Daily Activities

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The Panama City Beach Fire Rescue personnel’s daily duties consist of watch duty, emergency medical care response, emergency response preparedness, fire prevention and kids’ safety training, and fire rescue equipment inspection and maintenance. Below is an overview of the standard operating practices and daily activities of the Panama City Beach Fire Rescue Department:        

WATCH DUTIES: Monitor and receive all incoming alarms and information, emergency calls, answer phone calls, and monitor access to the station house.

  1. Receive notification of alarms, multiple alarms, EMS alarms, and other significant emergencies through the dispatch office;
  2. Notify station personnel of incoming alarms and required response (e.g., everybody goes, truck only, engine only);
  3. Answer department and outside phone calls.

INITIAL RESPONSE TO AN INCIDENT: The following actions occur between receipt of an alarm and initial firefighting or emergency scene activities:

  1. Make preliminary evaluation of incident based on alarm information received;
  2. Proceed to the assigned apparatus;
  3. Put on personal protective equipment before and at emergency scenes;
  4. Proceed to the emergency scene.

ON-SCENE COMMUNICATION: Maintain communication at the emergency scene to ensure appropriate coordination of apparatus and personnel.

  1. Receive information regarding the assignment of personnel and apparatus from the officer in command upon arrival at the emergency scene.
  2. Communicate with other fire personnel at the emergency scene about conditions and size-up;
  3. Relay orders from superior officers at emergency scene.

DRIVING:  Drive apparatus (engine, truck, ambulance and other fire rescue equipment) to and from and position apparatus at the emergency scene.

  1. Obtain knowledge of traffic laws and street conditions in order to operate the apparatus safely and expeditiously;
  2. Obtain knowledge of most direct and expeditious routes and studies them prior to incident response;
  3. Select most direct and expeditious route to alarm site;
  4. Maneuver and position apparatus at the incident scene.

PUMP OPERATION:  Connect or hook up apparatus to fire hydrant and operate pumps to supply water in appropriate pressure and volume using couplings, hoses, spanner wrenches, and other tools.

  1. Open and flush hydrant to ensure it is functional.
  2. Fill hose with water by hydrant pressure.
  3. Engage pumps.
  4. Monitor control panel (e.g., water temperature, oil pressure gauge, fuel gauge, hydrant pressure).
  5. Connect and lays supply line from supply to the apparatus.
  6. Notify officer of any problems that occur while pumping.
  7. Shut down pump when ordered to by officer.

HOSE AND EXTINGUISHER OPERATION:  Stretch line or use extinguisher to deliver water, foam, and other extinguishing agents to the emergency scene.

  1. Determine type, size, and number, and length of hose needed for operation;
  2. Pull hose out of the hose bed;
  3. Determine proper nozzle and nozzle setting;
  4. Connect hose lines to the nozzles;
  5. Connect to standpipe when necessary and appropriate;
  6. Flake out or dekink hose line prior to charging or during extinguishing to ensure proper operation;
  7. Locate seat of fire or other hazard by observing, smelling or listening for smoke, sound, flames, gas, and vapors;
  8. Operate ladder pipe on aerial ladder to apply water to structures on fire;
  9. Use extinguisher to extinguish, contain and control the incident.

MECHANICAL LADDER OPERATION:  Stabilize ladder trucks and elevate and operate aerial ladders in order to rescue victims, provide access for ventilation, and operate master stream devices.

  1. Stabilize elevating apparatus using wheel chocks, stabilize pads, and stabilize jacks and outriggers;
  2. Operate ladder from ground controls or from platform controls, while watching for power lines, trees and other overhead obstructions;
  3. Climb mechanical ladders to perform search, rescue and other operations.

MANUAL LADDER OPERATIONS:  Carry, raise, extend and climb manual ladders to perform search, rescue and other operations.

  1. Determine manual ladder type and size needed at the incident scene;
  2. Determine proper placement of manual ladder at the scene;
  3. Raise and position manual ladder at the incident scene;
  4. Anchor and secure manual ladder at the scene;
  5. Climb manual ladder to perform search, rescue, and other operations.

FORCIBLE ENTRY:  Pry open, cut, or break down doors, or otherwise enter structures, vehicles, aircraft and other entrapment in order to search for and rescue victims and provide access to the emergency scene using axes, halligan tools, hooks, rabbit tools, battering rams, sledge hammers, power saws and other tools.

  1. Determine best location for forcible entry;
  2. Cut through surfaces using power saws and other power tools;
  3. Gain entry into structures using axes, sledge hammers, battering rams, halligan tool and other forcible entry tools;
  4. Pry open doors to get into structures using pry bars, halligan tools, bolt cutters and other tools;
  5. Remove locks or hinges from doors using sledgehammers, battering rams, axes or other forcible entry tools.

    force ent

    VENTILATION:  Open or break windows, chop or cut holes in the roofs, breach walls or doors, and aim fog stream out of window or hang fans in windows or doors to remove heat, smoke and/or gas from structures or entrapment.

    1. Determine best location for venting structure based on location of hazard and fire personnel, roof type, and building construction;
    2. Open windows and other points of entry manually or by using pry bars, halligan tools, and other tools, to ventilate structure;
    3. Break windows and other points of entry using axes, ladders and other tools, to ventilate structure;
    4. Cut open walls, roof and other structures to ventilate structure;
    5. Use fans for positive and negative pressure.

    roof ops

    SEARCH:  Search assigned area in order to locate victims and to obtain further information about incident, following standard search procedures.

    1. Determine search procedure or strategy needed to accomplish objectives;
    2. Search structures for seat of fire, or other hazard, and extensions;
    3. Search floor or area of fire, or other hazard, for conscious and unconscious victims, sweeping assigned search area with arms, legs or tools;
    4. Work together as a team to maintain personnel accountability.


    RESCUE:  Assist, hoist, carry or drag victims from emergency area by means of interior access (stairs, hallways, and etc…) or, if necessary, by ladders, fire escapes, or other means of escape using rescue harnesses, ropes, backboards and other equipment.  Extricate victims from vehicles, aircraft, cave-ins, collapsed buildings or other entrapment in order to save lives using shovels, torches, drills, pry bars, saws, jacks, jaws, air bags, and other equipment.

    1. Evacuate persons from incident scene due to risk of fire, explosion, and exposure to hazardous chemicals;
    2. Hoist or lower victims or fire personnel using ropes, knots and rescue harnesses;
    3. Drag or carry victims from emergency scenes;
    4. Place victims onto stretchers, backboards, baskets, and etc...;
    5. Dig to free victims trapped in tunnels, pipes, excavations, cave-ins or other entrapments using shovels, picks, spades and other equipment;
    6. Conduct water rescues such as river boat in accordance with established guidelines;
    7. Rescues drowning victims using life-saving techniques.

    rope rescue


    SALVAGE:  Move and cover furniture, appliances, merchandise and other property; cover holes in structures; stabilize damaged structural components; and redirect or clean up water in order to minimize damage using plastic and canvas covers, ropes, staple guns, mops, squeegees, and other tools.

    1. Spread salvage covers over property;
    2. Move furniture and other objects to protect from water or other damage;
    3. Tears down weak and dangerous structural components such as floor, wall, roof, overhang and stair using hooks, axes, saws and other tools.

    OVERHAUL:  Open up walls and ceilings, cut or pull up floors and move or turn over debris, in order to check for hidden fires which could rekindle or spread using hooks, axes, saws and pitchforks.

    1. Check and search open areas, walls, open structures for fire extension;
    2. Search for and extinguishes any hidden fires by looking, feeling or smelling for fire and smoke;
    3. Open ceilings and walls to expose hot spots and other hazardous conditions with axes, pike pole and ceiling hook, and other tools;
    4. Remove and extinguish burned or smoldering debris from buildings.


    CLEAN-UP/PICK UP:  Pick up, clean and return equipment to vehicle and roll or fold hose, so that the team can go back in service.

    1. Back lines out of structures;
    2. Roll and hold hoses after use and return them to appropriate vehicle;
    3. Determine that all hoses used during response are present and accounted for;
    4. Clean and returns all tools, equipment, supplies and property, in usable condition, to appropriate vehicles.
    5. Clean the apparatus.

    EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE:  Perform thorough patient evaluation and intervene with the appropriate medical care for persons requiring medical care and/or requesting assistance with medical care.

    1. Assess and prioritize patient according to medical and/or injury;
    2. Intervene with oxygen therapy or assisted ventilations, using oxygen adjuncts when appropriate;
    3. Identify life-threatening bleeding and intervene appropriately;
    4. Identify the pulse less, apneic patient and administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation;
    5. Evaluate the patient's responsiveness (awake, alert and oriented vs. unresponsive) based on the patient's response to verbal and painful stimuli;
    6. Determine whether patients need emergency or non-emergent transport;
    7. Work to maintain the patient's well being, emotionally as well as physically;
    8. Assess the patient's vital signs using a watch, stethoscope, and sphygmomanometer.


    EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE:  Check, clean, and maintain personnel gears and equipment to ensure proper and safe operation.

    1. Place turnout gear on or near apparatus.
    2. Check extension ladders.
    3. Check medical equipment.
    4. Check the condition of generators, blowers, lights, cords and fans.
    5. Check hose on apparatus (proper bedding and amount).
    6. Check and maintain power equipment.
    7. Check and perform ordinary maintenance on other portable equipment;
    8. Change over equipment and supplies from one apparatus to another.


    APPARATUS MAINTENANCE:  Check, clean, and maintain apparatus to ensure proper and safe operation.

    1. Perform normal daily apparatus check (e.g., oil, fuel and water levels; proper pressures and lubrications; batteries; lights; sirens; brakes and tires);
    2. Perform normal weekly apparatus check (e.g., hydraulic fluid levels);
    3. Check ability of engine to pump water;
    4. Check engine pumper pressure;
    5. Notify officer of electrical or mechanical problems on apparatus;
    6. Notify the officer of needed repairs on apparatus;
    7. Notify the officer that apparatus needs to be kept out of service due to mechanical problems.


    STATION MAINTENANCE AND DUTIES:  Check, clean, and maintain house facilities.  This includes the performance of routine housekeeping chores.

    1. Clean apparatus bay and rooms;
    2. Clean and maintains fire house yard.


    INSPECTION OF BUILDINGS AND FIRE PROTECTION DEVICES:  Inspect building for fire prevention/hazardous materials code violations or hazards on a periodic basis or during the course of their activities.  Inspect alarms, hydrants, sprinkler systems, and standpipe systems for operational use.

    1. Inspect buildings upon request of occupants/owners;
    2. Investigate buildings suspected of violating codes;
    3. Recognize code violations (e.g., blocked exits, improper storage of chemicals).


    PUBLIC RELATIONS:  Engage in activities which have impact on the department's image in the community including providing information to the media, providing assistance and support to civilians seeking help or information, and giving presentations to community groups and other members of the public.

    1. Deal with distressed individuals at emergency scene;
    2. Meet civilians in the fire station, conducts tours and provides information;
    3. Provide information to civilians on service runs;
    4. Make public presentations and conducts demonstrations of apparatus and equipment.


    TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:  Participate in training drills and classes to enhance job-related skills and abilities.  Read internal memos and bulletins to keep apprised of new developments in departmental operations and procedures.  Attends lectures, seminars, and training courses, and read external documents to remain current in the fire service.

    1. Maintain knowledge of latest firefighting equipment and techniques;
    2. Maintain basic knowledge of building structures related to fire control;
    3. Maintain basic knowledge of chemicals and other hazardous materials;
    4. Attend routine training drills and sessions;
    5. Participate in physical fitness sessions;
    6. Attend specialized training sessions (e.g., CPR certification and special schools);
    7. Review internal fire department bulletins, memos to remain aware of updates;
    8. Read professional journals and publications to be aware of current developments in the fire service.