Basic Strategy And Tactics

The individual will demonstrate a basic understanding of the principles of strategy and tactics and their application on a structural fire incident. Session Reference: 1 Topic: Basic Strategy And Tactics Level of Instruction: N/A...

• Strategic and tactical priorities should be addressed in the order listed

• Risk analysis and firefighter safety have to be incorporated into the priorities


• Lives of firefighters should not be traded when there is little or no chance of saving a civilian

• A defensive or exterior attack should be considered when there are safety concerns about the integrity of a structure

• Consideration must be given to the amount of time that has elapsed in the burning process prior to the initiation of fire attack especially where truss type roof construction is involved (if the fire has been burning unhindered for at least 20 minutes, serious consideration should be given to operating in the defensive mode and out of the collapse zone)





• There must be sufficient apparatus and personnel responding on the initial alarm to safely initiate the initial fire attack (it is easier to return units that are not needed than to have to call for assistance after arrival on the scene and have to wait for them)

• Additional resources may be called upon when the incident overwhelms the initial alarm (second alarm)

• Apparatus responding on the initial alarm should include units and personnel to supply and apply water (protect exposure, confine fire, extinguish fire, and overhaul), units and personnel to perform the support duties (search and rescue, ventilation, salvage, ladders, lighting, and utility control)

• Resources must include an incident commander and a safety officer on any incident where units will be operating

• Provisions must be made for a rapid intervention team/crew to be in place and ready before personnel operate in an immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) environment

• Coverage should be provided for all sides of the structure

• Consideration should be given to having emergency medical services available on the scene

• For extended operations or extreme weather conditions, provisions need to be made for rehabilitation services and the rotation of personnel

• Consideration should be given to having extra uncommitted units and personnel in a staging area for deployment as needed




• Before any fire attack begins, civilians in danger must be rescued and removed to safety

• Fire attack includes getting water from the source to the scene and being able to apply it in a timely and efficient manner

• There must be an ability to move sufficient quantities of water to meet fire flow needs

• Where units are operating outside the area of a pressurized water system, additional units may be needed to relay or shuttle water


• The initial attack line should provide a minimum flow of 100 gpm

• The backup line should provide a minimum flow of 200 gpm

• Every should be made to initiate the fire attack with 2 minutes of arrival on the scene and ready for attack


• The initial attack line should be directed at the fire

• A second line should be advanced to the area above the fire

• Additional lines may be needed for areas adjacent to the fire

• While the initial attack line for a residential structure may be 1-1/2-inch or 1-3/4-inch, these lines may not provide sufficient fire flow to overcome the heat production

• Consideration may need to be given to the use of 2-inch or larger lines or master streams for fire with high heat production (attack lines being used in ineffective in suppressing the fire) or for commercial or large residential structures

• It is better to apply large fire flows and put the fire out faster than lesser amounts and eventually put the fire out




• Search and rescue


• Although considered a support service, it is the responsibility of everyone especially the first arriving units

• May not be performed at all incidents but there must be an assurance that everyone has been removed to a place of safety

• Must be initiated before any other operations commence

• May include sheltering in place or relocation rather than removal


• Ventilation