Incident responder getting started guide

This guide is meant to get you up and running with FireHydrant quickly. For this guide, we assume your integrations (Jira, Zoom, Slack, etc) and FireHydrant configurations have already been set up. If you're looking for our configuration getting started guide, refer to this doc.

If you have any additional questions, reach out to us and our team will be happy to help!

What is FireHydrant?

FireHydrant is a reliability platform that helps software teams maintain service catalogs, improve their incident response process, communicate through status pages, and run retrospectives. With FireHydrant Runbooks, teams can automate manual tasks and create repeatable workflows, bringing more standardization to the incident response process. Incidents can be started quickly from Slack, and teams can use Slack as their main tool to manage incidents, powered by FireHydrant.

Declaring an incident

There are three main ways you can declare an incident in FireHydrant:

  1. FireHydrant web UI
  2. Slack command
  3. From an alert

Declaring an incident using the FireHydrant web UI

Anyone with a FireHydrant account can login and declare an incident in the FireHydrant web UI. Refer to starting an incident to learn more.

New Incident

Declaring an incident using a Slack command

With the FireHydrant Slack integration, anyone in your organization can create an incident using a Slack command from any channel.

/fh new [incident name] opens a dialog box asking for additional information to kick off the incident. This form can be modified by your FireHydrant admin.


Once an incident is started, FireHydrant sends a message to the channel it was created from. That message includes key information about the incident.


Refer to starting an incident to learn more.

Declaring an incident from an alert ingested into Slack via FireHydrant

If your admin has integrated your alerting tool with FireHydrant, you can send those alerts to Slack and declare an incident from there. Refer to declaring an incident from an alert for more information.

Responding to an incident

From the incident channel, users can run various commands. Some common commands are referenced below.

You can run /fh help to see a list of the commands available from the incident channel. Reference using Slack commands with FireHydrant to learn more.

Assigning roles

One of the first things you might want to do is bring the correct people into your incident. You can do this by running /fh assign team.


Add impact

Signaling which services, functionalities or environments are impacted by the incident helps track down the right people and change events associated with the incident. You can do this by running /fh add impact.


Task Management

When running an incident, the incident commander will most likely want to create tasks, assign them to responders, and check up on the progress of those tasks. This can be accomplished with the /fh tasks command. As tasks are created and updated, this screen will be incident commanders home to understand what is currently happening in the incident. Additional tasks can be created with the /fh add taskcommand.


Update the incident

Updating the incident allows you to change the milestone and statuses of your functionalities, environments, and services. You can also include a comment about the incident update. You can do this by running /fh update.


Highlighting important messages

Adding a "star" emoji to messages in Slack signals an important message, which is flagged as such in the FireHydrant UI. Starred messages are also included in the Retrospective. You can do this by simply adding the star emoji to a message in the incident channel.


Note: The "flame" icon signals the message has been successfully captured in FireHydrant.

Add action items

Most incidents require post-incident action items. You can capture these directly in Slack and assign them to the appropriate team members. Action items are synced to the issue tracking tool (Jira, Shortcut) which your admin set up. You can do this by running /fh add action-item.



Once you've mitigated the incident and you're ready to resolve it, you can run /fh resolve and include a note for why you are resolving the incident. You then have the option to start a retrospective from the resolved incident by running /fh start retro.

Group_26855.png Start_retrospective_command_new.png

For a comprehensive list of Slack commands you can run with FireHydrant, reference using Slack commands with FireHydrant.

Running a retrospective

Retrospectives are your teams' opportunity to learn from the incident. Retros can't be run in Slack, so you'll need to head over to the FireHydrant web UI for this final stage of the incident.


FireHydrant admins can customize the retro questions to their liking.


During the retrospective, users can note contributing factors and add additional tags to the incident.


To get the most out of your retro, make sure you're keeping your incident milestones updated and starring any important messages in Slack so that they're included in the retro.


To access all your retrospectives or explore incidents, you can use the search filter on the Incidents page.

Thanks for reading this guide! If you have any feedback or suggestions on how to improve it, please reach out to us.

Last updated on 12/6/2023