Fully Engulfed Meteor: You Make the Call

Last night, while I was working on finalizing plans for our Firefighter Netcasts at FDIC next week, a strange even occurred.  The evening sky lit up from what is claimed to have been a meteor about the size of a soccer ball headed straight for the area of Lone Rock (oh, the irony) in southwest Wisconsin.

Here is a police cruiser’s dashcam video

From Pat Curry at WGN News:

Over in Avoca, 55 miles due west of Madison, where rumors of treetop fires spread, volunteer Adam Lins said he didn’t hear of any such fires. But he did see the blazing fiery object overhead while his wife and he drove home from a meeting.

“It started out small, then got bigger and bigger,” Lins said. “It was going from northwest to southeast and looked like it was headed somewhere around Highland or Lone Rock, about 8 miles away. It was going very fast. My wife saw it better than I though.”

And then something happened, Lins said.

“We stopped to talk to people in the street. About a minute afterward we heard what sounded like a sonic boom. You could feel it.”

My thoughts turned to those of the poor company officer, who, when dispatched to a call of a fully-engulfed meteor fire, would begin pre-planning his attack.

Does your department have a SOP/SOG on mitigating this event?  Go ahead, look.

If none exists, then you are in luck.  If you are a firefighter looking for a bugle, or a bugle looking for a band, here’s  golden opportunity to prove you are a self-starter, a problem solver, a go-getter.

Prepare a draft SOP/SOG for meteor fires (you may also want to include asteroids, depending on what they made you for dinner that night).  Specifically, you may wish to address the following points:

What level of response should be assigned?

What size line should be used?

Is this a HazMat incident?

Are there any government agencies that should be notified?

Should we wake up the Chief?

Submit your suggestions in the comments section below.

Today is the beginning of the rest of your career!

Or not.

4 Comments

  • Bill Carey says:

    Meteor SOP, ha ha.
    A testing service once hired me to write a fireground scenario for a TX dept. that hired them to do a line officer promotional test. They sent me tons of documents, manuals and SOPs from that department. Among their emergency operations directives was a SOP for African Bee attacks. Four pages, front and back.

    Their high-rise fire SOP?

    One.

  • Car150 says:

    I had to re-look to see if this was an April Fools Joke…nope !?!? This is definitely a situation involving risk analysis. The risk of enacting an SOG includes contributing to global warming by utilizing paper( Kill a Tree !), electricity for the computer (fossil burning gen plant ?), thinking and researching evidence, interspersed with a chlorestrol/fat filled food/drink break VERSUS the risk that in your lifetime you will respond to a meteor fire (assuming it is not so big that it revert's us to the next Ice Age ). Conclusion…..Save a Tree and go for a walk !!

  • mickmayers says:

    We had an SOG for response to unknown objects coming from outside the atmosphere but I can't remember the title (nor can I find it now). We generated a boiler-plate “recognize and run” procedure after the whole discussion of the Skylab-like object falling several years ago- remember? (There was a Homeland Security alert and all, if you recall).

    If a meteor strikes the woods and the woods are on fire, sounds like a woods fire call. That the meteor caused it is irrelevant to me. Now if the meteor lands on someone and we have to extricate someone from a molten outer-space mass, now THAT'S a guideline.

  • mickmayers says:

    We had an SOG for response to unknown objects coming from outside the atmosphere but I can't remember the title (nor can I find it now). We generated a boiler-plate “recognize and run” procedure after the whole discussion of the Skylab-like object falling several years ago- remember? (There was a Homeland Security alert and all, if you recall).

    If a meteor strikes the woods and the woods are on fire, sounds like a woods fire call. That the meteor caused it is irrelevant to me. Now if the meteor lands on someone and we have to extricate someone from a molten outer-space mass, now THAT'S a guideline.

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John Mitchell

Firefighter/Paramedic and a Lieutenant in suburban Chicago

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