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Thread: Rookie Firefighter Seeking Advice From Experienced Truckies

  1. #1
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    Default Rookie Firefighter Seeking Advice From Experienced Truckies

    I am a probie firefighter for a large urban fire department and I have been assigned to a ladder company. I am very excited about my assignment, but I have to admit that I don't know much about the intricacies of ladder company ops (always figured I would end up on an engine).

    For you seasoned truckies out there, what kind of advise/suggestions would you impart to a rookie on the job? For context...we are an aggressive fire department and run in four-man companies. We typically rely on axes for vertical ventilation of structure fires at single family dwellings.

    I'm all ears, gents...

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    You need to learn your departments way so keep asking questions of people around you and train

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    Get good at the "Truck Roll"... when the Engine gets toned out for a medical call in the middle of the night and the Truck company pulls their covers over their heads and rolls over!

    All seriousness, a lot will depend on how the ladder company is used. Train hard on throwing ladders by yourself- while ISFTA training has a 24' ladder as a two person throw, any truckie worth his salt knows that is a one man job. Get the upper body training hard, a lot of overhead work (like pulling ceiling). Learn how the company operates, what the department expects and how you can best support the hose operation based on what your department has set as tactics.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    You are on a large, urban, well-staffed, agressive department. You don't really need answers from members here at this point. All it would very likely do is steer you off course from your own department. Get your answers from the members you work with and the SOP's for your department. The guys you work with don't want to hear from you about how someone 1000 miles away does things.
    slackjawedyokel and yjbrody like this.

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    Stay in the gym and stay in shape. Study, ask question, research, and listen to your senior people. Vertical ventilation is becoming a lost art in today's building environment and downright dangerous. Serious business - stay alert. Good luck.
    CCFD615 likes this.

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    You need to listen to your Officer and the Senior members of the company which you are assigned too. Work on the weights and get you body in shape for the rigors of Truck work! I still do some work outs even I am a retired Truck Officer. Learn to throw a 24 footer by your self and know where everything is mounted and what each use is on the ride you are assigned to.
    JayDudley likes this.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    captnjak and Daniel byrne really hit it on the head.

    don't forget about the engine. spend some time every shift going over it. know where everything is. when you change hose, ask if you can practice a lead-out with that hose bed you're changing (it's got to come off anyway).

    vertical ventilation...you can never know (or learn) enough.

    congratulations and stay safe.
    JayDudley likes this.

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    Eat till you are sleepy then sleep till your hungry. To really make lasting friends with the engine crews whenever possible after you make the hole in the roof try to fill the place to at least a couple of feet of water. It really makes the interior crews job a lot easier and they will treat you extra special.

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    When I received a new member or probie, I assigned a senior member to this member to show them the ropes. Also gave the mew member a booklet of what was expected and where all the tools and appliances were mounted and what they were used for. Also assigned the new member to ride behind the officer's position and assigned the members tools to be taken on each fire run. Also every day I quizzed the member on something that was on the truck and monthly had the member tell me what was in each compartment. Sometimes during the week they would go and pulled an item that I asked for and tell me what it was and explained the use of it.

    They also had to learn the pumper which we shared the house with.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Keep your nose in the books, mouth closed, and ears open.

    Make physical fitness a priority to handle the demands of the job.

    Understand your department sogs and what the truck companies priorities are on all calls.

    Train on search and rescue, ventilation, forcible entry, extraction, ladders ect.

    Know your rig, where each tool is and it's function.

    Also be familiar to the engine as well. You might be bumped to it one shift.

    Work hard, study, and enjoy the life as a Truckie!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    Get good at the "Truck Roll"... when the Engine gets toned out for a medical call in the middle of the night and the Truck company pulls their covers over their heads and rolls over!

    All seriousness, a lot will depend on how the ladder company is used. Train hard on throwing ladders by yourself- while ISFTA training has a 24' ladder as a two person throw, any truckie worth his salt knows that is a one man job. Get the upper body training hard, a lot of overhead work (like pulling ceiling). Learn how the company operates, what the department expects and how you can best support the hose operation based on what your department has set as tactics.
    Quote Originally Posted by captnjak View Post
    You are on a large, urban, well-staffed, agressive department. You don't really need answers from members here at this point. All it would very likely do is steer you off course from your own department. Get your answers from the members you work with and the SOP's for your department. The guys you work with don't want to hear from you about how someone 1000 miles away does things.
    This is very solid advice right here....take that to the bank!
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

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