The Ten Command-ments of Intelligent & Safe Fireground Operations

Mark Emery continues this series with Command-ment VIII: Thou Shall Ensure That Eight Assignments Are Made Early.


In the March 2007 issue of Firehouse ®, Command-ment I identified the responsibilities of command and the management of strategy, resources and risk. This month, Command-ment VIII will establish a strategic framework for managing strategy, resources and risk. Command-ment VIII is not about...


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In the March 2007 issue of Firehouse®, Command-ment I identified the responsibilities of command and the management of strategy, resources and risk. This month, Command-ment VIII will establish a strategic framework for managing strategy, resources and risk.

Command-ment VIII is not about strategy and tactics; Command-ment VIII is about using a structured, systematic process for establishing a baseline standard of care for your firefighters. This baseline standard of care will help you manage strategy, resources and risk.

The strategic framework is comprised of eight assignments:

  1. Base or park (a place for apparatus)
  2. Staging (a place for personnel)
  3. Standby Team (two-out, until a RIT is deployed)
  4. Rapid intervention team (more fireground life insurance)
  5. Backup team (fireground life insurance)
  6. Division (span of control)
  7. Safety officer (still more fireground life insurance)
  8. Rehabilitation (fireground "wellness" program)

Consider these eight assignments as strategic frontloading for an intelligent and safe fireground operation. Not only will this strategic frontloading help you manage strategy, resources, and risk, Command-ment VIII will establish a baseline standard of care for taking care of the most valuable "thing"' on the fireground: your firefighters.

Never forget the most important of my Command Caveats: "If you need it and it's not there and available, it's too late."

Not to worry — Command-ment VIII is easy to obey. Let's start with the first assignment.

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