Thread: Accountability

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    Default Accountability

    Good morning ladies and gents! Was just looking to see what the smaller depts. do for accountability on a call? A little background on our dept. We are a small paid on call dept with a roster of about 20. Last night at our monthly meeting our new chief wants to set up a new system to track who is on what rig and what they are doing. Im new to the dept and the fire service in general so im not 100% sure what the sop is for our dept. We fill out run sheets after each call but that doesnt do any good at the scene. An example of our system now is a week ago this past monday we had a brush fire call. turned out a contractor was doing road work and was burning stumps down a mile and a half stretch right in the middle of the woods. When we respond its the first couple of guys that get to the station first take the first rig called for. Well on this night we had a full dept. response. Our commanding officer on scene was trying to track everyone by writing it down on a note pad. With everyone moving all over he was having a hard time who was where with what rig. Now we have the metal tags that hang off the back of our helmets. Our chief tossed out the idea of getting 2 more sets made up so we have 3 total. When a call comes in as you get to the station on tag will go on a board at the station so the radio op knows who is out. the second goes on the rig we respond in. and the third stays with us. Anyone ever do this? Also any other idea would be helpful but we are a small dept with a small budget. Thanks everyone.

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    Buy the officer in charge a dry erase, so he can track companies better.

    Once you get to the scene take your tag from your entire crew and give it to the command officer.

    All you need is some Velcro on the back. Each truck gets a small board and all crew members Velcro their tag to the board and board is handed to command

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    Keep it simple. We simply have a tag on each piece of apparatus with the apparatus designation on it. Each member has a tag with their name and maybe some emergency contact info on it. When the members get on the rig, they hand their tag up to the officer who hangs them on the apparatus tag. On the scene, the officer or driver drops the ring off at IC or accountability officer.

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    right now we need to do a complete overhaul of what we have. from what i have seen we dont really have anything. just get on a truck and go. Being a small dept there are times where we only get maybe 4-5 guys that respond for anything less than a major fire and at least 2-3 of those are recruits that are not supposed to be doing much of anything yet . and with the brush fire example i gave we had almost a full response. and being stretched over a mile along a road with everyone moving im sure it can be hard to keep track of people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jvanorder View Post
    right now we need to do a complete overhaul of what we have. from what i have seen we dont really have anything. just get on a truck and go. Being a small dept there are times where we only get maybe 4-5 guys that respond for anything less than a major fire and at least 2-3 of those are recruits that are not supposed to be doing much of anything yet . and with the brush fire example i gave we had almost a full response. and being stretched over a mile along a road with everyone moving im sure it can be hard to keep track of people.

    Sounds like a need for some ic training??

    Does the dept have s sop on ic?

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    Not really sure. We are just starting to rebuild from the ground up. From what i have heard they had 6 chiefs in the last 4 years. A ton of corruption and dirty dealing went on. Our new chief is a straight shooter. She doesnt take crap from anyone and is not afraid to tell you when your wrong. She has been active in the fire program ever since she was old enough to join. There are a lot of little issues we need to work out I was just looking to see what others have done and what works good and what doesnt work.

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    I'm curious as to the communications capability of some of your departments. Does each member have a handie talkie? Just officer?
    If all firefighters are supervised by an officer, why not just tell the IC where you are, what you're doing and who is with you. That's assuming he didn't assign you himself. IC can then track all members on a command board of some kind. Could be as simple as dry erase board.

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    well all certified firefighters get a radio on scene. the main issue is on most calls we have at most 2 certified and usually close to 10 recruits. thankfully we have not had any major structure fires cause most of the cert firefighters dont show most of the time. We used that brush fire more as a training exercise than an actual fire.

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    My #1 POC FD uses name tags with velcro. One name tag goes on each of 2 boards in the rig. One goes to command, one stays with the rig.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    My #1 POC FD uses name tags with velcro. One name tag goes on each of 2 boards in the rig. One goes to command, one stays with the rig.
    One tag goes to command. For a structural fire, does that tell him that you are on fireground or that you are entering building?

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    On My POC dept., each truck has a pair of tags with the truck ID on it. Each FF has a couple of yellow tags with their name on it and velcro on the back. It's kept on the underside of the helmet with a velcro patch. The FF's that are "senior" FF's also have a red and green tag if they are acting in a command or safety role. The FF's give a tag to the officer or acting officer, and he places in on the truck tag. The truck tags have enough space to put the tags of all the FF's on the truck. On the scene, one tag stays in the truck, another goes to command. Command should have a larger board that they can put the truck tags on, with spaces or tags for the various jobs like fire attack, RIT, ventilation, rehab, staging, etc. You can have these made, or do it yourself. The only thing about doing it yourself is to find some heat resistant sheet material. It doesn't have to be high tech or fancy. All you need to do is to be able to tell who is on what crew, doing what assignment.

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    Default Accountability Systems

    We have two tags.

    In theory, one goes on the ring in the truck, which then goes to the accountability officer (which could be the IC, but shouldn't be)

    The second tag goes to the guardian to the entrance to the hot zone (ie, front door).

    No firefighter should be inside the hot zone with tags.

    The county provides the tags, which include one's picture, name, department, general qualifications (ie, interior, EMS, hazmat technician, etc) and some pertinent medical and contact information.

    They also provided basic accountability boards for each department and larger versions for the zone coordinators.

    Some folks clip their tags on their helmets, some on the radio tab on the front of their coat.

    The system doesn't get exercised enough. Usually you'll only see it kick in at major incidents. I'm as guilty as anyone of not throwing my gear on the truck for medical calls, which means I don't have my tags.
    Last edited by tree68; 08-05-2013 at 05:34 PM.
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    We have three tags. One is a magnet that is kept in our locker and gets placed on the apparatus board next to the apparatus you are responding on. The next tag is Velcro that is placed on the dash of the apparatus you arrived in. The third tag is also Velcro that can be placed on a command board that stays with the IC if he chooses to use it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    I'm curious as to the communications capability of some of your departments. Does each member have a handie talkie? Just officer?
    If all firefighters are supervised by an officer, why not just tell the IC where you are, what you're doing and who is with you. That's assuming he didn't assign you himself. IC can then track all members on a command board of some kind. Could be as simple as dry erase board.
    We all have radios. A radio bank is next to the apparatus board and each member is to grab one out the door. Our chain of command is not as good as it could be as lots of people feel it is cool to talk to the chief rather than the officer in charge of the crew. We do a fair job of splitting up frequencies on the fire ground but some people love to talk. When it works like it is supposed to we do just like you suggest, officer informs IC of who is with him and what he is doing. We just need to do a better job of keeping our span of control in check with divisions, sectors, and such. On the wildland side we need to do a better job of splitting it up with squad bosses, single resource bosses, strike team leaders, division supes. and ops. chiefs.
    The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
    There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
    Captain Dave LeBlanc

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