Combat Engagement

What Defines You?

There are a number of insightful and thought provoking theories, debates, assertions, contentions and positions being postured, promoted or advocated in the realm of fire suppression and firefighter safety.

Some continue to promote with renewed banter and unwavering passion certain attributes that they feel are fundamental to the fire service, just as others promote with similar zeal and passion a different perspective of what the fire service has or should look like in today’s challenging and continually evolving built environment.

Combat fire engagement and it’s alignment to what I define as the Art and Science of Firefighting has numerous facets, components and considerations that must be taken into consideration in today’s context that are evolving, changing and challenging the notions and how we do business in the streets.

Take the time around the kitchen table today or in the day room tonight to talk about what are the evolving parameters that define combat fire engagement today.

Here are a couple of links that provide different perspectives on a common theme. See how each perspective impacts your personal perspectives and those of your organization or department.

  • Rational Aggressiveness, HERE
  • Mission of the Fire Service Warrior, HERE
  • Rules of Engagement, HERE
  • Survivability Profiling, HERE 
  • Tactical Patience, HERE
  • Tactical Entertainment, HERE 

What effect and consequences does the First Due Officer have on Incident Operations?

  • Is the First Due Officer defined by the level of aggressiveness they select and implement in their IAP on a consistent basis?
  • Is there a correlation and parallel between Risk Management, Building Construction, Firefighter Survival and Aggressive Intervention that the First Due Officer must balance?

What is the Role of the First Due Officer?

  • Strategic, Tactical or Task level Operations?
  • Can they truly perform all of the functional facets required or implied by current fire ground operational models and practices?
  • Can Risk Management really be implemented by the First-Due Officer? Is it being done in organization or company? Or is it just getting the “job done”?
  • Company Level Crew Integrity and Safety & Survival
  • Maintaining Fluid Situational Awareness
  • Evolving and Expanding Operational Concerns
  • Company Integrity
  • Having Appropriate Technical Competencies, Knowledge and Skill Sets
  • Confidence Experience and Operational Fortitude
  • Abilities to Predict & Maintain; Focus, Forecast,
  • Command & Leadership Presence in Strategic and/or Tactical deployments and Assignments

If you are an emerging, aspiring or seasoned Company or Command Officer;

  • What are your First-Due Strategic or Tactical Decisions Based Upon?
  • What is the Sum of your Experiences and Training?
  • What Factors formulate your Risk Assessment Process & Action Planning?
  • What is the Basis of your Decision-Making Process?
  • What Do you really Know, Assume or Consider in the Buildings, Occupancies, Events & Incidents you interface with?
  • Do “Fire Service Traditional Expectations” Cloud your Ability to “SEE” the Big Picture?
  • What Defines you:
    • Aggressive, Forceful, Dynamic, Influential, Passive, Conservative, Decisive, Measured,    
    • Leadership, Determination, Fortitude, Skilled, Resilience, Strength, Conviction, temperance, restraint and the courage to be safe  
    • Reckless, Inept, Incompetent, Self-indulging, Careless, Uncontrolled or Dangerous
  • Are your deployments and operations Delineated in the name of Tactical Entertainment or Defined by Tactical Patience?

Remember this; It’s not the uniform, rank or helmet color that defines a person; it’s what you do that defines who you are.

  • We must have the fortitude and courage to be both safety conscious and measured in the performance of our sworn duties while maintaining the appropriate balance of risk and bravery.
  • The demands and requirements of modern firefighting will continue to require the placement of personnel within situations and buildings that carry risk, uncertainty and inherent danger.
  • Adequately and Effectively Prepare yourself for those First-Due Officer responsibilities; you have a tremendous level of responsibilities and obligations, Be all you can be, your companies an personnel are counting on you.   

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Stay tuned for the upcoming schedule of topics and guests that will address these very issues on future programming on Taking it the Streets on

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