The Debriefing: Another Tool for Your Box

Issue 7 and Volume 160.

BY JOHN A. VAN DOREN A MAJOR RESPONSIBILITY OF BEING AN OFFICER IS to find the best way to take advantage of your members’ contributions and to help them determine and define their usefulness on the fireground. One way to do this is by finding out what they think. A useful tool to facilitate this discussion is an after-action review, also know as a debriefing or post-incident analysis process. A debriefing can be one of the most effective tools for change; it helps you find out what is going on inside a firefighter’s head during an incident. Effective debriefing sessions, when conducted properly, can help your department grow in many positive directions. A debriefing can help identify the need for reinforcement of standard operating guidelines (SOGs) or changes that need to be made in those guidelines. It can also identify training/mentorship issues, equipment limitations, and your personnel’s overall grasp of…

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