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Accountability... limited manpower

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  • Accountability... limited manpower

    As it seems to be an ever growing reality of diminishing man power, especially in rural areas, I want to see how others conduct accountability measures.

    SOP's call for placing a tag on the first arriving engine, and all persons to go interior will provide a tag to a Safety Officer. The reality is if your first arriving engine has 3, there are multiple hats being worn until additional personnel arrive. Two go in, one pumps, can lead to chaos. Generally in this instance we put both tags on the engine if we go interior.

    In instances such as this...what do you all do? Any advice/critiquing is appreciated.

  • #2
    Both of our tags go on the rig on seperate holders, one goes to command, one goes to entry. It is up to command or his designee to collect the tag boards and put them where there go for the initial crews.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    • #3
      We have two different set ups that are used depending on where we go. Some of our MA departments use tags and rings and others use smaller Velcro tabs.

      On our scenes we use the Velcro tabs. All the chiefs carry a command board that has a full set of tabs on the back of it. The first arriving chief will check with the engineer to see who was on the first in engine and move those guys tabs to the front of the board. We also have a tab that is attached to our helmet for when we arrive after a chief and give it to him or when we go MA and that department is using a tab system.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the input.

        Any input on a type of "tagging post"? Say, a tool grabbed with irons and staked into the ground or placed somewhere near entry/exit for accountability of interior crew(s)? As next arriving officer can take claim of said device. Don't know how feasible it would be... just tossing around other ideas. Though a zip tie on the first engine/truck seems simple enough...

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        • #5
          Green Traffic cone

          Cumberland had a system where our entry tag went to to pump panel of the attack unit for a few years but it had it's issues so we now use a green traffic cone (captain cone) and he has rings attached to the top and first unit drops near entry point after their size up. Each engine, and command unit has one it can be set on many surfaces and is free standing unlike a stake type collector ring. Once Rit crew arrives the gate keeper takes over for captain cone

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          • #6
            I see topic hammered over and over again, And maybe it doesn't work this way every where, But the Best form of accountability isn't Velcro, cow tags, or another fancy title its good Incident command.
            Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

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            • #7
              Howdy, once again thanks for the great info. Something with a sounder base is what I was after...just trying to create a visual image. The cone is a great idea, and easy to grab with your tools. I hope "Captain Cone" isn't patented because I am going to bring up adding a new officer lol. But that is exactly the type of measure I would like to use instead of all the tags on 1 engine.

              We are redoing our mayday/accountability/communications SOP's currently and I've been throwing some new ideas out for accountability measures. Hopefully if everyone would see "Captain Cone" it would make them remember to tag up.

              Thanks!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bushwhacker View Post
                I see topic hammered over and over again, And maybe it doesn't work this way every where, But the Best form of accountability isn't Velcro, cow tags, or another fancy title its good Incident command.
                This is true... without IC it's not going to function properly. All of NIMS is pounded and pounded...it's tested and proven. But accountability needs to have more fail-safe procedures than just memory. Adequacy is important, although "you can't prevent stupid"...

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                • #9
                  We have a two-tag system that works in conjunction with our seat/position assignments. Wherever you sit, you clip your first tag.

                  Your second tag goes on the traffic cone out front with the big ring through the top, whether you are in or on the building.

                  Clipping your tag to your riding position has benefits if the poop hits the fan....At a roll call, if you are not heard from, your riding position tag may have clues as to your whereabouts- for example if you are the nozzleman, the FAST team could follow the hoseline to the end and theoretically you may be there.

                  Or if you are the roof man, you may be on top or near the top of the pile if the building collapses.
                  "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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                  • #10
                    Very few of our departments arrive on the scene as a contiguous company - many are still running 2 door commercial cab engines, with others arriving on rescues, tankers, or POV.

                    We have a county-wide accountability tag system, including boards on which to hang tags. Each vehicle has a tag on a ring as well, and people tag into those. Hopefully late arriving FF's will tag in with one of the apparatus, or with the accountability officer, if one has been established.

                    The system rarely gets used for smaller incidents, and we just don't have a lot of larger incidents at which to "practice." So implementation is piecemeal.

                    I've tried to get our county instructors to implement a tag system during courses (esp FF1) so the students would be used to the idea when they hit the field, but so far, no luck.
                    Last edited by tree68; 03-28-2011, 11:26 PM.
                    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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                    • #11
                      We too have a county-wide tag system... now that doesn't mean it's always used either. For the most part, during structure fires we establish accountability seemingly well. Though 1st, 2nd due and what not don't always share the same practices.

                      My goal is to have a system of tags in only 2 places: IC (first engine), and accountability/safety officer (entry/exit). We can easily do roll call as is done in elementary school, but time is critical and theres no time to be checking all trucks, especially if the trucks shuttle water in a rural area. This tends to happen that other tag up on THEIR apparatus... but often they don't come and go on the same piece of equipment, or that equipment may return in service with occupants on scene.

                      I too agree it should be taught at FF1 classes...actually at ALL classes for that matter. It should be 2nd nature. I clip mine to the D-ring of my helmet so I can hear that annoying jingle and will know I still got tags that go somewhere...

                      Thank you all for the great advice. I believe that this is beneficial to all who read. This is never perfect, and always has areas for improvement.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by howdy1715 View Post
                        Cumberland had a system where our entry tag went to to pump panel of the attack unit for a few years but it had it's issues so we now use a green traffic cone (captain cone) and he has rings attached to the top and first unit drops near entry point after their size up. Each engine, and command unit has one it can be set on many surfaces and is free standing unlike a stake type collector ring. Once Rit crew arrives the gate keeper takes over for captain cone
                        This is what we do. In fact the cones on apparatus are typical orange and the Chiefs buggy has a green one that is used for later arriving personnel. We all also carry a "TAG UP" plastic 3z5" card with a ring on one side and a slip loop on the other for entry points not near the cone. The slip loop fits on deck railings, ladder rungs, and door knobs very easily.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for all the great stuff fellas. This is definitely an area where there is always room for improvement!

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                          • #14
                            Each vehicle has a small 3"x5" plastic "passport" which gives the unit number and has velcro for placing accountability tags on it for each member of the crew.

                            The driver of the first-due engine collects all "passports" and places then on the incident board under whatever assignment each vehicle (or individual) has (interior, ventilation, rit, etc), until the first arriving Chief, then he gets the board.

                            When going interior, a separate RIT board is used, giving each name, the time of entry and remaining SCBA air.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by devildog4 View Post
                              Each vehicle has a small 3"x5" plastic "passport" which gives the unit number and has velcro for placing accountability tags on it for each member of the crew.

                              The driver of the first-due engine collects all "passports" and places then on the incident board under whatever assignment each vehicle (or individual) has (interior, ventilation, rit, etc), until the first arriving Chief, then he gets the board.

                              When going interior, a separate RIT board is used, giving each name, the time of entry and remaining SCBA air.
                              We have the same system, but all units arriving have to drop off their "passport" at the first in engine (at the pump panel). When the BC arrives, he grabs them from the first due engine and sets up his accountability board; 20 minute notification by comm. center to take a "PAR" until the IC terminates the need for them.

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