Massachusetts FD –Hands-on Task Analysis

Fire Chief Essential Tasks:

MASSACHUSETTS FIRE DEPARTMENT – HANDS-ON TASK LIST

I. EMERGENCY SCENE RESPONSE: HANDS ON

A.  INITIAL RESPONSE TO INCIDENTS:

Tasks occurring between the receipt of an alarm and initial fire fighting or emergency scene activities.

Proceeds to assigned apparatus upon receipt of call for service.

Makes preliminary evaluation of incident based on alarm information received (e.g., alarm type, structure type, etc.).

Dons protective turnout gear and equipment before and at emergency scenes.

B.  WATCH DUTIES:

Stands watch to receive incoming alarms and information, answers phones, and monitors access to the station house.

Receives notification of multiple alarms, downtown alarms, and other significant emergencies through the Fire Alarm Office.

Answers department and outside phone.

C.  DRIVING:

Drives apparatus to and from, and positions apparatus at, emergency scene.

Selects most direct and expeditious route to alarm site.

Obtains knowledge of most direct and expeditious routes and studies them prior to incident response.

Plans route and position based on anticipated actions (e.g., arrival routes) of other companies when driving to multiple alarm calls.

Obtains knowledge of traffic laws and street conditions in order to operate the apparatus safely and expeditiously.

D.  PUMP OPERATIONS:

Connects or hooks up apparatus to fire hydrant and operates pumps to supply water in appropriate pressure and volume -- using hydrant wrenches, couplings, hoses, spanner wrenches, and other tools.

E.  HOSE (AND EXTINGUISHER) OPERATIONS:

Stretches line or uses extinguisher to deliver water, foam and other extinguishing agents to emergency scene.

Locates seat of fire or other hazard (e.g., gas leak) by observing, smelling or listening for smoke, sound, flames, gas, vapors, etc.

Determines type (size) and number of lengths of hose needed for operation.

Selects type of extinguisher (e.g., foam, dry-chemical, etc.) needed for incident.

F.  MECHANICAL LADDER OPERATIONS:

Stabilizes ladder trucks and elevates and operates aerial ladders and platforms in order to rescue victims, provides access for ventilation, operates master stream devices, etc.

G.  MANUAL LADDER OPERATIONS:

Carries, raises, extends and climbs manual ladders to perform search, rescue and other operations.

Determines proper placement of manual ladder at scene.

Determines manual ladder type and size needed at incident scene.

H.  FORCIBLE ENTRY:

Pries open, cuts, or breaks down doors, or otherwise enters structures, vehicles, aircraft and other entrapments in order to search for and rescue victims and provide access to the emergency scene -- using axes, halligan tools, etc.

Determines best location for forcible entry.

I.  VENTILATION:

Opens or breaks windows, chops or cuts holes in roofs, breaches walls or doors, and hangs fans in windows or doors to remove heat, smoke and/or gas from structures or entrapments.

Determines best location for venting structure based on location of hazard and fire personnel, roof type, and building construction.

J.  SEARCH:

Searches assigned area in order to locate victims and to obtain further information about incident, following standard search procedures.

Determines search procedure or strategy needed to accomplish objectives.

Views perimeter of the building to determine if there are victims needing assistance at windows, on ledges, or who have jumped.

K.  RESCUE:

Assists, hoists, carries or drags victims from emergency area by means of interior access (stairs, hallways, etc.) or, if necessary, by ladders, fire escapes, platforms, or other means of escape -- using rescue harnesses, ropes, etc.

Evacuates persons from incident scene due to risk of fire, explosion, exposure to hazardous chemicals, etc.

Instructs persons on upper floors as to appropriate actions (e.g., staying put, ascending to upper floors, descending to lower floors via fire escapes, etc.).

L.  SALVAGE:

Moves and covers furniture, appliances, merchandise and other property; covers holes in structures; stabilizes damaged structural components; and redirects or cleans up water in order to minimize damage – using plastic and canvas covers, etc.

Protects the integrity of the incident scene, while performing salvage operations, in case of suspected arson.

M.  OVERHAUL:.

Opens up walls and ceilings, cuts or pulls up floors and moves or turns over debris, in order to check for hidden fires which could rekindle or spread -- using hooks, axes, saws and pitchforks

Checks and searches open areas, walls, open structures for fire extension.

Determines whether a smoke detector was present and functional.

N.  CLEAN-UP/PICK UP:

Picks up, cleans and returns equipment to vehicle and rolls or folds hose, so that the company can go back in service.

O.  FIRST AID:

Provides direct medical assistance to persons requiring emergency attention or assists others in providing medical assistance.

Determines priority of emergency medical treatment for victims.

Administers CPR if necessary.

Administers first aid other than CPR.

II. STATION DUTIES AND MAINTENANCE

P.  EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE:

Checks, cleans, and maintains personal gear and equipment to ensure proper and safe operation.

Checks S.C.B.A. for proper operation and adequate air pressure.

Places turnout gear on or near apparatus.

Checks turnout gear for safety and structural integrity.

Q.  APPARATUS MAINTENANCE: 

Checks, cleans, and maintains apparatus to ensure proper and safe operation.

Recommends to officer that apparatus be kept out of service due to mechanical problems.

R.  FACILITY MAINTENANCE:

Checks, cleans, and maintains house facilities.  This includes the performance, or assignment, of routine housekeeping chores.

III. FIRE PREVENTION AND INVESTIGATION

S.  INSPECTION OF BUILDINGS & FIRE PROTECTION DEVICES:

Inspects buildings for fire prevention/hazardous materials code violations or hazards on a periodic basis or during the course of their activities. Inspects alarms, hydrants, sprinkler systems, etc.

Conducts inspections of schools.

Revokes permits (e.g., burning, blasting).

Recognizes code violations (e.g., blocked exits, improper storage of chemicals, etc.).

Inspects buildings for code compliance.

Inspects buildings upon request of occupants/owners.

Directs building managers to immediately correct life safety code violations.

Issues permits (e.g., burning, blasting).

Investigates buildings suspected of violating codes.

Reviews plans of new and remodeled buildings for fire protection codes (e.g., sprinkler system, escape plans).

Directs subordinates to correct any deficiencies in the building inspection program.

Informs owners and occupants of code violations.

Notifies district inspectors of code violations.

Contacts Code Enforcement Officer for buildings with code violations.

Makes notes in Map Book and Log Book about building name changes, street changes, hydrant changes, etc.

Conducts on-site inspections of fire protection devices (e.g., hydrants, alarms, sprinkler systems, etc.).

Receives notification of possible code violations from civilians or other fire personnel.

Testifies in court for code violation cases.

Contacts Fire Prevention Bureau for assistance in filing charges against code violators.

Answers subordinates' questions concerning building inspections.

Requests that building inspection training sessions be scheduled in order to maintain and improve the abilities of unit Fire Safety Inspectors.

Assigns subordinates to building inspections.

Checks status of alarms, standpipes and sprinklers within district.

Explains codes to owners and managers.

Coordinates the activities of subordinate personnel to complete the Hydrant Inspection Program.

Receives notification that building inspections are deficient.

Receives notification about whether building inspections have been carried out.

Determines whether building inspection training is needed.

T.  PRE-FIRE PLANNING:

Reviews or prepares plans in order to provide information regarding hydrant locations, exposures, hazardous materials and other areas or situations of high risk.

Determines whether an unusual fire hazard or situation warrants the development of a pre-fire plan.

Drafts pre-fire plans.

Tours a building in order to identify or verify the presence of an unusual fire hazard or situation.

Meets with other fire personnel to set pre-fire planning priorities depending on the potential and consequences of a major incident.

Familiarizes self with layout of first and second alarm districts.

Ensures that subordinate personnel have the current Hazardous Materials lists pertinent to their respective response districts.

Conducts familiarity inspections in district.

Reviews pre-fire plans and recommends revisions.

Assigns subordinates to draft pre-fire plans.

Recognizes a target hazard (e.g., a new high-rise or a building with hazardous materials) that may warrant the development of a pre-fire plan.

Conducts site surveys in district.

Receives a request for an inspection or pre-fire plan (e.g., from airlines, hospitals, apartment complexes, etc.).

U.  INVESTIGATIONS:

Examines incident scene, conducts interviews, collects and preserves evidence, and reviews forms and reports to help determine the cause of a fire or other emergency.

Directs the preservation of evidence and scene at incidents with suspicious origins.

Notes unusual or suspicious trends (e.g., a rash of fires in the same area) on the basis of various sources of information (e.g., fire alarm reports, arson reports, etc.)

Examines incident scene to determine origin of incident and contributing factors.

Secures incident scene.

Conducts interviews with fire personnel to determine the origin and progression of the incident, and the actions they took.

Makes recommendations (oral, written) for Accident Review Board.

Requests Massachusetts Fire Department Fire Investigator when circumstances suggest suspicious origin.

Conducts interviews and answers questions during follow-up investigations.

Assists fire marshal and investigators at the scene of suspicious incidents.

Responds to incidents of suspicious or undetermined origin.

Observes fireground conditions to detect possible arson.

Interviews public (owners, tenants, witnesses) concerning incident origin and property conditions.

Analyzes neighborhoods/environment of incident scene for signs of foul play.

Interviews witnesses, drivers, and police personnel at Massachusetts Fire Department vehicular accidents.

Examines incident scene for signs of burglary or other irregularities.

Requests information in an attempt to understand and explain unusual or suspicious trends.

Reviews evidence and information with Fire Investigator.

Reviews Incident Reports for Massachusetts and Log Book entries to prepare for court testimony in arson cases.

Testifies in court for arson cases.

IV.  PUBLIC AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS

V.  PUBLIC RELATIONS:

Engages in activities which have an impact on the department's image in the community.  Such activities include providing information to the media, providing assistance and support to civilians seeking help or information, etc.

Controls public at emergency scene.

Appears on radio or talk shows.

Deals with distressed individuals at emergency scene.

Develops contacts with outside resources (e.g., radio and newspapers) for dissemination of information.

Interviews emergency scene victims concerning shelter, etc.

Briefs higher level officials on the PR consequences of actions or incidents.

Meets with news media at emergency scene.

Responds to questions from news media while at emergency scene or over the phone.

Controls media at emergency scene.

Assigns public relations activities to subordinates.

Makes public presentations and conducts demonstrations of apparatus and equipment on behalf of the Fire Department.

W.  PUBLIC TRAINING & EDUCATION:

Oversees, develops, conducts and/or evaluates fire prevention and other educational programs for members of the public.

Counsels individuals concerning fire prevention and evacuation procedures.

Consults with building owners/managers on fire prevention strategies/equipment/procedures.

Distributes responsibility for public education programs among subordinate personnel.

Maintains files on fire prevention activities.

Speaks to public groups (e.g., Rotary Club) about fire prevention and safety.

Deals with scheduling problems that arise with regard to public education programs assigned to subordinate personnel.

X.  AUDIO-VISUAL PRODUCTION:

Operates audio-visual equipment and develops and produces audio-visual materials for internal use or for public broadcasting.

V.  PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Y.  PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: 

Participates in training drills and classes to enhance job-related skills and abilities.  Reads internal memos and bulletins to keep apprised of new developments in departmental operations and procedures.

Acts as superior officer.

Maintains knowledge of chemicals and other hazardous materials.

Maintains knowledge of latest firefighting equipment and techniques.

Maintains knowledge of building structures related to fire control.

Attends external seminars/workshops and college courses to be aware of current developments in the fire service.

Attends routine training drills and sessions.

Attends specialized training sessions (e.g., CPR certification, special schools (e.g., Foam, ICS), etc.).

Attends "live-incident" training drills.

Receives training in superior's work activities.

Participates in external agencies and societies (e.g., NFPA).

Observes training videotapes.

Reviews internal Massachusetts Fire Department bulletins, memos, etc., to remain aware of departmental updates.

Reads professional journals and publications (e.g., Fire Command) to be aware of current developments in the fire service.

Z.  OTHER DUTIES

Serves on special project committees to which he/she is assigned (e.g., Awards Committee, Hydrant Inspection, etc.A151).