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NIOSH reports: LODDs of Asheville, NC’s Capt. Jeff Bowen & Baltimore Co., MD’s FF Mark Falkenhan.

NIOSH released reports into the line of duty deaths of two firefighters whose deaths we  covered. Below are the reports and some related links. Both men’s names will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial during Memorial Weekend, October 6 & 7.

January 19, 2011, Baltimore County, MD, Firefighter Mark Falkenhan:

Read NIOSH report

ATF modeling of fire

ATF report

Baltimore County report

Radio traffic

 July 28, 2011, Asheville, NC, Captain Jeff Bowen:

Read NIOSH report

The loss of Captain Jeff Bowen, the inside story from Firefighter Jay Bettencourt Part 1

The loss of Captain Jeff Bowen, the inside story from Firefighter Jay Bettencourt Part 2

Earlier coverage of this fire here, here & here

Firefighter Jay Bettencourt receives firefighter of the year 

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  • Commenter

    Godspeed FF Falkenhan. Kudos to the BCFD for rescuing 3.

    Lesson learned for all:

    1. Establish Command. Maintain Command. Get a picture of the building – 360 degrees – before committing crews to the interior. You can get away without a 360 99 times out of a hundred, but the price is high on that 100th one.

    2. Kill the Flashover. Get water on the fire ASAP. The myth of pushing fire is just that, a myth. Sprinklers don’t push fire, and neither will flowing a line from the outside — you can do it fast. You can do it without pushing down a hot stairwell. You can do it without getting turned around on the inside. You can do it without having a 360.

    3. Vertical and Horizontal ventilation are too little, too late. Vertical ventilation does not protect the stairs, or the apartments above. PPV does. PPA controls the ventilation prior to entry, and ‘saves’ any viable victims. Very few victims, if any, survive a fire room. Making entry ventilates the fire and may kill anyone between the fire and your entry — including those who were overcome on their way out the front door. PPA prior to entry pushes gasses from the house into the fire room and out the fire room’s windows.

    4. Searching above the fire without a line ‘after the fire is knocked down’ is unsafe.

    5. If on-scene evidence shows that the likelihood of a rescue is high enough to justifying searching above the fire without a line, close the door behind you.

    These aren’t choice that Falkenham could have made, nor even the on-scene commanders. They have to be incorporated into the SOGs of the department, and trained on. They are the responsibility of the Fire Chief and top brass, not the men on the scene, who apparently did what they were supposed to.