Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ideas for SOP's/SOG's

Modeled after the Fire Drill of the Week format, each month we will feature in .pdf format a template for department’s to utilize in developing their own policies and SOG’s.  With an emphasis on critical firefighter safety topics, we hope that this new series will be a valuable resource for our readers.

Each policy/SOG template will include:
  • Color coding using the red-yellow-green system
  • The Gordon Graham risk and frequency classification
  •  A link to a custom report related to firefighter safety developed by the National Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System
  • References and resources
Red-Yellow-Green color coding
One method of classifying department policies and SOG’s is the red-yellow-green color coding system.  The color code can either be at the top of the document, the color of the paper (although red is a tough color to read from) or the color of the tabs in the policy manual.  Examples of what would be in each category include:
  • Red – includes emergency operations, emergency vehicle operations, civilian evacuation, roadway safety, MAYDAY, SCBA, RIT and related topics.  Essentially anything that during an emergency could get a firefighter or a civilian injured or killed.
  • Yellow - these are the tasks that we do a lot (high risk and high frequency) and the ones that are high risk and low frequency but give us time to think.  Personnel policies including drug testing, sexual harassment, and report writing would be in this category.
  • Green (or white)- these are the tasks that create a low opportunity for any of the above areas of concerns or exposure. Examples include the uniform or grooming policy, shift scheduling, or daily station duties. Round figures, 80% of your fire departments policies will be on white paper.
Risk and Frequency classification
Anyone familiar with FFCC’s co-founder Gordon Graham will also be familiar with his risk and frequency classification system.  Basically it organizes any task or in this case policy/SOG topic into one of 4 classifications:
  •  High Risk/High Frequency
  •  High Risk/Low Frequency
  •  Low Risk/Low Frequency
  •  Low Risk/High Frequency

A good introduction to this system can be found at:

National Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System
Each policy/SOG template related to firefighter safety will have a link to a custom   near-miss report on that topic.  This great additional resource is being developed by the great folks at the National Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System.

References and Resources
Each template will also include appropriate references such as NFPA and OSHA standards and other resources for you to use in developing your own policies.  Several outstanding resources exist on the internet through fire departments and other organizations placing their policies and SOGs on line.

Click the link bellow for the full article including the Resource Links and Downloadable Templates.
References: "FFCC Policy & SOG Program" Full Article Available Online:

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