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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber TruckSkipper's Avatar
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    Default 2 in 2 out.

    What are your thoughts on this scenario;

    Small career fire department that has a minimum staffing of 9 as follows.

    1 Battalion Chief
    1 Engine Co. with an Officer and 3 FF.
    1 Truck Co. with an Officer and 3 FF.
    1 Primary Ambulance Staffed with 1 FF from Eng. and 1 from Trk.
    1 Secondary Ambulance Staffed with another FF from Eng. and Trk.

    Responds to a little over 6,000 incidents per year of which about 70% are medical responses with the ambulances.

    It is not common but it is also not unheard of to roll up to a working fire with only 5 total people when both ambulances are out on EMS runs.

    The questions is who should staff the Initial RIC?

    2 guys on 1st line leaving an 1 FF outside to be on the IRIC. Who should be the 2nd guy, IC or Pump operator? or if no immediate rescue need to be conducted wait for more help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckSkipper View Post
    The questions is who should staff the Initial RIC?

    2 guys on 1st line leaving an 1 FF outside to be on the IRIC. Who should be the 2nd guy, IC or Pump operator?
    Not the IC and not the pump operator either if they're taking a line.

    or if no immediate rescue need to be conducted wait for more help.
    Better choice. Why isn't the truck arriving at the same time as the engine?
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  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber TruckSkipper's Avatar
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    Better choice. Why isn't the truck arriving at the same time as the engine?

    All 5 arrive at the same time, 1 in gig, 2 on Eng. 2 on Truck.

    Anyway I found my answer here http://www.iaff.org/hs/PDF/2in2out.pdf
    Last edited by TruckSkipper; 04-30-2011 at 12:54 PM.
    DKK
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckSkipper View Post
    What are your thoughts on this scenario;

    Small career fire department that has a minimum staffing of 9 as follows.

    1 Battalion Chief
    1 Engine Co. with an Officer and 3 FF.
    1 Truck Co. with an Officer and 3 FF.
    1 Primary Ambulance Staffed with 1 FF from Eng. and 1 from Trk.
    1 Secondary Ambulance Staffed with another FF from Eng. and Trk.

    Responds to a little over 6,000 incidents per year of which about 70% are medical responses with the ambulances.

    It is not common but it is also not unheard of to roll up to a working fire with only 5 total people when both ambulances are out on EMS runs.

    The questions is who should staff the Initial RIC?

    2 guys on 1st line leaving an 1 FF outside to be on the IRIC. Who should be the 2nd guy, IC or Pump operator? or if no immediate rescue need to be conducted wait for more help.
    Speaking as a person who works in a small career department that routinely responds to working fires with only 5 on-duty firefighters.........

    The "book" answer to your question is that the pump operator and the "5th firefighter" should staff the IRIC because if the IRIC needed to take action and the IC was staffing that function, then you'd effectively lose the IC role. Additionally, although not ideal, the IC could run the pump and still be able to perform command functions for the most part.

    The "real world" answer to your question is that realistically, nobody should be staffing that function. With only 5 firefighters until reinforcements arrive, you simply can't afford to "dedicate" any of them to the IRIC function. For the most part, the IC will have to function in a "working" role of some sorts initially. Assuming there is no "rescue" situation upon arrival, you'll have 1 or 2 tied up with water supply initially leaving only 2 to stretch the first line. Once the water supply is done, you may have to put another person on that line depending on how difficult the stretch. In addition to that, you will need to do some horizontal ventilation and possibly get a ground ladder or two thrown.

    Given the conclusion of several "studies" on RIT regarding how many firefighters you will likely need to rescue a downed firefighter, you are going to be much better off using the pump operator and "5th firefighter", however you need to, to support the initial fire attack crew rather than holding them "in reserve" just in case something happens.

    Once the cavalry arrives, then you can work on staffing a RIT.

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    Working in these conditions is the "norm" for us. Sadly these are the realities of a small career FD. While we completely understand the 2 in/ 2 out to be for our safety and benefit, it sets us up for greater failure when we're already fighting the odds due to poor(negligent) staffing.

    In your scenario, one we face most times on arrival, dedicating two firefighter to stay outside serves to increase the chance of needing them as the RIC, as they may not be fully supporting the "two in" crew. If the line needs another set of hands to advance around a second corner, the hoseline stops. This of course says nothing of conducting any search, since "we didn't have a known life hazard".

    Basically the rule serves to force small FD's to violate it, or violate the tenets we hold close, with regard to saving life and property. The citizens at large do not understand these principles or the respiratory standard, nor do they care as compared to their tax bill. The real issue is staffing and for small FD's will low structure fire runs, making the argument for adequate staffing is an uphill battle. One worth taking, but uphill in a snowstorm, nonetheless.

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    I'm thankful on a regular basis (for this reason) that I do not work in an OSHA state. The 2-in/2-out standard is asinine and was obviously written by a group that had little to no clue about how to put out fires. Not only is it not realistic, it puts firefighters in far greater danger than if it didn't exist in the first place.

    Roll up with three firefighters: Wait outside and let the fire grow, enter void spaces, and weaken structural members before we enter!

    Roll up with four firefighters: Stretch the small line that doesn't flow enough for the fire load because we only have two people on the line...and get caught in a flashover!

    Roll up with five firefighters: Have only one team enter so that when the fire jumps them - or they fall through the floor into the burning basement - we can go in and rescue them instead of having a backup/2nd line in operation that would prevent that in the first place!

    It is a ridiculous standard and pitiful that a group like the IAFF backs it (and that is not an anti-union statement).

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    2 in / 2 out isn't just for fires, it's for IDLH atmospheres: fires, haz mats, even CO where levels are to the point where an SCBA is needed. We as a fire service need to either get the language changed in this or in our own policies that the incident commander and a committed pump operator are not included in 2 in / 2 out. Those positions are vital to the overall operation of the incident and can not be abandoned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRUCK61 View Post
    2 in / 2 out isn't just for fires, it's for IDLH atmospheres: fires, haz mats, even CO where levels are to the point where an SCBA is needed.
    That's fine - I don't have a problem with it for haz-mat, severe CO, etc. THAT's actually the type of situations that it make sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by TRUCK61 View Post
    We as a fire service need to either get the language changed in this or in our own policies that the incident commander and a committed pump operator are not included in 2 in / 2 out. Those positions are vital to the overall operation of the incident and can not be abandoned.
    True, they are both vital positions, but many departments use "active command", with the 2nd-in company (or a chief) establishing a command post. This is real world, even if you DO have good staffing, yet not allowed by OSHA.

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    Understood, between this and 1710 or 1720 whichever your department follows, we should be able to have efficient staffing. Why departments just don't get is beyond me. If this recommendation is going to be used against us in a court of law and it's not only for our safety but allows us to be more proficient on the fire-ground then why is it so hard to get departments to follow it. I know funding is a big part but 1 dead firefighter or civilian, when the family sues us, because we operated under the national "standard" willingly and knowingly is going to cost more than it probably would to just have the adequate staffing to begin with.

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    Guy's,

    Thank you for your input but as a 27 year veteran of the fire service I am well aware of how important it is to have every swinging Johnson available to do the initial "1st 5 minutes" tasks that need to get done. The problem is that I work in a PEOSHA state and am responsible for setting policy for my department. We are currently reviewing and updating our SOG's and I was looking for input. I am aware that many small departments opt to ignore this regulation but we will not do that any longer. The law is the law and the level of protection ultimately falls on the municipality.

    For the record we now have a RIC dispatched on automatic aid on all reports of working fires.
    DKK
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    "Above all, an assignment to a truck company should be considered a promotion."

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    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckSkipper View Post
    Guy's,

    Thank you for your input but as a 27 year veteran of the fire service I am well aware of how important it is to have every swinging Johnson available to do the initial "1st 5 minutes" tasks that need to get done.

    For the record we now have a RIC dispatched on automatic aid on all reports of working fires.
    That's a step in the right direction........ My approach is a bit different, and up front, I understand that it's not popular....... I don't think small departments should exist, Not on the Fireground. There is absolutely no reason, other than Egos (Some Fire Service, most from other Government positions) for not having an adequate response to every call. I prefer to have 4 Engines, 2 Ladders, and a Heavy Rescue on Structure Alarms, and I get it, every time. My own Department has 2 engines and a Heavy Rescue, that's all. BUT, there is this thing called Automatic Aid (Referred to above) that provides that apparatus on every call, without asking. There is no good reason for not doing it.......
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    That's a step in the right direction........ My approach is a bit different, and up front, I understand that it's not popular....... I don't think small departments should exist, Not on the Fireground. There is absolutely no reason, other than Egos (Some Fire Service, most from other Government positions) for not having an adequate response to every call. I prefer to have 4 Engines, 2 Ladders, and a Heavy Rescue on Structure Alarms, and I get it, every time. My own Department has 2 engines and a Heavy Rescue, that's all. BUT, there is this thing called Automatic Aid (Referred to above) that provides that apparatus on every call, without asking. There is no good reason for not doing it.......
    Chief- I don't disagree with you and in fact, I mostly agree with you. PG has an excellent system in this respect and should be a model for a lot of other places. Based in part on some exposure to that system, I was able to make changes here that effectively double our initial structural assignment via automatic aid (although it still falls short of your 4 & 3), bringing us all of the closest resources in a given box area. However, even with this in place, our 2nd-due company could be 10-15 minutes out, due the very rural, spread out characteristics of our region. We could not operate aggressively and effectively if we had to comply with 2-in/2-out.

    How do the more rural areas of the DC region counties handle this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    That's a step in the right direction........ My approach is a bit different, and up front, I understand that it's not popular....... I don't think small departments should exist, Not on the Fireground. There is absolutely no reason, other than Egos (Some Fire Service, most from other Government positions) for not having an adequate response to every call. I prefer to have 4 Engines, 2 Ladders, and a Heavy Rescue on Structure Alarms, and I get it, every time. My own Department has 2 engines and a Heavy Rescue, that's all. BUT, there is this thing called Automatic Aid (Referred to above) that provides that apparatus on every call, without asking. There is no good reason for not doing it.......
    I am a big fan of the way you do things in Maryland. We are not quite there with our thinking, we're in a county of 650,000 people in 471 square miles, we are in a state where home rule is king.
    DKK
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    "Above all, an assignment to a truck company should be considered a promotion."

    Chief John W. Mittendorf-1998

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    It's great if you can do it, but the 2 in 2 out "rule" is based in poor literacy and worse logic. If a department as a rule delays interior attack because of 2 in 2 out nonsense, it's simply not thinking.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    That's a step in the right direction........ My approach is a bit different, and up front, I understand that it's not popular....... I don't think small departments should exist, Not on the Fireground. There is absolutely no reason, other than Egos (Some Fire Service, most from other Government positions) for not having an adequate response to every call. I prefer to have 4 Engines, 2 Ladders, and a Heavy Rescue on Structure Alarms, and I get it, every time. My own Department has 2 engines and a Heavy Rescue, that's all. BUT, there is this thing called Automatic Aid (Referred to above) that provides that apparatus on every call, without asking. There is no good reason for not doing it.......
    Chief, I wholeheartedly agree that there is no excuse for not having an adequate response to calls. Obviously, that begs the question "what is adequate?" and probably a substantial number of varying opinions of such.

    An important distinction that I think needs to be made for the discussion is that an "on-duty" response of 5 firefighters (as discussed in this thread) doesn't specifically mean a "total" response of only 5 firefighters to a structural fire.

    In my department, the initial response to calls is 5-7 FFs. When we encounter a building fire, our off-duty personnel are summoned. On average, we can hit the NFPA 1710 target for personnel, but not in the 8-minute time frame. If we will need more personnel or additional apparatus, we will call for that too.

    For the most part, the response time to the scene for the bulk of our off-duty personnel is comparable to that of our mutual aid departments, so we'd rather use our personnel first rather than what can easily be a "crapshoot" in terms of the capabilities of the personnel they bring. (This is NOT a knock on them being volunteers, just the reality of many volunteers in our area.)

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    Adequate Response - Room & Contents Fire in a 2300 sf home:

    1 attack line x 3
    1 backup/extension management line x3
    1 Vent Crew x 2
    Utility x 1
    Pump Operators x 2
    Command x 1
    Safety x 1
    RIT x 4

    IMO minimum staffing would be 17, and that is with the first in crews doing thier own overhaul.

    Does my combo department get that right now? Nightime, yes. Daytime,sometimes but probably more often than not, no.

    We'll pull maybe 8-10 folks (with 5 on-duty) in the first 5 minutes and probably get another 2-4 in the next 5.

    Volunteer department isn't even close daytime and actually, not overly close at night either. That is why I have been tasked with developing a run card system that will give us auto aid and provide for station coverage, which is something that is done infrequently in this area.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzfireSolo View Post
    It is a ridiculous standard and pitiful that a group like the IAFF backs it (and that is not an anti-union statement).
    I think the IAFF supports the 2in/2out standard because in addition to NFPA 1710, it's ammunition to use in the fight for improved staffing in the very situation we're talking about.

    What's the "better" solution to the 2in/2out compliance issue: 1) exempting the fire service from compliance and operating significantly understaffed or 2) putting enough people on scene so that compliance isn't an issue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzfireSolo View Post
    Chief- I don't disagree with you and in fact, I mostly agree with you. PG has an excellent system in this respect and should be a model for a lot of other places. Based in part on some exposure to that system, I was able to make changes here that effectively double our initial structural assignment via automatic aid (although it still falls short of your 4 & 3), bringing us all of the closest resources in a given box area. However, even with this in place, our 2nd-due company could be 10-15 minutes out, due the very rural, spread out characteristics of our region. We could not operate aggressively and effectively if we had to comply with 2-in/2-out.

    How do the more rural areas of the DC region counties handle this?

    Little known item (On the Forums) is that I am also a member of a VFD about 80 miles NW of where I live (Wife and I have a weekend getaway place there), and it is about as rural as you get in Md. They run about 150 calls per year (No Ambulance, just First Response to Priority EMS Calls). The County where they are located operates pretty much the same way, with the closest being first due, multiple stations alerted for structure Fires in an Auto-Aid system, etc. They are 4th Due in an area where a Pennsylvania VFD is First Due in Md.

    My Son is a Volunteer in the next county west of there, and they also operate the same way, in fact almost all of the State uses what you could call the same model....... A VFD about 20 miles West of my Son's place is in a unique place Geography wise, as far as the State Lines go. The First Due VFD is in Maryland, 2nd Due is from West Virginia, 3rd due is from Maryland or Pennsylvania, depending on which side of Town, and the rest of the Run card is mixed between the 3 States until a Virginia VFD shows up in the 3rd Alarm.......

    I think there are several factors that contribute to our success here, most importantly a willingness to work together among all parts of the Fire and Rescue Service. Another is the absence of Government interference, in that our VFDs are incorporated as Private Non-profit Corporations that own their buildings and equipment. "Local" Government simply has no legal way to control Fire Protection. Also, we have a Law that Requires the use of 911 as the number to call for Emergencies, and each County must operate an Emergency Communications Center which must handle all dispatching for that County. There really aren't any options, you either participate or you don't play at all......
    Last edited by hwoods; 05-03-2011 at 09:41 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Adequate Response - Room & Contents Fire in a 2300 sf home:

    1 attack line x 3
    1 backup/extension management line x3
    1 Vent Crew x 2
    Utility x 1
    Pump Operators x 2
    Command x 1
    Safety x 1
    RIT x 4

    IMO minimum staffing would be 17, and that is with the first in crews doing thier own overhaul.

    Does my combo department get that right now? Nightime, yes. Daytime,sometimes but probably more often than not, no.

    We'll pull maybe 8-10 folks (with 5 on-duty) in the first 5 minutes and probably get another 2-4 in the next 5.

    Volunteer department isn't even close daytime and actually, not overly close at night either. That is why I have been tasked with developing a run card system that will give us auto aid and provide for station coverage, which is something that is done infrequently in this area.
    SIX lines in 2000(+ -) Sq feet? Oh my achin azz. 1 inch and threequarts,If that doesn't handle it bring in the Deuce.6 interior probably that many more on vent and backup.Oh,Sorry that was PEOPLE on a line,You're STILL on the Fat side of Staffing in Reality. No WONDER you hate interior work. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 05-04-2011 at 08:29 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    SIX lines in 2000(+ -) Sq feet? Oh my achin azz.
    I think LA was referring to two lines, with three people on each.
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