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As we transition into a new year, and as plans begin to take place that frame and outline the year’s activities, foremost in this planning, preparation, scheduling and outlook should be those activities and commitments that training, education and skill development can be implemented and enhanced. Take the initiative to recognize and identify training and operational gaps and distinguish the risk and options available to lessen or eliminate the risk and reduce the gap deficiencies. Take the time to implement effective, accurate and frequent training and skill development drills, training curriculums and programs.
Don’t sacrifice or forego on this mission critical area when so much is at stake in the domain of combat structural fire suppression. Understand the predictability of performance in the buildings and occupancies not only in your jurisdiction, first or second-due areas, but also in those areas that you may be called upon to respond to for greater alarms or mutual aid. Remember Building Knowledge = Firefighter Safety.
Keep an eye in the rear view mirror; learning from the wisdom and knowledge from where you’ve been, what you’ve done and all your past experiences and practice; but at the same time focusing on the road before you with keen attentiveness on situational awareness, anticipating error-likely conditions and balanced risk assessment and operational management in both your strategic and tactical deployments.
Twenty in Ten
Here are twenty (20) Suggested activities or initiatives for you to consider in 2010….
Above all, be safe in all your endeavors, assignments and incident tasks.
1. Regardless of my years of experience, I will increase my understanding of the basic principles of Building Construction, because; Building Knowledge=Firefighter Safety.
2. Identify ten (10) buildings within your first-due or response district and complete a pre-fire plan and present this to my company of organization.
3. Identify an area where new residential construction is underway and follow the construction process from foundation through completion to gain an understanding of operational issues.
4. I will complete the UL Structural stability of engineered lumber in fire conditions online course and implement the lessons learned in my strategic and tactical operations.
5. I will not take any building or occupancy for granted, and shall take all precautions to ensure crew integrity and safety during my task assignments.
6. Complete a 360 assessment of all buildings upon arrival, when ever feasible to gain reconnaissance information on the building and incident risks and implement this info into my strategic, tactical plans or company task assignments.
7. Research the issues affecting; Engineered Structural Systems (ESS), Fire Behavior/Fire Dynamics or Fire Suppression Management/Fire Loading and develop a training drill to share the lessons learned.
8. Select a new or previous published fire service text book and read up on a subject area that I may have neglected or ignored to increase my skill set.
9. Implement an objective approach towards effective risk assessment and profiling of all buildings and occupancies during incident operations and implement balanced tactical deployment with aggressive/measured assignments; recognizing that my company and I are not invincible.
10. During demanding Combat Structural Fire Engagements, I will; Do the Right Thing at the Right Time for the Right Reasons and will not practice Tactical Entertainment.
11. Read the Report of the Week (ROTW) on the National Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting System web site and share the operating experience (OE) lessons with my company or department, to reduce the likelihood of a similar or more serious event.
12. I will read Ten (10) NIOSH Firefighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program Reports and present the lessons learned in a discussion, table top, drill or training program.
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