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The officer must be the one that watches for conditions.

The officer must be the one that watches for conditions.

When a  crew is making an interior attack, or any task, on the fire ground, the officer must be the eyes and ears of his crew.

Although everyone is responsible for safety and identifying unsafe conditions, the officer must continually keep a watchful eye on conditions.

Too often I have witnessed the officer take the nozzle, dragging the firefighter along into a burning structure.  The officer should be the more experienced person on the line; there is a reason he is the officer. ( I know that is not always the case, but, you get the point.)

I can remember being in a 3-story house with fire blowing out the rear on the first floor and making an aggressive interior attack as the nozzle man.  About 5 minutes or so pass and I am right up on this thing not making much progress.  The acting officer tapped me on the shoulder and said we needed to back out.

I of course did not want to, but what I didn’t see, because I was focused on the fire fight, was that we were pushing fire around the stairwell back to the front door, where we entered.  Mostly because we had the wrong sized line for the amount of fire we had.

But, the point is, he was doing his job. Not just helping me with the hose line, but seeing the “big” picture.  He was paying attention to more than just what was in front of him.

As officers on the hose line we are expected to be aware and to get the job done.  On that fire it meant pulling out and going back with a larger line, which was effective.

Watch for changing smoke conditions. Look for fire behavior that may be odd.  Just look at everything and stay aware.  Get the job done and get back safe.

http://firefightersenemy.com

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I couldn't agree more Jason! Outstanding example. Unfortunately, some firefighters can take the Officer or senior man going in behind the pipeman, as being lazy. Being a boss is a tough job, eyes in the back of our head would come in handy! I'll be the first one to say it's hard not to grab a nozzle, but necessary for me to step back and take care of my crew. In all the trainings and plain conversations with the guys, I try to reinforce how critical it is to speak up, my driver has a better view than I, if I'm inside. Bosses need to take that extra breath to look at the entire situation, regardless of the type of call, to make sure our folks come home safe!

Be Safe!
Jeff
I could not agree with you more.

Jeff Schwering said:
I couldn't agree more Jason! Outstanding example. Unfortunately, some firefighters can take the Officer or senior man going in behind the pipeman, as being lazy. Being a boss is a tough job, eyes in the back of our head would come in handy! I'll be the first one to say it's hard not to grab a nozzle, but necessary for me to step back and take care of my crew. In all the trainings and plain conversations with the guys, I try to reinforce how critical it is to speak up, my driver has a better view than I, if I'm inside. Bosses need to take that extra breath to look at the entire situation, regardless of the type of call, to make sure our folks come home safe!

Be Safe!
Jeff
I agree, if you want the pipe stay a firefighter. Once you become overly involved you open the door to tactical drift by losing perspective. Your role is to determine line size, length and speed of the stretch. Your decisions must support the operational objectives while considering the search and ventilation. Not to mention monitoring for changing conditions. For all officers taking an extra couple of seconds to size up will save you minutes in your execution. It may even save your crews life.
Thanks for posting Frank, hope all is going will up there in the NE. Thawed out yet?

Frank Ricci said:
I agree, if you want the pipe stay a firefighter. Once you become overly involved you open the door to tactical drift by losing perspective. Your role is to determine line size, length and speed of the stretch. Your decisions must support the operational objectives while considering the search and ventilation. Not to mention monitoring for changing conditions. For all officers taking an extra couple of seconds to size up will save you minutes in your execution. It may even save your crews life.

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