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Reading the Fireground

Monday, April 24
Fire officers on the fireground are like a quarterback having to read the field when a play is called that doesn't go as expected. Regardless of how many units your department responds to a fire, only one will be first to arrive at the scene. That officer, using training, experience, department policies, and the resources at hand, will be able to engage in whatever tactics are possible for the situation while giving direction to personnel and providing radio transmissions to incoming units. Certainly, there is a lot going on for that first-in officer to handle, and it is well-known 'how goes the first line, goes the fire.' However, there are plenty of situations when Plan A doesn't go as expected and a shift in tactics is necessary. To comprehend when and why, that first officer or subsequent fire officers need to be able to read the fireground.
Walter Lewis, District Chief - Orlando (FL) Fire Department