11. April 2012 06:41
This fire has a huge head start on you and size up for this would be an ongoing process gathering current and expected weather conditions and observing the fire behavior as it occurs. Always know what the Watch Out Situations are and start implementing the protocols to prevent them. Classify the fire (What class of fire is it or how big is it) and get the additional support you need.
While life safety and protecting property is important to every firefighter as an officer it is YOUR responsibility to ensure the safety of your crew (Everyone Goes Home). Know and implement the Standard Fire Orders, if you don’t know what these are Google them… Also get out your copy of the Fireline Handbook by NWCG you’re going to need it as a reference. Always remember LCES (Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, and Safety Zones)…
Utilize the knowledge you have of the area to do a pre-incident size up, think and plan for expected life hazards, immediate water supply, and access/egress routes, etc. Locate a safe area to establish command and staging for arriving personnel and equipment. Don’t just keep these things in your head write them down and communicate these things to your crew and dispatch. Communications is an essential key! Make sure every member of your crew and dispatch clearly understands what you are saying and have them repeat it back to you if necessary. Once support personnel begins to arrive transfer command over to a more experienced officer that can continue to manage the situation.
By Rob Rosovich, Fire Protection Engineer