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  1. #1
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    Default Engine Company Principles, Part I

    Prepared to Work
    "The modern firefighter comes out of his or her introductory training with basic knowledge that needs to be honed on company specifics and department tactics. For the engine company this first principle, being prepared to work, is reinforced by the riding assignments. The engine company, regardless of department type (career, combination, volunteer) should be operating with some form of riding assignment to ensure the primary mission, extinguishing the fire, is accomplished. All too often, today's three-man engine company is left to try and do the initial fireground tasks that usually require six or more personnel. Whatever the reasons for the staffing shortage, some departments rely heavliy on the first arriving engine to not only secure the primary water supply and run a line, but to also search the entire structure, ladder the structure and ventilate as well, all before the arrival of the second company..."

    Read the rest at Firefighter Behavior and discuss here or there.
    "If you put the fire out right in the first place, you won't have to jump out the window."
    Andy Fredericks,
    FDNY E.48, SQ.18
    Alexandria, VA F.D.

    Rest in Peace


  2. #2
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    Good Stuff Bill. I always get a good chuckle about how we always have the "back to the basics" drills. If we all had the basics down in the first place, it would be ingrained to muscle memory. You left out the part of how companies try to "beat" each other to the fire, or essentially try to run over the first engine (if, let's say they're understaffed), just to beat their chests.

    Oh yeah, what about us two person engine companies?

    Again, good stuff. Thanks

    Stay Safe
    Chris Polimeni
    Prince George's County FD
    Back at the Big 29er

  3. #3
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    You do what you can, right? I see it across the street sometimes. Fortunately, in your case and theirs, you have additional engine companies responding not far behind, unlike if you were on a truck in the south side and had to wait a bit longer for the next due. I presume you're referring to the multiple on Saint Barnabas as well. If so, I've seen that happen near the county line in the 4th as well, with DFRS and the three man engine company. It doesn't happen all the time so I consider it has to do with the individuals on the call.

    The position due isn't exactly about riding assignments, but it should cause us to consider how the company will operate if the first line isn't in position or stretched yet. If arriving as the second due engine company, and the first due is understaffed, then the crew of the second due engine should assist the first in getting that initial line in position. Obviously, this wouldn't apply if you had guaranteed staffing on the engine, and there are exceptions to that as well.

    Likewise, an augmented assignment giving an extra engine company on the box alarm, to assist the understaffed engine company, would be a great help. As you know, you have to wait for a chief officer to request it or for PSC to suggest it.
    "If you put the fire out right in the first place, you won't have to jump out the window."
    Andy Fredericks,
    FDNY E.48, SQ.18
    Alexandria, VA F.D.

    Rest in Peace

  4. #4
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    I wasn't referring to the fiasco on St. B, but that is a good example. In that case, if the second engine just helped the first with undoing the spaghetti, that first line would have made it to the back and put the two rooms out with no problem. Would have been under control within 20-30 mins tops. There is some things the first engine could have done better also. But adequate staffing on stretching the first line is a must.

    It would be nice if chiefs would just assign the second engine to work with teh first engine when they have two men. Then add an additional to make up for that. Of course down my way, you might end up with 8 engine companies to make the staffing of four companies. Might be a nice change to 3-1. And don't get me started on two man truck companies. The entire time I was at 17, there was one fire when we had 4 men (during the day time and the ambo met us on the scene pretty quick). The sad thing is, we almost didn't know how to act with the extra hands.

    Stay Safe
    Chris Polimeni
    Prince George's County FD
    Back at the Big 29er

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