A fire department command board is an essential tool for tracking the progress of the response to any incident. Every commander should have one ready to go in their vehicle so they can set up the board on the scene. A good command board will allow you to rapidly assess the situation and start coordinating assets. To that end, you should buy a command board that has the following four qualities.
Typically, a fire department command board is like a large and thin suitcase. It contains boards that offer quick configurations for a variety of pre-determined scenarios. For example, a suburban fire department might need configured boards for everything from urban scenarios like traffic accidents and house fires to rural ones like forest fires.
Likewise, the collection of boards should allow you to quickly set up for different levels of command complexity. You might need boards to address everything from a single engine taking care of a sick person to multiple companies responding to a multi-hour building fire with even more companies on standby. Ideally, you open the case and quickly find a board that matches your situation.
Whenever a fire department command board goes into the field, it's going to take lots of abuse. Build quality matters. You don't want to be fighting with busted hinges when you need to be on the radio providing directions and answering questions. When you shop for a command board, don't be shy about roughing up the test model. Check every moving part of the case to see how well it's going to hold up.
The ability to customize tags is important. You want to be able to readily identify teams and individuals while in the field. Also, custom tags make organizing your case easier. You can group the tags by assigned departments and companies. This allows you to quickly pull up the right identifiers and get them on the board. As the situation evolves, you can also rapidly swap positions out.
Individual Control of Teams
Your boards should allow you to control teams down to the individual level. If you send two firefighters into an adjacent building to conduct searches and clear at-risk people, you want to have that on the board. Likewise, all labels should clearly reflect the command structure. If someone radios you to find out who's leading a team into a particular structure, you want to immediately see the answer.
For more information about fire department command boards, contact a local supplier.