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Are You Ready? Safety Week Begins Sunday

Are You Ready? Safety Week Begins Sunday

Friday, 17 June 2011

Surviving the Fire Ground: Fire Fighter, Fire Officer & Command Preparedness

June 19-25 is Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week. This year's theme concentrates on fire ground survival by providing fire chiefs and firefighters the required skills to survive or ensure the survival of our own people.

The fire ground is one of the most dangerous areas a firefighter can operate in. Granted, working a motor-vehicle accident on an interstate or responding to a scene of a gunshot puts firefighters at risk, but no other situation places them in such an unsafe environment as a working fire. Conditions can change so quickly that many seasoned officers or firefighters may not recognize it until it's too late.

This is why it's so important for us to train and encourage good situational awareness and crew-resource management in our people at every scene. True team work should be built into the entire organization to ensure everyone remains safe at every incident.

Safety Week this year will focus on delivering the online Fire Ground Survival awareness training course to all fire departments.

The IAFF Fire Ground Survival (FGS) program is the most comprehensive survival skills and mayday prevention program currently available, and it's open to all members of the fire service. Incorporating federal regulations, proven incident-management best practices and survival techniques from leaders in the field, and real case studies from experienced firefighters, the FGS program aims to educate all firefighters to be prepared if the unfortunate happens.

The IAFF Fire Ground Survival Program will provide participating fire departments with the skills they need to improve situational awareness and prevent a mayday. Topics covered include:

  • Preventing the Mayday - situational awareness, planning, size up, air management, fitness for survival, defensive operations.
  • Being Ready for the Mayday - personal safety equipment, communications, accountability systems.
  • Self-Survival Procedures - avoiding panic, mnemonic learning aid "GRAB LIVES" -actions a firefighter must take to improve survivability, emergency breathing.
  • Self-Survival Skills - SCBA familiarization, emergency procedures, disentanglement, upper-floor escape techniques.
  • Fire Fighter Expectations of Command - command-level mayday training, pre-mayday, mayday and rescue, post-rescue, expanding the incident command system, communications.


Find tools for your Safety Week events on the Planning and Fire Fighter Survival Resources webpages. In addition, the National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System has again created a supplemental program to correspond with the fire components of the FGS program. Download PowerPoint presentations and grouped near-miss reports from the Near-Miss Resources webpage to help with training during the week.

This year, we have an excellent opportunity to provide our departments with a great program to assist them in their quest for fire ground safety. Please take time during the week of June 19-25 to train and be safe!

Courtesy of the International Association of Fire Chiefs