The Incident Tactics System
by Bob Pressler, Lieutenant (retired) – FDNY
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The introduction of the Incident Command System (ICS) has lead to fireground operations being more efficiently managed. Unfortunately the ICS will manage the operation even if the tactics that are being employed are incorrect and sometimes even dangerous to our operating companies.
The Incident Tactics System (ITS) is being developed so that Fire Departments that use the ICS to manage their fires will also have a system in place to help them select and manage the tactics that are needed to successfully bring the incident under control.
The “ITS” identifies the tactics needed to operate on the fireground by breaking down the typical fires that most departments respond to. The fires are classified by the expected resources needed to safely and efficiently bring the operation under control and, through the system, to expand the tactics as the incident conditions change. The tactics that are identified are not to be considered the hard and fast solution to all fire problems but are meant to try to help give a starting point for both a tactical approach to fire attack and a training program, to get the desired results.