Firefighting crews are some of the most well-organized, tightly controlled teams in the world. Having a plan, the right tools, a team that backs each other up, and reliable equipment are all essential aspects of an effective firefighting team. The final piece is efficient communication, which is where command centers come in.
A custom, mobile command center brings all the power of a brick and mortar command location right to the front lines, where crews can take control of dangerous incidents. A mobile command center can help meet the challenges of emergency response more efficiently — here’s how.
COMMAND CENTERS CREATE AND MAINTAIN ACCOUNTABILITY
Commanders are responsible for the lives of their firefighters in addition to control of incidents, so organization is a top priority. Having the necessary tools on hand and easily accessible at a moment’s notice helps the commander and staff respond to changing conditions and make quick decisions about which actions to take. Custom command centers allow commanders to control the entire incident site from one location.
Extendobed’s mobile command centers usually consist of file drawers, bookcase enclosures, map boards, removable magnetic command easels, pencil trays, fold-down work tables, and slideout mounting walls for equipment such as self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) tanks. Because we’ve been building these types of products for the fire service, we know how to build them to withstand the intense rigors required for this industry.
ACCESS CAN MEAN LIFE OR DEATH
An organized custom mobile command center can be the difference between life and death. Taking extra time to find equipment or extract it from a messy vehicle could easily mean rescuers don’t reach victims in time to save their lives.
Every critical incident is unique, which is part of what makes firefighting a dangerous occupation. Wildfires behave differently depending on what grasses, trees, and other plants are burning — and depending on the constantly shifting weather conditions. Homes are built from various materials, and some homes contain more explosive hazards than others; thus fire will behave differently for each structure. Extraction tools and firefighter gear differ from incident to incident, so quick and reliable access to gear and tools is critical.
FIRE, FATALITIES, AND SUCCESS STORIES
Fighting fires and responding to other dangerous incidents will always involve risk. However, firefighters can take a variety of precautions, from improved equipment to well-planned executable strategies, to reduce danger and keep crews and the public safer.
Back in 2004, the “Everyone Goes Home” Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives were developed to better protect and prepare firefighting crews. In 2004, 107 firefighters lost their lives in the line of duty. In 2017, according to FEMA, the number was down to 86. Implementation of the Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives has helped reduce the number of lives lost, as well as continued advancements in equipment, planning, and accountability strategies.
In Clinton, Michigan, the Clinton Township Fire Department’s custom Extendobed solution allows access to equipment, coolers, air tanks, and other tools from every angle. Easy access means not wasting precious seconds running around the vehicle or having to park in a specific orientation. Access from all angles also improves efficiency during organization, stocking, cleaning, and repacking.
Another of our customers benefits from a custom Extendobed installation that helps them perform fire pump testing and maintenance. Their 2,000-pound capacity slideout unit, built into their Ford F-250 Service Body truck, makes it easier to access hoses, pipes, and other equipment.
It’s clear from feedback we get from real firefighting crews that good organization for equipment and supplies is a real and continuing issue. We provide custom solutions that support firefighters, from the command center all the way to the fire line.