Firefighter Training, Firefighting

Mastering Fireground Command

On Tuesday morning, Sacramento (CA) Metropolitan Fire District Battalion Chief Anthony Kastros’ workshop “Mastering Fireground Command” provided students with interactive training using simulation software to size up and organize commercial, residential, garden/center hall apartments; high-rises; wildland areas; and hazardous material incidents. Kastros also addressed the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) top five line-of-duty-death (LODD) causes on the fireground and reviewed radio traffic and videos of real motor vehicle accidents.

Kastros presented the large audience with a series of fireground videos, dispatch recordings, and his own fireground experience to point out what to do and what not to do when operating on-scene. “It’s one thing to say a firefighter died of trauma, it’s another to know he was pushed off a cliff. The NIOSH top five operational causes of LODD are the factors that predicate many physiological death causes that we see on LODD pie charts. In short, these top five causes tell us why our troops are getting pushed off cliffs.”

Kastros explained, “They [firefighters] surround poor size-up, insufficient command, ineffective communications, poor accountability, and the failure to follow standard operating guidelines. This workshop hit these issues head on so you can prevent chaos and run a smooth fireground operation.”

Additional information on this topic can be found in Kastros most recent article, “Fire Service Assessment Centers: Beyond the Books,” which was featured in the October 2009 issue of Fire Engineering.