Humpday Hangout: Decision Making and the Incident Commander

FireRescue Editor in Chief Erich Roden talks to Ron Kanterman and Tom Aurnhammer, the hosts of the “Backstep Boys” radio program on Fire Engineering Talk Radio, about decision making and the role of the incident commander. They discussed the impact of recent fire research on ventilation tactics, managing major fires, chaos on the fireground and not freezing up in the command role, and liability for the incident commander.



RON KANTERMAN is a 38-year fire service veteran and chief of Gold Horn Associates. He has been an instructor for 24 years. He is the author of “Chief Kanterman’s Journal” on and cohosts “The Back Step Boys” monthly live radio show on with Deputy Chief Tom Aurnhammer of Colorado. He is the author of Managing Fireworks Displays (Delmar, 2008) and a chapter of the Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II. He is a volunteer and a national advocate for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the administrator for the National Fire Academy Alumni Association.

THOMAS W. AURNHAMMER is deputy chief of the Los Pinos Fire Protection District in Ignacio, Colorado. A 31-year veteran of the fire service, he retired as chief of the Farmington (NM) Fire Department in 2003. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and has an associate’s degree in fire protection. He is a member of the adjunct faculty at the National Fire Academy and the New Mexico Fire Fighter Academy, the Colorado Fire Fighter Academy Advisory Committee, and the Board of Directors of the National Fire Academy Alumni Association.

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