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Sac Metro’s Teflon Man

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A few months ago I read an article in a fire service magazine about a fire in a garden style apartment in Sacramento, California in 2010.  Actions by first in crews from “Sac Metro” led to a great rescue of an unconscious child, who was successfully resuscitated.  As is typical in situations that turn out either great or s$#^^y, several factors combined to make this a great “grab”.  The after action review of this fire outlined all of the tangibles related to this great outcome.  But, words just don’t do it justice. Video does…..

You see, the chief officer who ran the fire had a dash cam….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWdMNpQMj0c

Stealth navigation of a mall parking lot while looking at a loom up and hearing reports of a child trapped is strong work alone.  But, the video reveals much, much more.

This BC arrived at the same time as an engine and truck.  Assuming Command, he calmly hands out Group assignments as fast as other units arrived on scene.  In fact, he did it so smoothly others watching the video think his commands were dubbed into the video!

The only evidence of intense emotion is when he is told that an incoming unit is “7 minutes out”.  Swearing under his breath was understandable at that point.

My thoughts on the video;

  • IC was a great multitasker and videographer.  Not only ran the fire, but made sure to capture great video!
  • First in truck officer relayed info confirming a trapped victim and their intent to deploy “all in” in getting the kid out.
  • IC focused on the big picture.  He assigned his company officers to run the fire (with the exception of ventilation).
  • His radio discipline and calming voice exuded professionalism.
  • I don’t know how many other units he had coming.  But, assigning Group Supervisor roles seemed premature.  However, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt, as he likely may have thought the fire was going to get much worse before it got better.
  • An IC doesn’t get that good by accident.  Training, coupled with years of fireground experience came through in every word he spoke.
  • Crews went to work quickly and efficiently.  Professionalism at it’s best.

Good IC’s turf off as many tactical responsibilities as they can, as quickly as they can to affect a positive outcome.  This Sac Metro IC created a new fire service superhero…. Teflon Man!

Comments - Add Yours

  • g1159bw

    Being that I’m not in the fire business I’m probably missing some of the finer points going on in the video, but the clam, measured and seemingly honed actions displayed here are noteworthy. This kind of big picture thinking, calm efficiency, multi-tasking comes from experience. In my line of work much of the same happens, coordinating multiple resources, geographical issues, radios, time-critical actions… To work in these environments is tough, to lead in them is an art. I love watching professionals work even if it’s not in my field. Good stuff as always Chief! -Chuck

About chiefb2

Retired fire chief,Type 3 AHIMT IC, PIO. Current industrial services safety professional, social media emergency management disciple (no, I'm not a "guru"). Crisis communications consultant. Dad with an open wallet.