1. #1
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    Default Fire Ground Accountability (Cont.)

    Originally posted by BGFD21
    Im in the process of revising my deparments accountability system, just wondering what everyone else does?

    Let's see if we can get the ACCOUNTABILITY discussion going again and help this gentleman out.

    The following are all the posts which were on the topic:

    shammrock54
    Each member gets two lamenated tags w/name,rank,station,pmh,blood type, and allergies,and emts have that listed. One tag is red and the other is white and each has a swivel klasp. the white tag goes to the driver and ids what truck your on and the red tag goes to accountability at the door. Our board has large rings that hold a team in a certain job(attack,backup,rehab,etc) and when the tags are connected all you have to do is remove one and place the whole team in another section. This is mounted on a tripod and is set up w/command.

    ****

    Bones
    We use a system similar to Shammrock54. One tag on the apparatus you ride in. Once the truck is at the scene, the driver collects those tags so he knows who was on the truck. Second tag goes to Accountability officer and gets clipped on with your assignment. Trucks don't leave the scene if the driver has a tag that he does not have the matching member for. It's very basic and simple, and it works for us. Having an accountablity system does not keep firefighters from being lost, it only lets you know who is missing. The best accountability system in the world won't keep anyone safe, if you are in the wrong spot at the wrong time, you will pay for it. Stay Safe.

    ****

    Captain Gonzo
    We use the tag system and a riding list for the on duty personnel. When we go on duty, our tags go on the rig. Any personnel that are recalled for an incident report to the person designated as the accountability officer and hands in his tag and is staged for deployment. Whenever the evacuation signal is sounded, the personnel report to their rigs for a roll call. At the end of an incident, there is a roll call, where the response is checked off and the firefighter gets his/her accountability tag back.

    It's not a perfect system...as long as humans are involved, nothing is perfect. What scares me is that there are some FD's who have no accountability system whatsoever..and that's what should be addressed!

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    EastKyFF
    Accountability doesn't preclude LODD's. It is one of many tools for mitigating our risks of such. No accountability system will guarantee that people won't die, nor will any turnout material, or radio system, or big red truck, or hose diameter, or TIC...

    You must use all the resources together to maximize your safety and minimize your risk, but the former is never 100% and the latter is never 0%.

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    Captain Gonzo
    There are many small FD's that are barely surviving as it is now. Fish frys and bake sales only go so far.

    Many of career FD's both large and small are looking at level funded budgets for FY 2003..the loaves and fishes syndrome....do we pay for equipment or personnel? Training or fire prevention?

    Corporate America, a usually reliable source of donations for FDs large and small are cutting back.

    The Grace system is a nice to have, but for now the tag system is what we have to deal with.

    Unless all of your potential mutual aid comnmunities have the system, it will only take care of accounting for your people...it won't do squat for the others.

    If you have an incident large enough to require tracking 5 dozen to 125 or more "cow tags", you are going to have the personnel to rope in the tags to keep track of the firefighter dogies...MOO!

    ****

    Lewiston2Capt
    Now to the topic at hand, we use a 2 tag system, One green, One Red, green tag is put on the apparatus, the red tag is for "hot zone" (i.e interior) work. The accountability officer is not to allow anyone inside the "hot zone" without a red tag. There is definitely room for improvement in the system we use, and some improvements are on the way. I like the idea of sector assignments.
    But, for right now that is what is working for us.

    ****

    captstanm1
    No system is perfect and there will probably never be a perfect one.

    We use a system in my volunteer department that has a tag attached to your helmet. That tag says if you are interior qualified or exterior only. Different colors help to identify. When you respond it is hung on a ring in the pumper and is theoretically supposed to be at the command post. Does it always happen..no..certainly not.

    We in my old dept....used to use a pasport system that had the name of the apparatus on a tag and each person on the tag had a name panel. The panel was velcroed on the larger "pasport" and turned in to command on arrival. That tag was then put on the master board and moved around from place to place as you are assigned. Officers were white tags, firefighters were black tags and EMS only was blue. If a person stayed with the apparatus that tag went on the passport upside down. You also had spare tages on your helmet so if you arrived as not part of a crew you could be assigned to someone by giving them a spare tag. After completing an assignment a radio report went to command that Engine 2 had "completed assignment, all personnel accounted for, driver at the pumper". Seemed to work well and we practiced it in several large training session and intentionally lost people, but were able to determine who...and where they were last seen. The system takes managment though.

    However....now...here goes... I firmly believe that personnel accountability and safety are necessary, but they start way before any system is in place. Firefighters must be trained to be accountable and NOT FREELANCE on the fireground.

    ****

    Halligan84
    Where can I find info on the TAOS system? Did a web search and checked some buyers guides and didn't see something like that listed. Is this an adapted system or marketed for fire-rescue?

    ****

    smfd232
    We use the "color-coded tag on the apparatus system". It may not be the best system in the world, but it's what we've got because it's what we can afford.

    ****

    shammrock54
    My point exactly smfd232. We dont have the funding for a hi tech system, in fact we did are whole current system for,I believe, $100-150. Much easier to get left in the budget than an accountability system that the politicans wont understand and wont pay for.

    ****

    Halligan84
    Lots of talk about freelancing and what we can afford, 2 questions though. First, freelancing is an issue. Command has to know that his crews are working where they were assigned. But who calls for help when they can't? Heart attack, collapse, etc.. I'm more concerned about that. Crew integrity is **** poor in most departments. I see it in training and I see it in real life. Some companies in my area create "manpower pools" on working fires which completely dilute the concept of keeping the officer and his crew together. In training i see crews come out of the burn building an not realize they didn't have their whole company. In career departments there were a number of LODD's where an officer failed to account for his crew as well. The opinions expressed by many on these forums is that "I know whats best, officers and Chiefs should leave me alone to do my job". Its just that attitude that kills a guy when he gets lost an no one knew where he was. The other question involves tags and "it might not be the best, but its all we can afford". My vol company uses that too, as do most of the others in the area. It doesn't work here and it probably doesn't work for you. IF everyone was diligent in their assignments and using the tags, how long would it take you to evacuate, roll call, discover who is missing, guess where they are and get back in to rescue them? I'm thinking maybe a few seconds longer than the 6 minutes they can go without O2.

    As far as I'm concerned spending 150 bucks total on a system to track your firefighters is nothing to be proud of. I know the systems are too expensive now, but so were TIC's a few years ago. We should lobby our governments that electronic accountability is of equal or greater importance to firefighter safety

    ****

    StayBack500FT
    Contact Cranberry Township Fire Department in Butler County, PA. They go out and teach a two tag system to PA depts. I believe their course is now accepted by the PA Fire Academy. We use their system and it work well for us.

    ****

    RyanEMVFD
    A part of the accountability system that hasn't been discussed is the buddy system.

    ****

    captstanm1
    I still say that each department has to have a system that works for them and use it. No matter what it is.. No system will be perfect. I have heard of places where you sign in when you arrive...Simple...and stoneage...but...if it works..why not?

    Also...I still contend that accountability is a direct result of attitude and that is the first step. The second it to stop FREELANCING. Those are our biggest obstacles.

    ****

    Fire Line
    Check with the fire dept in your area and find out what they are using. Ask about the advantages and disadvatages. Then adapt the system to suit your needs. As some one as already stated there is no perfect system. Better to have some system in place than to have nothing.

    ****

    Lone Hunter
    I don't find the tag systems to work very well.We are to hang our tag on a board at the base pumper.The board lists differant jobs,first line, second,roof etc.Heres the problem we change jobs and locations many times in a fire,do you mean I have to go outside and change my tag each time?If I'm opening up a ceiling in the second floor and someone wants me to go in the basement and cut the power do I first have to go outside and change my tag?

    Or how about this we're laddering the building in the back,when they call for another search,if you think I'm going to go out front move our tags and then go back to the rear and up the ladder well I'm not.

    The radio is nice but with 20-25 guys on the fire ground,and everyone changing jobs and locations several times,well good luck keeping track of that.

    The other night we went to a "worker",an attic fire with 2 exposures my Quint/midi co.(6 men) was given 3 jobs to start.2 guys on an exposure line,2 in the exposure and 2 brought a line up a ladder into the fire building.Forget about "keeping the crew together" they aren't going to put 6 guys on a line.

    If your on a 4 man pumper,and the driver is out front pumpin',well yes you can keep your remaining 3 men together,although their jobs and locations will still change.

    I see fighting fires kind of like football.We each have our job,do your job and things go well.But lets say your a lineman and your "job" is to block,well funny thing happens the ball gets loose and you end up with it,now your job is to run with the ball,only with our tag system first you have to go over to the sidelines and change where you have your tag hanging.

    ****

    Bones
    Would you not want your IC to have an idea that his guys are moving from the second floor to the cellar? Would you not want your IC to know you are no longer laddering the building, but are now searching the interior? Your IC may think that you are doing one of these tasks and be counting on that getting done. If you go do something else without their knowledge and don't complete the task, that could cause trouble later.

    Try using a 2 tag system, 1 on the base pumper, second with the accountability officer. It's their job to keep track (as best they can) as to what teams are assigned where. Yup, with low manpower, who can afford to have a A.O. Do you have Safety Officers? Let one of them be the A.O. Don't have a S.O.? That's another problem.

    2 tag, 1 tag, 20 tag, no tag, there is no perfect system (other than fdquints surgically planted G.E.S. systems ) Discuss and try different systems with your department and find the one that works best for you. Accountability is important. Don't wait for an accident to find a better system.

    And if you pick up that loose ball and run all alone, your gonna get crushed...you need help from your team and your team all needs to be running the same way.


    Now back to the topic ...

  2. #2
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    we have 1 tag with a red stripe for the trucks and then another tag that looks the same without the red stripe that you put on a stand in front of the building that you are entering so we know whos in a building a whos not
    Jeff Gurski

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    we have picture ids with name, rank and number on them. they didn't last very long so i got an old name tag and drilled a hole in one end and put a keyring on it. works great and shouldn't melt.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
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    also fema has a book you can order for free that goes over accountability. it's a good book that goes over what some departments use and some ideas that has future applications.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

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    our accountibility starts at the beginning of the shift when we put our gear on the engine we place our tag on the board the officer makes sure that everyone on the truck has their tag on the board when we have a fire or multi company incident the first due engineer is the accountability officer and all other companies give their tags to him and he places them on a larger board

  6. #6
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    what happened to the old thread? Thansk for including my information in this updated one.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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