By Forest Reeder and Kevin Milan – From Fire Rescue Magazine and Firefighter Nation – http://www.firefighternation.com/article/training-0/understanding-new-slicers-acronym
Editor’s Note: Welcome to FireRescue’s newest column, Train the Trainer. While many may believe that operations should lead training, the reality is that training must lead operations. An effective training program is designed to prepare crews for the incidents and hazards that they are most likely to encounter on the emergency scene. Our goal should be to provide the most comprehensive training possible so our crews don’t experience something for the first time while operating on the emergency scene. FireRescue is focused on providing our readers with articles and training tips that can help achieve this goal. In this column, we have chosen two of the most notable fire service instructors to provide quick training tips, tricks and techniques that can be immediately applied in training at the station or on the drill field.
The desire to incorporate best practices and accurate information into training programs is nothing new. The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and UL are producing reports based on scientific analysis of fire in the structural firefighting environment. Millions of dollars are spent, and voluminous reports are generated. The problem: Research is slow to reach the drill ground and department standard operating procedures (SOPs).
In a bold move, the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI) published a position statement calling for radical change. This is a call to action to springboard research-based intelligence into fire service training and operations. The ISFSI position statement encourages fire departments “to adjust their tactical plans and training programs to incorporate [NIST & UL] research into their emergency response operations.” With that in mind, in this article, we address just how this call can translate into action for you and your fire department.
At the heart of this training evolution is an updated operational acronym, SLICERS, which drives us to consider the importance of an awareness of flow path and cooling during fire attack. SLICERS directs us to conduct the following sequential activities:
• Size up all scenes
• Locate the fire
• Identify & control the flow path (if possible)
• Cool the heated space from a safe location
• Extinguish the fire
• Rescue and Salvage are actions of opportunity that may occur at any time
But before we delve into SLICERS and how it can improve fireground operations, let’s first remember how research has driven changes in the past.
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