Fire Operations in the Wildland

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Fire Operations in the Wildland Powered By Docstoc
					REM 244

          Fireline Safety

          Heather Heward
A state of mind

• Safety is a state of mind
• Safety is always the first priority
• Safety is your responsibility

•   Physical fitness
•   Proper equipment
•   10 standard firefighting orders
•   18 watchout situations
•   Hazards
•   Situational awareness
Physical Fitness

• Fire fighting is a demanding job which
  required you to be both mentally and
  physically fit
  • 2 parts of fitness
     • Aerobic fitness – related to oxygen intake, regulates
       work capacity
     • Muscular fitness – includes both strength and
  • Being fit will allow you to be more tolerant of
    heat, acclimate faster, work with lower hart rates
    and body temperatures
Fitness levels

• Pack test is the only physical requirement
  • 3 miles
  • 45 pounds
  • 45 minutes

• Recommended line crew
   1.5 mile run        10:30 (min)
   Pull-ups            4-7
   Sit-ups (60 sec.)   45
   Pushups (60 sec.) 25
Physical fitness

• Fitness tests
• Fatigue
  • 2 to 1 work to rest
• Heat stress and dehydration
  • Water and electrolytes
• Smoke and carbon
• Food and nutrition
  • 5,000 to 6,000 calories a day
Heat stress
            Heat           Heat            Dehydration      Heat Stroke
            cramps         exhaustion      exhaustion
Symptoms    Muscle         Weakness,       Weight loss,     Hot, often dry
            cramps         extreme         and excessive    skin; High
                           fatigue; wet,   fatigue          body
                           clammy skin;                     temperature;
                           headache;                        mental
                           nausea or                        confusion,
                           collapse                         collapse, loss
Treatment   Drink water,   Same as heat    Increase fluid   Cool the body,
            juice or a     cramps, rest in intake, rest     treat for
            sports drink   the shade       until body       shock, seek
                                           weight is        medical
                                           restored         attention
Proper equipment

  • Wear it right
• Fire shelter
• Line gear
• Personal gear
PPE – required

• Flame resistant shirt and pants
  • Made from Nomax or Kevlar
  • clean, no holes or tears and has no gas or oil stains.
• Boots and socks
  • leather 8 inch (no steal toe)
  • cotton or wool socks
• Hard hat
  • plastic, light weight…
• Gloves
  • Leather, no gap between glove and shirt
• Chaps
• Hearing protection
• Eye protection
PPE – recommended

• Wear a 2nd layer - typically cotton
• Goggles
• Hood or Shroud
Fire Shelter

• A fire shelter is a required piece of safety
  • Protects you by reflecting radiant heat and
    trapping air
Preparing for a wildland fire (line gear)
• Nomex Shirt and Pants       •   Canteens
• All-leather 8” Boots with   •   Extra batteries
  nonskid soles               •   First aid kit
• Hardhat w/ headlamp         •   Task book
  clips and chin strap        •   MRE or other food
• Neck shroud                 •   Fire line handbook
• Headlamp and batteries      •   Map/IAP
• Fire Shelter                •   TP
• Radio and harness           •   Warm layer
• Leather gloves              •   Rain gear
• Eye protection              •   Flagging
• Hearing protection          •   Parachute cord
• Fusees and lighter          •   Knife
• Compass and/or GPS
Preparing for a wildland fire (personal gear)

• 2 set of nomex          •   Flashlight
• Underwear, t-shirts,    •   Knife
  socks                   •   Hat and gloves
• Washcloth, towel,       •   Warm layers
  soap, shampoo           •   Shower shoes
• Toothbrush, tooth       •   Tent and sleeping bag
                          •   Extra boot laces
• Medications/vitamins
                          •   Handkerchiefs
• Money
                          •   Book
• Camera
                          •   Street clothes
• Bathing suit
10 standard wildland firefighting orders

• Developed in 1957
• Are absolute
  • Common reasons for breaking one of the orders
    • Ignorance – lack adequate training
    • Over confidence – excessive “can do” attitude
    • Lack of empowerment – thinking someone else will
      take care you
  • Work on making the firefighting orders instinctive
10 standard wildland firefighting orders
1. Keep informed on fire weather conditions and forecasts
2. Know what your fire is doing at all times
3. Base all actions on current and expected fire behavior
4. Identify escape routes and safety zones, and make them
5. Post lookouts when there is possible danger
6. Be alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act decisively
7. Maintain prompt communication with your forces, your
    supervisor and adjoining forces
8. Give clear instructions and be sure they are understood
9. Maintain control of your forces at all times
10. Fight fire aggressively, having provided for safety first
10 standard wildland firefighting orders

• Keep informed on fire weather conditions
  and forecasts
  • 2 types of weather information
    • Tactical – fire weather observations
    • Strategic
       • Spot weather forecasts
       • Long range forecasts
10 standard wildland firefighting orders

• Know what the fire is doing at all times
  • Keep track of:
     • the location of the fire perimeter
     • the rate and direction of spread
     • fuel cover
     • fire behavior
     • location of fuel breaks
     • spotting
  • Obtain information from:
     • personal observation
     • Lookout
     • Supervisor
10 standard wildland firefighting orders

• Base all actions on current and expected fire
  • Constantly evaluate the fire behavior and detect
    subtle changes
  • 3 possible outcomes fire behavior:
     • stays the same
     • lessons
     • gets worse

       Make sure to have a plan for all three!
10 standard wildland firefighting orders

• Identify escape routes and safety zones and
  make them known
  • Safety Zone: refuge from an unexpected change
    in fire behavior
    • Void of fuels
    • Not a deployment zone
  • Escape route: way you get personnel from where
    you are working to the safety zone
    • quick safe passage from your work site to the
      safety zone
10 standard wildland firefighting orders
• Post lookouts when there is possible danger
  • Tasks:
     •   Weather
     •   Fire behavior
     •   Smoke
     •   Communications
     •   Know crew location and tactics
  • Tools
     •   Belt weather kit
     •   Compass/GPS/Map
     •   Binoculars
     •   Radio and plenty of batteries
     •   Extra foul weather gear (sun or rain)
     •   Comfort
  • Lookouts should be knowledgeable in fire behavior and
    understand the significance of changes and identify
    hazardous situations
10 standard wildland firefighting orders

• Be alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act
  • The key is to understand and avoid what may
    cause you to be less alert, to get overexcited, or
    to become mentally disorganized
     • To counteract this you should:
        •   Maintain self control
        •   Eat and drink correctly
        •   Get adequate rest
        •   Develop contingency plans
        •   Monitor the situation
        •   Take regular breaks
10 standard wildland firefighting orders

• Maintain communications with your forces,
  your supervisor and adjoining forces
  • Ensures you can receive or report changes in
    instructions; warnings of changing conditions;
    changes in status; or progress reports.
    • extra batteries and a back up plan for
10 standard wildland firefighting orders

• Give clear instructions and be sure they are
  • Be concise and clear when providing instructions
  • Ask to have instructions repeated if you do not
    understand them
10 standard wildland firefighting orders

• Maintain control of your forces at all times
  • To help ensure this
     • Ensure your instructions are clear, concise and
     • Maintain communications
     • Know the location of your crew
     • Know the status of the fire
  • The key is to be prepared to react quickly and
    effectively to the unexpected
10 standard wildland firefighting orders

• Fight fire aggressively, having provided for
  safety first
  • If you can not ensure you can fight the fire on
    your terms stop and reevaluate
  • To fight fire aggressively you must:
     • Lookout
     • Communication
     • Escape Route
     • Safety Zone
     • IRPG
Watch out situations

1. Fire not scouted and sized up
2. In country not seen in daylight
3. Safety zones and escape routes not
4. Unfamiliar with weather and local factors
   influencing fire behavior
5. Uninformed on strategy, tactics and hazards
6. Instructions and assignments not clear
7. No communication link with crew members
   or supervisor
Watch out situations

8. Constructing line without a safe anchor
9. Building fireline downhill with fire below
10.Attempting frontal assault on fire
11.Unburned fuel between you and the fire
12.Cannot see the main fire; not in contact
   with someone who can
13.On a hillside where rolling material can
   ignite fuel below
14.Weather becoming hotter and drier
Watch out situations

15.Wind increases and/or changes direction
16.Getting frequent spot fires across the
17.Terrain and fuels make
    escape to safety zones
18.Taking a nap near the
Common denominators in fire fatalities
Denominator                          Why?
Small fires or isolated sectors of   Firefighters underestimated the
larger fires.                        potential of the fire, failure to
                                     recognize subtle changes in
                                     weather conditions or fire behavior
Light fuels                          Firefighters underestimate the
                                     extreme rates of spread and heat
                                     possible in light fuels
Terrain                              Fires and heat moves up steep
                                     slopes and canyons with surprising
Shift in wind direction or speed     Not appreciating a predicted wind
                                     event. An unpredicted event
Suppression tools such as            Can cause flare ups or spotting
helicopters affect wind              across the fire line

•   L – Lookouts
•   C – Communications
•   E – Escape routes
•   S – Safety zones

• A simple way to help remember the key
  elements to survival

• The Lookout has to:
  • Know the location of the escape routes and safety
  • Be experienced enough to properly evaluate the
    present and potential fire behavior
  • Take weather readings
  • Understand the tactics and strategy
  • Always be able to see the fire
  • Handle other fire communication tasks
  • Look at the bigger picture

• Communications
  • See, track, record, interpret, anticipate and
    report. If the report is not made , all the other
    stuff is meaningless!
  • Fireline communication:
     • Incident name and IC
     • Immediate supervisor
     • Days plan
     • Days tactics
     • Safety zone and escape routes
     • Communication plan – channels and repeaters
     • AAR

• Escape Routes
  • One or more ways to exit danger
    • clearly identified
    • be clear of obstacles
    • short in length
    • not go up hill if possible
    • Decision (trigger) points - when you move to safety
    • Timed and practiced
    • Think about alternatives

• Safety Zones
  • A properly designated safety zone should not
    require the deployment of a fire shelter.
    • large enough to protect firefighters under worse
      than predicted fire
    • As work progresses along
      the line new safety zones
      will have to be identified
      along with new escape
Fireline Hazards

•   Smoke and Dust
•   Snags
•   Stump holes
•   Darkness
•   Footing
•   Rocks
•   Branches/overhead hazards
•   Weather
•   Stobs/roots
•   Pumps, tanks, hoses
•   Bucket/retardant drops
Vehicle hazards

• Driving is the most dangerous component of
  fire fighting
  •   Fatigue
  •   Dust
  •   Unfamiliar routes
  •   Darkness
  •   Bridge weight limits
  •   Excessive traffic
  •   Parking
  •   Vehicle maintenance
  •   Emergency response speed i.e. the speed limit
  •   Local traffic laws
  •   Horse play
  •   Loose equipment on vehicle
Aircraft Hazards

• At the air field
  • Enter and exit
  • Follow instructions
• Fireline
  •   Bucket/retardant drops
  •   Sling loads
  •   General recon
  •   Rotor wash
  •   Radio communications
  •   Ground contacts
Other hazards

•   Ticks, snakes, and poison oak and ivy
•   Power lines
•   Hazmat
•   People
•   Animals
•   Propane and Utilities
•   Septic
Wildland urban interface hazards

• Hazardous materials – dangerous gases from
  burning material
• Propane tanks – can act as bombs
• Traffic – can be a major issue so drive
• Panicked public –
  help public move
  form harms way
Human Hazards

•   Attitude
•   Physical conditioning
•   Training levels
•   Experience
•   Fatigue
•   Local knowledge
•   Crew dynamics
•   Chain of command
•   Span of control
•   Effective communications
Human Factors

• Common barriers to good listening:
  •   Perceived opinions
  •   Distractions
  •   Filtering information
  •   Not listening
  •   Having an attitude

      Every firefighter is responsible for open, effective
Five basic communication responsibilities

• Briefings
  • The passing of general information
• Debriefing
  • After an incident or event you ask questions of
    those involved to learn what happened
• Warnings
  • Information about hazards is passed on
• Acknowledge messages
  • You say you understand the information or orders
• Questions
  • You ask for clarification
After you receive an order

• You should be able to answer the following:
  •   What task am I to perform?
  •   What are the known hazards?
  •   Where do I go to be safe?
  •   How do I get to this place?
Situational awareness

• Situational awareness is the gathering of
  information by observation or through
     • This means constantly reassessing the situation as
       things change
  • Factors that hinder your situational awareness
     • Inexperience
     • Stress
     • Fatigue
     • Attitude
Final thoughts

• Remember:
  • It is YOUR responsibility to be safe on the fireline
  • There are no stupid questions, if you don’t know

• Work on your situational experience by
  reflecting back on the good, the bad the
• Why is physical fitness important
• List the main personal equipment items you
  need to be a safe firefighter
• What are the categories of the 10 standard fire
  orders? What is the most important one?
• What is the purpose of the 18 watchout
  situations and what should you do if you are
  breaking some?
• What does a lookout do?
• What is makes communication successful?
• List several fireline, vehicle, aircraft, and human
• Situational awareness
REM 244

    The Incident Command System

           Heather Heward
ICS - Definition

• Organizational management system based
  • Successful business practices
  • Decades of lessons learned
• Developed in the 1970’s after a series of
  catastrophic wildfire in California.
  •   Unclear chain of command
  •   Poor communication between agencies
  •   Failure to outline clear objectives and action plans
  •   Lack of designated facilities
  •   Inability to expand and contract to fit situation
ICS – Basic Features
1. Clear text and common terminology
2. Modular organization
3. Management objectives
4. Reliance on an Incident Action Plan (IAP)
5. Manageable span of control
6. Designated locations and facilities
7. Resources management
8. Integrated communications
9. Chain of command and utility of command
10.Unified command
11.Transfer of command
14.Information and intelligence management
Incident Commander and Staff

• Manage entire incident
  • Ensure incident safety
  • Provide information to stakeholders
  • Establish and maintain contact with other
    participating agencies
• Support staff
  • Public information officer
  • Safety officer
  • Liaison officer
General staff
General Staff – Operation section

• Major functions
  • Implement tactics to achieve objectives
  • Assign resources and monitor progress
  • Report back
• Organization positions
  •   Staging area manager
  •   Operations branch director
  •   Division/Group supervisor
  •   Task Force/Strike team leader
  •   Single resources
General Staff – Planning Section

• Major functions
  • Gathering, analyzing, and distributing intelligence
    and information
  • IAP
  • Long-range and contingency planning
  • Maintaining documentation
  • Check in, tracking, and demob
• Units
  •   Resources
  •   Situation
  •   Documentation
  •   Demobilization
General Staff – Logistics Section
• Major Functions
  • Ordering, obtaining, maintaining, and accounting for
    essential personnel, equipment, and supplies
  • Communication planning and equipment
  • Food services
  • Incident facilities
  • Support transportation
  • Medical services
• Services branch
  • Communications
  • Medical
  • Food
• Support Branch
  • Supply
  • Facilities
  • Ground support
General Staff – Finance section

• Major functions
  •   Negotiating and monitoring contracts
  •   Timekeeping
  •   Analyzing costs
  •   Injury and property damage compensation
• Units
  •   Time
  •   Procurement
  •   Compensation/claims
  •   Cost
Common Responsibilities

• Resource Order
  •   Incident name
  •   Location
  •   Assignment
  •   Base phone number
  •   Reporting date, time, location
  •   Communication (frequencies)
  •   Special support requirements
  •   Travel authorization
Common Responsibilities

• Check in
  • Keep track of resources
  • Prepare for future paperwork
• Initial incident briefing
  •   Current situation
  •   Job responsibilities
  •   Location of work area
  •   Communication
  •   Coworkers
  •   Eating and sleeping arrangements
  •   Procedure for resupply
Common Responsibilities

• Common duties during operational period
  • Acquire needed materials
  • Organize and brief subordinates
  • Debrief
• Demobilization
  •   Brief replacement resources
  •   Performance evaluations
  •   Check-out
  •   Return equipment
  •   Post-incident reports
  •   Payment paperwork
Discussion Questions

• What is the purpose of the Incident
  Command System?
• When and where was it developed?
• What are the support staff groups for the IC?
• What are some major roles of each of the
  general staff of the Incident Command
• What should be included in the initial briefing
  on arrival at an incident?