Firefighting

Size-Up School

Issue 7 and Volume 163.

BY ALAN BRUNACINI The last local incident command routine we covered in recent columns was standard command function #1: Assume, confirm, and position command. All the stuff in that function is critical because it establishes how we operate in the very beginning of operations. What we do in this critical front-end period serves as the management and operational launching pad for the entire incident. If our response starts out messed up, it generally stays that way. It is very, very difficult to “unmess” an event (like a firefight) that is very actively underway (sometimes violently/always with an immediately dangerous to life and health environment). This is particularly difficult when a major part of the mess is that our resources are operating in incorrect and unsafe positions—many times doing incorrect and unsafe things (equals big mess). Very simply, the basic objective of the command system is to get us in the…

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