By now, I hope you have at least heard of the "Rules of Engagement" created by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). The Rules are designed to give guidance for risk assessment to the firefighter (who is at the greatest risk) as well as the incident commander (and command team...
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Objective: To cause the incident commander to manage search and rescue, and support firefighting operations, in a highly calculated, controlled and cautious manner, while remaining alert to changing conditions, during high-risk search and rescue operations where lives can be saved.
Objective: To prevent firefighters and supervisors from engaging in unsafe practices or exposure to unsafe conditions that will harm them, allow any member to raise an alert about a safety concern without penalty, and mandate the incident commander and command organization officers to address the question.
Objective: To ensure that the incident commander is obtaining frequent progress reports and all interior crews are kept informed of changing fire conditions observed from the exterior by the incident commander, or other command officers, that may affect crew safety.
Objective: To cause the incident commander, as well as all command organization officers, to obtain frequent progress reports, continually assess fire conditions and any risk to firefighters, and regularly adjust the action plan to maintain safety.
Objective: To cause the incident commander, and command organization officers, to maintain a constant and accurate accountability of the location and status of all firefighters within a small geographic area in the hazard zone and be aware of who is presently in or out of the building.
Objective: To cause a benchmark decision point, following completion of the primary search, requiring the incident commander to determine whether it is safe to continue interior operations where progress in controlling the fire is not being achieved and there are no lives to be saved.
Objective: To cause the incident commander to have a rapid intervention team in place ready to rescue firefighters at all working fires.
Objective: To ensure all firefighters who endured strenuous physical activity at a working fire are rehabilitated and medically evaluated for continued duty and before being released from the scene.