Safety Officer Drill: Incident Communication Red Flags

Firefighter training drill by Forest Reeder

Next in our Safety Officer drill series is a drill that applies to anyone with a portable or mobile radio on the fireground. Although our responses are targeting the incident safety officer, all firefighters operating on the scene should also be considering what incident communications might mean.

What might seem to be routine radio traffic may also be a red flag for the incident safety officer.  Listening to incident communications provides you with clues as to what is happening in the incident. A safety officer can gain valuable insight into what is happening and be prepared for the next steps necessary to keep the members safe at the incident by knowing what is really meant by communication reports. Putting yourself into the place of the person communicating helps to make this process complete. Review the sample incident communications and complete the questions based on your experiences and options. Check your answers against our viewpoints on located in the drill.

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


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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