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SFT: The Coordinated Fire Attack

All deliveries leverage the same concepts as the book, but are tailored in length and specifically for audience needs. These can also be tailored to fit rural/small town or blended response area discussions.

Course Abstract

This presentation is designed to demonstrate the critical importance of a coordinated fire attack, the functions which are required to deliver this action, and how each individual agency is capable of this delivery. Non-urban based fire operations and capabilities are much different than those of our urban counterpart and our tactics must reflect these differences. During this presentation, the participants will be challenged to customize or re-evaluate tactics/strategies to meet their departments handicaps of understaffing, lack of dedicated truck companies and response area characteristics/challenges. Once the participant understands the in depth needs of each essential fire ground function and compares it to his/her agency’s capabilities, they will be tasked with creating a game plan for consistent operating methods with scenarios to test implementation.

The majority of Midwest fire departments/districts, along with many other regions within suburban America, operate with limited staffing (three or less firefighters) and without a dedicated truck company. Those that do have truck companies operate on a limited availability or a limited response function basis. It is no secret that a firefighting apparatus with a booster tank and pump is more budget friendly and justifiable than a piece of equipment that does not have the capabilities to directly extinguish a fire. In today’s tight economy and budget cuts, this is especially true. However, with new building construction features and added demands of fire suppression, it is imperative as ever to fully satisfy all the fire ground functions necessary to ensure an optimal coordinated fire attack. It is extremely challenging as a decision maker/company officer in this situation to meet these demands. However, even with these disadvantages of sub-standard staffing and no dedicated truck companies, this objective can be achieved. The answer is customizing and implementing preferred operating methods which will serve as a fire ground playbook, tailored toward each organization’s specific capabilities. These entities all share the same common dilemma, “too many functions and too little manpower per apparatus.” This workshop will address, “what the rest of the country is doing” and propose solutions which target this large audience.

This PowerPoint based course is designed to stimulate and lead discussions toward finding solutions toward finding solutions to Preferred Operating Method development and implementation. The lecture will begin by defining the optimal “coordinated” fire attack and identifying the functions/activities which will be necessary to achieve this goal. It will also support the main argument of safety by providing statistical and empirical data from both NFPA and NIOSH in relation to firefighter fatalities. The program will then detail how response areas, manpower, apparatus, and resources affect the development of each P.O.M. Considerations will be made for NFPA and NIMS compliance. Once development has been accomplished, the implementation phase will consist of training, culture changes, task and tool assignment, and command coordination. The lecture will conclude with discussions on methods for determining effectiveness and on-going operational assessment. Each participant will then be given exercises to assess their formulated operating methods and their implementation for operational success.

It should be noted that this class is tailored toward suburban/urban settings; however is not exclusionary toward rural fire departments.

Request an offering of Suburban Fire Tactics: The Coordinated Fire Attack for a conference or department near you.


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