You could see the glow blocks away, but you waited until you arrived on scene and transmitted a working fire. Actually, you’re words were something to the effect of……

Well anyways, you’ve arrived and you have Heavy Fire evident on numerous floors and extending. You have escalating exposure issues, a rapidly expanding and developing fire with what appears to be lots of fire load in a very old building. If that wasn’t enough, you’ve got the balance of the responding alarm assignment heading your way and fast. You are either the first-due engine company officer or the first-due command officer. (You pick)

In either case, You are the incident commander.
• The building is and L-Shaped structure, circa 1925, with a brick construction.
• You determine construction type
• It’s sized about 80 ft x 120 feet (excluding the L-extension).
• The building is four stories in height.
• It has been vacant for an extended period of time
• It was scheduled to undergo renovation into condominiums.

We’re going to focus our time in the street onto the areas of incident command, preparing for extended operations and developing an incident action plan (IAP).

Here are the simple things to start your tactical gears grinding;
• What is the main goal of your initial IAP?
• What needs to be determined First?
• What are the first series of Strategic Objectives and Assignments?
• What would be the first series of Tactical Level Assignments be?
• What are the realistic resource needs required for this incident?
• What’s your incident management organizational structure going to look like?
• Assuming the degree of fire present now upon your arrival, what do you expect the required fire flow to be sixty minutes from now?
• What are the safety issues that you’re planning for?
• What are you going to do about the exposures?
• When confronted with a fire of this magnitude, what do you think are some of the major considerations that a large scale fire might involve?

Ok, this may be a “typical” fire to you, or it might be one of those career incidents that only come once in a great while. In any event, you’re in the street, you are in charge and there are companies calling you requesting assignments. Oh, by the way, the neighbors are beginning to be drawn to your vehicle, all looking for an immediate answer and resources to keep their homes (exposures) from being part of this “Really Big Fire”. Hey, did you remember to put more ICS forms in the book before you left quarters?

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Not to make this a four page response:

Initial arrival - knowing your district and a good 360 - Assurance of no squatters
Strike the box for additional alarm, emphasis on extra aerial ladders for master streams
Water supply -Big GPM, do we have enough water and pumpers for the 4 or 5 aerials
Resource allocation depends on your local resources
ICS: Incident Command, Aide, Accountability, At least 2 Safety Officers, Operations, Four Exterior Division officers, Level II Staging Officer, 2 RIT Teams due to the size of the building, Rehab, EMS - Unified Command with PD Rep, special request Water Works Representative to Command Post.
60 minute required GPM's - Unobtainable - With 3 side exposure included in formula is around 15,000 GPM
Safety Issues - 360 - Collapse Zone, Bravo / Charlie Immediate Evacuations on arrival, Potential for full block evacs later with PD assistance.
Concerned for station coverage as this is a two dinger - (possibly seeing the sun and moon) Rehab, Food, Rotating shifts in/out, heavy equipment for overhaul, and personnel debriefing.

Oh yea, contact my boss (the city manager) as we have the potential for a conflagration here.
Thanks Chief, short, direct and to the point is always good....
What is the main goal of your initial IAP? Hold the fire to the building of origin.
Fire on multiple floors and rapidly extending on arrival pretty much rules out going in and doing much of anything. A quick check into the exits for squatters would be in order. I'd want to start thinking about protecting the Bravo exposure pretty quickly and then we need to think big and plan for a much larger incident

• What needs to be determined First?
Status of the building, potential for occupants, collapse potential / building condition.

• What are the first series of Strategic Objectives and Assignments? Position apparatus for the long haul and plan on more room being required for additional tower ladders.

• What would be the first series of Tactical Level Assignments be? Limited check into exits and common areas on lower floors for squatters. No interior attack. Protect exposures. Provide water supply for first tower ladder on Side Alpha.

• What are the realistic resource needs required for this incident? I'd probably use to 3 - 4 tower ladders and consider somewhere around 6-9 engines to get all of them a water supply. Most likely 3 alarms with a special call or task force assignment.

• What’s your incident management organizational structure going to look like? I would get an Ops Chief designated very early in the incident. Initial assignment of Divisions to surround the structure, Water supply officer would be seperately designated as well as a Safety Chief with several assistants.

• Assuming the degree of fire present now upon your arrival, what do you expect the required fire flow to be sixty minutes from now? I'd HOPE the first tower ladder knocked the snot out of it. I'd PLAN on the 3rd Tower Ladder catching it and stopping it.

• What are the safety issues that you’re planning for? Tower ladder streams are powerful and can throw debris and building components quite a distance, firefighters working outside for extended periods of time have a tendency to get bored and want to "do" something. Adequate safety zones are essential.

• What are you going to do about the exposures? The Bravo exposure is my main concern. Based on fire conditions I would put lines in place early. Bravo and maybe Charlie could be affected by a collapse.

• When confronted with a fire of this magnitude, what do you think are some of the major considerations that a large scale fire might involve? Use of an incident management team is a big help to get you thinking large scale. Evacuations are probable, need to coordinate with OEM, you may disrupt transit routes or major commuter routes and will need to work with a number of agencies, the Ops Chief will be essential as will a Liaison. Fire coordinators can move apparatus to refill areas stripped of coverage, additional chiefs can look at issues you may not have. Order food and rehab early, start thinking about refueling rigs early, think about how this might affect your town water supply, consider options such as drafting, longer lays to bigger mains or other systems.

Mine would be OH )&^(**&^$*&)&% Being from a small town fire dept don't remember anything of this magnitude.
Good points, everyone.

The immediate concerns are life safety, exposures, water supply and manpower.
This is a third alarm on arrival with probable escalation to at least a fourth.

The major concern I have is that the interior floors in the fire area appear to already be collapsing. If that is the case, a localized collapse can bring down a lot of the rest of the building with it. A better look might reveal floors that are intact, but a lot of the structural mass may have been removed during the reconstruction.

We need three engines just for exposure protection - the two structures on the B side and the one across the narrow alley on Side C.

If we're going to search the uninvolved rear of the building, we're going to need at least 4 companies - preferrably truck and/or rescue companies with search ropes, tools, water cans, and TICs. That's one for Divisions 1, 2, 3 and the basement.

Water supply - the water utility will need to boost pressure.

Command - we'll need at least 7 chiefs...Command, Safety, Divisions B, C, D, Water Supply, and Accountability.

Medical - start with three ALS ambulances...two for rehab and one ready for transport of victims or firefighters.

Additional support - A Rehab unit if we have one, a Cascade unit, and the hazmat team for the likely hazmat problems we'll have..unless we just let the building burn, which is a possibility.

When we go defensive, we'll need at least 4 ladder pipe - one at each corner.
We'll also need portable monitors for fire attack and hand lines for exposure protection.

At this point, the 4 alarm for brand patrol will probably be needed.
I'm with Nat on this one Chris, well the oh-sheet and small town stuff but....we had 2 last year in the downtown, 2 story shared brick walls, a lifetime fire in a small town, and we had 2. Man that bravo side??? OK aerials are the key, be nice if the water supply can handle 4, BIG water, we had to supply one with a 5in and a tanker shuttle, bet some of you never seen that. First due is going to shoot threw the window, nothing less than 2 ½ and deck guns if you got them. When this comes threw the roof, let the big boys rain, give the bravo side a shot every once in a while, might get lucky and push it in. Get the coffee on, were going to be here a while,...Chis sorry about the short lighthearted response, don't feel like writing a book this morning.

Rapid fire growth and compromising wall enclosure (partical collapse) has caused the fire to extend to Bravo side Residential occupancy as you're setting up your divisions and Operations becomes, functional. Observe the diectional flow of the flame column, its listing towards the Bravo side.....
Look at the L-Shaped wing, see anything at this point. You're at the 10 minute mark...what's your plan looking like, any companies operational with water flowing?
"Command, be advised the water dept is working to beef up the main pressure in your grid, forthcoming in about 15 minutes....any additonal progress reports, K?"
If this is a building along your Main Street in your small town, what would the issue be that the FD could address at their level of capabilities? How do you address the ICM and IAP based upon your agency's limitations? ( Of which most FD's have similar challenges before them in similar town settings?)
Chris, my niece is getting married today, present thingie tomorrow, so I'll get back to this but let me say after our first is when we started to implement the whole IC thing. I mean we have always had it but going beyond the norm, opps, staging, rehab, communications plan, IAP, this is a big step for a dept serving a town of 900, maybe tomorrow morning I'll get time.
At this point, you're going to hear "Abandon, Abandon, Abandon" over the radio, followed by "SOS" (Three short, three long, three short) repeated three times on the air horns. Each Division will get a PAR of assigned companies on the exterior.

At this point, the command structure will be reorganized as follows:


Operations Branch 1 - Defensive attack on the Born Loser that now confronts us.
Operations Branch 2 - Offensive attack on the detached B exposure - two engines and a truck should be enough for this one, unless the collapse has damaged it to the point where it's not savable. If that's the case, the two engines and truck will be defensive on the Exposure B fire as well.

Division C and D - reporting to Operations Division 1

Water Supply - Can the water utility cut that 15 minutes to 5?
A water utility engineer with main maps is urgently needed at the command post.

An EMS Chief/supervisor is now operating a Medical Group with Rehab and Treatment teams working.

An additional chief is needed for the Level 2 staging area we're operating in a church parking lot about 2 blocks upwind. The 5th alarm is staged there.

Two additional chiefs to the Command Post to staff Planning and Logistics, along with the Emergency Management Coordinator (Liaison) and PIO. The Town Finance Manager or Assistant Manager will report to staff the Administration/Finance branch.

If there's a life safety hazard in the B exposure fire, I'll ask for two more mutual aid truck/rescue companies for additional RIC.

We'll need lots of law enforcement - this fire will be a spectator magnet, and we need them out of the way and their vehicles off of the supply lines. I'll ask for a senior police officer (Captain or higher) to handle the law enforcement function at the CP.

We had a little water flowing on the fire - a couple of engines with interior 2-1/2s on Division 1 and 2 from the rear - when we went defensive. I'm telling them to abandon the lines and not to back them out - we can replace hose and nozzles, but we can't replace firefighters.

The L wing looks like a little light smoke showing from Div. 3 and 4, but we're writing the entire building off, so I'm not too worried about it right now - we'll cut it off with master streams once we get the surround and drown in place.

The crowds are starting to gather...........
Chris this is getting way to familiar.
First a little background; our sog on a structure fire, engine 3 rescue 1...IC, knock down, S&R, vent...engine 1...water supply, now our closest ma is 4 miles, automatic call on all structure fires, something all small depts should do, day or night, we use MABAS and the box card system. Have good water supply, 300,000 gal storage, water dept employes are on the dept.

Fire 1....2 story brick(40ft) apartment building, corner lot, not a shared wall but 6in of clearance with adjoining building, (bravo) which is a single story church, call came in at 4am, unknown occupants, only 1 renter anyways, alpha,Charley, delta were clear. First due found heavy smoke second floor, all windows, s&r made it half way up second floor stairs, keep in mind both buildings I am going to discuss had been pre-planed by whole dept more then once, they were turned back by falling derbies, at this point it's surround and drown, occupant was at work. Box card was ordered to the 3rd level(out of 5), bringing 1 areal, 4 engines, 1 chief and ems plus our 2 engines, rescue and our still brought 2 engines and a rescue. In our IAP we knew that the aerial is the key and was in-route from our paid brothers 15miles away. IC was established along with staging and rehab, 5in was laid in to engine 3 on the alpha, and the defense began, aerial laid in 5in and set up on the Charley side. Here is where we found a glitch in our IAP, 2 engines pumping up to 1500gal per do the math, water supply officer started to scream...all non-essential lines were shut down so we could concentrate on the bravo side, still to much water, sent a call out for tenders and established a water shuttle from 4 miles away and used this to help supply the aerial, note; make correction on box card. All in all this one went well, could have easily lost half of the downtown but we kept it to building of origin and saved the church, course we only got partial credit for that.....
12 departments, ems strike team, public works, local and county police, utility company, ladies axillary(great food) and red cross, used close to 400,000gal water.
Fire 2, didn't go as well, but don't have the time right now to discuss.

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