What's on Your Radar Screen?

The following list is but a modest cross section of pertinent information or focus areas today’s Firefighter, Company or Command Officer MUST be knowledgeable in, have insights and proficiency based technical skills to function with a level of...


The following list is but a modest cross section of pertinent information or focus areas today’s Firefighter, Company or Command Officer MUST be knowledgeable in, have insights and proficiency based technical skills to function with a level of competencies demanded in  today’s  fire service.
If these are not on your radar screen or you haven’t got a blip of a clue what they’re about; then you are derelict and not doing your job- and the end result could be a less than desirable outcome on the fireground; it’s that simple, it’s that direct.
Have you read these reports, understand the issues & influences, increased your knowledge, skills and abilities in any gap areas or taken the time to research the cutting edge issues affecting today’s fire service?
The City of Charleston Sofa Super Store LODD-Routley Fire Report
Read the report; understand the incident, the building performance, the fire behavior and the operation process deployed. Gain the insights from the overall apparent and contributing causes identified and presented and assess how these relate to your fire service perspective and department’s culture and performance today.
  • City of Charleston Post Incident Assessment and Review Team Phase I Report, HERE
  • Routley Final Phase II Report HERE
  • NIOSH Investigative Report, HERE
  • NIOSH REPORT SUMMARY
  • NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should:
  • develop, implement and enforce written standard operating procedures (SOPs) for an occupational safety and health program in accordance with NFPA 1500
  • develop, implement, and enforce a written Incident Management System to be followed at all emergency incident operations
  • develop, implement, and enforce written SOPs that identify incident management training standards and requirements for members expected to serve in command roles
  • ensure that the Incident Commander is clearly identified as the only individual with overall authority and responsibility for management of all activities at an incident
  • ensure that the Incident Commander conducts an initial size-up and risk assessment of the incident scene before beginning interior fire fighting operations
  • train fire fighters to communicate interior conditions to the Incident Commander as soon as possible and to provide regular updates
  • ensure that the Incident Commander establishes a stationary command post, maintains the role of director of fireground operations, and does not become involved in fire-fighting efforts
  • ensure the early implementation of division / group command into the Incident Command System
  • ensure that the Incident Commander continuously evaluates the risk versus gain when determining whether the fire suppression operation will be offensive or defensive
  • ensure that the Incident Commander maintains close accountability for all personnel operating on the fireground
  • ensure that a separate Incident Safety Officer, independent from the Incident Commander, is appointed at each structure fire
  • ensure that crew integrity is maintained during fire suppression operations
  • ensure that a rapid intervention crew (RIC) / rapid intervention team (RIT) is established and available to immediately respond to emergency rescue incidents
  • ensure that adequate numbers of staff are available to immediately respond to emergency incidents
  • ensure that ventilation to release heat and smoke is closely coordinated with interior fire suppression operations
  • conduct pre-incident planning inspections of buildings within their jurisdictions to facilitate development of safe fireground strategies and tactics
  • consider establishing and enforcing standardized resource deployment approaches and utilize dispatch entities to move resources to fill service gaps
  • develop and coordinate pre-incident planning protocols with mutual aid departments
  • ensure that any offensive attack is conducted using adequate fire streams based on characteristics of the structure and fuel load present
  • ensure that an adequate water supply is established and maintained
  • consider using exit locators such as high intensity floodlights or flashing strobe lights to guide lost or disoriented fire fighters to the exit
  • ensure that Mayday transmissions are received and prioritized by the Incident Commander
  • train fire fighters on actions to take if they become trapped or disoriented inside a burning structure
  • ensure that all fire fighters and line officers receive fundamental and annual refresher training according to NFPA 1001 and NFPA 1021
  • implement joint training on response protocols with mutual aid departments
  • ensure apparatus operators are properly trained and familiar with their apparatus
  • protect stretched hose lines from vehicular traffic and work with law enforcement or other appropriate agencies to provide traffic control
  • ensure that fire fighters wear a full array of turnout clothing and personal protective equipment appropriate for the assigned task while participating in fire suppression and overhaul activities
  • ensure that fire fighters are trained in air management techniques to ensure they receive the maximum benefit from their self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
  • develop, implement and enforce written SOPS to ensure that SCBA cylinders are fully charged and ready for use
  • use thermal imaging cameras (TICs) during the initial size-up and search phases of a fire
  • develop, implement and enforce written SOPs and provide fire fighters with training on the hazards of truss construction
  • establish a system to facilitate the reporting of unsafe conditions or code violations to the appropriate authorities
  • ensure that fire fighters and emergency responders are provided with effective incident rehabilitation
  • provide fire fighters with station / work uniforms (e.g., pants and shirts) that are compliant with NFPA 1975 and ensure the use and proper care of these garments.
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