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Arrival video: Chief’s got this one. Makes knock on apartment fire before turning over line to firefighter.

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This is video of a chief arriving, followed by a pumper with a single firefighter at an apartment fire in Natalbany, Louisiana on Monday. The chief appears to get much of the fire knocked before turning the line over to the firefighter at about 3:15 in the video. No further details.


Comments - Add Yours

  • http://msn RetiredInSC

    Great job well done. Sometimes you got to go with what you got on hand. I know that there will be people out there that will have – comments about the Cheifs action. Like I said you have to go with what you got on hand.

  • Scooter

    Line run in 34 seconds, charged and going to work at 49 seconds, darkened down in just over a min. Wait til the comments come on this one. Only wish chief put his gear on first. Rural departments got to do what you got to do. Chief still got his lap in and that was about 3 min after arriving. Driver took a little long to get his gear on and go to work (2 min 45 sec. Tanker showed up just hope they set up the por-a-tank for better shuttle operation. Be safe Strike Da Box! K

  • mark

    The chief should have geared and packed up, then he could have been even more effective, not mention setting a good example. And, since it appears the bystander had a clue as to how to operate the pump, the chief and FF couldshould have made entry to check for victims as well as follow up on the initial knockdown. Looking at the smoke, I’d bet there was at least minor extension into the atticcockloft.

    Other than that, nice work, you do what you can with what you have.

    PS Should have used a 2.5″. lol Way too much fire for a small line like that.

    • mdff

      You are kidding about the 2 1/2″?

      • mark

        No, not at all.

        Just trying to beat all the others to it. Notice the lol in there.

        Actually, in Commenter’s world, they should have hit this with a bumper turret. They could have extinguished the fire before arrival.

        Sort of reminds of FireGear and ColdFire. Fires could be extinguished from the station with an eyedropper of ColdFire. I almost miss him. Almost.

        • commenter

          These guys did pretty good for what they had, PPE aside. Looked like the handline could have used a little more pressure / flow. A 250 gpm VIndicator nozzle with Class A in the tank or from a proportioner would be a good bang for the buck improvement for this obviously funds-limited department. A bumper turret would be awesome — driver could have flipped the pto switch, nosed in and knocked the fire while the chief dressed and did a 360 and the FF got dressed. If rescue was indicated they both could have pulled a line in and pulled a victim out. If not indicated they could have mopped up as best they could from the exterior while waiting for 2 more.

          If the Acadian ambulance that showed up was instead run by the FD, they would have their 2 more within 4 minutes of the first – not quite 1710 compliant, but better than what they got.

        • DanGer

          I see the sarcasm there. You were beating Rudedawg to the punch about the 2 1/2″

    • Fireball

      Too much fire for the line he pulled? He put knocked it down, didn’t he?

      • mark

        Hey Dave, any chance we can get a sarcasm meter on this blog?

        OK, let me help: It was a JOKE. I was KIDDING. Sarcasm.

        We see time and again what a properly used smaller handline will do with an experienced fireman on the nozzle.

        But, time and time again, we hear that they should have used a 2.5″, no matter what the video evidence shows us. It gets rather annoying just as FireGear was annoying.

        • dave statter

          Is there an app for that?

          • mark

            Not sure, let me do some checking……

            Oh, was that sarcasm?

            Anyways, never mind, I believe it’s just me as there are a few others who have totally missed my sarcasm today. I either lost my touch or am overdoing it. Maybe both?


            Could we get a little more defined timeline on your suggestions. They were just awesome dude in the DCFD thread. So very realistic and such.

        • FireGears


          Hi Markie.!!!

          THANK YOU for allowing me to live in your mind “rent free”.

          How kind of you to remember.!!!

          It means you really do have a soft-side, which should thrill your life-partner.

          Don’t be a Troll … people who just want to incite and say things in such an inflammatory way as to encourage a violent (verbally) backlash.”

          Remember how your Mommy grounded you last time you became too insulting.
          She wouldn’t allow you to play Happy Hour with the other children for two weeks.

  • mdff

    Wow, understaffed is an understatement. Chief have to put on at least some of your PPE just in case your 1 firefighter/pump operator has an issue when he finally made it inside. Doing more with less has a whole new meaning. Obviously, an understaffed department with limited funds. The first engine with driver only, fully staffed would have been 2. Chief need to check the rear. Must be vacant as there was no urgency to do a primary search and they made an assumption that no one was inside. On the positive side, did have water on the fire in less than a minute.

    • 8truck

      I’m not going to say it’s vacant. Vehicles parked directly in front of the fire bulding and working smoke detectors. The door on A/B corner is open which means someone went in or out (hopefully out). Obviously they don’t have the manpower onscene to perform the primary in all the apartments so hopefully the 2nd due was assigned to search.

  • cappy

    Gettin a little water on the fire makes most of your problems start to go away! How many times do we have to be reminded of this axiom???
    This understaffed fire ground is a rule and not an exception in thousands of communities nation wide. “Settin the table” for a traditional fireground operation is critical. While setting the table… many incidents will benifit from some rapid fire attack until we can get staffed up to do it “right”. Teaching firefighters to make the scene surivible and stop the forward progress of the fire is an important part of training in the real world street level ops.
    Under these circumstances…. The first arriving should don his gear, the fire could be knocked with a rapid attack monitor, the handline was effective, given the staffing pattern on this fire, this was an excellent job. I would like to see the white shirt don some gear first.
    Many will have fun with this one, be very critical etc…. but ask your self how far this fire would have advanced given an additional 2-4 minutes without the quick exterior knock.

    Please check into some groundbreaking new real world research being done in the “kill the flashover” research project.Just google it if you are curious and take the time to read all of the related content. You will no doubt have to keep an open mind to fully appreciate the future implications of the results of the research. Much of it related to this type incident with regards to fire attack and firefighter safety.

  • Tree

    Given the same situation, and assuming that’s an interior FF on the engine, I’d have changed places and let the FF handle the line.

    Gotta agree on gear for the chief, but I’ve seen way too many videos here, involving well-staffed FD’s where they didn’t have water on the fire yet in the time it took these guys to get things darkened down.

    As has been said many, many times – if you put the fire out, all your other problems go away.

  • Anonymous

    sounds like a scanner chaser here and waited to get ou tof his vehicle until he said imma go they called me. how about if he is a FF as it shows he should have had gear on waiting for the engine to arrive and pull the line hmmmm

  • Truck167

    Was it pretty NO, was it safe NO, but hey the fire was contained and put out quick, and im not possitive but i think that is the point of this firefighting thing. So when saftey steve comes on just save your comments for the next video. JOB WELL DONE
    I cant beleive no one said anything about the guy in the camo shorts and the 9 iron lol

  • Anonymous

    Yea the chief should have put on his gear,but the fire would have gotten larger.Beside he was not that close.He knocked the bulk of it down with the small line(in some peoples opinion).The line was not too small in my opinon.When i first joined our department we would go in with a 3/4 inch booster line and knock down fires that large.A little nuts,yes,but it worked with a good nozzle man. we only carried 300 gallons of water

  • Ashley

    Everyone will have their own opinion on this one but bottom line is that the Chief did what he had to do. Good job Chief.

  • My Mom

    County Fire Department with a paid Chief and paid driver,,,,on call paid per call volunteers in a rural area,,, mdff hit the nail right on the head. Kudo’s to the Chief,,,doin what he can with what he has,,,

    • Capt Dick

      Yep, and thanks to the paid chief and the lone paid ff that’s all the personnel he will have and eventually someone gets hurt or worse. Let it burn until adequate trained ff’s arrive and then present an after action report detailing the fact the town or county is too cheap to fund adequate personnel this is the result . If they don’t care then set up master streams and let if go. They are shooting themselves in the foot and good intentions get you killed.

  • Fire21

    This is life in volunteer America. When you have a working fire with 2 people on scene, you do what you can. Gear for the chief?…yes, but that would have taken another minute at least. As it was, he knocked the fire and stopped it’s advance without endangering himself. More practice for the firefighters donning gear?…yes, that’s needed.

    I think in most towns, some of those passers-by would have stopped to see what they might do to help. These folks must have a lot on their minds to just keep going past a fire that’s that visual.

    I commend that fire dept for the work they did. Proof positive that you CAN fight a fire from outside, and win!!

  • Truckie RalFD

    Chief, Job well done! He made a tactical desicion on arrival based on size-up indicators presented to him. Occupied attached dwelling(Quadplex), fire venting from open doorway, limited manpower and knowledge of fire behavior. He understood by control or eliminate the life safety hazard(Fire!) quickly, you will have a greater outcome for success. He was not making an interior IDLH attack, instead he chose a combination attack with a FF in PPE performing the fire fight inside the compartment space. Stop you non-experienced Monday Morning Quarterbaks!!!

  • Puzzled

    Coulda, shoulda, woulda!

    Welcome to the real world of volunteer departments in America. Yes there are a few who have the staffing and money, but the vast majority don’t. They do what they have to do.

    In an “ideal” world, there would 4 guys on the pumper, 2 or 3 pumpers arriving within minutes of each other, a 360, RIT, multiple lines operating, and a search conducted, all at the same time. But this is the real world. Good job guys.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Chief, Leave the nice shiny buggy at home and get your ass on your understaffed engine with some gear on! Yeah, I know the fire went out and no one got killed. The measuring stick for success in 2012 American firefighting.

    • Fire21

      Hey Anonymous, I’m betting the chief wasn’t at home. The sun looks to be way up, and he was probably out doing his job as relates to the fire dept. Given a vehicle to use, most chiefs would go to the scene to get a look before the engine arrived. In this case, either way, there were 2 FFs on scene and they handled the situation.

    • agates1272

      I’m going to guess that “Mr. Anonymous”, (I wouldn’t put my name on that moronic post, either) works for a big city department that get’s 4 pumpers, 2 trucks, 2 squads, a medic and two chiefs on the first alarm. You clearly have no experience with the reality that is rural firefighting. Don’t bother putting in your idiotic 2 cents.

      Great job, chief. Do you what you can with what you’ve got!

  • Truck167

    Ya Ya Ya the fire went out cheif did a great job but come on i can’t be the only one who is the slighgtest bit ammused by the guy with the golf club

  • SFC

    Nice job Chief!

  • Blue

    Quick work, nice job. Let no one from PA even think about criticizing this job………..

  • Tom

    first of all it is not a golf club, it is a pimp cane. That aside, I agree that in certain settings you have to do what you can with what you got. In the same breath though, we are our own worst enemy. I mean it is the nature of firefighters to get it done no matter what you have at hand. My biggest issue with this is that none of the city administrators see that you cannot safely and efficiently get the job done with your current setup so they see no need in adding more employees. Why would you if you have a Chief that “gets it done”. Now dont jump on me because I said I agree with what you all are saying, but we must ask ourselves, when do we put an end to it and show our respective communities that we do not in fact have as many people as we need or the right equipment or whatever else is wrong? Is there a point, or do we just keep training on how to get it done with what we have and do the best we can??? The other problem I have with this video and others like it, is that though they “got it done”, what would we all be saying if they didnt get it done or if that Chief would have received burns or was struck in the head by something or whatever else you could think of? I work for a department that has staffing issues like everyone else, but we dont have major issues, we get around 17 firefighters (this includes all ranks up to chief of the scene) and an ambulance(non fd ran) on standard residential fire not including apartment complex. We go to these fires and they go out and 99/100 we do it without injuring anyone or anything like that. We also rarely ventilate in coordination with attack if at all, we pump 95 PDP on 200′ 1 3/4″ crosslays and most never bring a tool with them. This is how it has been done for years and the fires go out. It is only a matter of time before the luck runs out and end up being the video of guys getting made fun of for doing something stupid that we have been doing for years, just never got bit. Just saying.

    • Anonymous

      I disagree. It is most definatly a Topflight, graphite shaft, pitching wedge. Arnold Palmer edition. Oh and I think I saw a good knock on a fire in the back ground.


    Nice job, Chief.
    And, yeah, I bet he wishes he had the budget for much more staffing, plus bigger apparatus with more expensive groovy doo-dads, and, oh yeah, the money to regularly pour some more additive into his water tanks. But, he apparently doesn’t, so he just did what firemen are supposed to do since the beginning of time: take what you’ve got available and kick butt, trying to not get yourself killed in the process.
    Welcome to rural America.
    If he rolled up and got 4 engines, 2 ladders, and a rescue, all with full staffing, he’d probably need an AED next.

  • Crowbar

    Given that there were only three people operating, that’s one of the most successful fire attacks I’ve seen in some time.

  • Harry Rampe

    With all these posts from perfect firemen and thier deprtments iwonder what they would do in the real world.Sometimes one is short staffed or has equipment problems.Would the monday morning quaterbacks be able to think outside of the box or would they sit down,cry for mommy and let the building burn down?Great job by the chief in this video

  • FireD

    Driver brings BRT (Big Red Truck) to fire. Check
    White shirt advances hose & puts out fire. Check
    Civilian gets outta car & becomes pump operator. Check.
    One in – one out Rule. Check
    EMS shows up with 9 iron. Check.
    EMS sets up “I’m hurt” area. Check
    White shirt & halligan bar does truck work. Check.
    Hold 1 & 1. Check

    • FireD

      Oops. Add:
      BRT driver backs up white shirt on line. Check


    Great Job Chief…’ve done in 3-4 minutes what the District of Columbia Fire Chief has never done in his over 27 year career/failure as a member of the fire service….In addition, how many videos have we seen on here where fully staffed career departments would have put this apartment building into the ground….


    Forgot two more important items Chief…
    1. Please put your vest on so we know your in charge.
    2. Take a minute or 5 to read the smoke.

  • OldSutterOne

    A great example of prime number firefighting. One Fire, One Engine, One Firefighter, One Chief, One Hose. Works for me!

  • Jon Jon

    I laugh when I read all this crap. The Chief did a great job with what he could. I’m sure he was aware he had an understaffed assignment with units minutes apart from each other. Who cares he had no gear on. He saw what was in front of him and knew he could knock the fire down, holding it in check until somebody took over and made it inside. Will it work everytime? No. But it did this time. And the Chief had balls and a brain. This fire could have been knocked down with a garden hose. It’s a simple room & contents fire. The people that talk about 2 1/2″ lines, bumper turret nozzles, monitor nozzles, etc for a few rooms or a floor off make me sick. A single 1 1/2″ line will put out 90% of your fires and make your problems disappear. If you’re an understaffed FD and follow 2 in-2 out, you’re going to burn everything down. Come over to the East Coast and we’ll teach you how to be a fireman.

  • John W

    They did a good job. One of the depts I am with is paid with vollie support. 5 men on duty at 5 different stations. 1 man 1 engine. We might get 5 additional volunteers on a good day. It takes a lot of knowledge and skill to run like that. We don’t like it, but it is what it is. These guys did a good job. Driver could have been in a little bit more of a hurry to get in the game though. Just my two cents.

  • SmokeEater359

    Great job by this department. Chief you did what you could with what you have. But please at the very least put on a helmet and jacket for safety. Fire fighter bubba you need to get into that gear faster. Third guy if you know how to run that unit why did you wait for awhile before jumping out to help.I have read the comments about this they did a great job no matter what anybody thinks.As a volunteer firefighter my department was given kudos by a paid big city fire department because we got it done with only one fire unit and 3 firefighters. The three people where the pump ops. and two firefighters, I started the attack with out gear so that we could start taking care of business while the other firefight donned his gear after he had his gear on i backed out and donned my gear. And we went back at it sometimes you just got to do what you have got to do to get the job done.All i can say to them is great job.

  • Mike

    It’s been removed by the user! I guess they can’t take constructive criticism. Too bad it would have been a good training tool.

  • Roger104,_Louisiana

    Natalbany – pop 1,700 – next to Hammond LA pop 20,000

  • matt

    I know these apartments. I used to live in ones that were similar. The chief made the right call. gearing up in those tinderboxes wold have ensured that the whole complex burned down. when its 1 person 1 truck the first order of buisness is water on fire. he knew he wasn’t going to make an aggressive entry Something y’all don’t realize is that in this area many times a chief will not have gear so that another firefighter can be equipped. Before anyone throws stones at backwoods louisiana, come walk a few miles in our shoes.