Building Construction, Fire Prevention & Protection

Size-Up and Tactics for Structures of Lightweight Construction

Issue 1 and Volume 173.

By Michael J. Lopina Size-up is an important aspect of every call to which we respond, whether it is “scene safety” on an emergency medical services (EMS) run, a fire alarm, or a fully involved structure. We should note clues and make mental notes anytime we are entering a situation, no matter how “routine” or mundane. When we are responding to a reported structure fire, it is important that we do not rely only on what is presented to us with the particular building but also to dig into our personal file of experience and knowledge to formulate our plan of attack. We all strive to maintain a high level of aggressiveness; however, we too often confuse aggressiveness with overzealousness in that we enter a hazardous atmosphere without properly sizing up the structure.   We have been taught to perform a “360” of the structure, but what does that mean,…

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