Firefighting

Sizing Up Vehicle-Related LODDs

Issue 6 and Volume 162.

BY WARNER R. WINBORNE Every firefighter understands that a scene size-up requires a 360° assessment, including a careful and critical observation of conditions as they exist. Most, if not all, of us have responded to incidents in which the conditions appear radically different, depending on your point of view. One side of a structure might show light smoke from the eaves, while the other side has fire blowing out of a window. Similarly, we are all familiar with incidents that pre-sent spectacular conditions and eye-popping images worthy of the evening news broadcast. These scenes require particular discipline from the incident commander; it is all too easy to develop tunnel vision and miss the bigger picture. Hasty judgments based on incomplete information will certainly lead to bad decisions, inefficiency, and unnecessary risk taking. Yet hasty judgments are precisely what we are making when it comes to the issue of vehicle-related firefighter…

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