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Who uses engine company riding/tool assignments? What have you found by using it? I'm looking for information on implementing this.


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ok, my department does not use this. However i've rode with Kentland 33 (they are the busiest volunteer dept. in the country averaging around 400 to 500 calls per month.) They have riding assignments on all of their trucks. Barman, vent man, pipe man. and so forth. Check their website they have some useful stuff on there..... hope this helps.
It's about accountability and responsibilities. Safety issue. N.I.M.S., "Unity of Command". Think of it as an offensive football squad. You have a line, receivers, backfield, quarterback, etc. Each as responsibities and should be depended on to accomplish these, as well as being where they're exspected. It doesn't matter what you call these people, but you should have a person controlling the appliance at the business end of the hose. Nozzle? Then a person backing him up. Back-up? The third person on the line should be positioned 1/2 to one lenght back, where the line goes through a door. Door? Finally have a person at the other end of the line to control the number of lenghts stretched off the apparatus. Not too little, not too much. Control?
Although we don't "officially" have these designations in my Department, some companies use them. More than anything else for accountability of each member& their position. This ensures that the OIC knows who is calling on the radio without confusion. Driver, Officer, Back up/control (depending on if the Boss goes in)& Nozzle. Often times we arrive before the Ladder Co's so the back up/control guy is first the Forcible Entry person.
I am a big fan of this tactic, for one reason. When responding to a job, the officer has enough on their mind, without having to tell the Jakes, you get this and you get that and you hit the plug and............

It establishes accountability. Everyone knows without question what it is they must do and what they need to do it. Force Entry man knows to get the Irons (or what ever they prefer) to the proper entry point and make a h***. Nozzle man knows the high rise pack is his and to lay preconnect 1 toward the entry point. Plug man knows to hit the plug and decides what diameter line is laid without ever having to be told. The scene is not the place to start deciding who does what.

However, it is not enough to tell people what their assignment is. If they don't drill the job, they are not efficient. Now the next step is, who gets what assignment and what is left out on short staff apparatus. Good Luck
Big fan of them. I love them- cuts down on duplication of tasks,communication errors or lack of communication and confusion. Everybody should know their job,their tools and everything should fall into place upon arrival.
I am a huge fan of this tactic, and we use on my shift at my station. However it isn't used throughout the department. The #3 spot (Behind the officer) will be the nozzleman while the #4 spot will be the Irons. #4 will meet up with #3 at the door and force it prior to making entry. On my shift, the member with the least experience is riding #3. This does a couple of things. The Hose won't have to enter multiple rooms looking for the fire. #3 stays in the hallway and follows into the room after the#4 finds the fire. After water is on the fire the #4 spot will search the room and the immediate area (Staying within Voice, Touch, Vision) of the #3. We have similar assignments for Cardiac arrest and MVA's.
We operate the same way ,since we also don't have a truck in town .We have hydrants in town so we do'nt use tankers. We are very big in training and have a highly trained FAST thanks to our company officers and training officers and the seniormen in our company.
We have assignments for the engine and the truck. Our minimum staffing is 3 we sometimes have 4 so we set it up for 4 and for the times we have 3 the other jobs are absorbed into the other positions.

Here they are:
Driver: Drive safely to call, lay out from hydrant, establish water supply, ensure lines are properly clear hose bed and charged, Act as member of IRIT (be in FUll PPE)
Officer: Navigate to the call, size up,360 walk around, flash light, hook, TIC, give and revice status reports
Firefighter: Pulls initial attack line, operates initial attack line
FIrefighter: Back up nozzle firefighter on hose line, carries Irons at least to the front door

Truck Company:
Driver: Drive Safely, Set aerial ladder, ladder building, control utilities, assist with out side ventilation
Officer: Navigate to call, Leads interior search team, gives and recieve status reports, TIC irons or hook
Firefighter: Assits with interior search, Irons or hook (depending on wich the officer took) and water can
FIrefighter: Exterior forcible entry, assits with ladering, truck set up, handles outside vent, exterior rescues.

Hope this helps good luck
Thank you all for the info...keep it comming
I believe that riding assignments are very benificial. Riding assignments help eliminate the stress of assigning tools en route and it expedites getting those same tools in service on scene. At both of my FD's, the apparatus are set up to be "riding assignment friendly" meaning your tool assignment is mounted within an arm's reach of your seat. Any other duties are assigned by the OIC en route. This enables the OIC to put his best people on the jobs that he knows they do well and it also aides to accountability of duties to be performed. If I have a FF asigned to utilities, I know longer have to think about utilities, because it's covered by a FF who already knew this before we left the house. This enables the OIC to be able to wrap his mind around other variables and "X" factors that are critical parts of his decision making process. One determining factor in riding assignments is "manpower." Without enough people, critical assignments do not get done safely if at all.
I work in a busy station that responds 1 engine and 1 medical unit. The unspoken rule is that the medical unit and engine are supposed to act as 1 company. However, it rarely happens and all to often once a structure is entered the engine crew goes one way and us guys on the box go another. The engine does fire attack and the guys on the box begin search.
I tried to suggest riding assinment to the guys at my station but I was met with more reasons why we shouldn`t. To make matters worse all junior guys rarely see an engine unless the guys on the engine or ladder truck are sick, or are on vacatrion. Really frustrating!!!! Suggestions on how to make this happen? We have 3 man engines and 3 man medical units. If riding assignment were given then there would be multiple assignments for each spot.
Like most people here I believe riding assignments are a must. Our department has assigned tasks for each staffed seat on the engine. They are as follows...

Driver/operator - Safe arrival, proper positioning, pump operation etc.
Officer - Initial command, size-up etc. (does not carry tools)
Hydrant - secures water supply if needed, carries TIC and hand tools (preference is left to the firefighter)
Nozzle - stretches line, commences attack when ready.

Due to our high number of medical runs, the hydrant position is also assigned O2 and assessment, while the nozzle position has the defib and suction.

Hope this helps...

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