Accountability Guidance from NFPA 1561

A.4.5.1. There are many means of accounting for resources. Components can include tactical
worksheets, command boards, apparatus riding lists, company responder boards, electronic bar-coding
systems, and so forth depending on whether equipment or personnel are being tracked. These
components can be used in conjunction with one another to facilitate the tracking of responders by both
location and function. The components of any resource accountability system should be modular and
expand with the size and complexity of the incident

A.4.5.5 In structural fire situations, responders leaving a geographic area within a multistory structure to
change SCBA cylinders outside the structure should be re-assigned and accountability maintained by the
responsible division or group supervisor where the responders are being sent (e.g., staging or

A.4.5.10 For a fire department, a standard system to account for the identity and assignment of each
responder could be relatively simple when all responders arrive as assigned crews on fire apparatus. The
identity of each crew member should at least be recorded in a standard manner on the vehicle, with each
company officer responsible for those responders.

A.4.5.11 In fire departments where members arrive in their own vehicles or assemble at the scene, a
system is required to record the identity of each member arriving and to organize them into
companies/crews/units with appropriate supervision. This requires a standard system of “reporting in” at
the incident and becoming part of the organized system of operations.

A.4.5.12 The intent of this requirement is to provide assurance that all responders are notified of urgent
safety warnings in the event of an unanticipated emergency situation. The system should include all
responders and any other individuals who are operating in areas where they could be endangered.

A.4.5.14 One purpose of the system is to provide rapid determination of whether any responders are
missing in the event that an area is required to be evacuated or a structural collapse or other unplanned
event occurs. The incident management system should account for the degree of danger that is involved
in specific activities and should provide more direct supervision over responders exposed to greater

 There are two levels of firefighter accountability and each firefighter must have two accountability tags

Level 1

Basic Scene Accountability


Level 2

High Risk Area Accountability