Initial Operations

The incident management system (IMS) has been cited as the only way to safely, efficiently and effectively handle an emergency situation. To emphasize this point, there are just a few items that folks in our business can completely agree upon. The use...


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The BIR process makes for a great training session. All it takes are some slides or pictures of various types of incidents in your response area, radio equipment on an alternate frequency and a person to role play as the dispatcher. Try out the system and have some fun with it by taping the radio traffic and playing it back for critique purposes.

In closing, the six elements of the brief initial report process are simple and straightforward. They should be incorporated into a standard operating procedure and practiced regularly. Just like in the world of business management, information at an emergency incident is the key to success. There are many excuses out there blocking departments from the implementation of a comprehensive incident management system. If you look beyond the negative information and seek the safest and most effective way of delivering our services to the customer, part of the answer is the proper use of the incident management system. Until next time, safe firefighting!

BRIEF INITIAL REPORT

  1. Confirm incident address.
  2. Incident description.
  3. Incident conditions.
  4. Request for assistance if needed.
  5. Initial action plan.
  6. Assumption of command.

Dennis L. Rubin, a Firehouse® contri-buting editor, is chief of the Dothan, AL, Fire Department.