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Chapter 11

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  • 1. Chapter 11 Triggers, Traps, and Working within Incident Command Systems
  • 2. Objectives
    • List four methods that will help the ISO trigger safe behaviors
    • List the three ISO “traps” and discuss how each can render the ISO ineffective
    • Describe the organizational position of the ISO within the ICS
  • 3. Objectives (con’t.)
    • List the two primary communication tools the ISO uses and list guidelines for each
    • Define the national “typing” scheme and how the ISO function can expand for small and large incident types
  • 4. Introduction
    • An ISO at an incident
      • Communicates clearly
      • Appeals to the safety sense that can be sidestepped during working incidents
      • Can trigger favorable or unfavorable responses when confronted by firefighters driven by challenge
      • Presents concerns in a way that is appropriate and appealing to the IC
  • 5. Triggers
    • ISOs remind firefighters to operate:
      • Within a plan
      • In a safe manner
      • Within solid risk/benefit ranges
    • Work safe triggers
      • Basic approach of ISO to help firefighters work more safely
      • Can be passive or active
  • 6. Triggers (con’t.)
    • Visibility
      • Passive trigger
      • Effective in self-correction
      • Wear a high-visibility vest
        • States “SAFETY”
        • Use a distinctive vest color (usually green) and highly reflective trim
  • 7. Triggers (con’t.)
    • Example
      • Passive trigger
      • ISOs should:
        • Participate in crew accountability system
        • Use appropriate PPE
        • Follow department policies
        • Obey zone markers
  • 8. Triggers (con’t.)
    • Example (con’t.)
      • ISOs working alone should:
        • Always be in sight of another responder (or request a partner)
        • Always be in shouting distance of another responder
        • Let somebody know where you are going when taking a tour of the incident scene
        • Don’t walk into, or breathe, smoke
        • Self-monitor rehab needs
  • 9. Triggers (con’t.)
    • Soft intervention
      • Active trigger to provide awareness that a hazard or injury potential exists
        • Use of humor
        • Subtle reminders
        • Information sharing
        • “Peer-talk”
      • Should not be used to stop, suspend, or alter activities
  • 10. Figure 11-2 Often a simple reminder (a soft intervention) is all that is needed to prevent an injury.
  • 11. Triggers (con’t.)
    • Firm intervention
      • Active trigger to immediately stop, suspend or alter an activity based on an imminent threat
      • Imminent threat: activity, condition, or inaction that will most certainly lead to injury or death
      • NFPA 1521 states that the ISO
        • Has the authority to use firm interventions
        • Should immediately report firm interventions to IC
  • 12. Traps
    • ISOs can be trapped into operational modes and activities that render them ineffective
      • Responders may dismiss ISO’s general approach
    • Well-intentioned, inexperienced ISOs fall into the following traps
  • 13. Traps (con’t.)
    • The Bunker Cop
      • Spends too much time looking for missing, damaged, or inappropriate use of PPE
      • Focuses on skill proficiency at incident
      • Misses the big picture of incident safety
      • May result in firefighter resentment
  • 14. Figure 11-4 The ISO who takes the Bunker Cop approach misses the big picture.
  • 15. Traps (con’t.)
    • The CYA Mode
      • ISO tries to ensure that he or she is not held personally accountable for incident scene actions
        • Constantly citing CFRs, standards, and other numbered requirements
        • May wash his/her hands of an infraction
      • To avoid CYA label, practice “good intent” and “personal concern”
  • 16. Traps (con’t.)
    • The Worker
      • Pitches in and helps crews with their tasks
      • Cannot stay mobile and focused on the big picture
      • Often occurs when crew number is low
  • 17. Working within Command Systems
    • Effective and efficient ISOs work within an incident management system (IMS)
    • Efforts to make IMSs NIMS-compliant
      • Incident command systems
      • National incident typing scheme
      • Expansion of ISO functions when necessary
  • 18. Working within Command Systems (con’t.)
    • Incident command systems
      • The IC is responsible for overall management at an incident scene and for the safety of responders
      • Codependency between ISO’s support of IC and IC’s faith in ISO
  • 19. Working within Command Systems (con’t.)
    • Incident command relations
      • Authority
        • The ISO must yield to the IC’s authority and present requests rationally and professionally
      • Communications
        • Radio: use “Safety” identifier and limit use to safety functions
        • Face-to-face: every 15 minutes
  • 20. Figure 11-6 The ISO must respect the fact that the ultimate authority for firefighter safety rests with the incident commander.
  • 21. Working within Command Systems (con’t.)
    • Incident command relations (con’t.)
      • Solution-driven approach
        • Here’s what I see (a factual observation)
        • Here’s what I think it means (your judgment about the hazard)
        • This is what I would do (your solution)
        • What do you think? (acknowledge the IC’s authority)
  • 22. Figure 11-7 The ISO can be part of the solution path, as opposed to just bringing problems to the table.
  • 23. Figure 11-8 The ISO should strive to be a consultant to the incident commander.
  • 24. Working within Command Systems (con’t.)
    • The National Incident “Typing” Scheme
      • NIMS integration center (NIC)
        • Responsible for developing a national resource typing protocol
        • Will most likely use and expand the typing scheme used by the wildland fire community
        • Type ratings are ranked with lower numbers indicating higher capabilities
        • Uses incident management teams (IMT) with specific expertise exceeding that of local level
  • 25. Working within Command Systems (con’t.)
    • The National Incident “Typing” Scheme (con’t.)
      • Type V: Local, agency, or jurisdiction specific
      • Type IV: Multiagency or jurisdiction (automatic and mutual aid responses)
      • Type III: Regional
      • Type II: State
      • Type I: National
  • 26. Working within Command Systems (con’t.)
    • Expanding the ISO function with the IMS
      • ICS/NIMS language
        • ICS is the hands-on responder management part of NIMS
      • Local-level ISO expansion
        • ISO request ASOs for prolonged, complex, hazmat, trench rescue, and confined spaced incidents
        • ISOs become central contact point for ASOs
  • 27. Working within Command Systems (con’t.)
    • Expanding the ISO function (con’t.)
      • Further ISO expansion options
        • Currently, NIMS does not allow ISO to have units (useful for full-blown incidents)
        • ISO should remain at command position when using multiple ASOs
        • Maintain a manageable span of control: five to one
        • For more than five ASOs: have ASOs in each functional area report to an ASO, who then reports to the ISO
  • 28. Working within Command Systems (con’t.)
    • Expanding the ISO function (con’t.)
      • A solution to the NIMS weakness: scaling the ISO function
        • Create a safety section
        • ISO manages and coordinates safety management function across all participating organizations
        • Give more specificity to ASO roles
        • Divide safety functions into units
  • 29. Figure 11-10 An organizational chart for scaling the ISO function into units, used to bridge an NIMS weakness.
  • 30. Working within Command Systems (con’t.)
    • The ISO as part of the national response team
      • In national incidents, the ICS component and ISO become an area command of NIMS
      • A joint field office (JFO) is established
      • A safety coordinator is assigned to assist the ICS safety officer and coordinate federal resources
  • 31. Summary
    • ISOs are only as effective as their ability to trigger safe behaviors
    • Triggers
      • Passive or active
      • Soft intervention most often used
        • Awareness, reminders, and suggestions
  • 32. Summary (con’t.)
    • Traps
      • Bunker Cop
      • Performing hands-on tasks
      • Presenting a liability-protecting front
    • ISOs understand and support the authorities of the IC
      • Good communications
      • Solution-driven approach
  • 33. Summary (con’t.)
    • Growth of safety functions
      • Use national typing scheme
      • Request ASOs from IC
        • If span of control is exceeded, multiple ASOs report to single ASO, who then reports to ISO
      • Aim to be NIMS compliant
      • Weaknesses in NIMS may lead to the creation of a scalable SO function

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