Fire suppression consists of depriving a fire of fuel (Reducing Agent), oxygen (Oxidizing Agent), heat and/or the chemical chain reaction that are necessary to sustain itself or re-kindle ( also known as the four components of the Fire Tetrahedron ). The Wales / Genesee Fire Department is equipped with a wide variety of tools and equipment to accomplish this task. Some of our tools include pumper trucks, tanker trucks and fire extinguishers.
A partial list of some equipment typically used:
Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”)
- Bunker gear, including turnout jacket and pants
- Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)
- Helmet, face mask and/or visor; climbing helmets
- Safety boots, gloves, and Nomex and Carbon flash hoods
- Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) device
- Portable radio and pager
- Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC)
- 3/4 Gas Meter
Vehicle extrication is the process of removing a vehicle from around a person who has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, when conventional means of exit are impossible or inadvisable. A delicate approach is needed to minimize injury to the victim during the extrication. This operation is typically accomplished by using chocks and bracing for stabilization and hydraulic tools, including the Jaws of Life.
The basic extrication process consists of, but is not limited to, six steps:
- Protection of the accident scene, to avoid a risk of another collision (marking out the scene with cones or flares (not advisable if gasoline is leaking), lighting) and of fire (e.g. switching off the ignition, putting vehicle in park, disconnecting the battery, placing absorbing powder on oil and gasoline pools, fire extinguisher and fire hose ready to use);
- Patient triage and initial medical assessment of the patient by a qualified medical rescuer;
- Securing the vehicle, to prevent the unexpected movement (e.g. falling in a ditch), and the movements of the suspension, either of which could cause an unstable wound or cause injury to the rescuers; a vehicle should never be moved, it should always be secured.
- Opening of the vehicle and the deformation of the structure (such as removing a window) to allow the intervention of a first responder inside the vehicle to better assess the patient and begin care and also to release a possible pressure on the casualty;
- Removal of a section of the vehicle (usually the roof or door) to allow for safe removal of the accident victim, especially respecting the head-neck-back axis
- Removal of the person from the vehicle
Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT)
Firefighters in the United States are frequently the first responders to incidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard 1910.120 defines four standards of training First responder awareness level, First responder operations level,and Hazardous materials specialist. EMS-based paramedics are typically trained to the awareness level, whereas career and volunteer firefighters are often trained to the operations level or better.