Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fireground Accountability Starts with YOU!

I wake up each shift day knowing that whatever I do right for my guys today will only be enhanced a hundred fold if I can get them to communicate great accountability in everything they do. This way all the everyday stuff will get done and if we go into fire hell and someone gets lost, disoriented,out of air,hurt bad, we might get him or her back home safe to those that love them.

Because great accountability begins when everyone communicates to the IC where they are, and not just in general, like the whole first floor of a building. Communications like," Chief, we are pulling a line inside Division 1 and making our way to a fire on the Charlie side." These radio or face to face communications let commanders really know where their guys are if things go to crap, and if you haven't been there, it goes real fast! Officers should be keenly aware that no matter what trust exists between them and their incident commander they must report their location regularly and when an assignment is complete say so. I know your thinking yeah, DUH! but if your honest the fire service sucks at real time accountability. Instead, we want to "do it" by setting out boards ,doing regular PARS, putting tags/velcro on a rig.

These things are all a part of the system that should be employed but lets start at the beginning of a fire where most firefighters die and accountability is usually way behind or sitting on a truck somewhere.
This talking clearly to each other about where we are and what we are doing, is about really increasing safety for us all on the fireground. This falls greatly on the company officers shoulders and then each and every firefighters situational awareness about their individual location, should they end up needing help.

Communications are getting compromised everyday, lets all make great effort to provide updates on our locations so that no matter what the other parts of your system are, you increase your chances of going home! Those digital radios need exercise anyway!

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