Lieutenant Todd Budd, at the time of his close call event was serving as the acting officer on Brownsburg ladder company 131. They were dispatched to assist a neighboring community for a working building fire. The call came in after midnight and their on-duty crew of four responded along with a battalion chief.
Length: 72 Minutes
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Lt. Budd was the officer of the quint. While responding, information was relayed to the crew (from one of their off-duty officers who was at the scene in an unofficial capacity) that the fire was in a building approximately 100 years old, 50 feet wide in the front and rear with 80-foot sides. There was a restaurant on the main floor, apartments on the second floor and an open cockloft.
The fire was advancing and first-due units had been there for 11/2 hours prior to our dispatch. The crew was advised that the fire was extending into the cockloft and the roof needed to be ventilated. The quint’s assignment was to lay our five-inch supply line to an engine in the rear as they approached and get to the roof and ventilate.
While on the roof to ventilate, Lieutenant Todd because distracted and he ended up walking right into the ventilation hole, resulting in several injuries… and several important lessons learned, including:
- Considering the building type, construction and hazards prior to engagement.
- The need to employ tactics that fit the situation, versus employing universal tactics taught in training.
- The need to understand fire behavior.
- And the need to ask yourself… “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” A question he references several times throughout the interview.
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Lieutenant Todd Budd
Brownsburg Fire Territory
Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System
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