From Captain David Konys
Dealing with manpower issues is a problem that I deal with at the department where I work and where I volunteer. I am always looking for ways to maximize our manpower and it starts on the training ground. I usually have a three man engine crew and when we are first in on a working first alarm we are stretched thin, so we have to train to be proficient and everyone knows their roles. We start by talking about what each person’s roles are and make sure they understand it. During training and drills is the time for questions, not on the fire ground. Don’t just assume they know, make sure they do.
You can use a vacant house in your district, drill tower, or even your engine house. (This is what I use at my departments but make sure it works for your department and department SOG’S)
The Back Stepper:
Practicing this drill and making sure everyone knows their role will make it go smoothly when you have to put it to use. Manpower is an issue that we have to deal with and practicing on situations like this is a great way to maximize it to the best of our abilities. These roles may vary depending on the situation so talk about it and what changes may come up. Always train like it’s the real thing and train hard.
(Try mixing it up by rotating through all the positions when doing this drill so that everyone knows what the roles consist of and how they vary.)