Camano Island Fire & Rescue’s strategy in responding to structure fires is simple – get there fast and extinguish the fire while it’s small. It’s important for the public to know that, when firefighters arrive before flashover (the temperature in the room of fire origin rises to a level in which everything ignites), they find a fire that requires little water or extinguishment effort. However, once flashover occurs, ordinary fire suppression techniques have little impact on life and property loss in the vicinity of the fire. After flashover, the smoke and heat generated reduce the chances of safe evacuation in the remainder of the building. This also presents a much greater danger to the firefighters. Unless the building is equipped with sprinklers, firefighters must take hose lines inside to extinguish the fire.
CIFR utilizes an aggressive attack strategy to push the heat, smoke and steam away from potential survivors and, if this is not possible, defensive operations are deployed to contain the fire from spreading to other structures. What’s important to note is that the success of fire suppression operations is dependent on early intervention by response crews. Currently, the department reliably delivers one engine company and rescue unit on the initial alarm. This response typically puts 6 to 8 firefighters at the fire; however, quick response times are dependent on the location of the fire in relationship to the fire station and availability of firefighters.
See our WSRB Fire Protection Rating Report Card: WSRB Class 6