BH firefighter injured after entering burning house alone - The Herald Palladium : Local News

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BH firefighter injured after entering burning house alone

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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013 6:00 am

BENTON HARBOR - A Benton Harbor firefighter was in fair condition Thursday in the burn unit of Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo after entering a burning house alone early in the morning.

Lt. Doug Bell, a city firefighter since 2001, suffered burns in a house fire at 1034 Jennings Ave., Public Safety Director Roger Lange confirmed.

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  • momdog posted at 6:21 pm on Tue, Mar 19, 2013.

    momdog Posts: 3

    Yes, Benton Harbor is a community in financial distress. Yes, cutbacks have been made creating a lean shift for emergency personnel. Yes, there are hard feelings from the implementation of the public safety officers. That being said, none of these reasons are to blame for this unfortunate outcome. There are safety rules and SOPs in place for a reason; this incident is an example of that. Unfortunately, following those SOPs and safety rules requires one additional element that comes with no guarantee that it will perform perfectly in every situation- the human. If there were ten full-time firefighters on duty and the same actions were taken by command, there would still have been an unfortunate outcome. Let's stop portraying this incident as a result of Benton Harbor's financial and political situation.
    Thoughts and prayers to Lt. Bell and his family during his time of recovery.

  • 1mike posted at 6:31 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    1mike Posts: 417

    And that everybody is why we have rules.

  • Reed posted at 2:06 pm on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    Reed Posts: 1

    There was no reason for Lt. Bell to enter that dwelling alone. If he was first on scene he should have established command, set up RIT and ordered an attack. Too many people want to blame the police, but Bell abandoned them with no regard to two-in-two-out. Did they have a RIT line deployed? Did he even have a hoseline with him? It's like leaving the pit area without the lugnuts on tight, something bad is going to happen. Many part-time, part-paid, full time and volunteer departments have one or two people show up first at a fire, that doesn't mean you disregard the law and your own safety to free lance on the fireground. I hope Lt. Bell heals from his injury and is a lesson to others about safety first. Rule #1 in rescue, do not become a victim.

  • Proud Unionist posted at 9:09 am on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    Proud Unionist Posts: 9

    Honestly would it be so hard for Lange to tell the truth?

    At the time of the incident only 2 PSO's where on scene one with gear on but no Airpack and one with out gear. It was only a matter of time before someone was seriously injured, We can only thank God he was not Killed.

    Doug was doing his job within the paramiters he was forced to work in by Roger Lange and EFM Harris.

    As much as Roger Lange is starting to spin this, He and EFM Harris are soley responsible for the Injuries suffered by LT. Bell.

    It is time for the Citizens in Benton Harbor and St. Joseph to demand proper protection.

    You may say PSO is working because of the inflated savings and false reports put out by the Municipalities but unless you staff the departments with enough per shift these unfortunate situations will continue.

    If nothing is done and this poor level of service is allowed to continue everyone will be to blame, this is the eye opener that was needed now do something about it.

    Consider a County wide Department?

    Let us all take time Today to pray for Doug Bell and his Family.

  • pr2 posted at 9:58 pm on Fri, Mar 15, 2013.

    pr2 Posts: 1

    I hope the reporter(s) aggressively follow up on this story; too many unanswered questions here. Also, how extensive are FF Bell's injuries?

  • michigan33 posted at 12:19 pm on Fri, Mar 15, 2013.

    michigan33 Posts: 1

    Now the situation we have all been worried about has happened. Chief Lange might want to read up on his NFPA standards and MiOSHA standards before they come and fine him big time for failing to follow the guidlelines for fireground operations that mandate 2 in and 2 out. Where was his RIT (rapid intervention team) located? Sound like the boys in blue were not where they should have been. . Our thoughts and prayers are with Lt Bell and his family right now. Please say one for them this weekend if you chose to worship.

  • SuzonPearson posted at 12:06 pm on Fri, Mar 15, 2013.

    SuzonPearson Posts: 1

    I can't help but be angry about these cutbacks ~~~ No firefighter should ever have to fight a fire by himself !!!!! There should be a minimum of two on duty at any given time in the firehouse waiting for dispatch!!!! Does it really take someone to get injured badly like this for people to open their eyes?
    Doug's career is over because he had no help until it was much too late !!! The extent of his burns are such that he would never be able to withstand the heat from another fire... Another family affected by the idiocy of the government !!