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The door firefighter is very important position in the engine. Generally it is the third firefighter on the line. Some departments do not have enough firefighters on scene to fill this position. Or so they say. Some stretches will not require the door firefighters help while others will require more than one firefighter to fill that position. What other role does the door firefighter have?

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In our Chicago far western suburban department we run three man companies. The firefighter grabs the nozzle and line and streachs it out while the Officer completes the 360 walk around. They make entry while a third person from the ambulance becomes the door firefighter. The door firefighter is the one of a few people on the fireground who has a handle on what is going on inside a building. They can tell when the line is moving and when water is being put on the fire. They know how far the attack crew is in the building, and how many people are inside. They also need to be able to read when to advance hose and when not to. As previously mentioned they can push to much hose to cause kinks and also push the attack crew beyond where they entend to go. This seems to be forgotten by our 1-6 years on the job firefighters. We have all seen the traffic jam of firefighters in doorways, stairs and hallways. It helps in the over all operations to have the hose placed against walls so that a firefighter can sit in a doorway of an apartment or a room and advance hose without being in the way of the search crews and any other crews working in the building. Thanks for my next drill for my engine company.
In my department we are lucky to run with 4 people (engineer, officer and 2 firefighters) generally 1 firefighter being the hydrant person, so in most scenarios they become the door person when they have completed any hydrant work. Most of the departments around us run with 2 bodies or 3, so stretching can be a challenge. One of the things I have found helpful is bowing the line up against and interior wall ( well suited for the second deck of a PD) or forming an "S" pattern on the fire floor ( especially in a common hallway) . This accomplishes a couple things, it provides the nozzle team with some reserve line and once the line is bowed it frees the door man to travel the line chasing kinks, chocking doors. Making the bow or S helps the door man when he encounters a heavy smoke condition and visibility is zero. By placing his hand on top of the bow he will know when the nozzle team is advancing the line and that bhe will have to create another bow. With the "S", he can place a foot, knee or hand in one of the valleys of the "S" and when the line is advanced he will sense the movement and know he needs to provide additional hose. Pulling hose rather than pushing hose also allows the door man to use leverage to bring in neeeded hose (using his legs and back) or he can use some part of the interior structure to brace himself against to create a leverage point.
In my company when we arrive first due we do so without a truck. Because of this the door position has the additional responsibility of taking care of forcible entry and as such his riding assignment includes the irons. Most of our work is done in PD's and the door FF can handle most of the FE challenges we face with the irons. The nozzleman and pump operator stretch the line.

As the line is getting charged, the door firefighter is taking care of any kinks and assisting with the advance. Once the line makes it to the fire area, the door position moves up and assists with opening up.

Occasionally the door position is required to be part of the initial RIC. If this is required, it is only for a very limited time.
I assume the Officer is doing a 360. Does the Door FF take the irons to the front door right away and then help with the line?
Yes, the officer is doing a 360. The door firefighter will always step off the rig with the irons and go straight to the front door (unless told otherwise), If FE is required he goes to work (while controlling the door), if FE is not required he assists with the remainder of the stretch. He assists with the advance by maintaining a position between the door and the nozzle team.


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