire will go out eventually. And with proper evacuation, no one should get hurt.
    So, did the chief notify the engine about the explosion? The other tanks being removed (allegedly)? I'm all for aggressive firefighting, as long as it's done intelligently.

  • FireGears

    THANKS Brothers.!!!
     I'm encouraged to see that some of you are at least thinking about firefighting additives.!!!!
    Since the early 1980’s, I in have been involved in testing many additives and I do have my opinions and my favorites.  Just like our “CFR” Brethren, “Wildland” Brethren and “CAFS” Brethren. They test, like and use different specific brands of firefighting additives to greatly enhance the fire extinguishing ability of plain water. .
    (Side note:  Seems some Brothers have been rather slow to recognize that I have not been offering any brand names because I’ve accepted the input given in other posts.)
    It’s time that the FS come into at least the 20th century and begin to utilize the new, modern water additive technology available and make some improvements to our current 1850s, plain water, firefighting tactics.  
    Sure, we are seeing improvements for this old, ineffective tradition of throwing plain water on fires … Bigger pumps, higher ladder/towers, large supply hose, bigger attack lines, better waterproof clothing and footwear, etc….
    YET, even after very effectively pouring 1000’s of gallons/minute of plain water on all types of fires, we are still witnessing structures/containers burning to the ground.
    The FS seems to be STUCK ON STUPID.!!!  We are still attempting to use plain water in a world where the fire loading has dramatically changed.!!!  Unlike the 1850‘s or even the 1950‘s, the world around us today is packed full of Class B, Class D and Class K materials.  Fire Extinguishing Additives can be added to plain water to GREATLY IMPROVE plan water’s ability to Quickly and Efficiently extinguish the Class A, B, D and K  Fires which we now find in our everyday world.
    QUESTION:  Did our CFR Brethren  continue to use plain water when the fires they were expected to extinguish began to change and RESIST the application of plain water.???
    As aircraft began to contain more flammable liquids, plastics, combustable metals
    and fewer Class-A, “ordinary combustible products” did they just continue to add more plain water as a “new tactic” to combat the fires they were now encountering.???
    ANSWER:  NO.!!  They were wise enough to move away from their traditional plain water tactics and began to utilize fire extinguishing additives.  ADDITIONALLY, they began to demand more effective and less expensive additives.
    AT BEST, Plain Water is a poor extinguishing agent for basic, Class A materials. It’s even less effective on Class B – D – K fires.  Thus, (like our wise CFR Brethren) we need to enhance our fire attack capability by using the modern additives which are currently available.    The FS should not only be using them on every fire we are called to extinguish but demanding they become even more effective and less expensive…

  • cory

    Surprised this did not end up on Not because of the exploding o2 tank, but because of the engine completely blowing the red light with traffic moving. It does not even look like he tried to slow down he as just coming strong. Also, why park in the middle of an intersection when the whole parking lot is wide open. Lets think smarter about this next time, we don't need innocent people getting killed or our brothers being killed or hurt over things that could have been prevented.

  • PeteTheFireman

    As a front right officer, my choice would have been the deck gun through the front window until the fire was greatly mitigated. I'm all for aggressively attacking a fire, but when there's the possobility of exploding canisters, there's no reason to play cowboy.

  • Jared Hurd

    Hello everyone and thank you for your well thought out input.  I was the wagon boss on this particular incident.  I have no need to justify these actions to anyone that has questioned them.  If you want justification, feel free to become a active member at 9 and ride on the way to an incident with us.  Maybe then you will hear the notification that chief gave over the radio while we were enroute about the O2 tanks dicharging.  Or the exchange of instruction from myself to my crew members to approach with extreme caution.  We train for these types of incidents and we were well aware of the danger.  That is why I am proud of the crew that accompanied that day, taking the risk while knowing the danger to get the job done.  That is why we are here. JOB WELL DONE!

  • Randy S. Kuenzli, Fire Chief

    All of the comments are very interesting to read. But I must really ask, with all the perfect departments out there and all the perfect officers and Incident Commanders that are sharing better ways to fight this fire, why are you all hiding behind screen names?
    We all have so much to learn from the perfect world, and as shown here from the perfect instructors that could more than adequately teach all of us less fortunate and incompetent how to respond, manage, command and better fight fires.  I've never heard of so much mention of deluging building fires as I've heard here, as an acceptable way to fight car fires.
    I really want to learn how to do things better, I, as so obviously pointed out, need to learn how to be a better Chief and I AM WILLING TO DO THAT……….. I F ………….
    PeteTheFireman, Cory, FireGears, Mark, rizz, AmericanJake, lashedup, Dallas, Mike and most of all Mexican and EngineBoss
    would man up and give us some real names and full names so that we know who you are and can contact you to provide us with that professional SAFE necessary training that you all so imply we need.  I do have a training budget and I would be very happy to expend every last cent of it on all of this Professional PERFECTION.  Otherwise, hiding behind half names and screen names just makes for a tremendous amount of hot air, your criticism is not constructive as constructive criticism comes from reputable people not hidden behind screen names.  When you identify yourself I would be very open and receptive to a dialogue of our operation, not only in this incident but all incidents.
    If would like to put this on their website, they already know that they can.  Could things have been done differently?  SURE.  Could things be done differently in every call that we run?  SURE.  Does my crew critique every call?  99% of the time yes, including this one.  BUT, all you PERFECT officers, firefighters, Chiefs and IC's are loosing site of the fire service over Safety.  Safety is important, but once you get too safe you start injuring people.  Now, I know you'll bash me for that comment but again, identify yourself and I'd be happy to discuss my statement at length.
    Bottom line is, we are who we are.  I have the best department and the best firefighters and officers, we train aggressively all the time and we fight fire aggressively.  Our injury rate is Extremely low by comparison to many areas and situations.  There are many problems, circumstances, safety factors, dangerous situations that can be encountered by being aggressive, true, and the bottom line is they grow more significant by the minute when involving fire.  Therefore, PUT THE FIRE OUT and 99.99% of your "safety" problems or concerns go Away!.
    Dave, thank you for the publicity, our phone has been ringing non stop and I've had some good constructive and positive conversation with those that have the gonads to identify themselves instead of hiding, as well as some good discussions among our personnel.  Keep up the great work and Thank You.

  • Nicholas J Pata

    For all of you that do not Volunteer or Work in PG County, I dont think you understand how we work here, so in all honesty you should continue your "back seat" Command somewhere else. There is a great deal of time and effort made on everyones part Career or Volunteer learning the first due response areas and constantly training on target hazards. Unlike alot of you, we go to all types and conditions of fires on a daily basis. So like the Old addage goes, until you have walked a mile in our shoes, your words probabley dont have much weight to anyone here. So i would suggest that the people that dont have anything of value to say, mind there own buisness. Thank You, And To Engine Boss, I got what your trying to say but theres alot of variables you dont see from just a video. And Not a problem, I serve the country  I love and Volunteer at the Fire Department I love, Bladensburg. And to Pete, theres no Cowboys here just Firemen doing there job, like it should be done cool, calm, collective and understanding of ALL the risks On hand. And Cory, I dont even know what your saying, we have some of the best Wagon drivers in the country here, Im pretty sure after going to 6000 calls a year they know how to drive safely, properly and with a sense of urgency which is expected going to a working incident. Thanks to all that support, and give us contructive critisism.

  • FireGears

    Well Chief Randy,
    I owe you an apology.
    The depth of your insights have helped me realize that prior to the internet,
    authors of any form of the written word, like you, have used their own name.
    Please feel free to contact me.
    Mark Twain
    from Hannibal, Missouri and, of late, Hartford, Connecticut, USA. 

  • Rick

    Great Job Bladensburg! Put the fire out like real Firefighters! Don't let these idiots on here get you stirred up.

  • rizz

    Where's Jerry??

  • Eric S.

    I don't think anyone was trying to bash PGFD at a personal level, they were simply expressing their opinions on being more cautious. Fire can still be fought aggressively while being cautious for the safety of your crew. It doesnt matter how many "workers" you run because at every incident there are different variables that can arise, you along with everyone else adapt!
    I know "what if's" are a big deal around here, but don't be suprised when later on down the road, a video shows up and everyone is saying "I told you so."

  • EngineBoss

    This will be my last post on this as I feel like we've beaten the dead horse long enough.
    First and foremost, I am not hiding behind a screen name and I hope that those of you serious enough about this job be it as a volunteer or career firefighter or officer have seen that I have only presented my opinion in as professional a manner as possible.  I have not berated anyone and have not made any snide remarks.  I am a Captain in a career department in a city that mirrors most cities of today, and fires of any sort are part of the job.  I joined the fire service as a junior before I could even ride on the trucks and decided to do it as a career a few years after high school.  I'm now 37.  I spent several years working for a company that refilled and hydrotested all types of compressed gas cylinders.  I have training in that field that has taken me as far North as Canada, as far South as Dallas Texas, and on both Coasts.  I have a tremendous respect for the power contained within their walls and have seen firsthand the outcomes of catastrophic failures.  I rarely comment on here because no matter how professional or respectful you try to be, almost always the comments that follow end up with hurt feelings and hate. 
    Chief: I'm glad you came back on here to somewhat defend yourself.  I never said my department was perfect.  No one of human ntelligence is perfect and we all make mistakes.  What makes good officers is the ability to learn from those mistakes.  You singled me out in your last comment and rightfully so, I was hard on you.  I did not say your department lacked any training.  You had a video posted about an explosion that was powerful enough to rip the roof off an ambulance.  It's the only reason I watched it.  I wanted to see the big kaboom!  It's not an everyday car fire. 
    I do agree that safety has gotten over preached at times.  We have lost sight of some of our fundamental roles and responsibilities to a newer culture of over safety conscious wuss's.  This particular fire though I personally feel warranted an extra measure of caution, and my comments and criticism were directed at that.  You singled me out to go on to say that we must all be full of hot air and the comments were not constructive.  A lot of them were however I think I gave you a fair and honest opinion.
    Jared: I heard the radio transmission that a tank had blown.  You told the crew to approach with extreme caution.  You realized a danger and also allowed them to disregard their safety to get a line on it while standing right next to it.  Where exactly was the caution?  I guess IF another tank blew they were absolutely prepared to be able to withstand the blast.  I don't need to drive hundreds of miles away from my station to ride along at yours.  Honestly, If that video was from LA or some other place and you guys were all watching it, I think your opinion would not be the same. 
    I have to post an email address on here to make a comment.  I give Dave permission to release it to Chief Kuenzli.  None of this has ever been hate driven.  I didn't go to bed thinking "I got them!"  I offered my opinion and you can take it or leave it.  At the end of the day, it wasn't my call,and I don't have to answer for it. 

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  • Jared Hurd

    Obviously, you can't accept that letting houses and property burn while risking citizens lives and/or creating larger hazards and risks is NOT an option in the line of firefighting.  

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