Friday, August 17, 2007


Charleston: Task Force's Initial Recommendations

August 17, 2007

After an initial review of Charleston Fire Department operations and the circumstances surrounding the deaths of nine Charleston firefighters on June 18, 2007, the Fire Review Task Force makes the following recommendations for immediate implementation:


Establish Deputy Chief/Assistant to the Chief position
o Fill with qualified officer on 6 month temporary assignment

Establish Fire Department Safety Officer position
o Fill with qualified officer on 6 month temporary assignment

Public Information Officer

Minimum of two dispatchers on-duty at all times

Maintain minimum staffing of three on-duty firefighters at all times on all existing engine and ladder companies (staffing and overtime impacts)

Incremental movement over two years to achieve four on-duty firefighters on all fire companies (staffing and overtime impacts)


Apply incident command procedures on all incidents (ICS – NIMS procedures)
o First arriving officer assumes command, performs size-up and provides direction for all others
o First arriving chief establishes exterior Command Post and remains at Command Post
o Subsequent arriving higher ranking officer may assume command after command transfer process
o Safety Officer assigned for working fires and hazardous incidents
o Rapidly implement personnel accountability system with passports and PAR


Reinforce appropriate use of personal protective clothing and SCBA

Reinforce the use of seat belts and standard emergency response vehicular operations

OSHA 2-in/2-out to be followed at all times

Reinforce management procedure for off-duty firefighter response to emergencies


Initiate and complete Incident Command and tactical operations training for all officers

Provide training for all Fire Department members in firefighter safety and survival, risk management, air management, standardized actions for lost/disoriented firefighters, rapid intervention operations, objective-based tactical operations, and other critical firefighter safety procedures

Provide incident safety officer training for all command officers and health and safety officer training to selected personnel

Assure that all new firefighters are trained and certified in accordance with South Carolina State standards/NFPA Firefighter II before assignment to emergency duty
o South Carolina Fire Academy support


Increase initial structure fire response to three engines and one ladder
Utilize the third engine as the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT)

Working fire – dispatch Assistant Chief, Second Battalion Chief, 4th engine company and an EMS unit

Utilize the second-arriving Battalion Chief as the incident safety officer unless staff Safety Officer is on scene

Communications changes including the elimination of 10 codes and the use of the tactical radio channel for responses


Changes in water supply standard operating procedures with near-term transition to large diameter supply hose

Use of 1-1/2 inch hose, or larger, for interior attack as well as vehicle fires
Changes to standard nozzle configuration and flow for all handlines
Statter, Is this different from the stuff a ff hourly? It appears different but he had something up earlier today. Maybe it is the same thing.

While I haven't compared it word for word, it appears to be the same stuff Jay has on Firefighter Hourly, and Susan has on and the IAFF has on its website (and I am sure many others have).

I got it in an email from the task force, but I had some issues with the format bringing it over to the blog. So it may look different.

I will have a few minutes of raw video from the press conference on the blog later this evening.

Mr. Statter, Thank you for posting these changes and not tearing down the department any more. They have a long way to go and those of us who live locally would like to see the changes made to improve the department. It will go a long way in healing for the CFD to know the public is supportive of them and the needed changes.
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