Do You Lay In?

It's a great debate for the loyal readers of Views From the Jumpseat. Now keep in mind that I am not an officer, nor do I play one on television.

I have been in some interesting discussions, as of late, on whether to lay your own supply line when arriving at a structural fire. I don’t believe you could find more opinions if you paid someone for them. I’ve heard everything from “what if no one shows up” to “maybe the second due breaks down.”

Take a moment and set the department policy aside. What is your preference to this question?

Keep in mind that I have seen a few fires in my day. But, I am currently not the decision maker on my engine, which is still the best job. Let’s review some pro’s and con’s.


  • You have your own water source 
  • You don’t depend on any other units for supply 
  • You don’t run out of water


  • Blocking access to the incoming units with your supply line
  • Cutting your first due crew short one person
  • You can run out of water if no supply line is established

Most of us don’t have the true staffing levels needed to have a plugman and a full attack crew available on the first-due engine, so decisions must be made. How big is the fire? Are there rescues to be performed? Can we get a quick knockdown and can we make a difference by not spending time to lay in?

I truly believe that in order to be an affective officer later in your career, you must be a student of the fire service while riding in the rear-facing seat. Mouth shut, eyes and ears open listening to the officer make their decisions will pay more dividends than any text book.

So here we go Views From the Jumpseat readers, speak up on this debate. Do you lay in or wait to be supplied by the second-due? Let’s fill up the comments box below. I would like to hear them all. Opinions, comments,  experiences, pros, cons, or truckie points of views are welcome.

Let’s hear those views...