Class B Fire Discovery, Assets and Deficits – 2 of 4

John Konrad
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August 4, 2009

In your scenario, how is your fire going to be discovered? What would be the most realistic scenario? Let’s say, you have ultraviolet sensors that pick up the flames. Shipboard FirefightersWhat are your assets? What are your deficits?

Your answer to these questions may be simple or might vary depending upon the casualty. Remember, the clock is ticking. Make up a list of what you have available and know that you have sensors in the space for a reason. If you have to literally pass the word to investigate at least this will get someone’s attention just remember to stress the urgency of the potential situation. This will also alert the rest of the crew that something big may be going down. If it’s a false alarm, then you can deal with the faulty sensor. You should error on the side of caution.
Immediate Actions:

How do you train the personnel who discover the fire? Again, think of your assets and deficits. If personnel who own the space discover the fire, who better trained to suit up? They’re familiar with the space and they’re training in firefighting. Most shipboard fires are put out in the first 3 minutes.

What could be your deficits? What if they panic? What if they’re new on board? What if?
You should always maintain consistency in training. The personnel that discover fire may follow the following actions:

  • Report that there is an actual fire.
  • Attempt to isolate or reduce the source of combustion.
  • Fight the fire, and/or start mechanical and electrical isolation (depending on level of training and comfort).

When the fire team arrives to take over fire fighting efforts, a complete turnover should take place. This should consist of the following:

  • Type of fire
  • Status of fire
  • Location of fire
  • Location of source
  • Status of Electrical/Mechanical isolation
  • Status of firefighting equipment in the space
  • Personnel in the space
  • Personnel casualties in the space
  • Agents used in the space and effectiveness (ie: The Bilge has 2 inches of foam)

Remember: Think how you would fight this fire aboard your ship. Think about your assets and deficits, then visit Part 3 of this story: “Isolation and Containment

This series was written by Timothy Ciciora, Command Master Chief USN, Retired, Atlantic Beach, Florida, author of short stories, including “The Homecoming,” the opening selection in the Marlo Thomas best selling collection, The Right Words at the Right Time – Volume 2.


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