Chapter 2 Fire Department Organization, Command, and Control
Introduction • This chapter covers: • Department organization into companies • Companies divided into functions • Engine, ladder, truck companies • Rescue or hazardous materials companies • Division of work assignments • Responsibility for specific response area, activity • Eliminate duplication of work and confusion • Establish adequate level of equipment and personnel
Fire Department Organization • Fire departments have a reason for existing and a structure for operations • Mission statement communicates the reason for being • Organizational structure defines the chain of command and authority
The Business of Fire Protection • Jurisdiction determines the type and level of fire protection • Several types of fire department service delivery • Career or paid departments consist of full-time positions with benefits • Volunteer department positions with per-call/hourly payment or no payment at all • Some jurisdictions utilize a system of both career and volunteer members
The Business of FireProtection (cont’d.) • Public or municipal fire department commonly found in larger cities or densely populated areas • Fire district funded by dedicated property tax • Fire chief responsible for department operations • Industrial fire departments (brigades) are specially trained and provide emergency services
Mission Statement • Each fire department should have a mission statement • Provides meaning and direction • Provides a clear and defined purpose • Must be specific to the public
SAMPLE MISSION STATEMENT 1 The Midway Fire Department is organized to deliver fire prevention, fire suppression (extinguishment), and rescue services to the citizens of its protection area. This will include response to conduct vehicle extrication, hazardous materials mitigation, and basic life support emergency medical services.
SAMPLE MISSION STATEMENT 2 The Midway Fire Department is organized to deliver fire prevention, life safety, fire suppression (extinguishment), and rescue services to the citizens of its protection area. This will include response to conduct vehicle extrication, hazardous materials mitigation, confined space rescue, advanced life support emergency medical services, disaster response, and fire life safety code enforcement.
Organizational Structure • Fire department must have organizational structure • Structure may be simple or complex • Shows internal organization as well as functions and responsibilities
Figure 2-3 The organizational structure for a medium to large fire department shows the division of work assignments and chain of command.
Figure 2-5 Different from most organizational charts, this organizational structure shows the interdependence of the community, fire department, governing body, and firefighters.
The Firefighter • Individual trained to perform the function of fire prevention and suppression • Other areas firefighters may know: • Emergency medical technician (EMT) • Paramedic (EMT-P) • Hazardous materials technician • Rescue specialist • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) established training standards
(A) (C) (B) Figure 2-7 Some positions available to firefighters are (A) rescue specialist, (B) paramedic, and (C) hazardous materials technician.
The Firefighter (cont’d.) • Some typical requirements for an individual trained in structural fire suppression: • Know department's organizational structure and operating procedures • Perform duties safely • Know department's response area • Maintain equipment • Respond to alarms • Use self-contained breathing apparatus
Figure 2-6 The firefighter is the individual who makes a department operate.
The Company • Basic unit of a fire department • Firefighters assigned to perform a specific function • Company officers are supervisory-level positions • Company officers are responsible for firefighters and administrative duties
The Engine Company • Firefighters who deliver water • Deploy hoselines • Attack and extinguish fires in vehicles and structures
The Truck Company • Carry firefighters for forcible entry • Search and rescue • Ventilation • Provision of ladders and securing of utilities • Overhaul functions at a fire scene • Three basic aerial devices • Aerial ladder • Tower ladder • Snorkel
The Rescue Company • Provides specially trained firefighters • Specialized rescue equipment • Tools to conduct forcible entry • Tools used for search and rescue • Tools to conduct vehicle extrications, confined space rescue, rope rescue, and other technical operations
Specialty/Combination Units • Typically a blend of two major company functions • Quint is a combination of an engine and ladder company • Mobile water supply apparatus (tenders) provides water where a supply is not present • Examples of specialty units: • Wildland fire • Hazardous material units • Mass casualty response units
Emergency Medical Services • Many departments provide either basic life support or advanced life support • May be an additional duty assigned to an existing company • Fire departments may operate ambulances to provide transport services
The Chief Officers • Ultimately responsible for the operations and administration of the fire department • Chief may have a number of deputy, division, assistant, or battalion chiefs • Rank structure and position depends on size, need, and history of an individual fire department • Number of officers depends on the size of the organization
Additional FireDepartment Functions • Many additional functions assigned to operations: • Training • Fire prevention • Additional sections may be established: • Hazardous materials • Urban/technical search and rescue • Water rescue • Delivery of emergency medical services
Fire Prevention and Life Safety • Preventing fire reduces risk to community • Fire prevention office divided into two functions: • Code enforcement/ inspection services • Fire/life safety education • A chief-level officer usually heads the fire prevention office • Fire survival programs educate the public on what to do after a fire has started
Figure 2-16 Some fire departments utilize unique characters such as E.D.I.T.H. the Clown to help children relate to the message of fire prevention.
Training • Begins with basic firefighter or probationary training • Continues with proficiency training as new tools, equipment, or techniques become available • Chief-level officer usually heads the training division • All departments must have a training officer
Figure 2-18 Training must be a continuing function in all fire departments regardless of size or area served. (Courtesy of Eastern Oklahoma Technology Center)
Emergency Medical Services • Depending on size of organization, the EMS function may be a separate division • Chief-level officer responsible for its activities
Apparatus Maintenanceand Purchasing • Large departments may have a fire apparatus maintenance or repair shop • Responsible for vehicle repair, maintenance, and purchasing • Headed by a fire department officer or non-uniform staff member
Special Operations • Depending on size of community or potential hazards present • Delivers or supports services such as: • Hazardous material mitigation • High-rise operations • Air operations • Confined space rescue • Trench rescue • Swift water or ice rescue
Figure 2-19 Trench rescue is one of many specialized operations requiring additional equipment and training.
Regulations, Policies, Bylaws,and Procedures • All organizations must have: • Regulations • Policies • Bylaws • Procedures • Ensures an adequate and effective emergency response • Used to establish daily and emergency operations
Regulations • Determine how an organization operates • Established by top-level management • OSHA may establish regulations • Most states have their own occupational safety and health plans • Federal program has no enforcement authority
Policies • Formal statements or directives • Established by fire department managers • Provide guidance for decision making • Usually general in nature • Framework for day-to-day department activities
Bylaws • Volunteer departments may be organized as independent corporations • Fire corporation usually organized as a not-for-profit organization • Bylaws established by board of directors or membership • Describe how the business structure is organized
Procedures • Standard operating procedures (SOPs) provide specific information and instructions • Established so all members will perform the same function with the same level of uniformity • Tactical in nature • Also called standard operating guidelines (SOGs) • Variety of ways in which SOPs are developed and documented
Allied Agencies andOrganizations • During an operation, fire department interacts with many different organizations • A few of these organizations: • Police/ law enforcement • Utility companies • Environmental conservation • Private business
Incident Management • Fire departments respond to millions of emergency incidents each year • Extreme incidents require mutual aid assistance from outside the authority having jurisdiction
Command and Control • Firefighters must understand the concept of command and control • Unity of command • First unit arriving should establish command • Transfer of command is the process of briefing an authority of equal or higher experience • Transfer of command should occur during a face-to-face meeting
Incident Command System • Systematic approach for command, control, and management of an emergency incident • Must contain the following components: • Command terminology • Modular organization • Integrated communications • Consolidated incident action plan • Span of control • Designated incident facilities
Figure 2-21 This chart of a typical incident command system shows the modular organization necessary to manage an incident.
Five Major Functions of anIncident Command System • Incident commander develops strategic goals • Operations section chief responsible for implementing tactical assignments • Planning section chief responsible for development of incident action plan
Five Major Functions of anIncident Command System (cont’d.) • Logistics section chief responsible for securing facilities, services, equipment, and materials • Finance/administration section chief documents cost of materials and personnel
Figure 2-25 Organizational structure showing the managerial level for an incident.
Unified Command • Used to manage an incident involving multiple response agencies • Unified command has only one IC and Incident Action Plan • Allows for agencies with jurisdiction to be part of the command structure or team
The Team • Utilize an incident command system (ICS) • Work together and remain intact • Look after each other • Prevent freelancing
Figure 2-26 Tactical worksheets provide the incident commander with a guide for managing an incident.
Lessons Learned • Common contributing factors to firefighter deaths in the line of duty are command- and organization-related • To survive on the fire scene, firefighters must know: • Roles and responsibilities of personnel • How their fire department command structure works • How to function as part of that command structure