The implementation of research into operating procedures takes time and effort. At UL FSRI we are always interested in how this process plays out and how departments are using the tactics and insite gained from our research in their mission to protect life and property from fire. Recently we heard from Chief Scott Thompson of the Colony Fire Department in Texas (http://www.thecolonytx.gov/Depts/Fire/FireDepartment.html) as they revamped their standard operating procedures to include terms such as door control, flow path, air track, transitional attack, and VEIS with a emphasis on coordination. Simple changes such as categorizing a truck firefighter as the “outside control” vs. the “outside vent” have a large impact on how firefighters operate at a structure fire.
The reworking operational procedures is only the first of many steps to initiate the process of change. Firefighters with the Colony Fire Department officers had to agree on the changes, and get buy-in from their fire fighters before beginning a 6 month training period on the revised procedures. before putting the new strategies and tactics into practice on emergency incidents.
Chief Thompson says “This impacts every aspect of what we routinely do on fire events”, “We have made modifications to how we fight fire, ventilate, search, and our overall priorities on the fire ground. This is without a doubt the future of firefighting.” We applaud the chief and his entire organization for recognizing the need for change and implementing it.
Since their adoption January 1, 2014 Chief Thompson believes “the changes have caused us to re-focus on our fire operations and an increased level of ownership of tasks and techniques.”
A special thanks to Chief Thompson for allowing us to share his new procedures with everyone as an example of how research by UL FSRI is impacting the fire service.