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MightyBlueRam 01-01-2010 10:15 AM

Let's be careful on this new year
Don't know if you guys heard about the firefighter that died recently at a foundry while fighting a dumpster fire. The dumpster apparently had aluminum scraps that "exploded when reacting with water."

Aluminum, aluminum metal, and aluminum powder is classified as a combustible solid that is easily ignited and may cause explosions.

Sometimes we respond to things that seem like nothing special but this incident is an example of why we can't let our guards down.
1. Responding to a foundry where metal powders or shavings are disposed.
2. Chemicals such as solvents, gases, acids, or cleaners could be on site.
3. People do not always dispose of things as they should.
4. Hazards are not always marked as they should be.

In one of the video shots, you see containers marked with hazmat tags behind the dumpster that exploded. That's a clue to maybe backout and switch from offensive to defensive attack. What's there to save in a dumpster? Nothing. As a firefighter, I love to fight fire but being safe is more important that putting out a fire.

Let's all be safe out there.

Toms Blue Ram 1500 01-01-2010 10:21 AM

Wow , who would of ever thought water reacting with scraps of aluminum would of cost someone their life .

RamTech 01-01-2010 10:37 AM

I had no clue it was combustible.

MightyBlueRam 01-01-2010 10:37 AM

Tom, you'd be surprised to know some of the things that can explode or auto-ignite. Oily rags and fish scraps are two examples of things that given the right conditions can spontaneously combust. If they are confined to a space where they can build up enough heat, they go boom.

Toms Blue Ram 1500 01-01-2010 11:54 AM

Thats incredible . Quess all you need is the right combinations .

Zonestar 01-02-2010 07:09 AM

I located the below information from the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund.

2000-2009 was one of the safer decades in recent law enforcement history, although it also saw the deadliest single day: September 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed in the terrorist attacks on America. An average of 162 officers a year died in the 2000s, compared with 160 a year in 1990s, 190 in the 1980s, and 228 in the 1970s, which remains the deadliest decade for U.S. law enforcement.

Law Enforcement Officers lost 124 of their own in 2009

Fire Fighters lost 93 of their own in 2009

Lets hope this decade follows the pattern of less Public Safety personnel giving the ultimate sacrifice.

atvredneck13 01-02-2010 06:23 PM

Yes safety in one of the departments I run with is a big issue, before the trucks leave they ensure that everyone has thier seat belts on, thats one thing that is a big danger to firefighters around the world that we think about the call we are responding to before our own safety.

Idk if its against the forum rules to post this but this wesbite: Is a good site for seeing some of the mistakes or accidents to learn from and recent news about fire companys in the nation.

The story about the man at the dumpster fire is on the home page of this site as well.

MightyBlueRam 01-03-2010 12:52 AM

That website is very good. The issue of seatbelts is a problem in my department. Some of the guys don't wear like wearing them. When I drive, I always remind them to keep their seatbelts on. I, as a driver, do not want to have to answer to a family member who asks "why was my husband not wearing a seatbelt? And why did you let him do it?"

CdnoilRAM 01-03-2010 01:34 AM

Yeah, those AlOx compounds are wicked when they go up, we really have to be careful with them in the gas plants. Our biggest concern, aside from the natural gas, is the pyrophoric Iron Sulphides, but our fighting strategy is a little different than the standard firefighting methods since we know we're dealing with high temp metals.

Watching some of those 'closecalls' videos, the ones that worry me the most is the times when the guys think it's just "routine" and don't wear their SCBAs. Too many things out there are toxic when they burn, whether it's acute or chronic.

MightyBlueRam 01-03-2010 09:07 AM

The old timers in my department talk about how guys used to smoke cigarrettes while overhauling a house. So not only are they breathing in all those fumes that offgassing, but also smoking.

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