High-rise and mid-rise firefighting: Operational divisions, sectors and groups

Part 3 – Outlining the roles and responsibilities of each part of the response effort

In Parts 1 and 2 of this high-rise/mid-rise series, I covered lobby control basics and the fire attack and stairwell operations. In the Part 3 – the series conclusion – I’ll cover some other divisions, sectors and groups that could play vital roles in the successful outcome of a high-rise or mid-rise fire event.

During a high-rise fire event, communications are critical and, in many cases, becomes quickly chaotic. The incident commander (IC) will be overwhelmed with incoming messages and requests. The amount of radio traffic will almost immediately require the IC to begin assigning divisions, sectors and groups.

With some of these divisions, sectors or groups, a separate radio channel should be assigned as well to remove some of the less critical communications from the more important fire attack channel. For example, command does not need to hear all the communications from four separate Rapid Ascent Teams (RATs). IC only needs to hear that the assignment was complete from the group officer. We know, however, that there will be a lot of communications between four individual RAT teams to the RAT group officer assigned to manage all RAT operations, so separate tactical channels should be considered.

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