Communications on the Fireground


Teamwork in forcing a Outward swinging Metal Door

Whether we are talking about the view from the frontseat or the backseat, a good size-up is an important role on anyone’s fire scene. A thorough size-up begins when the alarm sounds until you back your rig into the station after the emergency.

Fire scenes are dynamic in nature and must be continually monitored or sized up. The failure to complete this can lead to tragedy. No matter where you are riding on the rig, approaching an emergency with a team attitude is the best way to avoid this common mistake.

Teamwork in forcing a Outward swinging Metal DoorUsing all members’ eyes will give the commander a better awareness of the surroundings on the scene. Calling out hazards is a practice used by many firefighters to make everyone on the company aware of a danger; “Folks we have power lines on side A-B” or “Ladder is placed on the C-D corner for crews on the second floor.”

A team approach to size-up needs to be organized and structured. We use a command procedure for a reason – the officer is in charge! With this being said, any good commander on the fire scene will use their people to keep an overall view of the scene. “Interior crew to command, we are experiencing high heat and zero visibility,” can be one report. This is great communication and one must never assume that someone on the exterior sees the same interior conditions, because they may not.

The same goes for the outside officer relaying information back the interior crews. “Command to interior, conditions seem to be getting worse from the outside, have you found the seat of the fire?” These things are made possible with good communications between crew members and over the radio to command.