This week we will look at Lack of use or failure of accountability.
For review I have listed the five common factors in LODD factors below:
Five major common factors among line of duty deaths are:
Lack of use or participation in Incident Command
Lack of proper risk assessment.
Lack or failure of SOPS
Lack of accountability.
Firefighters must stay within Voice, Visual, or Touch Contact.
This week I was told that radio counts as voice contact. I am a ham radio operator. Last week my “partner” was in Lithuania. I was in voice contact with him. I am not sure I could have helped rescue him, and I am not sure of exactly where he was if I had to rescue him, but I guess we were in voice contact, so I must have met the standard.
I show this absurdity because the actual intent is to maintain crew integrity and be able to help if someone is in trouble. Does radio count….sure it does if you are able to immediately come to the aid of someone in trouble. If you will immediately react when they don’t answer. If you are in a position to help.
If we are in a medium to large sized room and in actual voice contact, and you yell hey Pete are you OK through your SCBA facepiece and I do not respond within one or two calls you are going to react. If I am on the C side of a building and you call me on the radio and I don’t answer, you will try a couple times, curse your radio, check with fire alarm or command, and then maybe walk around the back. I submit it is a little too late.
On a ranch house, this might be fine. A supermarket or warehouse? I think not.
The conditions of voice visual or touch should become more enforced as conditions that you are operating in change.
Alarm investigation, little or no smoke or food on the stove, = voice or visual contact.
Moderate smoke condition, no heat = voice contact visual not available. Not by radio!
Heavy smoke, high heat = Touch contact or able to reach to solve an emergency.
Firefighters must use the system in place in their department.
Officers must enforce and require discipline and mandate participation.
Chiefs must research and provide an adequate system.
On scene duties:
Firefighters must stay as a crew and know where your partners are at all times. You must be in a position that allows to you to immediately assist your partner and correct any life saving issue. Know who you are reporting to.
Officers must know where their crews are operating, that they are in fact intact. Officers must check crew integrity every 15 minutes by some mechanism. Officers should know who they are accountable for and to.