The fire department as a local issue
The master fire plan (or strategic plan) evaluates efficiency and determines the requirements for fire services and fire protection in cities and municipalities. Thus, a master fire plan evaluates the local fire department’s performance and sets goals for public safety.
Hazard analysis and protection goals
- The level of protection is determined on a municipal level based on a hazard analysis and so-called protection goals. The municipality maps the local hazard potential and assigns fixed scenarios to the hazards. Each planning scenario consists of the following characteristics:
- Emergency response: How quickly must the fire brigade reach the incident site in order to intervene effectively?
- Functional strength: How much personnel do fire services require to effectively combat the scenario when it arrives?
- Technology: Which apparatus (fire protection, vehicles, technology, special equipment) does the fire department need to master the planning scenario?
Target state of municipal fire protection
The target state of the master fire plan can be derived from the assigned planning scenarios. Finally, the simultaneity of possible incidents must be considered stochastically.
An example: Let’s assume that in a planning scenario for a local expressway, the local fire brigade will come to the assumption that effective damage control is only possible by using at least 4000 liters (approx. 1057 gallons) of extinguishing water within the first 5 minutes after the fire has started. A possible solution could then be to station a tank extinguisher vehicle close to the expressway (drive time). Similar considerations apply to the functional strength. The simultaneity of operations (e.g. in large cities) can make it necessary to provide several vehicles of said type and a higher functional strength
Actual state of municipal fire protection
The actual state of the fire department or fire prevention service is usually determined by the current level of deployment occurrence and its development, the personnel (managers and crew) and the apparatus (vehicles, equipment, structural facilities).
However, the consideration at municipal level is the sum of defensive fire protection (of the fire brigade) and preventive fire protection measures and facilities.
Preventive fire protection (pre-incident planning) is here based on cooperation between the administration (building authority according to state legislation) and the fire brigade in the building permit procedure. Pre-incident planning applies the directions of state building regulations.
In addition, in recent years the idea that citizens can improve their safety through a certain ability to help themselves has become increasingly popular. An example for this is the use of fire extinguishers.
The master fire plan/pre-incident plan
Based on the hazard analysis and the comparison of the target and actual state, organizational, personnel and technical measures can be derived for the local fire department’s development.
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