When there is a member down or the chief has all companies assigned to their tasks and there are still critical assignments that need to be accomplished, the chief will assign the squad as he sees fit. These types of operations demand flexibility and integrity, not freelancing. Training and knowledge of your job, your position, and the positions of all the other members on the fireground are necessary to enable this type of flexibility and integrity.
Being part of a Special Operations Unit means never saying you can't. It means continual training, over and over, on all of the disciplines. Sometimes this seem redundant, but when the chips are down and a chief officer looks to you to get certain tasks done, you know that your company is trained and capable of completing the tasks at hand, safely and competently.
This is just some of the basics of firefighting and how the FDNY Squad works in the capacity of an engine, truck or rescue company. The next installment of "Trics of the Trade" will talk about how the squad works in the capacity of a rescue company for technical incidents.
The stuff above is only good if you train and use the techniques on a regular basis. Regular training keeps you sharp. The actions become second nature. Use them, they are just some more...Trics of the Trade.
Captain Tony Tricarico has been a member of the fire service since 1977 and was hired by the FDNY in 1981. Tony has served in the South Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Since 2002 he has been assigned to the Special Operations Command and currently serves as Captain of Squad 252.
Tony is a nationally certified instructor as well as a New York State Certified Fire Instructor, is an adjunct instructor at the FDNY Technical Rescue School, a Deputy Chief Instructor at the Suffolk County Fire Academy, and additionally instructs and lectures throughout the country on a Engine, Truck, RIT and Special Operations tactics and procedures. He has been featured in FETN and American Heat training video's on collapse, elevator operations and SCBA emergencies. He is an active member of the Mount Sinai Volunteer Fire Department on Long Island and a former Chief of Department. You can reach Tony by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org