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I am just looking for opinions on a question I have with manpower..

Is it better to have a fully staffed Engine arrive at a house fire (fully staffed meaning 3 firefighters and one Captain) or have a 3 man Engine (1 Captain and 2 firefighters) with one man on the truck to arrive on scene 30 seconds to a minute later?

I think arriving with one fully staffed apparatus is better than showing up with 2 pieces of apparatus that are understaffed. I have many reasons for thinking this way I would just like to hear others thoughts.

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I thought that I saw this in a post on FE, but I can't find it it the short attention span that I have.

http://www.firefighternation.com/forum/topics/nist-releases-report-on

PDF format, around 22 megs of download. Alot of the usual NIST stuff about how they arrived at the numbers, but HUGE info on staffing and how it effects operations and safety on the fire ground.
We have 7 man crews, 2 engines out of one station. At full manpower we arrive with 7, normally this is six due vacations, etc. I would enjoy 5 on each engine, but in my world most of the time 3 members are it. The only thing that will keep us proficient is training, we have automatic aid, they show up with 3 as well. This is the Fire Service of today!

Train and Be Safe
My personal opinion on this is the loaded engine option. I have always felt that more can be accomplished with one fully staffed piece of equipment than with your manpower broken up into several pieces of equipment. One of the places I work has this issue and it has yet to be solved. The way I look at it is if your department has a good working mutual aid agreement with your surrounding departments, and also has a call in option for off duty FF then by all means take all your personnel on your first out engine and trust the system for the rest of your equipment. Not to mention if you're responding an engine, ladder, etc. it is much more dangerous to do it with only one set of eyes. Hope you get the answers you need.

Be safe, train hard
D.Rice
I just wish I could have all of your staffing. I am staffed with 2 (myself and a firefighter). Sad state that this is all we get in this day and age. Makes it really tough to do the job of 3 or 4 people. Hard saying not knowing your department but I would prefer the fully staffed apparatus myself....shocking, I know.

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