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  1. #1
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    Default Who orderes the intial attack line?

    There has been some debate in my fire house about who should be the one to order the first line into operation at structure fires. There are two camps. One believes it is the responsibility of the company officer or chief, depending on who arrives first and has command. In this case, the IC determines the strategy (not necessarily verbalized, of course) and orders the line into operation accordance to the tactics he chooses.

    The other camp believes that the nozzle firefighter should chose which line to pull, and where to stretch to, assisted by the driver/operator. The feeling is that he has been to enough fires and should know which line to pull and where to stretch it to. The other reasoning is that this allows for the IC to focus on "other" stuff, such as his 360, etc..

    In my opinion, the correct selection and placement of the initial attack line is crucial at most fires we go to. At many fires, this is pretty straightforward, and at some, it's not. Who's decision should this ultimately be left up to? The nozzleman, or the officer/IC?


  2. #2
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    Default First Line

    Really??????? It has always been the first arriving engines officer makes the call. I have NEVER seen it where the firefighter makes the call...unless there's no officer on the engine.
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  3. #3
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Default

    The IC, whether it's a chief/officer who is on scene before the engine or is the OIC of the rig, has the responsibility of the line selection & placement. The firefighter needs to be worried about the tactics, not the strategy at that point.

    In your example that the chief is already on scene, it's ridiculous to think that it would be the FF's role to choose the handline. The REASON that the chief is making the 360 is to get a better understanding of the conditions present, which is a factor in deciding which caliber handline to deploy, and where to place that line.

    I really don't know that I've ever heard of FF's whining because they didn't get to select which line to use....unless perhaps the officers and/or chiefs are poor decision makers, but that's a discuss for another thread.
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  4. #4
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    The engine officer. Period.
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    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


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  5. #5
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    Default

    Like the rest said, the officer of the first engine makes the call. Per our SOP, that officer is to take command and therefore must make the decision. If for some reason he decides to defer command to the next engine or officer, he still makes a decision of which line to advance, or not to advance a line.

    Most of the time the crew already knows what to do and is prepared to advance a 1 3/4 crosslay unless ordered to do otherwise.

  6. #6
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    The first engine officer's call. If it's going to be an interior attack, usually they'll pull the 1.75" and the other lines will get pulled when the next engine gets on scene. A defensive attack will usually get the 2.5" pulled by the first engine and the 1.75"s will be pulled by the next engine.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber ffmedcbk1's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    The IC, whether it's a chief/officer who is on scene before the engine or is the OIC of the rig, has the responsibility of the line selection & placement. The firefighter needs to be worried about the tactics, not the strategy at that point.

    In your example that the chief is already on scene, it's ridiculous to think that it would be the FF's role to choose the handline. The REASON that the chief is making the 360 is to get a better understanding of the conditions present, which is a factor in deciding which caliber handline to deploy, and where to place that line.

    I really don't know that I've ever heard of FF's whining because they didn't get to select which line to use....unless perhaps the officers and/or chiefs are poor decision makers, but that's a discuss for another thread.
    ditto.
    Commands responsibility (stratagey), down to the company officer (tactic), and then firemen (task) should do as they are told.
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  8. #8
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    In our department the Chief or OIC will give instructions to the first due.

    I think it's mostly because they feel they have to say something over the radio. There aren't that many choices.

    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.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Around here, whoever takes command tells incoming apparatus (and we dont call them on the radio and ask for orders, that has to be one of the most frigging annoying things in the universe...Any good IC worth his weight knows what is coming in on the assignment, and if he doesn't, he will ask....) what their tactical objective will be i.e. "Engine 11, get a handline to the second floor" or "Engine 14, get a line to the basement."

    The Company Officer will then determine which line to take. Whenever I was the Engine Company Officer, I always erred on the side of caution- if I see a poopload of fire, I'm taking a deuce and a half.
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  10. #10
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    The IC should say what he wants accomplished (Strategy) - the company officer should decide how (tactics) and the fireman do the job (Task). I know it doesnt always work this way (espically in the early stages) , but it should be a system to work at.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    The engine officer. Period.

    ditto. Thats why we have officers on the rig, to make decisions and lead.

  12. #12
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    ďAs the first line goes, so goes the fire!Ē first due officer
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    Forum Member len1582's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    The engine officer. Period.
    Definately...Even if the chief's there many times he won't say anything to the first due engine officer. The captain sees what has to be done, makes his decision, and gets his company in motion while the chief's doing a size up looking at the big picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    ditto. Thats why we have officers on the rig, to make decisions and lead.
    Absolutely. There's no need for a chief to micromanage and tell an engine officer to bring a line into a building and fight the fire..

    The officer tells the nozzleman what to do, not the other way around.
    He can point out something the officer may not see, but the officer is the boss.

  14. #14
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    First in engine officer. One would hope a Lt. with 5 yrs. on would heed the "suggestions" of a 20-yr. veteran FF. The keyword though, responsibility, lies with the officer.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

  15. #15
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    It would be great if we had an officer on the first due engine.

    With a volunteer company it's not always possible and by the IC ordering it, everyone is on the same page and there are no problems.
    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.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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  16. #16
    Forum Member CGITCH's Avatar
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    The first due engine officer of course states what attack line is pulled, or not pulled. In a volunteer case, whoever is sitting in the officer seat still makes the call, although suggestions should be taken very openly in the situation.

  17. #17
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    Here our sop's or whatever you call them, let's everyone riding an engine know where they are supposed to be, with a line, in relationship to their order of dispatch, for every building they run. This eliminates tons of radio traffic and most freelancing.

  18. #18
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    "Command to 4201, Engine 1"
    "Command to 4305, Truck 1"

    2 short statements gets me an engine with a water supply and handline attacking the fire, interior search team of 3, OV, and roof man.

    If the address is residential, attack line will be 1 3/4" most of the time. Heavy fire showing, 2 1/2" will be requested by command prior to engine arrival.

    Commercial address will be 2 1/2" unless changed to 1 3/4" by command.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    In the volunteer world it is obviously different. Though, there should be a structure with command and control. The IC will make the overall decisions, officers will carry out the tactical parts of those decisions and like it was said above the firefighters will care out those tasks. How many times have lines been stretched to the wrong portions of the house or even the wrong house/apartment. To me, having some FF make the decisions without a command structure is freelancing to me. The officer should be doing that. Is this FF maintaining contact with IC of his/her location? What if there is just smoke showing? Is the firefighter going to order his line blindly into a house w/o knowing the location? A lot of times the chief or IC at volunteer FD's will be the ones doing the walk around since they are the ones on scene first and don't have the luxury of a 1st due truck's OV. They will def have a better picture of what is going on and will better formulate a successful plan of attack. I wouldn't even think twice about making this decision over the chief unless he was a complete idiot. You don't see soldiers rushing out of a fox hole to make a frontal assault w/o getting the proper intelligence or instructions. It would just spell disaster. With all this said there should also be no micromanaging, but we all know it happens. The crews coming in should know what they are going to and what they should be prepared to do. Stay low and stay safe.
    Last edited by agaudio; 06-21-2010 at 09:04 AM.

  20. #20
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agaudio View Post
    In the volunteer world it is obviously different...
    We are a volunteer department.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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