Head Out

As I sit and talk with firefighters around my station and banter with those around the country it seems apparent that in the event of a catastrophe, such as losing water pressure or a flashover, we are coming out the window head first!
Head first is not how we normally think about a bailout situation. We think that we have time to grab our rope and hook find an anchor point and set up for a rappel. 
Whoever thought that we would have this much time must have not seen some of the videos that I have seen.  Most all of them have one thing in common, head first is the way we are coming out. 
Now that we have reasoned this method, we are going to bailout head first let’s talk about training that way. Whether it is on the first floor or the 100th floor we need to review techniques for exiting this hostile environment quickly and safely. Bailout bag, ladder slide, or just hanging below the window sill are all great methods of exiting a hostile environment. They all have one thing in common: the need for constant and consistent training. With safety in mind we need to make these drills as close to reality as possible.
Staying low in the window sill and rolling out without placing yourself into the hot gases that are exiting or the flames rolling out need to be addressed. Training is the best tool we use, but training like its reality will make you ready for the time the real thing goes down.  Hanging a sheet to simulate the heat conditions would give the firefighter an idea of just how low they need to stay. 
Training is the best way to be ready in the event of a emergency but making your training realistic by adding smoke, reduce the window size and make the ladder angle steeper than normal are ways of making good training Great. Just remember that while you are bailing out that your most likely “heading out!”
Be Safe everyone.
Thanks for the visit to the jumpseat.
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