MAJOR LESSONS LEARNED AND LESSONS REINFORCED

MAJOR LESSONS LEARNED AND LESSONS REINFORCED

  • Portable radios should not be relied upon as the only means of below-decks communications; creative backup systems must be discussed in advance and well-rehearsed.
  • The ship’s fire main water supply system should not be relied upon with “blind faith”; backup water supplies from landside should supplement any attack strategy.
  • The removal of just one casualty from below decks can take up to four firefighters, thus eliminating one engine company from other duties.
  • As a safety precaution, all firefighters should be equipped with their own personal handlight.
  • Vest/armband identification of “key players” in the Incident Command System should be broadened to identify even those serving in secondary roles.
  • Optimal use of the Incident Command System will depend on the frequency and quality of “dress rehearsals.”
  • There is no substitute for a well-thought-out preplan when confronted with a large-scale multiagency disaster.
  • The overall fireground strategy must include a minimum of one backup plan.
  • As in many high-rise fires, basement fires, and subway incidents, the resupply of breathing air will be as vital as the firefighting water itself.
  • Extended “reflex times” must be anticipated by the incident commander, with a strong emphasis on summoning anticipated assistance early in the operation.

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