Issue number 2 of the Survival Essentials Weekly Drill feature focuses on the conditions and actions firefighters must take when an incident area needs to be evacuated. Don't just consider structural firefighting operation, consider all rescue and hazmat or other operations that may cause rescue personnel to be rapidly removed from the environment. List as many reasons or situations where crews or members may have to be evacuated from harm, include task level operations (from the roof, in a collapse zone, etc.) as part of your discussion.
Practice your communication message for requesting or calling an evacuation and then discuss the actions necessary for each member to do when the evacuation is called for. Don't forget about each role--the driver/operator may activate air horns in a specified pattern or duration and others may begin to conduct company level PARs if they are not in the hazard zone.
Finish the discussion by defining what actions must be taken by the incident commander, ISO, and RIC in response to an emergency evacuation. Every fire service member must know how to prevent getting into hostile situations or environments. If something goes wrong or we end up in a bad place, we also must know how to react to them. Know when you will use these essentials, what you will say and what to do in order to get back home. This series will walk through one survival situation per week and provide a worksheet for discussions and training scenarios to be created. Work toward formalizing your departments training on these techniques and development of a survival training manual and policy. Consult applicable NFPA and training references for possible solutions to each situation.
Forest Reeder began his fire service career in 1979. He currently serves as Division Chief of Training & Safety for the Des Plaines (IL) Fire Department. He is a past recipient of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) prestigious George D. Post Instructor of the Year award and has been responsible for the design, implementation and coordination of in-service firefighter training activities as well as a full-service fire training academy program. Forest holds numerous Illinois fire service certifications and holds a Masters Degree in Public Safety Administration from Lewis University.