A major component of planning and readiness is the inherent or learned knowledge about the businesses, residences, natural hazards, man-made hazards, transit routes, confined spaces, hazardous materials, and any other components that are part of the equation of an emergency response.
One way this information is achieved is via physical reconnaissance of the hazard. Worthington Fire & EMS personnel will drive the emergency apparatus to buildings and physical spaces and gather intelligence on factors such as the layout, fire protection systems, entries and exits, and utility shutoff locations. On some occasions (especially new construction and major renovations), a building representative will reach out and offer guided tours of the new spaces.
Another valuable tool for gathering information is when our Fire Prevention office performs inspections. Part of the process is contacting building management ahead of time to review the tenant and owner emergency contact names, phones, and emails. This type of information is entered into a software program that synchs with the computers on the emergency vehicles. This allows our personnel to access the most up-to-date information when at an emergency when a building is unoccupied. Fire Prevention also logs details such as locations of emergency key boxes and sprinkler systems.
In some instances, the process is taken a step further and developed into a "pre-plan". This often involves a schematic of the building or complex, with a graphic display of much of the aforementioned systems and egress paths. In certain high or unusual hazard locations, the pre-plan might also include things like first-arriving apparatus placement and tasks.