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  1. #1
    Forum Member WBenner's Avatar
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    Question N.F.S.I.M.S -VS- I.C (Brunacini Way)

    For many years I've been taught the Phoenix Fire Ground Incident Command system. I've become very fond of this system and how it works. It's very simple for all Departments being Vollie / Career or Combination. Then about 2 weeks ago or Training Division comes to us with this new
    National Fire Service Incident Management System Consortium. It seems as if they took a good thing and added a very complex system. Just wondering who uses this and what you think?


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    Quote Originally Posted by JAFA62
    For many years I've been taught the Phoenix Fire Ground Incident Command system. I've become very fond of this system and how it works. It's very simple for all Departments being Vollie / Career or Combination. Then about 2 weeks ago or Training Division comes to us with this new
    National Fire Service Incident Management System Consortium. It seems as if they took a good thing and added a very complex system. Just wondering who uses this and what you think?
    Both sound like wastes of time..conjured up by desk commandos and bureacrats who don't have much fire ground experience and plenty of time on their hands. The only texts that quote Bruno as an authority are his own books.

    FTM-PTB

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    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Fred,

    I know you are not a Brunicini fan, and thats all fine and dandy, but I am sure you guys use some kind of ICS structure......right?

    To answer the original question, yes, it seems the fairly straight foward easy to use standard ICS system was just made more difficult to use nationwide.

    K.I.S.S.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 11-03-2006 at 09:40 PM.
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Well a little history, NIMS is just the latest incarnation of FIRESCOPE which was developed in California in the late 70's. From FIRESCOPE we got NIIMS which is what most wildland agencies use, FIRESCOPE and NIIMS are very similar. Brunicini took FIRESCOPE and modified it for "day to day" operations (a step I feel was unnececcessary since I've used FIRESCOPE and NIIMS on small incidents with no problems). NIMS has just taken NIIMS and spun it to include non-wildland responses (again fairly unneccessary as FIRESCOPE has included non-wildland resources for years).

    I think the seeming complexity comes from being different, I've talked to people who use IMS and their complaint is always how can you have Groups (fuctional) and Divisions (geographic), and I wonder why anyone wouldn't.

    I find it amusing that FEMA feels it is qualified to tell the people who invented ICS how its supposed to be done.

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    The DC Fire Department uses successfully uses NIMS on day to day operations without problem, nor much effort.

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    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    Default For the record

    The National Fire Incident Management System Consortium is an organization of fire service professionals whose goal was to merge the two most popular incident command systems used by the American fire service into a single common system. These two systems are the Fire Ground Command System, developed by the Phoenix, Arizona, Fire Department, and the Incident Command System, developed in California by the FIRESCOPE program.

    This effort involved the participation of 23 major fire service organizations, including FIRESCOPE, Phoenix Fire Department, National Fire Academy, International Association of Fire Chiefs, The International Society of Fire Services Instructors, the Emergency Management Institute, IFSTA/Fire Protection Publications, among others. (See Appendix A).

    The merger was achieved through a consensus process representing the American fire service.

    http://www.ims-consortium.org/backinfo.htm
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
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  7. #7
    It looks hot in there PureAdrenalin's Avatar
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    Why would it be so hard to get every department to just use firescope, and be done with it? Or would that be using logic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a
    Fred,

    I know you are not a Brunicini fan, and thats all fine and dandy, but I am sure you guys use some kind of ICS structure......right?
    I think they use some parts at the Boro level...with very little at the Division and even less at the Battalion Level. They were told in the McKinsey report that ICS was necessary...the only times one really hears about it is after incidents like the Cory Lidle plane crash or other similar complicated incident.

    But as far as day to day operations nothing has changed and we still use the command and control methods that we've developed over the past 140+ years.

    The only thing I can think of that has changed is three different titles for 3 certain special designation units at fires were changed...which again highlights my general dislike for this Bull Sh*t ICS nonsense as much of it is just giving fancy names to things, places, people that already have identifing titles....

    For example... the "Communications cordinator" is now the "Resource unit leader!" The roll and responsiblities weren't changed..so why the name change...everyone new what that Chief did before just fine.

    But I digress. In the end I haven't seen any use of any ICS nonsense that my former depts used regularly and honestly things run much smoother around here with out that silly Phoneix BS. JMHO.

    K.I.S.S.
    Calling floors "Divisions" and Ladder 43 Outside team as the "Ventilation Group" is far from KISS in my book...but that's just me.

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a
    Fred,

    I know you are not a Brunicini fan, and thats all fine and dandy, but I am sure you guys use some kind of ICS structure......right?
    I think they use some parts at the Boro level...with very little at the Division and even less at the Battalion Level. They were told in the McKinsey report that ICS was necessary...the only times one really hears about it is after incidents like the Cory Lidle plane crash or other similar complicated incident.

    But as far as day to day operations nothing has changed and we still use the command and control methods that we've developed over the past 140+ years.

    The only thing I can think of that has changed is three different titles for 3 certain special designation units at fires were changed...which again highlights my general dislike for this Bull Sh*t ICS nonsense as much of it is just giving fancy names to things, places, people that already have identifing titles....

    For example... the "Communications cordinator" is now the "Resource unit leader!" The roll and responsiblities weren't changed..so why the name change...everyone new what that Chief did before just fine.

    But I digress. In the end I haven't seen any use of any ICS nonsense that my former depts used regularly and honestly things run much smoother around here with out that silly Phoneix BS. JMHO.

    K.I.S.S.
    Calling floors "Divisions" and Ladder 43 Outside team as the "Ventilation Group" is far from KISS in my book...but that's just me.

    FTM-PTB

    Quote Originally Posted by PureAdrenalin
    Why would it be so hard to get every department to just use firescope, and be done with it? Or would that be using logic?
    In short no.

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    And we wonder why the fire service in this country can't speak with a single voice on an issue.

    What is so hard about adopting to a nationalized ICS system that wiill allow us to operate on the same page when we need to? It's really not that difficult.

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    Agree 100% with you Fred. I dont see changing names and titles giving any benefit to anyone, except to the people who thought it up to feel good about themselves.

    Lets see...."Ladder xxx (yes its 3 digits Fred!) to Battalian xx, we have extension to the floor above...we need a line up here" VS. "Floor above search group to logistic consulting group, have the resource unit leader consulte with the water resource leader and then notify the Incident comander to have the back up group start a resource to the floor above division, make sure to notify the saftey consulting coordinator leader that members were operating in the floor above sector prior to proper water resources; these members were not in complience with IDHL PPE, and must meet with the OSHA health and saftey coordinator prior to leaving the Command Sector" ......Yeah, seems much easier.

    Ok...so I took a little poetic license.....but not that much. The fire service has its priorities straight though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator
    And we wonder why the fire service in this country can't speak with a single voice on an issue.

    What is so hard about adopting to a nationalized ICS system that wiill allow us to operate on the same page when we need to? It's really not that difficult.
    Because we dont have a "Nationalized" Fire Department...yet. We all work in very diverse and different cities, with terms and languages that developed out of neccesity over the past centuries. My question is why are so many determined to set policy,and force it on, departments they will never operate with, and in the off chance they do, it will be very brief?? And if it did happen, I'm not so sure I want guys coming to help that cant decifer the complicated code of "Ladder xxx to Battalian xx, we need a line on the floor above!" Is it that slow and boring out there that there is nothing else to do but come up with new shtuff??
    Last edited by MattyJ; 11-05-2006 at 09:35 PM.

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    Ok Matty.. that's fair. In fact, that logic that was what I expected and was looking for.

    But let's be consistant. I'm am not pointing fingers at you Bro .... but for all of those who seem to want to do it thier own way because "we're different" when it comes to ICS/communications and turnouts ... let's be fair and remember that "we all work in diverse enviroments" line when it it comes to discussions over nationalized training standards and stragety/tactics where there seems to be a lot of finger pointing about who's right and who's wrong. That's all I ask. Be consistent.

    However, I still beleive that there needs to be a national system that we all understand and can use when we start working out of our normal enviroment in a disaster situation. Maybe the grunts on the ground don't need to know it intimately, but all command staff and speciaized team members, such as USAR, that usually travel, need to know it and understand it. Not using it daily will make it more difficult to use when the time comes but I agree that internally, that is a department decision.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-05-2006 at 09:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator
    And we wonder why the fire service in this country can't speak with a single voice on an issue.

    What is so hard about adopting to a nationalized ICS system that wiill allow us to operate on the same page when we need to? It's really not that difficult.
    First, I've yet to see anyone rationalize or make articulate a reasonable argument as to why "nationally" we need to now how to work together when we won't ever need that. Hose threads are different and operations are different...in some cases completely diametrictly opposed to each other.

    Even in NO when the FDNY and others were down there. The system they developed worked. Does that mean the NOFD and the FDNY should have identical communications, or identical opertational concepts? I'm not going to get into it but I don't think you or anyone else could find a single person familiar with both depts who would argue that we should wholesale adopt NOFDs operations and terms or that they should adopt ours.

    If the rare need should arrise as it did with Huricane Katrina...then we will do what is necessary to make things work. It was done 100s of years ago for the Great fires in many major cities, certainly on a more regular basis than we see today and I don't see any texts from the 1st half of the 20th Century that are clamoring for such needs as common operational structures and terms.

    What's so hard about understanding that firemen who go to fires on a regular basis don't see the logic in calling the 4th Floor the 4th Division?? Or Engine Co. 71 as 3rd floor Fire attack group 3.

    Or making up terms and wearing silly vests or any of the other facets of the ICS system that appear to be focused on symbolism over substance.

    We go to fires without this "system" developed by a hawaian shirt wearing clown that was so focused on lining his pockets on the lecture circut and was too focused on telling everyone else how to run their fires that he overlooked training the members of his dept on simple properties of hazmats (toluene) that had been known for decades and one ended up DEAD. The PFD members I've met considered him an absentee landlord. A guy who promotes concepts and ideas in his writtings and his books that his department either doesn't employ or found to lacking in operational utility is nothing short of a quack.

    His contemporaries at the time from Depts like mine laughed at him because they had the experience and the real credentials to know that what works well for week long or month long fires in forests covering 1000s of acres doesn't translate to the dynamic and fast paced nature of a simple apartment fire on the 3rd floor of a 4 story NFP MD or even a high-rise fire.

    To many though, without the experience to fall back on, bought this dog and pony show and today we have guys like you who actually believe that a guy who spent very little time in busy fire companies and most time pushing paper (most for his own books or travel argangements to seminars far from the PFD) has some credentials on how to run a simple All-Hands fire...let alone an entire fire department or a national command system.

    FTM-PTB

    PS- Futhermore I'll refer you to the apparatus numbering forum where some depts have disregarded the simple method of calling Engine 1 Engine 1 and Ladder 4 as Ladder 4...and would rather develop the most complicated coded systems for idenifying a company such as Unit 11-302 or 1154. Work on that first and then get back to us.

    If I can't even figure out which one, 11-56 or 44-1033 is an Engine or a Ladder or Battalion Chief....how are we ever going to "operate on the same page when we need to?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyJ
    Agree 100% with you Fred. I dont see changing names and titles giving any benefit to anyone, except to the people who thought it up to feel good about themselves.

    Lets see...."Ladder xxx (yes its 3 digits Fred!) to Battalian xx, we have extension to the floor above...we need a line up here" VS. "Floor above search group to logistic consulting group, have the resource unit leader consulte with the water resource leader and then notify the Incident comander to have the back up group start a resource to the floor above division, make sure to notify the saftey consulting coordinator leader that members were operating in the floor above sector prior to proper water resources; these members were not in complience with IDHL PPE, and must meet with the OSHA health and saftey coordinator prior to leaving the Command Sector" ......Yeah, seems much easier.

    Ok...so I took a little poetic license.....but not that much. The fire service has its priorities straight though.
    Matty, at least I'm familiar with two digit Battalions... Excellent illustration of the nature of the layer upon layer of terms for things, people, places that we already have sensible terms for.

    It shouldn't take 4 CIA agents and an enigma machine to translate common sense terms.

    It would be one thing if we didn't have terms for the items found in FIRESCOPE or whatever system you prefer...but we already do. The 5th Floor of a 8 story building doesn't need to be called...the 5th Division of a 8 Division Structure.

    The frivilous nature of much of this ICS stuff as evidenced above is why I firmly believe this "system" was developed by certian persons to do nothing more than create a business oportunity for themselves and their friends...period.

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator
    Ok Matty.. that's fair. In fact, that logic that was what I expected and was looking for.

    But let's be consistant. I'm am not pointing fingers at you Bro .... but for all of those who seem to want to do it thier own way because "we're different" when it comes to ICS/communications and turnouts ... let's be fair and remember that "we all work in diverse enviroments" line when it it comes to discussions over nationalized training standards and stragety/tactics where there seems to be a lot of finger pointing about who's right and who's wrong. That's all I ask. Be consistent.

    However, I still beleive that there needs to be a national system that we all understand and can use when we start working out of our normal enviroment in a disaster situation. Maybe the grunts on the ground don't need to know it intimately, but all command staff and speciaized team members, such as USAR, that usually travel, need to know it and understand it. Not using it daily will make it more difficult to use when the time comes but I agree that internally, that is a department decision.

    I will absolutly, 100% be the first guy to say that there is no one way to put out fires in this country. The diversity I speak of absolutly applies to tactics and planning...that is my point. Because of the vast differences in different areas and cities, it is impractical and unwise to adapt a one standard fits all mentality. Now, that is not to say that I dont think that there are departments out there that use improper tactics for their situation, or have poorly thought out tactics and planning and staffing, there are plenty of them out there. But whatever tactics a department uses, they should be based on well thought out, proven, and neccessary policy, and absolutly should NOT be based on what an outsider tells them they must use. I will always be consistant on that issue.

    I know you were'nt pointing fingers at me. I agree....choosing tactics to simply do it "our way" is assinine to say the least....I would hope much more thought went into it!!
    Last edited by MattyJ; 11-05-2006 at 10:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator
    However, I still beleive that there needs to be a national system that we all understand and can use when we start working out of our normal enviroment in a disaster situation. Maybe the grunts on the ground don't need to know it intimately, but all command staff and speciaized team members, such as USAR, that usually travel, need to know it and understand it. Not using it daily will make it more difficult to use when the time comes but I agree that internally, that is a department decision.
    As others have said, there is no need. If you ever come to Chicago to work, I promise you will have no trouble understanding the orders you will be issued. They will be in easy to understand, plain english - no code 3, 10-12345, or anything else. I assume if I had to go to NY to work they could tell me what they needed pretty easily. The only thing you might not understand or enjoy are the tactics, but thats a whole different discussion.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    Quote Originally Posted by PureAdrenalin
    Why would it be so hard to get every department to just use firescope, and be done with it? Or would that be using logic?
    Why don't you run your scenes just like we run ours instead. That would be better for us (and probably you too). Why is everyone so anxious to have some suburban nobody tell them how to run their jobs???
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyJ
    Lets see...."Ladder xxx (yes its 3 digits Fred!) to Battalian xx, we have extension to the floor above...we need a line up here" VS. "Floor above search group to logistic consulting group,...
    ....
    Ok...so I took a little poetic license.....but not that much. The fire service has its priorities straight though.
    C'mon... That's a whole lot of poetic license. In reality it's more like, "Ladder xxx to Battalian xx, we have extension to the floor above...we need a line up here" VS. "Operations from Division 3, we have extension to the floor above...we need a line up here." The designations of functional units change according to the incident and the transmission properly identifies recipient then caller but that's about all.

    * * * * *

    I can never fathom why anyone would still be fighting using common command and control terminology across the fire service. The highest levels of the fire service have been preaching ICS for 20 years now. Frankly, I find it unbelievable that there are still any sane departments out there not already using (NFA) ICS or it's close cousin (Phoenix) IMS. If departments had kept up with using some sort of recognized ICS all along the minor transition to the latest version of (FEMA) ICS along with NIMS and the NRP would be trivial.

    (Any department that has been responding to hazmat incidents has been legally required to use some form of ICS on them since ~89 anyway... So why aren't they doing the logical thing and using it for every incident?)
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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    Interesting how it appears some people push the ICS "language" so far to one extreme.

    Interesting how it appears some people have no clue as to ICS and others have known and lived by it for many years.

    Interesting how on this thread, some "big city"/"small town" guys are complaining about using codes/names for anything...yet they use codes that only mean something to them.

    Interesting how on this thread, other "big city"/"small town" guys talk about how they don't use any codes at all and would have no trouble understanding what anyone says at a fire ground.

    ------------------------------------

    Reading this thread shows how far apart the fire service of the USA is in many ways...and I'm not saying that is a bad thing. In my area, most departments use ICS at every incident with no problem. When we all go mutual aid and assist each other, there is no problem knowing who is talking to who and what about. All NIMS does is add higher levels to ICS 100 and 200. MOST FF's will not use NIMS at day to day operations, and the rare times and incident grows to that level...it will be handled at the command post and not "ground" operations.

    The US Fire Service is smart enough to figure out what works for it in all of it's variations and locations.
    "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?

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