Drill #4 in our Incident Safety Officer series discusses the importance of monitoring radio communications as an evaluation tool of imminent and potential safety hazards. One of the best ways to keep tabs on what is happening during an incident by the safety officer is to closely monitor radio transmissions. You should be listening for transmission barriers such as open keys or broken transmissions, and instructions that are not acknowledged or followed through on. Keep an ear on transmissions that are unclear or incomplete also.
When the incident commander (IC) contacts a company, division, or group for a progress report, make sure you take in all of the available information and match it up with what you see. The safety officer must be an active part of the incident communication process. If progress reports are lacking, prompt IC to get them. Your job is to try to ensure that everyone knows what is happening and who is where and what they are doing.
Download this drill as a PDF HERE.
ALSO IN THIS SERIES
- Safety Officer: Initial Scene Duties
- Safety Officer: Basic Duties
- Safety Officer: Prioritize Hazards
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.