For quite a few years now, “doing more with less” has been normal operating procedure for most fire departments across the United States, regardless of the location or make-up of the department. Budget restraints have hindered staffing of career departments, and the increased commitment and requirements on volunteers has taken a drastic toll on retention rates. Firefighters everywhere must now take steps to do the same job with the same level of pride and effort, but do it with fewer resources than ever before.
Doing More With Less
In most cases, engine company success is directly related to our efficiency and effectiveness in getting water on the fire. Our life safety, the safety of our brothers and sisters, and the safety of the civilians we serve is still our number one priority. Yes, fires are burning faster and hotter. Yes, buildings are deteriorating more quickly under fire conditions. But the end result is the same: We must still extinguish the fire.
Ergonomic changes in the design of fire apparatus have helped us to remain effective in reduced manpower situations. Some engines are now being built with lower hose beds and lighter lengths of hose in order to make it easier and more ergonomic for the lone chauffer or depleted crew to stretch an attack line. Engineering changes and advancements in technology also include additions such as self-osculating portable monitors designed to be deployed by a single firefighter. These advancements have allowed departments to “do more with less”.
Even with ergonomic and technical advances, the fact still remains that many engine companies respond with minimal staffing. Compounding this problem, these companies must often act independently for long periods of time until additional firefighting resources arrive. If we are to excel at doing more with less, we must train to become proficient under these circumstances. The best way to achieve this level of proficiency is through 1410 drills.
To successfully run a 1410 drill, you will need an engine and a crew of four (4).
1. Lay 300 feet of supply line from the hydrant to the scene of the fire.
2. Deploy two (2) hose lines consisting of a 150’ (minimum) of 1.75” line, and a 150’ (minimum) 2.5” line. Length and diameter of hose as well as nozzle type should be modified based on department standard operating guidelines.
3. Supply the attack line with tank water, then transition from tank to hydrant prior to charging the back-up line.
4. Flow a combined total of 300 GPM at the appropriate pressures for the nozzles selected.
The overarching goal of this training scenario is to complete all objectives within three (3) minutes of arrival while achieving a total flow of 300 gallons per minute (GPM)