Some fire departments have an aggressive approach when it comes to firefighter's safety and have a safety officer respond on all incidents. They would be responsible for conducting air quality monitoring within the garage area, verifying the air quality is safe to breathe before allowing firefighters to remove their SCBA. Many times it might be well after the fire has been extinguished before the safety officer can give the all clear announcement allowing firefighters to remove their SCBAs. I highly recommend staffing the incident safety officer position at these types of incidents.
RUSSELL MERRICK, a Firehouse.com Contributing Editor, has over 30 years in the fire service and has been with the Rochester, NY, Fire Department, since 1986 were he serves as a captain and station commander. He developed and implemented the health and safety program for the department and held the position of incident safety officer before leading the department's special operations command. Russell authors the Firehouse.com weekly drills and speaks at Firehouse Expo, the New York State Professional Firefighter's Annual Safety Seminar Series, and for the New York State Association of Fire Chief's. Russell partipated in the first Firehouse.com Training & Tactics Talk podcast on Firehouse.com.