Fire fighting for beginers


Please ask us what you think you need to know .
Most of it comes as second nature to us so if you can specify the areas you want advice in we`ll try to help .
It might just be easier, if you and your oppos could file past and leave their own personal tips slackie...


I don`t know how many visit here and I don`t know how your current skill levels . But we`ll do our best .
I would say a fair few, especially if you could post a link on the fire site?

Assume skill levels to be basic. In other words, we're not quite recruits, and we know what different coloured extinguishers mean.... Apart from that, we're willing to learn


One very big thing in your favour wil be your discipline and team work , stick together ,work in pairs , and unless someone tells you a reason not too , do things the easiest way , not necessarily by the book .
Experience is a big thing , so debrief after jobs . If things went  wrong , and they often do , find out why ( don`t blame people but learn from it ) Same thing if they go right . Pass on your experiences to other crews .
I`m sure you would be doing this anyway .

Above all Crew safety is paramount , your no good to anyone if you get injured .
Hello boys and girls
Looks like we will be going on strike after all.     I hope that any of you called on to cover the strike will take care. Don't go running around trying to do every thing at once, even when the public are screaming at you to do something.  Think about what you do, weigh the risk against the benefit.  If you enter a house, flat, etc, stay low, it is cooler and less smokey on the floor.  Watch out for collapsing buildings, floors, etc.  Be careful of plastic bins alight.  I kid you not, put water on melted plastic and it will flare up and burn you.  If you attend RTA's, try not to get run over, you might laugh, but you would be surprised.  If you come across a cylinder in a fire, run away using large steps.  Those things are like bombs and will kill you and anyone else nearby.  Don't go getting hurt trying to put a car out.  They may look spectacular, but rarely go tits up.  Just leave them to burn.  The hose reels you will be using dont have enough pressure to put out a car fire, so your better off staying out of the way.  Just watch out for the little jacks that hold the hatchbacks up, they explode and fire out the metal pins like bullets.  Don't touch anything under the bonnet, there are plastics under there that when melted, eat away at human flesh and cannot be stopped except for amputation.  I kid you not.  Above all else, just THINK, THINK and THINK.    Bravery alone does not make a good Fireman, common sense does.  If you do turn out to a persons reported fire, all the rules and procedures go out the window.  You must try to get the people out no matter what.  If you do find that people have died when you get there, try not to feel too bad.    
Ma, sorry, moved your post to the Naafi Bar thread. Not because there's a problem with it, but only because I'm trying to keep this thread serious, because there is some really good advice and tips coming across.

The relevance is not just to Fresco personnel, but service families as well and the public at large.

This is the only thread that I would ask everyone to keep serious , ok?

best regards



You don`t need to worry about foam . 30 yrs and I`ve only used it half a dozen times , usually on a tar boiler .

Remember water and electrics don`t mix .after you`ve put the fire out and you go inside to check things out , turn the electric off at the mains . I`ve lost count of the number of times i`ve had a  shock.


Above all TAKE CARE every firefighter knows the position that you have been put in. As a well known phrase says ' stay calm keep your head, when everyone else around you is losing theirs'. Stick together and look out for each other as i'm sure you will, don't take unecessary chances in the name of heroics.

It takes more bravery to sometimes stand back than to run headlong into a situation regardless of risk. Your families are worried enough about you all, believe it or not we do care as well, just as we do when things are going tits up in lands foreign and you are up against it.

If you do need advice talk to us let us know come and see us , its not as daft as it sounds.

Be safe....... :)



In scrotey areas watch out for toerags putting LPG cylinders in cars as booby traps, it does happen, also when attending tower blocks keep an eye on 'shit for brains', chucking stuff out of high floor windows and balconies...great laugh...unless you are at the bottom and can't catch a chair or an old portable tv.  Always keep a look out it sound almost unbelievable but it does and will happen.  Make sure you always wear head gear in case 'shit for brains' decides to throw any missiles at you such as stones , bottles...cos it's fun......right...?????
Do watch out for needles put into a mattress in buildings, as druggies use this method to store them and also for a trap, watch where you tread and put your hands....!!!  It all sounds doom and gloom but try to remember some of these things as you all are 'new on the block'...try not to get caught out..... :)
That's why you're worth 30k! ;)

I won't go into how much we're worth! ;) ;) ;D

Out of interest, and for comparison, anyone know how much a waste disposal operative (aka binman) earns? ???
I,ve just come across this site, pretty good, especially keeping this thread serious, as a professional fire fighter, I realise the concerns that most of you will have.
Watch out for needles in hydrant pits as well as mattresses, never put your hands into them, if they are full of crap use a scoop not your hands, unless you want to spend the rest of your life wondering what you may have caught.
I can only reiterate what other people have posted,keep calm,  dont rush in, and think.
ps cars dont explode like they do on t.v.


Looks like Prescott will give you our trucks for next week . Just be aware that they aren`t a magic wand . You`ll get there a little bit quicker but thats about it !
The Hp hosereels will help you on cars,bins and rubbish but wont help on much else if you`re not going inside .

If you gave me one of your tanks it wouldn`t make me Rommel would it ?

I`m also a bit concerned that the press will expect too much of you when you have the modern appliances .
At least at the moment you can blame quite a bit on poor equipment , it just worries me what the press will do when you can`t use that one . I have noticed 1 or 2 snide remarks from some reporters over any problems you`ve had ,it stinks !

If you do get them ,please tell the drivers to take it very steady to start with . Driving a 15 ton lorry through busy city streets at high speed is an art , and it takes quite some time to learn it , some drivers never do !

Tonights tip
                    Never turn your engine off at a job , saves the embarassment of not being able to start it again (I never turn mine off even though modern vehicles always start , old habits )

                    At skip or bin fires you don`t have to use a branch in the hose . Use an open end , at low pressure , it saves blasting crap everywhere , you just fill the thing up !

Is anyone actually enjoying firefighting ? Or is it just a pain in the arse ? Probably a bit too early to tell just yet !

Keep safe and look out for each other !
Oh by the way eagle, we recently saw an advert for the aforementioned waste operative, it was for a driver, (perhaps a cushier job as they get to sit in a cab!!) that rate I want 35k to put my life on the line whenever I go to work!


To follow up from Guido , he`s right they very rarely explode but if you go yo an RTA ,     ALWAYS  run out the hose reel or a charged length of hose and have your pump in gear , just in case it catches fire .
Wear safety specs and gloves if you`ve got `em , bits of glass can fly anywhere , so can blood .


Guidolino ! Is that Guido the paedo ? Ifyou`re not I apologise now !
Talking of RTA's remember that some of the most important things that you need to are:
Get a length of hose ready
Stabilise the vehicle, I dont know what equipment you have, but we use wooden blox, wedged under the sills so that the car doesn't move when you climb all over it (not good for spinal injuries) ensure that these are all tight during the time that you are there.
Have a good look around and under the vehicle, its amazing where bodies get to!
How much do want to know???

If someones stuck by their feet in the foot well, try cutting their shoelaces and easing their foot out of the does work
Old groundie.  So you don't support our strike then.. I Couldn't care less mate, this thread is all about something more important.  Trying to keep your mates safer.   Trouble is, we never stop learning. Never.  The "tips", we can give you are infinite and learned over decades and passed down through generations of firefighters from senior hands to the new junior buck. ???  The best thing is to tell us if there is anything in particular that you need to know and then for us to try to help.  I did see one thing on the news tonight though that would have worried me had I been in charge at the firework factory in Manchester.   The building was a burn out and was in danger of collapse.  This happens when the roof and floor supporting timbers have burnt away and the internal walls have become weak.  The outside shell becomes unstable and a very sudden collapse is quite probable.  No problem there, no dis-respect, but you will probably have quite a few "burn outs" in the coming weeks.  The thing that worried me is the positions your blokes took up whilst directing their jets into the fire.  If a section had collapsed, you would have lost them.  Simple as that.  Crash, gone.
When faced with a possible collapse, think where the wall will fall.  How far will it spread?  A 40ft wall will become a 80ft wall when it hits the ground.  So how far away do you stand?  40ft? 80ft? 120ft?  Will your jet still reach the fire from 120ft away?  How about standing to one side of the wall?  Does that make sense?  If you position yourself at the corners of the building ( the strongest part of the building), and one elevation starts to collapse, you can get out of the way alot quicker and easier.  You can direct your jets into the windows or over the roof at an angle.  Above all else, remember that if there is no one in there, don't put yourself at risk trying to do the impossible.  A lot of these big fires will go out when there is nothing left to burn and not before!  Remember that.

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