Fire department preparedness and response to non-fire emergencies
The resources on this page will help enhance your fire department’s level of preparedness and response to non-fire emergencies and natural disasters.
The public relies on first responders during emergencies, and the more substantial the incident or the disaster, the greater the need for assistance delivered by the fire department and others with public safety missions.
Coronavirus: updates for EMS and first responders
Find out what the latest infection control and prevention recommendations are for EMS personnel when encountering patients with suspected Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms.
Information gained from the “Jack Rabbit Project’s” chlorine test releases will help emergency responders to meet the planning, tactical and operational challenges of a catastrophic Toxic Inhalation Hazard release.
A study of after action reviews from major disasters of the past decade to gain insight into lessons learned.
While after action reviews produce valuable lessons, lessons alone are not the end of the story. In fact, lessons learned should rightly be the beginning of a new chapter in a fire department’s operational behaviors. Lessons without a corresponding change in operational behavior are not lessons learned.
This report identifies gaps and needs in first responder training and resources and presents solutions that serve to better prepare local-level fire services for all-hazard events and to interact with federal resources. The disasters studied were weather-related events that required responding firefighters to assume duties for which they were unprepared or for situations they never anticipated.
Download "Operational Lessons Learned in Disaster Response"
Critique and evaluation methods for organizational learning.
Fire service operations during the 2011 Southeastern tornadoes
On April 27, 2011, a devastating series of tornadoes struck Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. An estimated 336 lives were lost in the region’s tornadoes and related events. At least 10,000 homes were heavily damaged or destroyed and dozens of public facilities were rendered inoperative.
A series of meetings was held in the summer of 2011 to look at fire department and EMS organization activities. Over 50 representatives of impacted departments attended and each had an opportunity to respond to specific questions as well as provide a free range of their own inputs.
This report condenses those meetings and inputs and provides an insight into the routines, challenges and needs of local fire and EMS agencies during preparation for, response to and recovery from, natural disasters.
Field Operations Guide (ICS 420-1) PDF 3.6 MB – Guidance for the application of the Incident Command System to any planned or unplanned event. Position descriptions, checklists and diagrams are provided.