Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

Does your dept have a standard first on-scene radio report format? Do all the reports sound similar? What is in them? OR does it depend on who is there first and what he or she feels like saying?

Views: 936

Replies to This Discussion

Depending on the officer, they can be detailed or pretty vague. I've been working to get them to be more consistant but not making much progress. Any tips?
Jackson Fire Department District 3 has an SOP on first to arrive duties. The SOP goes over many things for the first in company to evaluate and examine and there is a brief mention of an initial radio report procedure.

Upon Arrival
-Transmit a brief and concise initial radio report to include:
a. Unit number and "on the scene"
b. Height of the building in stories
c. Type of building (wood frame, non-combustible, ordinary, etc)
d. Conditions on arrival

For the most part, all reports do sound the same and include "establishing command"
The first arriving unit has the authority to request assitional resources and/or alarms if necessary.
here are some formats we use at nhrfr
i put them on an upload
let me know if u get them
-We use a standard "On scene" radio report that all personnel are familiar with. This familiarization begins as soon as members are introduced to the radio in the fire academy. The thought process is to get members accustomed to what they should be listening to as well as preparing them to make any necessary radio transmissions themselves.
-The on scene radio report is usually very consistent city wide and consists of
1. Company designation
2. CAN report (Conditions, Actions, Needs)
3. Specific assignments for specific companies
4. Announce who is IC (until relieved)
-An example would be, "Engine 5 is on scene at a multi story, multiple residential occupancy with fire showing on the number three floor. Evacuation is in progress. Engine 5 will take a line up to the fire floor. Next in engine lay in a supply line from the corner of ... (Or first due ladder there are victims hanging out windows on the CD corner) Engine 5 is command."
-Stay safe.
We have to keep the adrenaline out of the radio report but at the same time paint a clear enough picture of what we have, what we're doing about it and what we need as far as support.
If you can come up with a standard report with standard objectives to meet (see the above examples), the info will be relayed in a short time consistantly.


Erik Pettaway said:
My department doesn't have a standard radio report.As such it all depends on the member giving the initial report.Some reports are somewhat descriptive but most are not.Conditions found,where's the fire,& type of structure should be a minimum.
Having said that when is it too much? When your first in and the adrenaline is flowing, should you take that much time to give a speech? As an officer I tried to give a good report but I was more concerned with either stretching a line or starting search & rescue operations.
Radio discipline is also something we should strive for. Sometimes I wonder if we're increasing safety or trying to make it Rocket Science 101. When I came on, we all didn't have radios and when you did, older and more seasoned vets would say keep the radio traffic to a minimum.Keeping the traffic to essential info is the way to go.IMHO
Two issues come into play here. The first is that no matter what you think is more important, a brief statement on conditions begins the most important of safety mechanisms -- the fireground organization process. An unorganized fireground is an unsafe fireground and if it is unorganized at the beginning, the curve of deviation amplification wil prevent it from becoming more organized as the incident ages. Someone must take charge, let everyone know he or she is in charge and let everyone know what is happening and what is being done about it -- otherwise everyone arriving has to start from the beiginning -- this is unacceptable when information is already available.
Secondly, if there is a format for the report, it will be relatively brief, lasting no more than about 20 seconds and will cue in everyone to what is happening from a single mindset -- that is what a format does for you -- everyone is conditioned to listen for the same thing. When there is no format (enforced!!), reports are all over the place and the "ummm" factor is prevalent as the unprepared try to think of sometheing to say while the mike is keyed
Some good responses - thanks for the input
be safe brothers and sisters
if u see tyhe exhibits i provided for our radio reports, you will see what we use. We laminate and paste the preliminary size-up (arrival) report in the cab of the apparatus. The rest is in the filed operations guides and most chiefs keep a copy on hand to sue if needed in the field. If it is adopted but left in the SOP book, what good is it?
Erik Pettaway said:
I like that, the "ummm factor".
A standardized report is important and should be formalized, I agree. Just wondering what others think or do, from less is better to the more the better. My departments history of radio traffic is to keep it to the bare minimum,i.e leave it for the chief. The mentality is changing and I'm one of the ones looking to change that. So keep it coming.
Anthony- question on the preliminary report, Obviously it must be in some Department SOP/G on communications. Do you keep one on the rig? and is this something your Fire Alarm Office also has and fills out as the initial IC gives it?


Policy Page


The login above DOES NOT provide access to Fire Engineering magazine archives. Please go here for our archives.


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

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. -- 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

FE Podcasts

Check out the most recent episode and schedule of

© 2022   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service