Training forum: Fast-changing scene

Use this incident to improve your firefighting abilities


Editor's Note: 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.

Backdraft sets off an explosion at this Texas house, with one very lucky civilian coming away unharmed. This video offers insight into how the situation changes before the first-due apparatus is on scene.

In some communities it is standard for a chief officer to arrive before the first-due apparatus; in other communities the opposite is true. Regardless, how do you prepare your line officers for when the norm doesn't happen? Check out the video and discussion points below:

  • What would your arrival report sound like for this call? What are the pertinent points you'd want to get across to dispatch and incoming units?
  • This neighborhood appears to have large lots, with fences. If you're the first arriving apparatus/officer, how are you accomplishing your 360-degree walk around?
  • At what point do you have someone talk to the bystanders about what they saw before the first-due crew arrived?
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