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New video: Helmet-cam shows close-up view of bailout at Southern Maryland house fire.

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Earlier coverage of this fire, including fireground audio

Above is helmet-cam video posted by  from yesterday’s fire in Great Mills, Maryland (St. Mary’s County) that involved a bailout and mayday and left two firefighters injured. Here is part of the description with the video:

Video from Engine 73 OIC Helmet Cam.

Video and Audio have been edited to clear dead space.

Engine 73 is from Hollywood VFD.

Earlier today, received a comment from Bay District VFD Chief Shawn M. Downs. Here’s part of what it said:

One FF was indeed flown to PG, however he was released around noon today.  The other FF refused transport on the scene, and is recovering well.  I am very thankful for the outpouring support that the Brotherhood has shown for my members.  For all of the phone calls, texts and the like, many thanks!

These two will no doubt be back on our appartus by weeks end!  Stay Safe Out There!

Below is a re-post of ‘s earlier video of the fire that now includes audio. A special thanks to Brian for his assistance.



Comments - Add Yours

  • Sally

    That is too weird how the camera is operating and waiting for the “wagon” to arrive. I know it’s not staged, but it seems like it is. It’s like the camera is on a stabilizer or something, like it’s on wheels. Good Job on overall operations! These guys know what they’re doing.

  • Anonymous

    It just goes to show that it doesnt matter where your at, Rural or City. Fire burns the same and you always need to be ready! Glad your ok brother. .

  • firefighthero

    Glad everyones OK, now if they will just where their seatbelts.

  • ScanMD


    I took the video, I live about a half mile away and ran out as soon as the call was dispatched. For the camera being stable, its amazing what video editing programs can do now days. The original was not as steady as it is in the edited version.

  • CLT_FF

    ScanMD – great video, I like it – almost looks like a production, nice job moving back as the engineer charges the line and the ladder arrives.

  • Capt Dick

    Typical completely preventable situation, par for the course with freelancing, poor size up and poor tactics. At least the volley banquet will have some cool videos set to the latest soundtrack of ” dancing with the devil”. And as usual the rest of the squirrels wanna be just like them at the next ” worker”. Sad.

    • mdff

      Capt Dick, many of these so called squirrel wannabes already have a union card and do this because it is in their blood. What I saw in the videos was very aggresive tactics, (too aggresive in your opinion I suppose) what I heard in the audio portion was professional, clear communications. Nobody is ever perfect.

    • Shawn

      Hey Capt I would love to talk with you personally. Please feel free to email me at I am eager to hear your recommendations so that we may better serve the public. I look forward to your contact Sir.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know what you mean by freelancing. I guess the Engine pulling a line,The truck searching, a Rit team put in place. I will take that freelancing all day. But I guess you are the Best Fireman in the world. I’m sure you department never makes mistakes,If you are even a member of any Fire Department

  • Daniel

    Capt Dick,
    Just how was this preventable sir?

    • Chief 55


  • Anonymous

    Question- I see this a lot and is this a practical tactic of companies with trucks. Why do companies waste the time and deploy their main for 1 story ranchers to get to the roof? Where are the simple ground ladders? Why raise the main and now Jake’s have to walk sometimes 50′ to 70′ across the main with equipment to reach the roof. When you can raise a simple 16′ ground ladder to reach the roof.

    • Gil

      He called it the main. You guys way up north talk funny.

    • Jeff

      I don’t get that one either. Maybe the want the ladder extended in case they use the pipe? Even then, the driver should play with those toys (because really, you’re just playing with it at this point) after the ground ladders are up. They’re faster and more effective for something like that.

  • Capt Dick

    I admittedly don’t know the full details but after working 20+ years in a dept. with a respectable amount of fire duty I pride myself with no injuries or burns that required being taken away in a ambulance . While I have had a few ” retreats” I never had to jump or bail out of a window. I was able to work with seasoned FFs that maintained awareness of the situation and could read the smoke and know when to push and when to back up. The fire hose and nozzle is designed to provide reach and penetration and although you can’t char your gear or melt your shield , you do NOT have to walk or crawl through fire or free burning contents. Slow down and let the water work for you. If the room is completely consumed why crawl through it! Slow down and let the water cool and extinguish along with proper venting. The searches are made in areas that are tenable and can support life on the primary. These burns and injuries always are a result of going where you shouldn’t , going where you didn’t have to . Moth to flame . Use your tools equipment and PPE properly and these cases are all but eliminated.

    • Old Timer

      I agree but disagree with you good sir! I agree with your ways of tactics but I disagree with your way of anticipation. You cannot always anticipate when the floor below you is going to give way. Luckily he only fell through into the crawl space and not a basement. A firefighter, like this young gun, did what he had to do to get out of the situation he was in. Good awareness and good job to those involved!


    Capt. D-Bag…..if you admittedly don’t know the details…try saving what you copied out of an article then posted on here or what you learned in your reading smoke class for your next I NEVER AMOUNTED TO ANYTHING ANONYMOUS meeting….nothing is ever perfect in the big city or rural areas of America….great job and lots of hustle by your men Shawn..

  • Jeff

    Alright, learning question for me: I read the smoke, and the flames shooting out the window sure didn’t hurt either. It seemed the seat of the fire was in that self-ventilating room. My inexperienced self would have attacked through the window first for 30 seconds or so of knockdown, then made entry. Is there a reason to not do it that way?

    Glad everyone is ok.

    • Gil

      You want to confine it to the area that is burning. If you hit from the window you might push it through out the house. Hit it from the unburned side.

  • Anonymous

    Jeff watch some videos of Detroit. There famous for knocking a house from the outside either with a hand line or even deck gun before entering, instead of calling it exterior attack op.

  • http://www.phvfd,org JT

    I disagree with attacking through a window simply because you don’t know whats on the other side of the fire. Could it perhaps be an open door that could funnel fire into an un-burned portion of the house? My department is very aggressive when it comes to fire-fighting but we aren’t stupid either. Everyone forgets to sound the floor before moving in. Every so often sound it again. If it sounds differently its time to get out of that particular room. But even if you prepare for the worst and don’t fight the fire like a fire-fighter you don’t deserve to be on the piece. Drive your car to the scene and stand in the yard like a lawn dart because that’s all your good for. I’ve fallen through a few floors. Received several injuries some minor, and one requiring surgery on a fire ground. The one that required surgery was doing something I have done a thousand times and it still happened. By some of the logic on here it couldn’t happen….

  • Anonymous

    Why would you EVER advance an attack line across an unprotected street?? Just so you don’t have to pull a 100′ of 3″ instead of nosing into the plug?? At least the truck driver had the situational awareness to stop short instead of taking the entire front of the house like he should have done. Dangerous and potentially deadly tactic stretching that line across the street. Go ahead, justify that move.

    • Truckman

      Monday morning quarterbacks are great. It was dead end street and with him pulling where he did it left room for the Truck. Unlike some wagon Drivers who block the Truck out. Get the facts before running your mouth.

  • Anonymous

    Why would you EVER advance an attack line across an unprotected street??? Just so you don’t have to pull 100′ of 3″ instead of nosing into the plug?? Lazy wagon driver? At least the truck driver had the situational awareness to stop short instead of taking the entire front of the house like he should have done. Dangerous and potentially deadly tactic to stretch that line across the street. Go ahead, justify that move.

    • Gil

      Yea thats a real busy street. The wagon took up half of it. Try for something else.

  • Jakefireman

    Dead End Street! Only 3 or 4 houses left on the street past the fire! The wagon as positioned just fine.

  • Sally

    Captain Dick…. yup…. the name fits. Quite appropriate.

  • Ladder5Guy

    dont know all the details but what bout the first in ladder (truck) company… middle of the day, no cars in the driveway…. vent the roof first, pull a couple roof ladders instead of the stick and get to doin work for the fellas on the attack line … just my opinion..

  • Anonymous

    Okay some points the first all everyone needs to review the latest NIST & ATF reports to learn we do not push fire as we were taught proven many years ago. This appears to be a perfect chance to use an aggressive exterior attack with a transition to the interior to complete extinguishment. This is called resetting the fire instead of allowing it to be ahead of us. Another question is from the helmet camera video you see a red light on in between the driver and officer this indicates that seat belts were not in use so explain to me how to tell a family member that they were killed because they didn’t wear a seat belt unacceptable we are not invincible no mater what you may think.
    We are all aggressive by nature because we want to do this either career or volunteer but truly as an officer my only true job is to bring my personnel home; which should be the job of everyone on the incident. I have attended to many firefighter funerals for things that can be prevented just read a LODD report and you will see.

  • Dylan

    My peeve, using “truck” and “ladder” interchangibly… Really guys? The advantage to using a stick, or platform as we have, are many. First, cutting 2-3 vents is much quicker not having to move ladders like a chinese fire drill. Second, if you’re unsure of the roof stability, using a stick means you don’t have to step on the roof or even use it as an anchor. Third, we have a handline in our bucket, this means we don’t have to worry about being up without water OR hiking a line up. No, I’ve never needed a handline while venting, but it’s nice to have. And fourth, we load our bucket then extend to the roof, no long ladder traverse, no lugging gear, throw it in and go. Just my opinion on why the ladder may have been used since this is our departments reasoning and common practice.

    The communications were awesome! I wish we could get nice clear and closed communication like that on fire scenes!

    Great job, thank you for the video! They’re all learning points in one way or another… The day any one of us thinks we know all or stop learning, we better quit for our safety and the safety of others.