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Bullethead

BH is Back

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Howdy All-

 

I recently came across the attached candid pic of WIDOWMAKER as he actually appears in life. This brought to my rum-soaked attention that I haven't been in this forum in several months. EEK!! How did that happen? (looks at pile of empty bottles--OH, that's how).

 

Anyway, I've missed you all and OFF, too, and hope to be catching up on things soon. Hope all is well with you all.

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Yes, I've already wondered, what would have happened to you, bullet.

Glad to know everything is ok with you.

 

And now do yourself a favour, and take a look at P4 development screenshots.

 

Cheers, mate. :drinks:

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Hi BH...glad you're back.

 

Cool Picture...he's done better than me recently! (but then, it's his survival...and merely my Hobby) :drinks:

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Is it really several months already, since I last saw you here? Jeeze, the time flies!

But you could be right. I have meanwhile finished two Louisiana thrillers, and I'm a slow reader.

So, welcome back, Bullet!

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Good to hear from you, old bean. :drinks:

 

Do yourself a favour and spend an hour or two looking at the new P4 screenshots. There are great many of them, and they look wonderful.

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Welcome back, Mr. BH. I suppose the hot and humid summer in La. is as good a time as any to engage in "rum-soaked" activities.

 

The look of that carp is the same as mine when I saw that you were posting again!

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P4 landscapes notwithstanding... rum, brandy, whisk(e)y... that's the kind of 'immersion' I'm talking about! Welcome back, BH, good to have you here again.

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I'm glad you all haven't forgotten me :drinks:

 

I looked at the P4 shots before posting here--otherwise I'd have posted up a day or 2 sooner :grin: . I'm liking the Fee's new look and my 1st project when P4 ocmes out is to redo my clapped-out Fee skin for the new model ;).

 

This summer has been a blur: long stints of hard work divided occasionally by binges. All my jobs got busy at the same time. I haven't even had time to read much, let alone play games. OTOH, there have been a number of interesting things happening to keep me busy.

 

The most recent interesting things are that we got a new firetruck and I just today completed a school on fire investigation. Fire investigation is about figuring out the origin and cause of the fire (and sometimes who the arsonist was). It's a cross between archaeology and CSI. So don't go lighting fires in my jurisdiction because I WILL figure it out :cool: .

 

The new firetruck is our first "real" firetruck, as in a total custom thing built from the ground up specifically to be a firetruck. All our other trucks are barstardized things built on commercial truck chassis normally used for delivery and garbage trucks, etc. I got to drive this thing home from the factory.

 

Topic save: Due to the epochal nature of this new truck, there was a large crowd gathered at the station waiting on me, complete with media. So when I pulled up, I felt like Lucky Lindy landing. The truck hadn't even stopped rolling before the crowd swarmed it :)

 

 

 

 

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From what I know, fire investigation is really a "Sherlock Holmes" job.

 

Well, the part about "after you've eliminated the possible, whatever remains, no matter how improbably, must be the truth", is definitely part of the job. And besides, fire leave pretty recognizable tracks. The whole thing boils down to following the tracks back to where the fire started, determining what fuels were available there, and then figuring out what provided the spark that set it off.

 

Sometimes it's pretty easy, as in the pics attached below. This was an investigator school burn especially set up for us to look at. Normally in such a fire, the roof has fallen in so you have to dig down through it, layer by layer, to get to what you see here. And even then, the firemen who put the fire out are more interested in saving any victims and making absolutely sure the fire is out (so they don't have to come back later) than preserving origin and cause evidence, so things are hardly ever this neat in real life.

 

Anyway, Demo 01 shows a distinct "pour pattern", where an arsonist poured a flammable liquid (diesel in this case) on the floor from the door to the sofa at the left end of the room. The area where the accelerant was is the best-preserved because the liquid, despite being fuel, abosrbed heat and thus protected the underlying floor/carpet. So, the liguid just stained this areas. Immediately outboard of the liquid, the carpet is severely burned due to lacking this coolant and being right next to the intense fire atop the puddle. Beyond that, the floor is less-damaged but obviously suffering from heat.

 

Demo 02 is a general view of the area of origin. You can tell the fire started and was most intense at this end of the room due to the shadowing of the the burn patterns on the walls caused by the furniture, and the V patterns on both the back wall and in the sofa itself point to where the fire started at the bottom of the Vs. So this all points to the fire starting on the sofa, despite the pour pattern in from the door (which normally would be used as a "fuse" lit at the door to burn in towards something futher in).

 

Demo 03 shows the actual point of origin, the hole all the way through the sofa cushion, which correspondes to the apex of the V patterns on the wall and in the back of the sofa. On the floor below the hole, and in surrounding areas, are some distinct areas of white ash that don't match the remains of the rest of the sofa and surrounding area.

 

So, we took samples of the floor in the pour pattern, the sofa upholstery, and the suspicious white ash. The floor and cushion came back positive for diesel and the ash as residue from a road flare. In fact, we found the butt end of the cardboard flare tube in the ash pile under the hole in the sofa, and you can see it between the red and green arrows in the Demo 03 pic.

 

Bottom line: The perp poured diesel on the sofa and from there along the floor back to the door, then tossed a road flare onto the sofa. And in fact these conclusions were confirmed by the video taken when this fire was set, so my team of would-be investigators got a perfect grade on this test. However, this was a very easy scenario.

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That sounds like a challenging new job, Bullet.

And that fire engine looks like so neat, as if it could even supply the men with soft ice in hot summers. :cool:

Congrats!

Edited by Olham

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.

 

Helloooooo Bullethead! You came to mind the other day while I was enjoying a meal of dirty rice and Andouille sausage. Glad to see all is well with you Sir. And quite the sweet new rig for your fire department there. What make is that? My company sells Crimson and U.S. Tanker, but I honestly don't know all that much about the fire apparatus as I do nearly nothing but ambulance and transfer rig sales and service.

 

Great to have you back BH. Now how about getting some stick time in the virtual skies.

 

.

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You came to mind the other day while I was enjoying a meal of dirty rice and Andouille sausage.

 

Ah, some of my favorite stuff. I like to make jambalaya with andouille, too :)

 

What make is that? My company sells Crimson and U.S. Tanker, but I honestly don't know all that much about the fire apparatus as I do nearly nothing but ambulance and transfer rig sales and service.

 

It's a Ferrara, the factory being only about 70 miles away. As such, we prefer to do business with them because support is within easy driving distance. Ferrara's becoming big business, though, with customers nation-wide and globally, too. They're currently in the middle of buiding a batch of 50 aerial trucks for FDNY.

 

My particular truck is their MVP body on the "Ember" chassis. Ferrara subcontracts the Ember out to HME ("Home-made Engines") so all that happened locally was building the body and putting it on the chassis. It's a rescue-pumper with a 2000gpm pump, 1000gal water tank, and enough storage space for all the required equipment for pumper, service, and all types of technical rescue. So it's got our Jaws of LIfe, plus stuff for rope, confined space, swiftwater, and some hazmat on it.

 

It's interesting how we got this thing. We had a new pumper in the budget to replace one that's old enough to buy beer, but that was supposed to happen later in the year. This truck would have been a commercial-based truck pretty much identical to 2 ordered last year and got this spring, and rather cheaper than an MVP goes for. However, a month or 2 ago, our main rescue truck died unexpectedly and replacing it wasn't in the budget. What to do? As it happened, Ferrara had just made this MVP as a private venture to advertise the type at Fire-Rescue International. Because it wasn't made to a specific customer's specs, it was on sale down in our price range, so while it was a bit more expensive than the pumper we were going to get, it was cheaper than getting both a pumper and a rescue truck separately. PLus having a 2-in-1 truck reduces our overhead in this day of budget cuts. So it was a good deal for us.

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Hey BH...Does your unit use Dogs?

(I know some do over here, to detect accelerants etc)

Edited by UK_Widowmaker

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During my training at Newcastle Airport...I was lucky enough to be allowed to sit in this baby!

 

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Hmm - seems the fire fighters have come a long way, while the dogs - well, remained dogs. :grin:

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Hey BH...Does your unit use Dogs?

(I know some do over here, to detect accelerants etc)

 

We don't have any ourselves. We're just a fire department with no police powers. In Lousy Anna, the fire-related police powers are vested in the fire marshalls, who are an arm of the Lousy Anna State Police. They have dogs, the crime lab to test samples, can arrest people, and handle the criminal prosecutions for arsons. They also have to be notified if there are victims hurt or killed and for several specific types of fires even if nobody gets hurt.

 

So the way it works for my department, we do the initial investigation during and immediately after the fire to determine origin and cause. If we suspect arson, or if it falls into one of their other categories, we call the fire marshalls in, keeping the scene secure until they get there. They'll bring their dog if they think it's needed, which is established during our phone call with them.

 

Dogs are only really needed when 1) you have reason to suspect arson and 2) the scene is so trashed that you can't see evidence for arson with your own eyes. In my pics above, there was no need of a dog because we could easily see the pour pattern (plus smell the left-over diesel, plus feel the stickiness of the sofa cushion foam which was on its way to becoming napalm from contact with the diesel, and smell that, too). But that fire only burned for about 2.5 minutes before being CAREFULLY extinguished. In the real world, especially where I live, scenes are SELDOM that well-preserved.

 

In my bailiwick, fires usually get to burn much longer (and they grow exponentially) due to the travel time to reach them. This means that even if we save part of the building (which doesn't always happen), the part where the fire started (which has burned the longest) is totally destroyed. I'm talking a heap of roof material (melted shingles or sheets of metal) on top of rafter remnants on top of joist remnants on top of ceiling remnants on top of wall remnants on top of contents remnants, all of which have been thoroughly blasted by fire hoses and scrambled by firemen digging into the debris to get at smoldering hotspots buried deep within the pile. Firemen don't want to have to return for a flare-up later so tend towards overkill during extinguishment :). Dogs are quite useful in such situations if there's reason to suspect arson.

 

 

 

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