Facility Specific Planning

The Jackson Fire Department has been involved with the pre-incident survey of moderate or high hazard buildings for many years. A pre-incident survey of buildings provides suppression personnel with a better insight into what they might encounter upon arrival at an emergency situation. The survey usually gives a detailed report showing a diagram of the building, its grounds, and the type of operations that are carried out at the facility. The survey also lists the location of hydrants, gas, and electrical shut offs, Knox Boxes, and other important information.

Compilation of Pre-Incident Survey Information
The compilation of pre-incident survey information has traditionally been an ongoing project conducted in conjunction with the annual company inspection program. With the frequent changes in laws regarding storage and reporting of hazardous materials, the need to maintain current records regarding such facilities is of utmost importance.

Site Specific Planning of Occupancies
Captains are responsible for site specific planning of occupancies in their district. The goal of this project is to bring the Jackson Fire Department into compliance with current laws regarding Fire Fighter Right-to-Know and Sara Title III of the Environmental Protection Agency. Under these laws, the Fire Chief is responsible for compilation of a list of facilities within the Department’s jurisdiction that use or produce chemicals and develop emergency response plans based on the type and amount of hazardous materials on the site.

To accomplish this goal, the Fire Department collects information and inventory sheets from companies with hazardous materials on site. The Fire Department has also contacted other local Fire Departments for information on what systems they use to attain compliance.

Hazardous Materials Planning
The Fire Department also has a hazardous materials planning program. The forms which had been developed were introduced to each company officer as well as detailed descriptions of the type of information to be collected. Instructions on diagramming the facilities were provided.

The inventories were distributed to each captain based on their location. The captains were also given a list of all blueprints and plans available through the Fire Prevention Bureau and copies of any existing pre-incident surveys and related information was distributed.

Currently all plans received from the captains are evaluated for completeness. Those requiring additional information are returned to the appropriate captain. The Fire Department is in the process of devising a universal system for the symbols to be used on the drawings and hope to develop further guidelines regarding the use of these symbols and on the drawing process will ensure that all information is consistent.

Company Inspection Program
The Fire Department also has incorporated the identification numbers assigned to each business used in the Company Inspection Program to enable them to better coordinate information regarding specific business locations. A relational database was developed to maintain the information gathered regarding the facility and its chemical inventory.

Currently all drawings are being done manually and matched to printed forms with the aid of the copy machine. All plans are filed by the business ID number and stored in the captains office. Once these plans are completed the Fire Department will enhance the system to enable them to retrieve the information more efficiently. The MIOSHA guidelines call for the plans to be updated at least every 5 years, so this will be a long-term and closely monitored project.