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2009 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week. Fire Department Safety: Chapter 1 Safety. Number 1 Rule:.

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2009 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week

Fire Department Safety:

Chapter 1 Safety


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Number 1 Rule:

“Safety is the responsibility of everyone.” If you see something, say something. Just as well, everyone on-scene is a safety officer – leaders should provide the tools for even the probie to fill this role.”


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Section 100 Personnel Accountability

The purpose of establishing a personnel accountability system is for the safe tracking and accounting of all members operating within the “Hazard Zone” of an incident. The “Hazard Zone” is any area that is potentially or immediately dangerous to life and health and/or any area that could cause a member to be lost, trapped, or injured by environmental or structural condition changes.


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General Guidelines Supervisors are charged with ensuring that the procedure is adhered to.

The Incident Commander is responsible for overall accountability during an incident and will determine the level of accountability that will be utilized during the incident.


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The Incident Commander and supervisors will maintain an awareness of the location and function of all companies, divisions, and groups.


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Company members shall keep their immediate supervisor informed of any change in their condition, status, or assignment and report immediately to any newly assigned supervisor.


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Crew integrity is paramount. Company officers or crew leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times


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Accountability Levels leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

Level I Accountability:

  • Personal ID tags will remain in the cab of the vehicle attached to the vehicle ID tag. The company officer is responsible for the accountability of their crew. This level is used until the Incident Commander determines that the incident has escalated or may escalate beyond their effective span of control.


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Level II Accountability: leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • This level is used when the Incident Commander determines that the incident has escalated to the point that necessitates the need for a safety officer and/or accountability officer. The vehicle ID tags will be gathered by the safety officer, accountability officer, or their designee and will be transferred to the Command Post or Accountability Supervisor.


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Personnel Accountability Reports (PAR) leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • A Personnel Accountability Report will be called for by the Incident Commander during, but not limited to, the following conditions:


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PAR leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • A change from an offensive mode to a defensive mode of operations.

  • Any sudden hazardous event (example— flashover, collapse, entrapment).


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PAR leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • A report of missing firefighter(s).

  • At completion of a search-and-rescue effort.


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PAR leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • At the time the incident is reported under control (discretion of the Incident Commander).

  • To check and re-organize the command structure during long and/or complex incidents.


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PAR Guidelines leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • The report will take priority over communications not directly related to the immediate emergency situation.

  • It will begin with companies believed to be in the most danger and will include all units operating at the incident.


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PAR Guidelines leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

It will be controlled and coordinated by one person who will advise on the appropriate TAC channel, “all units stand by for a PAR.” Each unit will be asked for a PAR in the following manner and acknowledge, “Engine 7-A, acknowledge the PAR,” an appropriate response would be “Engine 7-A, Code 4 (or OK), side 3.”


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PAR Guidelines leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

If a crew has been split for assignments to different functions or areas, it will be the responsibility of the company officer or supervisor to assure that all members of his/her crew are accounted for.


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Section 200 Rapid Intervention leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • The purpose of establishing a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) at emergency incidents is to ensure proper support to those crews operating in environments considered to be Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) [See Definitions]. The mission of the RIT is to locate and rescue lost, trapped, or injured firefighters.


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OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134 (4) leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • “2 in 2 out” – requires that a minimum of two individuals, operating as a team in direct voice or visual contact, conduct interior firefighting operations utilizing SCBAs. In addition, a minimum of two individuals who are properly equipped and trained must be positioned outside the IDLH atmosphere, account for the interior team(s) and remain capable of rapid rescue of the interior team. The outside personnel must at all times account for and be available to assist or rescue members of the interior team.


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Exceptions to OSHA 2 in 2 out regulation leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • Initial attack operations must be organized to ensure that adequate personnel are at the emergency scene prior to any interior attack at a structural fire.

  • If initial attack personnel find a knownlife hazard situation where immediate action could prevent the loss of life, deviation from the 2 in 2 out standard may be permitted as an exception to the fire department’s organizational plan.


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Exceptions to OSHA 2 in 2 out regulation leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • Exceptions to the 2 in 2 out regulation can be made when it is known that the fire is in incipient phase. Such deviations from the regulations must be exceptionsand not de facto standard practices.


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RIC Procedures leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • RIT Leader: Officer assigned to RIT, this person answers directly to the Incident Commander or the Operations Section Chief.

  • RIT Leader completes a six-sided survey of the incident while the remainder of the crew gathers the appropriate equipment for the type of incident.


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RIC Procedures leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • RIT Leader ascertains the location of all crews working within the IDLH atmosphere. This may be recorded on a Tactical Worksheet or on a Command Board.

  • RIT Members shall remain in a ready state with full turnout gear, SCBA and at the minimum a hand tool, flashlight, radio, and personal escape equipment until advised to stand down.


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RIC Procedures leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • RIT Members shall stage tools near the point of entry. Situation will dictate tools that will be staged. A minimum of one extra SCBA and flashlight will be staged along with forcible entry tools that are determined by the type of construction.

  • When activated the RIT will remain on the original fire ground channel. All other units will switch to Talk-Around when assigned by the Incident Commander.


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RIC Procedures leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • RIT Members shall identify means of egress and place ground ladders where appropriate.

  • RIT Members shall force locked doors, clear existing openings or create new ones and assist the RIT Leader in the development of an Action Plan for the rescue if needed.


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RIC Procedures leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • The RIT Leader will inform the RIT of all pertinent information and individual assignments.

  • The RIT Leader shall inform the Incident Commander of the need to add RIT crews when the situation warrants (multiple entry points, multiple floors, etc.).


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RIC Procedures leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • Should additional RITs be needed, a RIT Group shall be established with one RIT Officer, and individual RIT leader(s) in charge of each team.

  • In high-rise applications RIT is to be staged one floor below the fire floor.


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Procedures for Lost or Trapped Firefighters leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • Any firefighter operating on an incident scene that becomes disoriented, trapped, separated from their crew, injured or low on air supply should take immediate action to notify Command and if possible initiate self rescue


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MAYDAY-MAYDAY-MAYDAY leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • The radio message “MAYDAY-MAYDAY-MAYDAY” will be used by lost or trapped firefighters or their crew members to report their status as being in trouble and needing rescue.

  • Any member may use “MAY-DAY” to report a lost firefighter. Any report of “MAY-DAY” will receive priority radio traffic. The term “May-Day” will be reserved ONLY to report lost or trapped firefighters. The term “emergency traffic” will be used to report other emergencies.


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MAYDAY CONT. leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • Firefighters should use any and all means necessary to escape the hostile environment.

  • Activate P.A.S.S.

  • If able, notify Command of last known location, unit number, and if mobile or trapped.


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LUNAR leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • Location

  • Unit

  • Name

  • Air

  • Resources Needed


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Section 300 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • All employees have been provided personal protective equipment for use in their respective job functions. The utilization of this equipment will have a direct bearing on the health and well being of personnel and efficiency of operations.


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Minimum requirements are: leaders are fully responsible for their crew members at all times

  • Response: All personnel must wear seatbelts during vehicle movement. Standing while riding is strictly prohibited.

  • Fire Alarms (including automatic alarms): All protective equipment to include helmet, hood, coat, pants, boots, gloves, and SCBA.


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  • Rescue Alarms: All protective equipment to include helmet, hood, coat, pants, boots and gloves. SCBA is required for hazardous atmospheres. Eye protection and medical gloves are required for patient contact.

  • Medical Alarms: Eye protection and medical gloves. If circumstances dictate, gowns and face protection.


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  • Water Alarms: Personnel within 10 feet of any open water will be required to utilize a PFD. For safety reasons, the utilization of bunker gear near water will be discouraged.

  • Roadway Alarms: Reflective vests are required to be worn anytime an employee is operating on or adjacent to the roadway. Bunker coats can be worn in lieu of reflective vests.


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  • Auto accidents: Bunker coat, pants, helmet, gloves and eye protection are required to be worn when operating inside or around vehicles with moderate to severe damage.

  • Helmets: FD personnel will wear helmets on scenes with multiple units/agencies operating for identification purposes. Helmets will be worn anytime personnel are working near/under elevated operations (i.e. training/ladders/ construction sites).


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Section 400 Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) operating department apparatus or while operating on incident scenes (Refer to Chapter 4, Section 200.000, Cell Phone Usage).

  • Personnel shall not breathe smoke, vapors, or any particulate matter.

  • Personnel shall not enter the confines of a structure or other situation producing a toxic or oxygen deficient atmosphere without an SCBA and activated PASS device.


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SCBA operating department apparatus or while operating on incident scenes (Refer to Chapter 4, Section 200.000, Cell Phone Usage).

  • The only exception to rule one and/or rule two will be woods fires. The use of an SCBA at these incidents will be left to the discretion of the Incident Commander.

  • When SCBAs are required, personnel will operate in teams of at least two persons.


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SCBA operating department apparatus or while operating on incident scenes (Refer to Chapter 4, Section 200.000, Cell Phone Usage).

  • A team leader shall be designated for each group. The team leader is responsible for maintaining crew integrity.

  • Team members should not be out of sight or contact of the team leader for any reason—this includes exiting the building for air or other assignments


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SCBA operating department apparatus or while operating on incident scenes (Refer to Chapter 4, Section 200.000, Cell Phone Usage).

  • The decision to remove SCBAs shall be the responsibility of the Incident Commander. During overhaul, the Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen Cyanide level should be no more than 10ppm before SCBAs can be discontinued. This will be confirmed through the use of available monitors.


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SCBA operating department apparatus or while operating on incident scenes (Refer to Chapter 4, Section 200.000, Cell Phone Usage).

  • SCBA mask shall be maintained in good working order by the personnel to whom they are assigned.


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Section 500 Rehabilitation operating department apparatus or while operating on incident scenes (Refer to Chapter 4, Section 200.000, Cell Phone Usage).

  • To ensure that the physical and mental condition of members operating at the scene of an emergency or a training exercise does not deteriorate to a point that affects the safety of each member or that jeopardizes the safety and integrity of the operation.


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Incident Commander operating department apparatus or while operating on incident scenes (Refer to Chapter 4, Section 200.000, Cell Phone Usage).

  • Shall consider the circumstances of each incident and make adequate provisions early in the incident for the rest and rehabilitation for all members operating at the scene. These provisions shall include medical evaluation, treatment and monitoring; food and fluid replenishment; mental rest; and relief from extreme climatic conditions and the other environmental parameters of the incident. The rehabilitation shall include the provision of medical services at the Basic Life Support (BLS) level or higher.


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Supervisors operating department apparatus or while operating on incident scenes (Refer to Chapter 4, Section 200.000, Cell Phone Usage).

  • Shall maintain an awareness of the condition of each member operating within their span of control and ensure that adequate steps are taken to provide for each member's safety and health. The command structure shall be utilized to request relief and the reassignment of fatigued crews. During routine duties, physical activity should be monitored and performed in moderation when the heat index is high. Hydration is encouraged.


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Personnel operating department apparatus or while operating on incident scenes (Refer to Chapter 4, Section 200.000, Cell Phone Usage).

  • During periods of hot weather, members shall be encouraged to drink water and activity beverages throughout the workday. During any emergency incident or training evolution, all members shall advise their supervisor when they believe that their level of fatigue or exposure to heat or cold is approaching a level that could affect themselves, their crew, or the operation in which they are involved. Members shall also remain aware of the health and safety of other crewmembers.


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The End. operating department apparatus or while operating on incident scenes (Refer to Chapter 4, Section 200.000, Cell Phone Usage).


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