Just like with any tool box there is not one tool that can do everything. Some tools even require the user to have specialized training before they can be used properly, safely and effectively. Maybe you have some tools in your tool box that are your favorite but they have become worn and need sharpened a little to get their efficiency back.
Use this page just like you would use your tool box at home. Grab the tools that work and leave the ones that don't. Alter "sharpen" the tools to make them work for your organization. The tools on this page work for our organization but they may not work for yours.
One of the most important fire ground functions is maintaining accurate and up to date accountability of the responders. Larger, career departments have dedicated staff and computer systems to assist them with this task. Smaller, career, combination and volunteer departments tend to struggle with this task.
Computer systems can be out of your budget, "tag" systems are sometimes hard to maintain or they get lost. Besides if you only have one tag who do you give it to....the staging officer, the incident commander, the accountability officer or your group supervisor. All of the above may be the correct answer.
If your system consists of small, community, volunteer, combination or career departments below is an example of a easy and CHEAP way of performing the task of accountability. The form contains information on the apparatus you responded with, the personnel on it and a place to document their assignment. All you have to do is change the information on your computer and print the forms. Place them in the clipboard of the apparatus. Every apparatus has the same form and all you have to do is check the appropriate box as you are responding to the scene.
Now you can give one to the staging officer to keep and quickly fill out additional forms for the other command positions such as accountability, IC, Operations and your group supervisor. It will only cost pennies to print and you don't have to worry about getting them back when you "check out". If you are using a "tag" system or other form of accountability you can still use that as well. Again, this form is just a tool for the toolbox.
We should know our equipment just as good as we know the remote control for the T.V. -NO EXCUSES. If you can memorize the buttons on the remote control, you can memorize the equipment that can save your life. One of the key success points is to standardize as much as you can. If everyday someone came in and moved all the buttons on the remote control you would never be able to memorize where they are. The same thing occurs if you don't standardize your equipment, policies, and procedures. Exposure is another key issue. Get your people the information that they need and keep exposing it to them.
Below are some examples of equipment forms that I have made. Please take the idea and change it for your organization. I will also include some blank templates that you can use.
Take your forms and distribute them to your staff, post the information on the walls, make quizzes / exams with the information. All the forms are in Microsoft Word for easy editing and personalizing.