#1 FALLING APART
When everyting is falling apart, it is my job to remain calm and find a solution.
My personal protective equipment is my life. I will wash it and clean it, as I should, because it will save my life in my time of need if I care for it.
I will train like my life depends on it, because it does, and so does my crew.
I will not freelance; I am a member of a team. I will stay with my team because my team is counting on me.
I will drive responsibly to the station and to the scene. If I do not arrive safely, I cannot help anyone.
I will consider safety in everything I do. If I die I cannot help the person(s) in need.
I understand the chain of command and will respect it. I will follow my incident commanders' orders and inform him/her of the outcome.
I will NOT leave my partner in a fire building unless it is to go get help. I understand his/her life is in my hands and I will not let him down.
I will continually educate myself about my job. I understand things change and I must learn new ways of dealing with them.
I will keep myself healthy and understand my physical and mental limits.
A friend of mine, Cary Lassiter, teaches Firefighter 1 to Volunteers at the Elmore County Firefighter Training Facility in Wetumpka, Alabama. He gives this lsit to his class when they start the course. I do not know where he got it, but I like it and find it very useful, especially for new Firefighters.
1 Always stay in contact or tell someone where you are going
2 Know where the fire is and its direction
3 Know the country or have someone with you who does
4 Plan an escape route
5 Park your vehicle in a safe spot
6 Ensure that your instructions are clear
7 Build a fireline from a safe anchor point
8 A full set of safety gear is compulsory
9 Don't panic - keep calm and make logical decisions
10 Accidents and ill-health can endanger all the crew
W eather ... dominates fire behaviour, so keep informed
A ctions ... must be based on current and expected fire behaviour
T ry out ... at least two safe escape routes
C ommunicate ... with your supervisor, your crew and adjoining crews
H azards ... beware of variations in fuels and steep slopes
O bserve ... changes in wind speed or direction, temperature, humidity and cloud
U nderstand ... your instructions, make sure that you are understood
T hink ... clearly, be alert and act decisively before your situation becomes critical
Firefighters 'Watchout' when...
1 Building a control line downhill towards a fire
2 On a slope - rolling material can ignite fuel below you
3 The wind changes speed or direction
4 The weather gets hotter or drier
5 There are unburnt fuels between you and the fire
6 Terrain or vegetation impedes travel or visibility
7 In country you have not seen in daylight
8 Unfamiliar with weather and local fire behaviour
9 Frequent spot fires occur over your control line
10 You cannot see the main fire or communicate with anyone who can
11 Unclear instructions or tasks are given
12 You feel exhausted or want to take a nap near the fire
13 Attacking a fire or constructing a fire-control line without a safe anchor point
14 Working alone with no communications link to crew members or supervisor
15 You are not fully informed about strategy, tactics and hazards
16 Safety zones and escape routes have not been identified
17 The potential of the fire has not been assessed
18 Water levels are getting low
I love these things Wildfire, I have to teach them to recruits. Every one of the points in the 10 Orders, the Watchouts and the Watchout When's is valid. They are all important. But for the Authority to try and say we should 'know' them all? My mind doesn't work that way any more - I couldn't recite them if my life depended on it! Maybe that's why we're instructed to carry the card they're printed on in our wildfire gear?
The 'ten comandments' fit in well with our lists (which I think exist in similar format in the US wildfire services), they are good points. I'll have to try to include them without using them as a 'list' though - too many lists already!