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Loss of a Battalion Chief in Missouri

The loss of battalion chief Missouri on December 18, 1999 details the risk associated with danger of fire not only to the occupant of a razing building but also the professional firefighters who are supposed to put it off. Any risky operation requires like firefighting require a lot of caution and planning for an emergency when it comes by (Barber, 2002). Communication forms an important component of firefighting operation.  These two fore mentioned factors contributed to this unfortunate incident. The malfunctioning of the Radios and loss of contact between the firefighters is the main cause of the loss of interior operation commander. Even after it was realized that Chief Missouri was missing it took a over one and half hour to find the victim. This shows that the victim location was not certain and the operation procedures were either disorganized or very imprecise. If the contact between the fire fighters was maintained either through sound, eye or radio contact the incident would not have turned fatal. In additional to this if the rescue team would have been through with the search early enough then the death could have been evaded.

Communication remains the single most important guard against fire menace.  Building owners, supervisory staff, or employees should ensure that fires are reported to the fire department immediately. Since this remains a problem in many institutions, I would approach the situation in the following ways. The most important thing is to put the responsibility of safety against fire to a single responsible individual. This person will be trained briefly by the fire department on the measures, caution and steps to make to prevent fire outbreaks and what to do in case there is a breakout of the same. He will ensure all the equipments, messages, and policies meet the requirements of the fire department regulations.

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The loss of lives of four elderly women and $7.5 million loss of property would have been prevented if the necessary measures could have been taken. Despite the firefighters arriving at the scene promptly, 1.5 minutes, the fire still managed to take its share. Flammable material, used to construct Kona Village Apartments, lack of sprinklers, poorly constructed firewalls and lack of access to apartment’s entrance caused the huge loss.

Some of the facilities near my residence have some characteristics similar to those found in Kona Village Apartments. The local life safety and building codes have provided for the safety of the residents of these structures. However, some of the buildings need to be reconstructed since some of safety measures like adequate access to the apartments and wooden firewalls are still significant. The solutions put in place are working since all the building have sprinklers and live alarm system.

In order to make the life of residence safe, the construction procedures should include safety measures to reduce the chances of fire breakout or damages associated with the fire breakouts. These include installation of fire alarm systems, construction of stairway fire escapes, and use of fire resistant construction materials as well as provision of interior water supplies (Barber, 2002).

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