General Safety Issues
Purpose: To stress the importance of safety in all Three Star Fire Department emergency, non-emergency activities and routine.
Scope: The well-being and safety of all persons is Three Star Fire Departmentís most important priority. Every firefighter within the Three Star Fire Department will do his/her utmost to ensure safety. Likewise, the safety of fire personnel operating on the fire ground as well as the training ground is as equally important. Personnel who become injured at an operation only compound the complexity and severity of incidents. Therefore all Three Star Fire Department personnel must operate at all times in a most prudent and sensible manner to minimize the risk of injury and maximize the degree of safety.
The existence of these written guidelines is not intended to limit any member in the exercise of sound and mature judgment or initiative in taking the action a reasonable person would take in extraordinary situations that may arise in the fire service. Much by necessity must be left to the training, experience, initiative, integrity, and discretion of the members of the Three Star Fire Department.
The Chief will appoint a minimum of one (1) Safety Officer for the Department at every emergency response. In the absence of a delegated Safety Officer, the Incident Commander, by virtue of position, will assume duties of Safety Officer. This Safety Officer must be or have been, of command rank when possible.
It will be the duty of the Safety Officer/Captain/Lieutenant/Incident Commander to monitor all firefighting operations at a scene. The Safety Officer must be alert to the possible dangers that may exist at an operation and report them to the Incident Commander. In the absence of a delegated Safety Officer, the Incident Commander, by virtue of position, will assume duties of Safety Officer. Vested in the Safety Officer is the authority to remove personnel from the scene or cease a particular operation when they feel that operations are being conducted in a dangerous manner or when a situation worsens and the safety of personnel is at risk.
Every officer, by virtue of position, is also delegated the tasks of monitoring for unsafe practices and situations that may arise. All parties (Safety Officer, Incident Commander, Officers) are responsible for communicating any and all unsafe practices or hazards to all involved for obvious safety factors. Command Staff personnel will evaluate the information issue appropriate commands.
This shall in no way relieve the Officers or Acting Officers, or the firefighters themselves of the responsibility to operate at a scene in a safe manner.
It will remain the responsibility of the Officers and Acting Officers to ensure that the firefighters under their immediate supervision are outfitted, equipped, and operating in a safe manner as outlined by these guidelines and by all other Three Star Fire Department guidelines. It is incumbent upon them to enforce Three Star Fire Department policy with regard to safety at all times.
Any member of the Three Star Fire Department who is injured while in performance of their official duties must immediately notify an Officer. The Officer will also notify the Assistant Chief and have the official fire report reflect such injuries. All injuries must be reported through the fire reporting system. It is the responsibility of the injured firefighter, as soon after medical treatment has been rendered, to make an accident report with the Assistant Chief for further processing.
Personnel in poor health, physically incapable or otherwise injured, or who are mentally unprepared shall not participate in activities that may jeopardize the safety of others or their own. If at any time during an activity a member becomes overexerted, ill, mentally or physically unable to carry out assignments, he/she will notify the Incident Command, officer, or Acting Officer immediately.
The safety of all personnel is as important as operating equipment in a safe manner and within their operational limits. Never use equipment or tools other than what they were intended to be for.
It is imperative to drive/operate fire apparatus in a safe manner with due regard to the environment, road conditions, speed, time of day, and neighborhoods. See Section II-8 for Safe Apparatus Driving Policy.
During cold and freezing weather, ice forms and slippery conditions develop quickly, presenting additional hazards to the fire scene. Always remember to leave a nozzle "cracked" open so that hose lines do not freeze.
Personnel shall follow all safety practices and protect themselves with appropriate PPE when dealing with Emergency calls involving bodily fluids, communicable diseases, or airborne pathogens.
Personnel assigned to perform traffic safety operations shall wear Safety Vests and use flashlights.
Personnel shall stay hydrated during all hot weather activities. Officers and acting officers will ensure personnel are rotated into rehab to ensure rehydration occurs.