No Communication Link

Fire Communication
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Jun 2020


Watchout Situation #7 is a danger that must be mitigated by maintaining good communications while working on fires. Firefighters must constantly ask themselves the following questions as situations change on the fireline:

Can communication(s) be established?

  • Talk about how communications are set up on fires, including the variables that have to be considered.
  • Review situations where communications were a problem and what was done to fix the problem.
  • Do you need a repeater setup or can an experienced firefighter act as a human repeater?  

Is the communication triangle complete?

  • Review the communication triangle, and where it comes up in the "10 Standard Fire Orders" and the "18 Watchout Situations."
  • Discuss ways that firefighters can maintain the communication triangle on the fireline.  

Reduce the risks

  • If the situation is complex, wait until communications are in place.
  • Talk about the fires where crews had to leave the line, didn't go out on the line, or something negative happened because communications were inadequate. Discuss what was done to establish communications.
  • Discuss possible scenarios in which communications could be disrupted and possible solutions.


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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