Go - No Go, Doesn't Mean Never Go
This is one of the most misunderstood concepts that is being shared by many. Project Kill The Flashover introduced this concept with not just a phrase but with a decision model based on data not opinion in order to help firefighters make a more informed decision prior to moving forward. Keep in mind that Go/No, Go doesnt mean Never Go; it simply means we must mitigate the factors or variables that will cause us thermal insult prior to moving forward.
The Go, No/Go Decision Model consists of several components.
1) Tactical 360:(looking for Thermal Cues)-
First Identify the flow path, location & severity of the fire, look for cold spots (areas of low pressure) as this is where the fire may travel next, and any signs of a victim.
Next, look for heat signatures on the top of window frames as the frames will indicate thermal cues. Also note the temps of Side A and compare it again when you finish your lap. Insure your distance is the same so that your temps will be consistent and that you are within the optimal distance of the TIC's range. As the first due officer, you may choose to open the front door and make a quick check for victims, confirm the layout of the home, and the location of the fire. Is so, use an extinguisher to 3-D the door.
2) Access or Making Entry: If prior to entry the following variables are noted:
A) Turbulent and High Velocity Smoke.
B) Rapidly descending neutral plane occupying more than 50% of the access opening.
C) Temperatures at or above 500 degrees.
D) Not able to observe any data through the Thermal Imaging Camera due to Saturation or over-temperature which means the temperatures of the environment are beyond the capabilities of the TIC and also our PPE.
These factors would be indicative of a No-Go until we mitigate them. Examples of this would be cooling the environment below 500 degrees, controlling the air (door control, hanging a curtain or smoke blocker), changing the focal point of the TIC to a lower height to observe the thermal severity of the environment to more accurately determine the conditions we are facing.
Once these variables have been addressed the firefighters should see:
A) Slow moving smoke.
B) Neutral plane rising
C) Temperatures below 500 degrees.
E) Observable data on the TIC.
By practicing this model not merely at the access point but as firefighters transition through the structure they can maintain a thermally survivable space.
This is but a small sample on this subject. If you would like to learn more, join the KTF Society today and you will have access to learning materials and monthly educational offerings where we can learn together.
Remember, lets be intelligently aggressive firefighters making more informed decisions based on the knowledge, training, and resources we have. Keep learning and keep improving! Thanks again for all that you do for the fire service,
Instructor Andy Starnes