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In order to provide effective communications with all members, the following written procedures have been adopted for use within the Octavia-Smithville Rural Fire Association. SOP’s are approved by the Fire Chief and presented to the members to be adopted by a majority vote. These SOP’s will be published and distributed to all personnel. All personnel will be expected to be thoroughly familiar with all operating procedures within the department.

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR
THE OCTAVIA-SMITHVILLE RURAL FIRE ASSOCIATION

**THESE OPERATING PROCEDURES ARE TO BE USED AS GUIDELINES AND SHOULD NOT BE A SUSTITUTE FOR REASONING AND COMMON SENSE**


MAY 2009 EDITION

1. PREREQISITES FOR FIREFIGHTERS/RESPONDERS

The following guidelines must be adhered to before any person is considered for the position of firefighter/responder with the Octavia-Smithville Rural Fire Association.

1. Said person must be at least eighteen (18) years of age.

2. He or she must posses a valid Oklahoma driver’s license. Any type of license - operators, chauffeur or commercial chauffeur is acceptable. A copy of this license must be on file with the fire department.

3. He or she must be a voting member of the O-SRFA (yearly dues paid).

4. He or she must be in good physical health.

5. He or she must submit to a probationary period of one year. The probationary period will be to indoctrinate new firefighter’s in the policies and procedures of the Fire Department, use and maintenance of equipment, and training to produce competent and professional volunteer firefighters.

 

2. DISPATCH OF FIREFIGHTERS/RESPONDERS

All firefighters will be dispatched by the O-SRFA dispatcher on duty by way of individual two-way radios or pagers carried by the fire personnel/responders or by telephone.

All responding personnel must notify the dispatcher by phone or radio that they are responding.

Once dispatched, fire personnel/responders will proceed to the fire station as quickly as practical. A personal vehicle is not considered an emergency vehicle.

Firefighters/responders who arrive at the station after the truck(s) have left or are responding directly to the fire scene should proceed to the fire scene in their personal vehicles as quickly and safely as practical.

Firefighters/responders leaving from the station will secure the station.

**If you have an accident and are using Blue Lights your insurance may be void.

**You also need to check with local law enforcement before using lights on your personal vehicle.

 

3. ARRIVAL AT FIRE STATION FOR EMERGENCY REPONSE

The first fire personnel/responder to arrive at the station will pull the truck(s) out of the station. If possible, at least four (4) personnel will respond to a structure fire and two (2) personnel will respond to a grass fire.

At least four (4) personnel will remain on standby, when possible.

Rescue #1 and/or Rescue #2 will be the first unit(s) dispatched out.

Engine #1 or #2 will be the second unit(s) dispatched, depending on the area location for response.

Tankers #1 or #2 will respond as support, depending on the area location for response, unless notified otherwise by the Incident Commander on scene.

 

4. VEHICLE OPERATIONS

Fire department vehicles will be maintained on a monthly basis unless otherwise required by the Fire Chief or his designated representative. During all maintenance, the appropriate forms will be completed. Any discrepancies found during the inspections will be reported to the Fire Chief or his representative, and such discrepancies will be corrected as soon as possible.

Before operating any association vehicle, operators must possess a valid Oklahoma driver’s license, and must have any such license in their possession while vehicles are in operation. Any change in driver’s license status (suspension, revocation, etc.) will be reported to the Fire Chief immediately.

All firefighters must pass a yearly Driver’s Safety Test. New firefighters/responders must pass the Driver’s Safety Test before driving any emergency vehicle.

When responding to a fire call, both emergency lighting and sirens will be used. Headlights will be used whenever fire department vehicles are used.

Any time a fire department vehicle is in motion, driver and passengers will wear lap and shoulder restraints.

Any time a fire department vehicle is operated, it will be driven in a reasonable and prudent manner. All traffic laws will be obeyed. When approaching an open intersection, the vehicle will slow until it can be determined that the vehicle can pass safely. When approaching an intersection controlled by a traffic sign and /or signal, the emergency vehicle will come to a stop until the intersection clears, then proceed. This will be done only when the siren is utilized. When returning from a call, the vehicle will remain stopped until the light changes or the vehicle has the right to proceed. The driver is responsible for brake and chocking. After returning to the station from a fire run, the water tanks will be refilled, the fuel tanks refilled (or as soon as possible when after hours runs occur), log books completed and any equipment used will be maintained as needed (extinguishers filled and pressurized, hoses rolled up, etc.)

 

5. FIRE SCENE OPERATIONS

At every fire scene, a chain of command must be established. Normally, the first firefighter on scene is in command, or the Incident Commander. The Assistant Chief or Fire Chief may assume command upon their arrival if they deem such action necessary. Any IC may relinquish command of a fire scene to a senior firefighter if the “in charge” feels that suppression activities may be more effectively controlled by a senior firefighter. Any change of IC will be made by radio to dispatch and face-to-face with members involved.

It shall be the first duty of the IC to perform a walk-around inspection of the scene to determine the best possible course of action. The IC will then see that any protective equipment available is used by firefighters on the scene. The IC will assign specific duties to firefighters.

Firefighters that are not equipped with protective equipment will be kept back from the fire as far as practical. These personnel may be used for lookouts, traffic or crowd control, and other support. The drivers of the trucks will be in charge of the operations of pumps and equipment on their vehicles.

The IC will report the status of the fire (smoke, external flame and general condition) to the dispatcher and establish a water supply (connecting taker to pumper, need for 2nd. Tanker and/or pond).

The IC will be in charge of radio communications. He will make the determination if mutual aid is necessary and notify the dispatcher.

The IC will designate firefighter(s) to disconnect utilities in the event of structure fires. When applicable this will consist of pulling the electric meter (notification of power company and their estimated time of arrival is a first consideration), and shutting off the gas supply.

Entry will not be made unless there are two firefighters for entry and two more standing by outside tending an attached safety line.  When entry is made, a semi-fog pattern will generally be used to attack the base of the fire. Ventilation should be planned before any interior attack and will be used only by properly trained and experienced firefighters.

The IC will conduct a Roll Call after any major structural collapse, explosion, wild land fire or any situation the IC deems necessary.

Firefighters/responders needing to leave the scene must notify the IC.

After returning to the station, the IC will be responsible for maintenance, the Incident Report, log book completion and will conduct the fire critique.

 

6. HIGHWAY/VEHICLE FIRES

At the scene of a highway fire or a fire involving a vehicle on a public roadway, traffic control may be as vital as the fire suppression activities themselves. Traffic control should be maintained to keep an orderly flow of traffic through smoke crossing the road and to minimize “bottlenecks” caused by onlookers impeding the orderly flow of traffic.

Whenever possible, traffic control should be maintained by any available law enforcement agency. If this cannot be accomplished, fire personnel/responders will be charged with directing traffic safely through the fire scene area. As a last resort only, civilian volunteers may be used for traffic control, although this practice should be discouraged.

If the situation warrants, traffic diversions are required, they should be set up a minimum of 1,500 feet from the fire area and should be set clearly marked with visible devices such as cones, flares, or reflectors.

If two fire units are at the scene, one will be designated the primary attack unit while the other will be used for support. The Incident Commander will try to stay with the primary attack unit and will direct suppression activities from that point. The support unit should try to stay in the area of traffic diversions to act as an aid in diverting traffic unless needed elsewhere. All fire units will utilize all emergency lighting during time at the scene.

All personnel engaged in firefighting duties at a vehicle fire must:

1. Have complete & full protective gear on.

2. Utilize the SCBA.

It is acceptable for personnel to “spray” water on an involved vehicle from a safe distance while other personnel are donning the proper protective equipment.

After completing required duties at the scene, all personnel present should return to the station to assist with equipment maintenance and tank refill, log book completion and should participate in a critique session to discuss the situation and possible improvements.


7. GRASS FIRES/WILDLAND FIRES

Upon arrival at the scene of a grass or wild land fire, some of the fire personnel/responders should be dispatched on foot to attack the flanks of the fire. Each team shall be equipped with portable radios. The truck will then proceed to the head of the fire to begin suppression activities.

It shall be the duty of the Incident Commander to determine the most convenient source of water to refill tanks, the location(s) and types(s) of structures that are endangered by the fire and the location(s) and type(s) of natural barriers that may aid in suppression of the fire. This may also include possible areas for backfiring. O-SRFA priority will be given to protection of threatened structures. It is the responsibility of the IC to determine as early as possible if the need to call the Oklahoma State Forestry to handle the fire suppression. O-SRFA will then operate under the jurisdiction of the State Forestry.

It shall be the responsibility of every firefighter/responder to stay aware of possible changes in weather conditions, primarily changes in wind direction and speed. Individual firefighters/responders should also be mindful of changes in terrain that may hamper their suppression activities or pose a hazard to their safety.

While firefighters/responders are on foot and away from the trucks, the IC will make radio contact with those personnel at least once every ten (10) minutes to check the welfare of firefighters/responders. If no contact is made, efforts will be made to contact those personnel in person to determine welfare. Radio contact with firefighter/responders is vital, as visual contact cannot be maintained.

When the presence of fire department personnel is no longer required at the scene, all firefighters/responders will return to the station to assist with equipment maintenance and tank refill. A critique session should also be held before firefighters/responders leave the station, when possible.

 

7. STRUCTURE FIRES

Upon arrival at the scene of a structure fire, the Incident Commander will conduct a walk-around inspection to determine the appropriate action to be taken. This will be done regardless of jurisdiction. If the utilities to the structure(s) have not yet been disconnected, one firefighter who has been trained will pull the electric meter while another firefighter shuts off the gas supply. The electric company should be called to respond to the scene as soon as the fire call is received.

Rescue #1 or Rescue #2 will be the first unit(s) dispatched.

Engine #1 or Engine #2 will be the second unit(s) dispatched, depending on the area location for response.

Tanker #1 or Tanker #2 will respond as support, depending on the area location for response, unless notified otherwise buy the IC on scene.

First line attack personnel will wear full and complete turnout gear and SCBA.

 

9. GREEN BOX (DUMPSTER) FIRES

Upon receiving notice that a green box or trash dumpster is on fire, at least one firefighter will be dispatched to determine if surrounding grass, trees, structures, etc. are endangered. No water will be put into the dumpsters due to the possibility of hazardous materials and danger to the firefighter. If directed by a law enforcement agency to put water on the burning material, at least two firefighters must be present, full protective equipment, including the SCBA, will be worn and water will be “sprayed” from a safe distance away from both firefighter and truck.

 

10. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS EMERGENCIES

In the event of an emergency involving possible hazardous materials, immediate notification by the Incident Commander and/or dispatcher will be made to local law enforcement agencies, the hazardous materials team of the Fire Department, local law enforcement agencies, County Emergency Management Authorities and surrounding fire departments.

The IC will direct all personnel a safe distance up wind when possible. No firefighter/responder will enter a “Hot Spot”.

The fire department will operate only under instructions of the hazardous materials agency. Their guidance will be adhered to in the areas of evacuation, possible containment of the situation, and necessary decontamination of persons and equipment involved in the emergency.

 

11. BRUSH/RESCUE TRUCKS

A Brush/Rescue unit will respond to all fires. A Brush/Rescue unit will also respond to all vehicle accidents and to medical calls where basic life support/first aid, including oxygen is needed before the transporting ambulance arrives on scene.

A Brush/Rescue unit will remain stocked with basic first aid supplies, oxygen, rescue equipment, including the Jaws of Life, and spinal immobilization devices.

A Brush/Rescue unit should also be used for lighting and traffic control where needed.

 

12. HELICOPTER LANDING ZONE

When a landing zone is required, at the Octavia landing pad or a makeshift area, a minimum of three (3) trained personnel is required. Upon notification of the need for the Octavia landing pad, the pad lights, antenna beacon and windsock lighting should be turned on.

 

13. MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISIONS (MVC)

At least one Brush/Rescue unit, preferably two for traffic control, will respond to all motor vehicle collisions. The Brush/Rescue unit can also handle any fire suppression needed and nighttime lighting.

Responding emergency vehicles shall utilize all emergency lights during time at the scene.

After completing required duties at the scene, all personnel present should return to the station to assist with equipment maintenance, clean-up, log book completion and tank refill and should participate in a critique session to discuss the situation and possible improvements.

 

14. NATURAL DISASTERS

In the event of a natural disaster (tornado, flood, etc.,) requiring emergency services, the fire department will operate under the control of the Civil Defense Director, County Emergency Management Authorities or other emergency services having jurisdiction. In these instances the Fire Chief or his designated representative shall act as a liaison between the fire department and the controlling agency.

In the event no emergency services are immediately available to the O-SRFA area, the Fire Chief or his designated representative will coordinate a chain of command and the integration and implementation of local resources. Resources such as, food and water, evacuation, search & rescue, shelter, triage, first aid, etc.

 

15. EVACUATION SIGNAL

At structural fires, and occasionally at other types of incidents, it sometimes becomes necessary to evacuate all personnel from the building or area.

In this event, a radio message will be broadcast by the IC to the dispatcher to evacuate. This radio alert will be followed by the sounding of the “WHELP” siren for an extended period.

Upon hearing the signal, O-SRFA personnel are to determine that other personnel with them have heard the signal, then evacuate to a safe area. The IC will then conduct a roll call.

 

16. CODE RED SIGNAL

In the event a firefighter(s)/responder(s) life is in danger, a firefighter(s)/responder(s) has a serious injury or a firefighter(s)/responder(s) is lost, a CODE RED will be issued over the radios/pagers.

The procedure for issuing a CODE RED will be: Attention all personnel we have a CODE RED and all radio traffic will stop.

The person issuing the CODE RED will communicate only with the IC.

Only the person which issued the CODE RED and the IC are to communicate over the radio.

Normal radio traffic will be allowed to resume by order of the IC only.

 

17. MUTUAL AID

When receiving Mutual Aid from any other fire department, O-SRFA will be in charge of the scene.

When giving Mutual Aid to any other fire department, that department will be in charge of the scene.

 

18. TRAINING

A minimum of twenty (20) hours of training per year is required.

The training officer will schedule all training conducted by the fire department in advance, and documentation of training will be made upon the completion of such training. When advance scheduling of training is made, it will be the responsibility of the training officer to notify the firefighters/responders of the nature of the scheduled training.

The training officer may modify the training schedule for the fire department and exceed the twenty-hour minimum.

The training used by the O-SRFA may consist of, but not limited to: training videos, seminars at other departments, practice fire runs, hypothetical scenarios and actual emergency scenes. The training officer may, at his discretion, schedule specialized training for individual firefighters/responders, if he deems such training necessary.

All firefighters/responders will complete the Driver’s Safety Test and be approved by the Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief on the operations of each vehicle before driving or operating the vehicles.

All firefighters/responders will maintain a current CPR/AED/First Aid certification.

 

19. FITNESS STANDARDS

All personnel must pass an annual fitness test (appropriate to the wild land fir job they perform) or physicians physical to determine their ability to safely fight wild land fire.

The fitness test used will follow guidelines used by the U.S. Government for work capacity testing:

 

WORK CATEGORY TEST DISTANCE PACK WT. TIME

ARDUOUS PACK 3 MILES 45 LBS. 45:00 OR LESS

MODERATE FIELD 2 MILES 25 LBS 30:00 OR LESS

LIGHT WALK 1 MILE NONE 15:00 OR LESS

Fitness level requirements:

1. Those members actively participating in on-the-ground suppression of wild land fires (such as nozzle man, lead man or mop-up) are considered to be performing “Arduous” work and must pass the “Pack” fitness test.

2. Those members participating in wild land firefighting in a less arduous role (such as engine driver) are considered t be performing “Moderate” work and must pass the “Field” test as a minimum.

3. Those members participating in wild land firefighting in an on-scene support or management role (such as water tender driver/operator or incident commander) are considered to be performing “Light” work and must pass the “Walk” test as a minimum.

4. Those members participating in wild land suppression in an off-scene support role (such as dispatcher, traffic control, or logistics support) are not required to take a fitness test.

Physician’s physical option: Any personnel may choose to take a physical examination conducted by a licensed physician in-lieu of a fitness test. The physician must state whether the individual is physically fit to safely conduct the wild land firefighting duties in which the personnel will be involved.

 

20. EQUIPMENT

All Fire Department equipment will be maintained on a regular scheduled basis.

The Fire Chief will be notified of the need to replace any item of equipment belonging to the Fire Department. Every attempt will be made to replace damaged or lost equipment as soon as possible.

Replacement costs for equipment shall be paid out from Fire Department accounts as outlined in the Fire Department By-laws.

Any item of Fire Department equipment that is issued to firefighters becomes the responsibility of the individual firefighter/responder.

All personnel are responsible for the welfare of their issued protective gear and equipment. This includes:

1. Radio/pager

2. Helmet/face shield

3. Hood

4. Turnout Jacket

5. Turnout Pants

6. Suspenders

7. Boots

8. Other issued equipment

 

21. COMMUNICATIONS

The dispatcher for the fire Department will be notified by radio whenever units are leaving the station, when units have arrived at the scene, and when units are returning to the station. Communications with the dispatcher will be made on the primary frequency. Truck-to-truck and non-emergency communications will be handled on the utility or talk-around frequency.

Portable radios will be used by firefighters/responders dispatched on foot and will be monitored on the truck radios and IC radio. The officer in charge of the fire scene will be in charge of communications and will be responsible for making contact with firefighters/responders equipped with portable radios every ten minutes to check welfare.

In order to keep from engaging the radio network more than necessary during emergencies, keep airtime to a minimum. At no time will vulgar or discourteous language be tolerated over any radio.

Any firefighter/responder having a problem(s) with their radio should turn it in for repair as soon as possible.

All O-SRFA radios are capable of answering the phone.

Report to dispatcher that you are responding to a scene. This aids in getting the needed amount of responders to a scene..

Portable and mobile radios have a small delay when the PTT is pushed. Delay talking for one second to allow the beginning of your traffic to be heard.

 

22. EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONDERS (EMR’s)


(FOR FUTURE USE)

 

23. EQUIPMENT LOANS

No equipment will be loaned or removed from the Octavia or Smithville stations without the advanced approval by the Fire Chief Assistant Fire Chief or a board member. It is then the responsibility of the firefighter/responder loaning or removing the equipment to see to the return of the equipment as soon as possible.

 

24. FUNDRAISERS

Any fund raising activities put on by the O-SRFA must be approved by a majority vote at any regularly scheduled meeting of the Fire Department.

Fundraisers should be scheduled as far in advance as possible to ensure adequate advance publicity and procurement of needed materials.

Fire personnel/responders are requested to participate in a minimum of two fundraising activities per calendar year.

Proceeds from fundraising activities will be deposited into the O-SRFA account. Such funds will be utilized for the purchase of equipment, training and payment of expenses.

 

25. CHAIN OF COMMAND

 

CHIEF

1ST. ASSISTANT CHIEF

2ND. ASSISTANT CHIEF

CAPTAINS (by seniority)

FIRE PERSONNEL

Adopted this 4TH. day of MAY, 2009

Steven D. Prise, Fire Chief/Board Chairman

Norman Heaton, Board Secretary

Debbie Prise, Board Treasurer


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