The Risk Management Process assists in ensuring that critical factors and risks of
“Risk Management doesn’t get in the way of doing the mission – it is the way we do the mission.”
the fireline work environment are considered during decision making. Good risk
management utilizes a five-step process:
|Firefighters drop a burning snag along the Lassen Volcanic National Park road.|
- Obtain information.
- Scout the fire.
- Identify hazards—those likely to result in a negative impact.
- Consider all aspects of current and future situations.
- Consider known historical problem areas (Apply information from the Fire Danger Pocket Card.).
- Recognize the need for action.
- Demonstrate ongoing awareness of fire assignment status.
- Note deviations.
- Attempt to determine why discrepancies exist with information before proceeding.
- Assess hazards to determine risks (e.g., fire behavior, snags, unburned fuels, work/rest).
- Use the Look Up, Down, and Around; and the Tactical Watch Outs (both located in the Incident Response Pocket Guide) to identify high-risk tactical hazards.
- Assess the impact of each hazard in terms of potential loss, cost, and mission/operational degradation based on probability and severity (probability — how likely an event will occur; severity — consequences if the event occurs). Keep in mind that increased exposure time increases probability.
- Determine the best approach to mitigate or control the risk from the hazards assessed.
- Establish controls (e.g., anchor point, LCES, utilize downhill checklist, limit exposure time).
- As control measures are developed, reevaluate each risk until it is reduced to a level where benefits outweigh potential costs.
- Consider whether controls are in place for identified hazards, whether selected tactics are based on expected fire behavior and if instructions have been given and understood.
- Make certain the decision is made at the appropriate level; if not, then elevate to a higher level.
- Reject the action if the risk is unacceptable.
- Ensure controls are implemented and accomplished to standards.
- Supervise/evaluate effectiveness of controls and decisions. Stay on top of the situation and adjust risk controls as necessary.
- Anticipate consequences of decisions; if controls do not work, determine problem and derive a better solution.
- Adjust actions as the situation changes; maintain situational awareness at all times.
- Maintain feedback line.
Incident Response Pocket Guide page 1
NWCG Human Factors on the Fireline Training (L-180)
Safety and Occupational Health Manual Handbook, BLM-1112-1
6 Minutes for Safety Home - Link
• 10 Standard Fire Orders • 18 Watch-outs • LCES •