Fire Technology


This Assignment is used in the following Fire Technology courses.

• Fire Prevention Technology
• Fire Protection Equipment & Systems
• Building Construction for Fire Protection • Fire Behavior & Combustion
• Principles of Fire & Emergency Safety &Survival
• Fire Hydraulics

TERM PROJECT: Students will be asked to do an internet search for learning resources tied to one of the major topics in the Reading Assignments in this class. Refer to the Course Schedule for the reading assignment.

Prior to doing your research, go to the course web site in Canvas. Under Modules, click on Term Assignments, then on the “Term Project” Icon to download the Term Project Assignment and Table with two examples of what is expected.

Identify at least three resources: a web site, a document (policy, article, etc.), and a video. All three resources MUST be from different sources and expand on the Reading Assignment chosen. A rehash of what was covered in the Reading Assignments and plagiarism will get you Zero points. Also, if you are taking more than one class with me requiring this Term Assignment, you must do an entirely different learning resource for each class, no duplicates.


Use the “Term Project Learning Resources Table” below to record your answers and then attach it to the Assignment link.

Term Project Learning Resources Table
Student’s Name
Reading Assignment:
Specific Learning Objective in Book:
Learning Resources:
• Web Site: Provide both URL\ Document
• Document\URL: Provide both URL\Document
• Video: Provide both URL & Video if available
• Other Resource

This Paper should be prepared in the MS Word Document provided, with answers and comments in the table shown above. When you have completed this assignment, return to Canvas under Modules, click on Term Assignments, click on the “Term Project” Icon, and attach your Paper.

Example Term Project Learning Resources Below


Term Project Learning Resources Table
Student’s Name Name
College\Class College\FT 210
Module: Module # 3
Topic: The Company Officer’s Role in Effective Communications
Reading Assignment: Company Officer, 3rd Edition; Smoke, Chapter # 2
Specific Learning Objective in Book: The Use of Social Media in Communication
Learning Resources: Document, Web Site & Policy
• Web Site: Provide both URL\ Document Document\Web Site: Using Social Media to Advance the Fire Department Mission:

• Document\URL: Provide both URL\Document Policy: IAFC Fire & EMS Department Social Media Policy:

• Video: Provide both URL & Video if available Video: Social Media & Emergency Management 6:27 minutes

• Other Resource Documents Attached to Thread
The article, “Using Social Media to Advance the Fire Department Mission”, provides a short overview on the benefits and liabilities associated with using social media in fire department communications to advance the fire department mission.

The positive effects of this technology is the improved dissemination of information and communication between the fire department and its personnel, the community, all constituencies and other interested parties.

Smart Phones, tablets, computers and other devices, allow the use of social media in emergency operations, provides real time information and communication with the public, media and other interested or affected individuals, and provides additional resources for post incident investigation and analysis.

The fire department should solicit photos, personally filmed video, surveillance video from area business and other documentary material from the public, to get a varied and more complete understanding of what occurred on scene, often before your arrival. This information is very helpful when investigating and explaining various perspectives, rumors, etc. and for investigating crimes associated with the incident.

The downside is first, information provided or communications sent by a fire department, in good faith, are subject to error and to interpretation. It is important that care be taken in the message and that all official information or communications be approved by the Fire Chief or their designee.

Next, the proliferation of this medium provides many opportunities for members of the department, on-duty and off, to say and do things that violate privacy (HIPPA), that offends and\or that sheds a bad light on the department. Remember: video cuts both ways. The firefighter must always be aware that what they do and say, today is subject to being video-taped. While these may tell the tale, they are not always in context. Your documented actions can and will be used in any disciplinary or legal hearing. Also, these and other information will live on, on the internet, forever!

The fire department should develop a policy on the use of social media by the department and its personnel, that allows for the liberal use of this technology, yet that sets boundaries and provides guidelines for the use of department devices (Smart Phones, tablets, computers and other devices). That provides parameters for the appropriate use of social media when on-duty and off. A Model Policy by the International Association of Fire Chief’s (IAFC), “Fire and EMS Department Social Media Policy” is a good place to start.

There are numerous videos and other resources available on the use of Social Media on the internet. The Video provided: Social Media & Emergency Management by Fire Chief Bill Boyd, provides perspective on how to use Social Media in Emergency Operations and how to communicate with the public and media through Social Media.

He suggests that social media, and the instantaneous nature of news, information and communication, the twenty-four hour news cycle and mostly, the proliferation of devices with cameras, communication and other capabilities that allow the story to be spread instantaneously and from numerous perspectives, have changed the nature of the First Responder and particularly the spokespersons job.

Public Access to Social Media: While in the past, the public got the news through well-established news organizations, often sanitized, edited, timed, in some cases even censored, today anyone with a cell phone or computer can report unfiltered information in real-time to whoever cares to watch.

This means that we can’t be fast enough. Often, before we arrive at the scene, information on the event has already been captured, spread across the Internet, complete with commentary, opinion, and rumors.

The public expectation has changed. The public now see themselves as part of the emergency response, and want to be informed, included and engaged by emergency responders.

We now must have and routinely utilize all social media capabilities, so that when an emergency does occur, the means of communicating information is known. For example, if we have a Twitter Feed or Facebook Page with followers, they are informed automatically and instantaneously. Being public, this information and capability is available through regular internet searches.

We can provide information on an emergency event, correct any rumors and mis-information, provide information fire department operations and updated information as needed. These actions and this information must be provided in an accelerated fashion. Often, the best means of getting the word out is through the media.

The Media: While the public has instantaneous access to news and information through social media and other sources on the internet, the news media (Television, Radio, Print, Social Media and the Internet) is a vital source for information.

In the old days, that’s no more than five years ago, the chief would inform the Public Information Officer who would craft a press release for distribution to the media. Media showed up at the scene, the Public Information Officer or Incident Commander would provide details correct any misperceptions, knowing that the story would not be on the news until the morning.

Like with the public, when it comes to the media, today, the Fire Chief, Incident Commander and Public Information Officer are often behind the curve, the media already has video, comments and other information gleaned from the Internet.

Rather than wait to provide explanation to the media in person, the Public Information Officer will dispell rumors, and provide information on the incident and related matters regarding open businesses in the morning, etc. and put it on the department Twitter YouTube and other social media.

Rather than delay dissemination of information taking hours, today, this information is sent within 10 minutes.

This requires preparation. As with the public, you should have all your social media up and running and available on a routine basis. You should solicit advertise and provide information on how the media and the public can sign up in the follow you. You should have information on the full range of topics in the can so that when section incident occurs you can immediately provide that only incident specific information but general information.

For example: you have a near drowning of a five-year-old. Information on the incident is very important, however the basic tips on how to prevent drowning and respond if such an incident occurs should be available to the public and the media immediately.

The bottom line is that social media has changed the manner in which the fire department communicates in emergency operations. You must be prepared. Communication is instantaneous and you must be on the ball if you expect to get the message out.

Term Project Learning Resources Table
Student’s Name Name
College\Class College\FT 101
Module: Module # 12
Topic: The Incident Command System, California Master Mutual Aid System
Reading Assignment: The Fire Technology Reader, 8th Edition, Coffman, Pages 240-254
Specific Learning Objective in Book: The California Master Mutual Aid System
Learning Resources: Video, Documents, Web Page and Policy
• Web Site: Provide both URL\ Document Web Sites: California Emergency Management Agency – & CalEMA Fire & Rescue Division –
National Incident Management System:
Incident Command System:
History of the Incident Command System:

• Document\URL: Provide both URL\Document Document\Policy: California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid Plan 2010 -

• Video: Provide both URL & Video if available Video: Cal EMA Mutual Aid System –

• Other Resource Documents & Video Attached to Thread
Comment: This four minute video provides an overview of the California Emergency Management Agency, Fire & Rescue Division and the California Master Mutual Aid Program. Chief Kim Zagaris, who oversees the Fire & Rescue Division and Mutual Aid Program is interviewed. Also included are the links to the Web Pages for the California Emergency Management Agency and the CalEMA Fire & Rescue Division, and the link to the Policy Document “California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid Plan 2010” which is the official document on the Master Mutual Aid program.

The Purpose of the Plan: “to provide for the systematic mobilization, organization, and operation of necessary fire and rescue resources of the state and its political subdivisions in mitigating the effects of disasters, whether natural or man caused.” California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid Plan 2010, Page # 1.

The California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System origins dates back to World War II, when the California Legislature passed the “War Powers Act” in 1941. The State Fire Advisory Committee was established in 1943 with Fire Service officials from ten civil defense regions throughout the state, the Fire Chiefs of the three largest cities (San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco), the State Fire Marshal, State Forest Ranger and representative from the United States Forest Service and Park Services. In 1945, the “War Powers Act” was replaced by the “California Disaster Act”, in 1950, the Fire and Rescue and Emergency Services Branch was established, the “Regional Operations Plan” was adopted in 1951 and a fleet of 58 engines were purchased and placed throughout the state for response to major emergency incidents in 1952. While this agency and the mutual aid program have seen many changes over the intervening years, its form and function and are much like it was then.

Today, the California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid system responds to major emergency incidents, with both Fire and Rescue, CalFire and locally owned apparatus and equipment. To facilitate this response, the state is divided into six Operational Regions and Operational Areas from all 58 counties in the state. Each Operational Region and the Operational Areas within each have Advisory Committees and Coordinators to oversee the system. See the Mutual Aid Regions Map on page # 7.

This system is voluntary. While many state resources are available throughout the state, most are provided by local fire departments, with reimbursement of cost when a Disaster Declaration is called.

It is state coordinated and a locally run organization. The state has three Administrative Regions and operates the system with an Assistant Chief to represent the agency in each Region and to coordinate responding resources. Resources are physically coordinated from two “Operations Coordination Centers”, one in Sacramento and the other Riverside. The “Incident Command (Management) System” has been adopted as the method to prepare and qualify personnel, to mobilize emergency resources and to manage emergency incidents statewide. The Federal government’s National Incident Management System (NIMS) was patterned after the California Incident Command System.

The California Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid system is a model that has been adopted by many other states and is credited as the basis for the national mutual aid model.

The Incident Command System (ICS) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS):

The Incident Command System, developed in the 1970’s in California, to manage multi-jurisdictional brush fires, has evolved into
An “All Risk”, emergency management system, that is used in all size and types of emergency situations, by fire, police and other organizations, across all jurisdictional boundaries and nationwide.

Today, ICS has been incorporated into a nationwide response system known as the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
In 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) adopted NIMS to facilitate a national approach to emergency response and use of ICS.

The Incident Command System (ICS)

Development of the Incident Command System began in the early 1970’s following a number of disastrous wildfires in Southern California. Wildfires, like most major disasters, are regional, crossing political and fire department jurisdictional boundaries. This created a number of obstacles for developing strategies and tactics, to managing and mitigate these disasters, and quite frankly created chaos for emergency responders. These obstacles included:

• Too many people reported to one supervisor leading to Poor Span of Control.
• Different emergency response organizational structures making coordinated planning between agencies and a standard staffing approach difficult
• Inadequate\ incompatible communications and terminology differences between agencies caused a lack of reliable incident information, unclear lines of authority and unclear or unspecified incident objectives.

A standardized emergency management approach to remedy the problems listed above took nearly a decade to develop, field test and implement. In 1972 Congress appropriated funds and convened an interagency task force of local, state, and federal firefighting called FIRESCOPE (Firefighting Resources of California Organized for Potential Emergencies) to develop ICS. Early in the development process, four essential requirements became clear:

  1. The system must be organizationally flexible to meet the needs of incidents of any kind and size.
  2. Agencies must be able to use the system on a day-to-day basis for routine situations as well as for major emergencies.
  3. The system must be sufficiently standard to allow personnel from a variety of agencies and diverse geographic locations to rapidly meld into a common management structure.
  4. The system must be cost effective.

The Incident Commend System was adopted statewide in California in 1980. ICS today has a standardized structure, terminology and a coordinated deployment and communications system that allows a multi-agency approach to major regional emergencies.

ICS and the current federal management approach to major emergencies, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) is two comprehensive to address here. However, the Structure allows for the use of single and multiple resources from a variety of agencies, and the management of emergency incidents is performed by the General Staff and Command Staff;

General Staff

• Command: The IC is in charge of all personnel and operations
• Operations: Supervises all emergency operations
• Planning: is the intelligence and planning arm of the operation
• Logistics: Provides for all supplies\services for the operation
• Finance\Administration: Track costs, reimbursements, etc.

Command Staff: Report directly to the IC. They include:

• Information Officer (PIO)
• Safety Officer (s)
• Liaison Officer

The three positions above are examples of single resources. Multiple Resources are configured as Strike Teams with similar resources (Example: Strike Team of Engines) assigned to a geographic division for long term operations and Task Forces with different resources (Example: engine, aircraft, hand-crew), temporarily and typically assembled to perform an single job.

The National Incident Management System:

As defined in FEMA documents:

“The National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work seamlessly to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity, in order to reduce the loss of life and property and harm to the environment. NIMS works hand in hand with the National Response Framework (NRF). NIMS provides the template for the management of incidents, while the NRF provides the structure and mechanisms for national-level policy for incident management.

Compliance with this system is voluntary. With that said, if a disaster is declared at a local, state or national level, reimbursement of costs incurred to prepare for, respond to or recover from a major emergency may not be paid if not compliant with this system.

To be compliant, an agency must meet certain standards including: adopting and implementing ICS, meeting training and qualification standards and being available to provide mutual aid. This is not an absolute, ability to meet these standards are not possible for all agencies and such circumstances are considered.

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