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  1. #1
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Default You Go .... WE GO!

    What is it with this system of crew continuity and firefighter accountability that allows
    • Firefighters to leave their crew to exit the structure on their own
    • Accountability to break down when crew integrity is breached inside a structure
    • No record of who is inside and who is outside a building
    • For 3 to go in and 2 to come out with totally separate crews

    I cannot see any viable excuse not to utilize tagged or electronic accountability systems under a strict SOP on the fire-ground. Excuses such as no need for 'micro-management' or 'safety sally' leave me dumbfounded.

    It should be .... You go ....WE GO!! Every time! Work the buddy system .... go in together .... come out together .... and 3 should act as two!


  2. #2
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    Since this was another item on the NIOSH report for the LODD you reported, what is your goal here:
    A) Make a grandiose statement
    or
    B) Find another avenue to bash the United States and its firefighters
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
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    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
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  3. #3
    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulGRIMWOOD View Post
    What is it with this system of crew continuity and firefighter accountability that allows
    • Firefighters to leave their crew to exit the structure on their own
    • Accountability to break down when crew integrity is breached inside a structure
    • No record of who is inside and who is outside a building
    • For 3 to go in and 2 to come out with totally separate crews

    I cannot see any viable excuse not to utilize tagged or electronic accountability systems under a strict SOP on the fire-ground. Excuses such as no need for 'micro-management' or 'safety sally' leave me dumbfounded.

    It should be .... You go ....WE GO!! Every time! Work the buddy system .... go in together .... come out together .... and 3 should act as two!
    Pretty broad brush statment there Paul. And why does it have to be some expensive electronic device or tag system? My department uses paper....and has for many many years and it works just fine. Coupled with our fireground procedures pretty much everyone knows where the other guy is....or the general area. We follow our officers everytime they get off the rig and he knows where we are going to be if we don't follow him, based on our assignment for the day, ie LCC, OV, or Roof.

    Are there departments that do a bit of freelancing...sure. But to generalize (as it seems you did here) all of us is a bit fetched. I do agree with you about You all go in together and come out together. And the officers and members should know where eachother. Its up to that departments officers and senior men to establish a fireground dicsipline and instill it in the newer members and maintiain it in the older ones.
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    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    oops, I stuttered
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    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    oops, I stuttered
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  6. #6
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    Since this was another item on the NIOSH report for the LODD you reported, what is your goal here:
    A) Make a grandiose statement
    or
    B) Find another avenue to bash the United States and its firefighters
    SPFD Please show me where I am 'bashing' the US and it's firefighters? You were nine years old when I began my relationship with the US fire service. Over the past three and more decades I have spent many happy times with colleagues there, many of whom have now passed away, some of them suffered LODD. We all shared different views and had lengthy debates about firefighting strategy & tactics long before e-mail and forums ever existed.

    In 1975 my colleagues were informing me that we (in Europe) needed to ventilate more often and in return, I was telling my US brothers that they needed to look more closely at accountability. We debated for hours and hours on end and here, 31 years later, I am still debating!

    I learned a lot about ventilation by watching my FDNY brothers in the South Bronx over a two year period and brought this strategy back to the UK. It took me years of 'bashing' the UK fire service (if that is the term you prefer) to persuade them to consider venting tactics.

    Please don't keep viewing my threads as an 'attack' on how things are done in the US! If you knew me, I am known in many continents for trying to improve firefighter safety. I am proud of that label because if it means one firefighter life is saved through three decades of hard work then that will have been worth it.

    Your contribution in the ventilation thread was most constructive. Please try and keep to constructive debate and recognize that I have no intentions of attacking; bashing or bringing down my brothers in the US. I am not always right .... my recommendations are based on opinion, but also with a lifetime of experience and study. I learn on this forum everyday and I want to hear your own views and experiences.

    Stay safe brother.

  7. #7
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieB View Post
    Pretty broad brush statment there Paul. And why does it have to be some expensive electronic device or tag system? My department uses paper....and has for many many years and it works just fine. Coupled with our fireground procedures pretty much everyone knows where the other guy is....or the general area. We follow our officers everytime they get off the rig and he knows where we are going to be if we don't follow him, based on our assignment for the day, ie LCC, OV, or Roof.

    Are there departments that do a bit of freelancing...sure. But to generalize (as it seems you did here) all of us is a bit fetched. I do agree with you about You all go in together and come out together. And the officers and members should know where eachother. Its up to that departments officers and senior men to establish a fireground dicsipline and instill it in the newer members and maintiain it in the older ones.
    Sorry Vinnie, I didn't mean to be 'broad brush' about it and generalize! But there are clear accountability issues here for a vast number of departments.

    Accountability certainly doesn't need to be expensive and I only mention electronic systems because I know the technology is out there. Tag systems certainly do not have to be expensive.

    I have had long debates with BC Ed Hartin over accountability in the USA and he has looked closely at the British system (for example). Whilst we are some way from agreement, I think there is some middle ground where we could combine the best of both systems and I think tagging comes close to it.

    I understand the pre-assigned concepts of deployment operated in FDNY (for example) although I am not aware of the 'paper' system of accountability you talk of?

    Discipline .... safety culture .... a good accountability system .... a good SOP based on fundamental rules .... that's what is I think is needed in some (many) areas to help improve firefighter safety and possibly prevent a few LODD.

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    Vinnie I think besides the fact that you all have riding assignments, one of the ways that your officers know where everyone is is through communication. FDNY (from what I have heard on tapes) communicates very well on the fire ground. You OV and roof man are in constant contact via the radio with their officer letting them know what the conditions are and other hazards. You all seem to do a very good job of this.

  9. #9
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GFDLT1 View Post
    Vinnie I think besides the fact that you all have riding assignments, one of the ways that your officers know where everyone is is through communication. FDNY (from what I have heard on tapes) communicates very well on the fire ground. You OV and roof man are in constant contact via the radio with their officer letting them know what the conditions are and other hazards. You all seem to do a very good job of this.
    That's a very good point! I second that. However, there must be times where communication becomes garbled? Misheard? Too busy?

  10. #10
    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulGRIMWOOD View Post
    I understand the pre-assigned concepts of deployment operated in FDNY (for example) although I am not aware of the 'paper' system of accountability you talk of?

    The paper is called a BF-4 or riding list. It has all the names of each member of that company working the tour on it....contains name, position, mask, and riding position. Once I figure out how to scan images....I'll pot one for you.
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  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber Edward Hartin's Avatar
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    Default A good point!

    I have spent many hours discussing and debating the differences between the UK and US tactical approaches, although I believe like Massey Shaw, (an early chief of the London Fire Brigade) that we are unlikely to find two fire departments, let alone two countries that approach firefighting in exactly the same way.

    Accountability is based on people, not things (e.g., tags, electronics, etc.). However, in order to have accountability (all) supervisors need to know a) who works for them, b) where they are, c) what they are doing, d)if they are making any progress, e) how long they have been working, and f) what their air status is. If you know these things, you have accountability. If you cannot, you do not. As the number of resources you are responsible for increases, the number of data elements you need to keep track of increases. This is where tools like command boards, passports and the like come in.

    I have learned from working with Paul that it is entirely possible to have solid accountability (i.e., BA Control) while performing effective firefighting operations. I also think that us of the British BA Control System is not the only way to accomplish this task (but it is a good one).

    I think that the biggest challenge we (the US fire service) faces is tracking time and air status. Many departments do well at keeping track of who, where, what, and to a lesser extent progress on assigned tactical activity. However, we do not do as good of a job at tracking time and air status. Note that this is not universal and there is wide variation across our nation.

    From my perspective, the answer is an integration of personal responsibity, crew resource management (looking out for one another), and tracking by supervisors. Not simply a system of tags, boards, and technology.

    Cheers,
    Ed Hartin, MS, EFO, MIFireE

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber fireslayer1237's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulGRIMWOOD View Post
    What is it with this system of crew continuity and firefighter accountability that allows
    • Firefighters to leave their crew to exit the structure on their own
    • Accountability to break down when crew integrity is breached inside a structure
    • No record of who is inside and who is outside a building
    • For 3 to go in and 2 to come out with totally separate crews

    I cannot see any viable excuse not to utilize tagged or electronic accountability systems under a strict SOP on the fire-ground. Excuses such as no need for 'micro-management' or 'safety sally' leave me dumbfounded.

    It should be .... You go ....WE GO!! Every time! Work the buddy system .... go in together .... come out together .... and 3 should act as two!
    I agree that every dept must have some sort of accountability. But too say electornic accountability or taged isn't the answer. My dept has 11 on a first alarm SFR there is no way we can afford electronic accountability I would rather see that used for more important uses such as staffing.

    We use a passport system here where we have a velcro that says are unit designator then has name tags on it. We have two on each unit one primary and one back up. when report into the IC we bring this to him and he assigns us a task and put the passport in the appropriate place on the command board. If your first in the BC knows to go straight to the officers seat and the passport will be there for him to pick up. seems to work pretty flaulesly (sp) for us.
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  13. #13
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hartin View Post
    Accountability is based on people, not things (e.g., tags, electronics, etc.). However, in order to have accountability (all) supervisors need to know a) who works for them, b) where they are, c) what they are doing, d)if they are making any progress, e) how long they have been working, and f) what their air status is. If you know these things, you have accountability. If you cannot, you do not. As the number of resources you are responsible for increases, the number of data elements you need to keep track of increases. This is where tools like command boards, passports and the like come in.

    I think that the biggest challenge we (the US fire service) faces is tracking time and air status. Many departments do well at keeping track of who, where, what, and to a lesser extent progress on assigned tactical activity. However, we do not do as good of a job at tracking time and air status. Note that this is not universal and there is wide variation across our nation.

    From my perspective, the answer is an integration of personal responsibility, crew resource management (looking out for one another), and tracking by supervisors. Not simply a system of tags, boards, and technology.

    Cheers,
    Ed makes some excellent points here. OK firstly the parts I agree with -
    • Who is working the fire-ground?
    • Who is working the interior?
    • Where are they working?
    • What is their air status?
    • If you know these things you have accountability

    Now the points I have that are contentious
    • Accountability begins pre-deployment!
    • If you begin accountability post-deployment then the IC is disadvantaged
    • Accountability by radio is not always assured (busy; garbled; static; etc)
    • Crew resource management and accountability are separate issues and need to be managed separately
    • An accountability assignment should come with the first response!
    1. The passport system is effective if properly managed
    2. The buddy system is part of this culture and discipline is critical
    3. I acknowledge pre-assigned response systems (eg FDNY) but feel there is room for more accountability even here
    4. Staffing the additional responsibility? It can be managed by what you already have on the primary response, but becomes a sole assignment on secondary response

  14. #14
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    Default Aussie view

    Another ineresting debate, Here we use the tag system and a BA board (sabre BA gear).

    1) Quote (paul grimwood)-

    Who is working the fire-ground?
    Who is working the interior?
    Where are they working?
    What is their air status?
    If you know these things you have accountability


    Procedure is once donned you hand your tag to the BA contoller and state your air pressure, name etc.. He will then double check all information before accepting your tag and placing it on the board. The board also has space for us to write what each team is doing, where they are. The BA controller will continuously monitor the board and get sitreps/ air status (every 5 mins max). If the OIC or BC/DC arrives then they can just look at the board and it will tell them everything they need.


    We communicate via radio, I have never used or seen the electronic/ remote monitering, but i would be wary of people becoming dependant on it and having problems if it failed.

    Quote (paul grimwood)-
    Accountability by radio is not always assured (busy; garbled; static; etc).

    Agreed, although rare. Our procedure is simple, if a team misses 3 call, declare an emergency and deploy BAST (BA safety team), and possibly call for more appliances (depending on how many you already have).

    Quote (paul grimwood)-
    Firefighters to leave their crew to exit the structure on their own
    For 3 to go in and 2 to come out with totally separate crews

    I agree that is unacceptable, we go in as a team, we work as team, we come out as a team. Here if a FF left his buddy inside and exited the structure he would be looking for a new job, there is no excuse for leaving a buddy.
    Alex

  15. #15
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landy01 View Post
    Another ineresting debate, Here we use the tag system and a BA board (sabre BA gear).

    Quote (paul grimwood)-
    Accountability by radio is not always assured (busy; garbled; static; etc).

    Agreed, although rare. Our procedure is simple, if a team misses 3 call, declare an emergency and deploy BAST (BA safety team), and possibly call for more appliances (depending on how many you already have).

    Alex
    Thanks Alex, yes I recognize the Queensland approach .... origins based on the UK technical bulletin on SCBA Control so very similar to what we do.

    The problem with the radio is it all depends on how many channels you have .... ensuring the crews are all on the SAME channel .... how big the incident is .... how big the building is .... etc etc. In a perfect world radio comm's work to good effect. In the real world we all know there can be major issues.

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