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Responder Safety Awareness Training Aid. For All-Hazards Response. Table of Contents. Introduction 1 Physical & Chemical Hazards Falls 4 Driving & traffic 7 Electrical 12 Chainsaw operation 14 Eye injuries 16 Confined spaces 17 Structural integrity/collapse 19

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table of contents
Table of Contents
  • Introduction 1
  • Physical & Chemical Hazards
    • Falls 4
    • Driving & traffic 7
    • Electrical 12
    • Chainsaw operation 14
    • Eye injuries 16
    • Confined spaces 17
    • Structural integrity/collapse 19
    • Debris piles/unstable surface 31
    • Overhead hazards 33
    • Heavy equipment 34
    • Flash floods 35
    • Temperature stress 36
    • Noise 42
    • Chemical exposure 43
    • Dusts 45
    • Carbon monoxide 47
    • Hazard Communication 48
  • Health Hazards 49
    • Standing water 50
    • Trench foot 52
    • Mold 54
    • Water-borne disease 55
    • Food-borne disease 57
    • Sanitation/hygiene 58
    • Blood-borne disease 59
    • Animals & insects 62
    • Snakes 63
    • Poisonous plants 64
    • Traumatic stress 65
  • Wildfires69
    • FIRE Orders 70
    • FIRE Watch Outs 71
    • LCES and Checklist 72
    • Fire Environment Factors 75
  • Credits/Resources 76
employer and worker responsibilities
Employer and Worker Responsibilities

Employers and workers have responsibilities under the

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.

  • The OSH Act requires employers to provide a safe and healthful workplace, free of recognized hazards, and follow Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) standards. Employers' responsibilities also include providing training, medical examinations, and recordkeeping.
  • Workers must follow the employer's safety and health rules and wear or use all required gear and equipment; follow safe work practices for their job, as directed by their employer; report hazardous conditions to a supervisor; and report hazardous conditions to OSHA if employers do not fix them.
  • History has shown physical injuries are primary contributors to responder morbidity during major weather events.
  • Many hazards created by natural disasters are similar or identical to those created by man-made events, i.e. structural collapse.
  • Injuries may result from
    • Vehicle accidents
    • Struck by
    • Falls
    • Contusions
    • Lacerations
introduction general considerations
Introduction General Considerations
  • Walking over and handling debris that is unstable can cause cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains, etc.
    • Remain current with tetanus vaccination.
    • Revaccinate for a dirty wound if current vaccination is over 5 years old.
    • If you will be performing direct patient care or otherwise expected to have contact with bodily fluids, get the Hepatitis B vaccine series.
  • Avoid contact with stagnant water.
    • Wash and sanitize immediately if exposed.
  • Consider steel toe/shank non-slip footwear if available.
  • Use durable gloves when handling debris.
  • Use hearing protection for noisy environments.
  • Know your medicines, allergies, and blood type.
introduction emergency in the field
Introduction Emergency in the Field

If there is an emergency field:

  • Consult the Medical Plan (ICS Form 206).
  • Follow your agency Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Notify your supervisor immediately!


  • Responders must be protected from potential falls when working more than six feet above next lower level.
  • Fall protection such as guardrails, coverings over floor holes, or personal fall arrest systems shall be installed conforming to 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M.
falls ladders
Falls - Ladders
  • Ladders can create a falling hazard. Make sure your ladder is heeled & secured:
    • Position portable ladders so the side rails extend at least 3 feet above the landing with a 75° angle.
    • Use only ladders that comply with OSHA or NFPA standards.
falls aerial apparatus lifts
Falls - Aerial Apparatus & Lifts
  • Only trained and authorized people may operate the lift. Read and understand the safety and operating instructions including all warning decals or labels.
  • The lanyard should be properly attached to the worker’s harness and designated anchor point on the lift as per manufacturers recommendations for all equipment involved.
  • Check for overhead obstructions before driving or elevating the platform.
  • Never use near electric lines unless they are deenergizied or adequate clearance is maintained.
  • Refuel tanks only when the unit is off and charge batteries in a well ventilated area away from open flames.
  • Conduct a visual inspection and a function test prior to use.
  • Elevate the lift only when it is on a firm and level surface.


Every year in the U.S. there are 15,000 fire apparatus accidents. Accidents range from open doors being knocked off to incidents that have resulted in 5,500 lost-time firefighter injuries. Cost: > $7 billion.

traffic issues
Traffic Issues
  • Be prepared for delays.
  • Watch for other drivers.
  • Flaggers may be hidden or obstructed by larger vehicles.
  • Potential Hazards:
    • Congestion
    • Power lines
    • Multiple entrances/exits to roadway
    • Hidden entrances/exits
    • 2 way traffic
    • No signage entering the zone
    • Limited visibility for traffic
    • Worker with multiple tasks
    • Flagging & truck loading
work zone safety
Work Zone Safety
  • High visibility garments: While such garments may make a worker m conspicuous to approaching drivers, they do not offer any actual protection from traffic. Such garments must be used in conjunction with other traffic safety means.
  • Before work begins in the vicinity of vehicular or pedestrian traffic that may endanger employees, warning signs and/or flags or other traffic control devices shall be placed conspicuously to alert and channel approaching traffic. Where further protection is needed, barriers shall be utilized. At night, warning lights shall be prominently displayed, and excavated areas shall be enclosed with protective barricades.
  • Any crossed or fallen wires which create or may create a hazardous situation at the work area must be identified and reported.
  • Signs and symbols shall be visible at all times when work is being performed, and shall be removed or covered promptly when the hazards no longer exist.
  • If work exposes energized or moving parts that are normally protected, danger signs shall be displayed and barricades erected, as necessary, to warn other personnel in the area.
component parts of a temporary traffic control zone
Component Parts of aTemporary Traffic Control Zone
  • When operations are such that signs, signals, and barricades do not provide the necessary protection on or adjacent to a highway or street, flagmen or other appropriate traffic controls shall be provided.
  • Hand signaling by flagmen shall be by use of red flags at least 18 inches square or sign paddles, and in periods of darkness, red lights.
  • Flagmen shall be provided with and shall wear a yellow or orange warning garment while flagging. Warning garments worn at night shall be of reflectorized material.

Termination Area

Transition Area

Advance Warning Area

downed power lines and cables
Downed Power Lines and Cables
  • Treat all down lines as energized.
  • Verifying that a power line is not energized may not ensure safety.
    • Lines on both the load and supply sides must be grounded.
  • Generators must be grounded to protect from feedback electrical energy.
  • Ground fault interrupters (GFI) must be used.
downed or exposed power lines
Downed or Exposed Power Lines
  • Look for overhead power lines and buried power line indicators. Post warning signs.
  • Contact utilities for buried power line locations.
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
  • Unless you know otherwise, assume that overhead lines are energized.
  • Get the owner or operator of the lines to de-energize and ground lines when working near them.
  • Other protective measures include guarding or insulating the lines.
  • Use non-conductive wood or fiberglass ladders when working near power lines.
  • All electrical equipment, including generators, extension cords, lighting, and power tools, shall meet applicable OSHA, NFPA, and NEC standards. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) shall be installed on all 15A and 20A temporary wiring circuits.
chain saws
Chain Saws
  • Operate, adjust, and maintain per manufacture’s instructions.
  • Keep chain properly sharpened and lubricated.
    • Periodically check chain tension.
  • Choose the the right saw for the right job.
  • Wear appropriate PPE:
    • Hard hat, gloves, eye protection, chaps, hearing protection, and boots.
chain saws1
Chain Saws
  • Avoid all contact with power lines until verified to be de-energized by power company.
  • Always work with saw at waist level or below.
  • When felling a tree, no one closer than 2 tree lengths away (min. 150’).
  • When cutting a fallen tree, no one should be closer than 30 feet.
eye injuries
Eye Injuries
  • Use safety glasses with side shields as a minimum.
    • An eye wear retainer strap is suggested.
  • Consider safety goggles for protection from fine dust particles or for use over regular prescription eye glasses.
  • Any worker using a welding torch for cutting must have special eye wear to protect against welding flash.
    • Welding flash causes severe burns to the eyes and surrounding tissue.
  • Use only protective eyewear that has an ANSI Z87 mark on the lenses or frames.
confined spaces
Confined Spaces

What is a Confined Space (CS)?

What is a Permit-Required CS?

O2 deficiency/enrichment



Hazardous atmosphere

Any other recognizable hazardous environment

  • Limited access & egress
  • Large enough to enter
  • Not designed for occupancy

Your Safety Officer Must Approve Confined Space Entry!!!!

confined space
Confined Space

Questions to ask:

  • Entrant & attendant trained?
  • Monitor & ventilate?
  • Lock-out & tag-out?
  • Issue appropriate PPE?
  • Establish traffic barriers?
  • Provide means of entry & egress?
  • Communication & alarm systems?
  • Rescue equipment/personnel on-call or stand-by?
structural collapse
Structural Collapse

Collapse may be the result of earthquakes, wind, or flooding.

  • Specific hazards and effects may include:
    • Aftershocks
    • Damage to utilities
    • HazMat releases
    • Landslides
    • Avalanches
    • Fires
what is an earthquake
What is an Earthquake?
  • An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the ground caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the earth's surface.
  • Earthquakes occur along fault lines.
  • Earthquakes have three different shifting patterns (illustrated to the left).
  • Earthquakes may occur at any time with little or no advanced warning.
  • An earthquake’s magnitude or “energy release” is measured on the Moment magnitude (Mw) scale.
what is the meaning of earthquake magnitude
What is the Meaning of Earthquake Magnitude?

In 1935, while at the Seismological Laboratory, Charles Richter worked with Beno Gutenberg

to develop a rating scale for earthquakes. The scale has become known as the

Richter Scale. The scale had the following classifications for earthquakes and their severity:

  • Felt by instruments only.
  • Felt by sensitive people and sensitive animals.
  • Felt by many people.
  • Felt by everyone; pictures fall off of walls.
  • Damage.
  • Destructive earthquake in populated areas.
  • Major earthquake causing serious destruction.
  • Total destruction of nearby communities.
  • An earthquake more than one 100 million times more powerful than category one.

For decades, the Richter Scale proved to be the accepted measurement for earthquakes. In

recent years, scientists have begun to use the Moment Magnitude Scale, which is much more

precise than the Richter Scale.

where is an earthquake most likely to occur in the u s
Where Is an Earthquake Most Likely to Occur in the U.S.?

The greatest likelihood of a major earthquake is in:

  • The western United States; residents of California face the highest risk.
  • The New Madrid Fault Zone crosses Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Kentucky & Tennessee; four million people along the New Madrid Fault Zone are at risk.
  • A few pockets on the east coast; for example,

Massachusetts, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Fifteen percent of the U.S. population lives in zones of

potential major disaster.

San-Andreas Fault

high risk earthquake zones
High Risk Earthquake Zones

Source: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 017-03

what is an aftershock
What is an Aftershock?
  • An earthquake that occurs after a previous quake.
  • Occurs in the same area as the main quake.
    • Lesser magnitude.
    • May still cause damage and


landslides and avalanches
Landslides and Avalanches
  • A landslide is an abrupt downhill movement of soil and bedrock.
  • They can be triggered by earthquakes, hurricanes, floods or other natural causes.
  • They can create ground movement from rock falls, deep failure of slopes, and shallow debris flows.
  • An avalanche is flow of snow or ice down a mountain.
  • Both may contain victims.
structural fires
Structural Fires
  • Structural fires are often the leading cause of property damage and casualties in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
  • Debris left from a fire may smolder for days to weeks.
structural collapse risk factors
Structural Collapse Risk Factors

The following increase risk of structural collapse:

  • Areas near fault lines
  • Structures built on unstable soil and rock
  • Structures not built to earthquake grade standards
  • Structures built on steep slopes and areas prone to landslides and liquefaction.
structural collapse events
Structural Collapse Events
  • Structural Integrity
    • Earthquakes can severely damage structures, such as buildings, bridges, and dams.
    • Never assume that damaged structures or ground is stable.
    • Assume all stairs, floors, and roofs are unsafe until inspected.
    • Look up and be aware of hidden

and/or overhead risks.

    • Determine if any hazardous materials

have been on the property.

structural collapse1
Structural Collapse
  • How to reduce injuries at structural collapse
    • Engineered shoring and bracing plans are required.
    • Ensure all workers are trained and authorized to be in the work area.
    • Create a limited access zone around the structure.
      • Height of structure (ft) + 4(ft)
    • Be alert for signs of a secondary collapse.
    • Wear appropriate PPE:
      • Steel toed boots, gloves, hard hat, and eye protection
debris piles and unstable surfaces
Debris Piles and Unstable Surfaces
  • Do not walk on unstable surfaces.
  • Use other ways to get to work, such as bucket trucks or designated walk-ways.
  • Look for smoldering material on or beneath the surface.
  • Lookout for hazardous materials.
  • Wear personal protective equipment.
  • Wear fall protection with appropriate anchor points.
handling debris and sharp materials
Handling Debris and Sharp Materials
  • Before disasters, always remain up-to-date on tetanus vaccinations.
  • Wear appropriate PPE:
    • Hard hat, safety shoes, eye glasses, and heavy work gloves
  • Clean all/any wounds with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Contact doctor/medical aid to determine if additional medical assistance is necessary.
overhead hazards and falling debris
Overhead Hazards and Falling Debris
  • Injuries to disaster site workers are often the result of falling material and debris related to unstable structures.
  • Overhead falling hazards may include:
    • loose debris,
    • building components, and
    • unsecure building contents such as bathtubs, refrigerators, furniture, and HVAC units.

Take extra precaution when working in these areas. Follow safe work practices and wear appropriate PPE, such as hard hat, work clothes, safety shoes, gloves, safety glasses, and respirator.

heavy equipment
Heavy Equipment
  • Be alert to the activities around you.
  • Do not exceed the load capacity of cranes and other lifting equipment.
  • Do not walk under or through areas where cranes and other heavy equipment are lifting objects.
  • Do not climb onto or ride loads being lifted or moved.
  • Use outriggers when

operating equipment

on unstable ground.

  • Do not ride in or on buckets,

forks or blades of heavy equipment.

flash floods
Flash Floods

Flash Floods:

What to do:

Know the area you are working in.

Find higher ground.

Wear personal floatation device.

Do not cross rapid moving water.

Do not wear turnout gear.

  • Rapid flooding of low-lying areas.
  • Flooding occurs in less than six hours.
heat illness prevention
Heat Illness Prevention
  • Drink lots of water (5 to 7 ounces every 15 -20 minutes).
  • Know the signs of heat stress/illness.
  • Work in the shade when possible.
  • Use cooling fans or take breaks.
  • Wear lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals.
  • Take shelter and remove PPE when safe.
heat illnesses signs symptoms
Heat Illnesses: Signs & Symptoms
  • Heat Stress/Cramps
    • Headache, thirst, profuse sweating, muscle aches and cramps.
  • Heat Exhaustion
    • Dizziness, confusion, nausea, pale-clammy skin, rapid/weak pulse.
  • Heat Stroke
    • Hot, flushed dry skin, body temp greater than 104°F, disoriented or unresponsive or unconscious.
cold stress
Cold Stress


Fist Aid

Alert the supervisor and request medical assistance.

Move the victim into a warm area.

Remove wet clothing.

Warm the core area first.

After body temp increases, keep the patient warm and dry.

If no pulse, begin CPR and request ALS treatment.

  • Early Symptoms
    • Shivering
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of coordination
    • Confusion and disorientation
  • Late Symptoms
    • No shivering
    • Blue skin
    • Dilated pupils
    • Slowed pulse and breathing
    • Loss of consciousness
cold stress1
Cold Stress

Frost Bite Symptoms

First Aid

Get into a warm room as soon as possible.

Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes.

Immerse the affected area in warm - not hot – water.

Warm the affected area using body heat.

Do not rub or massage the frostbitten area.

Do not use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming.

  • Reduced blood flow to hands and feet (fingers or toes can freeze)
  • Numbness
  • Tingling or stinging
  • Aching
  • Bluish or pail, waxy skin
  • Wear clothing to prevent overexposing skin.
  • Use protective eyewear.
  • Sunglasses, if used, must be ANSI approved for use as safety glasses.
  • Use sunscreen and lip balm.
  • Limit exposure time in sun.
  • Worksite is considered “noisy” if you have to shout to communicate within 3 feet.
  • Use hearing protection whenever around noisy equipment.
    • Saws, dozers, extrication tools, sirens, etc.
  • Hearing protection prevents temporary hearing loss so that

you can hear victims.

chemical releases
Chemical Releases
  • Hurricane Katrina 2005
    • A Chlorine tank found in downtown Gulfport, MS.
    • 78,000 barrels of oil released at two spills.
    • Diesel, gasoline, motor oil, chlorine, liquid oxygen, medical waste and corrosives encountered by crews.
    • 22,000 facilities in area had underground storage tanks.
    • Industrial and household

hazardous chemicals were everywhere!

potential chemical exposures
Symptoms: Eye, nose, throat, upper respiratory tract, and skin irritation; flu like symptoms; central nervous system depression, fatigue, loss of coordination, memory difficulties, sleeplessness, mental confusion. Chronic effects depend on the extent and the duration of exposure.

Jobs affected

Debris removal

Site clean-up


Hazard specific as identified by supervisor or safety officer.

Potential Chemical Exposures
air borne dusts
Air Borne Dusts
  • Use only NIOSH-approved respirators.
    • Fit testing is required.
  • N-95 (or greater) respirators are typically suitable for most outdoor activities involving standard building materials.
    • If asbestos is present, use N,R,P-100 half masks.
  • If airborne contaminants are causing eye irritation, use full face APR with P100 OV/AG combination cartridge.
  • Replace filters or masks if breathing becomes difficult or chemical odors break through.
carbon monoxide from equipment tools
Carbon Monoxide from Equipment/Tools
  • Symptoms Include:
    • Headache, dizziness, drowsiness, or nausea; progressing to vomiting, unconsciousness, collapse, and ultimately leading to death.
  • Use CO sensors when using or working around combustion sources.
  • Shut off engines when not used.
  • Do not use engines in confined spaces.
  • Do not work in open areas near exhaust.
hazard communication
Hazard Communication
  • Employers must inform employees of the hazards they work with.
  • MSDS for materials provided by employer must be available.
  • Containers of chemicals shall be labeled with the contents, hazards, and target organs.
health hazards
Health Hazards
  • Standing water
    • Trench foot
  • Mold
  • Water-borne disease
  • Food-borne disease
  • Sanitation/hygiene
  • Blood-borne disease
  • Animals & insects
  • Snakes
  • Poisonous plants
  • Traumatic stress
standing water
Standing Water
  • After Katrina, standing water in New Orleans was found to have elevated levels of contamination from raw sewage and hazardous substances.
  • Avoid contact with standing water.
  • Workers should wear waders and waterproof gloves when coming in contact with standing water.
standing water1
Standing Water
  • If your clothes get contaminated, wash them separately from other clothes or discard.
  • If skin contacts standing water, wash with soap and water.
  • If broken skin contacts standing water, wash with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Absolutely do not get standing flood water in your mouth.
trench foot
Trench Foot
  • Trench Foot occurs when the feet are wet for long periods of time.


  • Tingling, itching, pain, swelling, cold and blotchy skin, and numbness.
    • Foot may be red, dry, and painful when warmed.
    • Blisters may form and necrosis can follow.
trench foot1
Trench Foot
  • To prevent trench foot:
    • Elevate and air dry feet.
    • Exchange wet shoes and socks for dry ones.
  • To treat trench foot:
    • Clean and dry feet.
    • Use clean socks.
    • Keep warm with packs or warm water for 5 minutes when removed from cold conditions.
    • Do not wear socks when sleeping.
    • Seek medical attention ASAP.
  • Exposure to mold can cause wheezing and severe nasal, eye, and skin irritation.
    • Avoid breathing dusts from wet materials.
    • Use NIOSH N-95 at a minimum (fit testing).
    • Wear protective gloves with gauntlets when using biocide (10% bleach.)
    • Wear goggles without vent holes.
    • Articles with visible mold should be discarded.
    • Wash or shower after work.
water borne disease
Water-Borne Disease
  • Communicable disease outbreaks of diarrhea and respiratory illness can occur when water and sewage systems are not working and personal hygiene is hard to maintain.
  • Look for posted “Boil Water Notices” or contact Incident Safety Officer or county/state public health officer if Boil Water Notices have been issued for tap water in disaster areas.
    • If tap water is not safe, use bottled water or boil/disinfect tap water.
water borne disease1
Water-Borne Disease
  • Wash or disinfect your hands often.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you develop any of these symptoms:
    • High fever
    • Vomiting
    • Jaundice
    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea
    • Flu-like symptoms
food borne disease
Food-Borne Disease
  • Do not eat food that has come in contact with flood water.
  • Throw food away if it has an unusual odor, color, or texture.
  • Throw away perishables after 2 hours if warmer than 40°F.
  • Throw away food containers (open or not) if they come in contact with flood water.
  • Keep fridge/freezer doors closed as much as possible.
    • If the power is out for more than 4 hours, use block or dry ice to keep food cold.
Sanitation and personal hygiene

- Always wash your hands with soap.

- Use hand sanitizers frequently.

- Exercise good housekeeping.

- Only drink from proven potable water sources.

blood borne disease
Blood-Borne Disease
  • Body Substance Isolation:
    • Replace gloves if punctured or torn (double glove).
    • Do not handle human remains if you have skin cuts or punctures.
    • Use goggles or face shield and mask for handling or recovering bodies.
    • Transport human remains in closed, leak-proof, labeled containers.
handling bodies of victims
Handling Bodies of Victims
  • There is no direct risk of infectious disease from being near human remains, but when directly handling bodies, precautions must be taken.
  • Human remains may/will contain blood-borne viruses and bacteria.
    • Wear gloves.
    • Eye protection, gowns, and masks .
    • Wash hands frequently.
    • Use body bags to reduce risk of contamination.
insect borne disease
Insect-Borne Disease
  • Mosquitoes (West Nile and Dengue Fever)
    • Use screens on shelters.
    • Wear long pants and long sleeve shirts.
    • Use insect repellant with DEET or Picaridin.
  • Fire Ants
    • Ants will be disturbed by flood waters and very aggressive.
    • Protect skin with long sleeve shirts and long pants.
    • Treat stings with over-the-counter medicines.
    • Seek EMS care for any signs of sever reaction.
animal borne disease
Animal-Borne Disease
  • Flood water and storm damage will displace wild and domestic animals.
  • Dead and live animals can spread diseases.
  • Avoid wild or stray animals.
  • Avoid contact with rats or rat-contaminated dwellings.
  • If contact with animals occurs, wash skin with soap and water and wash or decon PPE.
  • If bitten or scratched, wild or domestic, seek medical attention.
  • Be on alert for snakes swimming in water trying to get to higher ground.
  • Do not approach any snake and back away slowly.
  • If you or someone else is bitten:
    • Remember color and shape of snake.
    • Keep person calm.
    • Seek EMS.
    • Lay person down with bite below level of heart.
    • Cover bite with clean, dry dressing.
poisonous plants
Poisonous Plants

at the beach

it climbs

it creeps

it's a bush

where it grows




Poison Ivy & Oak

- Train workers on hazardous plant recognition

- Use gloves and wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when possibility of contacting poisonous plants.

traumatic stress
Traumatic Stress
  • Pace yourself and take frequent breaks.
  • Watch out for team mates.
  • Be aware of others around you, others are suffering too.
traumatic stress1
Traumatic Stress
  • Accept what you cannot change.
  • Talk to others when you feel like it.
    • If formal mental health support is offered, use it.
  • Flashbacks will occur and are normal, but will diminish over time.
  • Call home as much as possible.
traumatic stress2
Traumatic Stress
  • What you can do at home:
    • Reach out to others.
    • Reconnect with family.
    • Keep a journal.
    • Do not make big personal decisions.
    • Make as many small everyday decisions as needed to feel more in control.
    • Spend time with self or families to help unwind.
traumatic stress3
Traumatic Stress
  • You may be hyper-protective of your family members - this will decrease over time.
  • Getting back to normal takes time, let others carry the load for a while.
  • Use humor to alleviate stress, but be careful.
  • Avoid use of alcohol or drugs, do not complicate your life with substance abuse.
  • Get back to normal rest and exercise routines.
  • Eat well-balanced, regular meals.
fire orders
FIRE Orders



  • Keep informed on fire weather conditions and forecasts.
  • Know what your fire is doing at all times.
  • Base all actions on current and expected behavior of the fire.


4. Identify escape routes and safety zones and make them


5. Post lookouts when there is possible danger.

  • Be alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act decisively.


  • Maintain prompt communication with your forces, your supervisor, and adjoining forces.
  • Give clear instructions and ensure they are understood.
  • Maintain control of your forces at all times.


10. Fight fire aggressively, having provided for safety first.


fire watch outs
FIRE Watch Outs


  • Fire not scouted and sized up.
  • In country not seen in daylight.
  • Safety zones and escape routes not identified.
  • Unfamiliar with weather and local factors influencing fire behavior.
  • Uninformed on strategy, tactics, and hazards.
  • Instructions and assignments not clean.
  • No communication link with crewmembers or supervisor.
  • Constructing line without safe anchor point.
  • Building fireline downhill with fire below.
  • Attempting frontal assault on fire.
  • Unburned fuel between you and fire.
  • Cannot see main fire; not in contact with someone who can.
  • On a hillside where rolling material can ignite fuel below.
  • Weather becoming hotter and drier.
  • Wind increases and/or changes direction.
  • Getting frequent spot fires across line.
  • Terrain and fuels make escape to safety zones difficult.
  • Taking nap near fireline.
wildland fires
Wildland Fires
  • LCES must be established & known to ALL firefighters BEFORE needed.
lces checklist
LCES Checklist

1. All personnel need to be informed

2. Update throughout the shift

3. Lookouts/Communications

  • Competent and trusted individuals?
  • Radio and frequencies?
  • Watch or time piece?
  • Map and communication plan?
  • Knowledge of crews location on division?
  • Good vantage and safe location

4.Escape Routes

  • Scouted?
  • Walkable?
  • Timed?
  • Marked?
  • Away from fire head?

5. Safety Zone (No Shelters Needed)

  • Clean burn / Natural / Man-made /Vehicles.
  • Scouted?
  • Timed?
  • Close enough?
  • Large enough? Consider number of people. Consider fuels / flame length.
  • Terrain? Avoid saddles; Chutes; box canyons.
  • Snags or rolling rocks?
fire environment factors
Fire Environment Factors
  • Terrain – Scout
    • Steep slopes (>50%)
    • Chutes, box canyons, saddles, & narrow canyons
  • Wind – Observe
    • Surface winds above 10mph, lenticular clouds, High-fast moving clouds, approaching cold front, cumulonimbus development, sudden calm, and battling winds
  • Stability – Observe
    • Good visibility, gusty winds and dust devils, cumulus clouds, castellatus clouds in the a.m., smoke rising straight up, inversion beginning to lift, and thermal belt.
  • Fire Behavior – Watch
    • Leaning column, sheared column, well developed column, smoke color changes, trees torching, smoldering fires picking up, small firewhirls beginning, and frequent spot fires.
  • Remember to Expect Diurnal Changes!
    • Relative Humidity
    • Temperature
    • Winds
    • Stability
credits resources

The content of this booklet was adapted from training tools entitled:

Safety Awareness for Responders to Hurricanes: Protecting Yourself While Helping Others


NIEHS Earthquake Response Training Tool: Protecting Yourself While Responding to Earthquakes

These tools were developed by by the National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training. The National Clearinghouse is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ Worker Education and Training Program. The National Clearinghouse is operated under NIEHS contract 273-05-C-0017 by MDB, Inc.

These and other helpful resources are available at