northanger (northanger) wrote,

In the Line of Fire

picked up Los Angeles magazine at doctor's office today. read first paragraph thinking it's the current LA fires. nope, Griffith Park Fire in May. main image covers two pages. multiply first paragraph by 1000, that's the latest fires. multiply by a trillion, that's Iraq. couple days ago checked notes: when did i first hear about PROTENTION? 01-Sep-2007, googling MUTUAL BOOTSTRAP [+]: The View from Within, edited by Francisco Varela & Jonathan Shear, & New Philosophy for New Media, by Mark Hansen (which mentions Varela). so this caught my eye:

Everything was beginning to speed up around Fry. At the Greek, engines were arriving, ready for assignment—not only LAFD engines but companies that would come from Glendale, Burbank, San Marino, and L.A. County. This was exactly the kind of interagency jurisdictional response that had been MTZ chatter an hour earlier.

As if on cue, Varela appeared. "Craig— where do you want me?" he asked Fry.

Varela is Fry's senior. But as first on the scene, Fry held incident command for the moment. By now he had ordered 40 engine companies, some 400 men, to the Greek. Sensory studies show that perception narrows in stressful moments like the one Fry was experiencing. Situational awareness drops off radically. An individual communicating with three to seven others can keep track of what is going on around him and those he is speaking to. When that number climbs above seven, a commander becomes distracted.

The LAFD's emergency response system is designed so that when a commander's lines of communication become too numerous, his responsibilities are split among others, dropping him back into the ideal awareness zone. This is part of the Incident Command System created in the aftermath of October 1970, when 773 fires raged across California. Following the attacks of 9/11, Presidential Directive Number Eight, signed by President Bush, made California's ICS the official national emergency response model. When Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans and Minneapolis's Bridge 9340 collapsed into the Mississippi River, the shapes of those emergency responses were born out of chaparral flame.



Tags: griffith park

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