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Catching up with ‘Into the Smoke’

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After posting the premiere of "Into the Smoke" a few weeks back my intention was to bring you each new episode as they appear. It shows how reliable I am. So let's play catch up.

Above is "Episode 2 – Attic Fire" with Maryland's Bladensburg VFD (PGFD 809). Below are "Episode 3 – Motor Vehicle Collision with Entrapment – Rescue Engine 12" and "Episode 4 – Car Fire – Rescue Engine 12". Both feature Delaware's Christiana Fire Company.

For those who missed Episode 1, click here.

Into The Smoke


Comments - Add Yours

  • Fire21

    Episode two:  I wonder how often they really use all 400 feet of that preconnect?

    Episode three:  Use eye protection any time you are even near the jaws.

    Episode four:  Fasten all straps on the SCBA, including the waist strap; and put your mask on prior to approaching the fire.

  • Volunteer for life

    Kentland co 33 getting it done.

  • Rudedawg

    Read the New Science of Firefighting.  Underwriters Laboratories, N.I.S.T. , and the  F.D.N.Y. did the study. Watch how, and when you vent.


    • Patrick


      Do you have a link to their findings? I know these experiments took place and would like to see the results.  I did find an overview of their findings, but wonder ifthere is a full report.

  • Old Back Step Fireman

    Had to shake my head at the guy on the ladder taking out the small attic window or louver without masking up. Forty years ago I wouldn't have given a second thought to taking in smoke like that. But to see someone doing that today is just plain stupid, IMO.

  • fedup

    Fire21….thanks, Jesus, how about all the positives? I’m sure if you knew dc/of sop’s you’d know the 400 gets pulled pretty frequently. All the rest is some nitpick bullshit, typical keyboard hero

    • Fire21

      Thanks, I was wondering if that 400" line is used a lot on apartments and/or large buildings.  In the particular case shown in this video, it was way too much hose, but was flaked out well enough.  It must be a chore to reload all that, but if it's used a lot, I'm sure they're proficient at it.

      As for my other criticisms, an estimated 81,070 firefighter injuries occur annually in the United States, according to NFPA figures.  If you have something against eye, face and lung protection, then you're the one with a problem, not me. 

  • Harry Rampe

    Three truck companies for a single story house?.Where i come from the engine company does  truck work simply because they are very few trucks in the county.Only 5 and they may have to travel 15 miles over back roads to get to the scene.

  • Anonymous

    Positive feedback–great to see the fire ground hustle, job assignments, etc.  It is a video depicting the exact opposite of what a large percentage of videos displayed on here show. I'm suresure some will pikc it apart but nevertheless-an enjoyable series to watch…kudos!


  • ftroop52

    WoW,,, finally a real fire fighting video, after dozens of videos where the property is completly trashed by firemen or left to burn after arriving on a simple fire.these guys put the water on the fire,in a trained method.old school. its just a matter of time before home owners will be able to sue fire departments for incompetence (and should be able) using videos like this to show how its done,safe,minimal damage,trained and so on. while using the hundreds of other videos to show otherwise. this same type fire on dozens of fire videos will show the fire department arriving  and the home burning down while they fiqure out how to put it out,all while wearing safety vests and rambling on the radio,busting out all the windows,cutting holes in roofs,untangling hose lines, and so on.  now, lets get them trucks all shined up, because thats what really puts out fires and saves lives, its a secret.

  • Volunteer69

    Episode 2: Agree with Old Man 100%….Idiotic for the FF to vent, not be masked up & on air, and eat that much smoke. Come on! Think safety and living a long life. Your family and children will appreciate it. No excuse whatsoever or no reasoning so don't try to convince otherwise. You have a working structure fire and it is belching smoke/heat inches away from your face and you are not masked up and on air?? Not to mention parking one of the trucks on the lawn?? LOL.

  • jay

    Great work by all of these departments – performing preassigned roles elminates freelancing and helps greatly with accountability. I know that if my house was on fire I would feel perfectly fine with either of these two departments responding. One critique that I do have though is that we all need to wear our seatbelts. I'm guilty of not always wearing it, and I know a lot of us don't always put it on, but we really do need to make sure we have our seatbelt on every time we get in the rig. Otherwise, great job Christiana and Bladensburg!

  • EngineBoss

    What's the point of these videos?  Are we stroking egos, attempting to educate the public, or what?

    The fire video… Why must you guys park on peoples lawns?  Do you just tell the homeowner to deal with any damage, or pawn it off on an insurance company?  If you guys collapsed my sewer line or put big ruts in my lawn for a shit fire next door I'd have an issue with it.  The guy venting the window?  I hope you watched that and realized what an idiot you were and don't do that again. They make 6' hooks so you dont have to be in front of them.  Overall the fire wasn't too bad of a video to watch, but the fire wasn't that big of a deal either.

    The car wreck?  It's a simple door pop, but do yourselves a favor and make sure the car is in park and the wheels are chocked, and cut the power at the battery.  Especially with the undeployed airbag.  If guys are watching these videos to learn something you're not teaching the right stuff to do.

    The car fire?  Why pull the handline through all those fluids and walk in front of the car?  Stretch the line away from the car and move in from the side away from all the stuff that likes to fly out of burning cars.  And why the heck do you have to get so close right away?  It's a car!

    Sometimes I wonder if the whole theatrics of the videos when guys know they're being filmed they wanna look cool.  Unless you're posting mistakes for guys to learn from, a video produced to show how jobs are handled should be done correctly.

  • Ol’ Chief

    I agree with Jay, well done video and preassigned roles worked well

    My only question: Who was assigned salvage?

  • flowwater

    What the hell is this?  Chicago Fire TV series

  • Dickey

    I'm just glad I don't live in that area. Engine Boss said it, what is the point to these videos? Bragging? Public Education? Firefighter instruction?  No matter what the point is, they are not showing the correct way of doing things. This is part of the reason we get a bad reputation sometimes. I also agree you guys need to watch the NIST/FDNY videos and educate yourself on the "new school" instead of just keep doing it the "old school" way.

  • BCFDHoseHumper

    You guys dont even know…. there was so much SALT in that video you mist have missed it, re-watch it then go down an tell them boyz how awesome they are….. So SALTY, I wish my union would let me scab there.

  • Old Back Step Fireman

    Ol' Chief,

    Good point about salvage, especially with a fire like this that was in the attic or crawl space of a one-story dwelling. I'll bet half the people reading this are clue less about the role of savage cover operations and even the private salvage companies that used to operated with fire departments while the fire was being fought to protect furniture and appliances from water damage.

  • cbj

    As for criticism, I have to say that handling extrication tools and especially bent, ripped metal and broken glass cetainly requires wearing gloves. I would accept NO excuse for that, I dont care HOW MANY "runs "jobs" or what ever you call them they get. That is pure nonesense. This area has some top notch people. They do good work. They hustle, they have pride. Correct me if I am wrong but are there not a good amount of career firefighters that are members in the famed 33 company? Is it true that one can join this company from out of state and run once or so a month? I can't figure out how a volunteer firefighter in such a busy company can also hold down a successful career or job at the same time. Anyway's, good for them.

  • Upnover


  • Volunteer for life

    Bcfd hosehumper be glad you are in A union. Unions are for the uneducated who can't forge a living on there own merit. Yes 33 has GOOD paid members.

    • EngineBoss

      33 is all volunteer.  There are no paid members.  Right or wrong?  You imply that 33 has "GOOD" paid members.

      Unions are not for the uneducated.  Promotions and assignments in busy companies are awarded to members based on "their" merit.  None of the officers here bought the young guys a case of beer in exchange for their votes at the end of the year.

      You can't even form correct sentences with proper spelling, punctuation or capitalization.  Maybe going back through fourth grade English will help you out some, unless you wrote it that way for us uneducated Union members.

      I'm quite sure the career firefighters from outside companies that are volunteering there are glad they have a union and a job that pays them money doing something they love to do.  They get great benefits too as a result of years of collective bargaining.  You contradict yourself saying that unions are for the uneducated while also saying 33 has good paid guys.  I'm sure you guys are glad to benefit from their experience and knowledge.  So why the attack?

      Unions are for the overall protection of the members.  Somehow guys like you seem to think getting a paycheck for this job is a crime.  Whatever it is you do for a living, imagine if people started doing it for free and you couldn't get paid since people do it for free. So you go looking for a job and everywhere you go, theres hundreds of folks trying to get that job too.  You won't look at it that way because you think volunteering is a way of life.  Let me tell you something, making money is a way of life.  Unless you like to live off welfare and food stamps and unemployment and talk on your obamaphone waiting in the soup line.

      Good luck in the real world.  I'm glad to have a Union job doing what I love, and I'm proud of the promotions I have received over the years based on my hard work and determination.

  • NoOneImportant

    Allow me to comment on a few things:

    Harry Rampe: Not necessarily do three ladder trucks get dispatched on a reported house fire. Three Special Services are dispatched for every reported fire. A Special Service is defined as – a truck company, rescue  squad, quint operating as a truck company,  or a rescue engine operating as a rescue  squad. So two trucks are assigned to do operate, while the third special service is assigned RIT. To the gentlemen that commented about our apparatus positioning, we come across those problems as they come which isn't very often. PG County is aggressive when it comes to their truck company operations. 

    to the two people that questioned Apparatus placement: I can assure Bladensburg and Kentland didn't buy top of the line aerial apparatus to be street ornaments because the engine companies blocked us out, or we don't want to go over a curb or two. We know the limits of our apparatus, and if we don’t that’s what they have tow trucks for. Also when you throw ladders on an everyday basis wouldn't you want your equipment somewhere relatively close to the scene? I do and would…

    Ol' Chief you asked about salvage, that’s assigned to the truck company/Special service operating on that floor. For the people that don't know how pg operates check out Division 6- Chapter 01 – Fireground Standard Operating Procedure for Structural Fires, which can be found at the following website:


    For the ladies and gentlemen that don't know, these videos aren't for firefighters. The videos are designed for Joe Blow viewer. Wither its blue collar or white collar, it's live action, with brief descriptions of what’s going on. Sound familiar, that’s what cops did and continues to do to this day 20 some years later!