Hot Topics - Firefighting Tactics - Firefighting tactics two men fighting fire

Hot Topics - Firefighting Tactics

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Special tasks require special tactics

From a changing urban landscape with more complex structures, communication and victim rescue under harsh conditions, to growing diversification, to wildfires: Firefighters face very different and more and more challenges. Learn more about the proper tactics to overcome them.

Situational Awareness

During a call, you don’t have the time to evaluate all the variables correctly. If you’re fighting at the helm, the more data you have, the better your decisions and results can be. Technology can increase your situational awareness and help you to stay safe and save lives.

Areas you must be aware of

When it comes to situational awareness, it helps to distinguish two areas: On one hand, the entire fireground – the awareness between deployed teams and their incident commander. And on the other hand, the awareness within the firefighter teams.


Situational Awareness and the Fireground

Constant data exchange at the fireground increases the efficiency and safety of whole operation: The incident command knows where the teams are and how much air supply they’ve got left. And the teams operate more confidently when they know their commander has their back.


Situational Awareness and the Firefighter

For the deployed teams in the middle of the action, technical solutions can enhance their awareness of risks and dangers. Portable gas detectors, thermal imaging cameras and radio communication systems offer information and warnings where you can’t see, hear or smell much.

Awareness for the future

Looking to the future

Imagine being able to see through walls and doors. Imagine knowing the exact whereabouts of your crew at any point in time. These scenarios aren’t fiction but will become a reality very soon.

Crucial challenges and solutions

Crucial challenges and solutions

There are technical solutions for many tasks in firefighting. Download a poster that shows solutions and devices which enhance your sensory perception.

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Detect the danger and share the information

Data can improve your results in several steps of the process. Portable gas detection solutions, for example, measure hazards and send alerts. Modern communication technology lets you share the information with your team. And a monitoring system for your SCBA does both.

Portable gas detection

Portable gas detection

SCBA monitoring system

SCBA monitoring system

Communication systems

Communication systems

Special Structures

The challenges of a changing urban fireground

Urban development has increasingly changed the scope and construction of today’s megacities. More complex, modern structures are being built to cope with the demands of population migration, natural and economic growth, among other factors.

Meet the demands of a changing fireground

Dräger PSS® 7000

Dräger PSS® 7000

Dräger PSS® 4000

Dräger PSS® 4000

Dräger PSS® BG 4 plus

Dräger PSS® BG 4 plus

Coordinating communication

Connectivity is key in every safe and successful rescue mission. How do you deploy it accordingly in incident locations that are bigger and more complex?

Stable radio transmission communication line

Firefighters and smoke

Enable an efficient communication between the task forces inside and the incident command outside. 

  • Independent communication system

Steady information flow and number of deployed resources

Firefighters communicating

Collect and share the status information between incident command and deployed teams in an automated way.

  • Accountability systems
  • Voice communication

Coordinating tasks between and within deployed teams

Firefighter at incident scene

Provide a clear and uninterrupted communication within the firefighters at the incident scene.

  • Team talk

Ensuring a better location orientation

Firefighter in action

Support firefighters in action about access points and visualization of location and building information to save valuable time.

  • Smart Rescue

Managing Situational Awareness


It is a critical factor in maintaining a safe firefighting operation at these high risks in relatively low frequency events.

Did you know

Longer missions require longer breathable air. Find out how much air you will need and which solution can provide it in just a few simple steps.

Average speed of firefighter under breathing protection

Average speed of firefighter under breathing protection

The worse sight gets, the less distance a firefighter can cover, a severe problem – particularly in special structures. Find out the average speed for approach and return under breathing protection and different visibility.

Maximum distance of escape route under different breathing protection

Maximum distance of escape route under different breathing protection

You must consider the visibility and the distance a firefighter has to cover for approach and return at an incident. You can use 1/3 of the breathing air for getting in, so that you have minimum 2 x as much breathing air for getting out.

Special Structures Product trio

Find the right solution for your unique situation

Dräger offers a variety of solutions for short and long missions. Which solution you use will always depend on the unique incident at hand. The more you know, the easier it will be to make the right decision.

Special Structures poster

The solution: breathing easier and longer

Breathing protection equipment must constantly evolve to meet the demands of various structure situations. Compare fitting solutions for these unique challenges and learn more about other decisive factors in special structures.

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Victim Rescue

Efficient rescue and escape solutions

Past fire catastrophes, where people were affected, have shown that one of the main causes of serious injury or death is not the fire itself, but rather the emerging smoke. We are committed to the health and safety of both firefighters and fire victims. Find out more about the dangers of smoke, and how to prepare yourself and the person you are trying to rescue so you can both escape a house fire safely.

Find out more about smoke dangers and the fitting protection

In North Kensington, a district of West London, a fire broke out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block. It caused 72 deaths, including those of two victims that died later in hospital. One major reason for this – despite firefighters reaching high up floors – was that residents were unable to exit their flats because of toxic fumes. Branislav Lukic, a survivor of the Grenfell fire: ”It was very difficult to survive in those conditions, another breath and it could be the last one."

What makes smoke so dangerous?

The ambient air filled with smoke often contains still enough oxygen for breathing. But safe breathing is impossible because of the toxic smoke. The various toxic compounds present in smoke are carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, phosgene, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, formaldehyde and acrylonitriles. This highly toxic mixture is further fed by modern construction materials and furnishings that contain synthetic materials. Once set on fire, they discharge highly dangerous substances that poison the ambient air. When residents are trying to find their way out, they can inhale this toxic mixture. Carbon monoxide is well known for being deadly – even in small amounts. When PVC is burning, the hydrogen cyanide that is discharged can have highly negative effects on cellular respiration as well.

Important symptoms of smoke poisoning

The symptoms of smoke poisoning depend on the gases that were inhaled by the victim. Clear disorders may not always appear immediately. The following symptoms are considered to be signs of smoke poisoning: headache, sickness, throat irritation, vomiting, dizziness, difficulty swallowing, confusion, shortness of breath, blue skin coloration, restlessness, palpitations, seizures and unconsciousness. Some gases can also cause a burning sensation and pain in the airways. If the poisoning is very severe, respiratory arrest and circulatory collapse with fatal consequences may also occur.

How can victims be protected during rescue?

Before entering the incident fire services should have appropriate equipment ready when the search for victims begins. In some countries like Germany or the Netherlands emergency escape devices are often carried by the firefighters. The awareness for proper protection rises slowly but steadily in others. One consequence of the Grenfell fire was the acquisition of fire escape hoods by the London Fire Brigade. They filter the smoke out of the ambient air, allowing those being rescued to breathe safely.

Further measure which improve the chance of a safe escape

As a sensible preventive measure, buildings could be equipped with escape devices to allow a safe escape anytime a smoke or fire alarm sounds. In some countries those measure have already been implemented. In South Korea for example public buildings, hotels and metro-stations are equipped with fire escape hoods for a safe escape.

Advantages of Compressed Air Rescue Solutions

Compressed Air Rescue Solutions, like the Dräger Rescue Hood, connect to the SCBA of the firefighter and supply the victim with breathable air. The air is independent from the ambient air and delivers a constant oxygen level. However, it must be taken into consideration that such a device uses the breathing air from the firefighter’s SCBA, in turn reducing the operational time. The rescue hood also requires a continuous physical connection between the firefighter and the person being rescued, because of the hose between the hood and the SCBA.

A further option for a Compressed Air Rescue Solution is the Dräger Rescue Pack System RPS 3500. The unit supplies breathing air from a separate compressed air source which is not physically linked with the firefighter’s SCBA. This offers the advantage that it does not use the air reservoir of the firefighter’s SCBA and doesn’t restrict his freedom of movement. The Dräger RPS 3500 can be equipped with a Dräger full face mask or the Dräger PSS Rescue Hood.

Dräger RPS 3500

Dräger RPS 3500

The Dräger RPS 3500 Rescue Pack System is designed for use by rapid intervention teams, allowing fire fighters to supply air to trapped colleagues or members of the public in hazardous atmospheres.

Product details

Advantages of Fire Escape Solutions

Fire Escape Solutions, like the Dräger PARAT 5500, allow the firefighter and the victim to move independently from one another – unlike the Dräger PSS Rescue Hood, where a physical connection is required. To prevent any harm from toxic gases and substances, these devices have an integrated gas and particle filter, which filter the harmful substances out of the ambient air. The device protects the victim for a minimum of 15 minutes. A filtering escape hood does not affect the firefighter’s air supply or operational time. But it relies on sufficient oxygen in the ambient air, which is normally no problem – because where there’s fire, there’s oxygen.

Victim rescue poster

Find the best victim rescue and escape solution

Compare the most important products for a safe and efficient rescue and escape mission at a glance. With our useful poster you can compare the different products with each other easily.

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Overcome Communication Challenges

Set your missions up for success by understanding how clear and concise communication between you and your team makes an immediate impact.

Hands-free Communication – When You Need It the Most

Communication is important for any team, but for firefighters and first responders it can be life-saving. The Team Talk function of the Dräger FPS®-COM 7000 lets up to 10 team members in full PPE to clearly and easily communicate – which means better teamwork and improved safety.

Voice-activated keeps both hands free. Digital noise reduction technology automatically suppresses background noise, including breathing noises. For wireless connection to the incident commander, just press a button to operate a radio that can be connected via a cable or Bluetooth.

The FPS-COM 7000 is compatible with more than 350 tactical radios, so it’s a good fit for virtually all fire departments. C7 configuration software lets you adjust settings to do such things as automatically relay incoming calls to teammates. You can mount the unit to the FPS 7000 facemask without any tools, and the smart battery life reduces maintenance and costs.

Dräger FPS®-COM 7000

Dräger FPS®-COM 7000

The Dräger FPS®-COM 7000 provides hands-free communication for all wearers of respiratory protection devices during a mission. Excellent voice quality is achieved by removing interfering noises.

Product details

Draeger solution for multiple applications

One Solution for Multiple Applications

From the fireground to hazmat scenarios, chaotic moments and hurdles may inhibit message clarity. Equip teams with adaptable solutions, like the FPS-COM, for reliable and safe communications.

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For missions under the harshest conditions

Firefighters have tested the FPS-COM 7000 and report on their experience with the communication unit.

Deliver realistic training through technology

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is performing a hot fire training with Dräger´s new communication unit, the FPS-COM 7000. The device allows firefighters to clearly communicate with each other during an incident wirelessly. Check out how it can support you in an incident and what firefighters think about it.

5 reasons to consider the FPS-COM

Learn more about how our communication devices can support firefighters on the mission - when exchanging information with fellow firefighters or distributing orders from the fire chief to all fire fighters.

Wildland Fire


Wildland Fire

Did you know that 95 percent of all forest fires are caused by people? Learn more about large forest fires of the past, the lessons learned and the equipment you need to protect yourself and others in these conditions.

Forest Fires - A growing challenge for the fire service

Preventing Wildfire Catastrophes

The risk of forest fires is rising around the world. Our infographic shows you the regions that are particularly in danger, how forest fires arise and how they can be fought.

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Related Topics


Fire Services Safety Solutions

Our firefighter gear brings you usability, connectivity, safety and serviceability – so you always know you are prepared and protected on every call.


Hot Topics - Health and Safety

Firefighters risk their lives and health in many ways, and not only at the incident. They are exposed to carcinogenic and otherwise toxic substances. Awareness for these risks and how to avoid them are crucial.

Fire hot topics innovation

Hot Topics - Innovation

For over 100 years, Dräger has been driven by the desire to help protecting and saving people’s life. That’s why we continuously improve our products and strive for innovation that helps protecting lives even better.

Get in touch with Dräger


Dräger South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

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+27(0)11 059 4200

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4676 Rivonia, 2128 Republic of South Africa  

Dräger South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

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+27(0) 21 819 3000

Postal Address: P.O. Box 3677 Tygervalley 7536

Dräger South Africa (Pty) Ltd.

Durban: 17 Thynk Industrial Park Cnr Brickworks and Queen Nandi Drive, Briardene, Durban North, 7561 

+27(0)31 812 7914

Postal Address: P.O. Box 40554 Redhill 4071

Dräger Ghana Ltd.

3rd Floor, EY Tower-Canon House, 60 Rangoon Lane, Cantonments City, Accra - Ghana

Postal Address: P.O Box CT 4412, Cantonments, Accra – Ghana.

Digital Address: GL-045-5249