To save time and energy on the fireground, the Tenafly, NJ, Fire Department instituted a program of installing firefighting position signs on all apparatus many years ago.
These inexpensive plastic signs describe the position that the firefighter will take on the fireground as well as his or her function, portable radio designation, the tools to be carried and the other firefighter(s) he or she will work with.
Each firefighter is equipped with two tools to force entry, ventilate or open up walls and ceilings to check for fire extension. Tenafly firefighters are assigned to one of six companies for administration, cleanings, standbys, mutual aid and drills. Crews are assigned to two engines, two ladders and two rescues.
When an alarm is received the policy is first in, first out. If a firefighter who is assigned to the second ladder company but is the first person into the firehouse, he or she will ride the engine out the door.
The plan is simple. Whichever seat you sit in, you do what the sign says. It eliminates any guesswork or lapse of memory in time of stress or after being awakened.
The tool assignment is also vital in case a firefighter gets into trouble. The firefighter can utilize the being carried tools to breach walls or force entry to save himself or herself.
All firefighters are to wear self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and personal alert safety system (PASS), and most are issued personal flashlights. Each team has a portable radio.
FAST Team Signs
Since the development of a Firefighter Assist and Search Team (FAST), the department responds with Ladder 1, a rear-mounted aerial ladder, when it is requested as the FAST team. Additional tools were acquired for the FAST team. New, different-color signs with the title "FAST Team" were added. Besides the normal tools needed masks, PASS devices and flashlights the following are strictly for the FAST team:
Ladder 1 - Officer: Hydraulic door opener, red tarp for tools.
Ladder 1 - Driver: Generator operations, lightline.
Ladder 1 - Forcible Entry: halligan, Flathead axe, spare air cylinder.
Ladder 1 Outside Vent - Six- foot hook, halligan, spare air cylinder.
Ladder 1 Can Man - Water extinguisher, six-foot hook, search rope.
Ladder 1 Roof - Six-foot hook, power saw.
The FAST team reports to the incident commander and firefighters place a red tarp, usually in front of Exposure 2 or B, to keep all of our tools and equipment together before, during or after operations.
Engine Companies 1 and 2; Reserve Engine 3
Engine 1 Officer - Hose team placement-radio.
Engine 1 Driver - Pump operations-radio.
Engine 1 Hydrant Man - Hooks five-inch hose to hydrant, stretches second handline-radio.
Engine 1 Break Man - Breaks five-inch hose and gives to driver or connects to pump intake, stretches second handline.
Engine 1 Nozzleman - Stretches first handline-radio.
Engine 1 Nozzleman - Stretches first handline.
Ladder Companies 1 and 2
Ladder 1 Officer - Supervises inside team, forcible entry, ventilation, search, check for fire extension and roof operations. Tools: Mask, flashlight, officer's tool, hydraulic door entry tool.
Ladder 1 Driver - Apparatus placement, serial operations-assist outside team, accountability tags, radio.
Ladder 1 Forcible Entry - Inside team, mask, flathead axe, halligan, radio.
Ladder 1 Can-Man - Inside team, mask, six-foot hook, water extinguisher.
Ladder 1 OV - Outside Vent-Outside team, six-foot hook, halligan tool, radio.
Ladder 1 Roof Man - Outside team, roof operations, mask, power saw, pickhead axe, radio. Search operations; six-foot hook, flat head axe, radio.
Rescue Companies 1 and 2
Rescue 1 Officer - Supervise primary/secondary search operations. Work with search team charlie, radio.
Rescue 1 Driver - Radio, generator-outside lighting and portable lighting.
Rescue 1 Search Team Alpha - Mask, halligan, light, radio. Fire floor.
Rescue 1 Search Team Alpha - Mask, flathead axe, light. Fire floor.
Rescue 1 Search Team Bravo - Mask, halligan, light, radio. Floor above.
Rescue 1 Search Team Bravo - Mask, flathead axe, light. Floor above.
Rescue 1 Search Team Charlie - Mask, six-foot hook, water extinguisher, works with officer where needed.