The last option is leading out from the fire to the hydrant. The company stops in front of the fire building, removes sufficient hose to reach the fire area, and than the apparatus proceeds to the nearest water source, trailing a supply line behind it. This leaves the hydrant member available to participate in the stretch. This method is popular in areas that have longer than normal stretches.
The second firefighter, riding in the jump seat behind the chauffeur, is usually assigned the nozzle. This firefighter is responsible for stretching and operating the first line stretched from that apparatus. The firefighter should be able to ?guesstimate? the length of the stretch, begin the stretch, and above all, maintain an operating length of hose in their control until the fire area is reached. This hose is then flaked out so that the line can be charged and advanced into the fire area. The third firefighter or chauffeur is responsible for getting water. In some cases this involves breaking the supply hose from the bed and hooking up to an intake and signaling the firefighter at the hydrant to start water.
The third firefighter is the chauffeur or operator. The operator?s most important job is getting the apparatus and firefighters safely to the scene. The second most important task is to establish and maintain a continuous water supply. If the attack is started with booster water, the chauffeur must make sure that other engines assigned on the first alarm know that he needs a feed at the fire building.
The chauffeur must also be able to stop at the front of the fire building, let the other firefighters take off enough hose to reach the seat of the fire, and than proceed to lay out to the nearest water source. While the chauffeur hooks up to the water source, he should supply the hand line team with water when they call for it by using the booster tank. The chauffeur should let the team know that they are on only booster water, but should also notify them when they are running low on the same, and when the pumper has switched over to the water source.
Last is our officer, the officer has many duties. They include directing the response, monitoring the radio for any information, deciding on what operation the company will do on arrival, size-up and accountability of all the firefighters under their immediate control.
Depending on type of building and difficulty of the stretch, the officer may need to become part of the hand line stretch. By doing so, the officer?s ability to locate the fire area and relay this info to the nozzle team is limited. But this will sometimes be a necessity in order to get the first line stretched and operated efficiently and effectively. The officer should also be assessing the members of the company as they make the attack on the fire. How well are things going? How are the heat levels? What air is left in the SCBAs? A good officer knows how to move the line but also when to call for relief.
Squad Company Assignments
Once the engine company is assigned as a squad, the duties of the members may change. As a squad, the company may either get assigned engine work, in which case the assignments would remain as above. However, the company may also be assigned truck company duties and a separate set of assignments must be available.
Most of the duties of the squad, while performing truck company duties, should be based on two pairs of firefighters. One group should be the officer and a firefighter with the second group being the remaining two firefighters. This second group will include the chauffeur. The ladder duties will be based on both the type of building and where in the building the fire is located.
Tool assignments should be based on the district and type building that the majority of the workload occurs in and whether the squad will operate as a first due truck or tradditional unit. After arrival on the fire ground the officer should report in to the IC and ask for an assignment. The squad, even though assigned as a special or additional unit, might still be assigned to relieve on a hand line or stretch an additional line. If assigned to perform truck duties or to augment truck companies already operating on the fire ground, and lacking a specific order, the officer must determine which operations have already been addressed. Has entry been made to the fire area, is there sufficient ventilation for the fire size, or are searches already underway?