Critical Incident Field Guide

A Comprehensive (and Compact) Resource Guide for Firefighters

This field guide was built by a firefighter to provide the firefighting community with quick and easy access to crucial information when they need it most.

Firefighters at every level in the chain of command will benefit from this comprehensive, and easy-to-navigate, resource guide because it offers firefighters clear guidance during a critical incident and explains what to expect.

The guide is similar in size to a taskbook, ensuring that it will easily fit into crewboss kits, buggy bins, and line gear. It’s small, yet packed full of relevant information that firefighters will find invaluable as a critical incident is unfolding. Beyond its usefulness during a critical incident, the guide can also be used as a training tool to better prepare firefighters before an incident ever occurs.

The Critical Incident Field Guide offers diversified content so that it can be utilized by all wildland firefighters, not just one specific entity or agency.

What’s inside?

Contents include beneficial field level information such as:

  • Serious injury procedures
  • Fatality procedures
  • First steps following a line of duty death (LODD).
  • Over 50 quick access links/QR codes to critical incident forms, response guides, handbooks, references, etc.
  • Job descriptions of key players associated with a critical incident response. Who shows up, and what is their job?
  • Guidelines on how to inform fellow crewmembers about a loss of life.
  • Types of investigation teams- explained.
  • Comprehensive information about employee rights/warnings during federal level interviews and investigations.
  • Potential reactions associated with trauma& treatments/therapies.
  • Liability insurance information
  • Suicide awareness/prevention
  • Employer based/non-employer based benefits

All of this and much more.

Table of Contents

Section 1- Serious Injury ProceduresSection 2- Fatality ProcedureSection 3- Navigating the Aftermath
1-A: First Steps as a Critical Incident Unfolds2-A:First Steps Following a Line of Duty Death (LODD)3-A: Forms and Paperwork
1-B:Accompanying an Injured Person(s) to the Hospital2-B: Self-Care During/Following an Emerging Incident3-B: Critical Incident Guides and References
1-C: The Hospital Liaison Role2-C: Informing Fellow Crewmembers about Loss of Life *Recommendations for how to deliver bad news3-C: Advocating for the Impacted *How to designate an employee liaison.
2-D: Preparing for a Death Notification3-D:What to Expect from an Employee Liaison
2-E: Guidelines for making a Death Notification3-E:Federal Employees’ Rights and Warnings during Interviews and Investigations
Section 4- Key Players of a Critical IncidentSection 5- Potential Reactions Associated with TraumaSection 6- Recalibration
4-A:CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management- Peer Support)5-A: Fight-Flight Freeze6-A: Creating a Self-Care Plan
4-B:Liaisons (Hospital, Family, and Employee Liaisons)5-B: Dissociation6-B: Treatments and Therapies
4-C: Public Information Officers5-C: Panic Attacks
4-D: Honor Guard5-D:Triggers
4-E:FLA (Facilitated Learning Analysis) Team5-E: Acute Stress Disorder
4-F:Types of Investigation Teams5-F:PTSD
4-G: Critical Incident Points of Contact Form5-G:Physiological Effects of Prolonged Stress

Section 7- Pre-Treating the LineSection 8- Your ResourcesSection 9- Adjoining Resources
7-A: Liability InsuranceA: Benefits Provided by your EmployerA: Additional Non-Employer-Based Resources
7-B: Suicide Awareness and Prevention