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    Default Officer, where on the line?

    Officers, where do you try to put your self on the line if you are the officer on the initial line. Nozzle, back up, number three? Figure it is three men and you, first floor stretch single family home. please explain.
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    At work, we only ride with three on the rig, so I take the back-up position. I have enough to do without fooling with the nozzle also.
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    If we have enough guys I usually position myself in front beside the nozzle guy if not I do whatever I can to help out on the line.
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    We usually have two FF's on the line plus an officer. I try to let the other two run the hose so I can look at the bigger picture. The nozzle and back up are focused on what is right in front of them, it is my job to make sure nothing sneaks up on us. I usually have the irons as well and help with pulling in more hose.

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    I'm pertty similar to 39truck with position, but I also agree with the other guys as far as duties. First due, I'll have one hand holding a TIC, the other on the nozzlemans shoulder guiding, directing, and watching out for my crews safety. Unless necessary the officer shouldn't be working the nozzle because he should be monitoring conditions, along with the radio, and watching out for his crews safety.

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    Quote Originally Posted by len1582 View Post
    I'm pertty similar to 39truck with position, but I also agree with the other guys as far as duties. First due, I'll have one hand holding a TIC, the other on the nozzlemans shoulder guiding, directing, and watching out for my crews safety. Unless necessary the officer shouldn't be working the nozzle because he should be monitoring conditions, along with the radio, and watching out for his crews safety.
    Exactly!
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    Officers position on the line? How about outside filling out the paperwork..lol

    In reality
    3rd man when possible..directing and watching out for their crew. With TIC, radio ect as already mentioned
    2nd or backup man when necessary.
    And in extreme cases on the tip.

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    Stay Safe

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    Quote Originally Posted by bristolf36 View Post
    We usually have two FF's on the line plus an officer. I try to let the other two run the hose so I can look at the bigger picture. The nozzle and back up are focused on what is right in front of them, it is my job to make sure nothing sneaks up on us. I usually have the irons as well and help with pulling in more hose.
    Bristolf's got the right idea. When you're on the nozzle more times than not, you get the blinder effect, one thing becomes your priority, the fire in front of you... Using Bristolfs method/theory the officer can become the attack crews 360 degree eyes and ears, both for interior offensive attacks and exterior defensive operations.
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    When I was a company officer this is how I would run the crew.

    We had four and the Chauffeur on the engine.

    I would direct the nozzle and back up to the fire, get them started on their attack.

    Then I would grab the 3rd man (who's job was to force entry) and the two of us would start search.

    It usually worked out pretty good. By the time the line was most of the way to the fire, I would go back out, pull the F/E guy who was feeding line and the two of us would enter and search.

    By the time second due was on scene, fire attack was underway and search was also underway.

    I used to love being co officer.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Outside running the job. first officer becomes IC he or she needs to be seeing the whole picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAYakka View Post
    Outside running the job. first officer becomes IC he or she needs to be seeing the whole picture.

    And who is monitoring the conditions around the nozzle team? Who is judging if the nozzle teams efforts are successful? The nozzleman who can barely see and is trying to advance a hose, in some cases by himself?

    The Officer in Charge on any fire company, be it engine or ladder.. first responsibilty is to his crew. Maybe it is my warped thinking, but if everyone is going to be standing outside doing little to put water on the main body of fire, then by all means, have the first officer stand outside.

    But if his crew is going to be going to put water on the main body of fire, he needs to be right there with HIS crew monitoring for their safety. You get appointed an officer because you have shown an increased level of operational skill and understanding of basic company operations. Company officers are put in charge of companies, to lead companies. Chiefs are put in charge of companies to control companies, hence a scene.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    And who is monitoring the conditions around the nozzle team? Who is judging if the nozzle teams efforts are successful? The nozzleman who can barely see and is trying to advance a hose, in some cases by himself?
    Not all guys on the nozzle need the officer's help with this. I know I don't. Now that I'm "back in black", I don't need the 28 year old brand new LT telling me what to do with the line.

    When I was a company officer, if I had a probie on the line, then I would stick with him/her and send the two senior guys to work as a team.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    "Figure it is three men and you, first floor stretch single family home. please explain."

    Up alongside the lineman, between him and the backup. The rough scenario shouldn't require a lot of over-thought.
    "If you put the fire out right in the first place, you won't have to jump out the window."
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAYakka View Post
    Outside running the job. first officer becomes IC he or she needs to be seeing the whole picture.
    Ok..While your crew is streaching from the back step to the front door or interior hallway you can do a quick look around the side and maybe the back but then get in there and get back with your guys. Aren't you allowed to pass command to the next company?
    .
    .
    Chief KN...Even if the nozzleman is very experienced he can't see everything and knowing someone has his back will make him work better and make the push.

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    I think my views are different because of the way my brigade and service operates.
    Firstly we are all vollies so there are differing levels of training the officer may not even have BA qualifications. And anyone who responds could end up being the officer if it is as simple as them being th most experienced person available.

    And all our training/operating is based around teams of 2 working together singe it is very rare to have the luxury of enough crew to use teams of 3 or more.


    len1582 - yes we can keep passing command around but anyone above may not ba on scene who knows what kind of crew the 2nd due etc will get.

    there is a SOP that says if any more than 4 appliances are at a job then a group officer will attend and they can if needed take command but usually just end up organizing food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAYakka View Post
    Firstly we are all vollies so there are differing levels of training the officer may not even have BA qualifications. And anyone who responds could end up being the officer if it is as simple as them being th most experienced person available.
    Please don't take this as picking on you.

    But if someone can not even use a Self Contained Breathing Appartaus, how exactly do they qualify as being an officer?

    Is it any wonder why we continually see LODD's from poor tactical decisions and lack of situational awareness? Everyone points out to a lack of this fancy new gadget, or this new term....but if we are placing firefighters in charge of other firefighters, who can not even enter the structure, are we not setting ourselves up for failure?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    Please don't take this as picking on you.

    But if someone can not even use a Self Contained Breathing Appartaus, how exactly do they qualify as being an officer?
    No offense taken

    In South Australia I think the definition of officer is slightly different.

    And fortunately or unfortunately we are largely seen and historically been the states bush fire service ( i think there have been 5 or so structure fires in the last 2 years around here) hence officers don;t need BA.

    CFS is a statewide fire service.

    I fully see your points and have looked into American styles of firefighting a bit however am struggling to find a good answer. might have to ask some friends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by len1582 View Post
    I'm pertty similar to 39truck with position, but I also agree with the other guys as far as duties. First due, I'll have one hand holding a TIC, the other on the nozzlemans shoulder guiding, directing, and watching out for my crews safety. Unless necessary the officer shouldn't be working the nozzle because he should be monitoring conditions, along with the radio, and watching out for his crews safety.
    Same here

    Of course so many of my "colleagues" around here think that officers are yard ornaments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAYakka View Post
    Outside running the job. first officer becomes IC he or she needs to be seeing the whole picture.
    As a POC department, Captains and Loos ride the engine and Chief officers go direct to the scene, if I arrive on scene prior to the Chiefs I do a 360 walk around (with TIC in hand) while my guys are flaking the line and what not. I give my size up to dispatch, state that I am operating in fast attack mode and passing command to the next arriving company or Chief officer. I then do my job as interior officer. Your statement may have merit if all the engines and Chiefs show up together but thats not reality in my area. Last thing you need is an officers convention in the front yard.
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    Three man crews here... And alot aggressive Officer's so most here like the heat and fire fight and they want to call knock-down so there on the nozzle... Unless the FF is quick and can get the nozzle before them...

    Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by len1582 View Post
    Even if the nozzleman is very experienced he can't see everything and knowing someone has his back will make him work better and make the push.
    I disagree.

    What magical vision does the officer have? How on earth are they seeing something that I can't see when they are only two feet away?

    Nah, don't buy it. If the guys on the line are experienced, they don't need me up their backs telling em where to point the nozzle. With the experienced guys, I never have to push.

    Also, as i'm searching I was never that far away. I would do the quick primary searches as the hoseline pushed.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I disagree.

    What magical vision does the officer have? How on earth are they seeing something that I can't see when they are only two feet away?
    Maybe a Thermal Imaginer that can see fire moving around the nozzle team? Countless number of things that the nozzle man looses track of while operating a nozzle.

    But honestly, if thats the way you choose to operate so be it. Not going to tell you you are wrong or try and change your opinion. Just stating, that an officer that leaves his nozzle team and performs other actions, violates every tenant I have been taught about how an officer should perform.

    Quote Originally Posted by TAFDTruck5FF View Post
    Three man crews here... And alot aggressive Officer's so most here like the heat and fire fight and they want to call knock-down so there on the nozzle... Unless the FF is quick and can get the nozzle before them...

    Jason
    Wow. This is just scary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    Maybe a Thermal Imaginer that can see fire moving around the nozzle team? Countless number of things that the nozzle man looses track of while operating a nozzle.

    But honestly, if thats the way you choose to operate so be it. Not going to tell you you are wrong or try and change your opinion. Just stating, that an officer that leaves his nozzle team and performs other actions, violates every tenant I have been taught about how an officer should perform.
    Usually the TIC is being used to search for victims or fire extension. The guys on the nozzle pretty much know where the fire is. It's at the end of their stream of water.

    Do you really operate with three guys at the nozzle? Think hard back to all the times you have operated and tell me if it was really needed for the officer to give that much direction?

    Perhaps some other details would help... in my mind, i'm thinking of the SFD fire, where it's a room and contents, maybe a bedroom.

    If it's something more than the bread and butter fire, then I might be more inclined to agree with you.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    The role of the engine officer is one of great importance. He decides when to make the push, how far to advance the line, which turns to make when trying to locate the seat of the fire, maintains radio communications with the incident commander and is aware of conditions in other areas of the building, communicates with officers of other companies who may be operating above the fire floor or operating in advance of the line and can monitor conditions above and behind the nozzle team.

    While most departments manpower dictates that this officer must also help in the stretch and operation of this line, this is definitely not the ideal scenario whether it be at a single family private dwelling or not.

    These tasks cannot be efficiently or safely performed by the same person responsible for actually applying the water to the fire.

    There is a big difference between simply getting hose into the building and charging it vs. an intelligent stretch through the correct entrance, with the correct number of lengths, flaked out and in the proper position with the right number of people on it to safely advance it and make necessary turns. Available manpower has alot to do with this difference, but ensuring that this is done is the responsibility of the officer.

    If the officer is off of the line and doing another task, such as searching or forcing entry, then who is he actually supervising? And if he isn't supervising anyone, then he is really only an administrative officer back at the firehouse, not on the fireground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAFDTruck5FF View Post
    Three man crews here... And alot aggressive Officer's so most here like the heat and fire fight and they want to call knock-down so there on the nozzle... Unless the FF is quick and can get the nozzle before them...
    Sounds like they should have remained firefighters instead of fire officers.
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