Saturday, December 31, 2011




880616 – 03 – 5577


Incident Safety Officer

If we refer to chapter 4 ( incident management system) from the book Fundamentals of Fire Fighter Skills, the safety officer is responsible for ensuring that safety issues are managed effectively at the incident scene. The Safety Officer is the eyes and ears of the IC for safety, identifying and evaluating hazardous conditions, watching out for unsafe practices, and ensuring that safety procedures are followed. As the incident becomes more complex and the number of resources increase, additional qualified personnel can be assigned as assistant safety officers.

The Safety Officer is an advisor to the Ic, but has the authority to shop or suspend operations when unsafe situations occur. This authority is clearly stated in national standards, including NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program, NFPA 1521, Standard on Emergency Services Incident Management System. Several state and federal regulations require the assignment of a Safety Officer at hazardous materials incidents and certain technical rescue incidents.

The Safety Officer should be a qualified individual who is knowledgeable in fire behaviour, building construction and collapse potential, firefighting strategy and tactics, hazardous materials, rescue practices, and departmental safety rules and regulations.

A Safety Officer should also have considerable experience in incident response and specialized training in occupational safety and health. Many fire departments have full-time emergency incidents. The National Fire Academy’s Incident Safety Officer and Advanced Safety Operations and Management courses are excellent resources for people interested in serving this capacity.

Other reference said that safety officer assesses hazardous conditions and unsafe situation and develops an inident safety plan that ensures the safety of personel at the incident.

While Incident Safety Officer (ISO) has the authority to alter, suspend or terminate activities that are imminently dangerous to the life of an accupant or responder.

The Incident Safety Officer works as a support officer for the Incident Commander. The SO may have assistants, as necessary, and the assistants may also represent assisting agencies or jurisdictions. Safety assistants may have specific responsibilities, such as air operations, hazardous materials, etc. The Safety Officer may perform the following functions:
  • Common Responsibilities
  • Prepare a site-specific Safety and Health Plan and publish Site Safety Plan summary (ICS Form 208, 410 KB PDF*) as required.
  • Identify and cause correction of occupational safety and health hazards.
  • Continuously monitor workers for exposure to safety or health hazardous conditions.
  • Alter, suspend, evacuate or terminate activities that may pose immanent safety or health danger to the workers.
  • Take appropriate action to mitigate or eliminate unsafe condition, operation, or hazard.
  • Provide training and safety and health information.
  • Perform assessment of engineering controls and PPE.

Incident Scene Management

Incident priorities

Incident scene management is an integral part of successfully resolving an emergency. Therefore, incident scene management should always reflect overall incident priorities (sometimes referred to as incident objectives). The priorities od incident scene management of the organization are always conducted in the following order :

1.    Life safety
2.    Incident stabilization
3.    Property conservation

Life safety

Life safety is a multipart objective: It involves the safety of responders, victims, and bystanders. Life safety is the responsibility of everyone involved in an incident or at an incident scene. At an incident, life safety includes the following tasks:

ü  Protecting responders from the incident hazard or hazards while they are controlling it or them
ü  Removing victims from the incident hazard or hazards, providing appropriate medical care, and transporting them to a medical facility for additional treatment.
ü  Separating and protecting bystanders (witnesses, news media, family and curiosity seekers) from the hazard or hazards.

Incident stabilization

Incident stabilization involves the decisions, resources and activities that are required to control an incident. The first-arriving company officer begins the stabilization process by sizing up the incident based on information that is available. The company officer decides then on the tactical requirements of the incident and assigns resources to meet those requirements. In some cases, the stabilization activity may be implemented initially to ensure the life safety of victims who are trapped by the hazard.
Incident stabilization includes the following elements :
Ø  Fire suppression
Ø  Technical rescue or extrication
Ø  Hazardous material spill/leak control
Ø  Vehicle or structural integrity
Ø  Medical care for  injured or ill victims
Ø  Utility shutoff

Property conservation

Property conservation is the result of incident stabilization activities. Property involved in an emergency incident will be exposed to less damage when the incident is controlled quickly. For instance, a structure fire that is confined to a single room and quickly extinguished with the minimum amount of water will result in a smaller amount of damage to the rest of the structure. Property conservation is accomplished through the following activities :
v  Applying extinguishing agents properly and rapidly
v  Using ventilation techniques properly
v  Protecting property in place by use of salvage covers
v  Controlling and removing spilled hazardous materials with the least amount of contamination to the environment.

To ensure safety on the incident scene is to have a winning hand – ACES

-          Structural integrity
-          Rescue
-          Resource availability/ requirements
-          Potential hazards
-          Knowledge of constructions features

-          Radio/ common frequencies
-          Initial reports/progress reports
-          Reportig/documentation process
-          Emergency signals/procedures

Escape routes
-          Understand construction type
-          Hose lines
-          Two or more ladders
-          Access/egress
-          Stair towers

Safety zones
-          Collapse zones
-          Radiant heat
-          Hard cover
-          Contamination
-          Explosions
-          Electrical hazards


The Safety Officer should be a qualified individual who is knowledgeable in fire behaviour, building construction and collapse potential, firefighting strategy and tactics, hazardous materials, rescue practices, and departmental safety rules and regulations.

To make sure that the incident well organized, the incident priority should be take more seriously.


      I.        Fundamentals Of Fire Fighter Skills, 2004, NFPA
    II.        Command And Control 2 : Ics Strategy Development, And Tactical Selections By Robert Murgallis
   III.        Fire And Emergency Services, Company Officer, 4th Edition
  IV.        Fire And Emergency Services Administration, Management And Leadership Practices, L.Charles Smeby, 1st Edtion
   V.        Road Rescue Leraning Manual, 1st Edition, Nov 2005

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