Recent events across the nation have raised awareness about a civil disturbance that could happen in your municipality. It’s imperative to have a standard operating procedure in place to assure the members of your department have a personal protection mindset, and to confirm that your equipment is ready.
After experiencing three uprisings in my career, our department had to change the way we operated and how we specified our future apparatus purchases.
One change is the enclosure around the tiller driver of a tillered ladder truck. Before this protection (enclosure) became standard, the tiller driver would sit in the open exposed to the elements and to unwanted obstacles. If a riot occurred, that person would have to wear a flak jacket or bulletproof vest, plus his/her firefighting helmet or an assigned military spec helmet for protection.
One way to get a profound understanding of your career is to work in different interdepartmental areas. This can include: fire prevention, code enforcement, communications, public education, EMS, training, emergency response division (ERD), urban search and rescue (FEMA), or any other areas not listed here or titled differently.