Thread: Initial Size Up

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    FFMcDonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    N 41* 2.770' W 74* 7.338'

    Default Initial Size Up

    What do you look for when you are Initially dispatched - and rolling up on a structure?
    Do you have any rules that you follow for initial size up? Any anacronyms- such as FDNY's 'COAL WAS WEALTH'....

    Do you treat all 'smells and bells' calls as a potential fires? Have you ever been caught 'with your pants down' by rolling up on a "regular" false alarm- and it turned out to be a little more than that...

    "In Omnia Paratus"

    Member - IACOJ
    "Got Crust?"

    -- The opinions presented here are my own; and are not those of any organization that I belong to, or work for.

  2. #2
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Shavertown PA


    FFMc, rolling up I look at a lot of things. I wish I had a means to remember it all, but I just try to get a good picture of the event. I look at the building: Is there smoke or fire coming out of it? Residential or commercial(is it open or closed)? Are there any victims hanging out of windows or in obvious need of rescue? Are there vehicles in the driveway? What would I expect to see given the same time and day on another house?
    Once I get out of the rig, do your 360. Get your good overview of the building and any unique items attatched to it.
    It is better to try and fail, then quit and succeed.

  3. #3
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Fairview, NJ USA


    I read a good article in fire engineering that used the following acronym

    B- Building type
    E- Extent of fire
    L- Location of fire
    O- Occupancy
    W- water supply

    very simple but somewhat effective for less experienced officers!!

    [ 07-13-2001: Message edited by: Firebrother ]

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Elkhart, IN, USA


    I have used the BELOW for a number of years. I is easy to remember. I really don't think you can be very effective with the 13 point system. I couldn't remember them if I had to. What I want to know from a B/C point of view from the first in officer is, What they have. What they are doing about it. What they need help with. These things help me with rig assignments and developing plan A and plan B. I try to keep things going in a positive direction but really think about what may go wrong and what I will do about it.

    All crew member must do some type of sizeup. Officer walk around. Driver/operator water supply and delivery options (standpipe, sprinkler, hand lines big or small) Hydrant man attack line length, preconnect, basic type of structure.

    If all members do a size up of the situation concentrating on individual assigned tasks (riding assignments) things go much easier. Be sure to report to the officer if a task will take longer than expected. Company officers need to report to command that there is a delay in the companys action.

    I have never responded to a false alarm in the 16 years I have been in the fire service. However many of the alaems have turned out to be false. We kill enough firefighters without letting our guard down. A good rule to follow is "Expect the worst but hope for the best" A veteran told me that on my first day on the job and I have never forgotten it. I pass it on too.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2001


    I agree with jmichael...but when i arrive it starts with life safety.(cars in driveway?, what time of day/night is it?)...what are the smoke conditions? heavy black smoke? white to gray smoke? is it even safe for us to enter? ventilation? search? utilites? truck placement? water supply...I am no BC by anymeans though...
    stay safe brothers
    Its not something you do,
    Its something you are.
    "Whether we bring the terrorists to justice, or we bring justice to the terroists...Justice WILL BE DONE"... President Bush
    Engine Co. # 1

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