At the beginning of each year we summarize and analyze incident reports from the previous year. Check out these previous summaries. This year we will post individual topics here as we complete portions of the analysis. Take a look, engage with the exercises, and give us some feedback. The complete 2017 Annual Incident Review Summary will be out soon.
By Travis Dotson
This is a graph of incidents reported to the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center. This particular graph separates the incidents by Activity (what were they doing when the incident occurred).
There are lots of interesting things to talk about in this graph, please show it to someone who cares and have a nice little talk about what it means to you both. Maybe even circle up with a few others and do the exercise at the end.
I’m sure we all have plenty to say about the “top 3.” They consist of:
- Chainsaw Ops
- Physical Training
These are all things we do on a regular basis. Just these three activity types account for 58% of the total. That means in 2017, whenever a report was created and sent to us, more than half the time it was related to someone running a saw, driving, or doing PT.
Take note that none of these activities require a fire. For many of us these are activities we do every day. That’s telling. It means things we do a lot are things that bite us in the ass.
What am I getting at? It’s pretty simple. The “danger” isn’t necessarily hiding on the fireline, it’s stitched right into your daily activities.
Are the briefings before PT different than the ones before the big burn show on Division Delta? Of course they are. They are different activities. Plus, none of us could tolerate a big deal briefing every day before PT.
Maybe I should reframe it: which operation is more likely to go bad? That, of course, is a loaded question. You can slice and dice the exposure, frequency, risk, danger, possibility, hazard pie all kinds of crazy. You could make this a spicy dish with whatever flavor your over analysis happens to be. You could also use math, but I think you might need other numbers to do that. I don’t have the numbers or the math mojo to tackle it.
But I do know that I don’t think of PT as dangerous. Turns out I’m wrong. Imagine that.
Get together with the people you PT with and do this simple exercise:
Exercise (15 minutes) In small groups discuss the following questions:
Is PT really more dangerous than Firing Ops?
What is the danger of NOT doing PT?
Is your medical plan equally good for both operations (PT and Firing Ops)? – Should it be?
Now go PT.