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It has been a little slow here in the Start Water group, so I thought I would start a new thread to get the pace back up a bit....

This scenario is very near and dear to my heart. So here it goes...

You are part of a 3 piece Engine Co. (1 Boss, 1 Driver, and 1 FF) You arrive first due at a working fire in a two-story PD. Fire on the #2 floor. You work for a department that does not have a Truck Company staffed or perhaps only one, but it is assigned to another run. Do your tactics change from the norm, or do you operate as normal?

Are you concerned about truck work? Who will throw ladders for egress? What about ventilation? Most importantly, WHO DOES THE SEARCH?

This is the "Start Water" group, but what if we have no truck????

(I don't have one by the way)

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Replies to This Discussion

Ok so as I stated above, YCFD does not run a Truck Co. We have 5 Engine Co's only.

We routinely operate as a truck depending on our arrival. Second due quite often gets assigned search. RIT does alot of the exterior support such as throwing ladders and taking windows ahead of the attack team.

The first due engine usually takes attack and does a rude primary upon there entry. They will also have to perform their own Forcible Entry.

Also with only 3 on an engine, that usually means 2 on the hoseline. This means the Boss has to be more hands on. Not the nozzle mind you, but humping hose and backing up the nozzleman.
The core of the engine tactics don't change,Locate Confine Extinguish. However additional tasks will be taken on. Forcible entry can be handled and should be part of your single unit operational SOP. We can only multi task so much before we forget something. The officer should do a size up with a hook. If early ventilation is decided upon it can be done during the size up if it will be done later the tool can be left against the building adjacent to the vent point for future use. Once the line is in place to extinguish the fire a search can begin.
Ladder(s) for egress would be difficult in a timely fashion. The driver could bring one to the building while the line is stretched but placement is difficullt to determine.
Eric I would say the tactics stay as close to normal as possible. Locate the fire and put it out and (most) of your problems will go away. If a rescue is a concern then it is the perfect reason to know VES like the back of your hand. As you do a 360 take windows if needed. All members need to be trained on when to take windows and which windows to take so as not to get negetive results. Another aspect of truck work that engines can do is smoke removal. Wide fog out the window works great, but isn't used as much nowadays.
Eric,
For me the tactics don't really change but it raises a flag in my mind that tasks are not being accomplished as quickly as I would like and if we can't make a change in fire conditions quickly my "engine boss" senses are heightened that much more. I routinely mark my entry point (usually the front door) for my nozzleman by setting the irons at the door I want us to make entry into. This comes in handy for Forcible entry since I'm used to dealing with bars quite often. I finish my size up with a hook in hand and take windows if indicated prior to our entry. If the truck is delayed I know additional ventilation will be delayed, thus my senses tell me it may be a little hotter in this one than I really care for but the job still has to be done. I'm probably going to get some ball bustin on this but I'll throw it out there anyway. After a knock is done on the fire I'll peel off my nozzleman for a quick search of adjoining rooms and if help is too far out I may do the entire structure depending on conditions. I know what all the Safety Guru's will say "work in pairs, stay together, no freelancing" but it's not unsafe as long as the crew has the training and knowlege, radio communications, discipline, etc. I won't leave a probie on the nob unless I know we've put the fire out, but once the fire is out my priorities have changed. The nozzleman knows his job, as the boss I know mine and will keep command informed of conditions and actions. Most fires in our SFD are ranch style homes that can be handled by 6-8 guys ready to go to work and not screw around in the front yard worrying about where they are going to plug into the IMS chart. Fire Attack, Search, Ventilation is routinely handled before the arrival of a truck company in many parts of our response area (660 sq. miles). It's all about getting the job done, regardless of how many firefighters we have in the first 10 min. That's a seperate discussion on some other blog. We train for the worst and hope for the best. While Hope isn't an effective strategy, our daily training is and I have alot of faith in my crew and our house.
I have been in this very scenario, as a 3 man Truck(Quint) with no Engine with us, and in my opinion the tactics do change. The officer will do a 360 size up while the firefighter and driver/operator stretch an attack line to the door. The officer will return to the "A" side unless the situation dictates otherwise. The officer and FF will then force entry and stretch in for the attack and a really rough primary search. Meanwhile, the driver operator will charge the attack line from his booster tank, until he makes a hydrant. He then will throw ground ladders and begin to outside vent if ordered by the officer. He then will stage a fan by the door and stretch a secondary line for the 2nd due Engine to advance. This is not an ideal situation and no where near NFPA compliant, but it is a real life scenario for many FF's across this great nation. The sad reality is that many of us are being forced to operate with less manpower than we have ever before and the public who is already fiscally strapped and economically frustrated can not understand why we need more men just to be safe and even more men to be efficient and even more men to be effective. We have to find a solution. No company should be below NFPA recommended manpower in this country.
Im not taking the easy way out but I agree with LT McCormick here. The officer can do quick sizeup with a tool & vent if needed. The driver lay a line to the entry point and the firefighter can force entry if needed. Then the firefighter and officer advance & search on the way and knock down the fire. Take the fire away and survivablity of the victims is greater. The driver once has pressure set a ladder to the 2nd floor and announce he's done so.
We run a 1 career (3man engine). Volunteers and automatic callback pick up 2nd and 3rd away engines as well as Ladder. Never know what were going to get. Most vollies show up on Scene. So they could lay back to a hydrant and lay ladders if needed as well as become S&R.

I agree that no one should be below NFPA standard but facts are that we are so learn to adapt as safely as you can.
The basics really do not change for me, unfortunately this is getting to be the norm. The boss is definately more hands on, no more walking the 360, needs to be a jog. This is the start of issues. The officer could very easily miss something that should be noticed. If we put the fire out, many of our problems do go away, but have we gotten in to deep? The boss is under a whole bunch of pressure to call it right, I know, what about search? We do what we can on the way in. If we get a knock on the fire we can do a better job then. Know your district, know you limitations!

Stay Safe
Jeff
We see this scenario alot, where the truck is 10-15 out alot of time. What we do is have the second due engine assume what we call "inside truck" and begin searching what the fast attack team hasnt, they begin opening up the rooms and getting some venting working. It is nice that most engines here are equiped with truck tools!
Brian,

No ball busting here, I do the same thing with my 3 man engine. I do the 360 while the back-step FF stretches the line to the entry point with the driver/operator. We make entry, get water on the fire until it is confined and then I peel off to start a search. We remain in radio contact. Once water is started, the driver/operator works to establish a water supply and then throws a ladder to the 2nd floor. No specific location, just in an area where it can be easily "flopped" where it is needed. The driver/operator now starts ventilation. As you stated, this is not the safest means of getting the job done, but it is how we run based on our manpower situation. We have an SOG on this as to cover critical tasks of the "first ten minutes" of a working fire and we train on it. The first ten minutes is generally the time the duty crew is operating alone until our volunteers turn out and recalled career FF's start to arrive. Again, it's not the best or the safest, but it is what we have to work with.

Brian Arnold said:
Eric,
For me the tactics don't really change but it raises a flag in my mind that tasks are not being accomplished as quickly as I would like and if we can't make a change in fire conditions quickly my "engine boss" senses are heightened that much more. I routinely mark my entry point (usually the front door) for my nozzleman by setting the irons at the door I want us to make entry into. This comes in handy for Forcible entry since I'm used to dealing with bars quite often. I finish my size up with a hook in hand and take windows if indicated prior to our entry. If the truck is delayed I know additional ventilation will be delayed, thus my senses tell me it may be a little hotter in this one than I really care for but the job still has to be done. I'm probably going to get some ball bustin on this but I'll throw it out there anyway. After a knock is done on the fire I'll peel off my nozzleman for a quick search of adjoining rooms and if help is too far out I may do the entire structure depending on conditions. I know what all the Safety Guru's will say "work in pairs, stay together, no freelancing" but it's not unsafe as long as the crew has the training and knowlege, radio communications, discipline, etc. I won't leave a probie on the nob unless I know we've put the fire out, but once the fire is out my priorities have changed. The nozzleman knows his job, as the boss I know mine and will keep command informed of conditions and actions. Most fires in our SFD are ranch style homes that can be handled by 6-8 guys ready to go to work and not screw around in the front yard worrying about where they are going to plug into the IMS chart. Fire Attack, Search, Ventilation is routinely handled before the arrival of a truck company in many parts of our response area (660 sq. miles). It's all about getting the job done, regardless of how many firefighters we have in the first 10 min. That's a seperate discussion on some other blog. We train for the worst and hope for the best. While Hope isn't an effective strategy, our daily training is and I have alot of faith in my crew and our house.
My department like most mentioned run with 3 man engine co.'s and we have one ladder company that is staffed with a least 3 maybe 4 (on a great day). We have 3 houses with 4 companies. 3 engines (1 engine is a 75' quint) and the truck. We will operate as normal as possible. The good thing about us is that we all train in engine and ladder company operations. We can perform VES with the engine crews, the RIT team will throw ground ladders and ventilation will be done by the engine crews also. It seems as this is the sign of the times, we have to do more with less but it still has to be done. If I'm on the attack line, I do my best to search as we go and especially if I'm the back-up man.

At my volly department, we don't have a truck company. We have an engine co., rescue pumper and a tanker co. (2500 gals. with a 5 man cab--we set up so we can run it as an engine company also.). On this type of response we will have our house and 2 more stations responding. Again, we train constantly on engine/ladder co. ops. The first in engine co. will pull hose, officer does a 360 and will give assignments to in-coming companies. If our tanker is the next in company, it normally acts as our ladder company. It will perform VES, throw ladders and the engineer will assist with water supply.

newhopevfd.com--my volly's site
cityofshelby.com--my paid dept's site

Larry
Jim,
If you have your SOG on "first ten minutes" in an electronic form that you could e-mail, I would be interested in seeing it. It sounds like a great tool to build a base for our vollies.

Thanks

Jim Vena said:
Brian,

No ball busting here, I do the same thing with my 3 man engine. I do the 360 while the back-step FF stretches the line to the entry point with the driver/operator. We make entry, get water on the fire until it is confined and then I peel off to start a search. We remain in radio contact. Once water is started, the driver/operator works to establish a water supply and then throws a ladder to the 2nd floor. No specific location, just in an area where it can be easily "flopped" where it is needed. The driver/operator now starts ventilation. As you stated, this is not the safest means of getting the job done, but it is how we run based on our manpower situation. We have an SOG on this as to cover critical tasks of the "first ten minutes" of a working fire and we train on it. The first ten minutes is generally the time the duty crew is operating alone until our volunteers turn out and recalled career FF's start to arrive. Again, it's not the best or the safest, but it is what we have to work with.

Brian Arnold said:
Eric,
For me the tactics don't really change but it raises a flag in my mind that tasks are not being accomplished as quickly as I would like and if we can't make a change in fire conditions quickly my "engine boss" senses are heightened that much more. I routinely mark my entry point (usually the front door) for my nozzleman by setting the irons at the door I want us to make entry into. This comes in handy for Forcible entry since I'm used to dealing with bars quite often. I finish my size up with a hook in hand and take windows if indicated prior to our entry. If the truck is delayed I know additional ventilation will be delayed, thus my senses tell me it may be a little hotter in this one than I really care for but the job still has to be done. I'm probably going to get some ball bustin on this but I'll throw it out there anyway. After a knock is done on the fire I'll peel off my nozzleman for a quick search of adjoining rooms and if help is too far out I may do the entire structure depending on conditions. I know what all the Safety Guru's will say "work in pairs, stay together, no freelancing" but it's not unsafe as long as the crew has the training and knowlege, radio communications, discipline, etc. I won't leave a probie on the nob unless I know we've put the fire out, but once the fire is out my priorities have changed. The nozzleman knows his job, as the boss I know mine and will keep command informed of conditions and actions. Most fires in our SFD are ranch style homes that can be handled by 6-8 guys ready to go to work and not screw around in the front yard worrying about where they are going to plug into the IMS chart. Fire Attack, Search, Ventilation is routinely handled before the arrival of a truck company in many parts of our response area (660 sq. miles). It's all about getting the job done, regardless of how many firefighters we have in the first 10 min. That's a seperate discussion on some other blog. We train for the worst and hope for the best. While Hope isn't an effective strategy, our daily training is and I have alot of faith in my crew and our house.
Just got back in from a similar situation. We are a little different from most of you though. We are a small combo that has only had ft people for three years. Two guys each at both houses normally, today we had a third with us doing some ride time. My station was doing some training with the truck (tower) out back, when we got called for apt fire in 48 unit building several calls. Our normal operations are, still company brings the engine and the other brings the ambo. It was in the other stations still. The chief came running out to his buggy, I asked if we should just bring the truck since it was out, he just said do what you are supposed to do! So we had to pull in the jacks, drive around the station and back it in. Then get dressed and load in the ambo and head out, took us six mins to get out. The first due was 2 man engine, driver and one ff. We arrived and were told to pack up and get inside. Luckily we had three today. Two assisted with the hoseline and I went upstairs to search. We eventually got a two man squad and a tanker there but it took a while. This is our situation quite frequently, instead of bringing the right tools to the job it seams we are always hoping that everything is going to be ok. It worked out today, ended up being not much of a fire but a lot of smoke. Our chief pulled a box but cancelled it before we really did any overhaul. I don't know, maybe I shouldn't worry about it, but has anybody had any luck in getting the admin to change their way of thinking or is that a no win situation?

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