The Progress Report is a valuable tool to the Incident Commander and the companies working on the fireground. The report should be given at the 20 minute time mark and subsequent time marks at intervals of 20 minutes into the incident (i.e. 40 minute and 60 minute timestamps of the incident).
The report has two good reasons to be delivered:
1. This report will provide all tactically assigned units a painted picture of the incident scene and where the incident stands at that time. This picture can be very helpful to units that may not have the chance to see the big picture, or are involved in tasks that do not let them see the whole incident. Either way the companies are afforded a picture of the scene and the status of the major tactical benchmarks.
2. The progress report is a vital tool to the Incident Commander. This report will make the IC evaluate the incident, write down the findings on the worksheet and then transmit the report over the radio. It is very easy for an Incident Commander to be distracted mitigating an incident by personnel requesting assignments or the incident itself so a report at 20 minutes will force the IC to make sure that their situational awareness is correct for incident. A forced review at 20 minute intervals will ensure that the incident is being constantly evaluated for the correct strategy and tactics and evaluating safety on the fireground.
By making this part of your habit at the command post you will make sure that your situational awareness is always correct for the incident.