Classroom Sessions: Blink: Making Critical Fireground Decisions

Continuing Monday’s four-hour workshops, the afternoon sessions opened with the interactive class “Blink: Making Critical Fireground Decisions” presented by Kansas City (MO) Fire Battalion Chief Jeffrey Johnson. Johnson said that he hoped the class would help create priorities for those first-arriving members based on their capability and capacity.

Johnson challenged participants’ mindsets while exploring options to getting critical fireground tasks completed regardless of a department’s response capabilities.

“There is a lot of information within the fire service regarding mental challenges, situational awareness, fire behavior, and decision making.”

Johnson said that he wanted participants to understand that “Critical fireground decision making affects all of us on the fireground. Regardless of your position on the fireground, your life depends on good decision making, and this class will help ensure the decisions you are making are the best of your ability.”

“We learned a lot just sitting around the kitchen table, because it was about all the things we were taking in.”

He engaged his students with several interactive examples such as fireground videos and slides offering students information on the types of systems companies employ to attack fires. Pulling ceilings and hose and building construction were just a few of the topics that Johnson covered. He also responded to the concerns students had regarding the reluctance of many departments toward changing their methods of     



“We have to understand that no two departments respond with the same capabilities and capacities. When making critical fireground decisions rapidly, you have to know what your personnel’s capabilities and capacities are, Johnson said. “You cannot make a decision to attack the fire and simultaneously search the third floor when you have two firefighters arriving on the first-arriving apparatus.

Johnson said he designed the class to “take all this information and formulate fireground strategies and tactics that first-arriving personnel will use to be more effective on there fireground.”