The objective of this activity is to compare response time to the probability of occupant survival in the compartment of origin, thereby gaining a better understanding of the variety of conditions that effect life safety operations. It is important to remember that time and current conditions serve only as “predictors” of future conditions. However, the various factors considered are all known to effect life safety, and are therefore important to the incident commander.
Answer Questions 3 A & 3D from the text and the question 3E at the end of this supplement.
Text Question A. – Determine response time for first arriving units by estimating the alarm, dispatch and turnout times based on your department’s experience.
? Use the information given in the scenario to determine the alarm time. Allow a reasonable time from ignition if the fire is well involved when discovered. Also consider any delay in notifying the fire department given as part of the scenario.
_________________ Minutes Ignition to Discovery (estimate based on extent of involvement when discovered)
_________________ Minutes from discovery until alarm is called in to dispatch
_______ Minutes Alarm Time (this should be equal to the sum of the two components of Alarm Time above)
? Average dispatch times can sometimes be obtained from the local dispatch center, but use the dispatch time given in the scenario.
______ Minutes Dispatch Time
? If possible, use the actual turnout time for your department. Some departments track this time, while others do not. If the local average times are available use them. Otherwise, use the following guidelines:
• A reasonable daytime average turnout time for a fully staffed fire station is one minute
• A reasonable night time average for a fully staffed fire station is two minutes
• For volunteer or on-call stations add the time necessary to respond to the station based on experience.
_________ Minutes Turnout Time
• Measuring the distance and estimating the travel time for the first arriving units
? a generally accepted average for travel speed is 35 MPH
? in congested areas or on narrow streets reduce the speed
? where major highways are used outside urban areas increase the speed. (the maximum average safe speed for fire apparatus is 55 MPH)
__________ Minutes Travel Time
• estimating the set-up time for the first arriving engine company
? Set-Up time for the first-in unit should be based on extending a standard attack line to the fire. You may be able to evaluate training records to estimate this time, or use the general numbers from the O’Hagan Staffing Levels report referenced in this section. In this reference O’Hagan timed crews of 3, 4 or 5 firefighters with the crew of three waiting for the hydrant person to make entry. Working from an attack pumper, set-up time with three firefighters would result in the same interval as the four firefighter measurement in the study. Times indicated in the study are:
Crew Size Time in Seconds
3 (securing water supply) 240
3 (Attack Pumper)
4 (securing water supply) 202
5 (securing water supply) 171
These times do not include personnel assigned to a rapid intervention team. Applying the two-in/two-out rule will often requires additional personnel.
If your scenario involves getting a line to upper floors allow additional time. (Approximately 30 seconds per floor if pulling hose, and 10 seconds per floor if walking the stairs with a high rise pack).
_______ Minutes Set-Up Time
• repeat the distance and travel time measurements for all other responding units. This provides a time line for completing necessary tasks other than fire suppression, e.g. search and rescue assignments to the various floors.
Total Response time (Alarm to completion of Set Up for first arriving Engine) _____________ Minutes
Text Question D. – Compare the large open area in your pre-incident plan to the smaller areas normally found in residential properties.
Additional Question 3E – Discuss the relationship of flashover to fire department arrival time.
• How does this relationship affect the occupants?
• How does this relationship affect the firefighter?
• How does this relationship affect tactics?
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