1. #1
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    Default Accountability at Working Fires

    In your Department, at working fires, who is responsible for the Accountability role? Does RIT do it? Does a Chief do it?

    Please share....

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    In your Department, at working fires, who is responsible for the Accountability role? Does RIT do it? Does a Chief do it?

    Please share....
    Initial accountability is done simply by placing tags at the first arriving engine. By default, the incident commander has accountability at that point. Normaly at some point, when staffing starts getting caught up and the ICS structure starts getting filled out, accountability is assigned. Most of the time I've seen safety and accountability assigned together. I've also seen a separate accountabiity officer assigned, usually someone who arrives POV, or in a utility vehicle. I've also commonly seen the rehab/EMS sector assigned accountability. I have not seen it assigned to RIT, and it is not necessarily assigned to a Chief.

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    incident commander normally , but depends may hand it off for someone else to handle

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    Thanks for the feedback guys....keep it coming!!

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    At work the dispatcher calls around to each station at shift change to find out who is working that day. All information goes on a master accountability sheet and that is emailed to everyone. B/C for the day also pre-organizes a magnetic board with this info for him to use at working fires. We check in as we arrive, but don't drop tags or anything being as he already has the info of who is coming on each apparatus. People who respond off duty check in with the IC as they get there.
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    Incident commander here as well, at least initially. For larger incidents he will assign that role to the safety officer.

    My combo department just has a single tag that stays with the engine until the engineer gets them to command. At my VFD we have two tags. One stays with the truck and is collected by the IC. If we have a larger incident where we need to tag-out for specific functions such as entry in haz-mat warm or hot zone or a brush fire over a wide area, we'll utilize the second tag.
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    It's an issue for us. We have tags, but getting members (especially those who arrive POV) to tag in is, well, an issue.

    Each member has two tags. One is supposed to go on the apparatus they arrived on, or at least with an apparatus. The other is their admission ticket to the hot zone. Once things get flowing, someone will be assigned overall accountability, someone will be assigned hot zone accountability.

    Our biggest impediment is that the system doesn't get exercised enough. I'll certainly argue that everyone should tag in for every call, but I'm as guilty as anyone for not doing so. My tags hang on my gear, and for EMS calls and service calls during non-inclement weather, my gear usually stays in my truck. Working fires are comparatively rare - any given member might hit just 3-4 actual workers in a year, if that. Even the really active members.
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    Safety Officer. He's responsible for collecting the tags that are on the boards that are left near the trucks. He may assign it to someone else.
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    The Deputy Chief and the shift commander carries a ride list. We use the fire district's accountability system. There are two velcro tags in the rigs, each firefighter and officer has 4 small nameplates on velcro under their helmet brims. When a firefighter or officer goes on duty, he/she places one nameplate on each of the tags. For a major incident with off duty personnel recall, an officer will be assigned as accountability and gather one of the tags from the rigs. He will aslo collect the tags for those who respond off duty. The second tag is kept on the rig and when we go out of town mutual aid, that tag will be given to the community's accountability officer.
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 01-30-2013 at 02:17 AM.
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    Safety Officer for the most part, if its something beyond the typical structure fire were safety has a lot of people or things to keep track of it'll get assigned to someone as more people arrive. Biggest issue with someone besides the safety officer doing it for us is manpower.

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    For a typical residential fire, how it is supposed to work for us: The company officer for his men. The division or group for the company officer. The IC for the divisions or groups. The IC maintains an accountability board with velcro "passports" which corresponds to who the team is, who their supervisor is, what their job is and where they are. With larger incidents, the IC delegates an assistant to maintain the board. We rarely get those fires.
    Last edited by Spencer534; 01-30-2013 at 04:17 AM.

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    Ultimately, the IC is responsible for accountability. Although it helps to have tags and etc, everyone has a responsibility in this as well. Firefighters must listen and be accountable to their company officers, company officers to their Division/Group/Sector Supervisors/Chiefs, and so on. Everyone looks up a level and down a level. That is called "Span of Control".

    In your original question, it starts by firefighters following the orders/instructions of their company officer, i.e. no freelancing. The company officer, in turn, complies with the instructions given to him while simultaneously maintaining an awareness of his/her subordinates, and etc.

    A tag is just a tag if everyone doesn't practice accountability on the fireground.
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    Im not gonna say as I have neither the time nor inclination to defend how our department handles incident to incident accountability.

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    Incident Command has accountability until training officer or fire prevention officer arrives. If both arrive one is safety and one is accountability/scribe. If one arrives they fulfill the others role.
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    Tags come off and get handed to our truck/engine's officer.
    After that they get handed off to Scene Commander who hands them over to the Asst. Chief/Safety Officer once he arrives on Scene.

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