Monday, April 30, 2012

Wildland Fire Incident Staff Rides

The Emergency Management and Response Information Sharing and Analysis Center InfoGram for April 25, 2012, featured a report on Wildland Fire Incident Staff Rides. These "Staff Rides" use a concept developed by the military where junior officers are taken to locations of important battles and then given the opportunity to visualize events by walking the terrain with a map and timeline.  This  approach to learning provides future military leaders with enhanced situational awareness so they can better understand the tactics employed and thinking of commanders involved.

Although the Wildland Fire Incident Staff Rides use a virtual approach to deliver this same type of training for incidents where life and death was in the balance, the 14 packages in the program are extensively documented and designed to help students see beyond finding fault and instead, "examine the deeper questions of leadership and decision-making."  A blend of maps, interviews, and audiovisual materials are used to relate circumstances of  each case study (Staff Ride).  To learn more, use the link below to access the Staff Rides:

Comment: It's darn near impossible to effectively communicate a story of response, whether it is in the ranks of the last responders (military) or in the ranks of the first responders (in this case wildland firefighters), without a map.  Consequently, the first item displayed in any one of the Staff Rides is.......a map.

Lead Photo Credit: National Geographic 

1 comment:

  1. Maps are not as usable as they could be. If they had US National Grid or Military Grid, readers could look at these locations with online web tools, as example. If the "staff ride" concept is military in origin, then no one looked at a military map to copy its typical content.