After Action Review (AAR) – Part 2

Fire Communication
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
May 2021


Continued from: AAR Part 1

The “Chainsaw” After Action Review

The scenario: It's late. The crew has worked the fire for sixteen hours straight. No one has eaten a hot meal for days and, oh yeah, you might as well be cold.

No time for an AAR?  Think again!  There’s plenty of time for a chainsaw AAR.

The idea behind the chainsaw AAR is simple:  speed. When you need to get an AAR done quickly, try this simple format.

1. Have the team form a loose circle.

2. Start with a single team member and ask one of these questions:

  • What is one thing that went well on this shift?
  • What is one thing that did not go well on this shift?
  • What is one thing you would do differently next time?
  • What is one thing you learned today?

3. Continue around the circle until everyone has had a chance. It may be necessary to place a time limit on each individual (such as 30 seconds).

4. Avoid unnecessary discussion (dinner is waiting).

5. Note the comments for future discussion.


Additional Resources

Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR)
Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
NWCG Standards for Helicopter Operations, PMS 510
RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

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