What Are You Thinking?

Most departments have a structured order in which apparatus is dispatched and how it should be positioned according to its duties. At times, when companies are on the air, or on the street, when an alarm is dispatched, the order of response is changed...

"looks like just a porch off"
"come on, get in there already!"
"where is the water?!"
"geez, he pulled the 300' for this?"
"where are my gloves?"
"okay, a quick dash and then right on in"
"man, are we ever gonna eat tonight?"

The battalion chief pulled over just before the entrance of the cull de sac. He had heard the first due engine officer report that the bulk of the fire had been knocked and that they were checking for extension. Heading down the street he notices the driver of Ladder 7 running past him in the opposite direction. The familiar smell of a house fire fills the air. He comes up behind Engine 2 at the hydrant. "Strange," he thinks to himself "they were third due. I didn't hear them mark up ahead of the second due." Passing Engine 2, the chief is passed by the driver of Ladder 7, this time running towards the fire building, carrying a ladder. Nearing the fire building he can see Engines 7 and 3 both in the front. Up ahead he can see Rescue 2 has their rig beached in a neighbor's front yard.

As the battalion chief continues his size up he notices two lines have been run into the house. The fire was in an upstairs bedroom. The officer of the second arriving engine started the command process and can be seen in the front yard. As he approaches he hears the progress report on his handi-talkie.
"Uh, Engine 3 to Communications, we uh, we had a small fire, the fire is knocked and we're checking extension. Have everyone else not on the scene stage on the cross street."

The dispatcher attempts to acknowledge this but is immediately cut off by another voice on the fireground.
"Engine 3 lineman to the lieutenant. Hey Jimmy, tell 'em they don't need to be openin' the roof on this place, we got it knocked."

The battalion chief stops for a moment, taking it all in, and notices no sound of a power saw, nor any ladders to the roof, save one single ladder to a burnt out second floor window. He sees the driver that just passed him raising a second ladder to a different window. "Well, at least they haven't burnt it down." he thinks, trying to reassure himself. Approaching the lieutenant of Engine 3, his eye catches the trace of smoke from around a gable vent on the roof on the side of the house. Turning to the lieutenant he asks, "Who do you have checking the extension?"
"Uh, that should be Ladder 7 chief, we're working on it. It was just a room and contents fire."
"Okay" the chief says, "how about you go on in and see what else they need inside for me, okay?" The lieutenant from 3 passes the chief his initial command sheet and makes his way inside the house.

The chief looks over and sees the crew of Rescue 2 in the yard standing ready as the rapid intervention team. They have an assortment of tools in a stokes basket, and while at first glance they appear ready to go, closer look at the face of each member shows disgust and contempt for having to stand outside. As the chief looks at the command sheet, he contacts Communications advising them that he now has the command and will provide a progress report shortly. As soon as he finishes, the officer of Engine 7 calls for him.
"Engine 7 officer to Command; bring all units in to the fire building. I have fire in the attic and need the roof opened up!" Circling the wagons, the battalion chief puts the companies to work.
"Command to Communications, I have extension into the attic area of a two story single family dwelling. Have the units currently staged, report in to the command post and start an additional one and one. I'll get back to you with the particulars in a moment."
"Command to Rescue 2, open the roof as well and get ladders up for egress."
"Command to Ladder 9, you are the RIC, report to the command post."
"Command to Ladder 7, you are the interior sector, I need a primary search report."

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