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N.F.S.I.M.S -VS- I.C (Brunacini Way)

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  • skvfd5
    replied
    Originally posted by VinnieB View Post

    I think the problem is that 99% of the world has no concept of our operations. We have a great system in place already, there's no need for drastic change.
    My current chief of the volunteer dept spent 30+ years in the National Guard and I also work with a state wildfire agency that has 2 retired and 1 current Type 1 ICs as part of the staff so I'm very familiar with ICS.

    That being said I would like you to teach me your way of incident command. Keeping in mind that we are a volunteer dept. we do not have the same manning as you do on a paid dept. You, FFRED, ChicagoFF, and others may have ways of command that our dept can use to make our system work better. ICS works for us but knowledge of other systems never hurts.

    Stay safe
    Homey

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  • Bones42
    replied
    We do not use the term Technical Specialist if we need the public health department for an incident, we call them the health department. Their represenative reports to the command post and works with the IC to mange the situation.
    Bingo. Plain and simple. You also don't end up with a health department person wondering who/what the heck "Technical Specialist" is referring to. Again, plain text, not code text.

    Leave a comment:


  • KenNFD1219
    replied
    Originally posted by mikeyboy View Post
    My question to our Brothers and Sisters on the "Right Coast" is are your systems able to include Law Enforcement if a Joint Command is needed? Or what about the local Environmental Health Department, how do you all plug them into your system? Here, they can be plugged in as a Technical Specialist if you want them there.
    160 hours for incident command training? No thanks, I think I'd rather watch paint dry.

    We have a local emergency planning committee that meets several times per year. Our local committee wrote the local emergency operation plan and has plans and procedures in place for the local emergency opertions center.

    We work very well with the regional health district, local and state police, state environmental protection, and other agencies. We build positive relationships with many people and agencies before we need them to respond at O'dark 30.

    Our systems are less formal than yours. We do not use the term Technical Specialist if we need the public health department for an incident, we call them the health department. Their represenative reports to the command post and works with the IC to mange the situation. Local policies determine who runs the incident.
    Last edited by KenNFD1219; 12-21-2006, 09:46 PM.

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  • mikeyboy
    replied
    engineer2000

    It is obvious to me that you also work in the state of Cali.....

    In my state ICS is adopted for any emergency other than an medical aid (Fire, Police, EMS, Etc use it). I don't know much about NIMS other than it is similiar to ICS. I guess by reading some of the posts. You can do it on line. Kind of cheesy. Here ICS classes are 160 hrs. long classroom and scenarios. Broken over four different classes. Fire Command 1-A, 1-B and ICS 200 & 300. State fire certified classes.
    Don't forget about Command 1C, it's a great class with lots of information. I would recommend taking it over a two week period; one week is very concentrated.

    My question to our Brothers and Sisters on the "Right Coast" is are your systems able to include Law Enforcement if a Joint Command is needed? Or what about the local Environmental Health Department, how do you all plug them into your system? Here, they can be plugged in as a Technical Specialist if you want them there.

    As I read these posts once again, I have realized a few things. The systems designed by FDNY, CFD and other Departments have the foundation of the ICS built into them. They have a different name for it, that is all....... Having been exposed to the ICS for over 11 years now I personally like the fact that if I go to another City, County or State there is a system that we all are able to work with and work under, without an OTJ Training Session. If you don't ever venture out of your lil' part of the world then fine, if you do then having a system that all Departments can work under is needed.

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  • NonSurfinCaFF
    replied
    We don't use the vests, and while I've seen them stuffed away in the back of a few chief's buggys I really don't recall seeing them used.

    The Federal Type 1 & 2 Teams just have hats and / or name tags with thier position.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaptainGonzo
    replied
    Posted by KenNFD1219
    Do we really need multiple day classes to do this? I know many cities that can do this without forms, vests, flow charts, and added layers of managment.
    We all know it can be done with out it, but think of the implications....

    Galls would lose money selling the vests, portable command boards, etc.

    Some big buck Congressional contributor's son might actually go out and get a real job instead of feeding at the FEMA trough.

    Leave a comment:


  • KenNFD1219
    replied
    Originally posted by NonSurfinCaFF View Post
    Damn, will this thing not die?
    NIMS was not made to deal with FDNY, CFD etc these are departments that have good workable day to day systems (not saying I buy into the idea it wouldn't work, but why fix what ain't broke). NIMS is really intended for the many planless, commandless departments out there, that don't see much action.
    I have found some interesting discussion on this thread.

    Some of the conflict seems to be in the differences between ICS (note capitol letters) and ics (lower case). ICS, as pushed by DHS/FEMA is an established program that has limited application and outright conflict in many places. The lower case ics is any local version of command. Cities that have ther own ics pretty much follow the ideas of ICS with local variations to fit the resources and needs of the fire department.

    ICS and ics in a nutshell:
    Everyone knows who is in charge.
    Multiple agencies at an incident work together.
    We all know what we need to accomplish and how to do it.
    If what we are doing does not work, make corrections.
    Communictation works both up and down the chain of command.
    You answer to one supervisor.
    Call for addition resouces before you need them.

    Do we really need multiple day classes to do this? I know many cities that can do this without forms, vests, flow charts, and added layers of managment.

    Unfortunately, NIMS is a requirement of all agencies, not just those interested in inter-state deployment or those that do not have a workable command system. This is where the problem lies. FDNY has an effecient incident command system-it works. My small FD also has an incident command system that works for us. 20+ years ago, the only officer on scene of a structure fire here had a good chance of being the hydrant man and there was a lot of free lancing. Today we now have a minimum of three officers responding on structure fires with all personnel knowing their initial assignments before arrival. We follow the steps of ICS but it is modified to fit our resources and needs.

    Why should anyone change how they operate because of fire departments that do not have any command system in place?
    Last edited by KenNFD1219; 12-16-2006, 10:59 AM.

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  • NonSurfinCaFF
    replied
    Damn, will this thing not die?

    Guys, really listen to FFFred and read the whole post.


    NIMS was not made to deal with FDNY, CFD etc these are departments that have good workable day to day systems (not saying I buy into the idea it wouldn't work, but why fix what ain't broke). NIMS is really intended for the many planless, commandless departments out there, that don't see much action. Leave the FDNY guys alone, once everybody else is on one page (like that will happen) then you can debate bringing them into NIMS.


    I'm kinda tired of the 140 year thing too, I mean 140 years ago FDNY ran horse drawn equipment and it would be another 20 years before we started arguing about using steamers instead of hand powered pumpers.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChicagoFF
    replied
    Originally posted by firefighter1962
    Let's suppose we have a crew of bricklayers from wherever and only one of them knows how to speak English. The boss comes along and tells the one bricklayer what to do, and he tells the rest of them in whatever language. Guess what? The job gets done and done well. You can have a multinational group, and as long as the top guy of each group can speak the common language, it's going to work.

    Now let's suppose that nobody on the bricklaying crew knows how to speak English. It's going to be a Charlie Foxtrot, plain and simple.
    First off, when was the last brick crew you met where anyone spoke english? Secondly, laying bricks is pretty universal - brick, mortar, brick, mortar, repeat.... Just like firefighting. Are you telling me that if I showed up in BFE somewhere to help them out, it would be too hard for them to say "Hey, that buildings on fire - go put it out." I assure you that we could figure it out pretty quick.

    But the bottom line is - You will never see me in your hometown riding an engine. Outside of the MABAS system in Illinois you won't likely see CFD guys helping out anywhere unless they go on their own. And, outside of MABAS, you will never be asked into the city. It's just that simple. If you do come in, you will be handed a radio and left to do your job - taking in runs and putting out fires. It's not that complicated.

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  • ChicagoFF
    replied
    Originally posted by engineer2000
    If you have multiple companies working on the same floor. IC only wants to here from one person on that floor. The Division Leader. You don't need five different companies talking to the IC from the same location. Division will report to Ops or IC. If you use ICS on a regular basis. You should have no problem.
    Floors are big places. What is the hassel with a company reporting something first hand from one end rather than try to describe what is going on to a middleman so that he can pass it on to someone else? And we had far more than 5 companies operating up there. It still worked fine.

    Leave a comment:


  • firefighter1962
    replied
    Originally posted by Lewiston2Capt
    .....so that when the FDNY is called to go to things like Katrina someone speaks the language fluently enough and can make the translation. The grunts on the ground are told in terms they understand and they go do their job, thats all that matters.
    Exactly..... Higher-ups in the NMIS command structure are going the set the prioties in a mass incident. Someone is going to know that (or hopefully should know) that the FDNY are experts at multi-story building fires, and assign them to that task. They get the job done like they always have, and the FDNY commander and conveys the information back to the NMIS command in THEIR jargon. Now the NMIS boys scratch that one off of their list and the FDNY strike team is ready for reassignment.

    Now to complicate matters, the FDNY commander determines that more ladders are required for their task. Once again the FDNY commander requests this in NMIS jargon. Logistics determines that only 1 ladder unit from NOFD and one ladder from LAFD are available, and dispatches them to the scene. Since each fire department is under their own command, the assignments get passed out in NMISese, and each respective department does it their way.

    The hose pulling firefighters from differnent departments that encounter each other on the fire ground either communicate to one another is NMIS jargon, or in the best way that they know how. At this level it will probably be speaking in firefighter. Much the same as if you were in France and someone says "bonjour", you shrug your shoulders, and find a way to communicate the best way you know how.

    Stay Safe

    Leave a comment:


  • FFFRED
    replied
    Originally posted by Lewiston2Capt
    I agree. But as has been said by those in past threads and in this one, we show up at your party (not likely but for the sake of example roll with me on this) we play by your rules and vice -versa. Now, I do believe there is a reason people like your BC, DCs and above are going out and getting time on wildland fires, so that when the FDNY is called to go to things like Katrina someone speaks the language fluently enough and can make the translation. The grunts on the ground are told in terms they understand and they go do their job, thats all that matters.

    If you ever head out to the falls I'll buy the first round. Ask the Lt.
    I agree that this is how it will probably play out...however many FD's aren't taking the same approach we are and are wholesale throwing their local operations out the window and adopting NIMS terminology and structure. We sort of know what a group is, most will never understand the need to call a floor a division...etc. However we have not materially changed our operations to suit the needs of some larger Federal Gov't Bureacracy. We do things roughly the same way we did them before NIMS. We just don't use those terms or that method of operation which apparently according to the guys who use it in their cities works well for them and their style of operations.

    I know for a fact even if a Chief from some of the departments I used to run Mutual aid with and even a few Chiefs in my former Depts had us in their jurisdiction...when he states he wants task "ABC" done...some of them are acustomed to it being performed a certain way with certain people and lets say certain local precautions.(I'm trying to be gentle here.)

    We have litterally 1000s of pages of procedures and we operate the way we know how to with a team of men who know what we are doing and we know what they are too be doing. I can think of many places where the friction between us or lets say a Chicago FD and other FDs would be palpable. I should know I've worked in a few of them.

    In NO...the NOFD members were very understanding of letting our members operate the way they knew how to and our members were respectful and interested in taking advice from the local firemen who knew the area, buildings and equipment better than we did.

    Our members worked well because we are used to operating on our own with each member responsible for assesing the situation and being responsible and accountable for his precribed duties. We focus on the basics and that is why it worked so well in NO...not because we had some silly ICS or NIMS certification on our walls at home.

    I know for a fact that this situation wouldn't exist in some of the places I worked...for the simple fact that the large Metro city we were adjacent too had many conflicts and problems over the years with some of the adjoining suburbs FDs not liking the methods that they used to fight fire. (ie. Searching without a hoseline or VES...etc.) This was the city right next to them, not a group of firemen from the other side of the Country. This was how they knew how to fight fire (and did it well considering they went to many more fires than their suburban counterparts.) yet they still had friction.

    I think you can see where I don't think this NIMS is going to solve much and efforts should be focused elsewhere to improving local/regional operations which comprise 99% of your work and not the 1% chance of some major catastrophy that requires much of the same skills used for the other 99% of your incidents.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 12-14-2006, 07:16 PM.

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  • Lewiston2Capt
    replied
    Originally posted by FFFRED
    Which also raises the question...even if we started using the same terms...it is clear that operationally we are so different...would any of the semantics matter?

    FTM-PTB
    I agree. But as has been said by those in past threads and in this one, we show up at your party (not likely but for the sake of example roll with me on this) we play by your rules and vice -versa. Now, I do believe there is a reason people like your BC, DCs and above are going out and getting time on wildland fires, so that when the FDNY is called to go to things like Katrina someone speaks the language fluently enough and can make the translation. The grunts on the ground are told in terms they understand and they go do their job, thats all that matters.

    If you ever head out to the falls I'll buy the first round. Ask the Lt.

    Leave a comment:


  • FFFRED
    replied
    Originally posted by Lewiston2Capt
    Thank you for fielding the question, it was directed at anyone in the FDNY (yourself, E229Lt, Vinny et.al. ) I would think without some written detail of who is where on the ticket it would be confusing when calling for them to check on the progress of their assignment. For example on a multiple the BC wants to know how the work is going on the roof, he would have to know who showed up when. This is not a critique more an attempt at understanding. I do see the simplicity of your system on your bread and butter fires, yes I listen to the online scanners. Your system works for you and that is fine, for some the NIMS works for them, that too is fine. We have found a system that works for us, it would be considered micromanagement by your standards but the fires still go out and we arent saving basements. In some respects I would like to see our system move more in the direction of yours, but the wheels of change turn slowly in the fire service, and I feel that will be a bit of a ways off.

    I think the bottom line is do what works for you, and when in rome have someone that speaks italian with you!
    Great point...basicly after the 1st alarm companies the Chief just fills in the blanks or relieves companies as they tire out. If he calls a second alarm because of a need for more ladders to conduct searches...when those Ladders arrive he will tell the officer what he needs as in "I need floors 22 thru 26 searched." The officer then will take his men and divide them up, usually along the lines of inside and outside teams and do what he thinks needs to be done in terms of the search. He gives a report back to the Chief and then awaits a new assignment or gets more information about specific appartments during his search.

    In that respect our systems are similar to this NIMS or should I say NIMS is similar to our system...it is just under this NIMS as we have seen stated in this discussion and many others is that from the begining there is one guy who stands around and decides how this fire is going to be fought and entire companies of 3 or 4 men are committed to one and only task along with some new designation that changes througout the incident with no set universal name for any one task as it could be by location, task or both...or as one member wrote...just "Interior".

    I think your final suggestion is what makes the most sense and expresses what has worked for years...just as it did in Katrina...the men on the ground made due with what they had and learned very quickly how each department differed from the other...even though none of our men to my knowledge spoke Creole...they were able to work together at fires and got the job done, despite not having this prerequisite NIMS 100-200 training.(The training that the idiots in FEMA and DHS presumably had.) NOFD shouldn't have to operate and talk like us and we shouldn't have to operate and talk like the NOFD.

    Basicly what I'm getting at is that everyone should focus more on improving their local operations and their companies proficencies at the basic evolutions that we use day in and day out(because that is what we are going to do at a large incident) and less about complying with some poorly thoughtout Federal extortion...err I mean mandate that will supposedly have us all on the same page.

    I think it is clear from certain discussions on these forums...guys like me, Turd Furgeson and Chicago won't ever be on the same page as guys like...well you know. Hense my point about Micro-management. My Battalion interacting with a Battalion from some of these places would be far from seemless and probably get some peoples panties in a bunch. The more anal-retentive non-trusting types on here would have a huge problem if guys like me were sent to help them for what I think are obvious differences in operational methods and tactics...common terms or not.

    Which also raises the question...even if we started using the same terms...it is clear that operationally we are so different...would any of the semantics matter?

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 12-14-2006, 04:54 PM.

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  • Lewiston2Capt
    replied
    Originally posted by FFFRED
    I don't know if that question was for me...but our Chiefs or his Aide can and do recieve the information as to the companies responding on the multiple alarms. They can get it verbally over the radio and they can get it on the MDT.

    If you listen to our dispatchers during a multiple you will hear them occasionally read off the companies shortly after the Chief asks for the additional companies or alarm to the Chief in comand or his aide.

    Yes, of course we are using a system....but the problem when you read the NIMS materials, it doesn't even come close to conforming to this common terminonlogy utopia that some think is realistic or even possible. To many of us there is signifigant portions which contradict our procedures and experinece and frankly don't make much sense at all.

    Much of what I'm hearing makes me think there are many amatures and micro-managers running numerous FDs accross this country. Having to wait for an IC to tell you what to do at all times...and having him decide what each company will do upon arrival at a fire is a concept that I last recall reading in historical texts from my job around the 1st half of last Century.

    I think anyone who is truly concerned about this NIMS stuff would welcome critical comments as to the weaknesses found in the system.

    FTM-PTB
    Thank you for fielding the question, it was directed at anyone in the FDNY (yourself, E229Lt, Vinny et.al. ) I would think without some written detail of who is where on the ticket it would be confusing when calling for them to check on the progress of their assignment. For example on a multiple the BC wants to know how the work is going on the roof, he would have to know who showed up when. This is not a critique more an attempt at understanding. I do see the simplicity of your system on your bread and butter fires, yes I listen to the online scanners. Your system works for you and that is fine, for some the NIMS works for them, that too is fine. We have found a system that works for us, it would be considered micromanagement by your standards but the fires still go out and we arent saving basements. In some respects I would like to see our system move more in the direction of yours, but the wheels of change turn slowly in the fire service, and I feel that will be a bit of a ways off.

    I think the bottom line is do what works for you, and when in rome have someone that speaks italian with you!

    Leave a comment:

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