Fire and police incident communications

In this video, risk management expert Gordon Graham emphasizes the importance of police and fire cooperation at incident scenes

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for my law enforcement and fire service friends out there. And today I would like to talk about cooperating at the scene.   

When both law enforcement and fire units are at the same scene, things can get very hectic. I know that, been there, done that. You know that. So how can we best provide public safety while also keeping ourselves safe at the scene. 

So let’s say law enforcement units arrive at a scene before fire units. Hey law enforcement: while you’re there, convey information to the fire units. If it’s a motor vehicle collision, ask the dispatcher to relay how many vehicles, the extent of the damage, if there’s a fire or smoke, or if there are any injuries. Is there a better route the fire department should take to avoid traffic back-ups? Let them know. This is important stuff

Let’s consider law enforcement arriving at the scene of a fire alarm or working structure fire first. Include information like the type of building, if smoke or flames are showing, and where any smoke or fire is observed. And please, if you can, relay the color of the smoke to the fire department. That’s very important.  

Conversely, when fire personnel find are on a scene that requires law enforcement, share information with the responding officers. If the scene is violent, relay exactly what is happening. How many people are involved? Where are fire personnel located? Is there traffic control needed? Where should responding officers go for the most effective incident management? 

Fire personnel: when you establish a command post, please include law enforcement. Let the law enforcement officer-in-charge be part of incident command so they are aware of your plans, timetables, and what help they may be able to provide. Finally, talk to each other! Communication is key. Teamwork leads to a successful outcome. Plus, it helps you, your public and your teammates remain safe.  

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off

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