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Boiling Springs Lake fire truck update

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Last Tuesday, 50 acres near St. James Plantation in Brunswick County was up in smoke, following a controlled burn that got lost control. During the fire, a Boiling Spring Lakes fire truck was destroyed in the blaze. Luckily, no one was hurt when the truck caught fire, but now, the state of North Carolina is investigating the situation. Boiling Spring Lakes Fire Department is waiting for a new fire truck to arrive. Nelson Cobble is the Boiling Spring Lakes Fire Chief. He said "It moved to the back area, to start extinguishing, the fire was 100-250 feet away, and they were getting ready to attack some small area, and they noticed that the back pump was not pumping." That's when the truck stalled out, the wind shifted, and the truck caught fire. Cobble said their trucks may have a bit of bad luck. This was not the first time one ended up in harms way. "The first truck we lost was in a broom straw field fire, and that truck burnt because the gas tank was going across the field. Once we got across the gas poured from under the truck, went into the exhaust, caught the truck on fire, and got the field on fire also." The truck was covered by insurance, so it will be replaced soon. But what continues to concern the chief is how quickly this control burn got so big, so fast. It is extremely easy to get a permit for a control burn. One can be obtained by simply filling out some paperwork at a hardware store. Ken Stewart has been issuing NC Forestry control burn permits for years. He said he always makes sure the applicant knows the rules. "If their burning, they need to be prepared to control it, and if it gets out of control they need to know who to call to get help. We issue them a permit, they sign that they have read the rules for burning." The contractors in charge of this control burn had a permit for three days, but the way these permits work, anyone can get one, and they do not have to tell the county. The county and fire agencies only know about a control burn when they receive a complaint call or an emergency call if it gets out of control.

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general stupidity

Now first of all did you check the fuel gage? Cause thiers no reason a truck that new broke down, I'm on a fire dept in craven county that activly runs two trucks that were new in 1974 and 75 and we had a truck that was a 1984, they all ran fine, and still do. Second if you were traind and knew what you were doin, you'd have known not to park your truck in an unburned area, cause thats potental fuel for the fire, you park in the area that has already burnt, trust me we have a national forrest up here. Thrid your "chief" is generaly stupid, yall are lucky that your stations havent burnt down yet, and I know all about the church right accrose the street from your main station that burnt to the ground, when it could have and should have been saved. Fourth what is the driver doin away from the pump, we're all taught that the driver operates the pump, not another firefighter. BSLFD is the only fire dept. that burnt down two trucks in such a short amount of time in Brunswick county that I heard of, I understand wrecking a truck on the way to a call, but not burning down. I used to live their and I'm still an active firefighter in that county due to beining in the military. Yall are just as bad as Southport letin houses burn down left and right, and Oak Island tryin to take over the county and wrecking their platform in to a house. I pray that God is looking after the eastern part of the county cause all the fire depts. their need alot of help and so do the citizens.

Next time

your fire truck is on fire ...dial 911 They will send someone to help you.

Some more training would help.

Forest fires are some of the most dangerous fire a crew can be one. A shift in the wind or increase in the wind can cause a blowup within a matter of minutes. You can have a 20 acre fire, have a blow up and be battling a 100 fire in just a few short minutes. Been there, done that several times in the western part of the USA with the USFS.. And it sucks. BSLFD needs to get with NCFS and train on forest fires as much as possible. Yeah you might say well we do train. But sometimes volunteer departments work mainly on structure fires and thats what they mainly train for.. But departments around the Brunswick Co area should look more forest fire training..

brush truck

Well I have been keeping my mouth shut this entire time just reading all the stuff people have to say. Well, finally here it is...the story. But before I start #1. It is not my job to explain to the public how it happened. #2. I will tell the story because BSLFD is being made to look bad. #3. I dont need to defend my self nor my actions. I am proud of my FD and the Men and women I volunteer with. Upon entering the field that you see in the picture (on right) I stopped, sprayed water, put out a hot spot. No problem with the truck at all. It ran great. I then got back into the truck and drove down the CLEARED access road (it was clear, no trees in the way or large stumps, or logs). My officer signaled me to stop and to attack the small fire that was medium high grass that was in front of me and to the left going at a 45 degree angle away from us. At this point the fire was down wind about 150-200 feet in front of me. It was NOT at this time in the trees or headed in my direction where I was parked nor was it near me. I exited the vehicle, grabbed the line and started towards the fire. (The truck was still running) another firefighter yelled to me to say that the pump would not start. I returned to the truck, (maybe 30 seconds have past by now) depressed the start button. The pump would not start. I quickly did a once over on the pump motor and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. I again hit the start button with the same result. Nothing. I went to the cab to see if the truck itself was still running. I looked at the Tach on the dash board. It read zero. I then turned the key (and dont say-why was he turning the key if the truck was susposed to be running) and the truck itself would not start.(there was light to moderate smoke in our location) We then notified the IC of the situation. During all this the winds shifted 180 degrees toward the tree line and back towards us. Embers lit the pine straw in the wood line. I went and put the truck in neutral and tried to push the truck back by hand. That didn’t work. In the mean time other FD's were on their way to come tow or push our truck to safety. By the time they arrived (only a minute or two) the fire had gotten into the tree tops and rushed towards us. The smoke was very dark and could not see the truck even though we were only a short distance away. All of this happened in a very quick moment. A FF was sent to see the truck to see if we were able to hook a cable or something to it to it can be moved. When he returned he notified us that the cab was on fire. My LT then made the call to to evac the area. The truck was 10-7. If we did not have any mechanical problem the truck would not have been in harms way at all. NOW- the truck was not on any logs or anything of the sort. If the truck was able to start we could have easily driven to safety when we noticed the wind change. When we arrived we were up wind. NOT in the path of the fire. We were NOT stuck or anything of the sort reguardless of what the pictures look like. We followed procedure and did nothing wrong. How do I know this? Because I have a B.S. in Fire Science, been in the fire service since I was 15 y/o. almost 20 years. I was also a paid FF in Connecticut before I was transferred here. Now, I am not saying that I am any better then any other FF in this are because I am not, but I am not stupid. The big picture is that the truck broke down somehow. Only god knows why or how, but it did. No FF were hurt. But let’s look at a scenario. If a US soldier is driving down the road in IRAQ in a hummer and the hummer breaks down and pulls off to the side of the road. The hummer then gets blown up by the enemy. Should we fault the soldier's because of where the truck down and because it got destroyed. The answer: HELL NO! Not there fault. It had a mechanical failure. Stop blaming BSLFD or any other FD for that matter. It was not a training issue; actually the training is pretty good there. The Leadership is also good. All the public hears about is the Bad stuff. You never hear the good stuff. I.E.- the media will never print or do a story on a litter of cute little kittens being born. But now if that same litter of cute kittens were place in a garbage bag and thrown out a car window now it’s suddenly news right. I am glad people are born with the right to voice their opinion. That’s what makes this country great and we are better because of it. But don’t blame an entire group of indivuals who volunteer their time to try to help their community. We should support them regardless of the situation, weather right or wrong. OUT!

Bad Leadership

I'm glad that you are educated in fire science. So am I. But the fact is BSLFD has poor leadership and one of these days its going to bit them in the rear end. I have known other FF's that have worked along side of BSLFD and I haven't really heard one good thing when it comes to the leadership that the department has.. Yes, I agree.. Its not your fault that the truck broke down. But it wasn't the best judgement of your officers of putting you into that area.. To be honest, I agree with one of the writers that stated more training. Agree 100 percent. Many of the departments need to work on forest fire training before sending crews into it. Its going to be totally different than a structure fire and the fire behavior is total different.. Departments should get with their local NCFS ranger and get the training that they need.. Talk to NCFS about when they are doing a control burn to let the department come in on a certain area and practice and train on the proper ways of handling forest fires.. It might just help in the future.. Also the media isn't bad mouthing BSLFD.. Its the public in general that is.. I will not bad mouth volunteer fire or rescue personal(unless its needed), in fact to me they are not giving the proper thumbs up when it is needed.. But so many of the volunteers are under trained and when they smell smoke or see fire, they get all excited and sometimes don't use their heads.. I've seen this happen several time at different locations.. Again its not your fault that the brush truck broke down and anyone that says its your fault is a idoit. Yes there maybe could have been some better judgement on the leaders, but again you were just following orders.. Besides what you needed was the old Dodge Power wagon.. That was the bull of brush trucks... Best of luck with your department.. And I know that everyone has been jumping all over this and not one person said.. THANK YOU.. For your volunteer time that you put into the deparment..

BSL

Ok, you seem educated about fire science. But, it is the responsibility of the NCFS to deal with woods fires. Also, you are right, it is not your responsibility to defend yourself or your actions but is the responsibility of your CHIEF. You were not protecting a structure. If you were, you would have had a tanker or an engine near by to provide the protection properly. However, you did make it clear...you done what you were told. Bad decision by the person giving orders. There is no question you tried to do your job and do it right. I seriously question the person giving you orders. Also, the news media isnt picking on BSLFD, it is a fact of accountability. Just because you volunteer your time does not make you immune from liability and most of all accountability. Times are changing and so are people. And one more thing, the comments made by the Chief in this last interview were not so great, probably made this situation worse. I also happened to listen to the structure fire last night in BSL...someone needs to get ahold of this Chief and talk with him. He is the man making BSL look like idiots. You seem educated, so help him improve things.

BSL Fire Truck

My thing is why hasn't the driver of the truck made a comment. But its just the chief saying it stalled out.. By the photo it appears to me that the truck got stuck due to careless driving. I like the comment from the chief in regards to the last brush truck they lost. "They dragged the gas tank across a field, then it caught the truck on fire along with the field". These stories don't seem to add up. Seems like they need to put the boot to the butt of the chief and get a new one.. Sounds to me that they need to spend more time on training, then worrying about building new department or buying new trucks.. Learn to work the equipment that you have... Next time you might not be so lucky..

BSL Fire Truck

When you take a good look at the photo. It seems to me that the truck is stuck on a possible fire break. I just do not get that it stalled out. I have been around this department and I have supported these guys. But I know that the training is not all there. There have always been problems with the volunteers running the equipment. They did not have funds to train fire fighters. Now they have more funds and still they lack the training. At least it is just the equipment they are losing. I am glad my husband is no longer in this department.

BSL LEADERSHIP

sounds like the BSLFD and the BSLPD should all be one they both need new leadership and things are not going to get better

AMEN TO THAT

You are right on the money there. Gee, I wonder if the firetruck ran out of gas? I mean, if they kept it full as I am sure they do but then "someone" siphoned down the tank some, they may would not know it until it was too late. You think......? Nah, I guess not. Or maybe.....