Last month, we began covering an amazing rescue and close call by FDNY Firefighter Peter Demontreux. As is evident by his actions and the end result of this fire, in addition to his high level of training (as provided both initially and ongoing by the FDNY), there are numerous...
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• Truck company officer – The main jobs of the officer at the fire scene are to keep track of the company and lead the members into the fire. The officer is part of the forcible-entry team that gains access and locates the area of fire so it can be put out by the engine company. The officer constantly communicates conditions to the incident commander.
• Engine company officer – The main jobs of the officer at the fire scene are to keep track of his company and lead them into the fire. The officer must ensure the new firefighters (“probies”) are teamed with more experienced firefighters. The officer constantly communicates conditions to the incident commander.
• Engine company chauffeur (ECC) – The engine chauffeur is in charge of driving the engine and controlling the pump. Firefighters are counting on the engine to deliver water they need to put out the fire because as has been said, more lives have been saved on the fireground due to properly positioned and flowing hose streams than any other task.
• Door/control firefighter – Firefighters in the door/control position work with the chauffeur to connect the supply line to the hydrant. Most stretches are to apartments in multi-story buildings, so the door/control is also responsible for estimating how many lengths of hose it will take to get the water from the engine to the fire and to keep the hose free of knots and kinks.
• Nozzle firefighter – At the scene of a fire, the first job of the firefighter in the nozzle position is to ensure the nozzle is hooked up to the first length of hose; FDNY standard operating procedure (SOP) is that the nozzle is pre-connected to the first length. The nozzle firefighter stretches the first length of hose with the nozzle attached via the route and to the location as ordered by the officer. When the engine officer calls for water the nozzle firefighter must bleed the line of any trapped air. When the team is in place, the nozzle position advances the hose into the burning building/apartment.
• Backup firefighter – When the water is turned on, the hoseline is difficult to control. The backup firefighter is positioned like a human brace behind the shoulder of the firefighter in the nozzle position. The backup firefighter becomes the main “push” of the hoseline and helps to alleviate most of the weight and pressure for the nozzle firefighter.
WILLIAM GOLDFEDER, EFO, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a 33-year veteran of the fire service. He is a deputy chief with the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department in Ohio, an ISO Class 2 and CAAS-accredited department. Goldfeder has been a chief officer since 1982, has served on numerous IAFC and NFPA committees, and is a past commissioner with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy and is an active writer, speaker and instructor on fire service operational issues. Goldfeder and Gordon Graham host the free and noncommercial firefighter safety and survival website www.FirefighterCloseCalls.com. Goldfeder may be contacted at BillyG@FirefighterCloseCalls.com.