Communication

Category: 
Fire Communication
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
May 2020

 

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.
  • Wide band vs. narrow band.
  • 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.

 

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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