Drills: The Survival Essentials

Our next series of firefighter training drills from Forest Reeder focuses on developing firefighter survival skills. Take a look at the drills below, and search for more at http://www.fireengineering.com/training/drills.html.

The Survival Essentials – The Mayday

Every fire service member must know how to prevent getting into hostile situations or environments. If something goes wrong or we end up in a bad place, we also must know how to react to them.

The Survival Essentials – Evacuation

Practice your communication message for requesting or calling an evacuation and then discuss the actions necessary for each member to do when the evacuation is called for.

The Survival Essentials – Do Not Enter

Discuss conditions that would be present at a fire scene that would halt a firefighting company from making an interior or offensive attack.

The Survival Essentials – PASS

A firefighter in distress should not hesitate to activate the PASS as part of the survival essentials process.

The Survival Essentials – Progress Reports

Review the different types of incident progress reports that are required to keep all companies and the incident commander (IC) on the same page during emergency scene operations.

The Survival Essentials – PAR

Next in the Survival Essential series focuses on the necessity and conditions that a personnel accountability report (PAR, or roll call) would be initiated during an emergency.

The Survival Essentials – Taking Preventative Action

This exercise has 10 situations that should draw the attention of everyone working on the fireground and cause some sort of action to take place to prevent near-miss or tragedy from occurring.


Firefighter Training Drills by Forest ReederForest Reeder began his fire service career in 1979. He serves as Division Chief of Training & Safety for the Des Plaines (IL) Fire Department. He is a past recipient of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) prestigious George D. Post Instructor of the Year award and has been responsible for the design, implementation and coordination of in-service firefighter 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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