LAFD and FIRESCOPE “Partners in Public Safety”

Friday, February 15, 2019

In 1970, California brushfires destroyed 700 homes, over 500,000 acres and killed 16 people in just 13 days.  This prompted the United States Congress to charter the FIrefighting RESources of California Organized for Potential Emergencies, FIRESCOPE

FIRESCOPE leverages the experience and knowledge from local, state, and federal fire agencies across the state and focuses on three objectives:

  1. Provide emergency management recommendations to the Director of the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).
  2. Enhance the Incident Command System (ICS) and the Multi-Agency Coordination System (MACS). 
  3. Provide a common voice for the California fire service in efforts to improve emergency operations, the effectiveness of fire protection agencies, and firefighter safety.

Over the years, the work of FIRESCOPE led to a massive overhaul of operations in emergency management.  FIRESCOPE developed both the Incident Command System (ICS) for incident management and the Multi-Agency Coordination System (MACS) which were both implemented nationwide.  The Los Angeles Fire Department is proud to be an original partner agency of FIRESCOPE and continuing the work started almost 50 years ago.

Fresh into 2019, FIRESCOPE is already well on its way to, once again, providing guidelines which can improve fire ground operations across the country.  A national standard for helicopter hoist rescues did not exist…until now.  FIRESCOPE developed the ICS 801 Hoist Rescue Guidelines for the use of agency aircraft for both daylight and night hoist rescue operations on emergency incidents to enhance firefighter and public safety.  It outlines the equipment standards for aircraft and personnel, pilot and crew-member training standards, pre-planning and operational guidelines.  

The FIRESCOPE Aviation Operations Specialist Group oversees the Unmanned Aerial System working group and is garnering extensive interest from agencies across the country to be a part of their work.  The value and effectiveness of UAS programs in the fire service is well documented, with the Los Angeles Fire Department being a lead agency in the use of this new technology.  As this working group moves forward, it has tremendous potential for extending UAS usage across the country.

With a number of emerging technologies appearing on the fire ground, the upcoming CalChiefs Fire Operations Technology Summit (February 19-20 in Redlands, CA) is an important event bringing together leaders, both fire service professionals and emerging technology partners (Fire and EMS).  FIRESCOPE is partnering with CalChiefs to host this event and share the goal of improving daily operations and firefighter safety.

We hope you enjoyed this brief FIRESCOPE overview along with new information from the recent January Quarterly Briefing.

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