Once "The Inside Man" or "Interior Situational Awareness Officer" transitions to the interior of the structure, their job assignment and threat analysis of the situation greatly increases, first, the understanding or the roof assembly features and the destructive effects of fire and exposure to fire on these features need to be foremost on the mind of this person. In addition to pulling ceilings in the immediate overhead of the main access point with a scan of the assembly both visually and TIC assisted, it is important for this person identify the number of hoselines through the access point and the number of personnel assigned to the hoselines. NIOSH Firefighter Data and Injury Report Data has shown that two or more hoselines through on access portal create a spaghetti like effect which will greatly increase the odds of personnel failing to egress out of a structure on their hoselines in the event of a hostile event of collapse situation. Recognizing this, corrective action may be taken to minimize this potential. Keeping hoselinse pulled straight and tight, while providing ample egress portals will reduce the risk of injury and entrapment of interior personnel.
The Inside Man’s ability to identify rapid fire development within the structure based upon changing interior conditions, reports from roof division as to progress and conditions of ventilation heat holes and firefighter access holes in common corridors or center hallways, along with the exterior size-up communications from the I-RIC companies determine the next course of action.
One simple task is to first determine the location of interior crews and identify both accountability and air management of those personnel while you size-up the area in which they are actively involved in firefighting activity, search procedures or fire extension activities. Along with the normal assigned task, the Inside Man becomes the interior eyes and ears of the Incident Commander. Historically this has been tasked to a senior Company Officer assigned on a hoseline or an interior position. However, with split-company operations in limited to zero visibility environments, the Inside Man can double the effective safety envelope by following those above actions for the Incident Commander. As well as the possibility of those assigned interior crews being limited in their ability to identify those critical safety factors previously discussed due to task overload.
Although, it may seem like a task overload situation for the Inside Man to accomplish all these objective, bear in mind, it’s a simple algorithm to follow based upon FACTS, PRESENTATIONS, INPUT & IMFORMTION, and TASK EXPECTATIONS AND OUTCOMES.
As always, Sit back and enjoy the Cuppa!!!