Fire Glossary
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59 entries the in Fire Glossary beginning with "S"
S-130/S-190
The basic wildland fire training course given to all U.S. firefighters before they can work on the fire lines.
Safety zone
An area cleared of flammable material used for escape in the event the line is outflanked or in case a spot fire causes fuels outside the control line to render the line unsafe. In firing operations, crews progress so as to maintain a safety zone close at hand allowing the fuels inside the control line to be consumed before going ahead. Safety zones may also be constructed as integral parts of fuel breaks; they are greatly enlarged areas which can be used with relative safety by firefighters and their equipment in the event of blowup in the vicinity.
Salvage, salvage cover
Heavy-duty tarpaulins folded or rolled for quick deployment to cover personal property subjected to possible water or other damage during firefighting.
SAR
See Search and rescue.
Sawyer
Chainsaw crew, may also include faller" or "feller" who is qualified to cut down trees or snags perhaps while the tree or snag is burning.
SCBA
Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, or air-pack, worn by firefighters to protect against breathing toxic fumes and smoke, or where the air has insufficient oxygen. Often incorrectly called oxygen mask" by laypersons. Typically of open circuit style with a supply of compressed air where expired air is exhausted, rather than closed circuit where it is filtered, re-oxygenated from compressed oxygen, and inhaled again which is used where an air supply is needed for an extended period (up to four hours).
Scene safety
Steps taken at or near an emergency scene to reduce hazards and prevent further injuries to workers, victims or bystanders.
Scuttle hatch
Ready-made opening in roof that can be opened for vertical ventilation.
Search and rescue (or SAR)
Entering a fire building or collapse zone for an orderly search for victims and removal of live victims. Becomes recovery" if victims are not likely to be found alive.
Secondary line
Any fireline constructed at a distance from the fire perimeter concurrently with or after a line already constructed on or near to the perimeter of the fire. Generally constructed as an insurance measure in case the fire escapes control by the primary line.
Sector
A physical or operational division of an incident; an area supervised as a branch in the Incident Command System. A typical system for structure fires names the front" of the building "sector "A" and continues clockwise around the building (B, C, D) with interior sectors denoted by the floor number (1, 2, 3, etc.) . A "rehab" sector is one example of an operational division at an incident where personnel are assigned after strenuous work in another sector.
Self-contained breathing apparatus
See SCBA
Shoulder load
The amount of hose a single firefighter can pull off a hose wagon or pumper truck and carry toward the fire.
Shove knife
Semi-rigid metallic blade of various shapes and sizes used for forcing spring latches during forcible entry.
Siamese
Hose coupling for merging two streams into one, i.e., two female coupling inlets and one male coupling outlet.
Sides A, B, C, and D
Terms used by firefighters labeling the multiple sides of a building starting with side A or Alpha being the front of the structure and working its way around the outside of the structure in a clockwise direction. This labels the front side A or Alpha, the left side B or Bravo, the rear side C or Charlie, and the right side D or Delta.
Size-up
Initial evaluation of an incident, in particular a determination of immediate hazards to responders, other lives and property, and what additional resources may be needed. Example:Two-story brick taxpayer with heavy smoke showing from rear wooden porches and children reported trapped.
Skidder unit
Pre-configured tank, pump, hose for attachment to a logging skidder (large 4-wheel-drive tractor with a dozer blade, winch or grapple) to be carried to a fireline.
Slash
Debris resulting from such natural events as wind, fire, or snow breakage; or such human activities as road construction, logging, pruning, thinning, or brush cutting. It includes logs, chunks, bark, branches, stumps, and broken under-story trees or brush.
Slip-on
A small water pump and tank that can be temporarily mounted on a pickup or other truck.
Slopover
Fire spreading outside the boundaries of a control line.
Slug
Humorous pejorative term for those believed to be doing less work than you. Heli-slug" for helitack, "camp slug" for fire camp support personnel, "engine slug" for engine crew member, etc.
Slurry bomber
See Airtanker.
Small-diameter hose
Generally accepted to be fire hose 3 or less in diameter.
Smoke detector
(1) part of a fire alarm system that detects and signals presence of smoke; (2) self-contained household device for same purpose as (1) but with its own noisemaking device.
Smoke ejector
Powerful fan for moving large amounts of air and smoke as part of ventilation task while fighting fire in a burning structure. May be operated by electricity or gas motor for positive or negative pressure ventilation.
Smoke explosion
See backdraft.
Smoke-proof stairwell
Building structure which isolates escape stairwells with relatively fireproof walls, self-closing doors, and positive pressure ventilation, to prevent smoke or fumes from entering the stairwell during evacuation of occupants during a fire or other emergency.
Smokechaser
Colloquial term for a wildland firefighter. Now mostly archaic, except in Minnesota where state Department of Natural Resources firefighters are officially known by that name.
Smokejumper
A specifically trained and certified firefighter who travels to remote wildfires by fixed-wing aircraft and parachutes into a jump spot - that may include trees - close to the fire.
59 entries the in Fire Glossary beginning with "S"
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