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Rural Fire Management Handbook . t n e m e g na W o r

Rural Fire Management Handbook

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LACES

LOOKOUTS

Experienced, competent and trusted? Enough Lookouts, good advantage points? Knowledge of crew locations? Knowledge of escape and safety locations?

AWARENESS or

Crews are briefed and understand the incident and their objectives? Fire behaviour and weather are known? Crews are working from a safe and secure anchor point?

ANCHOR POINTS

COMMUNICATIONS

Radio channels are confirmed? Communications are established with all crews, control point, HQ, etc? Situation updates are communicated? Communications required with the Comcen or RFA?

ESCAPE ROUTES

More than one escape route? Scouted out, suited to slowest person (allow for fatigue), known to all the crew members? Are marked (night time)?

SAFETY ZONES

Natural or constructed area (in burnt area, roadway, etc)? More than one required? Vehicles available and correctly positioned for escape? Are close enough given the planned escape route?

ISBN:

0-908920-69-5

Fire Management Handbook

Foreword

A wildfire incident in New Zealand can involve many

people moving from their normal day to day work environment into a temporary fire fighting organisation.

The question on some people minds when tasked to a

role(s) at a wildfire incident is what is the responsibilities

of my role(s) and how does this fit with other role(s)

involved with the management of the incident.

This handbook provides the detail to each of the wildfire incident roles within the CIMS ICS structure and is similar in many aspects to the Fireline Handbook published by the USA National Wildfire Co-ordinating Group.

At a small to medium wildfire incident one person will fill one or more roles as defined in this handbook. As the incident increases in size or complexity the number of roles will reduce until finally a person will be tasked to only one role.

Addition references and information is also provided on fire behaviour in different fuel types and weather.

It is recommended that Rural Fire Authorities issue this

handbook to regular fire fighters and those involved in

the management of wildfires to ensure the maximisation

of knowledge on wildfire incident management is known

prior to deployment of resource to wildfires. The handbook is also structure in way that it can be placed in the pocket of fire fighting clothing and referenced when required during an incident.

Murray Dudfield National Rural Fire Officer July 2002

Index

Section 1

Introduction

1.1

Purpose

1.2

Use

1.3

Maintenance

1.4

Approvals

Section 2

Safety

2.1

Personal Safety

2.2

LACES

2.3

Watchouts

2.4

Ten Standard Fire Orders

2.5

Safety Briefing

2.6

Use of Vehicles

2.7

Use of Machinery

2.8

Working with Aircraft

2.9

First Aid

2.10

CPR

Section 3

Initial Attack

3.1

Definition of Initial Attack

3.2

Responding to a Reported Incident

3.3

Enroute to the Incident

3.4

Arriving at the Fire

3.5

Getting to work

3.6

Initial Attack Checklist

3.7

Transition (Initial to Extended Attack)

3.8

Fire Incident Types

Section 4

Incident Management

4.1

Control

4.1.1 Incident Controller

Page

1

1

2

2

1

5

6

7

8

8

9

10

11

12

1

1

2

3

3

5

6

8

2

4

 

Page

 

4.1.3 Liaison Officer

7

4.1.4 Safety Officer

8

4.2

Planning and Intelligence

9

4.2.1 Planning/Intell Manager

10

4.2.2 Situation Unit

11

4.2.3 Resource Unit

12

4.2.4 Information/Intell Unit

13

4.2.5 Management Support Unit

13

4.3

Operations

14

4.3.1 Operations Manager

15

4.3.2 Air Operations

16

4.3.3 Ground Operations

21

4.4

Logistics

25

4.4.1 Logistics Manager

26

4.4.2 Supply Unit

27

4.4.3 Facilities Unit

28

4.4.4 Ground Support Unit

28

4.4.5 Communications Unit

29

4.4.6 Catering Unit

30

4.4.7 Medical Unit

31

4.4.8 Finance Unit

32

Section 5

Operational Guidelines

5.1

Fire Control Objectives

1

5.2

Fire Control Strategy

1

5.2.1 Direct Attack

2

5.2.2 In-Direct Attack

3

5.2.3 Back Burning and Burn-out

4

5.3

Communications

5

5.3.1 Communication Networks

5

5.3.2 Communications Plan

8

 

Page

 

5.3.4 Standard IGC Frequencies

10

5.4

Media Interviews

11

Section 6

Fire Behaviour

6.1

Introduction

1

6.2

Fire Weather Index (FWI) System structure 2

6.3

Available Fuel Load (AFL) – Forests

4

6.4

Available Fuel Load (AFL) – Grasslands

5

6.5

Available Fuel Load (AFL) – Scrublands

6

6.6

Headfire Rate of Spread (ROS) – Flat Terrain 7

6.7

Slope Correction Factor

8

6.8

Dense Scrub Slope Correction Factor

9

6.9

Headfire Intensity (HFI) – Equations

10

6.10 Headfire Intensity (HFI) – Rate of Spread/ Fuel Load Relationship

12

6.11 Headfire Intensity (HFI) – Flame Length Relationship

15

6.12 Headfire Intensity (HFI) – Fire suppression effectiveness

16

6.13 Fire Danger Class Criteria – Forest

17

6.14 Fire Danger Class Criteria – Grassland

18

6.15 Fire Danger Class Criteria – Scrubland

19

6.16 Fire Danger Class Criteria

20

6.17 Simple Elliptical Fire Growth Model

22

6.18 Wind Speed Estimation

24

6.19 Abbreviations and Conversions

26

Section 7

Fire Investigation

7.1

On Arrival

1

7.2

Fire Cause Report

2

Appendix A -

Glossary

Appendix B - Local/Regional Information

Appendix C - Notes

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose

It is intended that this handbook will provide a condensed reference of key information that a fire manager will find useful at an incident. The handbook includes guidelines and information on:

• Safe fire fighting

• The structure and inter-relationships of a National Incident Management Team (NIMT)

• The roles and responsibilities of the personnel forming an IMT

• Guidelines on when a national team should be deployed

• Operational information and fire control strategies

• Fire behaviour information

• Fire investigation guidelines

• Local information (added by user).

1.2 Use

The handbook has information that may be required or is useful at any phase of an incident. It is intended to be used on the Incident Ground and therefore portability is important. As personnel may wish to carry the handbook at all times, a “pocket size” format has been adopted.

The book is not intended as a complete reference for rural fire fighting. It contains summary information in the form of bullet points, tables and checklists that are intended to be used as a guide or as reference material.

Section 1

July 2002

Page 2

1.3 Maintenance

The handbook is modular in format and “loose” bound to allow for:

• Sections to be revised over time and updated versions issued. The bindings and page numbering system allows sections to be replaced. The sections will include version control in the form of the issue Month/ Year

• Additional local or regional sections to be developed and added to the Handbook (eg local resources and contact numbers).

An electronic copy will also be maintained on the NRFA Web Site to enable users to access the Handbook and print out sections as required.

1.4 Approvals

Content of this handbook has been:

• Developed and/or collated from existing reference materials; and

• Reviewed by fire managers from throughout the rural sector; and

• Approved by the National Rural Fire Advisory Committee.

2. Safety

Remember:

“Safety is no Accident” “Safety First” “Don’t take Chances” “When in doubt, back out”

2.1 Personal Safety

Responsibility

All personnel have a responsibility for their own personal safety and for the safety of those personnel they are supervising.

Every person entering a fireground:

• Shall receive a briefing which includes the safety and operational aspects appropriate to their role at the fire; and

• Shall have attained the competency in the FRSITO Unit Standard 3285, or be under the close supervision of a person who has attained this competency; and

• Shall receive a general fire related safety briefing before entering the fire ground if they do not have Unit Standard 3285.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Every fire fighter must be dressed in appropriate and approved gear (PPE) for the task. This includes:

• Leather or other boots appropriate to the conditions

• Ankle to wrist outer clothing (wool or fire resistant)

• Cotton undergarments

• Head wear appropriate to work being done (chin straps must be fastened when working around aircraft)

Section 2

July 2002

Page 2

• Safety goggles appropriate to work being done

• Earmuffs of appropriate grade to be available with each pump or other noisy environment

• Wet weather and protective gear for persons handling fire chemicals or loading water into aircraft

• In some situations gloves will be necessary.

Hydration

Fire fighting can be hot and physically very demanding. The loss of body fluids (de-hydration) through sweating quickly reduces fire fighter effectiveness and can lead to heat stress. In severe circumstances heat stroke can occur.

To prevent de-hydration it is essential that all fire fighters:

• Have access to plenty of fresh drinking water

• If appropriate to the task, carry drinking water in a belt water bottle

• Drink water frequently to replace lost fluids

• Keep themselves in good physical condition

• Take regular breaks when working hard

• Do not wear heavy clothes, jackets or PPE that is not suitable for vegetation fire fighting.

Crew Leaders and Supervisors need to:

• Monitor that firefighters are carrying and regularly drinking from their water bottles

• Regularly provide their crews with a rest period

• Regularly rotate tasks amongst the fire fighters to share the workload

• Monitor fire fighters (and themselves) for any symptoms of heat stress including:

• red, flushed features

• heavy sweating

• excessive thirst and drinking

• fatigue, clumsiness, giddiness or anxiety

• Stand down any person showing early signs of heat stress from the fireground

• Stand down any person from the fireground who is showing symptoms of heat stress and arrange for them to receive first aid assistance

• Arrange the evacuation and urgent medical attention for any fire fighter who shows any signs of severe heat stress or the onset of heat stroke (ie the patient becomes delirious or even unconscious).

Smoke/CO2 Inhalation

Always avoid working in areas where there is high smoke levels or fire intensity. If the air becomes too smoky or hot, keep low to the ground and immediately retreat back along your escape route to clear air. Goggles can provide some protection and relief from smoke and fine dust particles.

Radiant Heat

Radiant heat is very dangerous and can kill! It is important to avoid exposure to radiant heat and to shield exposed skin from its heat source. Radiated heat cannot pass through solid objects.

• always avoid being in any situation where you become exposed to the direct heat of a high intensity fire front

• always wear the correct PPE and where possible, keep all exposed skin covered (eg use helmet skirt to cover neck and ears)

• if exposed, use any equipment you are carrying (eg a shovel) to shield your face from the heat source

• if there is no immediate escape, turn away from the heat source and crouch low until it is safe to exit back along the escape route.

Section 2

July 2002

Page 4

Entrapment

Entrapment can be a major threat to fire fighters when a fire suddenly and unexpectedly changes direction or rate of spread. The first responsibilities of all fire fighters is to:

• Always adopt a “safety first” attitude. No fire suppression tasks justify any risk taking or short cuts with safe work procedures

• Maintain LACES (refer the next section)

• Be aware of the topography, the fuels and fire environment

• Be alert to and consider any sudden changes to topography, fuels or fire weather.

In the event an entrapment situation arises and it is not possible to escape to the designated safety zone:

• Make sure crews stay together

• Do not try to out run a fire front up a steep slope

• Seek a possible route to get within the burnt area (as the safest place to be)

• If no escape, seek any immediate shelter from the radiant heat (in a ditch, behind a rock, in/under vehicle, etc)

• If there is no shelter (or no time), hit the ground and keep face close as possible to the earth. If possible, cover any exposed skin (ie if wearing gloves, cover ears). Take short breaths, the protection of your airway is essential

• Once the fire front has moved past:

• account for all personnel

• move further into burnt area to a safe position

• check yourself for any injuries

• check the condition of other personnel

• seek immediate assistance as required.

2.2

Laces

LACES

CONSIDER

LACES CONSIDER

LOOKOUTS

Experienced, competent and trusted?

 

Enough Lookouts, good advantage points?

 

Knowledge of crew locations?

 

Knowledge of escape and safety locations?

 

AWARENESS or

Crews are briefed and understand the incident and their objectives?

 

ANCHOR POINTS

Fire behaviour and weather are known?

 

Crews are working from a safe and secure anchor point?

 

COMMUNICATIONS

Radio channels are confirmed?

 

Communications are established with all crews, control point, HQ, etc?

 

Situation updates are communicated?

 

Communications required with the Comcen or RFA?

 

ESCAPE ROUTES

More than one escape route?

 

Scouted out, suited to slowest person (allow for fatigue), known to all the crew members?

 

Are marked (night time)?

 

SAFETY ZONES

Natural or constructed area (in burnt area, roadway, etc)?

 

More than one required?

 

Vehicles available and correctly positioned for escape?

 

Are close enough given the planned escape route?

 

Section 2

July 2002

Page 6

2.3

Watchouts

The 20 situations that shout “Watch Out”!

1

Fire size is unknown (not scouted and sized up?)

2

Unfamiliar territory (not seen in daylight?)

3

Safety zones/escape routes not identified?

4

Unfamiliar with weather and local factors influencing fire behaviour?

5

No communications link with fire fighters and their control point?

6

Instructions are not clear (unsure of assigned task, objectives, strategy, command chain, etc?)

7

Weather is getting hotter and drier (increasing temperature, falling humidity?)

8

Wind changes speed and/or direction (sudden change or un-expected change?)

9

Spot fires occurring across the line

10

Uphill or down wind of the fire front (attempting a frontal assault on fire?)

11

On a steep slope (constructing fireline downhill with fire below, on a hillside where rolling material can ignite fuel below?)

12

In rugged terrain (terrain makes escape to safety zones difficult?)

13

Can’t see the fire (are there communications with someone that can – LACES?)

14

In unburnt vegetation (are there fuels between you and the fire?)

15

Walking through hot ashes?

16

Working alone?

17

Getting tired?

18

Near power lines?

19

Working with machinery?

20

Working with aircraft?

2.4

Ten Standard Fire Orders

1

Fight fire aggressively but provide for safety first.

2

Initiate all actions based upon current and expected fire behaviour.

3

Recognise current weather conditions and obtain forecasts.

4

Ensure instructions are given and understood.

5

Obtain current information on fire status.

6

Remain in communication with crew members, your supervisor and adjoining forces.

7

Determine safety zones and escape routes.

8

Establish lookouts in potentially hazardous situations.

9

Retain control at all times.

10

Stay alert, keep calm, think clearly and act decisively.

Section 2

July 2002

Page 8

2.5 Safety Briefing

All tasks should be preceded by a safety briefing. This may be delivered by a dedicated Safety Officer or by the person supervising the assignment. The person delivering the safety briefing will:

1

Identify self. Who you are, what is your role/ responsibility.

2

Define the assignment and discuss objectives and strategy.

3

Identify the potential hazards and apply the standard Fire Orders, Watch Outs and LACES.

4

For each hazard, discuss the danger signs and identify the avoidance and mitigation measures to be followed to minimise the risk.

5

Discuss fire fighter health and safety issues.

6

Ask for questions or any clarification required?

2.6 Use of Vehicles

• The driver is qualified for the operation of the vehicle and for the road conditions?

• The driver and all passengers are seated and with seatbelts done up. No arms or legs outside the vehicle?

• No unsecured equipment or containers within the passenger area?

• All other equipment and tools securely stowed on the vehicle?

• All road traffic regulations observed, travelling at a safe speed at all times?

• Front seat passenger assisting driver with operation of the radio, lights, siren and as an observer when backing up?

• Vehicle securely parked in a safe position on arrival at the fire (positioned to be able to quickly move away from the fire and clear of other arriving or passing traffic)?

• Vehicle not locked or ignition key removed?

2.7 Use of Machinery

• Machines with the required safety rating for use in the vegetation cover conditions

• Operator(s) are fully briefed on their task, any hazards and safety issues

• Machines working at night are equipped with suitable flood lighting equipment

• Communications with the machines and established (operator with a radio and headphones or assigned Crew Leader with radio)

• All personnel will:

• watch out for rapid and erratic movement of a machine

• attract the operator’s attention before approaching a machine

• never mount or dismount a moving machine

• keep away from the downhill side of an operating machine

• keep at least two tree lengths away from an operating machine.

Section 2

July 2002

Page 10

2.8 Working with Aircraft

All Aircraft

• Remain well clear of aircraft landing or take off areas when aircraft are operating unless a specific task that you have requires you to be in the area

• A safety briefing will be given before flying, pay close attention and be sure all instructions are understood

• If wearing a helmet, secure it with a chin strap

• Remove any caps or hats and firmly hold on to them along with any other hand carried items

• Do not leave loose objects near aircraft or landing areas where they can get blown about

• Keep crews and their equipment together, upwind of the landing area

• Make each person responsible for their own gear and the equipment they carry and be ready to board as soon as they are given the command

• Board the aircraft only on a signal from the pilot or the person supervising loading. Stay in the pilot’s field of vision at all times

• Only load tools or equipment into the aircraft with the pilot’s approval

• Sit where instructed, fasten seatbelt and secure any objects in cabin from moving in flight

• Uncouple the seatbelt and leave aircraft when indicated by pilot (if possible, re-couple the seatbelt behind you as you exit)

• Always follow any directions or instructions from the pilot.

Fixed Wing

• Never approach an aircraft forward of the engine and propeller(s). Note: This is the reverse of the approach for helicopters

• Keep well clear of propellers at all times (whether spinning or not).

Helicopters

• Keep well clear of the main and tail rotors at all times

• Approach and leave the helicopter on the down hill side (ground slope can reduce the overhead rotor clearance)

• Carry all tools and equipment at or below waist height

• Enter or leave the helicopter in a smooth, steady fashion, don’t make sudden movements

• Crouch down with back to helicopter if temporarily blinded by dust.

2.9 First Aid

First Aid is the first assistance or treatment given to a casualty for any injury or sudden illness before the arrival of an ambulance or qualified medical expert. It may involve improvising with facilities and materials available at the time.

First Aid treatment is given to a casualty:

• To preserve life

• To prevent the condition worsening

• To promote recovery.

Section 2

July 2002

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The responsibility of the First Aider is to:

• Assess the situation without endangering their own life

• Identify the condition(s) that the casualty(s) is/are suffering from

• Determine priorities (where there are multiple injuries and/or multiple casualties)

• Give immediate and appropriate treatment as the situation and resources allow

• Arrange without delay the attendance of ambulance services and/or the transfer of the casualty(s) to a doctor or hospital

• Briefing the ambulance/doctor/hospital on the patient and any first aid given

• Documenting the details of what occurred and the actions taken for the purposes of a formal incident report.

2.10

CPR

Remember – consider personal safety before commencing the ABCs. Assess the situation:

• What might have caused the casualty to collapse (power wires, poisoned, gas build up, etc)?

• Does the hazards still exist?

• What needs to be done to remove the hazard and make it safe to attend the casualty?

A – Airway

1. Assess the casualty, determine their degree of responsiveness

2. Call for help (send for an ambulance)

3. Position the casualty

B – Breathing

Determine if the casualty is breathing.

If the casualty is breathing:

1. Place in the recovery position.

2. Maintain an open airway.

3. Keep casualty warm and calm.

4. If possible, advise status to responding medical services.

If the casualty is not breathing:

1. Place casualty on their back and check mouth for any visible objects or airway obstructions.

2. Begin rescue breathing by giving two full breaths.

3. If unable to give two full breaths, re-position head and try again. If still unsuccessful, re-check mouth for airway obstruction.

C – Circulation

Check for pulse.

If there is a pulse:

1. Continue rescue breathing at 12 breaths/min

If there is no pulse:

1. Locate correct hand position and give the casualty 15 external chest compressions at a rate of 80-100 a minute.

2. Open airway and give two breaths.

3. Re-locate hands and give the casualty a further 15 compressions.

4. Continue sequence until 4 complete cycles of 2 breaths and 15 compressions are completed.

Section 2

July 2002

Page 14

5. Re-assess the casualty by checking for pulse (5 secs). If no pulse, continue cycle of 2 breaths and 15 compression stopping every few minutes to check for pulse and spontaneous breathing. Do not interrupt CPR for more than 7 secs unless unavoidable.

6. If pulse returns, check breathing. If no breathing, continue with 12 breaths/min while monitoring pulse. If breathing and pulse, continue to monitor patient closely.

7. If possible, continue to advise responding medical services of the casualty’s status.

Controlling Blood Loss:

• Direct Pressure: Apply pressure directly to the wound. Use clean sterile dressing if possible. Bind firmly and immobilise injured part (maintaining this at higher elevation if possible). Maintain pressure with hands if no dressing or improvised material available

• In-Direct Pressure: Where direct pressure does not control bleeding, it may be possible to restrict the flow of blood loss by applying pressure to the Brachial (upper/inner arm) or Femoral (upper/inner thigh) arteries.

3. Initial Attack

3.1 Definition of Initial Attack

Initial attack is the action taken by the resources that are first to arrive at an incident. All wildland fires that are controlled by suppression forces undergo initial attack. The number and type of resources responding as the initial attack varies depending upon fire danger, fuel type, values at risk and other factors. Generally initial attack involves relatively few resources and the incident size is still small at this time.

The Initial Attack may comprise a single crew led by a Crew leader or multiple crews from one or more agencies. On arrival, the Crew Leader or the most senior person from the lead or first arriving agency will assume control as the Initial Attack “Incident Controller”.

3.2 Responding to a Reported Incident

Obtain the following minimum information from the Communications Centre (or the persons reporting the incident):

• Nature of the incident and what is burning?

• Location of the fire (incl grid reference if required)?

• Rural Fire Authority jurisdiction?

• Best access?

• Details of any other responding services?

Note: If possible, notify the NZ Fire Service Comcen of the reported incident if the call has not originated from them.

Section 3

July 2002

Page 2

3.3 Enroute to the Incident

“Travel safely, don’t speed!”

(i) Consider what you know about the fire area:

• Fuels and terrain?

• Access?

• Barriers to fire spread?

• Ownership?

• History of fire in the area?

• Resources en-route?

• Backup resources available?

(ii) Think about Fire Behaviour:

Consider fuels, topography and weather?

How will this fire burn compared to others in the area?

Is the fire danger increasing or decreasing?

Check the wind, is it the forecast direction and speed?

Any indicators of erratic fire behaviour (whirl winds, gusty winds, etc)?

Are unfavourable weather changes forecast?

(iii)

When Approaching the Fire:

Is the smoke column consistent with what was expected given the conditions (ie colour, height, volume, direction)?

Watch for people leaving the fire area and note down vehicle registrations and/or any other identifying features or information

Use caution when approaching the scene

Identify escape routes

Look for alternate access routes.

3.4

Arriving at the Fire

• Advise the RFA, HQ and/or NZFS Comcen by radio or phone of the arrival time

• Position vehicles in a safe, accessible location pointing away from the fire with the windows closed, doors unlocked and keys in the ignition

• Take control of the incident and determine the incident control point location

• Size up the fire

• Determine the immediate incident objectives

• Consider any immediate need to request or put on standby additional resources (eg helicopter, rural fire units, personnel, etc)

• As appropriate, advise the RFA or the Comcen, of the situation, your intended action and what additional resources are required.

Note: If they have not already been alerted, advise the Comcen of the incident and its location (as they may be receiving 111 calls).

3.5 Getting to work

Step 1:

Determine an initial attack plan immediately on arrival at the fire. This should be done quickly and be based upon the initial size-up of the fire. The intent is to get work started in suppressing the fire as soon as possible.

Consider and identify:

• The location of escape routes and safety zones?

• How topography will affect fire behaviour?

• What fuels are involved and how they will effect fire behaviour?

• The current weather conditions (incl FWI) and how they will effect fire behaviour?

• Any special hazards such as power lines, road traffic, etc?

Section 3

July 2002

Page 4

• Any properties at risk?

• Good anchor points or defensible lines such as roads, fire breaks, burned area, etc?

• The availability of water?

• Where to attack fire (eg Head or Flank)?

• How to attack fire (Direct or In-Direct)?

• Additional resources required (and how long before they arrive)?

• Any evidence of where and how the fire may have started (and protect the point of origin).

Step 2:

Brief the crew and begin work.

• Ensure that the crews understands their work assignment

• Give crews safety briefing (hazards, LACES, etc)

• Provide the Comcen or RFA HQ with a further informative message on size of the fire and the action undertaken.

Step 3:

After resources have been deployed and control action started:

• Continue assessment of the fire

• Continue to delegate roles as the incident develops and resources arrive

• Gather information for determining fire cause

• Continue to give informative messages to the Comcen and/or RFA HQ on an hourly basis.

Step 4:

Preview or review the following Initial Attack Checklist as needed or as conditions change:

3.6

Initial Attack Checklist

Consider each of the following

Consider each of the following
Consider each of the following

Has control and an Incident Control Point been established?

 

Have you sized up the fire?

 

Do you have a current weather forecast for the location?

 

Is the observed weather consistent with the forecast?

 

Do you have the FWI values for the area?

 

Is the fire behaviour consistent with fuels, weather and topography?

 

Can you control the fire with the resources available (on the fire ground or soon to arrive) under the expected conditions?

 

Have you developed the incident objectives and a plan to attack the fire? (Direct or In-Direct, anchor points, escape routes, priority areas, etc).

 

Have the incident objectives and plan been communicated to all personnel assigned to the incident (including new arrivals)?

 

Lookouts in place or can you see all of the fire area?

 

Can you communicate with everyone on the fire ground (incl the RFA and/or Comcen)?

 

Escape routes and safety zones are established. If you are working from the black, is it completely burned and without a re-burn potential?

 

Have all personnel been briefed on safety and their assigned tasks?

 

Safety, LACES and standard fire orders being followed?

 

The status of the fire is being regularly reported to the Comcen and/or your RFA HQ?

 

Section 3

July 2002

Page 6

Will you be able to control the fire within 2 hours? If not, have you advised the fire authority?

Is the size of the incident within your capability and resources to manage (Span of Control) and if not, have you advised the fire authority assistance is required?

Do you have a complete list of resources on the fireground and currently en-route?

Have you established a log or record of actions taken at the incident?

If the answer to any of the above questions is No (x), you MUST take corrective action immediately.

3.7 Transition (Initial to Extended Attack)

Early assessment and size up is required to determine if the fire will be controlled within the initial attack period and available resources. This will include consideration of:

• Values threatened

• Environmental issues

• Cultural or heritage issues

• Fire behaviour and fire potential (size of fire, intensity, rate of spread, fuels, weather, etc)

• Potential control problems and hazards (terrain, access, night fall, FWI, etc)

• Resources currently available or en-route

• Control strategy(s) required.

In the event that the Initial Attack IC determines that the fire cannot be contained and controlled with existing resources:

• The Comcen or the Rural Fire Authority should be advised

• Additional resources requested or placed on standby (eg Helicopter(s), VRFFs, NZ Fire Service brigades, earth moving machinery?)

• A full CIMS/ICS Incident Management Team structure implemented

• Additional IMT resources requested.

At transition time the in-coming IMT will require briefing on:

Incident Controller:

• Incident map

• Time and point of ignition

• Fuels (type, loading and moisture)

• Weather (current and predicted)

• Topography

• Fire behaviour concerns

• Local hazards

• Review of initial attack objectives and strategy

• Resources (existing and en-route)

• Fire Authority(s) and associated delegations and authorisations.

Operations:

• Safety/hazards

• Current strategy/tactics

• Resources available (on fire ground/en-route)

• Current ground operations (crews)

• Air operations (aircraft in use/en-route).

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Logistics:

• ICP and Staging Areas

• Communications

• Catering

• Traffic control.

Planning:

• Resources currently available/en-route

• Time current resources have been deployed

• Availability of maps, aerial photos, etc

• Current weather info

• Situation and incident predictions.

3.8 Fire Incident Levels

Level 1

Small to medium fire that will be contained by the Initial Attack resources. Can be controlled within 12 hours.

Level 2

Medium to large fire the requires extended attack and involve multiple agencies. High values at risk, possibly including those of environmental, cultural and heritage significance. May take up to 12-24 hours to controlled. IMT would be implemented using local resources.

Level 3

Large and complex fires that may take several days to control and suppress. Likely to occur at periods ofVery High or Extreme fire weather conditions with the potential for extreme fire behaviour. Significant values are at risk with large suppression costs likely. Level 3 may also apply when significant environmental, cultural or heritage values at risk. A National Incident Management Team is likely to be required (supported by local resources).

4. Incident Management

Incident Management Defined:

A “

process for organisations with

different legal, geographic and functional responsibilities to work together effectively ”

CIMS/ICS:

• Is modular and adaptable to any incident type

• Is suitable for use regardless of the jurisdiction or agency involved

• Employs common organisational structure with a manageable span of control

• Utilises common command structures and consolidated action-planning

• Utilises common terminology and integrated communications

• Has clear lines of accountability and authority.

Incident Management Team:

• Is in accordance with the CIMS/ICS model

• Sets out a recommended structure for the formation of a team and the roles and responsibilities of each team member

• Is scaled to the needs of the incident with the actual structure implemented determined by the size and/or complexity of the incident

• In small to medium incidents, one team member may be responsible for the roles/responsibilities of several positions (eg one person may be delegated the responsibilities for the provision of Planning/Intell services in a small incident)

• Safety is integral to IMT positions and is a priority in all roles/ responsibilities.

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4.1 Control Information Incident Liaison Controller Safety Deputy IC Planning Operations Logistics Intelligence
4.1
Control
Information
Incident
Liaison
Controller
Safety
Deputy IC
Planning
Operations
Logistics
Intelligence
Manager
Manager
Manager
Situation
Air Division
Supply
Unit
Commander
Unit
Resource
Air Attack
Facilities
Unit
Supervisor
Unit
Lead Pilot
Info/Intell
Comms
Unit
Unit
Aircraft
Mgmt
Finance
Supp Unit
Unit
Air Support
Supervisor
Medical
Unit
Division
Commanders
Catering
Sector
Unit
Supervisors
Ground Supp
Crew
Unit
Leaders
Fire
Fighters

Incident Controller

• Overall management of the incident.

Planning/Intelligence

• Gathering and analysing information

• Predicting incident behaviour

• Planning how to control the incident

• Maintaining resource status

• Preparation and documentation of the Incident Action Plan.

Operations

• The tactical activities in accordance with the IAP

• Identifying resource requirements

• Determining operational structures.

Logistics

• Providing and maintaining facilities

• Provision of services, materials and supplies.

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4.1.1 Incident Controller

Information Incident Liaison Controller Safety Deputy IC Planning Operations Logistics Intelligence Manager
Information
Incident
Liaison
Controller
Safety
Deputy IC
Planning
Operations
Logistics
Intelligence
Manager
Manager
Manager

All incidents must have an Incident Controller appointed. The IC is determined by Statute, Agency Protocols and/or Agreements. The Incident Controller’s responsibility is the overall management of the incident.

The Incident Controller may appoint a deputy, who may be from the same agency, or from an assisting agency. Deputies may also be used at section levels of the CIMS organisation. Deputies should have the same qualifications as the person for whom they work as they must be ready to take over that position at any time.

Major Responsibilities of the Incident Controller:

(i) Assume Control

• Receives an initial briefing from the Lead agency and/or the previous Incident Controller

• Confirms and formalises hand over of incident and assumption of control including delegations and authorities.

• Assesses the situation and confirms or establishes the immediate priorities (safety as #1 priority)

• Reviews and/or prepare plans for the available resources prior to the first IMT planning session

• Ensures that adequate welfare and safety measures are in place

• Considers appointment of a Deputy or Aide as required.

(ii) Organise and Delegate

• Establishes an Incident Control Point

• Establishes an appropriate organisation for the size of the incident

• Establishes CIMS management structure (refer CIMS manual)

• Determines the requirements for support agencies and requests their attendance

• Appoints, briefs and tasks the IMT staff.

(iii) Plan

• Establishes the Incident Objectives

• Initiates the incident planning cycle, schedule and attends IAP planning meetings

• Reviews plans and participates in planning meetings as required

• Approves the Incident Action Plan.

(iv) Manage

• Manages the activity for all command and general staff maintaining the “Management by Objectives” principle

• Co-ordinates with key people, agencies and officials and conducts briefings as required

• Ensures that systems are in place to effectively manage resources

• Approves requests for additional resources.

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• Ensures that accounting systems are in place to approve, record and track expenditure

• Ensures that a log is maintained by all key functions of decisions, actions and other events and outcomes.

(v) Inform

• Authorises the release of information to the news media

• Reports to and keeps the lead agency informed of incident status.

(vi) Demobilise

• Approves the release of resources

• De-briefs following incident or shift

• Prepares a comprehensive incident report for the responsible agency.

4.1.2 Information Officer

The Information Officer is responsible for handling queries and developing and releasing information about the incident to the news media, to incident personnel, and to other appropriate agencies and organisations.

Only one Information Officer will be assigned for each incident. The Information Officer may have assistants as required.

The Information Officer reports to the Incident Controller and has the following major responsibilities:

• Establishing a point of contact and/or a media centre

• Advising the Incident Controller on media strategy

• Co-ordinating with other agencies to ensure a consistent message to media

• Developing material of interest to the media or for use in media briefings

• Obtaining Incident Controller’s approval of media releases

• Informing media and conducts media briefings

• Handling all further queries for information by the media

• Arranging for media tours and other interviews or briefings that may be required

• Monitoring news reports (all media), advising IC and passing relevant information on to Planning, etc

• Maintaining a log of media releases, media reports, decisions, actions and other activities.

4.1.3 Liaison Officer

Most incidents are multi-agency and will require the establishment of the Liaison Officer position to the IMT. The Liaison Officer is the contact for the personnel assigned to the incident by assisting or co-operating agencies. These are personnel other than those on direct tactical assignments.

Other agencies involved in the incident may also need to appoint inter-agency/liaison representatives.

The Liaison Officer reports to the Incident Controller and has the following major responsibilities:

• The primary contact point for inter-agency representatives

• Maintaining a list of assisting and co-operating agencies and agency representatives

• Assisting in establishing and co-ordinating interagency contacts

• Keeping agencies supporting the incident fully informed of the incident status

• Monitoring incident operations to identify current or potential inter-agency problems

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• Participating in planning meetings, providing current resource status, including limitations and capability of assisting agency resources

• Maintaining a log of activities and actions.

4.1.4 Safety Officer

The Safety Officer’s function is to develop and recommend measures for assuring personnel safety, and to assess and/or anticipate hazardous and unsafe situations. Only one Safety Officer will be assigned for each incident. The Safety Officer may have assistants representing agencies. Safety assistants may have specific responsibilities such as air operations, hazardous materials, etc.

The Safety Officer reports to the Incident Controller and has the following major responsibilities:

• Participating in planning meetings

• Identifying hazardous situations associated with the incident

• Reviewing the Incident Action Plan for safety implications

• Prepare safety messages

• Giving safety briefings

• Investigating and reporting on any accidents that occur within the incident area

• Assigning assistants as needed

• Reviewing and approving the medical plan

• Maintaining a log of activities and actions.

4.2

Planning and Intelligence

Planning Intelligence Manager Situation Unit Resource Unit Info/Intell Unit Mgmt Supp Unit
Planning
Intelligence
Manager
Situation Unit
Resource Unit
Info/Intell Unit
Mgmt Supp Unit

The Planning/Intelligence Section collects, evaluates, processes, and disseminates information for use at the incident. There may be up to five units within the Planning/Intell Section that can be activated:

• Situation Unit

• Resources Unit

• Information/Intell Unit

• Management Support Unit.

The Planning/Intell Manager will appoint a Supervisor to each unit as activated. The Supervisor will staff the unit with additional personnel as required given the size or complexity of the incident.

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4.2.1 Planning/Intell Manager

The Planning/Intelligence Manager reports to the Incident Controller and has the following major responsibilities:

• Obtaining a briefing from the Incident Controller

• Organising and implementing the Planning/Intell Section including:

• the Section, its facilities and resources

• the requirements for supporting units

• appointing, briefing and tasking Unit Officers

• establishing the information requirements and reporting schedules for each unit.

• Establishing information collection activities Eg, weather, environmental, fire behaviour, etc

• Managing the analysis and dissemination of situation information about the incident (maps, display boards, etc)

• Organising planning meetings

• Providing an analysis of incident information and advises on alternative strategies

• Supervising the preparation of the Incident Action Plan

• Determining the need for any specialised technical resources in support of the incident

• Providing periodic predictions on incident potential

• Reporting any significant changes in incident status

• Supervising the preparation of an Incident Demobilisation Plan

• Maintaining records of resource status and location

• Maintaining a section log of decisions, actions and other activities.

4.2.2

Situation Unit

The Situation Unit Officer leads this unit reporting to the Planning/Intell Manager. The unit is responsible for:

• Establishing information flows

• Gathering of situation information from the incident ground

• Obtaining met data and weather forecast information.

• Predicting fire behaviour and potential

• Developing alternative strategies

• Organising and analysing information

• Identifying environmental information and any environmental issues

• Establishing mapping services and transferring situation information to maps

• Preparing, distributing and displaying situation reports and associated fire plot and map information

• Developing and distributing the Incident Action Plan

• Monitoring implementation and progress of the Incident Action Plan

• Conducting briefings for the Planning/Intell Manager, the Information Officer and the IMT

• Advising on safety threats

• Participating in planning meetings and providing technical advice

• Preparing a de-mobilisation plan

• Maintaining record of information gathered and a Unit Log of activities.

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4.2.3 Resource Unit

The Resource Officer leads this unit reporting to the Planning/Intell Manager. The unit is responsible for:

• Establishing and maintaining a resource management system

• Identifying and recording the location and status of all resources including personnel, appliances, plant and machinery:

• deployed (allocated tasks and working)

• available (on incident ground and ready)

• out of service (on incident ground but available due to resting, unserviceable, other)

• en-route (deployed to incident but not yet arrived).

• Establishing “Check-in Points” at staging or assembly areas to gather resource and status information

• Displaying organisation chart and resource status information

• Providing resource information to the IMT as required

• Identifying resources required for Incident Action Plan

• Identifying requirements for specialist or technical resources

• Setting up shift assignments

• Maintaining a Unit Log of activities.

4.2.4

Information/Intell Unit

The Information Officer leads this unit reporting to the Planning/Intell Manager. The unit is responsible for:

• Compiling general information regarding the incident cause, size, current situation, resources, losses, assets threatened and other matters of general interest

• Preparing media releases for the Information Officer (or IC if an Information Officer hasn’t been appointed)

• Distributing media releases if Information Officer has not been appointed

• Liasing with Information Officer, if appointed

• Answering telephone calls from public (Management Unit may assist)

• Maintaining a Unit Log of activities.

4.2.5 Management Support Unit

The Management Support Officer leads this unit reporting to the Planning/Intell Manager. The unit is responsible for:

• Setting up the Incident Control Point

• Providing support personnel to other IMT units

• Providing administrative services for the IMT (typing, photocopying, records management, etc)

• Providing operators (computers, telephones, faxes, radios, etc)

• Maintaining a Unit Log of activities.

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4.3 Operations

Operations Manager Division Air Division Commanders Commander Sector Air Attack Supervisor(s) Supervisor Crew
Operations
Manager
Division
Air Division
Commanders
Commander
Sector
Air Attack
Supervisor(s)
Supervisor
Crew
Lead Pilot
Leader(s)
Fire
Aircraft
Fighter(s)
Air Support
Division 2
Supervisor
Division 3, etc

The Operations Section is responsible for the safe management of all tactical operations at an incident. The Incident Action Plan sets out the necessary guidance for the tactics. The size and structure of the Operations Section is determined by:

• The size and complexity of the incident

• The span of control required

• The geography of the incident ground

• The hazards

• The objectives and strategies set out in the IAP

• The resources or equipment required.

4.3.1

Operations Manager

The Operations Manager reports to the Incident Controller and has the following major responsibilities:

• Obtaining a briefing from the Incident Controller

• Ensuring safety and welfare of personnel

• Participating in planning meetings

• Developing the operations component of the Incident Action Plan

• Managing and supervising the Operations Section in accordance with the IAP including:

• determining Operations Section structure

• appointing, briefing and tasking Operations staff

• establishing staging area(s) Note: Logistics provides and Operations manages this facility

• identifying resource needs

• assembling and deploying resources.

• Maintaining close contact with subordinate positions

• Requesting additional resources to support tactical operations

• Providing regular Situation Reports

• Initiating release of resources from active assignments (not the incident)

• Making or approving changes to the Incident Action Plan during the Operational Period as necessary

• Maintaining close communications with the Incident Controller and the other members of the IMT

• Maintaining section log of decisions, actions and other activities.

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4.3.2 Air Operations

Where the incident requires air support, the Operations Manager may set up a dedicated air operations group. The size and structure of this group will depend on:

• The size and complexity of the incident

• The number of aircraft and types or aircraft deployed

• The number of separate sectors operating and requiring air support

• The geography of the incident.

Operations Manager Division Air Division Commanders Commander Air Attack Supervisor Lead Pilot Aircraft Air
Operations
Manager
Division
Air Division
Commanders
Commander
Air Attack
Supervisor
Lead Pilot
Aircraft
Air Support
Supervisor

Air Division Commander

The Air Division will be established as a separate organisational activity by the Operations Manager when considered necessary. Until this occurs, any air operations are the responsibility of the Operations Manager.

When established, the Air Division has two main areas of responsibility:

(i)

Supervising the air attack; and

(ii)

Providing logistical support for the aircraft.

The Air Division Commander reports to the Operations Manager and has the following major responsibilities:

• Obtaining a briefing from the Operations Manager and agreeing immediate strategy and tactics for air operations

• Monitoring all activities of the Air Division to ensure safe operations are maintained at all times

• Managing the overall air operations including:

• Air Attack

• Air Support.

• Appointing, briefing and instructing Air Support and/ or Air Attack Supervisors

• Preparing the tactical planning for Air Operations

• Providing input into the Incident Action Plan and specialist aviation advice to the IMT

• In consultation with the Air Attack Supervisor, determining the assignments for aircraft operations

• Approving aircraft ordering

• Approving aircraft release

• Establishing procedures for emergency reassignment of aircraft

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• As appropriate, initiating request for temporary flight restrictions

• Scheduling approved flights of non-incident aircraft into the incident area

• Evaluating requests for non-tactical use of incident aircraft

• Monitoring for accidents or special incidents

• Keeping the Operations Manager and the Incident Controller updated on Air Division activities

• Maintaining a log of air operations.

Air Attack Supervisor

Air Attack is responsible for the co-ordination of aircraft operations in accordance with the Incident Action Plan, the air operations plan and the directions of the Air Division Commander. The co-ordination may be ground and/or air based.

The Air Attack Supervisor reports to the Air Division Commander and has the following major responsibilities:

• Obtain briefing from the Air Division Commander and/or Operations Manager

• Ensuring that all aircraft operate with safety as the first priority

• Participating in air operations planning

• Managing and directing air attack activities based upon the Incident Action Plan and the air operations plan

• Establishing communications frequencies required for ground-to-air and air-to-air communications in conjunction with the Communications Unit (Logistics Section)

• Co-ordinating the activities of all aircraft over the fire

• Briefing pilots on assignments and safety

• Monitoring pilot and aircraft effectiveness and performance in accordance with set objectives

• Making tactical recommendations to Division Commanders

• Informing Air Division Commander of tactical recommendations affecting the IAP

• Reporting on air attack activities to Air Division Commander

• Maintaining air to fire ground communications and liaison

• Terminating air operations as considered necessary or if pilots recommend this on safety grounds

• Reporting on incidents/accidents

• Maintaining air attack log.

Air Support Supervisor

Air Support is responsible for organising and managing ground based support for aircraft. This includes fuels, maintenance, retardant mixing and loading, keeping records of aircraft activity, providing enforcement of safety regulations.

The Air Support Supervisor reports to the Air Division Commander

Major Responsibilities of the Air Support Supervisor:

• Receive briefing from the Air Division Commander

• Safety of air support operations

• Participating in air operations planning

• Requesting special air support items from the appropriate sources (via Logistics Section if established)

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• Establishing air support facilities including:

• locations (Airports, Airbases, Airstrips, Heliports, Helibases)

• support personnel (loading, marshalling, safety, security, retardant handling, etc)

• pilot information services

• additional communications services

• dust abatement

• fuels

• retardants and mixing

• crash-rescue services

• ground safety provisions.

• Co-ordinating support activities with the Air Attack Supervisor

• Informing Air Division Commander of air support requirements affecting the IAP

• Reporting on air support activities to Air Division Commander

• Maintaining records of aircraft and aircraft movements as well as other activities of Air Support.

4.3.3 Ground Operations

Operations Manager Division Air Commander(s) Operations Sector Supervisor(s) Crew Crew Crew Leader Leader
Operations
Manager
Division
Air
Commander(s)
Operations
Sector
Supervisor(s)
Crew
Crew
Crew
Leader
Leader
Leader
Fire
Fire
Fire
Fighters
Fighters
Fighters

Division Commander(s)

The Operations Manager may appoint one or more ground attack Division Commanders depending on:

• The size and complexity of operations;

• The requirements of the IAP; and

• The incident objectives and strategies.

The Division Commanders report to the Operations Manager.

Major Responsibilities of a Division Commander:

• Obtain briefing from the Operations Manager

• Ensuring that the safety of all fire fighters and any other personnel is the first priority in all division operations

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• Supervising Division operations

• Co-ordinating activities with other Divisions

• Developing tactics to implement incident or divisional strategies

• Attending incident planning meetings at the request of the Operations Manager

• Reviewing Division assignments and report status to the Operations Manager

• Informing Resource Unit (if established) of status changes of resources assigned to the Division

• Assigning specific work tasks to Sector Supervisors

• Monitoring and inspecting progress and make changes as necessary

• Resolving tactical assignment and logistics problems within the Division

• Keeping the Operations Manager informed of hazardous situations and significant events

• Maintaining a Division Log of decisions, activities and events.

Sector Supervisor(s)

Each Division may establish one or more sectors of operation. Each sector will be managed by a Sector Supervisor.

The major responsibilities of a Sector Supervisor are:

• Obtain a briefing from the Division Commander

• Ensuring that the safety of all fire fighters and any other personnel is the first priority in all sector operations

• Undertake specific assignments in a sector as directed by the Division Commander

• Delegate sector assignments to Crew Leaders and brief them on safety, strategy and tactic

• Monitor sector assignments and work progress keeping the Division Commander informed of status

• Consider and recommend to the Divisional Commander any changes to tactics as conditions and fire behaviour require

• Ensure that adequate communications are established and maintained within the Sector and to the Division

• Maintain Sector Log of tasks, crews, equipment, time, etc.

Crew Leader(s)

Each Sector Supervisor may have one or more crews assigned to specific tasks. Each crew will be led by a Crew Leader.

The major responsibilities of a Crew Leader are:

• To get a briefing from the Sector Supervisor on the incident and the specific crew assignment (strategy and tactics)

• To ensure the safety and welfare of fire fighters working in the assigned crew

• To brief the crew on the assigned task ensure that LACES are identified, understood and maintained

• Obtaining the necessary equipment and supplies as required for the task

• Keeping the Sector Supervisor informed of the status and progress of the assigned task

• Consider and recommend to the Sector Supervisor any changes to tactics as conditions and fire behaviour require

• Accounts for all equipment drawn by the crew

• Maintain records of crew time and status.

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Firefighters and other personnel

Firefighters and other personnel will be formed into crews under the direction of a Crew Leader for assigned tasks.

The major responsibilities of all Firefighters and other crew personnel are:

• To get a briefing from the Crew Leader on the incident and the specific crew assignment (strategy and tactics)

• To understand their crew’s assignment and their own role within the crew

• To wear the appropriate PPE for the crew task and observe safe work practices at all times

• Observe the directions of the Crew Leader and advise him/her promptly in the event that they have any concerns re their own safety or wellbeing (or the safety or wellbeing of others)

• Remain with the assigned crew at all times and strictly follow checkin/checkout procedures

• To attain the minimum of Unit Standard 3285 and be familiar with LACES, Watch Outs and the 10 Fireline Orders.

4.4

Logistics

Logistics

Manager

 

Supply

 

Unit

Facilities

 

Unit

Comms

 

Unit

Finance

 

Unit

Medical

 

Unit

Catering

 

Unit

Ground Supp

 

Unit

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All incident support needs are provided by the Logistics Section, with the exception of aviation support. Aviation support is handled within the Air Division group. The Logistics Section is managed by the Logistics Manager who may assign a Deputy. A Deputy is most often assigned when all designated units (listed below) within the Logistics Section are activated.

Seven units may be established within the Logistics Section:

• Supply Unit

• Facilities Unit

• Communications Unit

• Finance Unit

• Medical Unit

• Catering Unit

• Ground Support.

4.4.1 Logistics Manager

The Logistics Manager is delegated the role of logistics by the Incident Controller. The Logistics Manager is part of the IMT and reports to the Incident Controller.

The Logistics Manager will determine the need to activate or deactivate the required units within the Logistics Section. If a unit is not activated, responsibility for that unit’s duties will remain with the Logistics Manager.

Major Responsibilities of the Logistics Manager:

• Obtains a briefing from the Incident Controller

• Organises and implements the Logistics Section including:

• establish the Logistics Section, its facilities and resources

• determine requirements for supporting Units

• appoint, brief and instruct unit officers as required

• Provides logistical input to the Planning Section in preparing the Incident Action Plan (eg Comms Plan, Transport Plan, Medical Plan, etc)

• Reviews and provides input to the Communications Plan and Medical Plans

• Advises Operation of resource availability

• Identifies and plans incident service and support requirements

• Processes requests for additional resources

• Oversees the demobilisation of Logistics Section

• Maintains section log of decisions, actions and other activities.

4.4.2 Supply Unit

The Supply Unit is responsible for ordering, receiving, processing and storing all incident-related resources. All off-incident resources will be ordered through the Supply Unit, including tactical and support resources (including personnel) and all expendable and non-expendable support supplies.

Major Responsibilities of the Supply Unit:

• Providing input to Logistics Section planning activities

• Planning for the provision of personnel, equipment, supplies and other resources as required/requested by the IMT

• Ordering, receiving, distributing and storing supplies and equipment

• Maintaining an inventory of supplies and equipment

• Servicing reusable equipment, as needed

• Maintaining detailed records of all orders, issues, receipts, deliveries, invoices, etc

• Maintaining a Unit Log of other activities.

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4.4.3 Facilities Unit

This unit is responsible for set up, maintenance and demobilisation of all incident support facilities. The Facilities Unit will also provide security services to the incident as needed.

Major Responsibilities of the Facilities Unit:

• Participating in Logistics Section planning activities

• Determining requirements for each incident facility

• Preparing layouts of facilities, inform appropriate unit leaders

• Activating incident facilities

• Obtaining and supervising personnel to operate facilities

• Providing security services

• Providing facility maintenance services, e.g., sanitation, lighting, etc

• Demobilising incident facilities

• Maintaining a Unit Log of activities.

4.4.4 Ground Support Unit

The Ground Support Unit is primarily responsible for the maintenance, service, and fuelling of all mobile equipment and vehicles, with the exception of aviation resources. The Unit also has responsibility for the ground transportation of personnel, supplies and equipment, and the development of the Incident Traffic Plan.

Major Responsibilities of the Ground Support Unit:

• Participating in Support Unit and Logistics Section planning activities

• Providing support services (fuelling, maintenance, and repair) for all mobile equipment and vehicles

• Identifying requirements for maintenance and repair supplies (e.g., fuel, and spare parts)

• Providing support for out-of-service equipment

• Developing the Incident Traffic Plan

• Maintaining an inventory of support and transportation vehicles

• Recording time use for all incident-assigned ground equipment (including contract equipment)

• Updating the Resources Unit with the status (location and capability) of transportation vehicles

• Maintaining incident roadways as necessary

• Maintaining a Unit Log of other activities.

4.4.5 Communications Unit

The Communications Unit is responsible for developing plans for the use of incident communications equipment and facilities; installing and testing of communications equipment; supervision of the Incident Communications Centre; and the distribution and maintenance of communications equipment.

Major Responsibilities of the Communications Unit:

• Advising on communications capabilities/limitations

• Preparing and implementing the Incident Radio Communications Plan

• Establishing and supervising the Incident Communications Centre and Message Centre

• Establishing telephone, computer links, and public address systems

• Establishing communications equipment distribution and maintenance locations

• Installing and commissioning all communications equipment

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• Overseeing the distribution, maintenance and recovery of communications equipment, e.g., portable radios

• Maintaining a register of communications equipment and equipment issued and received

• Providing technical advice on:

• communications systems

• geographical limitations

• equipment capabilities

• amount and types of equipment available.

• Maintaining a Unit Log of other activities.

4.4.6 Catering Unit

The Catering Unit is responsible for supplying the food needs for the entire incident, including all remote locations as well as providing food for personnel unable to leave tactical field assignments.

Major Responsibilities of the Catering Unit:

• Determining food and water requirements

• Determining method of feeding to best fit each facility or situation

• Ordering required food and potable water from the Supply Unit

• Maintaining an inventory of food and water

• Maintaining food service areas, ensuring that all appropriate health and safety measures are being followed

• Supervising caterers, cooks, and other Catering Unit personnel as appropriate

• Maintaining a Unit Log of other activities.

4.4.7

Medical Unit

The Medical Unit will develop an Incident Medical Plan (to be included in the Incident Action Plan); develop procedures for managing major medical emergencies; provide medical aid; and assist the Finance/ Administration Section with processing injury-related claims.

Note that the provision of medical assistance to the public or victims of the emergency is an operational function, and would be done by the Operations Section and not by the Logistics Section Medical Unit.

Major Responsibilities of the Medical Unit:

• Determining level of emergency medical activities prior to activation of Medical Unit

• Acquiring and managing medical support personnel

• Preparing the Medical Emergency Plan

• Establishing procedures for handling serious injuries of responder personnel

• Responding to requests for:

• medical aid

• medical transportation

• medical supplies.

• Maintaining detailed records of any medical assistance provided and a Unit Log of other activities.

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4.4.8 Finance Unit

The Finance Unit is responsible for managing all financial aspects of an incident.

Major Responsibilities of the Finance Unit:

• Collect and record all cost data

• Provide financial and cost analysis information as requested

• Develop an operating plan for the Finance Unit

• Work closely with the agency administrative headquarters on finance matters

• Ensure that all financial authorities and other obligation documents initiated at the incident are properly prepared and completed

• Determine incident requirements for time recording and ensure that all personnel time records are accurately maintained in compliance with agency(s) policy

• Ensure that all financial records of the incident are complete prior to demobilisation

• Provide financial input to demobilisation planning

• Brief agency administrative personnel on all incident- related financial issues needing attention or follow up

• Maintaining a Unit Log of other activities.

5. Operational Guidelines

5.1 Fire Control Objectives

There are three basic rules for the successful containment and control of a fire:

(i) Fast Initial Attack

• be prepared (trained) and organised

• initiate an appropriate response as quickly as possible

• deploy adequate and appropriate resources.

(ii) Confident Actions

always follow safe practices

determine the appropriate objectives which, in most cases, will be to contain the spread of fire

assessment of the fire to determine direct or in- direct attack strategy

if the fire can be contained, work hard and work quickly.

(iii)

Prompt and Complete Mop Up

• when the fire is contained, begin the mop up immediately

• mop up thoroughly.

5.2 Fire Control Strategy

The strategy to control a fire (direct or in-direct) depends on an assessment of a number of criteria. These include:

• The fuels involved

• The fire weather

• The size and intensity of the fire

• The rate of spread of the fire

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• The topography

• The available resources and their skills and experience

• Any hazards or safety issues.

It may not be appropriate to keep to a single strategy as the fire environment can change. Eg, with the availability of more fuels the higher fire intensity may require that the attack change from direct to in-direct.

On days of very high fire danger, it may not be possible to mount any attack on the head of the fire. Suppression may be able to continue along the flanks where the fire is slower moving and/or less intense. Controlling these can be important to prevent a wind shift transforming the long flanks into a wide-head fire.

5.2.1 Direct Attack

In a direct attack, the suppression effort is directly on the burning edge (perimeter) of a fire. This is the method most commonly used to suppress vegetation fires in NZ.

Direct attack is started at the base of the fire and continues along the flanks until the opportunity arises to knock down the head of the fire. Involves an attack directly on the head of the fire. Direct attack, if successful, will limit the area that is burnt and can be undertaken where the fire is slower moving and of low to moderate intensity.

With direct attack:

• Normally working from within the burnt area

• The work can be reduced where the perimeter of the fire has self extinguished

• The total burnt area is kept to a minimum

• The time the fire is burning may be reduced

• On a moving fire, the suppression effort is upwind or down hill of the smoke and heat

• The problems of having un-burnt fuels within the fire perimeter are reduced

• Fire fighters can use the burnt area as an escape route or safety zone.

However:

• For direct attack, the fire can generally only be of low to moderate intensity and with a low rate of spread

• Fire fighters may be exposed to a greater level of heat and smoke adding to the stress and fatigue

• Natural barriers are not always used to advantage.

5.2.2 In-Direct Attack

This relies on the use of a control line that may be some distance from the fire’s edge. This control line may include:

• Less flammable fuel types

• Topographical features (streams, rivers, roads, etc)

• Constructed fire breaks using hand tools and/or machinery.

An In-Direct Attack:

• Allows fire fighters to work well away from the dangers of high intensity fires

• Is more likely to be effective against very high intensity fires

• Means that the strategy changes to burning out rather than direct fire suppression.

However:

• The area burnt (as a result of the burnout) is increased

• Strong winds may hinder the burning out of fuel between the control line and the fire

• If the burn out fire escapes the control line, a very much bigger fire may result.

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5.2.3 Back Burning and Burn-out

Backburning and Burn Out techniques may be used as fire control methods but they are very risky and require careful planning and execution. Most importantly, the Forest and Rural Fire Act is specific regarding the authority required to undertake back burning or a burn- out operation. The differences must be understood and the proper authorities applied.

Back Burning

The legal definition of a Backburn is “a counterfire commenced from within continuous fuel for the purpose of fighting a fire”.

In accordance with the Forest and Rural Fires Act, only a PRFO or Deputy appointed by the PRFO may authorise a back burn. When so authorised, the amount of the loss or damage suffered as a direct result of a back burn is deemed to be part of the suppression of the fire. Any fire suppression strategies using back burning operations should be included in the Incident Action Plan and/or recorded in writing as approved by the PRFO/DPRFO.

Don’t attempt any back burning without the formal authority from the PRFO or their Deputy.

Burn-out

The legal definition of a Burnout is “a counterfire commenced from a natural or previously constructed firebreak for the purpose of fighting a fire”.

The Act does not preclude the lighting of a burn out but it is equally important that this be approved within the Incident Action Plan and carefully planned and executed.

5.3

Communications

In any fire fighting operations, command and control of

the incident can only be achieved with effective and

reliable communications. Effective communications requires radio networks and planning.

5.3.1 Communication Networks

A small incident may only require one or two radio

services for communications. A large incident however will require multiple radio services to meet the needs for

command/control functions and for ground and air operations.

Simplex

“Simplex” is where the communications are directly between radios (hand held or vehicle transceivers). Simplex is characterised by:

• Generally “line of sight” operation only

• Signal is quickly lost when the stations are separated by hills and other obstructions

• Typically up to 5-7 Km between hand helds

• Typically up to 15-20 Km between vehicle radios

• The radios all transmit and receive on a single frequency (for each simplex channel).

Duplex/Repeater

“Duplex” or “Repeater” operation is where the signal from a radio is received and re-transmitted by a powerful base station radio transceiver located on a distant hilltop. The re-transmitted signal is the one that is received by the other radios switched to that channel. A Repeater will:

• Provide communications over larger distances than Simplex and where radios (handheld or vehicle) are separated by hills, valleys, etc

• The radios transmit and receive on different frequencies (for each channel).

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Portable Repeaters

Some agencies have Repeaters packaged into robust and waterproof transportable suitcases. These portable repeaters can be deployed at incidents where simplex operations are unreliable due to distance or terrain.

The Department of Conservation, the NZ Fire Service, the National Rural Fire Authority and some RFAs have such repeaters that are available for major incidents.

Generally such a portable repeater would:

• Be used as a command and control channel for the incident ground (with individual sectors using multiple simplex channels)

• Be deployed at the top of an adjacent hilltop to provide communications over the entire incident ground

• Include an internal re-chargeable battery providing for up to 24 hours operation

• Include provision for external 12 Volt input from vehicle supply or 240Vac input from a portable generator for extended operations

• Include a portable antenna system that is deployed on the hill top.

Cellular Phones

The portability and increasing coverage provided by cellular phones has made these devices increasingly useful for incident communications. They:

• Provide the ability to access the public telephone network to call and request commercial services or to provide data or fax capability

• Provide for private person to person communications on sensitive matters that can not be discussed on a radio channel

• Are limited by the availability of coverage in and around the location of the incident

• Should not be used where a radio channel is available unless a private or extended conversation is required with a specific person.

Incident Ground Communications

Incident Ground Communications (IGC) encompasses a radio network that is set up for communications between the personnel on the fire ground. This will predominantly be simplex but some repeater channels may be used dependent on the terrain and size of the incident ground.

LMR

Land Mobile Radio (LMR) is the term generally used when referring to repeater based networks that are used

to provide communications between vehicles, hand held

radios and base stations. Examples are:

• NZ Fire Service LMR that provides communications with the three national communication centres (Comcens) located in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch

• Dept of Conservation has an extensive LMR throughout NZ

• TLAs have a Civil Defence radio network

• Forestry companies have LMR networks for operations may designate one channel for fire.

Ground to Air

A number of simplex channels are reserved for

communications between the pilots and air attack or air support functions. These include air band channels and a

designated Emergency Services Band (ESB) channel. These channels are strictly reserved for communications with the pilots and must not be accessed by other ground operations unless an emergency situation arises.

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5.3.2 Communications Plan

At an incident, it is necessary to establish IGC, LMR and possibly Ground/Air communications to meet the needs of ground operations, air operations and command/control. This can present significant challenges when multiple agencies are in attendance, all of whom may operate a range of different radio systems and channels.

It

is essential that agencies in different regions co-operate

to

prepare a plan that sets out how they will establish the

radio communications required at an incident. This communications plan may need to confirm a number of variations or options dependent on the locality of an incident and the available Repeaters, Cellphone coverage, etc in that area.

Of particular importance is the ability of all emergency services and supporting agencies to operate on the designated Emergency Services Band (ESB) and the designated shared/liaison ESB channels.

A Communications Plan:

• Should be pre-determined and prepared including the programming of radios

• Identifies the Simplex and/or Repeater channels to be used for Command/Control and ground operations

• Confirms the air operations channels in consultation with the local air operators

• Identifies the provisions for additional communication services including Phone (Landline and Cell), Fax and Data

• Sets out the radio call signs that will apply on the fire ground

• Identifies technical resources who may be required to assist in establishing and maintaining the radio networks (and to pre-programme radios)

• Requires testing to confirm all agencies and operators are familiar with the assigned channels, call signs and procedures

• Needs to be agreed to and be signed off by the respective agencies

• Included in the Rural Fire Authority fire plan for the information and reference of all agencies

• Is further developed and formalised by the Logistics Section of an IMT at a major incident.

5.3.3 Operating Guidelines

Formal operating procedures and practices ensure that radio communications are effective and efficient. These include:

• Be brief and to the point with messages, don’t “chat” or make flippant remarks on the channel

• Use call signs, especially at the beginning and end of a communication

• Don’t discuss private, personal or sensitive matters over a radio

• Be familiar with the phonetic alphabet if difficult pronunciations need to be spelt out

• Radio operators should speak clearly and at a normal delivery pace

• Do not use inappropriate language or make offensive remarks over a radio (or at any other time).

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5.3.4 Standard IGC Frequencies

Chan

Name

Freq

Use

ESX66

Fire 1

143.8250

Mhz

NZFS - Simplex (Primary channel)

ESX63

Fire 2

143.7875

Mhz

NZFS Simplex

ESX34

Fire 3

140.9259

Mhz

NZFS Simplex

ESX09

Fire 4

140.6125

Mhz

NZFS Simplex

(Air Operations)

ESB180

Fire

MobileTx

NZFS Repeater (incl on Fire Portable Repeater)

Repeater

140.25

Mhz

MobileRx

143.25

Mhz

 

ESX39

Liaison

140.9875Mhz

Liaison Channel

Simplex

ESB164

Liaison

MobileTx

Liaison Repeater (incl on Fire Portable Repeater)

Duplex

140.05

Mhz

MobileRx

143.05

Mhz

 

ESX04

15 SX A

140.55

Mhz

DOC primary Simplex chan (A)

Note: Some radio chans may require a sub-audible access tone (CTSS).

5.4

Media Interviews

It is important that the media is provided with timely and correct information about a rural fire or other incident. It is also an opportunity to use the media to promote safety messages. How the public perceive rural fire fighting is very much influenced by the TV images and what they read.

News reporters will seek stories from the incident. The Incident Controller will usually have appointed a media/information person (Information Officer) to handle such queries. Any requests for an interview must be referred to the nominated Information Officer.

Interview checklist:

Confirm:

• The name of the Reporter/Interviewer?

• Who they represent?