After reading Filling in the Gaps on Firefighting and Emergency Medicine by Nate I would like to add a few things about what he said. I myself am a volunteer firefighter. I started by wanting to be more active in the town that I had just gotten a house in. Now that I have really become actively prepping, I see more and more good to being involved with it. The training is great and free. Further, after reading books like “One Second After“, I see where it puts me in a place where I can help get things going in a productive way when the SHTF. I hope to be able to help my community should TEOTWAWKI happen. My plan is to stay in my town and do what I can. The way I see it is I am in a place to set up town security and what not already being in a service position. I also would encourage people to get involved in this.
However in regards to how Nate described putting out fires I would have to disagree bases on what I have been taught and seen. Most of what he stated I would agree with and was well written except that when attacking an interior fire with an 1.5-2″ hose I have been taught and seen where spraying a large amount of water at the base of a fire can and most likely cause a thermal imbalance. What I mean by that is the water hits the fire and turns to steam. This will put the fire out but the steam created rises and then pushed all the heated air and gasses back on top of you. This disrupts the thermal balance of the room (hot air on top cooler air on bottom). This in-turn cooks anyone in the room especially if they are not wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE). This would seem to be unlikely unless they are firefighters and can keep their gear at home. The way to get past this would be to spray a narrow fog (water pattern set to a 30-40 degree angle) and start by spraying short burst (3-5 seconds — one Mississippi two Mississippi…) wait a minute to see were the fire is and then spray at the base when the steam has had time to dissipate. This will help from upsetting the thermal balance of the room and keep everyone safer. The trade-off as I see it is that it would potentially take a little longer to do, but in my opinion it is worth not getting cooked. After it is put out clean up and checking for fire extension into the walls and ceiling is extremely important.
Although I will openly admit I do not have the experience of a paid firefighter or of people in larger departments this is just what I have been taught and have seen through live fire training. – J.J.H.