Firefighting, Fireground Management, Leadership

Improved Strategic Mode Decisions for Fireground Success

Issue 4 and Volume 172.

By ANTHONY AVILLO What guides an incident commander in determining the strategic mode for operations? He bases this on—of course—arrival decisions, but he also bases it on the experience of the eyes on the incident. What a new officer might consider a major fire, an experienced officer might consider routine. Such is the business of firefighting. We must answer two questions: (1) Can anyone be alive in this building? (2) How much of a primary search can we complete? Fire Department of New York Deputy Asistant Chief (Ret.) John Norman said, “When human life is at stake, an offensive [interior] attack is mandatory.” Norman further stated: “As long as there are people suspected within a building, firefighters are going to have to go in after them.”     (1) Heavy fire is in the front room, but what about the rest of the structure? Look at the whole picture. Don’t…

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