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  1. #1
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    Default Incident command let's hear about it.

    Incident command. Tell me how they do it by you. Is the IC in a car the entire incident like the Brunacini theroy or are they in the front lawn. This is not to start an argument, which I'm sure it will, but I am interested in seeing what the majority does. I have my own views this and they are: IC should be in the front yard or front of the building. Sitting in a car you lose most if not all your senses of what's going on in the incident.


  2. #2
    Forum Member pasobuff's Avatar
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    All depends on the situation.....

    Where I work, our IC/CP is set up at the main fire alarm panel for the building (if the building has one). This way operations can be run from a location where the fire alarm system can be monitored.

    However, with my situation, there are many agenciees responding/working together, not just the FD - it is a large, business/commercial complex so there are building engineers, building management, police, security, my office, etc responding to the command post. Now, not all are right at the IC location, but in the vicinity.

    The IC needs to be able to have an idea of what is going on - I personally would not want to be sitting in a car as the IC - too confining.......I've had to run as the IC many times, and it would not have been conducive to getting information, people etc if I was doing that.

  3. #3
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    ours are usually in an area near the fire building, the street, the lawn/sidewalk/etc of the building across the street. Somewhere where they can see whats going on and easily be seen and talked to by arriving company officers (for all the NIMS/ICS people face to face communication is the best). Most of our fires the IC is also operations, so they need to see whats going on. On bigger fires they are out of the car, because the command post obviously wouldn't fit in the car with the various command staff members and other people coming and going.

  4. #4
    Forum Member FireEMT712's Avatar
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    Closest "Safezone" whether it be the front lawn or a block away depending on the structure/incident.
    Firefighter/EMT 712
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  5. #5
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Command announces where the CP is and then pretty much stays there. Usually operating from the rear hatch area where he has access to all his radios, whiteboards, crayons...etc.

    If it's a minor incident you might find him in the driver's seat.

    Almost always with a good viewing spot.

    If he wants to stroll around, then he finds someone to man the CP (mutual aid chief or one of his assistants) and announces it over the radio.

    Small incidents he might be standing close to the action. Like an extrication if resources are low. That way he can see the status instead of bothering the guys working for an update.

    We have always been good about trying to nail him down in one spot. Nothing more frustrating then a wandering chief.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  6. #6
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Depends on the weather. If it's raining, I'm sitting in my car. If it's nice out, I'll be somewhere outside. For some Chiefs....losing their "senses" can be the best thing to happen.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure if this is what you are referring to or not, but up here, the incident commander or as we call it, OSC or 1 IC, Senior officer on first truck out is OSC. He will establish initial command near first truck, he has ridden on the truck. He will advise subsequent arrivals of location. He will maintain radio contact with all units, may roam a bit checking crews and fire scene, but available to all including dispatch and station, district or central command. FYI, on a SFD, we would dispatch 2 fire apparatus plus ambulance, total of 12 personnel. Police will be on hand to help with traffic or crowd control.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    I keep movin' so the Press can't find me,hehe T.C,

  9. #9
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    I echo what Bones 42 said.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Bushwhacker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I keep movin' so the Press can't find me,hehe T.C,
    One of the Best Screw ups ever made...ALL our Helmets are Black, No more Red for Capts, White for Chiefs, We are all Black. So when the Press or a ****ed of Individual comes walking up screaming where is the Godawful Chief, we all just smile usually as the chief says" I dunno but when you find him tell that S.O.B. we need to talk!"

    It all depends on Situations, Some times he is sitting back beside the Engine Checking things out, Or some times he is right beside us, all depends.
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

  11. #11
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Depends on the weather. If it's raining, I'm sitting in my car. If it's nice out, I'll be somewhere outside. For some Chiefs....losing their "senses" can be the best thing to happen.
    Did you have a folding chair? I did... one of those nice fold out fabric chairs with an attached umbrella.

    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  12. #12
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Right under the back seat of my P/U. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 02-18-2010 at 08:36 AM.

  13. #13
    Forum Member RangerJake72's Avatar
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    depends on the size of the fire. Small fire, 1 or 2 tractors, 1st tractor on scene is IC (and we own the fire scene). more than 2 tractors, we will have a supervisor or senior ranger in their pickup to handle things. As the incident gets larger in size or longer in duration, then we bring out the command trailer, the District manager will run the show, unified command port is set up.
    "If you can't be a good example, the you'll just have to be a terrible warning."

  14. #14
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    We work out of the back of the buggy, we have the passport board, ics board, several radios, you can "wing it" and I have plenty of times, or you can be where the tools you need are.
    I guess if I didn't trust anyone on the job I'd wander around with a radio, but I have good people that I work with and they are my eyes if I'm IC.

  15. #15
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    Cool

    Check out West Coast 911 and see how San Bernardino City's Chiefs run their incidents and that will show you how we run ours.

    If the I.C. is a Chief then he's across the street or on a corner to get a 3-sided view of the Incident. If I'm the I.C. then I get back into the cab of the Truck when I can.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

  16. #16
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    Our IC is oftentimes "on the move" for the initial stages of the incident. Working with a small duty crew often necessitates that our IC is a bit "hands on" until reinforcements arrive.

    At that point, for the most part they can be found in front of the building.

  17. #17
    Forum Member Chenzo's Avatar
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    We're a very small vollie department. (15 active members, ~40 calls a year.) We don't usually establishcommand. It's just kind of assumed each incident. It works, but it's not how I want to keep doing it.

    It goes down ranks. If chief makes the call, he is IC. If Asst. chief makes the call, and chief doesn't he is IC. And so on and so forth down the list. (We have a Chief, Asst. Chief, Capt, and 4 Lieut. The Lieut. Follow there numerical order to decide who IC is if no other officer is there.)

    If NONE of the officers makes the call, who ever is in the officer seat of the first due rig is IC. GENERALLY, one of the officers makes the call. If not, we try to put a more seasoned member in the officer seat. Like I said, it is not a perfect system, and I don't neccesarily like it, but it seems to work for us.

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    In my department, the Chief, the Assistant Chief, and myself are the only ones who respond directly to the scene. The Chief is the "Director of Public Safety" which means he is the police chief and the fire chief. He has very little fire experience and has told us he will not take over command but will assist us in any way he can.

    I respond in my personal truck. When I arrive I establish command, do size up on the radio, and get out to do a 360 walk around. Once that is done, I get back in my truck and break out my command board ( I call it my ouija board) and start giving assignments. If the Assistant Chief or I do not respond, then the person riding in the officer seat, be it an officer or senior firefighter, is IC until they pass it off to the AC or I, at their choosing. They can keep it if they wish but usually it gets passed off and they become the Safety Officer. If we don't respond then the officer of the first arriving engine becomes the IC and will move to the cab of a vehicle. They may be a working command until all the resources have arrived but usually within the first 10-15 they move to the cab of a truck.

    I guess our way is a bit different than a lot of departments. I prefer to be inside my truck with the windows up parked outside so I can take in the whole picture and concentrate on what needs to be done. I don't want to be out with the noise, the weather, and other distractions that could cause me to miss a radio transmission or God forbid a MADAY or something. If others are to be invited to the party, their chief officer will come and sit in my truck to create a Unified Command.

    It has worked very well for several years and all the departments in this area practice this way. In my neighboring full time department, the battalion chief makes his SUV the command post. In my other neighboring vollie department either the officer makes his vehicle the CP or they make it into one of their heavy rescue vehicles where there is a small command space made inside the vehicle. Either way, the IC is away from everything and isn't distracted with things. I have seen pictures and video of the IC standing at the rear of an SUV with a pull out unit but I just can't see doing it that way. The weather, anyone can come up and approach you, and all the noise can be a problem I would think.

    At vehicle crashes I have used my vehicle for traffic control before and did a dual role of IC and traffic direction. Not an ideal situation but sometimes when resources are scarce you gotta do what you gotta do.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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