Tactical Accountability vs. Personnel Accountability

Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays! First of all, I hope you and your family enjoy a wonderful holiday season and a bodacious new year. Question:  In and around the (IDLH) hazard area, who is responsible for 'personnel accountability?' a...


Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays!

First of all, I hope you and your family enjoy a wonderful holiday season and a bodacious new year.

Question:  In and around the (IDLH) hazard area, who is responsible for 'personnel accountability?'

a) Incident Commander

b) Safety Officer

c) Accountabililty Officer

d) Company Officer

Answer:  d), Compnay Officers (or Team Leaders)

Here's Why:  Assigned confine and extinguish on floor-2, Engine-1 is doing business with a hose line in the smoke . Engine-1 is reporting to a Division Supervisor. The Incident Commander is at the Command Post. An Incident Safety Officer is roaming and watching for indications of The Three That Kill. A Staging Area Manager is herding the cats and performing non-hazard area accountability. (There is no need for an 'Accountability Officer'; an Accountability is a waste of a perfectly good humnan resource.)

Of the people and positions listed above, who is the only person that knows exactly where the fire fighters are, what conditions are like, the progress of their objective, and how much air they have remaining? Engine-1's Team Leader, the Company Officer, that's who. That is harzard-area personnel accountability.

Of the same people and positions listed, who is the only person that can perform 'tactical accountability?' The answer is the Division Supervior that Engine-1 is reporting to. The Division Supervisor knows three things: (1) he is responsbible for Engine-1, (2) he knows what Engine-1 is doing, and (3) where Engine-1 entered, and where Engine-1 is assigned to work. For example, the Division Supervisor conveyed Engine-1's assignment as follows: "Confine and extinguish from side-A on floor-2." Thus the Division Supervisor know what Engine-1 is doing, where they entered and where they are working. That is (what I call) tactical accountability