C onduct a risk/benefit analysis that takes into consideration the risk of fire fighters being unnecessarily exposed to carcinogens. Limit toxic exposures to personnel on scene. Incident Commanders (IC) can cancel units who are not needed. 1 Upon arrival at the incident, units should stage uphill and upwind to the fire when practical. Keep apparatus windows closed, air conditioner and heat turned off to minimize airborne contaminants from entering the cab and contaminating the interior. 1 If the apparatus is not involved in an integral process of fireground operations (pumping, supplying or aerial operations), turn off the motor to reduce the diesel exhaust on the scene. 1 On-deck and Rapid Intervention Crews (RIC) can be readily available without standing in the smoke. Stay outside of the smoke envelope—the area surrounding the scene where airborne contaminants are present—and be aware of the greater picture. This envelope depends on atmospheric conditions. For example, on low wind days with atmospheric inversion, the smoke envelope may surround a fire scene with a large spread of emissions in all directions. 1 Responders should wear appropriate PPE whenever the situation warrants, including the pump operator/engineer and IC, and may have to wear SCBA whenever exposed to the products of combustion or hazardous materials. 1 All personnel engaged in fire fighting shall utilize SCBA from initial attack throughout overhaul. FCSN 2011 states that not wearing SCBA is the “single most dangerous voluntary activity” in today’s fire service. Such usage should include not only interior structural fire fighting, but also for car fires and dumpster fires. GROSS DECONTAMINATION (DECON) 1 Prior to removing fire fighting ensembles worn in the hot zone, a gross decontamination shall be performed to remove potentially harmful contaminants (WAC 296-305-05002 (15)). C Wet Decon: Members should brush large debris first, and then spray each other with water to remove loose particulates from turnouts and equipment. Utilizing the pump operator for decontamination should not be allowed due to their lack of respiratory protection. The designated Gross Decon line should be deployed approximately 50 feet from the pump panel, towards the egress of the IDLH and designated by a cone. Do not connect decontamination line to a foam discharge port during foam operations. C Dry Decon: During cold weather operations, dry brushing should be conducted to remove the toxic products of combustions from the fire fighters prior to going off air and removing SCBA face pieces. 1 All fire fighters engaged in suppression activities, overhaul or exposure to smoke should exchange their contaminated OPERATIONS: EMERGENCY “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit.” A R I S T O T L E OPERATIONS: EMERGENCY 1 2