Thursday, July 24, 2008

How often do we say... we need more vests?

In many countries, departments order vests. Lots of vests. Different colors. Different wording.

Vests, vest, and more vests.

However, in some areas of the world there may be no clear identification for key leadership positions. At times, it may also be difficult to locate the command post, medical area, staging area, logistics, etc.

That being said, it might not be a concern as many responders in these communities know who is in charge and they all know their roles. The value really comes in when responders from other agencies or countries come in to help with local efforts.

There is a very simple solution to this.

All key positions should have some markings. If there is no funding for vests, then a simple cloth or piece paper could be labeled to identify the position. Another option might be hats with wording that identifies the role.

And always remember that people can wear different hats during an incident, but their roles need to be clear to others.

The following Hats of Incident Management video was highlighted in a recent training session. If you were unable to attend, please take some time to review the video to understand why we need ICS.

People need to know... who is in charge?

The same goes true for major areas. For example, to better identify a command post, connect a pole or even a tree to the vehicle, with a flag on top, so everyone can see. Small signs below eye level in vehicles sometimes out of the way tends to be less effective.

In the medical/triage area, make sure it is clear which areas are designated red, yellow, and green. And do not label the patients using red, yellow, or green paper, unless they are designated as such.


Anonymous said...

Was that a drill in the picture or a real fire?

Neighbors Helping Neighbors said...

Yes, this was a drill, not a real fire. Smoke was used to simulate the scenario.