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Palmer drought severity index (PDI)
Technique for measuring impact of soil moisture changes on vegetation, for predicting fire danger and fire behavior.
Panic doors, panic hardware
Fire safety appliance permitting locked doors (typically self-closing) to be opened from the inside when pressed with sufficient force, thus permitting a person to open the door without having to turn a knob or lever.
Fire containment method where crews constructs fireline at some distance from the edge of the fire (e.g., 100 yards) and then burn out the fuel in the buffer as the fireline is completed.
PASS device, personal alert safety system
An alarm device which signals that a firefighter is in trouble. It can be activated manually by the firefighter, or activates automatically if the firefighter stops moving. May be integral to SCBA or separately activated.
System in which each firefighter has an identification document that is collected by the person in charge of accounting for the current location of the respective individuals, and returned to the firefighter when he or she leaves the dangerous area.
An extremely volatile fuel, after curing, in May, June, July, which can lead to large, fast fires that may reach larger fuels.
Personal alert safety system
See PASS device in Glossary of firefighting equipment.
Personnel accountability report
End-result of personnel accountability system. Best report is all hands, AOK worst is squad missing.
Personnel accountability system
Tag, 'passport', or other system for identification and tracking of personnel at an incident, especially those entering and leaving an IDLH area; intended to permit rapid determination of who may be at risk or lost during sudden changes at the scene.
Standard fire axe having a 6 or 8 pound (2.7 to 3.6 kg) steel head with a cutting blade on one edge and a square, pointed pick on the opposite side. Come in various handle lengths.
A subdivision of a fire company, led a fire officer of either the rank captain or lieutenant, such that one of several platoons is assigned to duty for a specified period. Also called a watch".
Jargon, brand-name of early radio-frequency paging system for summoning firefighters.
Point of origin
An element of fire behavior, indicating where a fire began, supporting further analysis of where the fire went or will go; evidence of specific origin is often obscured or destroyed by suppression tactics.
A style of ladder that is also known as a Scaling Ladder". It is used to climb from one window to another. It differs from other ladders in that it does not rest on the ground it instead uses a large hook at the top to attach to a window sill. The word "Pompier" is French for fireman.
Portable water tank
Collapsible reservoir used for storing water transported to fireground by tanker. May be inflatable or supported by a frame.
Pressure at higher than atmospheric; used in SCBA facepieces and in smoke-proof stairwells to reduce entry of smoke or fumes through small openings.
Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV)
Ventilation of an area by the use of a fan to push clean air into that space and controlled use of openings for the escape of smoke and gasses.
Post indicator valve (PIV)
A type of valve used for underground sprinkler shutoff, having a lockable actuator atop a post with a window indicating open" or "shut" status of the valve.
Pre-fire, pre-incident planning
Information collected by fire prevention officers to assist in identifying hazards and the equipment, supplies, personnel, skills, and procedures needed to deal with a potential incident.
Fire protection strategy involving visits to potentially hazardous occupancies for inspection, followup analysis and recommendations for actions to be taken in case of specific incidents.
Firehose on a fire engine which has one end connected to a pump outlet, and usually a nozzle attached to the other end. May also be a preconnected inlet hose (e.g., soft suction). Reduces steps at scene of fire.
Deliberately ignited fire for the purpose of forest or prairie management, often to remove heavy fuel buildup or simulate natural cycles of fire in an ecosystem. Also called controlled burn even if it becomes uncontrollable.
(also rookie) new firefighter on employment probation (a period of time during which his or her skills are improved, honed, tested, and evaluated).
Progressive hose lay
A method of deploying hoses along firelines during suppression and as they are built and reinforced, typically using 1 1/2-inch supply lines, gated wyes and 1-inch lateral lines with nozzles (or at least spigot valves) every 100 feet or so. As the line progesses, more hoses and valves are added.
Any large fire requiring extensive management and the establishment of a temporary infrastructure to support firefighting efforts, such as fire camps.
Means for public to report a fire, includes telephone, street-corner pull-boxes, building pull-stations, and manual bells or sirens in rural areas.
Combination axe and grub hoe tool with a straight handle, used for building handline. Also known as P-tool".
Pump operator, technician
(also a chauffeur) person responsible for operating the pumps on a pumper and typically for driving the pumper to an incident.
Vehicle apparatus for pumping water and other fire suppressants. See fire engine.