Commercial office high-rises have become one of the most challenging settings for firefighters. Luckily, new research is helping get a firmer grip on adequate crew and staffing sizes needed to effectively combat blazes in these buildings.
In the May/June issue of NFPA Journal, columnists Ben Klaene and Russ Sanders highlight a new project examining deployment and tactics for use in high-rise building fires. Funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program, the study will compare fire operations in sprinklered and nonsprinklered buildings as well as scenarios where firefighters use either stairways or elevators to reach their intended floor.
Here's a snippet from their column:
Some of the questions we intend to answer during the full field experiments include: What is the best way to support or assist this first crew on the fire floor? What is the minimum number of firefighters required to deploy this first fire line? How long will their air supply last under these strenuous conditions? Similar staffing and time issues will be answered for each task necessary to save lives and property during a high-rise fire.