Accountability is very important on the fire ground and is something which should be done at regular intervals. Time checks from disptach can help to prompt the IC to make such a request for PAR, but same goes with changing tactics, major event, etc.

 

So my inquiry is to how a PAR is conducted. Should every PAR be announced on the radio, or is it acceptable to conduct a PAR between divisions, etc without annoucing to all crews?

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Interesting, accountability is everything. It's not a bad idea to conduct PAR between divisions or groups however sooner or later IC will call for it and needs to be done on the radio, that way the time unit leader can attach a time and record it.
What is a time unit leader?
55 truck I'm thinking that a time unit leader would be similar to a dept. person assigned to keep track of events and documentation on a fire scene and record what happens when. I imagine that when PAR would be conducted and by whom would depend on the size of the scene and the size of the response. IC doing it once or twice would be acceptable for a trailer fire with 2 engine compaines while a high rise would be done many times by captains and reporting over the radio to IC the results. Again I'm only guessing our dept. is rural and small and the IC will typically do PAR after interior ops is over or extuighment is over and we go into salvage/overhaul ops. The person typically in charge of documantation on scene is also the scene safety officer.
I agree with a conducting a PAR throughout the incident but I do not necessarily believe that it always needs to be conducted over the radio. Each Co Officer can conduct a PAR with his/her own members and unless a PAR is requested by the Incident Commander, I see no need to transmit this info over the radio.
As far as a Time Unit Leader, this is ideal if you have the manpower. Unfortunately, we do not have the manpower for this position.
A good Company Officer knows where his pople are, what there individual job is, and has a rough estimate of their air supply. So he/she is conducting a PAR continuously.
We do not call PAR each officer checks there crew & crews check each other. If
someone is missing then a mayday is called.
As for bench marks all working fires & tac runs are assigned a tac ch. That incident &tc ch.
get a controller/ dispatcher. That controller monitres that incident. They then time stamp
all bench marks and alerts. Once incident is over the Ic will release the channel. & controller.
If there is a pre-determined group such as an engine or ladder company the group leader can just reply par. If the group is thrown together like us, I think the group leader should reply with a number.
While I can understand some sentiment here about companies watching over their own and do concur, it is also beneficial for the IC to ensure that all companies on the fireground do have a par.

It is possible for companies to split on a scene and it is possible for one to believe they have par when they don't. Hey face it when geared up many folks look the same. Another consideration is the driver/operator, if they are at the pump panel and the rest of the company operating interior, does the company officer really have a par? If that operator is out of the view of the IC, then how can the company officer really ensure the crew is par?

Now, I understand each and all have their own way of fireground accountability and their own terminolgy for folks operating etc. For us, a par check is a routine operation that does happen to go over the radio. A par is called at certain time checks if the fire is still burning, when tactics change like from offensive to defensive, or after a significant event, collapse, MAYDAY, etc.

A typical par check would be "E-5 has par of 3, second floor, one at the pump" the IC knows where the crew is and they have personnel. This also gives companies on scene an idea where other crews are at as well.

Now the reasoning for this thread is there was an incident where there were no par checks done over the radio despite tactic changes and time checks, so it piqued my curiosity.
I hate to say this, and Im embarassed too really, but the dept I work for (13yrs this year) by far from the first fire I was ever on, our accountability is absolutely horrible. Its pretty much nonexistant. We have 18 guys working per day, if there is a working fire there pretty much is no accountability system set up. With little man power and I say little (we run two two man engine companies and 1 two man ladder company, from there we have 2 3 man pumper trucks and three 2 man rescues which are heavy duty ambulances) because thats what it is. I would love to see our system alittle bit better, pretty much its all in the Asst Chiefs head, whos attacking, searching, overhauling. Over the past year we have been better about our rit team, but even then it only gets announced on the radio who the rit is about 1 out of every 4 working fires we have. Like I said Im not proud of my departments accountability, but I will say the fires get put out and everyone goes home, but I do worry someday its going to bite us in the ass.
Our IC calls PAR every 15 minutes and announces it on the repeated channel so the dispatcher can record it in his or her log.
How do you get any work done,with your IC calling for par every 15 or 20min?
Calling par is not time consuming where work has to stop.
Ours does the same thing.

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