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View Diary: How Regulation came to be: The Hotel Fires of 1946 - Part II (100 comments)

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  •  Thank you for the kind words. (5+ / 0-)

    I appreciate the feedback and the information.

    I've been impressed with the scope of the NFPA's work.  My first inkling of the breadth of their undertaking came with the diary on Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters -- I hadn't realized until then that they were the ones responsible for the National Electrical Code.  Very impressive organization.

    Thanks to you and your father for serving to keep us safe.

    We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

    by dsteffen on Sun Nov 01, 2009 at 05:13:07 PM PST

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    •  Your gratitude is appreciated. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, dsteffen, Hard to Port

      We're thanked so infrequently that it's kinda odd to even read or hear it.  :0)

      Almost all firefighters ARE firefighters because we want to be.  The reasons differ from man to man, but the sentiment behind it is always the same - we do it because we WANT to do it.  To some people, that's kinda weird.  Until you've done it or spent time with those who do it, it may be difficult to comprehend.

      I did it because I liked the lights and sirens.  :0)

      Celtic Merlin
      Carlinist

      Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

      by Celtic Merlin on Sun Nov 01, 2009 at 05:31:02 PM PST

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      •  I was a fireman in the little town I lived in (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, dsteffen, Celtic Merlin

        back in 1980 or thereabouts.  Only went on four or five runs, all fires, three of those were cornfields set afire by trucks diven out on them, and a false alarm when the we got call of a Railroad locomotive on fire, which turned out to be a locomotive parked some distance away from a pile of old used railroad ties they were burning.  Sure made a lot of black smoke.

        I moved after about a year in that town.  Luckily I never got called out on a call that I always dreaded, a rescue call for the interstate nearby.  The old times always had lots of gory stories about those runs.

        Most of the rest of my efforts were passing out beers at the "smokers" we had as fund raisers.  It always bothered me we raised our funding by showing porno films and running gambling tables.

        •  Firefighting can be a real bitch, can't it? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, dsteffen, Hard to Port

          I've responded to structure fires, dumpster fires, chimney fires, barn fires (save the foundation!), mobile home fires, and once a celebratory bonfire - but we didn't put that one out.  I never went to a field fire.  Who drives trucks into corn fields?  Those things get HOT underneath!

          Hard to Port, those calls to MVA's can be tough on a man.  Some of the things you see at those calls are bad memories that can't be shaken.  The things that can happen to the human body in an accident...

          As far as fundraising goes, I agree with you.  The things that fire companies have to do to raise the money needed to operate and/or update are appalling.  Most here in PA run BINGO games, but there are other creative things that can be done.  Public funding of political campaigns and fire companies is long past due.  Until then, we do what we have to do in order to keep the fire company operating.

          A handshake to you, brother.

          Celtic Merlin
          Carlinist

          Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

          by Celtic Merlin on Sun Nov 01, 2009 at 06:10:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  re trucks in cornfields (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, dsteffen

            A lot of trucks make the trip through a cornfield.  Usually they take them out to fuel combines, or make repairs and leave them parked.  yep, catalytic converter sets the stalks on fire.  Worst one I was at we had a pickup with a 300 gallon pony fuel tank in the bed to fuel tractors and combines.  This thing is blazing away and the first guys on scene go running right up to it.  I was thinking spraying it with a hose from as far back as possible would be the prudent thing to do.

            While I never went on on a MVA, I did pick up the neighbor kid when he stepped into a rotating Power TAke Off (PTO) shaft and got his foot torn almost completely off.  I helped lift him onto the gurney and will never forget how the bone looked sticking out of what was left of his leg.  The other time was in a factoy when a guy got his hand crushed between two pieces of steel. The blood didn't bother me but when we got him into the first aid station and they started cleaning/palipating it and it opened up and I could see bone fragments, I got light headed and went down.  Great fodder for my coworkers for the next couple of weeks.  THey'd run up with their hand cupped and say "hey look!  Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!".

            •  Maybe goes back before you remember... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, Hard to Port, Celtic Merlin

              ...but there was a house along US51 north of town that caught fire.  The guy who lived there was a hunter who also reloaded ammunition as a hobby, and with the fire occurring just before hunting season as I recall, he was, shall we say, well-stocked.

              I was told stories of the firemen hiding behind trees in the yard and spraying hoses blindly in the general direction of the house as the ammo popped off like the 4th of July.

              Another foundation they managed to save.

              We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

              by dsteffen on Sun Nov 01, 2009 at 06:46:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  never heard of that one (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek, dsteffen

                but it was interesting to watch the night the cob pile in Panola burned.  The little shed next to the cob pile had several aceylene and oxygen tanks stored in it for an O-A welding rig.  They had pressure relief valves that vented and Booommmmm.  Up through the roof they would go.

                Of course by then, they had pulled back a couple of blocks and decided to let it burn.  They just watched them fly through the air.

              •  I do recall the building we fabricated at MB (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek, dsteffen

                when we were there.  I don't know if you'll remember, but it had these panels with a pulley and counterweight system and the  panels had holes drilled in them and screws with these neopreme washers.  When I went up front to ask about it, they told me it was a coal handling facility and it was designed for those panels to open in a small explosion and the panels would "peel" the washers and pop off the building in a "big" explosion to release teh pressue.  I always kind of though I am not sure I would want to work in a building that is designed to blow up.

                •  Right! (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  G2geek, Hard to Port

                  Explosion-relief  or explosion-venting fasteners.  Here's the one I've used most often (5MB pdf).  The panels that blow off also have to be constrained with a cable restraint system so they don't go flying across the parking lot like a horizontal guillotine in an explosion.  

                  Everybody involved in the last few projects I've worked on have all been trying to pass the buck like crazy to avoid being the one who determines the size and spacing of the fasteners.

                  We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

                  by dsteffen on Sun Nov 01, 2009 at 07:16:49 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  i'm told that post-event treatment with (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dsteffen, Hard to Port

              Propranolol can prevent those events from turning into PTSD, for both the patient and for the first responders.  

              Basically Propranolol knocks down the adrenal overdrive and the cortisol levels.  Also used to treat phobias by pre-dosing before deliberate exposure to fear-producing stimuli.  I used it to get over a thoroughly irrational fear of flying (I was never too scared to fly, but the anxiety was unpleasant enough to make it worthwhile to treat and get rid of it).  

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