With the run totals going up and staffing going down never before has it been more important to have your equipment "Battle Ready." This is most important to us backward riding folks that have the responsibility of pulling the hose and advancing into the unknown.
Is your nozzle ready? Do you have a flashlight or three? Is your radio battery charged and are you even on the right channel? These are all things that should be taken care of before the alarm sounds and the hose ever hits the ground.
Preparation for the next fire begins with the clean up from the last. Did everything get placed back into position and is it ready to go? As clean up progresses our final jumpseat duty should be to check our responsibilities. The attack line, supply line, tools, air pack, thermal imager, radios, and our PPE should be reviewed after everything is picked up. What if another fire came in as you backed into station? Is your jumpseat ready to go?
Just because you're not in charge doesn't relieve you from the responsibility of preparing for the next run. In fact, it should increase your responsibility because you have less to worry about. There is no worse feeling than another crew going unprepared to the next fire on a rig that you didn't follow through with. So always remember that no matter how busy your station is or isn't, your area should be ready to go. Who knows, it might not even be you that is paying for your lack of preparation.
Stay safe everyone and thanks for the visit to the jumpseat!