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FDIC 2019: High-Rise Firefighting Operations

Strategic, Tactical, and Task Levels with Assistant Chief David McGrail



David Michael McGrail
Assistant Chief
Denver (CO) Fire Department

Tuesday, April 09, 2019: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

High-rise firefighting is exponentially more complicated and dangerous than most other fireground operations. From a room-and-contents apartment fire to the well-involved fire floor of a commercial high-rise to the ever-present threat of a terrorist attack, you must be prepared. This workshop helps prepare you for battle. It addresses the challenges and provides solutions. The ultimate goals are firefighter survival and operational success. From strategic command and control to company-level tactical operations to task-level firefighter evolutions and procedures, all of these critical, interrelated areas are explained. Lessons from past high-rise case studies provide guidance for today’s “best practices” operational procedures and the recommended equipment. Attendees will apply these past lessons and new procedures to solve scenario-based high-rise fire problems.

I will utilize PowerPoint, along with fireground audio / video to emphasize the critical components necessary for safe and successful high-rise fire operational procedures. I utilize high-rise fire case studies, some well known events such as One Meridian Plaza, Philadelphia, 1991, to several of the high-rise fires that I have operated at to reinforce the good stuff and highlight the bad stuff. I break this program down into three segments of approximately 1:10, with appropriate scheduled time for restroom and coffee breaks. Throughout the program I encourage attendee participation by presenting fireground scenarios (High-Rise Fire Problems) and allow the attendees to work through and solve the problems by providing strategic and tactical solutions. In the end, I try to ultimately address as many of their expectations as
possible, and provide guidance for all attendees as they work to build an effective high-rise operational procedure for their respective departments.

Learning Objectives
1) To explain the Strategic Level components of a successful high-rise operation; including Chief McGrail’s the six critical areas of Command and Control.
2) To explain the Tactical Level Components of a successful high-rise operation; the Engine Company
and Truck Company Operations.
3) To explain the specific Task Level Components of a successful high-rise operation; Engine
Standpipe Ops., and Truck Support Ops.
4) Give attendees the opportunity to apply these components to case study and scenario based problems.


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