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Because it is almost impossible for the nozzle team to monitor radio communications due to the noise created by the stream extinguishing the fire, the officer can monitor radio communications for critical information. The officer should maintain a position slightly higher than the nozzle team and directly behind the nozzle firefighter to communicate orders and directions.
The only way for an engine company officer to be fully aware and accountable for the crew’s well-being and actions is to be with them during high-risk operations. The only way to ensure that the fire has been located confined and extinguished is to have direct supervision over the operation. A leader’s job is to inspire his or her personnel through actions, not just words.
Congratulations – you have mastered the art of the stretch, quickly extinguishing the fire and making the fireground safer.