As long as we have had two-way radios in the fire service, the first arriving officer (or whomever was in a “right seat”) would provide some sort of report upon arrival. In my active years in two different departments from ’77-’85, the FAO might give a 15-30 “quick view” to dispatch. I remember being assigned to “recon” a structure file, a few times and report back to the ranking officer on scene. And mind you, in those days we had two radios: one fixed in the apparatus and one for the person in the right seat. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then!

For this special “Panel Discussion” episode of “5-alarm Task Force,” I am joined my Commissioner Jared Renshaw, Battalion Chief Andy Starnes, Captain Andrew Roach and Lt. Jason Liska; four, season and well-experienced officers. Together, we discuss the critical importance of the good report; preferably one derived from a 360. We concede that there will be occasions where a quick, “windshield” size-up will be expedient to expedite an initial ops plan; however it must be followed up with a more complete size-up, 360 preferred, if possible. Our discussion is backed-up by the results of numerous post-LODD NIOSH reports.

While my guests and I always believe that every episode is a “learning tool” for the listener, this panel and I see this episode as one that is as important for the line firefighter as it is for the chief officer. This one might very well save a firefighter’s life.


PLEASE tune in on your favorite podcast platform or at

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