Organized September 11, 1929 - Union Fire House, Mount Holly, NJ

County Guidelines / Policies

Radio Policy Manual

Radio Techniques and Procedures – General

3.0 Introduction

This policy manual has been revised to reflect the digital radio system installed and placed in full operation February 2005.

The procedures written reflect the consensus of the cross functional multi-discipline work group that began meeting in July 2005 and worked continuously until completion of the update in June 2007.

Similar to all policies it is not possible to include every potential situation nor is it possible to anticipate all possible communication protocols. Thus flexibility must be allowed for all users to adapt to unanticipated situations.

It is expected that all users will allow for this flexibility and will accept the intent of the user group even if there is an occasional divergence from the adopted policy.

This policy will be updated to reflect operational and equipment changes.

Central Communications

Contact                                                           Phone Number                      Hot Line

Shift Supervisor                                             609-265-7113                          7113

Incident Times                                                609-265-7777                          7777

All Other Communications                            609-265-7157                          7157

MOBILE OPERATORS GUIDELINES

3.1 Fire and EMS Radio Procedures

Communications Operators and Mobile Operators shall adhere to Radio Procedures as given in this guideline.

  1. This station shall be referred to as BURLINGTON COUNTY CENTRAL COMMUNICATIONS, abbreviated as "CENTRAL" for radio transmissions.
  2. All Fire and EMS stations will be dispatched by station number, address, and type of incident.

Paging Dispatch Sequence

  1. Tones
  2. Voice Announcements as noted in section 3.4 on page 13.
  3. Responding units will sign on responding on the appropriate response channel as described below. Until a dispatched unit signs on radio, Central will re-tone as prescribed in this policy to achieve the proper response.(0 minutes initial dispatch, 5 Minutes, 8 minutes and every 4 thereafter re-dispatch until a response has occurred.)

Individual stations may contact their zone dispatcher for special circumstances, to clarify or to provide relevant information.

  1. EMS DISPATCH POLICY
  2. Grid Development

            1.1       Each Agency will be responsible to provide Burlington County Central Communications with their selection of grid responses to include a minimum of twenty-five (25) ambulances to fill five (5) full medical alarms. This hierarchy will be utilized for backup dispatches and / or multiple rig assignments. The grids will be developed as prescribed by the Burlington County EMS Coordinators, Multiple Victim Incidents (MVI) and Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) Standard Operating Guidelines.

            1.2       Grid Development will be primarily designed using two principal time periods.  The first is 0600 – 1800 and the second is 1800 – 0600.

            1.3       EMS Chief Operating Officers will be responsible to develop and provide Central Communications with any desired grid update information for their jurisdictions on or before March 31st of each year.

            1.4       Failure of a jurisdiction to submit their response grids in accordance with the parameters of this guideline will result in the Chief County EMS Coordinator or his / her designee developing those grids for the local jurisdiction.

            1.5       Interim changes of the grids will also be the responsibility of the local jurisdiction.  However, mid-year grid changes will be limited to those that are absolutely necessary.  Substantial changes of the response grids will only be allowed as described in section 1.3 of this guideline.

            1.6       Highway Incident Response grid assignments will be developed to promote safe responses on all sections of I-295 in Burlington County. This will be accomplished through a collaborative process which will include representatives of local response agencies, the Burlington County incident Management Task Force, Burlington County EMS Coordinators and the NJSP Incident Management Unit.   

            1.7       Highway Incident Response grid assignments will be developed to promote safe responses on all sections of the New Jersey Turnpike in Burlington County. This will be accomplished through a collaborative process which will include representatives of local response agencies, the Burlington County incident Management Task Force, Burlington County EMS Coordinators and the NJSP Incident Management Unit.  

  1. Dispatch Procedure

            2.1       EMS crews dispatched to an emergency call in their local jurisdiction shall have a total of 7 minutes and 59 seconds to respond.  Dispatch may be made for Duty Crew or All Call at the discretion of the local jurisdiction.

            2.2       If after 4 minutes and 59 seconds the local agency has not responded from the initial dispatch, there will be a second toning. This second toned dispatch may be made for Duty Crew or All Call at the discretion of the local jurisdiction.

            2.3       If after 7 minutes and 59 seconds the local agency has not responded, the next toned dispatch will be an All Call for the local agency and the first available backup agency from the hierarchy.

            2.4       If after 11 minutes and 59 seconds there is still no response, the local agency and the backup agency will be dispatched.  If Central communications deems appropriate, such as an ALS or RIC assignment the most appropriate available unit may be simultaneously dispatched.

            2.5       If no agency has responded after 15 minutes and 59 seconds the most appropriate available agency will be dispatched.

  1. Backup Agency Dispatch Procedures

            3.1       Backup agencies will be dispatched per hierarchy whenever the local agency fails to respond to an assignment as described in section 2 of this Guideline.

            3.2       Backup agencies, at the request of the local EMS Chief Operating Officer may be asked to be added to initial dispatch whenever the local agency has inadequate staffing and / or requires additional coverage.

            3.3       Backup agencies may also be dispatched to all mutual aid responses.

  1. Available Agency Dispatch

            4.1       If there is no pre-planned backup agency responding after the appropriate dispatch procedure as per section 2, Central will dispatch the closest available unit.

            4.2       If Central communications deems appropriate, such as an ALS, RIC or similar life threat assignment, then the dispatcher can add the most appropriate additional unit to the assignment.

  1. Mutual Aid Dispatch

            5.1       Mutual Aid Dispatches may include all or part of the Burlington County Medical Alarm Plan, once the local agencies have been exhausted in a grid.  The County EMS Coordinators will be responsible to request and assign regional EMS Cover assignments as needed during major incidents.

5.2              The Burlington County EMS Coordinator will be responsible to add

Additional agencies to any hierarchy for the purpose of mutual aid.

5.3              Agencies that are dispatched to a mutual aid call that are unable to respond

due to local protocols, despite having an available crew for their local jurisdiction must contact Central immediately to advise them that they are unable to respond to that mutual aid assignment.  This will expedite the mutual aid process for Central to dispatch the next mutual aid squad in the hierarchy.

            5.4       In county mutual aid for major incidents will be supplied through the Burlington County Medical Alarm Plan,

5.5       Out of county mutual aid requests for major incidents will be fulfilled by

the Burlington County EMS Coordinators utilizing Burlington County Strike Team and Task Force 32 operational plans..

5.6       Out of county mutual aid requests for EMS Strike Teams and NJEMS Task Force assets will be fulfilled by the Burlington County EMS Coordinators

5.7       Burlington County EMS agencies participating in the National EMS Ambulance Contract coordinated by American Medical Response(AMR) and FEMA shall notify the Burlington County EMS coordinators prior to deployment out of state.

 BLS Dispatch Timelines

Basic EMS Dispatch Procedure

ALERT SEQUENCE

DESCRIPTION

ELAPSED TIME

1

LOCAL AGENCY, Initial dispatch – duty or all call

0 – MINUTES

2

LOCAL AGENCY,  Second dispatch – duty or all call

5 – MINUTES

3

LOCAL AGENCY,  Third dispatch as an all call plus first back-up agency per grid assignment

8 – MINUTES

4

LOCAL AGENCY, Fourth dispatch as an all call plus second dispatch for first back-up agency.

12 - MINUTES

At any Time in the  Dispatch Sequence

*** If Central deems appropriate, such as an ALS, RIC or similar life threat assignment, then the dispatcher can add the most appropriate additional unit to the assignment******

 

  1. Fire Dispatch Policy
  2. Grid Development

1.1       Each Fire Department will be responsible to provide the Burlington County Central Communications center with their selection of grid responses after approval of the chief fire coordinator and in compliance with the minimum response guideline as adopted by the Burlington County Fire Chiefs Association (BCFCA).

 

1.2       Grid Development will be primarily designed into two principal time periods.  The first 0600 – 1800 and the second 1800 – 0600.

 

1.3              Fire Chiefs will be responsible to develop and provide the Communications Center with the desired grid information for their jurisdictions on or before March 31st of each year.

 

1.4              All fire dispatches will be categorized into one of four families and will be applied across all jurisdictions. A fifth special hazard section exists for Forest Fires and other unique hazards but must have approval of the Chief County Fire Coordinator.

  • Structure – Fire
  • Structure – Non-Fire
  • Non-structure -Fire
  • Non-structure –Non-Fire.
  • Special dispatch agency dependent(i.e. WUI Assignments, High Rise, etc)

1.5. Structure - Fire – Means a report of visible fire or visible smoke in or from the structure

1.6. Structure – Non Fire – Includes all alarm systems, sparking electrical, appliances, noises, odors with nothing visible or any other descriptor that would lead the call taker/dispatcher to believe there was no active fire at the address. Note a dispatcher can dispatch as a structure if he/she believes there may be an active fire.

1.7. Non-Structure Fire – Means all incidents of fire outside of a dwelling (SFD/MFD) or a commercial building. This includes trash, brush, cars, sheds and any other outside fire incident. Unique hazards may have an additional category and will be location specific

1.8. Non-structure Non-Fire – All incidents that fit this category including wires, outside odors, lock outs and any other miscellaneous incidents.

1.9       Highway Incident Response grid assignments will be developed to promote safe responses on all sections of I-295 in Burlington County. This will be accomplished through a collaborative process which will include representatives of local response agencies, the Burlington County incident Management Task Force, Burlington County Fire Coordinators and the NJSP Incident Management Unit.  

1.10     Highway Incident Response grid assignments will be developed to promote safe responses on all sections of the New Jersey Turnpike in Burlington County. This will be accomplished through a collaborative process which will include representatives of local response agencies, the Burlington County incident Management Task Force, Burlington County Fire Coordinators and the NJSP Incident Management Unit.  

  1. Dispatch Procedure

            2.1       Fire dispatches will follow the same time sequence as EMS. Initial dispatch at 0 minutes, second tone dispatch after 4 minutes and 59 seconds without response, a third tone dispatch after 7 minutes 59 seconds and so on.

2.2 Structure - Fire:

“Task force 3621, Camden County Engine 135, 12 Apple Lane, a dwelling,” (Task force includes 361, 362, 363 and 368)

“Task Force 131, Ladder 501, Engine 341” 535 Main Street. an apartment. ‘(Task force includes full station compliment -2 Engines, Tender, Utility and BLS 139)

“Task force 90, Ladder 303, Engine 302, Bucks County RIC 53 255 East Pearl Street, a building” (Task force includes all BC Stations as assigned by chief)

All dispatches will use a plain English description of the incident and the expected resource by mutual aid station. Task force will be used for all structure fires for all departments in lieu of individual station announcements. All mutual aid will be announced by resource type (i.e. Engine, Ladder, Rescue etc.) including out of county resources on the assignment. Each department/chief will determine the resources to be alerted on the dispatch and whether to use two, three or four digit descriptors for the grids.

            2.3 Structure – Non-Fire

 

“Station 363, Station 362, 729 Liberty Road, an automatic fire alarm.“(The use of Light force may be substituted in place of individual stations. Thus Light Force 363 includes a unit from station 362 and one from station 363.)

 “Station 131, E 501, 535 Main Street, a sparking electrical outlet.“

 “Station 905 255 East Pearl Street, a CO alarm”

Each department/chief will determine resources to be alerted on the dispatch and whether to announce stations or utilize Light Force when two stations are alerted

            2.4. Non – Structure – Fire

“Station 363, 729 Liberty Road, report of mulch on fire.”

“Station 131, 535 Main Street, report of a car on fire.”

“Station 905, 255 East Pearl Street, a trash can.”

Each department/chief will determine resources to be alerted on the dispatch.

            2.5 Non-Structure – Non-Fire

“Station 363, 729 Liberty Road, a vehicle lock out”

“Taskforce 362, MEDIC 35, NJ TK MP 36.5 NB, a motor vehicle accident rescue assignment.” (Taskforce 362 includes Engines 3621, 3631, rescues 3639, 3699 and BLS 368)

“Station 278, rescue 272, RT 541 and Woodlane Road a motor vehicle accident rescue assignment.”

“Station 131, 535 Main Street, an animal rescue.”

Each department/chief will determine resources to be alerted on the dispatch and whether to do rescues by station or task force. It is strongly recommended that three or more stations be dispatched as a task force.

2.6 Resources.

The dispatch procedure outlined in 2.1 to 2.4 above alerts all responders to the address, the location (grid) the type of incident and the resources required. In terms of the resources required the Burlington County Fire Chief and Burlington County First Aid Council guidelines should serve as the model for minimum response.

On certain types of incidents or dispatches, Central will substitute the word "station" with engine, ladder, rescue, cascade, brush truck, etc. This will be done when the officer(s) have the information in their grids, or when special equipment is needed or requested to respond to an incident.

At any time during the dispatch process and consistent with the adopted RIC guideline, Central has the discretion to add a RIC company to any assignment where a life threat may exist in order to enhance safety.

2.7. Covers

Covers will be planned through the fourth alarm in accordance with BCFC guidelines.

  1. Unit Response Language

1.1 Unit Radio Response

Each Fire and EMS unit is required to initiate a radio call to Central on their primary response channel or alternative assigned channel by unit type and number when responding. Only the first responding apparatus is required to also announce the dispatched location. Other units may announce the location.

Example of Acceptable transmissions:

“Central Engine 1611 is responding 7 Enfield Lane with 4.”

“Central Ambulance 1393 is responding to Independent Living.”

“Central Engine 9051 Responding with 4.”

“Central Engine 3631 with 4.”

No unit will respond using any other acronym such as “on the way, on the job, en-route etc.”

            1.2 Officers (Chiefs, Deputies, Battalions, assistants, supervisors)

Chief Officers responding directly to an incident will initiate a radio call to Central on their primary response channel or alternative assigned channel by unit type and number when responding.

Example

“Central Battalion 3603 is responding to 7 Hampshire Lane”

“Central EMS 36 is responding to the New Jersey Turnpike mile post 38 southbound”

“Central Chief 9000 is responding to Rt. 130”

“Central Supervisor 3608 is responding to 400 Fernbrook Lane.”

            1.3 Company Officers

Company officers responding on units will use only the unit identifier and not their radio number unless they are the ranking officer for the department on that particular incident.

            1.4 NIMS Compliance

All radio communications will comply with NIMS requirements as adopted by Burlington County (BC) and as may be required by law.

  1. Unit Arrival Language

            1.1 Initial Arriving Unit

The initial arriving Fire and EMS unit is required to initiate a radio call to Central on their primary response channel or alternative assigned channel when arriving.

Example “Engine 9061 is arriving at a two story SFD with nothing showing, 9061 is command”

“Ambulance 9093 is arriving”

“Ambulance 1393 on location”

“Chief 1300 is arriving at a two story MFD with light smoke showing from unit ___. “ The first arriving chief is assumed to be command in the absence of any other transmission.

There will be no other acronyms to signify arrival on location.   

            1.2 Additional Arriving Units

All additional arriving units will initiate a radio call on their primary response channel or alternative assigned channel stating they are arriving. Units who do not already have an assigned function will announce arriving level 1 or level 2 staging in conformance with the BC NIMS guidelines. Units will not ask for orders as they arrive. Central will acknowledge all arriving units.

H Scene Communications

All on scene radio communications will be clear text in compliance with NIMS requirements, specific guidelines as detailed in section 3.4 below and as adopted by Burlington County and as may be required by law.

  1. Command Post

On major incidents as soon as is practicable the Incident Commander will establish a command post using the CP identifier as outlined in the BC ICS guidelines.

  1. EMS First Arriving

EMS units will not be required to give a first in report on EMS only assignments. They may issue a report when arriving first at joint fire/EMS incidents.

  1. Initial Reports Fire and EMS
  2. Central will provide an initial report of information available for fire incidents after the first chief signs on responding or after one minute from the initial first due unit response transmission. Central will prompt for a progress report after 20 minutes has elapsed from first arriving unit and in 20 minute increments thereafter for both Fire and EMS incidents until the incident is placed under control.
  3. The first arriving unit will make a report of conditions upon arrival. When the first arriving unit reports nothing evident upon arrival, the incident commander at the scene shall as soon as possible initiate a call to Central advising of the conditions present and whether or not additional assistance and/or equipment will be needed as well as disposition of resources on scene and in route.
  4. EMS units will receive a report from Central once they sign on responding. TheEMSReports will provide the following general information – Sex/Age, Level of Consciousness, Chief Complaint using descriptions as listed in section 3.17, and any hazards to responders.
  5. All units whether Fire or EMS shall maintain contact with Central via mobile or portable at all times while engaged in an active incident.
  6. Reduced Speed

A reduced speed order will be broadcast on the response channel and when possible simultaneously on F1 when so ordered by the incident commander. Units will not acknowledge.

Reduced Speed means non-emergency with no visible or audible emergency devices.

Example: Attention all companies responding to 7 Enfield Lane. Proceed in at reduced speed.

  1. General Recall Orders

Recall will be broadcast on the response channel and when possible simultaneously on F1 when so ordered by the incident commander. Units will not acknowledge

Example: “Attention all companies that responded to7 Enfield Lane. Recall”

N Specific Recall Orders

Individual unit recall orders will be broadcast on the appropriate response channel. These units will acknowledge the recall by stating RECEIVED or OK.

Example: Central initiates - “Engine 3631 recall.” Engine 3631 acknowledges, “Engine 3631 Received” or “Engine 3631 OK”

  1. Hospital Response and Arrival

All EMS units will initiate a call to Central when they are responding to a hospital. Hospital names and abbreviations are listed below. Upon arrival at a hospital or other medical facility the unit will transmit “OUT at _____”.

Hospital status requests may be made prior to departing the scene with the patient. EMS units will not ask for hospital status until they are packaging the patient and/or are ready to transport the patient. At all times Central may announce a hospital status issue to a squad en route to its dispatched location if such information is readily available.

Hospital Abbreviations:

MHBC            Virtua Memorial Hospital Mt Holly

LMC                Lourdes Medical Center Willingboro

WJM               Virtua Marlton

WJV                Virtua Voorhees

WJB                Virtua Berlin

WJC               Virtua Camden

CMC               Cooper Medical Center Camden

CTC                Cooper Trauma Center Camden

OLOL              Our Lady of Lourdes Camden

SOCH            Southern Ocean County Hospital

JFKCH           JFK Cherry Hill

JFKS              JFK Strafford

CHH               Capital Health Hopewell

RWJH            Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton 

HFMD            Regional Medical Center at Fulde (Capital)  

CHOP            Children’s Hospital Phila.

LBH                Lower Bucks Hospital Phila

LMCD             Lourdes Medical Center Deborah

SFMC             St Francis Medical Center

  1. Hospital Departure

All EMS units will notify Central upon leaving the hospital. If a unit is not available for contamination or other reason they will advise that they are out of service until they notify central otherwise.

  1. Unit Availability

When a unit becomes available from an assignment and is not otherwise recalled, the unit shall say simply “Unit _____ Available."

3.2 Equipment Usage

The Central Communications System shall be used only for the transaction of official business by authorized persons in accordance with the procedures described in this manual. Nothing in these procedures will prohibit the use of telephone communications if such use may be more practical and effective.

All operators shall comply with the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission.

3.3 Sequence Priority

Central Communications Operators are responsible for clearing traffic as quickly as possible, for maintaining Federal Communications Commission operating procedures on the air, and for determining the order of priority of simultaneous transmissions. These procedures shall be followed by all members of the Central Communications Network.

3.4 Channel Use

  1. Dispatch Details

The F1 channel, 154.220, will be used for dispatching all Fire/EMS incidents. Neither mobile nor portable communications will take place on F1 unless an emergent need requires such action and in that case such communications will be brief.

Central will announce the Stations/Units/Etc. the Township (when needed), the Sub-Division, The Address, (Business Name and Suite), the cross streets, Type of Call. Station or unit information and cross streets, the station and units, the physical street and number address will be repeated twice during the dispatch

Example: “Sta. 278 Medic 31, Westampton Township, Tarnsfield, 1 Greenwich Drive,  Cross Streets Quail Hollow Dr and Beacon St, A Cardiac Emergency, Sta. 278 Medic 31 1 Greenwich Drive, a cardiac emergency.”

Example: “Task Force 272, Ladder 361, Rescue 391, Engine 501, in Westampton Township, 1 Academy Drive, The Burlington County Public Safety Center, Cross Street Pioneer Blvd, A Building, Task Force 272, Ladder 361, Rescue 391, Engine 501 1 Academy Drive, a building Operate on North Central Response 1.”

Note: Central will announce which response channel to operate on when mutual aid from a different response zone is dispatched on the 1st Alarm and/or when a station is to operate on a zone other than their assigned default response zone.

A Second Alert will be sounded for the station if no response has been initiated within 4 minutes 59 seconds after the first alert.

  1. Mobile Communications

Fire and EMS companies shall use trunked mobile radio for communications with Central utilizing the R-1 position of their assigned home zone unless directed by Central to an alternative zone or channel. Medic units will sign-on on the County Wide Medic channel and will be directed to the proper response channel.

The assigned R-1 response zones are listed below:

Response Zone                          Assigned Districts

Northwest:                 10, 11, 12, 14, 20, 23, 24, 31, 36, 70, 80

North Central            13, 16, 27, 34, 39, 50

North                          21, 26, 30, 32, 33, 40, 44, 60, 90

North East                 18, 19, 29, 38, 41, 46, 67

West                            17, 22, 25, 28, 37, 43

South                          42, 45

All of the primary response channels (R-1) and County wide command are monitored and recorded. All other response channels (R2, R3, and R4) are recorded but not monitored as a routine. In certain cases such as a working fire or similar high traffic assignments Central will transfer routine communications for the rest of that zone to another response channel and that new channel will be monitored.

  1. Backup System

All agencies are to maintain analog channels F1, F2, F3, F4, and F6 capability to be used in case of trunk system failure or other over flow need.

  1. Portable Communications

All on scene portable communications shall be over the Ops 1 position with special emphasis for all personnel working in an IDLH (Immediately dangerous to life and health) atmosphere such as internal operations at structure fires, hazmat incidents etc.

The on-scene Incident Commander may assign other needed communications groups to either an alternative Ops channel or other available trunked communication channels as directed by Central. These trunked/WAR channels are recorded by Central

3.5 Base Station Operations

  1. Paging
  2. Paging over base stations will be limited to emergency situations and routine and necessary testing only and must be approved by Central.

No paging will be done when central is extremely busy due to incident work load or during declared storm emergencies.

  1. Base station operators shall contact Central by phone prior to any dispatch operations.
  2. Emergency operations include but are not limited to Central out of Service and unable to dispatch.
  3. Operations
  4. Base station to mobile communications will conform to all procedures and guidelines contained within this manual.
  5. Base station unit identifiers will be the emergency station number of the facility in which the operation is enclosed.  Example: Station 369 will be known as “Base Station 369”

3.6 Major Incidents

  1. Fire
  2. Initial Assignment – Primary Response Group

When Central is advised by the first on scene officer or apparatus of a working fire, upon request Central will dispatch the first alarm companies and make the following announcement over F-1 and the response channel in use:

(Dispatch tones, alert tone), "In Burlington City (Actual jurisdiction) 437 HIGH ST (Actual ADDRESS) ALL COMPANIES IN SERVICE."

Central will automatically dispatch any other resources as part of the all hands in service including a designated RIC if no RIC has already been dispatched. Central will follow the GRID protocol and the sequence shall be first the working fire dispatch, second the RIC and other preplanned resources and third covers as detailed in the grid. As soon as practical Central will notify utilities and initiate any additional emergency contacts as appropriate. All will operate on the dispatched response channel.

NOTE: The above announcement is primarily intended for structure fires but may be used for Hazardous Material Incidents or other “Serious” incidents.

NOTE: Central will follow the County Chiefs RIC and MAYDAY policies and other such policies as may be enacted. These policies authorize immediate actions on the part of Central.

  1. EMS Incidents
  2. Initial Assignment – Primary Response Group

When Central is advised by the first on scene officer or apparatus of a Multiple Victim or Mass Casualty Incident, Central will dispatch the first alarm companies and make the following announcement over F-1 and the response channel in use:

(Dispatch tones, alert tone), "In Burlington City (Actual jurisdiction) 437 HIGH ST (Actual ADDRESS) ALL EMS COMPANIES IN SERVICE."

Central will automatically dispatch any other resources as per the EMS MVI / MCI SOG.  Central will follow the GRID protocol and the sequence shall be first the MVI / MCI dispatch, second any other preplanned resources and third covers as detailed in the grid. As soon as practical Central will initiate any additional emergency contacts as appropriate. All will operate on the dispatched response channel.

NOTE: Central will follow the EMS Coordinators MVI / MCI Policies and other such policies as may be enacted. These policies authorize immediate actions on the part of Central.

  1. FIRE and /or EMS Incidents
  2. 1.Additional assignments –Same Response Group

All other existing and new fire and EMS incidents will automatically be assigned to the next available Response channel. Units already on radio, upon hearing the All Hands transmission, shall switch to the next sequential Response channel and after approximately one minute will call Central to acknowledge the change in channel.

Example: All hands operations in Burlington City as previously described above. Station 408 is on another assignment. Upon hearing the All Hands Dispatch, 4082 will switch from North 1, their initial channel to North 2 and after one minute will call Central to advise they are now on response 2 as follows:  4082: “ Central Ambulance 4082 on North Response 2”, Central: “OK 4082”

  1. Command Functions

The Incident Commander will set up a command post as described above and advise Central of its physical location.

The command post will communicate with Central on the initial response channel or, at the discretion of the incident commander or a request from Central, a command channel may be established.

All units assigned to the same incident will operate under a single command and all resource requests for Central will come through the CP utilizing ICS in compliance with BC ICS standards.

  1. Evacuation

Any necessary fire ground evacuation will follow the Burlington County Evacuation Procedure as adopted and implemented by the BCFC.

3.7 Special Circumstances and Guidelines

  1. Bomb Threat

In the case of bomb threats, Central will dispatch the proper stations and announce "Report to your station(s) for an emergency standby assignment." It will be the decision of the officer in charge of the station(s) dispatched to respond to the scene. Stations who do not wish to be dispatched will advise Central in writing.

  1. Special Assignments

Such assignments should be infrequent and will be monitored by Central.

  1. Officer Contact

The Paging of local officers will be done for urgent department business only using only the regular alerting tones assigned. Central will announce for the officer as follows: “_____ Call Fire Communications" and the message will be given to the officer over the telephone. When a phone call is not possible the message may be given over the radio.

  1. Announcements

There will be no tone alert or announcement of regular scheduled local meetings, drills, bingo, or work detail, etc.

Only the following are approved.

  1. Unscheduled meetings and drills
  2. Deaths of department members or other Public Safety agency members
  3. County training, seminars, and meetings
  4. Storm warningsand any related cancellations of regularly scheduled classes or meetings.
  5. Unscheduled work details for returning equipment to available status with Chief Officer Authorization
  6. Retirements after 20 or more years of service
  7. Training

Training sessions will be announced as a TRAINING EXERCISE.

  1. Local drills requiring notification must be requested at least one hour in advance of the drill start time.
  2. Large scale multi-jurisdictional drills must be planned at least 24 hours in advance of the start time.
  3. Emergency Radio Activation

Upon the activation of a Radio Emergency Alert Central will do the following:

When the transmission is activated as part of an on going incident:

  1. Monitor to assure that the emergency transmission was received by the incident commander. If necessary confirm same.
  2. Assure that Response group traffic is cleared and assist the IC as necessary

When the activation of the radio emergency button is not connected with an active incident:

  1. Call the radio number and confirm that it is a true emergency or accidental activation
  2. If no response, then page that person/unit and have them call Central.
  3. If there is no response to the page Central will contact the agency Chief officer of the unit/station for further direction

3.8 Local Announcements

Local Announcements will be made at time requested between 0700 and 2300 hours. Officer making the request must state his name and ID number. The Central Radio Duty Supervisor must authorize transmission of the announcement and assure this procedure is not abused.

3.9 County wide Announcements

  1. Central will make general application announcements dependent on the type and nature. For exampleCLASS DAY will be announced as seasonal conditions warrant.
  2. General information county wide announcements will be made at 1800 hours if possible and be authorized by a CENTRAL COMMUNICATIONS SUPERVISOR.
  3. The County Wide alert tone will be used for county wide announcements:
  4. Storm Dispatch Policy
  5. Significant events warranting county wide communication

3.10 Transmission Examples and Explanations

The following are examples of Unit to Central and Central to Unit communications with an explanation for each portion of the message. The procedures outlined here will be required of all personnel. When a station or unit receives a tone alert for a dispatch, they will contact Central by radio and advise they are responding to the incident assignment and in the case of a multi-functional unit, identify the function they will provide (i.e. Engine, Ladder, Rescue etc.). Central will provide information or a report of the incident after the first Chief Officer signs on responding or at one minute after the first due unit response. Once the initial report has been given to the first unit and first chief, the report will not be given to additional units.

EXAMPLE TRANSMISSION EXPLANATION

  1. CENTRAL: "Station 149, Route 130 and Cooper Street, a motor vehicle accident”.
  2. UNIT: "CENTRAL, Ambulance 1491 responding Rt. 130 and Cooper Street"

This informs Central that ambulance 1491 is responding to that call. If 1491 has an incorrect address, Central will provide a correction.

  1. CENTRAL: "OKAY 1491" Central acknowledged. Okay is used so as not to confuse affirmative with a "yes."
  2. UNIT: "CENTRAL, Ambulance 1491 on location." Any visual information should be given at this time.
  3. CENTRAL: "OKAY 1491" Central Acknowledged.
  4. UNIT: "CENTRAL, Ambulance 1491 in route to MHBC” This informs Central that 1491 is proceeding to Memorial Hospital and will be on the assigned response channel. Note: Mileage and time stamp will apply as determined by the ambulance crew.
  5. CENTRAL: "OKAY 1491" Central Acknowledged.
  6. UNIT: "CENTRAL, Ambulance 1491 out at MHBC” This informs Central they are at the hospital.
  7. CENTRAL: "OKAY 1491" Central acknowledged.
  8. UNIT: "CENTRAL ambulance 1491 available from MHBC" This makes Central aware that 1491 is returning to station 149 and is available to handle calls. If not available, they should state they are out of service until they are available for response. If not returning to station they should specify where they are going.
  9. NOTE: Units that do not need times, reports, or any other information from Central need not use the hotline when they have returned to the station. When the unit is back at the station or in their response area, they need only to say the word "Available" and that call shall be terminated.
  10. Units that use the hotline for times, reports, or any other information shall say nothing when they arrive at their station and call Central.
  11. At certain times when Central is extremely busy, especially during severe weather and major incidents, station(s) will be asked to call back later for their times and other information. This is necessary to ensure the emergencies are properly handled.
  12. For additional examples, see Basic Instructions for EMS radios. Be brief but specific. Always notify Central upon arrival at destination. Remember, all transmissions are recorded on tape and are kept on file for Communications Center records.

NOTE: In instances requiring explanation or specific information to be relayed, it is recommended that units call Central and wait for an acknowledgement before proceeding with their message. This will eliminate requests to repeat and also confirms the Central Operator has heard the unit and is prepared to copy any message given.

3.11 Summary

This summary of rules is for your general information concerning operating procedures. Subsequent changes in rules or interpretations may occur. The Radio Liaison Committee will attempt to keep all services informed as changes are made.

3.12 Individual Incident or User Problems

Any misuse of radios or related equipment and/or Federal Communications violations shall be dealt with by the Department Chief or Captain or the Chief of Public Safety Telecommunications. That officer shall be responsible to see that all users in that supervisors department comply with all techniques, procedures, and FCC regulations. All violations shall be brought to the attention of the user’s supervisor at the time the incident occurs so that the supervisor can take necessary corrective action to prevent additional violations. Violations shall be dealt with as listed below for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd offenses and all shall be documented in writing.

(1) A phone call to officer in charge of the user causing the issue. Failure to rectify any violation or complaint will result in step wise progression to the next level of supervision until such time as an agreement has been secured.

(2) Memorandum to radio representative or officer in charge of station with a mandatory reply of the type of action to be taken. A copy of same will be issued to the Radio Committee.

(3) Memorandum and Federal Communications Commission notification if violation persists.

Central and Field Services shall follow this complaint procedure. All complaints must be written in order to obtain a written answer and must be made by the highest rank either Chief or Captain.

3.13 The Radio Committee Communication Process

The Burlington County Radio Committee is comprised of representatives from using organizations including the Fire Chiefs' Association, Firemen's Association, Emergency Management, Fire Police Association, and First Aid Council.

The purpose of the Committee is to review and recommend policy and procedure to the Communications Center. Further, the Committee acts as liaison between the Communications Center and using organizations.

It reviews and recommends, through the Director of Public Safety, the need for additional personnel and equipment to properly equip and staff the Communications Center. It acts as a mediator between the Center and using organizations to resolve problems between Departments, Companies, and Agencies. All complaints about Central procedures, acts or issues that cannot be reconciled by the Supervising Communications Operator shall be forwarded in writing to the Chief Public Safety Telecommunicator:

Burlington County Radio Committee

C/o Central Communications

49 Rancocas Road

Mount Holly, NJ 08060

3.14 24 HOUR TIME CLOCK

Central uses a 24 hour time recording system, thus not using A.M. and P.M.; you must add 1200 to any time past 1259 P.M.

EXAMPLES:

12:01 A.M.:                 0001    Zero, Zero, Zero, One

1:00 A.M.:                   0100    Zero, One Hundred

6:00 A.M.:                   0600    Zero, Six Hundred

12:00 NOON:             1200    Twelve Hundred

1:00 P.M.:                   1300    Thirteen Hundred

6:00 P.M.:                   1800    Eighteen Hundred

9:30 P.M.:                   2130    Twenty One Thirty

11:59 P.M.:                 2359    Twenty Three Fifty Nine

MIDNIGHT:              2400    Twenty Four Hundred

All reports will show this time.

3.15 Phonetic Alphabet

The International Phonetic Alphabet shall be used.

  1. ALPHA                      N.        NOVEMBER
  2.       BRAVO                      O.        OSCAR
  3.        CHARLIE                  P.        PAPA
  4. DELTA                      Q.        QUEBEC
  5.        ECHO                                     R.        ROMEO
  6.         FOXTROT                 S.         SIERRA
  7.        GOLF                                     T.         TANGO
  8. HOTEL                      U.       UNIFORM
  9. INDIA                       V.       VICTOR
  10.          JULIETT                     W.      WHISKEY
  11. KILO                         X.        X-RAY
  12. LIMA                        Y.        YANKEE
  13. MIKE                         Z.         ZULU

Example:  AXW is Alpha X-ray Whiskey – not A as in Alpha, X as in X-ray etc.

3.16 Standard Procedures and Terminology

AMBULANCE:         BLS Unit for patient transport

ACKNOWLEDGE:   Did you understand my last message?

AFFIRMATIVE:        Yes.

A.L.S.:                                    Medic or Advanced Life Support

AVAILABLE:           Company or unit is ready and can be assigned to another incident,    and previous call is terminated.

BASE STATION:      Radio transmitter licensed to operate at a fixed location.

B.L.S.:                         Basic Life Support

BRUSH:                     Off road unit

CASCADE                 Unit with on board breathing air capacity for refill

COMMAND UNIT:   Number followed by command shall mean the person in charge of       that unit only.

COVER:                     Standing by for another station at their station or your station.

DISPATCH TO:         Alert a station or unit to respond to an incident.

DISPATCHED:          A unit status meaning assigned to an incident, not available for another incident.

EMERGENCY MESSAGE:  Must be of an urgent nature.

EMERGENCY SPEED:        Responding with visible and audible emergency devices activated.

E.M.S.:                                   Emergency Medical Service.

ENGINE:                                Standard NFPA equipped structural fire pumper.

FALSE INCIDENT:              Incident recorded as a False Alarm

FIRE POLICE:                       Unit or function for traffic control

FI:                                           Fire Inspector

FM:                                         Fire Marshal

FO:                                          Fire Official

FOAM:                                   Designated Unit with on board foam supply.

GRID:                                     A geographical area designation for Fire and EMS coverage.

HAZMAT TEAM:                  Burlington County hazardous materials unit

HEALTH DEPARTMENT:   County department

HIERARCHY:                       List of stations in order of expected response in grid.

INCIDENT:                            Fire and EMS report of dispatch information.

INCIDENT COMMANDER: Officer or person in charge of the incident.

LADDER:                              Apparatus with an aerial device of 75’ or more

LIGHT FORCE:                     Used as an alternative to announcing multiple stations not associated with a task force assignment

MARINE:                               Boat for lake and/or river operations

MASS CASUALTY:             Designated trailers for County response

MCI:                                       Mass Casualty Incident

MVI:                                       Multi Victim incident requiring up to 5 ambulances

MAYDAY:                             Transmission of life threatening situation

MEDIC:                                  Advanced Life Support Unit

MONITOR:                            Listen on the assigned response channel.

MOBILE RADIO:                 Radio transmitter licensed to operate under a base station           license, fixed in a mobile unit.

NATURE AND EXTENT:    Request for type of emergency and conditions of same.

NEGATIVE:                          No

OUT OF SERVICE:              Unit not available for service (Unavailable)

ON LOCATION:                   Unit is on location of incident to which it was dispatched.

O.K.:                                       Received message.

ON RADIO:                           Unit is monitoring the radio, not given with "Responding," only when vehicle is on radio and not assigned to an incident.

OFF RADIO:                         Unit cannot be contacted by radio not to be used when signing off at your station

OUT                                        EMS unit out of the ambulance at a hospital.

PORTABLE:                          Hand held radio transmitter.

PRIORITY:                            Transmission which requests clear channel for communications of an important nature

PROGRESS REPORT:          A brief summary of what and how much has been accomplished at the scene.

RECALL:                               Unit or station indicated should return to station. This order should come from the officer or unit in charge of the incident.

RECEIVED:                           To hear and understand radio message. Same as O.K.

REDUCED SPEED               An order for units to proceed to assignment at routine driving speed observing all traffic regulations and with out emergency lights and audible warning devices in use..

RESCUE:                               An apparatus with a minimum compliment of hydraulic consisting of at least one spreader and one cutter, stabilization and mechanical extrication tools.

RESPONDING:                     Unit is in route to its assignment.

SQUIRT:                                Engine with Elevated waterway

STAGING AREA, LEVEL 1:Area for equipment to stand by approximately one block  from the incident

STAGING AREA, LEVEL 2:A specific location as assigned by command for all apparatus and units to assemble and stage while awaiting definitive orders.

STAND BY:                           Wait, monitor this frequency for reply or clearance.

STATION:                              Fire and EMS Vehicle Housing Location.

SUPERVISOR:                      Officer responsible for personnel within span of control

TASK FORCE:                      NIMS term to represent a group of different functional fire apparatus assigned to a single incident working under the direction of a single leader.

TENDER:                               Apparatus with 2500 Gallons or higher water tank

TRANSMIT:                           To send a message on the air.

TOWER                                  Aerial device with platform

UNAVAILABLE:                 Out of service.

URGENT:                               Means you have an emergency message.

UNDER CONTROL:             Incident or emergency has been contained to the extent that additional personnel and equipment are not expected to be required.

UNIT:                                     Identified resource.

USE CAUTION WHILE RESPONDIING  Drivers are to use caution while responding

due to hazardous road or weather conditions. This is not Reduced Speed.

VISUAL:                                Description of scene at incident, location as it appears by operator or officer of first arriving unit, i.e., car in water, two victims trapped. (Nature & extent)

3.17 EMS EMERGENCY CLASSES & DISPATCH METHODS

  1. EMS EMERGENCY CLASSES

Abdominal pains                                                                    101

Allergic reaction                                                                      102

Animal bites                                                                           103

Assault Victim                                                                        104

Back Pain                                                                                105

Respiratory Emergency                                                           106

Burns                                                                                      107

Carbon Monoxide                                                                  108

Cardiac/Respiratory Arrest                                                    109

Cardiac Emergency                                                                 110

Choking Victim                                                                      111

Seizures                                                                                  112

Diabetic Emergency                                                               113

Drowning                                                                                114

Electrocution                                                                          115

Eye problems                                                                         116

Falls/Fractures                                                                        117

Headache                                                                                118

Heart Problems                                                                       119

Heat/Cold Exposure                                                              120

Bleeding                                                                                 121

Industrial Accident                                                                 122

Overdose                                                                                123

Maternity                                                                               124

Psychiatric Emergency                                                           125

Sick Person                                                                            126

Stabbing/Gunshot wounds                                                     127

Stroke Victim                                                                         128

Motor Vehicle Accident                                                        129

Lacerations                                                                              130

Unconscious Person                                                               131

Medical Emergency                                                               132

Motor Vehicle Accident Rescue Assignment                         133

Special Assignment                                                                134

Fire Stand By                                                                         135

Non Emergency transportation                                              136

Cover Assignment                                                                  137

Training/Drills                                                                        138

  1. Potential Unsafe Scenes

All dispatches where there is a possibility of danger to the responders will contain the following at the end of the dispatch: “Unsafe Scene, Level 1 Stage”

  1. Non-Responsive Patient

If the Communications Operator is led to believe from anyone other than a physician that a patient has expired, the operator will dispatch the call as an Unconscious Person.

  1. Medic Disposition

The responsible agency should advise Central as soon as possible if the MEDIC unit is not needed.  In case of obvious death, medics will be requested to proceed in at reduced speed for a pronouncement if no other life threat exists requiring the services of that MEDIC unit.

3.18 FIRE EMERGENCY CLASSES & DISPATCH METHOD

  1. Structure Fire

A dwelling, an apartment or a building with visible smoke and or fire showing.

  1. Structure Non Fire (State exactly what it is)
  2. An Appliance (Refrigerator, Oven, Stove, Dishwasher, Microwave, Toaster, etc)
  3. A Heater (electric, gas, oil etc includes Hot Water Heaters)
  4. An Electrical Hazard (arcing electrical outlets or equipment)
  5. Odor of Smoke (Odor or smell with nothing visible)
  6. Fumes (Gas Fumes, odor of fumes, inside a structure)
  7. Automatic Alarm System (Any NFPA 72 commercial system)
  8. Residential Alarm (Local smoke detector)
  9. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (CO alarm activated)
  10. Hazardous Materials Incident
  11. An Investigation (Dispatch does not fit in the above categories, with clear text explanation)
  12. Non Structure Fire (State exactly what it is)

All Incidents of fire outside a structure.

  1. Vehicles (Announce type, Automobile, Truck, Tractor Trailer, Bus, Boat, Motor home, Motorcycle, Bulldozer, Fork lift etc.)
  2. Brush (includes woods, trees, bushes etc.)
  3. Rubbish (Includes trash in and out of cans, Dumpsters will be announced as such)
  4. Shed (Small sheds detached and remote from large structures)
  5. Other (State what it is, mulch, a mail box, a lawnmower, playground equipment, Propane grill, a tar pot etc.)
  6. Non Structure Non Fire (State exactly what it is)

These are incidents where there is no fire but a hazard is present or fire department response is requested. Categories’ include:

  1. Wires (on poles, in trees or on the ground)
  2. Transformer (Pole or ground)
  3. Fumes (odor outside of a structure)
  4. Road Way Hazard: Fluids/debris on a roadway (formerly wash down)
  5. Motor Vehicle Accident (Fire department response needed)
  6. Motor Vehicle Accident Rescue Assignment (Entrapments)
  7. Special assignments (Lockout, Pump Out, Animal Rescue, Assist Police, Assist EMS, Search). Example: “Special Assignment –Vehicle Lock out”
  8. Alarm Systems

Fire detection and Alarm systems can only be placed out of service by FD Personnel or State Inspectors. All notifications of alarm will be dispatched other than as noted above.

  1. Motor Vehicle Accidents Standard Operating Guidelines

The following accidents will require a combined automatic EMS and FIRE response.

  1. Vehicle hitting a substantial fixed object: Electric/Telephone Poles, Large trees Traffic light standards, Bridges abutments and Walls. Structures-any type of Dwelling/Building/Etc. (No fire dispatch should be made for Street/Stop signs, Mail Box posts, vehicles backing into/or tapping fixed objects, unless there are reported injuries and significant damage) 
  2. Reported Entrapment:  Requires a Rescue response and Medic
  3. Overturned Vehicles: Requires a Medic response. Final vehicle position is immaterial.
  4. Vehicles with Fuel leaks.
  5. Vehicles with Smoke coming from them:
  6. Vehicles in Water: Any type Rivers, Creeks, Lakes, Ponds, Etc.
  7. Tractor Trailers involvement
  8. Trains/Light Rail involvement
  9. Hazardous Materials Involvement also requires County Health        
  10.  Accidents requiring ALS Response 
  11. Air Bag Deployment
  12. Head on Accidents
  13. Bus involvements
  14. Multi-Victim/Multi Vehicle (Mass Causalities) also requires an EMS coordinator
  15. Accidents with limited access: Woods/Sand Dunes/Etc.
  16. Motor cycle accidents believed to be serious in nature.

   3.19 Appendix

 

 Typing Identifiers:

 

 

  1. Personnel

Chief Officers Fire:

Chief:                                    Chief XXXX

Deputy:                                 Deputy Chief XXXX

Assistant:                             Assistant Chief XXXX

Battalion:                              Battalion Chief XXXX

 

Junior Officers:                   Supervisor XXXX                          

EMS Officers:

Chief or Captain:                EMS XXXX

Asst. Chief/Captain:           T.B.D. by EMS Coordinators

Junior Officers:                   Supervisor XXXX  

Other Agencies:

Medic:                                    Medic XX

Emergency Mgmt:              EM XXX

Hazmat                                  Hazmat XXXX

Health Department             HD XXX

Fire Official:                          FM XX

Fire Inspector:                     FI XX

Coordinator:                        15XX

 

II.Fire Apparatus

Category: Engine Company

 

This is an apparatus which meets the criteria for NIMS Type 1 engine for equipment and staffing and other county guidelines as may be specified by the Burlington County Fire Chiefs Association.  Specialized added capabilities are in addition to the minimum requirements and are listed in the sub categories as defined.

 

Basic Capability:

 

“Engine” is a fire apparatus with a permanently mounted fire pump of at least 1000 gpm in capacity, 300 gallon water tank, and hose body whose primary purpose is to combat structural and associated fires. The apparatus shall meet the equipment requirements set forth in NFPA 1901, Chapter 5. Minimum staffing should be four (4) certified firefighters. Three should be interior qualified and in conformance with PEOSHA standards for SCBA. One of these three must be IMS level 1 certified. The driver must be NJ Firefighter 1 certified. Radio Designator is – “ENGINE”    EXAMPLE: “Engine 1611”

 

Specialized Capability:

 

“Squirt” is a fire apparatus that has meet all requirements of basic engine and is equipped with an elevated master-stream device. The device may be articulating or non-articulating. Radio Designator is – “SQUIRT”    EXAMPLE: “Squirt 3133”

 

“Quint” is a fire apparatus that has meet all requirements of basic engine and is equipped with an aerial ladder with a permanently mounted waterway, and an engine complement of ground ladders. The apparatus shall meet the equipment requirements set forth in NFPA 1901, 3.3.   Radio Designator is – “QUINT” EXAMPLE: “Quint 3614”

 

“Tender engine” is an apparatus which meets the criteria for NIMS Type 1 engine and other county guidelines as specified by the Burlington County Fire Chiefs Association. It also meets the criteria for Tender as defined in this document.

 

Minimum staffing will conform to a basic engine. Radio Designator is – “TENDER ENGINE” EXAMPLE: “Tender Engine 1314”

 

 “Mini-Pumper” is a fire apparatus with a permanently mounted fire pump of at least 250 gpm in capacity and 200 gallon water tank whose primary purpose is to function as an initial attack fire apparatus. The apparatus shall meet the equipment requirements set forth in NFPA 1901, Chapter 6. This apparatus does not conform to the basic engine requirements. Minimum staffing is two one of which must be IMS Level 1 certified. Radio Designator is – “Mini-Pumper”” EXAMPLE: “Mini-pumper 4317”

 

“Brush” is a four wheel drive fire apparatus with a fire pump of at least 100 gpm in capacity, 200 gallon water tank and meets a NIMS Type VI engine and NFPA 1906. The primary function is to combat field and brush fires. It does not meet basic engine requirements. Minimum staffing is two one of which must be IMS Level 1 certified. Radio Designator is – “BRUSH” EXAMPLE: “Brush 2237”

 

Category: Ladder Company

 

This is an apparatus which meets the NIMS type 1 criterion for an aerial device and other county guidelines as specified by the Burlington County Fire Chiefs Association.

 

Basic Capability:

 

“Ladder” is a fire apparatus with a turntable-mounted, power-operated ladder of two or more sections permanently attached to the vehicle. This apparatus is designed and equipped to provide a continuous egress route from an elevated position to the ground, equipped to support fire fighting and rescue operations and capable of discharging water at or from an elevated position. It may be straight body or tractor drawn articulating. The minimum compliment of ground ladders is 115 feet of total length. Minimum staffing should be four (4) certified firefighters. Three should be interior certified and in conformance with PEOSHA standards for SCBA. One must be IMS level 1 certified. Radio Designator is – “LADDER” EXAMPLE: “Ladder 5015”

 

Specialized Capability:

 

 A “Tower” meets all of the requirements for a basic ladder. In addition it has a basket/bucket capable of holding two or more fully equipped fire fighters suspended from the end of the fly section of the ladder.  The apparatus shall meet the equipment requirements set forth in NFPA 1901, Chapter 8. Radio Designator is – “TOWER” EXAMPLE: “Tower 3635”

 

Category: Rescue Company

 

“Rescue” is a fire apparatus that will be determined by the agencies requirements and policies and defined but not titled as in NFPA 1901, 3.3.153, “Special Services Fire Apparatus, a multipurpose vehicle that primarily provides support services at emergency scenes”.

The Apparatus will have a compliment of equipment which will include a hydraulic spreader, a hydraulic cutter, metal displacement equipment and a compliment of air bags (or other devices) combined with sufficient cribbing  to perform lifting of heavy equipment, machinery and vehicles Minimum staffing will be the same as the Basic Engine.  Radio Designator is – “RESCUE” EXAMPLE: “Rescue 2329”

 

“Rescue Engine” is an apparatus which meets the criteria for NIMS Type 1 engine and other county guidelines as specified by the Burlington County Fire Chiefs Association.  It also meets the requirements of a Rescue defined above. Minimum staffing will conform to a basic engine.  Radio Designator is – “RESCUE ENGINE” EXAMPLE: “Rescue Engine 1712”

 

Category: Special Operations and Companies

 

“Tender”  is a mobile water supply apparatus equipped with a water tank that meets the requirements of NFPA 1901, Chapter 19 and has a minimum certified capacity of 2000 gal, whose primary purpose is to function as a mobile water supply apparatus. This apparatus must be equipped with at least one rear dump and two direct tank refills that are 2 ½” or greater.

 

Minimum staffing should be two one of which must be IMS Level 1 certified. Radio Designator is – “TENDER” EXAMPLE: “Tender 2516”

 

“Cascade” is a fire apparatus whose primary function is to refill low and high pressure SCBA bottles.

 

“Light Truck” is a fire apparatus whose primary function is to provide incident scene lighting and power

 

“Utility” is a fire apparatus whose primary function is to provide basic and specialized tools and equipment to an incident.

 

“Fire Police” is a fire department/company sanctioned vehicle that is equipped with traffic control equipment and whose primary function will be to direct traffic.

 

All special service units will use a radio designator for the service assignment requested and to which the unit is responding.

 

 III.EMS Apparatus

 

Category: Ground Ambulance

 

This is a Basic Life Support Ground Ambulance which meets the criteria for NIMS Type IV.  Specialized added capabilities are in addition to the minimum requirements and are listed in the sub categories as defined.

 

Basic Capability:

  • NIMS Type IV Basic Life Support Ambulance equipped and supplied to meet minimum scope of practice for basic life support providers in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:40 and/or NJSFAC Basic Ambulance Equipment List.
  • Vehicle Capable of Transporting a minimum of  two (2) Litter Patients
  • Staffed by a minimum of two personnel ( one (1) EMT and (1) Driver/First Responder) unless licensed by the NJDHSS-OEMS than must be staffed by a minimum of two EMTs in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:40
  • Non-Hazmat Response

 

 

“Ambulance” is Radio Designator -EXAMPLE: “Ambulance 3691”

 

 

Specialized Capability:

 

“NIMS Type III Ambulance” is a basic life support ground ambulance that meets all the NIMS Type IV requirements plus the following:

  • Meets or exceeds standards addressed by EPA, OSHA, and NFPA 471,472, 473, and 29 CFR 1910, 120 ETA s-11 to work in Hazmat Level B and specific threat conditions.
  • All immunized in accordance with CDC core adult immunizations and specific threat as appropriate.

 

“Hazmat Ambulance” is Radio Designator -EXAMPLE: “Hazmat Ambulance 2291”

 

  “NIMS Type II Ambulance”

This is an Advanced Life Support Ground Ambulance which meets the criteria for NIMS Type II. 

 

Basic Capability:

  • NIMS Type II Basic Life Support Ambulance equipped and supplied to meet minimum scope of practice for advanced life support (ALS) providers in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:40.
  • Vehicle Capable of Transporting a minimum of  two (2) Litter Patients
  • Staffed by a minimum of two NJ Certified MICU-Paramedics accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:40
  • Licensed by the NJDH&SS in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:40
  • Non-Hazmat Response

 

“Medic Ambulance” is Radio Designator -EXAMPLE: “Medic Ambulance 1592”

 

“NIMS Type I Ambulance”

This is an Advanced Life Support Ground Ambulance which meets the criteria for NIMS Type I Ground Ambulance in the Category of Health & Medical (ESF # 8). 

Basic Capability:

  • NIMS Type I Advanced Life Support Ambulance equipped and supplied to meet minimum scope of practice for advanced life support (ALS) providers in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:40.
  • Vehicle Capable of Transporting a minimum of  two (2) Litter Patients
  • Staffed by a minimum of two NJ Certified MICU-Paramedics accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:40
  • Licensed by the NJDH&SS in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:40
  • Meets or exceeds standards addressed by EPA, OSHA, and NFPA 471,472, 473, and 29 CFR 1910, 120 ETA s-11 to work in Hazmat Level B and specific threat conditions.
  • All immunized in accordance with CDC core adult immunizations and specific threat as appropriate.

 

“Medic Hazmat Ambulance” is Radio Designator -EXAMPLE: “Medic HazMat Ambulance 1591”

 

Category: “Medic”

 

This is a Non-Transporting Advanced Life Support (ALS)/ Mobile Intensive Care Unit(MICU)/ Paramedic Unit which meets the NIMS Type “Other” criteria in the Category of Health & Medical (ESF #8).

 

Basic Capability:

  • ALS means an advanced level of pre-hospital, inter-facility or emergency medical care that includes basic life support functions, cardiac monitoring, cardiac defibrillation, tele-metered EKGs, administration of anti-arrhythmic agents, intravenous (IV) therapy, administration of specific medications, drugs, and solutions, utilization of adjunctive ventilation devices, trauma care and other techniques and procedures authorized in writing by the NJ Commissioner of Health.
  • Staffed by a minimum of two NJ Certified Mobile Intensive Care Unit Paramedics in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:41A
  • Specialized emergency medical services vehicle that is validly licensed by the Dept. of Health and operated in accordance with the standards set forth at N.J.A.C. 8:41

 

   “MEDIC 31 thru 39” = Virtua Paramedic Units Assigned to Burlington County

          Radio Designator is – “MEDIC”    EXAMPLE: “Medic 33”

 

   “MEDIC 41 thru 49” = Virtua Paramedic Units Assigned to Camden County

          Radio Designator is – “MEDIC”    EXAMPLE: “Medic 43”

 

ALS OFFICERS:  ALS Non-Transport Emergency Medical Response Vehicle, NIMS Type “Other” Category Health & Medical (ESF #8), staffed by a minimum of one NJ Certified MICU Paramedic. These units may not be equipped or staffed to deliver ALS Services in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:41

 

“ Medic 100”- Virtua Health Systems Paramedic Duty Chief

“ Medic 200”- Virtua Health Systems Paramedic Special Operations Chief

“ Medic 300”- Virtua Health Systems Burlington County Paramedic Duty Assistant Chief

“ Medic 400”- Virtua Health Systems Camden County Paramedic Duty Assistant Chief

Category: Air Ambulance

 

Rotary-Wing- is a helicopter with an EMS Team with equipment and supplies for patient transport and emergency medical care outside of a hospital, providing service from an incident scene (LZ) to a hospital or inter-facility hospital to hospital.

  •             Aircraft communication equipment must be capable of communicating with the ground ambulance service or LZ Manager.
  • Landing zones (space, clearance and weight restrictions) must be considered. Typical Rotary-Wing air ambulance requires an LZ of 150’ x 150’.
  • Ground safety assurance and traffic control are important support requirements for injury and crash prevention.
  • Rotary –Wing Air Ambulances are Licensed by the NJDHSS in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:40
  • NIMS Typing

o    Type IV

  • Advanced Life Support
  • Crew= Two (2) , 1-Pilot & 1- Paramedic
  • 1 Litter Patient
  • Night Operations and VFR
  • ALS Ambulance Equipment

o    Type III

  • Advanced Life Support
  • Crew= Three (3), 1-Pilot. 2-Paramedics or 1 paramedic and 1 nurse or physician
  • 1 Litter Patients
  • Night Operations and VFR
  • Ability to deploy a medical team
  • MICU equipment (i.e.: ventilators and infusion pumps, medications, blood)

o    Type II

  • Advanced Life Support
  • Staffing Same as Type III
  • 2 or more litter patients
  • Night Operations Capable & IFR
  • Ability to deploy a medical team
  • MICU equipment (i.e.: ventilators and infusion pumps, medications, blood)

o    Type I

  • Advanced Life Support
  • Staffing Same as Type II
  • 2 or more litter patients
  • Night Operations Capable & IFR
  • Full SAR including hoist capabilities
  • ALS Ambulance Equipment

 Radio Designator for radio use will be Rotary-Wing Air Ambulances Name and Number

 EXAMPLE: “Southstar”

 

 

Fixed Wing – is a fixed wing aircraft with an EMS Team with equipment, and supplies for patient transport and emergency medical care outside of a hospital, providing service from airport to airport.

  • Fixed Wing service is primarily for moving injured or sick people located in disaster areas to medical facilities located outside the disaster area.
  • Fixed-wing services require the use of an airport of sufficient length and access to a sufficient quantity of proper fuel type for the type of aircraft requested.
  • Aircraft communication equipment must be capable of communicating with command center to coordinate with ground ambulance service.
  • NIMS Typing

o    Type IV

  • Basic Life Support
  • Crew= Two (2) , 1-Pilot & 1- Paramedic
  • 1 Litter Patient
  • Night Operations Capable
  • ALS Ambulance Equipment

o    Type III

  • Advanced Life Support
  • Crew= Three (3), 1-Pilot. 2-Paramedics or 1 paramedic and 1 nurse or physician
  • 2 or more Litter Patients
  • Night Operations Capable
  • ALS Ambulance Equipment

 

o    Type II

  • Critical Care and Advanced Life Support
  • Staffing Same as Type III
  • I litter patient
  • Night Operations Capable & IFR
  • Ability to deploy a medical team
  • MICU equipment (i.e.: ventilators and infusion pumps, medications, blood)

o    Type I

  • Critical Care and Advanced Life Support
  • Staffing Same as Type II
  • 2 or more litter patients
  • Night Operations Capable & IFR
  • Ability to deploy a medical team
  • MICU equipment (i.e.: ventilators and infusion pumps, medications, blood)

 

Radio Designator for radio use will be the Fixed-Wing Air Ambulances Name & Number

EXAMPLE: “Lifeflight 3”

 

Category: EMS Rescue

 

“EMS Rescue” is a EMS apparatus that will be determined by the agencies requirements and policies and defined but not titled as in NFPA 1901, 3.3.153, “Special Services Fire Apparatus, a multipurpose vehicle that primarily provides support services at emergency scenes”.

The Apparatus will have a compliment of equipment which will include a hydraulic spreader, a hydraulic cutter, metal displacement equipment and a compliment of air bags (or other devices) combined with sufficient cribbing  to perform lifting of heavy equipment, machinery and vehicles Minimum staffing will be a minimum of two Vehicle Rescue Technicians Trained to the NFPA 1670 Standard.

 

 “EMS Rescue” is Radio Designator is – EXAMPLE: “ EMS Rescue 3699”

 

Category: Ambulance Strike Team

 

This is a group of five (5) BLS ground ambulances which all meet the criteria for NIMS Type IV with a common communications and a leader. It provides grouping of ambulances complete with supervisory element for organization command and control.  

 

Basic Capability:

  • Common Communications
  • Strike Team Leader
  • NIMS Type IV Basic Life Support Ambulances
  • 2 personnel (1 EMT and 1 Driver) per Ambulance
  • An Ambulance Strike Team must have the capability of transporting a minimum of 10 litter patients

“EMS Strike Team” - EXAMPLE: “EMS Strike Team A”

Category: Special Operations

“ASAP ” is an off road vehicle which features a fully enclosed patient compartment which is capable of transporting a full size cot with seating for two attendants and a driver.

Radio Designator will be “ASAP” followed by the district #. Example: ASAP 10

“Bariatric Unit” is an ambulance equipped with a bariatric capable cot, ramps, winch and or other automatic cot loading system capable to safely transport patients weighing between 400 and 1000 lbs.

Radio Designator will be ”Bariatric” followed by the district #. Example Bariatric 36

“Mass Casualty Unit” is a vehicle or trailer equipped with bulk EMS Medical supplies including mutilated oxygen. These units should be equipped to supply treatment to 50-100 patients.

Radio Designator will be “Mass Casualty” followed by the district # Example: Mass Casualty 36

 

“Rehab” is a vehicle or trailer specially equipped with supplies and equipment to operate a Incident Rehabilitation efforts including relief from climatic conditions, rest& Recovery, Cooling or warming, Re-Hydration, Calorie & Electrolyte replacement, medical monitoring, member accountability and documentation in accordance with the NFPA 1584 Standard.   

Radio Designator will be “Rehab” followed by the district #, Example: Rehab 16

 

“Gator”  is an l all terrain vehicle equipped with a medical bed designed to transport a supine patient over off road terrain. This unit is staffed with a minimum of two (2) EMT personnel and equipped with BLS Supplies and Equipment with radio communications. 

Radio Designator will be “Gator” followed by district #, Example: Gator 23

 

“Quad” is a four wheel all terrain vehicle staffed by one EMT and equipped with BLS Supplies with a portable radio to access patients in off road environments. Quads have no patient transport capability.

Radio Designator will be “Quad” followed by district #, Example: Quad 16

 

“Bike Team” are two EMT personnel each on a bicycle equipped with BLS Supplies and Equipment with portable radios to quickly access patients in crowds and off road environments promptly to deliver BLS pre-hospital care.

  Radio Designator is “Bike Team” followed by district #, Example: Bike Team 36 , If more than one Bike Team in service from the same district the Radio Designator will add the appropriate sequential # to the district number. Example: Bike Team 361, Bike Team 362, etc.

 

“Medic Bike Team” are two Paramedics each on a bicycle equipped with ALS Supplies and Equipment with portable radios to quickly access patients in crowds and off road environments promptly to deliver ALS pre-hospital care.

  Radio Designator is “Medic Bike Team” followed by district #, Example: Medic Bike Team 15 , If more than one Bike Team in service from the same district the Radio Designator will add the appropriate sequential # to the district number. Example: Bike Team 151, Bike Team 152, etc.

         

“Marine” are boats that are assigned and equipped to perform water rescue operations. Marine Units will have a minimum of two personnel with one appropriately trained to operate a water craft in accordance with the law.  These Marine units will be equipped with the appropriate communications and safety equipment.

 Radio Designator is “Marine” followed by the district # and/or Station #.  EXAMPLE: Marine 363

 

“Utility” is a EMS Vehicle whose primary function is to provide basic and specialized tools and equipment to an incident.

 Radio Designator is “Utility” followed by the Station #, Example: Utility 179

 

“Support” .is an EMS Vehicle use to support EMS Operations at a incident, such as a van that is utilized to transport EMS Personnel and/or equipment and supplies to and from a incident scene.

Radio Designator is “Support” followed by the Station #, Example: Support 239

Radio Policy Manual

Addendum 2008 – 001

 

EMS Guideline Update – 3/3/08

 

Dispatch Category                                                                Dispatch Number

 

Fall Victims/Fracture                                                                          117

Based on correspondence from the Burlington County First Aid Council and discussion held the above noted date at the Radio Liaison meeting the following clarification is issued. All EMS requested dispatches regardless of nature and extent of injury will be dispatched as a Fall Victim when a fall has occurred or is believed to have occurred. Patient condition and nature will be provided on the appropriate response channel once the dispatched unit has initiated a response to the assignment

Special Assignment                                                                             134

Based on discussion held the above noted date at the Radio Liaison meeting the following clarification is issued. All EMS requested dispatches where NO fall has occurred and there is no complaint or injury and the only assistance request is for lifting or movement by the caller will be dispatched as follows:

Example: “Sta. 278 in Tarnsfield, 1 Greenwich Drive,  Cross Streets Quail Hollow Dr and Beacon St, A special assignment –patient assist, repeating Sta. 278  1 Greenwich Drive, a special assignment –patient assist.”

Radio Policy Manual

Addendum 2008 – 002

EMS Guideline Update – 7/31/08

Response Language  - “Hospital Mileage Transmissions”                                                           

Based on policy group discussions, an approved motion by the Burlington County First Aid Council and subsequent approval and confirmation by the Radio Liaison group ambulances will discontinue the practice of transmitting starting and ending mileage when commencing the trip to the hospital. Central communications will only respond to any such transmission with “OK Ambulance XXXX”. There will be no time announcements.

I. Purpose

To establish a common set of procedures and equipment needed to implement Large Diameter Hose strike teams using fire apparatus from different agencies.

The goal is to have a system in place for utilization of a Large Diameter Hose strike team when requested by any fire agency in the county.   This is to provide the maximum flow of water to a fire scene up to a mile away from the source.

Establish a common set of terms to be used by each member of the strike teams in order to eliminate a possibility for confusion.

Establish a recommended specification for agencies considering the purchase of an engine equipped to pump large diameter hose.

 

II. Scope

This guideline applies to all emergency agencies operating within Burlington County that have a need to request a large diameter hose strike team.

It is the intent of this guideline to ensure compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  Standard terminology, strike team components, and other resources are identified using NIMS guidelines.

 

III. Definitions

Friction Loss: the pressure drop that occurs to water after it is pumped through appliances or sections of hose, usually referred to in 100 foot lengths of hoseline.

Fully Dressed Hydrant:  to utilize all the connections from the hydrant into the supply engine.

Gallons Per Minute (G.P.M.): The term that is used in discussing flow rate.

Large Diameter Discharge:  A gated discharge from the fire pump of which the inside diameter of all the plumbing is at least 3.5 inches.  A 4 inch or larger discharged would be desired.

Low Level Strainer:  A strainer that sits flat on the bottom of the portable pond, which allows the pond to be pulled down to 2 inches of water depth.  The strainer must have a minimum rating of 1,000 GPM.

Parallel Pumping: A two stage centrifugal pump using both impellers at equal pressure and flow rate, "volume" mode.

Pipeline:  5 inch Large Diameter Hose Strike Team consisting of at least 6 Type I engines carrying a minimum of 1,000’ of 5 inch hose.

Pipeline Fire Pump: Any pump mounted permanently on a piece of fire apparatus, with a rated discharge capacity of 1,500 G.P.M. or greater.

Portable Pond: A collapsible pond constructed with a tubular frame, carried on the apparatus capable of holding a minimum of 3,000 gallons of water.

Positive Displacement Pump Also Known as Priming Pump: A pump widely used in the fire service for priming operations.  This pump is able to pump air out of the main pump creating a vacuum, so that water can enter the main fire pump.

Positive Pressure Water Source: Any source of water supplied to the pumper that is under pressure, (hydrant, another pump, etc.).

Residual Pressure: A pressure reading from the intake side of the pump taken as water is being pumped from that source.

Revolutions Per Minute (R.P.M.) : The term used for measuring engine or pump speed.

Series Pumping: A two stage centrifugal pump, having water pumped from one impeller to the other impeller in order to increase the discharge pressure of the pump, ("pressure" mode).

Static Pressure: A pressure reading from the intake side of the pump taken prior to water being pumped from that source.

Static Water Source:  Any body of water, other than a positive pressure water source  that can be used by the driver to supply water  to the fire scene by the use of drafting.

Throttle Up: Raising the pump to the proper pressure for the LDH operation.  180-PSI maximum discharge pressure or 20 PSI on the compound gauge, whichever occurs first.

Wetting the Hose:  The process of filling the LDH with water, not exceeding 50 PSI.  To expend air from the hose line leading to the receiving engine.

 

IV. Apparatus and Equipment

The apparatus used in the 5-inch pipeline should meet the following specifications:

1,500 GPM fire pump

Minimum of 1,000 feet of 5-inch hose with stortz couplings

Minimum of one large diameter intake with bleeder, with safety pressure relief valve.

Minimum of one large diameter discharge

Each pipeline must be equipped with at least 60’ of hard suction tubes with a barrel strainer or floating dock.

A minimum crew of one qualified apparatus operator, and 3 firefighters.

 

V. Strike Teams

Large Diameter Hose pipelines will be established to respond upon a request from an incident commander or coordinator.

Agency participation in the pipeline will be voluntary.

Participants of each pipeline shall follow the same procedures.

The pipeline shall consist of at least six (6) engines, which meet the specifications listed in Section III.

A pipeline leader shall be selected for each pipeline to coordinate training.

The pipeline leaders should meet regularly to discuss modifications or update procedures.

Pipeline leaders shall organize at minimum one (1) exercise per year that includes laying 5,000 feet of 5” hose.

The pipeline leaders shall report their activities to the Fire Coordinator or designee responsible for the Large Diameter Hose project.

 

VI. Calls for Service

Any fire fighting agency in Burlington County may request a pipeline to respond into their area.  The incident commander is encouraged to determine the need for the pipeline at the earliest possible point in the incident.

A request for a pipeline will activate the County Coordinator and/or designee to respond with the pipeline.

The selection of the pipeline to respond must be based upon apparatus already committed to the assignment.  (A pipeline from another region may be needed since apparatus of the local pipeline would probably be committed to the assignment already!)

On large-scale incidents, consideration should be given to moving another pipeline from a farther region into a staging area.

Staging of the pipeline shall be away from the Level II staging.

To streamline the dispatch, the tones shall be sounded for all the pipeline companies, and then the following shall be announced:

Pipeline C “Charlie”, in Mount Laurel, Hartford Road and Marne Hwy., the Second alarm. and repeat.

Individual engines dispatched will not be announced.

If an engine needs to be added to fill out a pipeline, the announcement shall be as follows:

Pipeline C “Charlie”, Engine 3911, in Mount Laurel, Hartford Road and Marne Hwy., the Second alarm. and repeat.

Central Communications shall announce the radio channel assignment for the response.  Upon arrival on location, the pipeline leader shall direct the pipeline apparatus to the assigned channel for the operation.  (The R-4 channel in the region where the incident is locate will likely be the assigned channel unless unavailable due to previous assignments.)

 

VII. Procedure

The following procedure shall be followed when initiating a large diameter hose relay:

A team leader or coordinator will assume control of the pipeline and place the engines as they arrive.

The team leader shall determine from the incident commander where the supply of water is located.  The water supply selected must be capable of maintaining the desired flow.

The first in pipeline engine (with largest pump) will assume the position at the water source and set up to take in water.

for hydrant operations - fully dress the hydrant, use the most efficient means of flowing water from the hydrant into the pump. The front suction connection should not be used.

for drafting operations - attempt to locate a suction point with the least amount of lift.

The first engine will take in water to the pump as soon as it’s ready.  The operator shall record the static pressure.  If drafting is used, return the water into the source via nozzle or hose until the order for “throttle up” is given.  This will maintain the suction until the flow has been established.

The next engine will place the end of its 5-inch supply line under the tire of the supply engine’s furthest axle from the fire.  (This will allow for extra hose to be used for making connections.)  The engine will then begin to lay the line.

After the engine lays about two lengths of hose, the driver of the supply engine will then make the connection to its large diameter discharge.  The operator will then standby and wait for orders to charge the line.

After the engine lays 10 lengths of hose (1,000 feet), it will stop and take the supply line and connect it to the large diameter intake.  When the connection is made he will notify the supply engine to send the water (“wet the hose”).  The supply engine will send the water to wet the hose to 50 P.S.I.

The next engine will come to the end of the relay and follow the same procedure as listed in # 5 to # 7.  This procedure shall be followed until the relay reaches the fireground.  The Pipeline Leader shall direct engines not used in the relay to staging for possible redeployment.

When the entire relay is complete, upon the order to “throttle up”, the supply engine will raise the pressure until it reaches a maximum 180 PSI discharge pressure or minimum 20 PSI residual pressure whichever occurs first.  Radio traffic should be kept to a minimum.

Each engine thereafter will do the same.  It will take a few minutes for the pressures to level out.

There should be a location for each engine in the relay to dump off water if necessary to relieve pressure or keep their pumps from overheating. 

When it is determined that the LDH supply is to be shut down, an announcement via radio will be announced, and the supply engine will start winding down the throttle slowly.

Each operator of the relay engines will then wind their throttles down slowly.

 

VIII.  Conclusion

At the conclusion of the incident, the pipeline leader will meet with the incident commander to determine if changes could have been made to improve the delivery of water to the scene.

A critique of the water supply operation should be scheduled as soon as practical following the incident.

A report should be made to the Fire Coordinator listing details of the operation, estimated flow rate and recommend any changes in policy or procedures.

Any recommended changes will be evaluated by the LDH work group and if approved, shall be implemented as the procedure for all pipelines.

 

IX. Closing

All fire departments in Burlington County shall receive a copy of this plan.  All Chief Officers shall become familiar with this plan.

Any plan previously published that is in conflict with this plan is hereby rescinded.

PREFACE

In 2006, the President of the Burlington County Fire Chief’s Association, at the request of the Burlington County Fire Coordinator, appointed a committee to review the current Personnel Accountability System Guideline.  Based on experiences, issues were identified within the current guideline.  The need for a review was agreed upon by a majority of Chiefs, and a review / update was deemed appropriate.  A committee was formed consisting of Past Chief Steven Taylor (Jacobstown) serving as Chair, Deputy Chief William Rzomp (Florence), ESTC Director David Gsell (Past Chief Mt. Holly), Past Chief Lee Daneker (Burlington City), and Director Anthony Corriea (Burlington Twp).

The committee met on several occasions to review the current County guideline, the State standard, NIMS requirements and NFPA standards.  In addition to these documents the committee reviewed SOPs / SOGs from several Burlington County Departments as well as SOPs / SOGs of several other departments from around the country and abroad.  A common theme was identified in all of the documents.  All the systems were similar and all appeared to meet the intent of the State standard.

Of the SOPs / SOGs reviewed a common issue was that of complexity.  Some of the systems require a level of staff to maintain accountability that is not practical.  Also a reliance and false sense of security is placed upon the use of PAS tags.  The committee felt that a streamlined more simplistic approach would provide a greater level of firefighter safety.

The following revised guideline addresses the findings of the committee.  It was felt that a greater reliance on the Incident Command System, and maintaining crew integrity would better serve the needs of the Burlington County Fire Service.

I. Purpose

  1. This policy is designed to prepare all personnel for any sudden life-threatening occurrence that may injure, trap, disorient or distress any emergency response personnel during an incident.  This policy will also standardize the language to be used during such incidents, and the circumstances that warrant issuing a MAYDAY or URGENT message.
  2. It is strongly encouraged that all fire leaders, will attempt to create an acceptable culture concerning the use of MAYDAY, teaching and encouraging all fire service personnel that it is “ok” to use a MAYDAY and to do so when they first believe that they are in trouble.

 II. Scope

  1. This policy applies to all members operating on an incident or event.
  2. It is the intent of this guideline to ensure compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  Standard terminology, strike team components, and other resources are identified using NIMS guidelines.

 

III. Policy

  1. The following radio transmissions are to be used with discretion.  The terms, “Urgent” and “Mayday” must only be used as indicated herein.  They are intended for use in situations where immediate communication is necessary to protect life or prevent injury.
  2. To minimize misunderstanding, the terminology used below is mandatory.  All members must be completely familiar with the terminology and use it exclusively for its intended purpose.
  3. “Mayday” transmissions have priority over “Urgent” transmissions.
  4. Whenever the terms “Urgent” or “Mayday” are transmitted, all radio communications are to cease except those between the member initiating the emergency transmission and Command until advised otherwise by Command.
  5. The Incident Commander will gain control of the radio channel in order to alert all units to a “MAYDAY” or “URGENT” transmission.
  6. In the event that Command does not receive an emergency transmission, the following guidelines shall be adhered to:
    1. The member initiating a “MAYDAY” transmission must, if possible, activate the EMERGENCY BUTTON on their portable radio, thus taking control of the radio channel, and announce “MAYDAY, MAYDAY” until it is acknowledged either by the Incident Commander or an Officer.  After the MAYDAY is acknowledged, and all information relayed, the member will activate their PASS device and monitor the radio.
    2. Members initiating an “URGENT” message will follow the same protocol but WILL NOT activate the emergency button or PASS device.
    3. Any Officer hearing a “MAYDAY” or “URGENT” transmission and realizing that it is not being acknowledged by Command must acknowledge transmission, ascertain the nature of the emergency and promptly relay information to Command.

 IV.  Procedure “MAYDAY”

  1. The “MAYDAY” radio message shall be used to indicate that a life-threatening situation has developed such as:
    1. Becoming trapped or entangled
    2. Cut off by fire
    3. Cut off by collapse
    4. Falling through a floor or roof
    5. Becoming pinned
    6. Any SCBA failure
    7. Firefighter down
    8. Becoming lost or disoriented, or losing a member of your crew.
    9. Anytime a PASS device is fully activated and a PAR report confirms a member in distress.
    10. Structural Collapse during interior firefighting.
    11. Air supply is less than required to exit IDLH atmosphere.
    12. Or any other life threatening condition not listed in the above-specified conditions.
  2. Note:  The term “URGENT” shall NOT be utilized for any of the above situations.  These situations are sufficiently serious to warrant a “MAYDAY” transmission.
  3. IF ANY OF THE ABOVE HAPPENS TO YOU AND YOU ARE NOT EQUIPPED WITH A PORTABLE RADIO ACTIVATE YOUR PASS DEVICE IMMEDIATELY!!
  4. Anytime a PASS device is FULLY ACTIVATED for greater than 15 seconds the Incident Commander will initiate or be advised by a member hearing the PASS to initiate a PAR.  If a member is in distress it will be treated as a MAYDAY.
  5. Format:
    1. The member initiating the emergency communication will begin by repeating “MAYDAY” two times followed by the remainder of the message.  The message will include in LUNAR form:
      1. Last Known Location
      2. Unit Number
      3. Notable Event (what happened)
      4. Assignment
      5. Remaining Air, Resources Needed, and Radio Equipped
  6. Example:
    1. Member:  “MAYDAY-MAYDAY.  Command from 2215 Bravo, MAYDAY.”
    2. Command:  “All units STAND-BY, 2215 Bravo from command, proceed with your MAYDAY.”
    3. Member:  “Command from 2215 Bravo, MAYDAY, 2215 Bravo, I was operating on the second floor doing a search when it collapsed.  I have 1500psi in my bottle, I am in a hole, and I have a radio.”
    4. Command:  Received 2215 Bravo, 1500psi in your bottle, fell through the second floor trapped in a hole.  Maintain Radio communication, activate your pass device, we are coming to get you!!”
  7. The Incident Commander will assign resources to assist lost or trapped Firefighter and remain in contact with the downed firefighter via portable radio.

 

V. Procedure “URGENT”

  1. The “URGENT” radio message shall be used to indicate a serious condition or change in conditions such as:
    1. A firefighter has suffered an injury that is not immediately life threatening, but requires medical assistance.
    2. Signs of structural instability indicating danger of imminent structural collapse.
    3. Sudden increase in fire or smoke conditions that may inhibit firefighter egress.
    4. An interior attack is to be discontinued and an exterior attack instituted.
    5. Loss of water that may endanger firefighters.
    6. Immediate need for additional resources such as:
    7. Ground ladders for trapped occupants in imminent danger.
    8. Immediate alternate means of egress due to fire conditions.
    9. Fire extension into an exposure to a degree that any delay may considerably enlarge the fire problem.
    10. Structural collapse has occurred during defensive operations.
    11. Or any other dangerous condition not listed in the above-specified conditions.
  2. Format:
    1. The member initiating the emergency communication will begin by repeating “URGENT” two times followed by the remainder of the message including LUNAR information.
    2. Example: 
      1. Member:  “URGENT-URGENT.  Command from 2212 Officer, URGENT.”
      2. Command:  “2212 Officer from Command, proceed with your URGENT."
      3. Member:  “Command from 2212 Officer, URGENT, We are located on Division C and I have 2212 Charlie who tripped over a hose and possibly has a broken leg.”
      4. Command:  “2212 Officer from Command, I am sending resources to Division C to assist.”

VI. Responsibility

  1. It is the responsibility of every member to abide by this policy.  It is instituted for the member’s safety and shall not be deviated from.  Officers will be responsible for the correct use of this procedure and enforcement of members who do not comply.

VII.    Closing

  1. All fire departments in Burlington County shall receive a copy of this guideline.  All Chief Officers shall become familiar with this plan.
  2. Any guideline previously published that is in conflict with this guideline is hereby rescinded.

 

Footnotes:

L.U.N.A.R. – An acronym that provides for Location; Unit; Assignment; Notable Event; and Resources needed.  The “N” has been changed from “name” in the national standard to “notable event” in order to conform policy of not transmitting names in radio transmissions.

P.A.R. – Personnel Accountability Report

PURPOSE:

To provide Emergency Services Organizations with recommended RIC operational protocols in the event a firefighter (s) has/have become lost, trapped or disoriented and/or a MAYDAY has been transmitted.

 

SCOPE:

This guideline shall apply to all Emergency Services Organizations actively engaged in the search and/or rescue of a lost, trapped or disoriented firefighter.

 

GENERAL PROVISION:

This guideline details the roles and responsibilities of each group involved in a MAYDAY operation.

 

GUIDELINE:

 

Lost Firefighter

  1. Transmit a MAYDAY message using the “LUNAR” acronym.
  • Last Know Location
  • Unit Number
  • Name
  • Assignment
  • Remaining Air and Resources Needed
  1. Activate PASS device
  2. If awaiting rescuers:
  • Stay calm and conserve air
  • Position flashlight toward ceiling
  • Assume a horizontal position in order to maximize audible effects of the PASS device.
  • Monitor conditions and report and change to the IC.
  1. Advise the IC if moving or attempting to self extricate.

 

Incident Commander

  1. Gather LUNAR information from the firefighter
  2. Conduct a risk analysis to determine if a team can and/or should be deployed to attempt a rescue. If a rescue operation will be initiated, deploy the RIC team.
  3. Announce the confirmed receipt of the MAYDAY.
  4. Make announcement on the Operations Channel that a MAYDAY has been transmitted and for all companies not involved in the RIC Operation to switch to OPS ___.  The OPS channel will be determined by the IC. The downed firefighter, IC and RIC group will remain on the Ops Channel that the MAYDAY was transmitted on or the last channel the firefighter was operating on.
  5. Notify the Communication Center that there is a report of lost, trapped or disoriented firefighter (s).
  6. Assign a RIC Group Supervisor, if one has not already been assigned.
  7. Assign a radio operator to monitor the RIC Operations channel.
  8. Assign a scribe to monitor time and benchmarks.
  9. If the MAYDAY was caused due to a collapse, flashover, or explosion, the Operations Chief or Safety Officer will assess the need to evacuate the building or area.  If deemed necessary, an immediate evacuation may be initiated based on conditions and safety.
  10. Call for a PAR (Personnel Accountability Report) of all companies on the fire ground.
  11. Withdraw all non-essential crews; this is those not directly involved with the suppression efforts or those that report they have contact with the downed firefighter.
  12. Ensure the incident stabilization operation continues.

 

 

Communication Center

  1. Transmit Alert Tone and make the following statement:

“Attention all units operating at location”.  “A MAYDAY has been transmitted.”

  1. Dispatch an ALS unit and an ALS Supervisor.
  2. Place air medical on standby.
  3. Prompt the IC for any additional resources
  • Next alarm and staging location
  • EMS strike team and staging location
  • Specialized rescue companies or equipment.
  1. Notify the County Fire Coordinator.

 

 

RIC Group Supervisor

  1. Assign a Control Officer to maintain entry of all RIC members. This person will track names, air supply and time of all RIC members as they enter the IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health) environment.
  2. Request additional RIC Teams from the IC as needed.
  3. Conduct ongoing size ups of the IDLH. Be prepared to stop the RIC operation if conditions warrant.
  4. Work with the Operations Chief to:
  • Position hose lines to protect trapped firefighters and rescuers in fire areas.
  • If warranted ventilation to improve conditions and visibility.
  • Provide collapse hazard and debris stabilization as rescue efforts proceed.
  • Have spare SCBA’s and cylinders brought to the RIC staging area.
  • Provide lighting in the area if necessary.
  1. Recognize the benchmarks of the RIC operation
  • Firefighter located
  • Air secured
  • Packaging complete
  • Removal started
  • Removal complete

 

 

RIC Team

  1. It is recommended that the RIC team be divided into smaller teams if possible. These teams will represent each stage of the operation; Recon and Rescue.
  2. Deploy the Recon team to locate the firefighter.
  3. The Recon team should:
  • Ascertain last known location from the RIC Group Supervisor or IC.
  • Follow hose lines when possible.
  • Listen for PASS devices.
  • Listen for tapping noises being made by the firefighter.
  • Look for flashlight beams pointed at the ceiling.
  • Stop and listen for breathing noises.
  • Communicate with the firefighter on the radio when possible.
  • Report any findings to the RIC Group Supervisor.
  1. Once the firefighter is found report the location where found, air supply of the firefighter and the team, and resources needed to extricate the firefighter.
  2. The Rescue team will only deploy if requested by the Recon team or as instructed by the RIC Group Supervisor.
  3. The Rescue team will work to package and remove the firefighter from the IDLH. All reports, findings and updates will be communicated to the RIC Group Supervisor.

BURLINGTON COUNTY

 

 

ICS

Incident Command System

   

Prepared By:

 

Burlington County Fire Chief’s Association

Burlington County First Aid Council

Burlington County Department of Public Safety Services – Central Communications

 

Adopted: September, 1992

Effective: January, 1993

Revised July 2010

 
TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Preface

Incident Command Committee

Purpose

Scope

Command Function

Responsibilities of Command

Establishment of Command

Transfer of Command

Passing Command

EMS Incidents

EMS Responsibilities

Law Enforcement Incidents 

Multi-Agency Coordinating System (MACs)

Area Command

Command Facilities

Command Post

Staging

Base

Incident Command Forms

Expansion of Incident Command System

Command Staff

Public Information Officer (PIO)

Liaison Officer

Safety Officer

Command Functions

Operations

Planning

Logistics

Finance and Administration

Use of the Command Functions

Branches, Division and Groups

Strike Teams and Task Forces

Emergency Operation Centers (EOC)

Designation of the Incident Scene

Communications

Reporting Intervals

Definitions

 

PREFACE

In Early 1990, the President of the Burlington County Fire Chief’s Association appointed an Incident Command Committee. This committee was comprised of representative from all areas of the county as well as Central Communications.  The charge of this Committee was to develop an incident management system that could be utilized by the fire and EMS community in Burlington County to comply with federal regulations.

At the initial meeting of the ICS committee, it was decided that representation from EMS was needed in order to work effectively together.  Therefore, three members of the Burlington county Captain’s Association were appointed with full voting rights.  It was also decided at the first meeting that the National Fire Academy’s Incident Command System would be used as a model.

The ICS committee was divided into subcommittees and continued its work for over one year.  After many meetings, discussions, disagreements and give and take, the committee has developed what it feels is an incident command system that can be used by EMS and fire departments to effectively manage emergency incidents.

In August 1992 the Burlington County Chief’s Association approved the system followed by the Burlington County Captain’s Association in September 1992.  By working side-by-side on this project, Burlington County was the first county in the state to adopt a countywide incident management system.

The National Incident Management System was adopted by the Department of Homeland Security as Homeland Security Presidential Directive – 5, Management of Domestic Incidents March 2004, New Jersey’s Governor signed Executive Order 50 outlining the requirements of this directive which caused the NIMS rewrite of our guidelines March 2006.

Listed on the next page are all of the members of the ICS committee and the organization they are affiliated with.  Each and every member should be applauded for undertaking this project.

 

1992

Incident Command Committee

William Kramer, Jr.                                               Steve King

Cinnaminson Fire Company # 2                             McGuire Air Force Base Fire Department

 

Cliff Leary                                                            Joseph O’Brien

Maple Shade Fire Department                                Palmyra Fire Department

 

Ted Lowden                                                         James MacKenzie

Evesham Fire Department                                      Taunton Fire Department

 

Rick Horner                                                          Paul Matlack

Masonville Fire Company                                        Burlington County Central Communications

 

William Covert                                                      Craig Augustoni

Cinnaminson Fire Company # 2                              Brown Mills Fire Department

 

David Andrede                                                      John Augustino, Past President

Willingboro Fire Department                                   Burlington County Chief’s Association

 

George Jackson                                                     Charles Maltbie, Jr.

Tabernacle Rescue                                                 Moorestown Emergency Squad

 

Kathy Riker                                                            Raymond Parker

Masonville Emergency Squad                                   Taunton Fire Company

 

2006

NIMS RE-WRITE WORKGROUP

Chief Thaddeus T. Lowden                                     Chief Steve King

Evesham Fire Rescue                                             Burlington County OEM

 

 

Chief Edward Kensler                                             Chief Joseph Lehmann, Jr.

Florence Fire Department                                       Burlington County Fire Coordinator

 

Purpose:

To establish a procedure that will provide a uniform incident command system for fire and EMS in Burlington County and meet the requirements of HSPD 5, State of New Jersey Executive Order 50, adoption by NIMS and State and Local Organizations.

Scope:

The incident command system (ICS) shall be utilized at all incidents, which require the response of any Emergency Service’s resource.

It is the intent of this guideline to ensure compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  Standard terminology, strike team components, and other resources are identified using NIMS guidelines.

Implementation of ICS:

The ICS shall be implemented anytime that resources will be committed to a planned or emergency incident.  The command function shall be filled whether or not there is an officer in a command vehicle on location.

The Command Function:

The command function (Command) is the functional area in which overall on-scene management takes place.  Included within the command function is the development of incident priorities, size-up, strategy, tactical objectives and coordination of all emergency resources.

The Incident Commander is identified by his location at the Command Post, which may  display a green emergency light.  The Incident Commander may be also be identified by wearing the INCIDENT COMMANDER vest.  Officers commanding from other than a command vehicle shall be identified by taking a prominent position at the incident where the officer can be readily identified by incoming units.

Responsibilities of Command:

Responsibilities of Command for fire departments include:

The transmission of an initial report and on-going reports to Central Communications.  The reports shall include:

  • Command unit identification.
  • Building description as appropriate (e.g. Occupancy, size, construction type).
  • Obvious description of conditions (working fire, nothing showing, etc.).
  • Action to be taken by incoming units (establish a supply line, stretch off with 1 ¾ hose line, etc.).
  • Identify the command mode selected.

Responsibilities of Command for EMS include:

The transmission of an initial report to Central Communications.  The initial report

shall include:

  • Command unit identification.
  • Obvious description of conditions (MVA with 3 vehicles involved, full code, etc.).
  • Identify the command mode selected.

 

Establishment of Command:

The first arriving emergency resource (command car, engine, ambulance, etc.) shall initiate the ICS by formally establishing command and shall continue in command until properly relieved as outlined within this procedure.  The first arriving unit may elect to pass command but only as outlined within this procedure.

 

Example of an Effective Report:

“Central; Engine 2211 is on location.  We have a one story, single family dwelling (SFD) with nothing showing.  We will be out investigating.  2211 has command.”

OR

“Central; BLS 2292 is on location.  We have a 2 car MVA with 2 victims.  We will be in service.”

Additionally, command should give periodic progress reports to every 10 minutes to central, as an example:

“Central Engine 2211, we had a pot of meat on the stove, 2211 will be in service ventilating.”

OR

“Central BLS 2292, we have 2 minor injuries, 2292 will be transporting shortly.”

 

Transfer of Command:

All senior officers arriving on the scene of an incident shall report to the command post and notify Command of their arrival.

Command shall only be transferred to another officer after a situation and status (sit/stat) briefing has been received by the relieving officer.  Sit/stat reports shall be via face to face communications whenever possible.

 

Situation and Status Reports Shall Include:

  • An overview of the situation.
  • A description of the strategy and of the tactics employed to the current point.
  • Assignments of resources on scene including command or staff assignments.
  • Suggested courses of action and contingency plans.
  • Major safety concerns.
  • A joint review of the ICS forms (NWCG series) where applicable.

After receiving a situation and status report, the senior officer will make a determination if he desires to take command of the incident.  In the event that the senior officer elects to do so, he shall take the command position on the scene and notify Central Communications that a transfer of command has taken place.

The officer assuming command may utilize the previous incident commander on the emergency scene to the best advantage.  In many cases the relieved incident commander may be of value in the Operations function.

Example:     “Central Chief 8000”

                   “8000”

                   “Chief 8000 has assumed command of this incident and will now be operating as CP 80, switching to NW CMD”.

                   “Okay, 8000”

8000 would facilitate all further communications as CP 80.

OR

Example:     “Central BLS 3192”

                   “3192”

                   “BLS 3192 has assumed command and will now be operating as CP31.

                   “Okay, CP31”

3192 would facilitate all further communications as CP31.

For multiple incidents in the same municipality at the same time, Command should be designated by the district and number digit starting with (1)  (e.g. CP231, CP232, CP233).

The assumption of command by a higher-ranking officer is clearly an option and not a requirement.  Initial commanding officers that are performing within department performance standards should be given the opportunity to continue to command.  This will allow for an increase in confidence and competence.  Higher-ranking officers who arrive later in the operation may take a role as a coach to support the current incident commander.  The senior officer on an incident scene shall be accountable even through a lower ranking officer may be in charge.

 

Passing Command:

On rare occasions it may be necessary for first due companies to pass command to later arriving units.  This may become necessary at situations in which the entire first arriving crew is required to initiate a fire attack, vehicle extrication or operate in the combat mode.   An example of such a situation might be a working dwelling fire with an occupant trapped or an MVA with victims trapped.

The officer has made a decision that his direct efforts are needed to make a substantial difference on the emergency scene.  In this mode, the officer’s involvement in mitigating the hazard prevents the proper exercise of the command function.  The officer would then need to utilize Passing Command procedures.

To pass command the first arriving unit shall transmit a proper initial report and indicate that they are “passing command” and identify the unit to which they are passing command, if known.  Central Communications should confirm that the unit designated for command has received the message.

The initial arriving command officer retains responsibility for the incident until such time as the designated receiver for command arrives on the location.

Example:     “Central Engine 2021.  We are on location with a two-story wood frame single family dwelling (SFD) with heavy fire showing.  We are stretching off with 1 ¾ inch line and attacking the fire.  Advise 2011 to assume command upon arrival.”

OR

Example:     “Central BLS 4391.  We are on location with a two-vehicle accident with victims Trapped.  We will be in service.  Advise the next arriving BLS unit to assume Command.”

 

EMS INCIDENTS

EMS Minor Incidents:

The senior member/officer of the first arriving EMS unit shall assume command at an EMS incident.  Command may be transferred or passed as outlined in this procedure.

 

Fire and EMS Joint Response Incidents:

The EMS senior member/officer is identified by wearing the blue EMS Branch, Group or command vest as appropriate. All EMS units called into the scene, directly or from staging, shall report to the appropriate command element.

 

EMS Responsibilities:

Responsibilities of the EMS Branch Director/Group Supervisor Include:

  • Coordinate with Command regarding the Incident Action Plan (IAP), patient status, and resource requirements.
  • Determine resources needed and make requests through Command or if activated, Operations Section Chief (OSC).
  • Coordinate extrication efforts with Command or others as designated. (e.g. Rescue).
  • Direct triage, treatment efforts and transportation.  The EMS Branch Director or Group Supervisor may establish Triage, Treatment or Transportation Groups as needed.  The EMS officer shall assign a responsible person for each group established.
  • The Triage Group Supervisor shall be responsible for establishing a method of prioritizing patients for treatment.  This may also include prioritizing patients for extrication or other actions required for treatment to begin.
  • The Treatment Group Supervisor shall establish a treatment area and coordinate patients care efforts as patients are released from the Triage area.
  • The Transportation Group Supervisor shall coordinate the transport of patients from the treatment area to receiving medical facilities.

 

The Triage, Treatment and Transportation Group Supervisors shall report to the to the appropriate supervisor within the organization. Command retains the responsibility for these functions whether they are filled or not.

 

EMS Responsibilities at Non-EMS Incidents:

EMS units responding in support of operations are designated Medical Units. The senior member/officer shall report to the Incident Commander on arrival at working incidents.  The senior member/officer shall be assigned or designate a Medical Unit Leader.

Should the Medical Unit be called out for patient transportation, the Medical Unit Leader shall insure that another EMS unit is dispatched to the incident scene, through the Incident Commander.  At incidents that are non-dynamic, EMS units shall report to staging.  If staging has not been established, the EMS unit shall be position to best advantage.

 

Law Enforcement Incidents

Law Enforcement Minor Incidents:

The senior officer shall assume command of a Law Enforcement incident.  Command may be transferred or passed as outlined in this procedure.

Law Enforcement Fire and EMS Joint Response Incidents:

The senior member/officer is identified by wearing the appropriate Branch, Group or command vest.

 

Unified Command

Unified Command is a team effort process, allowing all agencies with responsibilities for an incident, either geographical or functional, to established a common set of incident objectives and strategies that all can subscribe to.   This is accomplished without losing or abdicating agency authority, responsibility or accountability.

 

Multi-Agency Coordinating System (MAC)

A formal MACS consists of a Multi-agency coordinating group (MAC group) made up of jurisdictional/agency representatives.  It can also consist of facilities, equipment, procedures, information systems, internal/external communications systems integrated into a common system that ensures effective interagency and interjurisdictional coordination.

 

Area Command

Area Command is an organization established to oversee the management of multiple incidents that are each being handled by an Incident Command System organization; or To oversee the management of a very large incident that has multiple Incident Management Teams assigned to it.

 

Command Facilities:

Command facilities are those areas that serve as focal points for specific support functions for emergency operations.

 

        Command Post:

A designated physical area that serves as the center of all on scene for emergency operations.  Command posts are developed in proportion to the incident being managed. For instance, a vehicle fire may be managed from the cab of a fire apparatus, an MVA from an ambulance, a dwelling from a designated command vehicle a multi-alarm incident from the county communications bus.

A command post shall be established anytime an incident will require the extended use of emergency services resources.  Such incidents may be as small as a motor vehicle accident with victims trapped to a complex incident such as a major hazardous materials incident.

The incident commander shall establish the area to be used for the command post.  The command post shall be identified by displaying a green emergency light, whenever possible.

 

Staging:

Staging areas shall be used to keep emergency apparatus available within three to five minutes of the emergency scene.  The first arriving unit in staging shall become the Staging Area Manager.

Staging areas may or may not be a location where emergency vehicles are located.  (e.g. two floors below the fire floor of a high-rise fire, or at a triage area at a mass casualty incident.)

Level I Staging: refers to apparatus standing by along the response route as close to the scene as possible without congesting it.  The rule of thumb is the cross-street one block away from the incident.

Level II Staging: refers to apparatus being staged in a parking lot or other area in order that they may be detailed to an assignment.  This is usually only used on major incidents for apparatus responding on greater alarms.

In the absence of other orders, applicable SOPs, or whenever incoming apparatus are ordered to “Reduce speed”, the next due engine leader or EMS leader shall select an area that is within the time parameters for staging and sign “on location” designating the staging area.  All other apparatus will locate themselves accordingly and sign “on location – staging”.

 

The Staging Area Manager Shall be Responsible for the Following:

  • The selection of a safe and a large enough area for staging.  Command shall notify Central Communications as to the location of the staging area.
  • The orderly parking of resources.
  • Communications from the staging area to the command or operations.
  • Accounting for all resources and crews entering or leaving the staging area through the use of an Incident Check-In List (ICS form 211).
  • The Staging Area Manager shall identify himself by leaving on warning lights and/or 4 way flashers on the vehicle.  All other apparatus shall turn all emergency lights off unless required to provide safety.  The staging area manager may be identified by wearing the STAGING vest.
  • Staging areas shall be located off main highways and roadways whenever possible so long as the safety of the emergency personnel and apparatus are not compromised.

 

Base:

At large or complex incidents a base area may be established.  A base area is a location that places possible needed resources within five to ten minutes of an incident (e.g. forest fire task force staging areas, or a serious incident at a chemical facility, etc.)  The base area may also provide eating, resting, sleeping facilities, etc., as determined by Command.  The base area may also provide eating, resting, sleeping facilities, etc., as determined by Command.

A base area shall be established by order of Command at anytime that the staging area becomes too small to facilitate the equipment that might be required to handle an emergency.

The Base Manager shall be responsible for the same items as the staging area manager as they refer to base activities.

Command shall be responsible to announce the need for a base, although, the Staging Area Manager’s report will indicate such a need.

 

Incident Command Forms (NWCG Series)

Incident command forms, to include the Field Operations Guide (ICS420) are used to assist the incident commander or other command officers by displaying incident conditions, assignments and status.  The guidelines for the use of Incident Command Forms are covered in NWCG forms catalog.

 

Expansion of the Incident Command System:

Whenever an incident begins to escalate in a rapid fashion it may becomes necessary to begin the expansion of the ICS.  Such a system shall be designated to address the needs of the incident.  Command assignments shall be filled with qualified individuals.

The logical expansion of ICS shall be based upon National Incident Management Systems (NIMS). Such expansion may include the various Command Staff functions and the General Staff Positions.

The Command Staff Includes:

  • Public Information Officer (PIO)
  • Liaison Officer
  • Safety Officer

Supplemental Personnel May Include:

  • Scribe
  • Field Observers
  • Assistants
  • Deputies
  • Intelligence

 

The Command Staff:

Public Information Officer (PIO):

A PIO shall be assigned anytime the incident commander deems it appropriate.  Such periods will generally be defined as those that require extensive amounts of time involvement with the press, or incidents, which involve sensitive issues e.g. civilian deaths.  Specific statement content issues are covered in Appendix B entitled “Public Information Officer”.  The PIO shall report directly to the Incident Commander.  The PIO may be identified by wearing the PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER vest.

Responsibilities of the PIO:

  • Review and authorizes all news releases as directed by Command, processes requests for interviews with department personnel, and releases information concerning the departments actions, business affairs or positions.
  • Selects a suitable location which does not interfere with Command or Operations and which does not subject media representative to any hazards.
  • Receives periodic briefings from Command.
  • Acts as the single point of contact between the emergency services and the news media.
  • Develops news releases in concert with Command.
  • Escorts the media and VIPs through the incident scene after the area has been declared safe by Command.
  • Acts as the supervisor for others assigned to the PIO function in the event that the incident requires such as effort.

 

Joint Information Center (JIC):

Physical location where public information staff co-locate

Provides the structure for coordinating and disseminating critical information

 

Liaison Officer:

A liaison officer shall be assigned during those operations that require the use of multi-agencies.  Such agencies may include any municipal agency, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey State Police, County Health Department, County Fire Marshal’s Office, United States Department of Treasury, U.S. Postal Service, etc.  It is not anticipated that routine interaction with the Township Police Department would necessitate the need for a liaison officer; however, the use of many police departments may require such a position to be established.  The liaison officer shall report directly to Command.  The liaison officer may be identified by wearing the LIAISON OFFICER vest.

Responsibilities of the Liaison Officer:

  • Coordinate all responding non-emergency agencies. He shall provide information on where and to whom to report.
  • Provides briefings regarding the situation to responding agencies.
  • Facilitates the needs of responding agencies.
  • Insures adequate communications between Command and the appropriate agency representative by supplying radio equipment, runners, etc.

 

Safety Officer:

A safety officer shall be appointed by Command during incidents, which require such a function.  All major incidents should have a safety officer assigned.  The safety officer shall report directly to Command.  The safety officer may be identified by wearing the SAFETY OFFICER vest.

The safety officer has the authority to stop immediately or modify operations, which may cause imminent serious injury to emergency personnel on the incident scene.  The safety officer must immediately communicate the cessation or change in the operation to Command.  The safety officer has no authority to change strategy, action plans or tactics, but may suggest that Command do so.

Responsibilities of the Safety Officer: 

 

  • Surveys the entire incident from a safety perspective.
  • Makes appropriate recommendations to Command concerning safety aspects of the incident.
  • Is briefed by Command on the strategy to be applied to emergency incidents.

 

The Command Functions:

The command functions are assigned when it becomes necessary to begin delegating the various responsibilities of the emergency to others to facilitate effective on-scene decision-making.

 

The Command Functions Include:

 

Operations

 

Planning

 

Logistics

 

Finance/Administration

 

Operations:

The Operations function is responsible for the implementation of strategic decisions through application of tactical initiatives.  The Operations Section Chief (OSC) reports to command.

 

The OSC will be assigned by Command and is identified by wearing the OPERATIONS vest.  The OSC is commonly known as “OPS”.

 

All tactical operations become the responsibility of the operations officer.  Group and Division supervisors will report to OPS.

 

Planning:

The planning function is established when there becomes a need on the emergency scene to develop complex or lengthy operations plans or when the need exists to process complex technical information.

 

The planning function is responsible for all information management as it pertains to the emergency.  It is also responsible for the development of on going situation and status reports.

 

The Planning Section Chief (PSC) develops Incident Action Plans (IAP) and other supporting plans and shall brief command.  Planning shall coordinate through the Command with Logistics and Liaison to insure the availability of any special resources. The PSC shall report directly to Command.  Inform Command of risks and benefits of the Plan. 

 

The Planning Section Chief shall report directly to Command.

 

The IAP will consist of all appropriate ICS forms as the incident dictates.

 

Logistics:

The logistics function is established and is responsible to supply the incident with supplies or services to maintain an effective emergency response force.  Examples include, but are not limited to communications unit, food unit and medical unit.  A medical unit assigned to logistics section provides emergency medical treatment to emergency personnel.  This unit does not supply treatment for civilians.

 

The Logistics Section Chief (LSC) shall report directly to Command.

 

Finance and Administration:

The Finance function is established when the need is developed to track the financial impact of emergency operations or project and track the cost of various non-public resources. These resources may be tracked by item cost and quantity, man-hours expended, equipment rental, etc.

 

The Finance/Administration Section Chief (FSC) shall report directly to Command.

 

The FSC may be involved in recovering costs due to emergency operations from responsible parties after the incident is concluded.

 

The Use of the Command Functions:

Primarily the operations officer will be the most normal expansion of the incident command system.  The OSC is routinely utilized in cases of automobile extrications where it is necessary for more than one tactical objective to be carried out (extrication and EMS delivery).

 

At larger incidents the OSC will be necessary to deal with a wide variety of on-scene tactical operations that require constant monitoring and coordination.

 

The planning section is the next most likely command function to be unitized.  The planning function would be particularly helpful during periods of time when resources are committed to hazardous materials incidents.

 

The logistical section is set up only at major campaigns and is developed to support on-scene resources and those that may be used in the future.  The finance section is rarely used and would most probably not be set up unless the incident was to develop to a scale where actual dollars were required to manage the incident.

 

Branches, Division and Groups:

Branches, divisions and groups are used to divide the emergency scene into manageable segments.  Division and groups report to OSC or in the event that no operations function has been established, to Command.  It is possible in particularly large operations to have a group or division report to one of the other functions. For instances an EMS Group may report to the Logistics Section Chief.

 

Resources that are assigned to divisions or groups will report directly to their respective commander.  Communications between such units shall be via face-to-face communications whenever possible.  Communications between the divisions or group supervisor to the OSC or Command shall also be face-to-face when ever possible.

 

Divisions:

Divisions are responsible for the tactical operations that are taking place in a specific geographic area.  Division supervisor’s report to the OSC or if an operation has not been established, to Command.

 

Groups:

Groups are established to achieve specific tasks at the emergency scene.  Group supervisors report to the OSC if one has been established.  In the event that operations have not been established the group supervisor will report to Command.

 

Groups function as a unit on the entire emergency scene and are not confined to any geographical boundary.

 

Strike Teams and Task Forces:

Strike Teams and combinations of companies, which are nearly identical in their functions and are assigned to cover specific situations.  Four Water Tenders may be assigned as a water supply strike team for a fire operation.  Only the leader of the Strike Team communicates to Central Communications.

 

Task Forces are combinations of companies, which are varied in their functions and are assigned to cover a wide range of situations.  An engine company, truck company and EMS unit may be assigned to a task force to investigate alarm system reports during severe weather.  Only the leader of the Task Force communicates with Central Communications.

 

Emergency Operations Center (EOC):

Incidents that effect large areas of a given municipality may be managed from a predetermined command post, commonly known as an emergency operations center (EOC).

 

 

Designation of the Incident Scene:

The incident scene shall be broken down to facilitate coordination at the scene.  The division of the incident scene shall be at the discretion of the incident commander.  Only the officers assigned to command a division, group, strike team or task force shall communicate to the incident commander or operations as appropriate.  The following examples show typical schemes for dividing an incident scene.

 

Examples of Divisions and Groups:

The four sides of the incident site shall be designated as Divisions.  Division designations proceed clockwise around the building, beginning with Division A as shown in the figure below.  Division A shall be identified as the side which faces the street or which has the main building entrance.  If a building has more than one entrance, Division A shall be identified as the side where the Command Post is located.  EMS units may be designated with Divisions and/or Groups.

 

 

 

Exposures to the incident site shall be designated similarly to the side of the building as shown in the figure below.  Adding a number to the exposure designation shall designate successive exposures moving away from the fire building.

 

 

Multistory buildings may be broken down by floor as shown in the figure below.  Each floor shall be designated as a Division using the floor number.  The basement, roof, and lobby shall be designated using those names as Division names.  A medical unit may be set up on a floor not involved in the incident.

 

 

Groups may operate across several Divisional boundaries as shown in the figure below. Groups shall be designated by the name of the function to be performed.  (e.g. The Ventilation Group may be assigned to perform ventilation on each floor of a multistory building.)

 

Communications:

 

The Five Reasons to Communicate:

All units shall respect the five reasons to communicate.

 

They are:

 

1)     Additional resources are required.

 

2)     The assignment is completed.

 

3)     You are unable to complete an assignment.

 

4)     An immediate safety hazard exists.

 

5)     If you have information that has a direct bearing on the incident.

 

If these five reasons are consistently adhered to there will be a tremendous reduction in the amount of communications on the emergency scene and a noticeable improvement on the efficiency of communications.

 

Upon the establishment of command or the formation of a formal command post, all further communication between the incident and Central Communications shall be through that unit.

 

Assigned Radio Channels:

 

Emergency scene communications shall be transmitted on radio channels as follows:

 

Communications Channels:

 

Fireground Tactical Operations:

All fireground communications shall be on the assigned channel(s) this includes all fire units responding to and operating at emergencies.  Fireground operations will in most cases be on an assigned Operations (OPS) channel, usually OPS1.

 

EMS Routine Communications:

All routine EMS communications to Central shall be on the assigned zone response channel.  Incidents involving Multiple EMS units, on-scene communications should be on the assigned OPS channel.

 

EMS Communications at the Fire Operations:

EMS units assigned, as Medical Units at tactical fire operations shall remain on an assignment frequency, Medical Units shall not initiate any communications on the tactical fireground channel.  If contacted by the Incident commander for an assignment, the BLS Unit shall acknowledge the assignment.  All further communication required for the treatment of emergency service personnel or civilians shall be handled as EMS routine communications.

 

Incident Command Functions: 

 

All messages from a formal command post to Central shall be on the channel assigned by Central Communications.

 

Helicopter Evacuation Crafts to Helispot Manager (LZ): 

All communications regarding the incident to the MedEvac helicopter shall be on assigned channel unless directed otherwise.

 

Reporting Intervals:

 

Command to Central Communications:

 

A report shall be given upon the arrival of the unit assuming the command function.

 

A progress report shall be given from the emergency scene to Central Communications at least every ten (10) minutes.  The report shall include the current situation and status.

 

“Incident Under Control” or “Fire Under Control” shall be issued by the IC at anytime that the incident is stabilized.  Stabilization would include, the forward progress of the fire has been stopped, all victims have been extricated, the flow of a toxic substance has been stopped, etc.

 

Staff Officer to Command:

 

Staff officers shall report directly to command.  There should be no routine need to do so by radio.

 

General Staff:

 

The General Staff, with the occasional exception of the OSC, shall report directly to Command and should require very little, if any, radio traffic between Command and the functional officers.

 

In case of the operations function there may be a considerable amount of radio traffic between both he and Command depending upon the dynamics of the situation.  Reports should be provided to the OSC every five (5) minutes.

 

Groups and Divisions:

 

Group and Division supervisors may be required to utilize extensive radio communication to report to their appropriate supervisor.  As always, face-to-face communication shall be the best option when relaying large amounts of technical information or transmitting lengthy reports.  Reports should be given every five minutes.

 

Strike Teams and Task Forces:

 

Strike teams and task forces shall report to their OSC.  Only the supervising unit shall transmit to the OSC.  Additional channels may be assigned to these units to act as a tactical communications channel.

 

Single Resources: 

 

Single resources shall report to Central Communications every ten (10) minutes.

 

Resource Designation (Definitions): 

 

Resources for the purpose of the Burlington County Incident Command System (BCICS) shall be known as the following to allow for a common terminology to be developed within the department.

 

Command Car – a passenger vehicle utilized to transport command officers to the scene of emergency incidents.  These vehicles are frequently utilized as the command post.

 

Crew – 3 to 7 persons who are assigned a specific task on the emergency scene, such as search, ventilation, etc., without their physical apparatus being committed.  Such crews shall always have a supervisor and designation of the crew shall be the apparatus utilized to respond to the scene, (e.g., 1612’s officer).  A crew operates under the direct supervision of a crew leader.

 

The term company may be applied to all of these resources to define that units are staffed to the emergency service minimum standards for staffing. (e.g., Engine Company, Truck Company, EMS Unit, Marine Company, etc.)

 

Engine – apparatus utilized to apply water to the fireground and equipped with hose and standard engine company equipment.  Engines may also perform Truck or Rescue Company functions.  Some engines are equipped to provide initial BLS.

 

Ladder  – apparatus designed specifically for the purpose of providing firefighting access to elevate positions and/or placing an elevated master stream device in service and equipped with a full compliment of ground ladders, as well as large amounts of forcible entry and ventilation equipment.  Ladders may also perform rescue company functions.

 

Rescue – a unit equipped to respond to extrication assignments and carrying a vast array of heavy extrication equipment.   Rescues also carry limited Hazardous Materials resources.

 

Marine Unit – a unit that is capable of performing emergency operations on water or ice.

 

Water Tender – a unit of at least 1500 gallons, which delivers large quantities of water to an emergency scene.

 

Brush Fire Unit – (BFU) a unit equipped with four-wheel drive for accessing wildland fires or other off-the road incidents.

 

Basic Life Support (BLS) Unit – an ambulance unit capable of providing basic life support care and transportation.

 

Advanced Life Support (ALS) – a unit equipped to supply advanced life support services but incapable of supplying patient transportation.

 

Medical Unit – a BLS unit assigned to support firefighting or other hazardous situations.  The Medical unit is reserved for emergency services personnel injuries.

Appendices

 

            Initial Tactical Checklist (under development)

            CP & Staging Considerations (under development)

            Special Considerations (under development)

 

 

SCOPE:  The provisions of this guideline will apply to operational and evacuation practices conducted at a high-rise structure as defined within this guideline.  This guideline may also be applied to structures not classified as high-rises, but containing similar building characteristics and firefighting challenges.

 

PURPOSE:  The following information consists of a guideline for conducting suppression activities at a reported structure fire using the Burlington County Incident Management Plan at any high-rise occupancy, or structure with similar challenges, within Burlington County, New Jersey.  This guideline is intended to familiarize the wide-range of personnel anticipated to be involved in a high-rise incident in Burlington County, NJ.  Generally, there will be more automatic- and mutual-aid at a high-rise incident than there is from the authority having jurisdiction.

 

  1. GENERAL INFORMATION
  2. High-rise incidents are unique, complex, low frequency, high-risk operations for both firefighters and civilians.
  3. As a general rule of thumb, it takes three times the effort and resources for a high-rise incident as it does to address a 1- or 2-story structure.
  4. Personnel should make every attempt to bring a minimum of one (1) spare cylinder aloft with them or at least to the lobby area for future deployment to staging.

 

  1. RESPONSE RECOMMENDATION
  2. Because structural firefighting, specifically high-rise firefighting, requires a coordinated, near simultaneous execution of fire ground tasks (suppression, rescue, ventilation, etc.) during the initial stages of an incident, it is recommended that the following response recommendations occur with minimal delay.
  3. Minimum recommended response for an automatic fire alarm

                  1 engine

                  1 ladder or other company as determined by the department

                  1 chief officer

 

  1. Minimum recommended response for a reported structure fire

    4 engines

    2 ladders

                        1 rescue

                        2 chief officers

                        1 ambulance

                        1 rapid intervention crew

 

  1. RESPONSE ASSIGNMENTS

 

  1. AUTOMATIC FIRE ALARM-When companies are dispatched to an alarm system at a high-rise, units will take the following actions-

 

  1. First arriving unit
  2. Establish command
  3. Report to the main entrance of the facility
  4. Position apparatus in a position to proceed to the standpipe or to another location, as needed
  5. Verify alarm location(s) from the fire alarm control panel/annunciator
  6. Obtain keys and information (as needed) from key box (Knox Box)
  7. Investigate the first reported alarm location annunciated on fire alarm control panel.

 

  1. Second arriving unit
  2. Company officer, and crew if needed, will report to the alarm panel unless otherwise directed by the incident commander
  3. Assist with investigating alarm

 

  1. First arriving chief officer
  2. Assume command after transfer with initial IC
  3. Establish command post, preferably in Division-A
  4. Determine strategic and tactical priorities based on scene size-up

 

  1. Additional arriving units will Level I stage and await assignment from IC.

 

  1. STRUCTURE FIRE-When companies are dispatched to a reported fire at a high-rise, the following actions will be taken:

 

  1. First arriving unit (typically first due engine)
  2. Establish command.
  3. Give a preliminary report.
  4. Declare strategy as offensive or defensive.
  5. Obtain information from occupants, building management, or security.
  6. Check the alarm panel for activations.
  7. Take control of elevators.
  8. Verify the location of the fire.
  9. Identify and communicate the location of an attack stairwell, evacuation stairwell, and ventilation stairwell (roof).
  10. Get keys and info from key holder and/or Knox Box.

 

  1. Next assigned engine (may be first arriving unit also)
  2. Connect to and supply the building sprinkler system before supplying the standpipe.
  3. Verify the location of the fire before committing hand lines.
  4. Hand line diameter will be determined by the engine company officer, based on construction, occupancy, and size-up.  Fires identified with wind-driven conditions necessitate larger caliber hose streams (2 ½”).
  5. Operate on fire floor using closest stairwell or standpipe connection on the floor below the fire unless wind-driven conditions or civilian evacuation necessitates a change in the attack stairwell.
  6. Ensure stairwell is clear of civilians prior to compromising stairwell with hand line or ventilation.

 

  1. First assigned ladder
  2. Conduct a preliminary inspection of building exterior.  Chauffer will work with company unless aerial main is needed for access or rescue.
  3. Position apparatus for maximum scrub area of building on Division-A or where immediate rescue or life threat exists.
  4. Report to fire floor and work with initial suppression engine company.
  5. Conduct primary search of fire floor.
  6. Check plenums and void spaces on fire floor.

 

  1. First assigned chief officer
  2. Assume command.
  3. Announce ICP location and establish command post.
  4. Declare strategy as offensive or defensive.
  5. Determine strategic and tactical priorities based on incident size-up and declared strategy.

 

  1. First assigned RIC
  2. Proceed to Staging Area two floors below lowest fire floor.
  3. Minimum equipment required-
  4.       RIC scba and spare cylinder
  5.       Extra cylinder for each member assigned

                                                                      iii.      Thermal imaging camera

  1.       Spare radio batteries for members

 

  1. Next assigned engine
  2. Support the water supply of the standpipe supply engine.
  3. Proceed to the fire floor to support initial suppression engine.
  4. Assist with first hand line.
  5. Stretch a 2½” hand line as the second line, if needed.

 

  1. Next assigned ladder
  2. Position apparatus for maximum scrub area of Division-C, unless IC/situation dictates aerial is needed in another area
  3. Proceed to floor above fire floor
  4.       Perform rescue and occupant removal as dictated by conditions on floor (removal versus shelter in place)
  5.       Assist engine company, as needed

                                                                      iii.      Check for extension

  1.       Determine ventilation needs

 

  1. Second assigned chief officer
  2. Report to IC
  3. Suggested assignments are support incident commander at command post, Lobby Control, Operations Section Chief, Safety/Accountability Officer, or Division/Group supervisor as directed by the IC.
  4. Coordinate suppression, ventilation, evacuation, and staging area needs from floor below

 

  1. Next assigned engine
  2. Proceed to floor above fire floor with hand line
  3.       Uncontrolled fire on fire floor requires minimum 2½” hand line
  4.       Checking for extension requires minimum 1¾” hand line
  5. Perform rescues and occupant removal from floor above
  6. Check for extension
  7. Coordinate activity with ladder assigned to same floor

 

  1. Next assigned apparatus
  2. Proceed to top floor to check
  3.       Civilians trapped in stairwell
  4.       Roof access

                                                                      iii.      Ventilation openings

  1.       Fire/smoke extension

 

  1. Next assigned apparatus
  2. Officer to Lobby Control
  3. One member to control elevator return and use of Phase I & II Fire Service
  4. One member to control utilities with building engineer

 

  1. Subsequent arriving units/alarms proceed to Level II Staging Area for deployment as needed.  Possible job tasks include:
  2. Control of utilities
  3. Control of stairwells and evacuation
  4. Control of elevators
  5. Assist in engine company operations
  6. Assist in ladder company operations
  7. Assignment to command post/ staging area
  8. Relieve companies going to rehab

 

  1. Subsequent arriving chiefs will report to the command post for assignment to a position within the incident management system.

 

  1. EVACUATION

 

  1. Building evacuation managed by the fire department should be managed in the following order:
  2. The fire floor
  3. The floor above the fire
  4. The top floor of the building
  5. Floor below top floor down to fire floor

 

  1. The above floors will be given priority, but care must be taken to see that the rest of the building is evacuated.

 

  1. If sheltering in place, a clear communication to units on location shall be declared and safe area of refuge identified.

 

  1. Occupants not sheltered in place and that have evacuated the building should not be within 200 feet of the exterior of the building (protection from overhead debris/glass).

 

  1. Evacuated occupants shall be moved to an assembly area for accountability and, if needed, triage, treatment, and transport by emergency medical service.

 

  1. ELEVATOR USAGE

 

  1. Elevators may be used at the discretion of the incident commander for incidents on or above the 7th floor of a high-rise.

 

  1. Before using the elevators:
  2. All elevators shall be returned to the lobby utilizing phase I elevator control.
  3. Check the elevator shaft for fire, smoke, or water penetration by shining a hand light between the elevator car and the shaft.  If there is evidence of any fire, smoke or water in the shaft, the elevator will not be used.
  4. Personnel using elevators shall be trained in self-extrication from elevator cars.
  5. Members shall communicate their unit number and elevator car number to the incident commander or lobby control.
  6. Only one company (maximum of 5 members) may occupy the elevator at one time.
  7. Personnel shall have SCBA donned and turned on and prepared to don their mask. Appropriate tools for use in self-extrication from an elevator shall also be carried.
  8. Members utilizing elevators shall know the location of the nearest stairwell.

 

  1. If there is any doubt as to the reliability or integrity of the elevator, the elevator will not be used.

 

  1. Using elevators
  2. Activate phase II elevator control in the car.
  3. Check elevator for proper operation within the first five (5) floors.  If there is a malfunction, report it immediately to the incident commander.  The company will then utilize the stairs.
  4. Members shall exit the elevator at least two (2) floors below the fire floor or two (2) floors below the lowest level of fire alarm initiating device activation, whichever is lower.

 

  1. VENTILATION

 

  1. Use of HVAC to exhaust smoke.
  2. Systems should be shut down until the fire is under control.
  3. Decisions to reactivate these systems should be made with the knowledge of the Incident Commander, Operations Chief, and Building Maintenance.
  4. All personnel should be advised of these actions by the IC and removed from the fire floor(s).

 

  1. Vertical Ventilation
  2. Pressurizing stairwells from the ground using high volume positive pressure fans will help maintain tenable conditions for firefighting and evacuation.  This shall be coordinated with Operations Section prior to being implemented.
  3. Can be supported with PPV fans from the ground.
  4. Must be coordinated with companies on the fire floor.
  5. Vertical ventilation cannot be conducted in the evacuation stairway until it is clear of occupants.

 

  1. Horizontal Ventilation
  2. Pressurizing stairwells from the ground using high volume positive pressure fans will help maintain tenable conditions for firefighting and evacuation and can assist in horizontal ventilation.  This shall be coordinated with Operations Section prior to being implemented.
  3. Can be conducted as necessary during fire operations.
  4. Wind conditions shall be checked prior to ventilation to ensure that horizontal ventilation will be favorable to conditions.
  5. Glass breakage shall only be conducted with the permission of and after the IC is notified of the location of the window so that a warning can be issued on the ground.  Precautions should be taken to prevent unwanted damage to hose lines and injuries to personnel.  Open window and pull window glass to inside, if conditions permit, in order to prevent glass from falling to exterior. 

 

  1. INCIDENT COMMAND-The incident commander should appoint the following positions within the Incident Management System, as needed, for a high-rise incident.
  2. Staging Area Manager
  3. The Staging Area Manager reports to the IC in the initial phases of an incident.  When the Operation Section Chief role is staffed, the Staging Area Manager will report directly to the Operations Section Chief.
  4. Staging will be established two floors below the fire, unless conditions dictate otherwise.
  5. It is recommended that a company from the first alarm assignment set up staging.
  6. Rehab shall also be set up in staging for firefighters needing rest, recycling, or requiring medical attention.
  7. Staging will maintain a record of resource status for personnel accountability.

 

  1. Base Manager
  2. Base may be implemented when the Level II staging area and Staging Area Manager have determined the resources outnumber the space allocation allotted for Level II staging.
  3. Base serves as a deployment point from which personnel and equipment are distributed.
  4. Base Manager reports to the Incident commander if the Logistics Section Chief has not been established.
  5. Base should be located a safe distance from the involved structure, normally 200 feet or more.
  6. Responsibilities of Base include:
  7.       Establish one or more safe routes into the building
  8.       Coordinate movement into the building with Lobby Control

                                                          iii.      Maintain an accurate log of resources contained in Base.

 

  1. Lobby Control Unit Leader
  2. Establishing lobby control should be a priority for all working high-rise incidents.
  3. Lobby Control Unit Leader shall report to the Incident Commander if the Logistics Section Chief or Support Branch Director has not established.
  4. Responsibilities of Lobby Control include:
  5.       Use of the building communications system to address occupants
  6.       Control of all firefighting personnel and civilians entering and exiting the building

                                                          iii.      Determine occupant egress to ensure a safe corridor for exiting people

  1.       Direct personnel to move occupants at least 200 feet from the building
  2.       Coordinate the use of elevators
  3.       If not already assigned to Ventilation Group, pressurize the stairwells with fans when the building HVAC cannot be used.

 

  1. Stairwell Support Unit Leader
  2. The stairwell support function is implemented when equipment cannot be moved to staging by elevators or when additional water supply is needed.
  3. The Ground Support leader shall report to the Incident Commander if the Logistics Section Chief or Support Branch Director has not established.
  4.       Stairwell Support responsibilities includes movement of equipment (cylinders, hose, rehab, etc.) via the stairwells to the staging floor

 

  1. Rapid Intervention Crew

 

  1. Rapid Intervention Crews will stage two floors below the fire floor, unless directed otherwise by the Operations Section.

 

  1. The crews will be made familiar with operations and locations of companies.

 

  1. As incident escalates, additional Rapid Intervention Crews should be added to match incident alarm level based on number of companies operating in IDLH environment and number of floors involved in incident.

 

 

GLOSSARY

 

Stairwell Support Unit:  Functional unit within the Logistics Section.  Personnel assigned are responsible for the transportation of portable equipment (cylinders, hose, tools, rehab supplies, etc.) up stairwells from ground level to the staging floor of a high-rise structure.

 

High-Rise: A building with an occupied floor located more than 75 feet (22860 mm) above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.

 

Incident Commander (IC): Individual responsible for managing all incident operations.

 

Incident Command Post (ICP): The location established by the IC and designated as ‘CPXX” where XX refers to the district (i.e. 10, 22, 32, 36, etc.)

 

Lobby Control: Control point for fire fighting resources located within the lobby of a high-rise structure.  The Lobby Control Officer is responsible for controlling vertical access of emergency personnel to known safe routes, operating elevators, controlling the air handling system and coordinating the movement of supplies.

 

Medical Rehabilitation Unit / FF Rehab: Crews that have members who have exhausted two SCBA cylinders will be directed by their assigned Division/Group supervisor to report to Firefighter Rehabilitation.  That crew will be replaced by fresh crews assigned out of staging.  The primary goal of firefighter rehabilitation is to ensure firefighter safety.  When crews have been cleared from rehabilitation, they will report back to the Staging Area Manager for next assignment, unless directed otherwise.

 

Resources:  Resources include personnel and major items of equipment, supplies, and facilities available or potentially available for assignment to incident operations and for which status is maintained.

 

Staging:  Location established where resources can be placed while awaiting a tactical assignment (usually two floors below the lowest fire floor or one floor below the Operations Post).  The Staging Area Manager reports to the Operations Section Chief, once established.  There may be more than one Staging Area at an incident.  When this is the case, Staging Areas are designated by geographic names.

 

Level I Staging: Implemented during initial stages of response as defined under the Burlington County Incident Management Guideline.

Level II Staging: Is a specific location assigned by the IC consistent with the Burlington County Incident Management Guideline.

 

Stack Effect: Stack effect is the natural movement of air within a building.  It becomes noticeable in buildings more than sixty feet high and becomes stronger as the building gets taller.  It is caused by the rising of warm air through stairways, elevator shafts, utility chases, and all else.  The Reverse Stack Effect can occur when air tends to sink in an air-conditioned building with hot weather.

 

 

Published Resources Used in Developing This Guideline (various fire department guidelines were consulted also, but not enumerated)

 

  1. Developing Effective Standard Operating Procedures. FEMA. 1999.

 

  1. Norman, John. Fire Officer’s Handbook of Tactics, Second Edition. Saddle Brook, NJ. Penn Well Publishing Company. 1998

 

  1. Model Procedures Guide for High-Rise Firefighting, Second Edition.  Fire Protection Publications. 2003.

 

  1. Burlington County Fire Chiefs’ Association, www.bcfirechiefs.org/, Incident Command System-Burlington County, adopted September-1992, effective January-1993, and revised July-2010.

 

  1. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Management Institute, http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/ICSResource/index.htm

 

  1. 2009 International Building Code® New Jersey Edition, second printing, International Code Council, Inc. 2009.

GUIDANCE FOR THE PREPARATION OF

 

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES

 

FOR THE VARIOUS

 

HSAS THREAT ALERT LEVELS

  

AS DEFINED BY THE

  1. S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

  

For use by the

  

BURLINGTON COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENTS

  

Prepared by C. Kenneth Anderson and Joseph Lehmann, Jr.

Burlington County Fire Coordinator

 

with the information from the

 

NJ Division of Fire Safety

International Association of Fire Chiefs

United States Fire Administration

and the

Burlington County Office of Emergency Management

 

March, 2003

 

Introduction

 

       The Fire Departments in Burlington County provide many services to the citizens of their communities.  A principal service is fire suppression response, including various related services as defined in the mission of the Department.  Those services can include:  rescue, extrication, trench rescue, high angle rescue, providing EMS, hazardous materials incidents, etc.

 

       Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are developed for many contingencies.  Mutual aid assistance is built into many SOPs. 

 

       If there is a widespread terrorist event, all Fire Departments in a geographic area might be taxed to their limits.  Mutual aid may not be available until the State Emergency Operations Plan is put into effect and mutual aid is dispatched from some distance.

 

       The U. S. Department of Homeland Security has developed a system of Threat Conditions.  The system has been adopted in New Jersey.  It is appropriate for Fire Department to develop an SOP to list the actions that will be taken at the several Threat Condition levels.

 

       The Fire Department Chief, or the Homeland Security Officer, can use these guidelines to develop an SOP for the Department.  In the developing a Threat Level SOP, the Fire Chief may evaluate the existing Department Operational SOPs for Hurricanes or Floods and find that very little has to be added to provide for the security required for the lower Threat Levels.

 

       Fire Departments should establish local measures to transition between Threat Condition levels for their facilities and personnel.  Individual Fire Departments are responsible for routinely reviewing the effectiveness of day-to-day physical security measures under the existing Threat Condition within all facilities occupied by the Department. 

 

       These measures must be reviewed when the Terrorist Threat Level changes or when directed by an authority having jurisdiction (Mayor, Director, Emergency Management Coordinator).

 

       Regardless, an SOP should be developed that meets the needs of the Fire Department and the Community.

 

       The information in this Guidance document includes:

 

  • Descriptions of the Threat Condition levels
  • Suggestions of actions to consider at each Threat Condition level

 

 

 

Homeland Security Advisory System

 

       The Homeland Security Advisory System is designed to measure and evaluate terrorist threats and to inform and to facilitate actions appropriate to different levels of government and to private citizens, either in their workplaces or in their homes, in a timely manner.  It is a national framework; yet it is flexible to apply to threats made against a city, a state, a sector, or an industry.  It provides a common vocabulary, so officials from all levels of government can communicate easily with one another and to the public.  It provides clear, easy to understand factors, which help measure threat.

 

       Most importantly, it empowers government and citizens to take actions to address the threat.  For every level of threat, there will be a level of preparedness.  It is a system that is equal to the threat.

 

       The advisory system is based on five threat conditions or five different alerts:  low, guarded, elevated, high and severe.  They are represented by five colors:  green, blue, yellow, orange and red.

 

       The decision to name a threat condition rests with the Attorney General, after consulting with members of the Homeland Security Council, after consulting with The Secretary of Homeland Security.  He will be responsible for communicating the threat to law enforcement, state and local officials, and the public.

 

       A number of factors will be used to analyze the threat information:  Is it credible?  Is it a credible source?  Can the threat be corroborated?  Is it specific as to time or place or method of attack?  What are the consequences if the attack is carried out?  Can the attack be deterred?  Many factors go into the value judgment; many factors go into the assessment of the intelligence.

 

       Because the threat varies, the system is versatile and flexible enough to meet it.  The federal government cannot mandate the use of this system. As the name implies, it is advisory.  However, New Jersey has coordinated its alert system to the federal system.

 

       The Homeland Security Advisory System provides a comprehensive and effective means to disseminate information regarding the risk of terrorist acts to Federal, State, and local authorities and to the American people. The system provides warnings in the form of a set of graduated "Threat Conditions" that increase as the risk of the threat increases. At each Threat Condition, Federal departments and agencies implement a corresponding set of "Protective Measures" to further reduce vulnerability or increase response capability during a period of heightened alert.

 

       This system is intended to create a common vocabulary, context, and structure for an ongoing national discussion about the nature of the threats that confront the homeland and the appropriate measures that should be taken in response. It seeks to inform and facilitate decisions appropriate to different levels of government and to private citizens at home and at work.

 
 

       The following Threat Conditions each represent an increasing risk of terrorist attacks.

 

  1. Low Condition (Green).

 

       This condition is declared when there is a low risk of terrorist attacks.  No discernable terrorist activity.

 

  1. Guarded Condition (Blue).

 

       This condition is declared when there is a general risk of terrorist attacks.  Possible terrorist activity against unspecified targets.

 

  1. Elevated Condition (Yellow).

 

       An Elevated Condition is declared when there is a significant risk of terrorist attacks.  A more predictable threat against an unspecified target is likely.

 

  1. High Condition (Orange).

      

       A High Condition is declared when there is a high risk of terrorist attacks.  Terrorist attack is imminent although target information is unknown.

 

  1. Severe Condition (Red).

 

       A Severe Condition reflects a severe risk of terrorist attacks. Under most circumstances, the Protective Measures for a Severe Condition are not intended to be sustained for substantial periods of time.  Imminent attack against known target or attack has occurred.

 

 

General Procedures to Consider for Normal Ops or a Threat Alert SOP

 

  • Keep phone lists of your key employees and provide copies to key staff members.

 

  • If you have a voice mail system, designate one remote number on which you can record messages for employees. Provide the number to all employees.

 

  • Arrange for programmable call forwarding for your main business line(s). Then, if you can't get to the office, you can call in and reprogram the phones to ring elsewhere.

 

  • If some facilities do not have emergency generators, install emergency lights that turn on when the power goes out.

 

  • Back up computer data frequently throughout the business day. Keep a backup tape off site.

 

  • Use UL-listed surge protectors and battery backup systems. They will add protection for sensitive equipment and help prevent a computer crash if the power goes out.

 

  • Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio with a tone alert feature. Keep it on and when the signal sounds, listen for information about severe weather and protective actions to take.

 

  • Stock a minimum supply of the goods, materials and equipment you would need for business continuity.

 

  • Keep emergency supplies handy, including-

 

o        Flashlights with extra batteries.

o        First aid kit.

o        Tools.

 

       Food and water for employees and customers to use during a period of unexpected confinement at your business, such as if a tanker truck over-turned nearby and authorities told everyone in the area to stay put for an extended

 

Considerations for Local Fire Department Operational Response Measures

 

Low Risk - Threat Level Green              

  1. Refine and exercise preplanned protective measures
  2. Ensure personnel receive training on the Homeland Security Advisory System and preplanned agency-specific protective measures   
  3. Institutionalize a process to assure that all facilities and regulated sectors are regularly assessed for vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks, and all reasonable measures are taken to mitigate these vulnerabilities           
  4. Maintain a list of all personnel including address and phone numbers    
  5. Identify alternative work sites.
  6. Identify key essential personnel to move essential services to other sites if necessary    
  7. Check communication primary and back-up with emergency response and control centers   
  8. Review and update disaster/emergency response procedures             
  9. Provide the public with necessary information             
  10. Increase security checks of all vehicles assigned to your section      
  11. Secure all buildings, rooms and storage areas not in regular use            
  12. Remind all personnel to be suspicious of all strangers, particularly those carrying suitcases or other containers.
  13. Be alert for suspicious vehicles in the vicinity of your facility and for abandoned packages or vehicles     
  14. Identify department critical infrastructures and apply low or no-cost countermeasures.

 

  1. Develop procedures to improve daily information sharing with other local responders.
  2. Review local protocols for incident command and unified command as needed.
    Devise creative methods for emergency joint communications using existing equipment.
  3. Conduct time-efficient, inexpensive walk-through drills and tabletop exercises with all local responding agencies.
  4. Invite other local response organizations to observe or participate in full-scale department exercises planned for the future.
  5. Review all plans and logistic requirements for implementation of Threat Level Blue

 

 Guarded Risk - Threat Level Blue

  1. Review and complete the required actions for Threat Level Green
  2. Check communication primary and back-up with emergency response and control centers   
  3. Review and update emergency response procedures          
  4. Provide the public with any information that would strengthen its ability to act appropriately.
  5. Increase security checks of all vehicles assigned to your agency   
  6. Secure all buildings, rooms and storage areas not in regular use            
  7. Remind all personnel to be suspicious of all strangers, particularly those carrying suitcases or other containers.
  8. Be alert for suspicious vehicles in the vicinity of your facility and for abandoned packages or vehicles     
  9. Assign duty officers who maintain key response plans and are responsible for carrying out guidance security plans         
  10. At the beginning and end of each work day and at regular intervals inspect the interior and exterior of your facilities for suspicious activities and packages
  11. Establish alternate staging locations   
  12. Check all deliveries to your facilities     
  13. Check all facility lighting, locks and fencing for serviceability and use.   Take steps to have deficiencies repaired    
  14. Reduce the number of entrances to each facility (Channel traffic for better control)  
  15. Review all plans and logistic requirements for implementation of Threat Level Yellow

 

Elevated Risk - Threat Level Yellow

  1. Review and complete the required actions for Threat Levels Green and Blue   
  2. At the beginning and end of each work day and at regular intervals inspect the interior and exterior of your facilities for suspicious activities, packages and vehicles           
  3. Reduce the number of entrances to your facility.      
  4. Review and coordinate emergency plans with nearby jurisdictions             
  5. Assess the precise characteristics of the threat information for further refinement of pre-planned protective measures of targeted facilities or functions   
  6. Implement, as appropriate, contingency and emergency response plans.
  7. Start using contingency and emergency response plans as required.   
  8. Remind all vehicle operators to lock parked vehicles and do walk around checks.  
  9. Inform all personnel on the general situation.               
  10. Move vehicles, trash receptacles and other containers at least 50 feet from buildings    
  11. Increase examination of all mail for FBI warning signs
  12. Increase surveillance of critical locations   
  13. Consider inspecting and escorting all visitors, carried items, and containers       
  14. Consider restriction of deliveries and/or by appointment only     
  15. Consider placing essential personnel on standby     
  16. Maintain open communication by providing regular information releases to stop rumors and prevent unnecessary alarm   
  17. Review procedures for Threat Level Orange     

 

High Risk - Threat Level Orange

  1. Review and complete the required actions for Threat levels Green, Blue and Yellow   
  2. Keep personnel responsible for implementing anti-terrorist plans available at their duty section   
  3. Suspend non-essential commercial deliveries or develop alternate mail delivery and sorting facilities  
  4. Contact other key emergency organizations to confirm their emergency response plan procedures  
  5. Establish "Buffer Zones" around Key facilities by limiting parking, moving trash receptacles, and increasing periodic checks      
  6. Coordinate necessary security efforts with law enforcement            
  7. Take additional precautions at public events, including pre-event security checks.
  8. Prepare to work alternating shifts and restricting access to essential personnel only.  (Identified by photo ID and access rosters)  
  9. Have emergency supplies on hand (equipment, materials, food, etc), shelters ready, and review procedures
  10. Restrict key personnel, when not actually on duty, to immediate response (30 minutes)
  11. Prepare to execute contingency procedures, such as moving to an alternate site or dispersing the response units.   In the alternative, are Task Force responses appropriate?
  12. Limit facility access points to the absolute minimum   
  13. Prepare to limit or eliminate all non-essential functions   
  14. Prepare to close all non-essential facilities     
  15. Account for all vehicles adjacent to facilities and increase security limit or eliminate parking within 50 feet of key facilities
  16. Prepare to limit all administrative visits         
  17. Require Positive ID for all visitors      
  18. Prepare to activate Emergency Operational Centers
  19. Check computer and telephone systems and notify the people who will staff the EOC
  20. Make contact with the law enforcement counterpart in your municipality to share information and review emergency response plans.

 

  1. Be prepared to brief your local elected officials and the local news media, if requested.

 

  1. Prepare for security precautions by the federal government, as well as state and local governments, to increase readiness to prevent terrorism and plan accordingly.

 

  1. Encourage all citizens in your communities to review their own families’ emergency response procedures to ensure that all family members know what to do, where to go and what their own emergency contingency plans are.

 

  1. Leave all exterior lighting on during periods of limited visibility.

 

  1. Maintain constant observation of apparatus and equipment kept outside of the station.
  2. Remain attentive for unexplained odors, powders, liquids, etc.
  3. Coordinate for personnel protection when at the scene of an incident.

 

  1. Arrange for aggressively restricted access to the proximate area of an incident.

 

  1. Diversify operational procedures to avoid consistent patterns.

 

  1. Encourage personnel to vary their routines and habits.
  2. Review procedures for Threat Level Red        

 

Severe Risk - Threat Level Red

  1. Complete all required actions under Threat Levels Orange, Yellow, Blue, and Green.
  2. Assign emergency response personnel and pre-position specially trained teams to monitor, redirect and, in concert with the law enforcement counterpart in your municipality, constrain transportation for control and use
  3. Increase personnel to address critical emergency needs (Call back)        
  4. Limit or eliminate all non-essential operations.  (Inspections, Public Education)              
  5. Control access to all facilities and require 100 % positive identification procedures. 
  6. Minimize or stop all administrative visits to your facilities     
  7. Ensure all employees are aware of the situation/threat and they remain alert and report any unauthorized or suspicious activity    
  8. Activate the appropriate Emergency Operation Centers              
  9. Priority will be given to saving lives and protecting property, in that order

 

  1. Address critical emergency needs

 

  1. Wildland firefighting techniques may have to be applied to rural and urban fire situations, particularly where water systems are inoperative.  Aerial delivery of fire retardants or water for structural protection may be essential.  In the case of multiple fires, firebreaks may be cleared and burning-out and backfiring techniques may be used.

 

  1. Mobilize and pre-position specially trained teams or resources

 

  1. Adhere to any travel restrictions announced by governmental authorities

 

  1. Work with community leaders, emergency management, government agencies, community organizations, and utilities to meet the immediate needs of the community

 

  1. Be prepared to work with a dispersed or smaller work force

 

  1. Identification check on everyone (i.e. – Driver’s license retained at front office) and escort anyone entering a fire station or Department facility

 

  1. Ensure mental health counselors are available for employees (and families)

 

  1. Listen to radio/TV for current information/instructions

 

 

Preparing First Responder Families for Threat Levels

       Common leadership theories sustain that subordinates will function with greater enthusiasm and dedication if they are confident about the emergency preparedness and safety of their families. Therefore, it is essential for leaders to promote preparedness activities among the families of their emergency responders for all contingencies and circumstances.

       Given the change in the threat level recently, there have been countless interviews and articles regarding what citizens should do to help themselves and their families. Since most of the information applies to all families, the CIPIC (Critical Infrastructure Protection Information Center) will list those few actions that are particularly relevant to the loved ones of emergency first responders:

  • Develop an emergency method to communicate with family members.
  • Select an out-of-state relative to be the family's single point-of-contact.
  • Establish a predetermined meeting place away from your neighborhood.
  • Choose another family assembly point outside of the municipality.
  • Ensure family members know the address and phone number of meeting places.
  • Learn the emergency response plans of applicable schools, employers, etc.
  • Prepare to "shelter in place," which means to stay inside your home.
  • Assemble disaster supply and first aid kits for use at home or if evacuated.
  • Insert in kits: baby formula, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, bottled water, etc.
  • Maintain currency of life, property, health, and other insurance policies.
  • Determine what will be done with pets since shelters do not allow them.
  • Keep a positive attitude for the benefit of younger family members.
  • Call 9-1-1 to report what you are seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling.
  • Listen to the directions of local authorities.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

       Other sources of information for the emergency preparedness and safety of families follow.  Some of the information can also be useful to Fire Departments—particularly in preparing for the needs of the firefighters.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Terrorism—Preparing for the Unexpected

 

       Suggestions from the American Red Cross.  Principally for individuals but can be of assistance in developing your SOP.  The suggestions are found at

http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/keepsafe/unexpected.html

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Ready, Set ... Prepare

 

       The newly created Department of Homeland Security rolled out its "Ready" campaign this week to help Americans prepare for a possible terrorist attack.  The department should be commended for streamlining its preparedness suggestions. The recommendations are presented in ways that educate, and discourage the clear-the-store-shelves panic evident in recent days.

 

       A brief, 11-page brochure, "Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now," calmly offers details on how to handle specific terrorist actions, be they chemical, biological, or nuclear. The campaign also rationally calls for families to develop a communication plan, and to assemble home and "away" supply kits.

 

       The campaign's central feature is a website: www.ready.gov. Those who don't have an on-ramp to the Web, can call 1-800-BE-READY to order the brochure.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Citizen's Protection Guide

 

       The guide details opportunities for every citizen to become involved in safeguarding their neighbors and communities through FEMA's Citizen Corps initiative and Community Emergency Response Team training program.  There are several sections that can be accessed at

http://www.citizencorps.gov/ready/cc_pubs.shtm

I.              Purpose:

 

A.            This document shall explain the procedures to be followed when the Department is called upon to assist in the coordination of Med-Evac Helicopter Landings. The Med-Evac Helicopter Transportation System is utilized when persons within the county require immediate transport to a trauma care facility. By utilizing this system, the patient can be transported to the trauma center within twenty minutes. This reduction in time to transport increases the chances of survival for the critically ill/injured patient.

 

II.           Scope

 

A.            This guideline applies to all emergency agencies operating within Burlington County that have a need to request a Medical Evacuation Helicopter.

 

B.             It is the intent of this guideline to ensure compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).  Standard terminology, strike team components, and other resources are identified using NIMS guidelines.

 

III.        Requesting Authority:

 

A.            It shall be the responsibility of the Emergency First Responder in charge of patient care to request the Medical Evacuation helicopter.

 

B.             This request is to made through Command to Central Communications.

 

IV.         Fire Resource Responsibilities:

 

A.            Once Central receives a request from the Command for use of the Med-Evac helicopter, a Type I Engine Company shall be dispatched per established local response plans.  The senior member shall assume the role of Helispot Manager.

 

B.             The Helispot Manager will upon arrival:

 

1.             Locate a suitable landing site for the helicopter (110’ X 110’),

2.             Notify Central of the location selected,

3.             Place flares (day or night) or battery operated hand lanterns or other recognized marking device (at night) at all four corners of the landing site,

4.             Clear any loose objects from the site. (Papers, loose wood, debris, etc.),

5.             Assess local wind conditions and be prepared to advise the pilot when requested,

6.             Secure a perimeter around the landing site at least 110’ greater than the site,

7.             Place fire apparatus approximately 100’ from the perimeter of the landing site and stand-by. Firefighters shall remain at the ready during take off and landing of the aircraft, hose lines are not required to be stretched or placed into service,

8.             Once the aircraft has landed, civilians and firefighters shall be kept at a distance outside the landing zone,

9.             Fire apparatus shall remain at the area in a continued stand-by mode until the aircraft has loaded and is airborne.

 

V.            Landing Sites:

 

A.            The Med-Evac Helicopter service requires an area of at least 110’ x 110’ of flat, clear landing area. Members are reminded that this is the minimum dimension; larger areas should be utilized wherever possible. Particular care shall be taken to be certain that upward projecting obstructions are removed or identified to the Med-Evac helicopter pilot. Such objects include towers, wires, fencepost, signposts, etc., all of which are extremely difficult to see from the air. Landing sites should be at least 300 feet from the scene of the emergency and be located as remotely from public access as reasonably possible.

 

B.             Pre-designated landing zones (LZ) should be identified by all jurisdictions with the county and available in apparatus map books. Pre-designated sites have been selected based on their ability to meet the criteria for Helispots (LZ) as outlined in this document and by the Med-Evac Helicopter Service. These sites shall be utilized whenever possible. Pre-designated landing zones should be added and/or removed as they become available.

 

VI.         Safety:

 

A.            No members will enter the 110’ x 110’ landing site unless a genuine emergency exists or they are specifically directed to do so by Command.

 

B.             Emergency Medical Service members who request assistance from fire members shall do so through Command.

 

C.            If it becomes necessary to enter the helispot (LZ) and approach the aircraft, the following safety points must be followed:

1.             Gain eye contact with the pilot.

2.             Always approach the helicopter from the sides, be sure to move in a crouched position under the rotor blades.

3.             Never walk anywhere near the tail rotor.

4.             If the helicopter has landed on a slope, always approach the helicopter from the downhill side.

5.             During hours of darkness, turn all emergency lighting to the off position. Do not allow the use of flashbulbs on cameras, or the use of any other lighting in the direction of the helicopter during takeoff or landing, utilize police if necessary.

6.             Eye protection shall be in place by firefighters during takeoff and landing. Members without eye protection shall take necessary precautions.

 

VII.      Communications:

 

A.            Upon arrival at the scene, the helicopter will contact Helispot Manager on the designated channel. They may request detailed information about the helispot, which includes local wind direction. The Helispot Manager should be prepared to supply this information. Wind direction is given from the direction of travel, compass direction.

 

B.             Only the Helispot Manager or his designee shall communicate with the helicopter; this person shall be known as  jurisdiction/town LZ.  Example:  Southampton LZ.   All other units shall stand-by, monitoring their radios.

 

I.              Closing

 

A.          All fire departments in Burlington County shall receive a copy of this plan.  All Chief Officers shall become familiar with this plan.

 

B.            Any plan previously published that is in conflict with this plan is hereby rescinded.

PURPOSE:

To provide Emergency Services Organizations with recommended Rapid Intervention Crew (RIC) operations protocols where an Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) environment would be present or any such incident where the Incident Commander deemed appropriate.