The main thing I do is reavaluate the scene upon arrival after communicating with the IC or what I have received from the PD. If no life safety issue on arrival I usually put the crew in 2nd gear which slows them down and makes them think more about their suroundings and their operation putting their safety first. If I can slow down their adrenalin they are more opt to think smarter, work smarter to get the job done and working toward everyone going home. We are a very close knit crew and we always look out for each other. If someone screws up they hear about it from a crew member long before I need to get involved and only if I have to. We use the 16 point program to our advantage and sog's we created together that we all have agreed upon that makes the incentive to use them that much stronger. Our belief is if it 's a small fire it is usually out upon arrival, If its a big fire it will still be burning when you get there. But we need to get there and ultimately get home !!
I think we must continue to evaluate the progress of the fire and the progress our crew might or might not be making, regardless if your interior or exterior, a good risk analysis every few minutes is necessary!
We often get caught up in, well its a working fire, interior attack, rit, vent, etc. Yes we got work to do but lets do it safely, we forget to constantly re-evaluate the risk to our people, we need be constantly aware!
Strategies must change with changing environments and conditions, re-evaluate!
As a new officer, stepping back from the active roll of firefighting and backing up the team so that I can listen to communications, sounds in the area, and looking around the area all the time staying in contact with the team. For the most part the team knows how to do their job so directing them while keeping in touch with the surroundings is easier. This allows me to ensure we are working Safe and Smart to keep out of trouble.
Lately, with manpower issues, it has been getting more and more difficult to keep the role of an officer without being directly involved with direct fire suppression; I am having difficulties with concentrating on all aspects at the same time. Although every time I go out I learn one more aspect of doing both jobs at the same time. It isn’t easy, but then again nothing worth it ever is.
DON’T be the next one, BE safe!
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