Melissa J. Nixon, DVM
The 10 Standard Firefighting Codes
Compliments of California Department of Forestry
1. Keep informed on fire weather conditions and forecasts.
2. Know what your fire is doing at all times; observer personally, use scouts.
3. Base all actions on current and expected fire behavior.
4. Have escape routes for everyone and make them known.
5. Post a lookout when there is possible danger.
6. Be alert, keep calm, think clearly, act decisively.
7. Maintain prompt communication with your crew, your boss and adjoining forces.
8. Give clear instructions and be sure they are understood.
9. Maintain control of your personnel at all times.
10. Fight fire aggressively but provide safety first.
S- Safety Zone
CDF goes above and beyond just providing a liaison to our group during fire incidents; they also help train our command personnel in the ICS and our HotShotTeam in the realities of wild fire. We cannot thank them enough; the animals and their humans cannot thank them enough.
Our HotShotTeam members each personally purchase a regulation nomex suit, helmet, shake 'n' bake fire shelter, and appropriate boots. They pass a rigorous test following training classes presented by CDF specifically for our group, and they must be in robust health in order to participate in an actual event as a frontline HotShotTeam member.
HotShotTeam members crossing a Stage 2 Roadblock into an active fire area must have their emergency kit with them and work only in coordination with at least one other agency such as CDF, Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, National Guard, etc., to extract specific animals from known locations. We prefer never to take one of our rigs or vehicles behind the fire line; let the Sheriff do the driving. Members must check in and check out with the appropriate person(s) at the roadblock staging area for each excursion across a Stage 2 Roadblock.
Similar teams will be training for working in contaminated flood waters, hazardous material sites, and other specified high risk situations. Nobody without the appropriate specific training shall presume to cross a Stage 2 Roadblock into an affected area; violators will be asked to surrender their membership.