Trics Of The Trade: The Rescue/Pumper and the FDNY Squad Concept - Part 1

In this first part of the squad company, we will talk about the mission as an engine company, a truck company, and as a rescue company for a structure fires.What exactly is a rescue/pumper? The answer to a question like that is dependent upon where you...

He must take into account the distance from the apparatus to the building, the distance from the building entrance to the fire area, type of stairs and stretch being used to ascend the stairs and the size of the fire area. Once the proper amount of hose has been stretched, the control firefighter must disconnect the couplings and connect it to the pumper discharge. After this is complete the control firefighter will assist the chauffeur with the hydrant connection, if not complete already, and then move forward on the line feeding slack and making sure there are no kinks all the way to the door man. Once he meets up with the door man, they act as a team to relieve or assist the nozzle team as necessary.

If the squad arrives second due at an engine box they will assist with the stretching off the first line unless ordered to stretch a second line. It is of utmost importance that the first line gets stretched and placed in operation to get water on the fire. If it is a short stretch the incident commander may order the second engine to start a second line, otherwise the third engine will stretch it. The chauffeur will assure that the first engine has water and secure a second water source, taking a position at a second hydrant in case the first one is out of service.

Truck Company Duties
When the squad arrives at a working structural fire before the first or second due truck company, the company will act as a truck to fill the open position. In the case of a first due truck company the officer, forcible entry man and can man will provide forcible entry and search for the fire to facilitate the engine company's operation. Once the fire location is determined they will attempt to determine the boundaries of the fire, attempt to confine the fire and conduct searches for life.

The member riding in the "hook" position will perform outside ventilation when appropriate, dependent upon the type of occupancy, and using a portable ladder, fire escape, or other means of entry, he will enter the building to initiate a two-pronged attack in the search for fire and life.

The "roof man" will perform roof ventilation, size up the building from above and communicate any information deemed necessary to the officer. He will also carry a rope to the roof in case there are people trapped in an area where they have no means of egress and are trapped. In this case he will relay this information to the troops inside and initiate a roof rope rescue to remove these people from harms way via the outside of the building on a rope.

The "chauffeur" will secure the apparatus and operate as directed by the squad officer. He can assist on the floor above, the roof or the fire floor, where ever the officer deems he will have the greatest impact.

If the squad arrives at a working fire and the first due truck is on the scene and the second due truck is delayed, they will operate as the second due truck. This position can be precarious. According to our SOP's, the second due truck company operates on the floor above the fire. The officer and the forcible team will go directly above the fire, force entry and begin searching for life. They will check for extension and communicate to command any pertinent information they may need in making their decisions.

The "hook" will gain entry from the outside of the building on the floor above, once again, initiating the two-pronged attack and the "roof man" will join the first due "roof man" to assist in any duties not yet completed, bringing a roof saw to this position. In this situation the squad chauffeur will go to the fire floor and monitor conditions, transmitting any information that may be critical to the members operating on the floors above.

Rescue Company Operations
When the Squad arrives at a working fire and all of the companies are in their proper response positions, they are to operate as a rescue company. They will report in to the incident commander and operate as ordered. This is where the squad usually will operate using a three team concept. The teams consist of the "Squad Officer" and the "Squad Can Man" going to the fire floor, the "Squad Hook" and the "Squad Irons" going to the floor above and the "Squad Roof" and the "Squad Chauffeur" as a roof team. These teams are not a hard and fast rule but a basic SOP.

Most of the time, in the Squad I work in, the roof man will go to the roof and the chauffeur will go to the fire floor and monitor conditions to assure the safety of the troops operating above. The teams are there to support the existing assignment and fill the holes. As you know, sometimes there is more work than there are personnel. This is where the members will complete tasks not yet done to assure that the parameters of our operating procedures are fulfilled.