The anatomy of a fire call

BVFD Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer Dan Chi­as­son ex­plains mo­ment by mo­ment, how fire­fight­ers re­sponded to a re­cent car car­rier fire

The Victoria Standard - - Fire Service - DAN CHI­AS­SON

On Mon­day, August 21, at ap­prox­i­mately 9:30 pm, Bad­deck Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment mem­bers re­ceived a call on pagers and FIREQRVS (an emer­gency alert app), to pro­ceed to the Ul­tra­mar Card Lock Diesel Fill Sta­tion on High­way 105 just west of Bad­deck. Fif­teen Vol­un­teer Fire fight­ers and all four fire trucks were on site.

Upon ar­rival, Chief Dar­ren Ma­caulay took com­mand of the fire scene. An auto hauler trans­port truck was fully en­gulfed in flames as well as some of the cars lo­cated on the two-tier hauler clos­est to the cab.

Bad­deck De­tach­ment RCMP took com­mand of road traf­fic, free­ing all fire fight­ers to ex­tin­guish the fire. The driver and pas­sen­ger had suc­cess­fully es­caped from the trans­port ve­hi­cle. Though the car­rier was parked be­tween a build­ing and a diesel fuel fill sta­tion, the burn­ing cab of the car­rier was ahead of the tanks, re­duc­ing the risk of im­me­di­ate dan­ger.

Every fire­fighter di­rect­ing water on the fire wore breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus gear.

Water was di­rected onto the fire through hoses lo­cated on pumper fire truck No. 2 and tanker fire truck No. 3. Water on fire truck No. 1, a small pumper, was held in re­serve. In such a sce­nario, three fire­fight­ers are re­quired to han­dle each hose - one fire­fighter at­tends to the pump on the truck, a front fire­fighter di­rects the water spray on the fire and the back fire­fighter, also hold­ing the hose, cre­ates sta­bil­ity, as­sists in mov­ing the hose di­rec­tion and re­duces the work for the front fire­fighter. The fire was fought from both sides and from the front of the car­rier.

Sev­eral of the cars on the front end of the car­rier were de­stroyed. The build­ing with con­tents be­side the car­rier was saved but the ex­treme heat caused some dam­age to the front of the build­ing.

Diesel fuel leaked from the trans­port truck and mixed with the water. Sev­eral fire­fight­ers cre­ated a line of gran­u­lar liq­uid ab­sorbent to as­sist in con­tain­ing the con­tam­i­nants.

Once the heat and power of the fire was re­duced, the hoses were re­con­fig­ured to add foam to the water to knock down and smother the re­main­ing fire. When hot spots re­turned, fire­fight­ers reap­plied foam, killing the fire com­pletely.

Fire­fight­ers com­mented that the new turnout gear pro­vided greater pro­tec­tion, com­fort, re­duced heat and water ex­po­sure, as well as greatly in­creased flex­i­bil­ity. Th­ese ad­van­tages lead to less fa­tigue.

When fire­fight­ers re­turned to the sta­tion, all equip­ment and hoses had to be col­lected and stored. Back at the hall, the truck tanks needed to be re­filled, many fire­fight­ers re­quired their boots and gear to be washed down. All of the hoses needed to be laid out so they could drain re­main­ing water. Due to the con­tam­i­nants on the ground, all the hoses needed to be cleaned. Next morn­ing, the hoses were pres­sure washed be­fore be­ing prop­erly stored on the trucks in readi­ness for the next call.

Call suc­cess­fully com­pleted!

The re­mains of a car car­rier and a de­stroyed car are seen on a flatbed the day af­ter they caught fire at the Ul­tra­mar Card Lock Diesel Fill Sta­tion on High­way 105 out­side of Bad­deck. Photo by An­drew Brooks / The Vic­to­ria Stan­dard.

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