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Reality Training
by Reality Training

Fire attack: Protecting exposures

Incidents with exposed structures close to the burning structure require different attack strategies and tactics

By Robert Avsec

This feature is intended to spark the sharing of ideas, information and techniques to make firefighters safer and more effective. The following video and discussion points must not be used to berate, belittle or criticize those firefighters. Rather, in the spirit of near-miss reporting, please use this feature as another teaching tool to help you better do your job. Please leave your comments below and use this material in your own department. I hope you find this Reality Training valuable; stay safe and keep learning.

Structure fires in tight places present many tactical challenges to firefighters and officers. When wood-frame structures in particular are arranged in close proximity to one another, prompt size-up of the incident by the first-arriving officer is the critical first step to keeping the fire contained to the building of origin.

Though this video is less than 2 minutes long, it contains several good examples of those tactical challenges for your review.

Discussion questions

  • What tactical challenges are presented to the first-alarm personnel on the scene?
  • What would be your size-up of the incident? 
  • What information would you communicate with your size-up radio report to your other responding resources?
  • What would be your Incident Action Plan for this incident?
  • What is your evaluation of the tactical operations that you see taking place in the video? 
  • What adjustments, if any, would you make if you were assuming command of this incident?

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