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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Glossary of Fire Fighting Terms (L to O)


* Ladder company: A group of fire fighters, officers and engineers that staff a ladder truck.

* Level I, II, III Incident: A HAZMAT term denoting the severity of the incident and the type of response that may be necessary, where Level III is the largest or most dangerous.

* Life safety code: NFPA publication.

* Life line: A trademark for a wireless emergency call unit that triggers a telephone call to an emergency dispatcher when a button is pressed.

* Line loss: See friction loss.

* Live line: A fire hose under pressure from a pump. Also, an energized electrical line that may cause a hazard to firefighters.

* Loaded stream: An obsolete fire extinguisher stream that has had a chemical fire suppression agent added and is discharged by compressed gas or by inverting the tank to mix chemicals to produce gas pressure. Now outlawed by OSHA regulation 1910.157(c)(5). [Not to be confused with air pressurized water extinguishers with a Class A foam generating concentrate added at one-half of 1% by volume. Class A foam formed when mixed with air upon discharge produces surfactant-containing tiny bubbles which break surface tension to quickly penetrate and extinguish wood, paper, cloth and other common materials.]


* Make Pumps: To raise the number of pumps at an incident E.G. Make Pumps 10

* Maltese Cross: The emblem of the fire service is often referred to as a “Maltese Cross”. But the actual origin of the current or common emblem in the U.S. remains uncertain. While it is true that the Knights Hospitalers of Jerusalem (AKA Knights of St. John) did wear a cross emblem and a version of that cross has been used as a fire service icon, it bears little resemblance to the current form in use in much of the United States. It is possible to accept that the current design is just a stylized artistic embellishment of the original form. The current design may have also been influenced by the design of the cross of Saint Florian.

* Mass casualty incident (MCI): Any incident that produces a large number of injured persons requiring emergency medical treatment and transportation to a medical facility. The exact number of patients that makes an incident "mass casualty" is defined by departmental procedures and may vary from area to area.

* Master box: A primary fire alarm relay box connected to a building alarm system which monitors fire alarm pull stations and detectors throughout the building and automatically relays any in-building alarm to the local municipal fire department. Usually accompanied by an Annunciator Panel which records by indcator lights or other devices exactly where the pull station or detector that has been activated is located within the building. Common in multi-story office and apartment buildings equipped with sprinkler systems or smoke and heat detectors.

* Master stream: A large nozzle, either portable or fixed to a pumper, capable of throwing large amounts of water relatively long distances.

* Means of egress: The way out of a building during an emergency; may be by door, window, hallway, or exterior fire escape; local fire codes will often dictate the size. location and type according to the number of occupants and the type of occupancy.

* Multiple alarms: A request by an incident commander for additional personnel and apparatus. Each department will vary on the number of apparatus and personnel on each additional alarm.

* Mutual aid: An agreement between nearby fire companies to assist each other during emergencies by responding with available manpower and apparatus.


* NFPA: The National Fire Protection Association, a research group which sets a number of standards and best practices for *firefighting, equipment, and fire protection in the United States, and also adopted in many other countries. Also, slang for "No Free Publications Available"; used to reference any "must-have" documents that are prohibitively expensive.

* NIOSH: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. A U.S. agency responsible for investigation of workplace deaths, including firefighters.

* NIMS: The National Incident Management System. A federally mandated program for the standardizing of command terminology and procedures. This standardizes communications between fire departments and other agencies. It is based upon simple terms that will be used nationwide. Currently, U.S. federally required training programs, from DHS and FEMA, are in the process of standardizing many terms and procedures under NIMS.


* Occupancy: Zoning and safety code term used to determine how a structure is permitted to be used and occupied, which in turn dictates the necessary safety structures and procedures.

* Occupancy class: General categories of structures for purpose of safety planning, such as for hospital, assembly, industrial, single-family dwelling, apartment building, commercial, etc. Further broken down by types of hazards associated with particular occupancies, such as gas stations.

* Occupant use hose: Light-weight firehose coupled to standpipe for emergency use by building occupants prior to arrival of firefighters. Often accessible by breaking glass to unlock secure enclosure.

* Offensive attack: Method of firefighting in which water or other extinguisher is taken directly to the seat of the fire, as opposed to being pumped in that general direction from a safe distance.

* On-call: Personnel who can be summoned (and paid) when necessary to respond to an incident; a type of "volunteer" fire department.

* On The Green: Pump Only Shout

* OSHA: U.S. government agency concerned with regulating employee safety, particularly in hazardous occupations such as firefighting.

* Outside fire: Urban fire not inside a building or vehicle, often found to be burning trash which could extend to nearby structures or vehicles if not dealt with properly. A suburban, interface, or rural outside fire could also be a wildland fire.

* Overhauling: Late stage in fire-suppression process during which the burned area is carefully examined for remaining sources of heat that may re-kindle the fire. Often coincides with salvage operations to prevent further loss to structure or its contents, as well as fire-cause determination and preservation of evidence.

* Oxidizer: A hazardous material containing oxygen that can combine with adjacent fuel to start or feed a fire.

By Wikipedia


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