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The Day The Impossible Happened The tragic death of Captain Bob Gallardy during training.

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Presentation on theme: "The Day The Impossible Happened The tragic death of Captain Bob Gallardy during training."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Day The Impossible Happened The tragic death of Captain Bob Gallardy during training.

2 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED2 Sunday October 23, 2005 On a mild October afternoon during the last training evolution of the day, a veteran state instructor was critically burned in the basement of the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy residential burn building. Two days later, Captain Bob Gallardy of the Altoona Fire Department died from those burns. Here is the story of that tragedy and the changes that have occurred since that day.

3 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED3 WHO WE ARE

4 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED4 The Pennsylvania State Fire Academy Located in Borough of Lewistown - Mifflin County, PA Facility opened in 1955 Only facility owned and operated by Commonwealth of PA * PSFA

5 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED5 The Pennsylvania State Fire Academy Managed by the Office Of The State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) Supported by the PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)

6 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED6 The Pennsylvania State Fire Academy Current class A burn buildings opened in May 1993 Buildings lined with “High Temperature Lining” (HTL) in 2001

7 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED7 The Pennsylvania State Fire Academy Four (4) main program areas –Certification Program –Resident (on campus) classes –Academy On The Road classes –Local-Level (field delivery) classes Fourteen (14) full- time employees –2 are Resident Instructors 140 Adjunct Instructors 1500+ Local-Level Instructors –Suppression –Non-Suppression

8 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED8 The Suppression Instructor Development Program (ZFID)

9 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED9 ZFID Attendance Requirements 8 years experience in fire service 3 letters of recommendations Attend 150 hours “structural track” training Attend educational methodology class Must be certified Firefighter II, Fire Instructor I Attend NFA ISO class

10 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED10 Suppression Instructor Development Program (ZFID) Started in 2000 for the purpose of evaluating instructor candidates This 40-hour program contains: –specific PSFA policies including the intent of NFPA 1403 –presentations by instructor candidates, –tour of PSFA facilities including walk-through of burn building –wet-line drills –live fire evolutions Candidates act as Students, Ignition Officers, ISO, IC, and Instructors

11 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED11 Suppression Instructor Development Program (ZFID) Program is presented by 8 Adjunct Instructors –A lead and co-lead spend first 20 hours with candidates –6 additional Adjuncts assist during next 20 hours –Act as evaluators during live-fire exercises –Shadow instructor candidates during all evolutions

12 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED12 Live Fire Evolutions during ZFID class Instructor candidates are shown safest methods of stacking pallets, spreading Excelsior, and starting fire Fires occur in basement and Division 2 of residential structure

13 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED13 Live Fire Evolutions during ZFID class ZFID Candidates will act as the: –Incident Commander –Incident Safety Officer –Instructor Up –Instructor Down –Students Each position is shadowed and evaluated by an adjunct instructor

14 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED14 Live Fire Evolutions during ZFID class Fire Suppression –2-person hose team assigned to the basement –2-person hose team assigned to Division 2 RIT –4-person team stands by on Side A with wet-line Radios –One assigned to every team –Assigned to all Staff involved in the evolution

15 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED15 Live Fire Evolutions during ZFID class Resident Instructors: –Operate engine –Provide other support as required –Can perform duties of an adjunct instructor if necessary Field Supervisor: –Monitors drills –Monitors candidates’ progress and counsels them as needed

16 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED16 Live Fire Evolutions during ZFID class 2-person EMS crew with BLS ambulance on scene (may have medic aboard) Ladder in place on Side D for secondary egress Engine has additional water supply

17 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED17 Live Fire Evolutions during ZFID class First 4 evolutions –Wet-lines only, no live fires Live-fires for 12 evolutions Each evolution is slow and methodical as the IC, ISO and Instructors verify with each other, each team and each level of building are ready to start the evolution

18 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED18 Live Fire Evolutions during ZFID class Fire sets are smaller and fires are less intense than those in Resident structural firefighting classes –Candidates have previously proven their skills as interior firefighters

19 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED19 Live Fire Evolutions during ZFID class Simulated emergencies may be staged in later evolutions. They may include one of eight. Such as: –a burst hose line –a PASS device sounding somewhere (not on a person but by itself) –a portable radio that quits working –a separated crew member These are scripted and staff are informed prior to evolution starting

20 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED20 WHAT HAPPENED THAT DAY

21 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED21 Suppression Instructor Development Program (ZFID) Sunday October 23, 2005 was the final day of the class Last of the 16 normally scheduled evolutions

22 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED22 Live Fire Evolutions during ZFID class Because of an issue with one candidate the Curriculum Specialist was monitoring evolution #16 basement fire This meant one additional staff member was evaluating the candidates going to the basement

23 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED23 Live Fire Evolutions during ZFID class Evolution #16 –Fire sets were built by adjunct staff which were equivalent in size to a Resident Program –Why? Motivate candidates Create a condition that if seen in an acquired structure would be cause for concern (Go/No-Go)

24 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED24 Live Fire Evolutions during ZFID class Evolution #16 –Started and proceeded –Candidate Safety Officer recognized and reported a smoke condition different from previous evolutions –Crews entered assigned areas after all radio checks were verified –A radio transmission stated “firefighter down” –Confusion among outside staff Is this a staged emergency?

25 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED25 EMERGENCY HAS OCCURRED Discussions among outside staff in an attempt to clarify radio message This resulted in delaying assistance EMS crew is advised of “possible firefighter down”

26 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED26 EMERGENCY HAS OCCURRED RIT team sent to basement after several minutes Basement crew exited via exterior stairwell with victim Emergency evacuation/PAR conducted Patient care started immediately by the ambulance crew along with EMTs and Paramedics who were students or staff

27 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED27 EMERGENCY HAS OCCURRED Full-time staff members begin emergency notification process and site security measures Victim is transported to Lewistown ER after helicopter is put on stand-by All persons directed to write statement of incident immediately

28 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED28 EMERGENCY HAS OCCURRED Contacts made: –State Fire Commissioner –State EOC –PSFA Administrator –Altoona FD Chief CISM team is requested All students and staff held at facility (guests)

29 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED29 EMERGENCY HAS OCCURRED Captain Gallardy is transferred from Lewistown ER via helicopter to Lehigh Valley Burn Center at Allentown with burns over 50% of his body The Gallardy family notified by the Altoona Fire Department

30 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED30 EMERGENCY HAS OCCURRED CISM Team meets with entire group then splits into staff, student and guest groups for defusing After defusing all persons stay for light meal and well-being check before traveling home A graduation and informal critique of the ZFID program was conducted in an attempt to conclude the day on a positive note

31 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED31 EMERGENCY HAS OCCURRED State Fire Commissioner Mann calls NIOSH twice and leaves message requesting an investigation All persons depart PSFA promising to check on one another and stay in close contact Billy Goldfeder is notified for national distribution of incident

32 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED32 TRAGEDY STRIKES Captain Gallardy spends 2 bad nights in burn unit Family and friends surround him at Allentown Bob passes away late Tuesday morning NFFF, State EOC, participants from Sunday’s class are notified Altoona Fire Department and Fire Commissioner Mann agree to allow Altoona to hold LODD Funeral in Altoona

33 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED33 NIOSH Arrives Tuesday October 25, 2005 –NIOSH Investigator Steve Berardinelli arrives to begin investigation –Full cooperation is promised by Fire Commissioner Mann –Fire Commissioner Mann pledges to “tell the world” when the NIOSH report is released

34 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED34 NIOSH Investigation Investigator Berardinelli takes 3 days to complete work at Lewistown –interviews persons –reads statements –takes pictures –closely examines burn building –fire training grounds –victim’s PPE and SCBA Works closely with PSFA staff and displays professionalism while explaining as much as possible

35 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED35 WHERE WE ARE TODAY

36 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED36 What is the solution? State Fire Commissioner, PSFA management and staff discuss possible causes, changes, and remedies March 2006 test burns are conducted by NIST with staff and NIOSH investigator present

37 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED37 Live Burn Policy Changes since October 2005 Operating alone anywhere in the building is strictly prohibited Two instructors are now required for ignition and stoking of fires –One person must remain outside of burn room in visual contact when the other person is in burn room –Fires on multiple floors require multiple ignition teams Additional charged safety lines are added to live burn training sessions

38 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED38 Live Burn Policy Changes since October 2005 Stand-by ambulance MUST be BLS during live burns in acquired structures; ALS is highly recommended Use of any combustible liquid is prohibited All live fire evolutions are conducted in accordance with NFPA 1403

39 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED39 Live Burn Policy Changes since October 2005 Rapid Intervention Team –Must be six people plus a RIT Officer who is a suppression instructor two of those must be ready for immediate deployment could be a RIT not associated with the class –A suggested list of tools –Charged hoseline

40 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED40 Resident Course Specific Changes Increased number of adjunct instructors –Two ignition officers plus safety officer Additional charged hoselines A formal gear inspection required for all resident programs Baseline vitals taken prior to live fire activities –Vitals required for staff and students after exiting live fire during rehab

41 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED41 Resident Course Specific Changes ALS Ambulance on-site during live fires Simulated emergencies during the ZFID program removed because they were not producing the intended result A redundant accountability system Maximum fuel load is more clearly defined

42 October 2006THE DAY THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPENED42 Information Sharing NIOSH investigation findings have yet to be released NIST is currently compiling data from the test burns. –Upon completion two presentations are scheduled Fire Academy Staff and Adjunct Instructors Local-level instructors

43 Closing Comments and Questions

44 Contact Information PA State Fire Academy 1150 Riverside Dr. Lewistown, PA 17044 717 248-1115 800 459-4096(In PA) Tim Dunkle – Fire Academy Administrator TDunkle@state.pa.us


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