I have been working many years in urban environments with some excellent guys, and I've worked with some guys who probably should have been serving hamburgers at McDonald's. A good engine officer will always be right next to his nozzle person. Keep in mind, when you are on the pipe, you will tend to get tunnel vision, and that's not a bad thing. I hear instructors talk about tunnel vision as if it's something to be ashamed of, but a good nozzle person will naturally develop tunnel vision because he is after one thing; knocking that fire down. So the engine officer being beside you affords the opportunity for him to take in the big picture. It also is psychologically reassuring to have someone with you, to encourage you when you are just about out of courage, put a hand on your shoulder and say, "Come on, let's go, move forward." So many engine officers want to assume command, stand in the front yard, bark orders and yell, and often they are just covering their own cowardice, they didn't want to go in that building in any way, shape, or form. We all loathed them; we despised them for this attitude. A good officer will never send his or her people any place that he or she wouldn't go themselves.
That's all for this article, in a future article we will explore the psychological aspects of the pipe.