The manual further defines the fire department's mission as "managing risk for others" (FEMA, 1996, p. 23). In carrying out this mission, the manual lists ways a fire department can manage individual risks or "things that go wrong when departments attempt to deliver services that define this mission" (FEMA, 1996, p. 24). The areas discussed include personnel, fire inspection precautions, administration and communication.
Next, the manual discusses application of risk management. Recommendations are given regarding assessment of risk and bravery in the face of risk. Bravery may be accepted to save lives but it is inappropriate to risk one's life, "when there are no lives to be saved" (FEMA, 1996, p. 64). The manual describes public expectations, occupational safety and health, principles and development of incident action plans, incident commander responsibilities, and roles in the firefighting organization. Examples are given with regard to unoccupied buildings, unusual situational risks, time factors, unacceptable risks, strategies, communication, personal protective equipment, experience, judgment and training. The manual also emphasizes the importance of pre-incident planning and management of information.
Even with this focus on concept and application, the manual is missing key elements that could reduce fatalities among firefighters.