Tactical Considerations for Areas of Rescue Assistance

Besides construction requirements for these areas, codes also require that each of these have an two-way communication system.Imagine being confined to a wheelchair with a physical disability and you are in a multi-story building. You hear the fire...


Furthermore, firefighters attempting to connect to standpipe system connections in stairwells may encounter disabled individuals in the stairwell. These individuals will need to be rescued prior to fire operations commencing.

Command officers should be prepared to make adjustments in fire companies responding to the alarm. Additional companies and potentially additional alarms may need to be requested to overcome the demand placed upon first arriving companies from victims in the ARA requesting rescue. Rescue of these individuals is important however, the assignment of initial fire attack, rapid intervention and 2-in/2-out crews cannot be delayed.

Once again the importance of preplanning occupancies is of extreme importance in order to ensure firefighter safety is maintained during fire/rescue operations in buildings with ARA. Firefighters must identify buildings that contain these areas and have preplans in place that address the assistance of persons in Area of Rescue Assistance. Training in the integration of fire suppression tactics and ARA's must be conducted and re-enforced in order to ensure an expedient evacuation of persons with disabilities.


Mark A. Brown has been involved in the fire service for 19 years and currently serves as Fire Prevention Bureau Chief for the Concord Department of Fire & Life Safety located in Concord, North Carolina.

Since becoming a firefighter in 1987, he has been promoted through the ranks of the fire department and has served numerous positions including fire training officer and fire marshal. Mark has assisted the North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal in the development of the Hazardous Materials Technician Certification Program and currently assists in the instruction and delivery of the program.

Mark possesses numerous certifications in several different fire department disciplines including Firefighter Level II, Fire Inspector Level III, Fire Instructor Level III, Hazardous Materials Technician/Transportation Specialist and WMD Technician. He possesses an Associates Degree in Fire Protection and is also a recently appointed board member of the North Carolina Fire Marshal's Association.