Do you believe occupants should fight fire? Do you believe they should escape?

The textbook suggests that there is some disagreement over the value of standpipe and hose systems as it may give false security to building occupants. Some believe having a standpipe hose may create the impression that occupants should fight fire even though a safer course would be to escape. What are your thoughts? Do you believe occupants should fight fire? Do you believe they should escape? Why, or why not?

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Frank:

The first real big question that I have about the scenario is “are the people that are attempting to fight the fire trained such as a fire brigade??”  Most fire brigade members know when enough is enough and they will also evacuate.  My answer is really simple.  The answer is NO, they should evacuate.  If they are part of a fire brigade and they are trained by their company for certain responsibilities, then they could attempt to slow down the fire some.  Overall, as an officer, I do not want civilians left behind trying to fight fire.That makes more of a problem than a solution. I’m more than positive there are no SCBA’s present or structural PPE, so if the fire is really “cooking” all they would be overcame quickly and become a victim that we would have to come find.  As an officer, that would make me have to put myself and my staff at a higher level of response as well a higher level of risk to have to go in to find them.  Our job will always have inherent risks, but it makes things alot less stressful to eliminate the stressors that we can.  For those that are not “fire oriented” in the class, there is a big difference to responding to a fire when the building is evacuated versus with known entrapped civilians.  It puts a whole higher level of stress on everyone that is responding.  The primary goal is then to find the victim and fire fighting comes second.  If there is no one in the fire, all attention is placed directly on fire fighting and we still look for people as we extinguish the fire.  So back to the original question, civilians should evacuate or follow their company’s emergency plans in time of fire, not try to fight it.