Effective communication is a critical backbone of safe and successful operations.
Discuss the factors that can affect radio communication at the incident.
- Knowledge of the radio issued to the individuals.
- Net control, frequencies.
- Line-of-sight restrictions.
- Antenna polarization effect (direction of the antenna).
- Minimizing noise interference.
- Wideband vs. narrowband.
- Potentially unfamiliar local jargon (e.g. Coulee, Candle stick, fence post, etc.)
How can you mitigate potential problems?
- Implement effective communication procedures – be brief, use clear text, and to-the-point.
- Give a good comprehensive briefing. (Refer to the Briefing Checklist inside the back cover of the Incident Response Pocket Guide, PMS 461.)
- Confirm that relayed information is received and understood.
- Keep a continuous information flow (e.g., updates on weather, fire behavior, work progress; changes in strategy/tactics; arrival of additional resources; solicit feedback).
- Establish emergency check-in procedures.
- Provide a minimum of 4 radios per 20-person firefighter crew.
The Five Communication Responsibilities for All Firefighters:
- Brief others.
- Debrief your actions.
- Communicate hazards to others.
- Acknowledge messages.
- Ask if you don't know.
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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