Fireground Management, Officer Development

The Art of the After-Action Review

Issue 5 and Volume 171.

BY Adam LaReau and Brice Long When the bell rings, ­firefighters go. They get in their rigs and set out to conquer whatever challenges lie ahead, relying on their training, their instincts, and each other. The resolution of the call and serving the public—saving lives, protecting property, and mitigating emergencies—are what matter. Every response is a valuable opportunity to perform the tasks to which so much training time has been dedicated and a chance to collect coveted exposure to real-world emergencies (aka experience). Experience is the gold standard in the fire service, and responding to a wide variety of scenarios increases the breadth and depth of a firefighter’s toolbox. Although progress is not built on experience alone, deliberate review of any response (experiences and training exercises) drives progress. Analysis of the events before, during, and after all operations is vital to ensuring firefighters are better and more prepared each time…

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