How to Excel at
Promotional Exams:
The Emergency Simulation
Firehouse Expo – Baltimore, MD
July 24, 2010
Steve Prziborowski – Battalion Chief
Santa Clara County Fire Department
Objectives:
• Identify the top 25 pitfalls of poor
performers during simulations
• Identify what to expect in an emergency
simulation
• Determine the typical dimensions being
evaluated during the emergency
simulation
• Develop a plan to best prepare for your
next simulation
Top 25 Pitfalls Of Poor
Performers:
1. Did not prepare for the position
2. Focused too much on being a “checkthe-box” IC
3. Lack of building construction
knowledge
4. Lack of fire behavior knowledge
5. Lack of strategy & tactics knowledge
Top 25 Pitfalls Of Poor
Performers:
6. Inability to appropriately use ICS
7. Lack of time management skills
8. Lack of organizational skills
9. Lack of planning skills
10. Inadequate communication skills
11. Lack of command presence
12. Inability to make a decision
Top 25 Pitfalls Of Poor
Performers:
13. Lack of understanding of “how to run
an incident”
14. Lack of knowledge of SOP/SOGs,
policies, standard/accepted practices,
etc.
15. Lack of preparation
16. Inability to think “long-term” and/or
“big picture”
Top 25 Pitfalls Of Poor
Performers:
17. Inadequate or inappropriate requesting
of resources and/or personnel
18. Inability to prioritize assignments
19. Inability to anticipate and then handle
“issues” they may be faced with:
- Firefighter down, trapped, missing
- Multiple patients
- In your face bystanders
- General problems that may arise
Top 25 Pitfalls Of Poor
Performers:
20. They let nervousness get the best of
them……and it shows!
21. Inability to defend actions or nonactions
22. Inability to be flexible
23. Unsafe / unorthodox practices
24. Demonstrating a “first-due without a
clue” mentality
Top 25 Pitfalls Of Poor
Performers:
25. Inability to demonstrate to the raters
that they can hit the ground running –
and not just be a safe beginner!
What Should I Expect
During The Emergency
Simulation Of The
Assessment Center?
Basic Items To Expect On An
Emergency Simulation:
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30 to 60 minutes
One or more events
You may be the first arriving unit
You may be a later arriving unit
Two to four evaluators
One proctor from own department
Will be stressful
Basic Items To Expect On An
Emergency Simulation:
• Paperwork (before, during, after)
– ICS Form 201
– Tactical worksheets
– Easel / conference pads
• Questions (before, during, after)
• Dynamic or static simulation
Basic Items To Expect On An
Emergency Simulation:
• Immediate-need challenges:
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–
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–
–
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Firefighter down, missing, trapped, etc.
Patients (multiple)
Media folks in your face
City folks in your face
Department folks in your face
Exposure problems
Dimensions You Will Be Graded
On During The Simulation:
(See p. 3 of the handout for a sample scoring sheet)
• Command presence
(See p. 10 of the handout for command presence tips)
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•
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Leadership ability
Oral communications
Problem analysis
Decision making
Organization
Planning
Stress tolerance
Dimensions You Will Be Graded
On During The Simulation:
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•
•
•
•
•
•
Strategy/Tactics
Flexibility
Risk management/situational awareness
Interpersonal skills
ICS
Safety/safe practices
Knowledge of:
– Department SOPs, SOGs, Policies
– Local, state, federal laws and regulations
How To Best Prepare For
The Simulation
How To Best Prepare –
In Advance:
1. Prepare for the position – not the test
2. Talk to others who have taken the
test, evaluated the test, or have
created the tests in the past
3. Think and act like the position you
are testing for, every day
How To Best Prepare –
In Advance:
4. Prepare for ANY type of event:
– Fires (residential, commercial,
multiple story, multiple occupancy,
wildland, structure, etc.)
– Haz Mat incidents
– EMS incidents (multiple patients –
may or may not also include a fire or
haz mat event)
– Anything that may be location
specific or unique to your department
or area
How To Best Prepare –
In Advance:
5. Create templates for:
-
Radio reports
(See p. 11 of the handout for radio report tips)
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Managing the incident from before it
happens to after it is under control
(See p. 13 of the handout for tips on A to Z)
-
Size-up
Crew / Personnel assignments
Managing the immediate need
situations
Transfer of command
How To Best Prepare –
Game Day:
1. Be the position you are testing for
2. Read the instructions carefully
3. Demonstrate confidence to all,
remember you’re being watched
4. Take a second to evaluate what you
see before talking
5. Relax, this is what you’ve prepared
for!
Pulling Up To Any Of
The Following Incidents
Should Not Be Stressful
Regardless of Which Incident
You Pull Up To:
• Having a standardized plan or
template to handle any situation
will help….
– Put you (and your personnel) at ease
– Instill confidence in your abilities to
successfully manage an incident
– You organize what could be a chaotic
situation
Four Phases Of An Incident:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Pre-Incident
Enroute to arrival
Arrival to under control
Under control to post incident
#1: Pre-Incident:
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Pre-planning
Area familiarization
Training
Personnel expectations
Personnel, apparatus & equipment
readiness
#2: Enroute to Incident
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Map pages / pre-plans
Hydrants / FDC locations
PPE
Crew direction
Size-up
– WALLACE WAS HOT (see next
slide)
#2: Enroute to Incident
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Water Supply
Area
Life Safety
Location / Extent
of Fire
• Apparatus
responding
• Construction /
Collapse Potential
• Exposures
• Weather
• Auxiliary
Appliances
• Special Matters
• Height
• Occupancy
• Time of Day
#3: Arrival to Under Control
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Size-up / 360 lap
Radio report (initial)
Command Mode
Strategic Mode
Incident Priorities
Strategic / Incident
Objectives
• Incident Action Plan
• Radio report (followup)
Strategic Priorities
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Rescue
Exposures
Confinement
Extinguishment
Overhaul
Ventilation
Salvage
#3: Arrival to Under Control
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Apparatus Placement
Hoseline selection & placement
Sufficient units and personnel
Notifications
Logistical support for personnel
Incident benchmarks
Transfer of command briefing
#4: Under Control to Post
Incident
• Overhaul plan with company
officers and investigator
• Determine cause and origin
• Demobilization plan
• Responder/Occupant wellness
• Notifications
• Transfer of command briefing
#4: Under Control to Post
Incident
• Tailboard session
• Reports / Paperwork / Email blurb
• PIA / Lessons learned
Sample Simulations
Remember….Every Day
Is An Assessment Center!
Kendall Pearson
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Any questions?????
Thank you very much!
Good luck on your next
promotional exam!
Contact Information:
• Steve Prziborowski
• (408) 205-9006 (cellular phone)
• [email protected] (email)
• www.code3firetraining.com (website)
• www.chabotfire.com (website)
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