During your fire officer emergency scene simulation, you must be within the box of your organization. This means that you must perform within the normal expectation of a fire officer within your department.
There are five critical things to remember for this part of the promotional process. They are:
5 Things to Remember
1. Follow standard fire ground practices
2. Command presence is important
3. Do not second guess the exam
4. Read the directions looking for clues
5. Follow your agency’s policies, even if they are not commonly followed in the field.
Follow standard fire ground practices – This means that anything that you learn outside of your organization, while it may be something that you agree with and like, must be a standard fireground practice for your department. If it is not, I recommend that you re-evaluate utilizing it during your exam and when you get promoted.
Command Presence – It’s hard to describe it, but you can easily identify it when you see it. It is how you carry yourself when you enter the room and greet the raters. It is reinforced when you give your initial report and by your performance throughout your exam. Confidence, conviction, and calm are at the center of command presence.
If you take the correct action but are not confident during your Emergency Scene Simulator your score will suffer. Here’s what I mean, ”Um, Engine 1, maybe you should, um, think about taking a bigger line and possibly try going inside” versus “Engine 1, pull a two and a half and make entry on the Alpha side”. How would you grade the first candidate when compared to the second candidate? Certainly, the second candidate gets a higher score. Why? He demonstrated command presence. How does this happen when they both gave similar directions? It’s simple, the second candidate demonstrated confidence and conviction, or command presence.
Do not second guess the exam. Do not try to figure out what the raters are looking for. The fire officer emergency scene simulation you will be presented with during your exam are not designed to put unnecessary pressure on the candidates. Respond to the incident like you would do in a real situation and act according to your policies and procedures. There are no tricks in the exam.
Read the directions and look for clues. Read the directions and understand them. Is it a static or dynamic simulator? Will people be talking back to you on the radio or are you expected to describe your actions to the raters? Are you required to take command, or can you pass it?
Take a look at the units that are dispatched. This may give you a clue as to where the incident is going to take place. For example, if your initial alarm includes a specialized resource such as a brush engine, hazardous materials team, or EMS supervisor you may be dealing with a brush fire, haz mat spill or MCI.
Follow your agency’s policies and procedures. There are often policies in place that are not routinely followed by crews in the field. One of the most common is the two-out policy. This is a federal OSHA requirement. It is often overlooked and not followed in the field, especially by larger departments. You can bet that this is something the evaluators will be looking for during your fire officer emergency scene simulation.
Other important things to consider are laying a supply line. If your policy states that the first engine lays a supply line from the hydrant, you would be wise to follow it. Other commonly violated policies include adding a backup line, searching without a hose line, or adding a second ladder for roof operations.
While you are preparing for your fire officer emergency scene simulation we recommend that you follow these 5 items to help ensure you are preparing correctly for your exam. Best of luck to you. Find more information at AspiringFireOfficers.com.