If you were to set up what a chief vehicle should have for basic and extra needs what items would be required equipment. Depending on a car, SUV or pickup truck.

Basis items would turnout gear, SCBA and on site command equipment.

Maybe fire extinguishers, EMS equipment, traffic and crowd control items.

I have heard of some chiefs carrying extra gloves and hoods for their crews if they need them during cold weather.

Any other thoughts of what should be required?

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IMO, there is a difference in required and nice to have. For a command vehicle, really the only thing which should be "required" would be PPE and command equipment, everything else is a nice to have. Now I like the idea of extra stuff if it fits, but the biggest factor would be to not deter from the primary role of the vehicle itself. Extra gloves and hoods is a nice touch, but it depends on dept. For us, most folks have secondary sets of such equipment they take with them on the rig in a small bag, not a bad idea though. Fire extinguishers and EMS supply may not be bad to have if the command vehicle is first in, close by, or comes across an accident, small fire etc. However, the concern would be to not forget the role of the rig/person.....if committing to task level assignments, then who is taking command? Not too sold on traffic/crowd control items. I can understand if that is the staging place for tape, vests, lights, etc, but again not something a command vehicle personnel should be doing on a scene.


Now I understand depts are different and things may work better for them one way or another depending upon their operations. When I interned, it wasn't uncommon for an intern or volunteer to drive the command vehicle for errands, etc and not be in a command role. In such a case having stuff to be able to render care or mitigate is quite useful. It can also make sense for a command rig to have equipment that would get utilized by others like crowd/traffic control etc, especially if there is a variety of rigs and responses of multiple equipment, it makes sense to have a vehicle that routinely responds to all such emergencies carry such stuff.


In most career depts, things can vary because the person in the vehicle is going to be taking a command role for the most part and should not get caught up in task level duties. I don't really agree with a command vehicle having an SCBA, essentially just because of the space issues, usually there can be another rig where an SCBA can be obtained if necessary for a command role. Again, depends upon dept.


As for other things to carry, I can say our dept is looking to have the battalion chief vehicles carry hydrogen cyanide monitors, since there will be a command vehicle at all fires, such equipment would be there. Another idea that may occur is having the command vehicle carry Hydrgen Cyanide antidote kits, so they can respond to a hospital or meet up for MABAS use.

How about a competent incident commander?


Our chief carries the items you mentioned in your post plus extra radios and minimal rehab supplies. He drives a pickup with camper shell and a large bed-mounted slide-out rack.

Our chief drives an older model Crown Victoria (not sure of the exact model year) that is a department vehicle,  and he carries his bunker gear,  an SCBA, fire extinguisher,  and a medical bag. The SCBA and the medical bag are more for our use than his if we need more than what is on the engine. 

Another piece of equipment that would be nice is a laptop computer with a wifi Hot Spot. That way you have access to a weath of info on Haz mat materials and other things plus have the ability to get an aerial view of a scene using google earth or some other type of mapping website.

Some of the equipment we carry in our Command Car:

 command board

 accountability board

 Traffic vests

 Command vests for large scale incidents

 Bottled water

 Extra portable radios

 traffic cones x5

 RIT pack and equipment

 Thermal Imaging camera and extra battery



 Jeff, I understand that in a small dept. your chief may not carry certain items. However what you must keep in mind is that not all dept. are the same size,etc.  

  Take my dept. for example. Indianapolis has 48+ stations, 7 Battalions. 1200+ firemen, We run on average 200,000 runs per year.  

 We have 3 shifts. A,B & C. We work 24 hours on with 48 hours off. 

 We have the Chief of the dept. He doesn't come to a seen unless half the city just exploded then he might. His job is more political, he deals with the Mayor,other departments, Union issues, etc.

  Each shift has a Shift Commander who runs the operations for that shift. The Shift Commander holds the rank of Chief. He has a SUV with his PPE, to include SCBA. Each Battalion has a Battalion chief one per shift. The Battalions have a Lt. who is there aid/driver. The Battalion aid has 10+ yrs has a firefighter and is picked by the Battalion. The Battalion aid becomes the eyes and ears of the Battalion in the fire. He gets to go from crew to crew. 

  The Battalion carries. 2 sets PPE, 2 SCBAs, A Pack Tracker, TIC, RIT bag, Incident board,etc.

  On a large fire the Battalion along with his aid will go in to monitor the situation and report to the Incident commander who is the Shift commander. On a large fire you will have a chief in charge of  engine co. operations , another Chief in charge of Truck Co. opperstions, etc. 

  Just food for thought.

Wow!  I apologize for my attempt at humor.

The chief's car for my career FD carried:

1)  Duty chief's PPE

2)  1 SCBA

3)  6 spare SCBA bottles

4)  6 Spare O2 bottles

5)  ALS jump kit

6)  Elevator keys

7)  Fire extinguishers

8)  Lap top computer

9)  Spare radio batteries

10)  Haz-mat and other reference material

11)  Safety vest

12)  Light Box flashlight

13)  Digital camera

I thought it was a great line!

 Jeff, a Happy New year to you as well. 

  I should of put more detail in my response. The RIT bag is not used by the Battalion chief.  The RIT is carried for the RIT team. On a incident the 5th arriving engine or the 3rd arriving Truck is dedicated as RIT. Truck companies carry RIT bags. Engine companies do not. When a  Engine companie is RIT they get the RIT bag out of the Battalion Chiefs buggy or from a Truck Co. The compartment that containes the RIT bag is clearly marked. The RIT team also takes the Pack Tracker. If it is a Engine co. then they will grab the TIC. Our Engine companies do not carry TICs. Only Truck,squads and Battalions carry TICs. 

   The Shift commander doesn't carry much extra stuff. On a High rise or a large incident. The Shift Commander becomes the IC and the Battalion becomes operations. On a High rise the Operations command post is set up on the Floor below the fire. If a 2nd Battalion Chief arrives befor the shift commnader then that Battalion becomes IC.

  I will try to send you or SOPs. 

Me too!  Thanks for appreciating it.

I try to keep many items in my truck.But I still miss a lot of items I need.

Hey all

Our "chief vehicle" (i think we in Danmark call it incident commander = indsatsleder) contains:


- 2 radio - 1 on fire and rescue channel (teamleader) & 1 on coordination channel (police and doctor)

- Key box 

- 6 kg ABC powder extinguisher

- 9 liter water extinguisher 

- SCBA (300 bar)

- AED + first aid kit

- Termokamara

- 2 x Odinary blankets

- 4 Gas detector & manuel gasdetctor using tube (simultantest)

- Books regarding - handling of CBRN accidents (PPE, Safety, ect.)


So it is not far from whatyou use in the United States.


Jesper Rossen




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