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Thread: ICS Vests

  1. #1
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    Question ICS Vests

    I am looking into purchasing a new set of ICS vests for my department - does anyone know if there is a standard for what color vest goes with each title ??

    I have looked around my own County and everyone seems a little different with the exception that most everyone uses white for the IC and blue for Safety. I also am going to purchase Water Supply, Operations Officer, Accountability, Staging Officer, EMS Officer, and RIT Officer and I am presently undetermined what color to get each vest.

    Let me know if you know of any standards that are out there.

    Thanks.

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    Just remember.. the fire will not go "on hold" until you fill out the vests.
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    Ours are all orange and have the position name (Command, Safety, etc) on them. Do you have FFs who can't read? What about the colorblind?

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    What did we do before all of the "gotta waer the vest to find out who's who on the fireground" came out?

    Oh, yeah, I remember.. put the fracking fire out!

    My FD has the vests... and I only saw one of them used once... and the only one issued the one I was told to wear, as the Chief assigned me the rile of PIO and wanted to keep the media off his butt so he could handle the incident!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Quote Originally Posted by boog8591 View Post
    I am looking into purchasing a new set of ICS vests for my department - does anyone know if there is a standard for what color vest goes with each title ??

    I have looked around my own County and everyone seems a little different with the exception that most everyone uses white for the IC and blue for Safety. I also am going to purchase Water Supply, Operations Officer, Accountability, Staging Officer, EMS Officer, and RIT Officer and I am presently undetermined what color to get each vest.

    Let me know if you know of any standards that are out there.

    Thanks.
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    Two main vests will be worn on a fireground here before it goes to a large scale job.

    Red with OIC as in "Oh, I see now".

    White is ECO Eco Control Officer a FF or Occifer (depending on incident size) who is in charge of the ECO Board controlling FF's in BA locations and time in etc.

    I would think that if you are looking for "standards" then asking those stations around you what the heck they wear would be the logical starting point as opposed to doing things different to everyone else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    What did we do before all of the "gotta waer the vest to find out who's who on the fireground" came out?

    Confusion...chaos...inefficiency...

    And if you've ever been involved in even a 2+ alarm fire with mutual aid units coming in wanting to know who is who and where everyone is located it might make a little sense. As I always say...don't knock down dumb ideas because RIT teams were a dumb idea many years ago and a waste of resources...basically don't knock your brothers and sisters that are making an effort to do the smallest things to make our jobs just a little safer and more efficient for the PUBLIC we serve. If you use the vests or any piece of equipment once and someone gets benefit, then it is worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterMV View Post
    Confusion...chaos...inefficiency...

    And if you've ever been involved in even a 2+ alarm fire with mutual aid units coming in wanting to know who is who and where everyone is located it might make a little sense. As I always say...don't knock down dumb ideas because RIT teams were a dumb idea many years ago and a waste of resources...basically don't knock your brothers and sisters that are making an effort to do the smallest things to make our jobs just a little safer and more efficient for the PUBLIC we serve. If you use the vests or any piece of equipment once and someone gets benefit, then it is worth it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterMV View Post
    Confusion...chaos...inefficiency...

    And if you've ever been involved in even a 2+ alarm fire with mutual aid units coming in wanting to know who is who and where everyone is located it might make a little sense. As I always say...don't knock down dumb ideas because RIT teams were a dumb idea many years ago and a waste of resources...basically don't knock your brothers and sisters that are making an effort to do the smallest things to make our jobs just a little safer and more efficient for the PUBLIC we serve. If you use the vests or any piece of equipment once and someone gets benefit, then it is worth it.
    Let's get something straight: I am not knocking the brothers and sisters working the line. I was there myself (26 years worth) until January of 2007 when I got promoted to Deputy Chief.

    My beef is with those who have forgotten the core mission of the job, who feel that wearing vests and setting up signs that sat "Warning! Fire Scene ahead" is more important than putting the dihydrogen monoxide on the rapid oxidation of fuel accompanied by heat, light and the byproducts of combustion.

    In some communities.. you have confusion, chaos and inefficiency even with the vests. There are those communities who don't even begin mounting a fire attack until all of the vests have been filled.. yeah, that's what I call "serving the public we are sworn to protect...

    We have had mutiple alarm fires, no vests and still put the fire out. It's called command control and communications. The officers of the mutual aid companies reports to the IC at the command post (you know, the collection of white lids in the front of the building) gets their assigments and get to work.

    The miltary on the battleground doesn't put on vests to see who is in charge!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 04-08-2008 at 07:37 AM.
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    True to form, every department does it different...use what works for your area & it's operations. A simple rule of thumb that some use is to try to match color to function such as Red as Operations (Red = Fire), Blue for Water Supply (Blue = water) & Lime/Yellow for Haz-mat (Lime 'cause that 's the color you glow at night when heading to bathroom ).

    I know, I know...we can beat this concept to death...it's just something I've seen done.

    Best best overall is to keep is simple (KISS)...at 3 AM, it doesn't matter what color you're wearing, just make sure the title is clear to all those bleery eyed FF's looking for assignments.

    Just my 2 cents...Stay Safe.

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    For those of you with constructive answers....thanks.

    We run with alot of mutual aid departments and is not uncommon to have 6 to 8 different departments working at a structure fire. The need for the vests come from too many white helmets on the scene at any given time giving out conflicting orders in several cases. The vests will hopefully straighten some of the confusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boog8591 View Post
    For those of you with constructive answers....thanks.

    We run with alot of mutual aid departments and is not uncommon to have 6 to 8 different departments working at a structure fire. The need for the vests come from too many white helmets on the scene at any given time giving out conflicting orders in several cases. The vests will hopefully straighten some of the confusion.

    This is a case of what works for you. We don't use vests much, but when things escalate, we make the transition easily. You seem to have a good list of sector officers positions, but the Colors don't really mean that much, at least the way we operate anyway. If your area has a Chief's Organization, then maybe they should establish the local standard for your area.
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    We have the command vests and in the years I was chief, I never used them.

    I can see on a large incident with multiple agencies that it might come in handy... maybe....

    I can't see myself putting on a vest at our bread and butter fires. Need to know who the IC is? Go to the command post. He's there.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    hmm, we operate mutual aid more times than we probably operate at our own fires, and the need for vests has not been an issue.

    The need for the vests come from too many white helmets on the scene at any given time giving out conflicting orders in several cases. The vests will hopefully straighten some of the confusion.
    Sorry to say, but I highly doubt colored vests will have any effect at all on this situation. Sounds more like you need to get all these departments officers together and work out some procedures.
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    Vests are a good idea or identification but like Gonz says, don't just fill a vest for sake of filling a vest.

    We use them as well, mainly the Safety Officer.....If it escalates into something bigger then we use them, especially if mutual aid is coming so they know who they are talking to.

    My suggestion is to keep them all the same color. That way a vest means someone in charge of something. Avoid the colors too because someone from outside sees IC in a green vest and someone in a blue vest could be confusing.
    Hopefully there is some sort of Chief's organization from your county or area that could make a decision on uniformity. If you buy in bulk they can be cheaper too!
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    I found the problem. As with most firefighters, as a simple question and you can't get a simple answer. He just wants to know about vests. Good grief.

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    Good grief is right.. this thread is 5 years old!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    What did we do before all of the "gotta waer the vest to find out who's who on the fireground" came out?

    Oh, yeah, I remember.. put the fracking fire out!

    My FD has the vests... and I only saw one of them used once... and the only one issued the one I was told to wear, as the Chief assigned me the rile of PIO and wanted to keep the media off his butt so he could handle the incident!
    Vests are really good for doing Fill the boot for MDA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Good grief is right.. this thread is 5 years old!
    There is no statute of limitations for violations when the self-appointed forum police get involved!

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