Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

The fire service as a whole seems to have become very good at using some form of ICS at all incidents.  This is a good thing and works really well on the normal everyday emergencies.  However at the larger events it seems to take some time to get everyone up to speed after the command structure expands.  For example: a typical house fire all teams report to "Command" since the IC is playing many roles (IC, Ops, Safety, etc.).  Then when faced with a larger scene and expanded command structure the crews still radio in to "Command" when their direct supervisor should be Operations.  A good Ops officer will intercept the transmission provide the necessary information but they do not always catch it which continues to overload the IC and may even cause some confusion.  I am typically assigned Interior Operations during most structure fires while the Chief maintains the role of IC/Ops/Safety.  I then coordinate with the Fire Attack, Search and Ventilation Crews while the IC playing multiple roles takes care of the water supply, rehab etc.  This seems to work pretty well for us at most "working" structure fires.  The only problem is since most of the time crews are working directly for the IC then they are in the habit of calling Command for everything and bypassing the Operations section.

Would it promote good habits by training/directing everyone that is actively working to contact "Operations" whether or not an Operations officer is assigned?  Then the IC would be the only one that had to adjust once the Operations section was assigned.  This method would only require one person on the fireground to adjust instead of everyone else.

Views: 476

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Ron, I see your point. I like divisions & groups to cut down on the span of control. Depending on the situation I assign an interior division, roof division, RIC group. When we have a large enough alarm to assign an operations section chief the only people that report to operations are divisions, groups, and staging.

Sounds like that is the way ICS is intended to work.  Our problem around here is that everyone becomes too accustomed with reporting directly to Command so that when Operations, divisions, groups are assigned it typically requires some adjustment period to get everyone to understand they are now working for Ops or division leader instead of the IC.

I am fond of supervising Interior Ops and Ventilation at most standard house fires since it assures that the two are coordinating well.  And I'm a little selfish  and this gives me chance to still "pack up" and occasionally go interior for a face to face with the attack crew or just verify they are getting the job done (especially if it is a green crew). 
 
Sid Newby said:

Ron, I see your point. I like divisions & groups to cut down on the span of control. Depending on the situation I assign an interior division, roof division, RIC group. When we have a large enough alarm to assign an operations section chief the only people that report to operations are divisions, groups, and staging.

Lynn Ervin, Ardmore, Oklahoma

          Ron, Do you call for a PAR on the  fireground for set reasons? This might be a good time for the new Operations Chief to call for a PAR to help confirm the chain of command with his divisions and/or groups on the fireground.

Ron Becknell said:

Sounds like that is the way ICS is intended to work.  Our problem around here is that everyone becomes too accustomed with reporting directly to Command so that when Operations, divisions, groups are assigned it typically requires some adjustment period to get everyone to understand they are now working for Ops or division leader instead of the IC.

I am fond of supervising Interior Ops and Ventilation at most standard house fires since it assures that the two are coordinating well.  And I'm a little selfish  and this gives me chance to still "pack up" and occasionally go interior for a face to face with the attack crew or just verify they are getting the job done (especially if it is a green crew). 
 
Sid Newby said:

Ron, I see your point. I like divisions & groups to cut down on the span of control. Depending on the situation I assign an interior division, roof division, RIC group. When we have a large enough alarm to assign an operations section chief the only people that report to operations are divisions, groups, and staging.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Policy Page

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE

Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to www.fireengineering.com/archives.

Fire Engineering Editor in Chief Bobby Halton
We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our policy page HERE. -- Bobby Halton

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail peterp@pennwell.com.

FE Talk Radio

Friday at 7:30 p.m. EDT

Tailboard Talk

hosted by

Dane Carley, Craig Nelson, and Jeff Wallin

CALL IN AND JOIN THE SHOW

1-877-497-3973 (Toll Free)
or 1-760-454-8852

Check out the schedule of
UPCOMING SHOWS

Ricky Riley, Dan Shaw, Doug Mitchell & Nick Martin

© 2018   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service