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Ray started an excellent topic on the duties of the second due engine. What are your expectations of the first due engine? There seems to be a wide variety of opinions and SOPs out there regarding this critical assignment and they vary with staffing, water supply, hosebeds, and etc. So let's hear about both your opinions and your SOPs.

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We always lay in dry and have the 2nd due pick it up. Its always 5 inch. Denpending on the size of the main feeding depends on the amount of water. My district is being feed by a 12 inch main in some spots and an 8 inch in others so water is sometimes an issue. Have never encountered any hydrant less than 40 psi though.
We are fortunate enough that we are staffed with 4 on an engine always. The majority of the time, we establish a water supply with a 3" line and charge it, the officer also has the option to use a humat hydrant valve if big water is going to be needed. If using the humat valve we will drop 2 3" lines and charge one, the second engine in will generally establish a secondary water supply from a different plug and the third engine in can go to work at the hydrant valve supplying the first engine in if needed. We have a pretty good supply of hydrants with good spacing and pressure, typically 80 - 100 psi at the plug.
We run 1 engine and 1 tower to all standard responses although staffing is only 2/engine and 1/ tower. We only run 3 on a shift. Engine goes past the structure and the tower stops at nearest hydrant and awaits orders. If I go to a second or order it, he will wrap the hydrant, drop the hydrant box and lay in and take the front of the building otherwise he standsby until I tell him to pull up and help with the investigation.

Our street pressure is 205 lbs(not kidding) so the first in pump is a manifold. In some areas of my jurisdiction the pressure drops to around 110 to 120 at higher elevations. Call force members (we are a combo dept) arrive and dress the hydrant, all nipples get an appliance, steamer and both 2 1/2s. No hydrant assist valve. Line is left dry until the hydrant man calls the pump and they're ready for it.

Two in/two out is handled by if no immediate rescue needed, packing up and connecting feeder line to first in pump and stretching line to the door based on officers estimate and HOPEFULLY a call force member has showed up or off duty personnel have come in and responded with second engine. If there is a rescue to effect, myself and the junior FF go in with a line and the senior FF is the driver/operator.

Limited staffing sure makes things interesting at the beginning before some pals show up!!!!!!!!!
In NHRFR, we are staffed by an Officer and 2 FF's on the engines. On a reported fire, we roll 4 Engines along with 2 ladders, a rescue, safety officer, com tech, BC and DC. We have recognized the fact that our staffing sucks so we utilize the 1st 2 engines to stretch the 1st line. The first engine chauffeur pumps the line, the 2nd chauffeur gets him water (we use a 2-engine attack, sort of a modified reverse lay). the remaining 4 guys from the 1st 2 engines stretch the 1st line. It works well 4 us in the urban environment we work in. The 3rd engine backs into the ladder and the 4th positions to secure a second water supply

We also make use of a technique called "bumping". This is when the first two engines get into the block before the ladder gets there. In ths case, the second engine "bumps" the first engine who might normally be assigned attack engine duties to water supply. Works great on narrow streets and saves alot of time that would be spent if the engine had to go around the block to back into the attack engine for a water supply. Going around the block around here can take a long time.
Hey bro, good words. What got my attention is that you stated that your department runs 3 man engine or quints with a 2 man min- pumper ( our squads ), here in Wilson, North Carolina , we roll the same way. Sounds like you believe that this concept has out stayed its welcome. Please explain your thoughts and experience with this. I personally have not been made a beliver of the engine / squad deal.
I think that first due should always have there own water source we try to have our first engine have there hydrant and the second due grabs another hydrant thats on a different main this is not always the case and some departments dont have the option and the ic on at least 90 percent of our runs has already dont the size up before the fist engine arrives on scene
Hydrant: It really depends on the location of the fire and the location of the plug. At my volly house, we usually let the second in company handle water supply. Our second out company is a 2500 gallon pumper/tanker. Policy makes us leave with at least 3 on the company. If the plug is within a short distance, the engineer will hand lay to it.

Staffing: At work we staff our engine co.'s with 3 and our ladder with 4. At my volly house, we are suppose to leave with a full crew (5) but that normally we have 3-4. We run an engine, tanker and rescue/pumper. The engine and tanker seat 5 and the rescue seats 6. We are fortunate to have a good turnout of personnel.

Stand Fast: We normally go to work but the captain or officer in charge will do a 360 and will relay info.

Pre-Connects: Good but also need to train on hose estimating, extending lines also. We need to get out of the mindset that a pre-connect will reach all and do all.

Transitional Attack: Is that attacking what you can from the outside before advancing? We might use different terminology.
Transitional attack is a very controversial topic here along the front range of Colorado. I am sure different terminology does confuse this "tactic". I will attempt to relay what the proponents describe as Transitional. For the record I am not a proponent of this as a frequently used tactic. Essentially a straight stream is played into a window venting fire for 5-8 seconds off of the ceiling of the occupancy. This is done with the intention of stretching inside to attack the seat of the fire. Purpose? Well we could likely start a thread on this entire controversy. Hope this describes it a little better. Like I said though I am not in favor of this becoming a common tactic due to the inherent issues with it.
Transitional "Attack" doesn't sound like an Attack at all. Sounds like another Firefighter Safety Measure gone wrong.

I beleive you may be onto something there. Like I posted before, I am NOT an advocate for this 'tactic'. I just figured I would try to define it for those that were asking and/or wondering.
Our 1st Alarm for a residential or commercial fire includes 3 engines and 1 Battalion

We run 3 person engine companies and no truck. Our SOP says that the first due engine should be getting a hydrant on any signs of fire. That being said, we have 750 gallon booster tanks on all of our engines, so if we only have light smoke showing from the fire block, we will usually steam in and attack off booster tank, assigning the second due to announce the hydrant. If the plug is needed they will lay in.

If we have an obvious working fire in a residence, we will usually lay in dry or, if close enough, steam in and the Engineer will hand jack the 5" supply line to the hydrant. The reason for this is we believe that the time taken to use our only Firefighter to make the connection at the plug, could be better used keeping the fire at it's current size and possibly effect a rescue.

If we have an Obvious Defensive Fire, or a good working Commercial Fire, then we will lay in wet. Leaving the Firefighter at the plug to make the connection and charge when ready.

We typically lay in a Single 5" line as our Hydrant are on city spacing (200-500 ft max in most cases) with good volume and psi. 60-80psi in most parts of the city. We also have the advantage being on the west coast that we do not run into the "Frozen Hydrant" problem. Therefore all of our hydrants are wet barrels. You can get water out of any discharge at any time.

Our first due Engine typically assumes the role of attack. While the Engineer and Firefighter are pulling a crosslay (most times) I will perform a quick walk around and secure utilities. Once I am back to the front, the line should be charged and bled, and the door ready to force. My FF and I force the door and advance the line.

We are fortunate enough to have a fairly good response time from second due companies and we are not at scene very long with out back-up. This takes care of our 2 in-2 out issue.

As for investigation, we still get a little carried away with overhaul and don't always preserve the scene as well as we should. But we do get a better response from our Fire Marshal's office these days, so it is getting much better.

I can't remember the rest of the questions, but this is a great topic. Please feel free to ask more about our "ways"

I love this site. I have gotten more great info from this Group alone.

Thanks Ray and Thanks PJ.

Were a small combination Department - 1st in Engine is a Career staffed 2-3 members always an officer on board.
Only make a hydrant catch if 50ft or closer. On Call firefighters use POV and maybe at a hydrant if on scene, and we lay in from there. 2nd away engine usally grabs the Plug.
If a 2 man crew (Capt&FF)
FF stretches 200ft preconnect (Urban no problems with reach) and Capt does size up. Trained OCFF pump operator will take pump panel as FF and Capt will be fire attack unless a there is a visible rescue . If a 3rd man on the truck he and driver are teamed up and Capt runs pump until a Pump operator shows up. Chief always rolls to calls day or nite and assumes IC. 2 in 2 out not a problem. Ladder Truck will assume (Truck Operations) and 2nd in Engine will be RIT. OFF DUTY career members have automatic call back and respond with 2nd away appartus 75% of the time as we all live with in minutes from our Station (1station in the city of 20,000)

Not saying what we do is right but it works..


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