Drill of the Week: Safety Officer Responses


By Forest Reeder

Department policy and procedure should identify specific types of incidents in which a qualified and trained safety officer is due to respond or should be assigned by the incident commander (IC). If no safety officer is assigned to an incident, the IC is responsible for completing the tasks that the safety officer would  perform.  Qualifications for the safety officer need to be defined as part of the policy but, in general, the safety officer must be trained to at least the same level of those who are operating at the incident. The best case scenario would include having a safety officer assigned at all incidents where members operate in an IDLH atmosphere. At all incidents, standard incident functions must be performed to assist in keeping the incident safe. Review your department policy for the use of an incident safety officer at incidents.

Download this week’s firefighter training drill as a PDF HERE.


Forest Reeder began his fire service career in 1979. He currently serves as Battalion Chief / Director of Training & Safety with the Pleasantview (IL) Fire Protection District (www.plvw.org) and is the Director of Training for Southwest United Fire Districts (www.sufd.org). In these capacities, he is responsible for the design, implementation and coordination of in-service training activities as well as a full-service fire training academy program. Forest holds numerous Illinois fire service certifications and holds a Masters Degree in Public Safety Administration from Lewis University.


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