Traffic control at fires, car crashes, mass casualty incidents (MCI) emergencies, drills and other fire department operations which would include:

  • protecting firefighters and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel.
  • protecting bystanders and crowd control at emergencies.
  • protecting each other's safety while on post.
  • protecting fire department equipment.
  • assisting with police investigations.
  • routing responding emergency vehicles to their assigned locations.
  • rerouting non-emergency traffic away/around emergency operations.
Often first on scene, fire police are able to report status, suspicious cause & origin and mark the location of the structure, driveway, apartment entrance, etc. for first due companies. Included in this are:
  • Locate and mark downed energized electric service or other hazards to first responders.
  • Utilize their department/county team apparatus as command posts to relay radio communications to/from IC.
  • Utilize their department/county team apparatus to distribute equipment, gear, portable radios, etc. to posts.
  • Deploy their department/county team apparatus utilizing lights and equipment at road blocks.
  • Conduct, those authorized by the IC, through fire lines.
  • Turn, back-in & stage ambulances, tankers, etc.when required by space limitations.

In addition they may also establish and maintain:

  • a clear unblocked entrance and egress to & from an incident scene for use by apparatus.
  • fire lines & outer haz-mat zones.
  • a fire police officer at the IC to deploy arriving fire police units & advise of incoming mutual aid or equipment so they can be directed to their assigned locations.
  • a fire watch for as long as required.
  • a unbroken chain of evidence until it can be surrendered to PD or Fire Marshall.
  • FD control of a possible crime scene enabling an immediate PD investigation.
  • staging areas for apparatus, triage, Red Cross, news media, etc.
  • security at a fire house, department event, carnival, PD investigation, etc.
  • a pool of trained reserve officers to relieve first due company's fire police or PD.
  • a safety watch at fire police posts beyond the immediate emergency area affording the IC with additional reliable information otherwise unobtainable.
  • a crowd-watch for suspicious spectators, drive-bys, etc.
  • a written record of personnel, witnesses, evacuees, observations, etc.
  • the privacy and dignity of victims and their families.
  • custody of valuables and personal property and assist with salvage & communication with police, highway and other support agencies.
  • a department photographic/video record of an incident for reference and training.
  • a fire police boat for search, rescue & recovery.
  • Fire police may also conduct area evacuations & maintain in/out traffic at haz-mat decontamination centers and establish ground control and mark the landing zone (LZ) for a requested med-evac helicopter.
  • assist with locating woodland smoke sightings and/or brush fires. participate in lost person searches.
  • close roads & mark downed trees, wires, etc. after hurricanes or other weather emergencies.
  • assist at fire department funerals, wakes and memorial services.
  • assist at fire department parades and inspections.
  • assist with state training courses involving the use of public thoroughfares for training purposes.
  • participate in Fire Prevention Week & other public service education programs.
  • continue to attend advanced fire police meetings, training classes and seminars.
  • under the mutual aid plan, assist neighboring county/state fire police response teams when requested.
An often overlooked facet of fire police operation is that it provides an interface between the fire department and the public. The public seldom have occasion to talk with firefighters while they are working at an emergency. Fire police at times have the opportunity to speak with bystanders and answer questions about the operation, their volunteer fire department, or simply give directions or suggest possible detours. During these times their professionalism, appearance, and demeanor, or lack thereof, reflects directly on their department and the entire volunteer fire service.

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