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Do you know what you are talking about when you size up a fire? Too often we hear “fully involved” in the description from the first arriving company only to find out upon our arrival that it is a one or two room and contents fire. Some people don’t think this is a big deal but it is a huge deal. The words used to describe the situation set the tone for the operation. Fully involved means that search is not going to be a priority and that we will operating in defensive mode. In the photo on the right there are survivable areas. In fact the fire is only in the garage. It is possible that potential occupants could walk out of the structure if they are aware of the fire. Choose your words carefully and make sure you are accurately communicating what the situation is. Don’t get in the habit of declaring “fully involved” every time you have fire showing. For some this takes practice and constant training. This can easily be accomplished with a dozen photographs and couple portable radios and an experienced company officer running you through a series of hands on practice sessions. Communications is more than just talking on the radio. Our fire ground communications needs to be organized, predictable and structured so we are not making up terms or just saying what comes to mind and leaving it up to interpretation. LEARN TO TALK FIRE!

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