Firefighting, Truck Company

Understand Fire Behavior to Improve Your Situational Awareness

Issue 10 and Volume 165.

BY BRYAN ALTMAN I was looking back on my days in high school and laughed because I failed Spanish and hadn’t effectively learned a second language. At some incidents, we may have to deal with patients or victims with whom we can’t communicate because of a language barrier. I should’ve paid attention more in Spanish class. Similarly, when we don’t know the language of fire behavior, firefighter injuries and fatalities result. That’s right; fire behavior is a language in itself and should be thoroughly understood so we can do our jobs safely and effectively. If we understand fire behavior, then we can improve our situational awareness to make correct decisions on the fireground. Many firefighters have been seriously injured and killed because they lacked situational awareness and made incorrect decisions on the fireground. According to the National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System, lack of situational awareness and poor decision making…

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