SAFER Operating Guidelines
Review the Guidelines here Opens a New Window.
During the first quarter of 2017, several Butler County Fire Departments banded together to make structural fires safer for their residents and firefighters. The Fire Chiefs of Adams Area, Callery Borough, Cranberry Township, Evans City Area, and Harmony Fire District sat down and laid out a multi-agency response plan that puts their best product on the street, every time there is a fire. The group calls themselves the SAFER-Group (Standard Actions For Emergency Response). The goal of the group is to “provide our best response, on our worst day, on their worst day.” For years, we have focused on how much we can provide at all times of the day. However, the times have changed and so must we. The nationwide shortage of volunteers is being felt across the local area and we need to shift our focus from what we wish we could provide to what we realistically can provide. By identifying this, we can build a response model that can ensure we adequately cover the bases for high-risk situations throughout their collective response area.
To begin this important initiative, the Chiefs ran through a series of exercises that assisted them in developing a strategic plan. From there, the group quickly worked through Standard Operating Guidelines (SOG’s) that address individual responses, accountability, apparatus duties, and firefighter rescue (FAST, RIT, & Mayday). The plans consider all types of structures, from single family homes to large commercial occupancies. They are developed so an incident commander, and the firefighters, can systematically work through a simple small or complex large incident by following the plan that is laid out in the SOG. The SAFER-Group is currently working on training their members and looking at standard equipment to be carried on fire apparatus, their SOG’s will be implemented on September 1, 2017 across all five respective departments.
Collaborative groups like this have been successfully implemented across the nation and have yielded positive results, we expect the same outcome from our local efforts.
The official document containing all SOG’s was released at Cranberry Township's Fire Training Facility at on May 1, 2017. The State Fire Commissioner will be on site to provide his insight into this joint project.