Safety Officer Drill: Monitoring Scene Operations and Conditions

Fire training drill by Forest Reeder

In drill #5 in the Incident Safety Officer (ISO) series, we will discuss some basic incident scene and operational hazards that need to be evaluated by the ISO. This is a short list of the most common areas where, if things are not monitored by someone (ISO) watching out specifically for the hazards they create, the situation can become deadly.

What does the safety officer evaluate at a fire scene? There are many factors that need to be evaluated and re-evaluated at a fire scene by the safety officer. Priorities will be established based on the strategic mode of operation and the tactics being employed. Many of these factors will need to be re-checked later into the incident. Relief crews must be made aware of what hazards exist. The incident operation time may effect incident integrity of the incident and change initial assessment of hazards. Hazards that are classified as imminent must be dealt with immediately.

Your drill assignment will be to review the hazard or operation and then list the ways that you will identify if it presents hazards to crews operating or what you look for at the fire scene to forecast an imminent hazard before it happens. List as many methods of evaluation and monitoring that you are able to come up with and consider how you would communicate the hazard back to incident commander.

Download this drill as a PDF HERE.


Firefighter Training Drills by Forest ReederForest Reeder began his fire service career in 1979. He currently 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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