Command Post: Riding the Right-Front Seat – Part 7

Whenever I think about my first working fire as a fire captain on Engine 15 in the Newark, NJ, Fire Department, it seems as though it happened just yesterday. My company and I encountered a heavy fire condition in a row of two- and three-story frame...


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• Are all of the windows where rescue may be necessary accessible to your ground-ladder complement?

• Are there areas where you cannot operate aerial devices because of overhead wires and/or narrow streets?

• Is your department trained and equipped to properly attack a high-rise fire?

• Can your aerial devices reach all areas of an occupancy with expansive, modern landscaping?

• If you need aerial service and do not own such apparatus, where are they located and how quickly can they respond? (Automatic mutual aid can save precious minutes during an emergency.)

• Are your personnel trained to operate aerial and ground ladders? Address this issue ahead of time through periodic drills and assessments.

Next: More on the critical “What have I got?” phase