My article for the Firefighter/EMT Safety, Health & Survival Section of the May 2012 issue of IAFC On Scene: Expanding Command Ahead of Demand.
If a mayday operation requires rapid, concise decisions and actions to increase firefighter survivability, then when should command be expanded—before or after the mayday is called?
We know that our work on the fireground is complex, dangerous and chaotic. We know that building and maintaining effective command and control is essential for successful and safe operations. We also know that fireground operations demand that we have a heightened sense of awareness, the ability to adapt to rapidly changing conditions and the skill and will to make critical decisions, and do so fast.
But how do we accomplish that, especially during a mayday situation, with limited or no command staff?