Safety officers are a vital role in the fire service. This can be one designated individual per department, but is better suited through a NIMS system to select a qualified individual at the fire scene. Often it appears a lot of volunteer departments select an "old timer" who isnt certified to go inside with a SCBA. This is great because your utilizing manpower which may be strained. My major concern with having this happen is the role should be designated for someone who can walk around the scene. The job is to ensure scene safety completely around the scene, not stand around the command post and make comments to the IC who is up to their neck in other more important things. Again the downside of having a department safety officer (who misses the big call) is members have an issue with taking criticism from a person who wasn't on the scene. Whats your take? How does your department handle the Safety Officer Position?
One of five local volunteer departments used to have a Safety Officer, However, the position was not recognized by the local Chiefs commitee, and the individual was not deemed as an officer by the other four departments. Rather then continueing to work for change, the department this year ceased to appoint a safety officer. ruth roh. I see this as absolutely no good for the department, either indivudually or as a whole for the municipality.
Not only do the departments not recognize the SO position, to my knowledge there is no commitee, either of the combined departments or within a specific department, that evaluates firefighter incidents, injuries, or vehicle accidents. If we do not attempt to learn from what happened, how will we ever prevent recurrence?
I have started a discussion within the Safety Officers group to post matters relating to safety. If one knows of a more visible area for those discussions, without starting a new discussion on every safety related incident, please let me know.
I'm bumping this thread for a couple of reasons. It has been a while since a safety officer has been talked about is the first reason. The second reason is this past week at a fire we had a fully involved single family home with multiple exposures to out buildings. (the vinyl was melted off and the sub decking was charred) At this fire, the power line had burnt off the house and landed on the owners truck (causing more extension) When the wire hit the truck the majority of the wire was arcing like mad, and the base of the wire was directly in the home on fire. To make a long story short, the wire was now on the front lawn. After about 1 minute (while waiting for someone who had an order to find some marking lights) 2 firefighters who were advised of the wire crossed the wire. One stepped on the wire causing it to arc like crazy at the end. Thankfully this firefighter wasn't electrocuted, simply given a reason to be thankful and more observant.
We all need to remember the important building blocks to scene management. Water is good, but without a good corps of safely operating firefighters to shuttle/move/direct the water what good is it? Assign a safety officer at every call. (even the "dumb" ones) Limit your chances of issues
have just passed the officer course, this is a new position for me .
in the fire service for about 5yrs, chief felt that i would fit the positon.
all that is needed is the respect from the youngers member in the department
that do not believe in rehab
We utilize a past Chief and/or a Senior Firefighter....Some have actually attebded and completed the NFPA recognized course for Safety Officer through the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control......I took it....it can really open your eyes...But the one thing stressed is that EVERYONE has the responsibility to watch out for safety issues and to point them out when observed....Paul