Firefighting, Leadership

Beyond the 360° Size-Up

Issue 7 and Volume 170.

By WILLIAM MURRAY The initial on-scene fireground size-up is the single most fundamental task we perform to determine the strategies and tactics we will employ to stabilize the incident. First-arriving units can be overwhelmed with an avalanche of information and, most times, will make time-sensitive decisions on tactics based on the limited information they will be able to gather. This is where training and ensuring tactical discipline will provide the initial arriving companies with the most information to aid in their decision-making process. Part of this size-up requires completing a 360° walk-around of the fire building (if possible). Many factors limit our ability to complete the walk-around, such as building size, row homes, and privacy fences, but we must make every effort to get eyes on the rear of these buildings to adequately assess fire conditions, check for civilians in need of rescue, and look at building construction changes that…

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