What can we do better, especially when actions do not work as planned?

Learning from our experiences is only useful if we make corrections and adjustments to our actions, if given another opportunity.   Guidelines for identifying and discussing lessons, from which we can learn to improve mechanized operations, are found  in the Guide To The After Action Review.

icons_aarorange After Action Reviews (AARs)

Guidance on conducting AARs:  After Action Review (AAR) Tips & Tactics, The After Action Review and From AAR’s To AAR Rollups;

AAR Examples: 2012 – Northern Rockies Wildfire Contractors Association;   2016 – Montana Heavy Equipment Contractors


icons_ll_01grey Lessons Learned

Heavy Equipment Survey (312KB)
Your answers matter. Please print, complete and return as attachment to obie@ForestOperationsMT.com.

Here, we list situations that did and can occur during incidents that offer lessons for us to consider.  Recording what did work, as well as what did not work is simply the beginning of effective learning and corrective actions.  Improvements to mechanized fire and forestry operations start with candid and comprehensive assessment of our actions.

Situation: Delays in Equipment Arrival
Lesson:  Allow for multiple transports to not incur delays. Have lowboys on standby.

Situation:  Mountain pine beetle snags present additional danger to crews and area visitors
Lesson:  Assess overhead hazards.  Determine locations of heaviest snag density for deploying mechanized forestry equipment.  Refer to insect and disease inventory maps for the area.
Lesson:  Expand medivac sites and snag out access and escape routes through hazardous snag area.

Situation:  Lost time responding with equipment due to unavailability of vehicle access and turnaround maps.
Lesson:  Prepare area maps with road access for lowboys.  Lowboys need road length (50 ft) and turnaround space (65 degree horizontal curve, _ vertical curve).

Situation:  Heavy snag patches produce higher volumes of throne and falling limbs where boomed equipment is used.
Lesson:  Bring extra hydraulic hoses for replacements and repairs should falling material cause damage to hoses.

Situation:  Safety awareness reduced when driving with windows closed, particularly when entering area where machines are working.
Lesson:  Drive with windows down and listen for machinery.

Situation:  Delays in dispatching machinery.
Lesson:  Equipment operators should have and bring their last inspection record to facilitate contracting and dispatch.
Lesson:  Track equipment and performance reports during fire season.  Promote thorough record-keeping/

Situation:  Unknown and unanticipated slope breaks for machine capability.
Lesson:  Order a slope break map immediately upon dispatch.

Situation:  Downfall areas are difficult to access and navigate.
Lesson:  Line scouting to be done in pairs.  Issue spare radios.  Have line scouts assess area from aircraft.  Use photo interpretation and reconnaissance prior to machine entry.