The Hazards We Face

Issue 4 and Volume 164.

BY ALAN BRUNACINI In our last installment, we finished looking at the safety side of our hazard vs. safety model. We went through the details of adequate staffing, operational hardware, safety standard operating procedures, and personal protective equipment (PPE) and finished up with a discussion of incident command by going over the eight standard functions of command. The model is a critical part of the initial and ongoing size-up process. These items make up the basic safety system we use on every level to protect our firefighters working in the hazard zone. Fire companies operating on the task level must evaluate the ability of all the safety system elements “they have on” (literally, in the case of PPE) to directly protect them from the level of hazard present. They must also forecast the future hazard level of where they will be working as the incident evolves—what’s next/next/next? Sector/division/group tactical level…

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