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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

National Firefighter Operational Safety Stand-down Today (NMAC - Operational Pause)

Chief's Reflective Period 
The 2013 fire season is well underway and is likely to continue at a high intensity level for several more months. I request all USDA Forest Service wildland fire personnel observe a reflective period, or an Operational Pause, on Wednesday, July 3. Further, I encourage all employees to pause in their work day and conduct a reflection or pause. During the pause, the following questions should be included in the conversation, these questions are familiar because they originate from the five (5) practices of our agency Safety Journey :

How confident are we that the proposed work is worth the risk?

  • How do we do this work safely?
  • How safe am I now?
  • What are we learning?
  • How consistent is my behavior with our agreements? – we’ve agreed as employees to evaluate the potential benefits of proposed work tasks relative to the associated risk; discuss possible risks before engaging in work tasks; speak out about any situation that looks or feels unsafe; share information about observed hazards and near misses and identify approaches to work that do not fit the work environment so they can be improved.

There are additional key questions which are common in the interagency fire environment which lead to thoughtful reflections. We ask that all fire managers, fire personnel, and all employees take the time to thoughtfully engage in discussion. We thank all firefighters and support personnel for all their efforts, and ask for a constant focus on managing risk appropriately so that everyone returns home safely after their assignment.
From: Office of the Chief (Forest Service)

Chief Tidwel
Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 14:48
To: ALL FS
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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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