It’s already been 2 years since the sofa superstore fire in charleston, sc. I was on duty that night, surfing the web when I caught a headline that (at that time) 2 firefighters were missing at a commercial building fire in charleston. My crew stayed up (pretty much) all night as the count continued to rise.
It hit home for us because a friend of ours works on the first due Truck to that area and we knew that if it was good fire, he’d be in the middle of it. The feeling that we had was a combination of and denial, disbelief and gut-wrench. Remembering that feeling actually brings it back and reminds me that what I felt is nothing compared to what those who lost loved ones feel every single day.
That fire is probably one of the most widely critiqued fire that I’ve ever seen (appropriately). If you’ve read the “Routley Report”, listened to the audio and read the articles, you probably know that there are tremendous lessons to be learned from that fire.
Did you, or your department, learn any lessons from the tragedy in Charleston? If not, that also is a tragedy. That fire and the two years that have followed have brought tremendous change to the cfd. DiD your department use the “Routley Report” as a tool to improve it’s command, Accountability, RIT, radio or daily operations?
The only truly appropriate and adequate way for us as a fire service to honor our fallen Brothers and sisters is to learn from the circumstances and events leading up to, and contributing to, their sacrifice.
FTM-PTB & Be Safe