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S.O.G. 600-04-1
Developed By: Ronald Richards, Chief for Safety and Training 
Issued by: David M. Richards, Fire Chief 
Date of Issue: 3-9-04                                         Effective date: 3-11-04


To establish a procedure to insure a system is in place to account for all emergency service personnel on the fire ground.


This guideline is applicable to all emergency service personnel who respond to emergency incidents.


The fire chief is responsible to insure the safety of all fire department personnel.

Fire ground officers are responsible to carry out tactical operations. These operations must always be performed with first considering the safety and welfare of fire department personnel. The safety officer is responsible for fire ground safety during emergency incidents.

The accountability officer is an individual assigned to the command post to receive accountability tags.

Firefighters are responsible to adhere to the procedures established within this guideline.


The firefighter “accountability system” provides for an organized mechanism to account for emergency personnel on scene. It also provides the IC with an organized focal point to determine resources available and monitor their deployment. It also makes fire ground officers accountable for individuals assigned to them eliminating “free lancing” and fire department liability.


1. All fire department personnel issued protective clothing will receive a PERSONNEL ACCOUNTABILITY TAG (PAT).

2. Firefighters responding to an incident on the apparatus will affix their PAT to the APPARATUS  ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD (AAB). The AAB will be positioned in the apparatus so that all personnel can attach their tag via Velcro. The officer on the apparatus is responsible to insure firefighters attach their tag to the AAB. The engineer, WILL NOT affix his tag to the AAB UNLESS he is going to be part of an interior operations team. Otherwise, his tag will remain with him on the apparatus.

3. The officer of each responding piece of apparatus will report initial personnel staffing while responding.  Example- “WAYNE COUNTY, ENGINE 43 RESPONDING WITH 6”. Staffing will reflect only those  firefighters capable of interior operations. Junior firefighters, observers or those in probationary status not having completed required training are excluded from the staffing count.

4. The AAB will be taken to the “incident command post” and will be attached to the “accountability& incident command board” based on the specific assignment given to the company by the IC. The engineer or other fire ground personnel may be used to bring the AAB to the CP.

      A. If the officer on the first on scene apparatus is in the “FAST ATTACK” mode requiring action prior to the establishing of a CP, he will insure the AAB is left with the engineer at the apparatus. As soon as practical the AAB will be sent to the CP to insure accountability. IF INTERIOR OPERATIONS ARE EMINENT THE COMPANY OFFICER WILL, BY NAME, BE AWARE OF THE WHEREABOUTS OF ALL PERSONNEL UNDER HIS/HER COMMAND.

5. When responding, all apparatus will acknowledge response and indicate their staffing. Incidents without VISIBLE smoke or fire or those requiring deliberate action, at the direction of the IC, will direct incoming  companies to “LEVEL 1 STAGE”. Under “level 1”, staging only the first in apparatus will investigate or take action. All other apparatus will stage and remain uncommitted. All personnel will remain on their respective apparatus. Once the IC determines the apparatus required to complete the incident, he will hold the apparatus required and place the rest back in service and they can return to the station.

6. An incident on a limited access roadway, complex or one where more detailed information is required to locate the incident may require “LEVEL2 STAGE”. When “level 2” staging, the apparatus will ordinarily park in the direction of travel and remain uncommitted until a specific assignment is given or is returned to service. On a “multi-alarm” incident, a “staging area officer” will be assigned to determine the resources in the staging area and report it to the CP.

7. Personnel arriving in private vehicles will report to their company’s apparatus to check with the engineer to determine what equipment has to be taken to the fire ground as needed and to get SCBA or other tools, then report directly to the command staging area to be entered into the accountability system. NO personnel arriving in a private vehicle will assume any fire ground activity without first checking in with the accountability officer at the CP.

8. All fire ground assignments will be made through the ”incident command system”. Each fire ground team will have an officer or team leader who will direct a team and be responsible for the whereabouts of all team members.

9. Approximately every fifteen (15) minutes or during rapidly changing fire conditions, command may request a PERSONNEL ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT (PAR). This report indicates to command that all team members are accounted for. When command asks for a PAR, each team leader will respond back to command with the team’s name and number of personnel. In the event individuals are missing, RIT will be activated to assist in locating missing personnel as required.

10. Fire ground teams exiting the structure or “hot” zone will report to the command area to provide a status report to command, have status changed and moved to REHAB area. Once all personnel on the team have been rehabbed and cleared by EMS, the team will return to the personnel staging area and report to accountability officer.

11. All personnel leaving the fire ground will report to their team leader and to command to get their PAT before leaving.

12. Personnel from mutual aid companies will be assigned as outlined above. In the event accountability tags are not used by the company, firefighters will be accounted for by writing their names on a generic AAB.

13. Chief officers or their designees are responsible to insure that PAT’s are appropriately assigned. 


This is a revised guideline on this on this subject matter and supercedes S.O.G.  600-00-2,  Firefighter Accountability System, issued 07-01-00.

Reviewed: 02-03-06

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