1. #1
    hylo
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post American firefighters, explain yourselfs!!!!

    Hi Guys,
    Were do I start?? I have been enjoying the forums for the last six months or so. But now I have to expand my knowledge, I need to know what I am reading.

    1) Do you guys specialise, ie, hose crew, ladder crew, rescue crew etc etc. and if so why??
    2) If you do pick a certain type of crew to be on, what makes that decision for you? Do the fitter, younger guys become hose crews leaving the guys with the long service to pick up the easier spots, ( if such thing exists)??
    3)How are your engines manned? and in the citys how are your stations manned?.

    The answers to these questions will bring more questions to my mind, but that will do for now.
    What I am really trying to find out is the difference, between American and European firefighting,(apart from the size of you engines).

    Look forward to hearing from all of you,
    stay safe guys
    Hylo.

  2. #2
    Romania
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    1) Do you guys specialise, ie, hose crew, ladder crew, rescue crew etc etc. and if so why??

    Yes, all of our departments around here (in the valley of the sun) have two basic types of companies, engine companies and hose companies.

    Engine companies specific duties include: Laying supply line, streaching hoselines, and pumping hose.
    Ladder companies specific duties include: Forcible entry, elevated master streams, ladder access, ventilation, opening concieled spaces, and salvage and overhaul.

    Both Companies Share EMS treatment, Search and Rescue (although this is a more engine specific fuction here), and other basic manpower fuctions.

    We also have specialty copmanies for EMS transport, Hazardous Materials Response, Technical Rescue, Light and Air, Rehab, as well as resource companies for extra hose, foam, salvage/overhaul equipment, etc. These units are typically manned by a single driver or co-manned by an engine/ladder company.

    THis specializing allows our large system to provide a higher level of service. All of our firefighters are trained to the same basic level and can fill a spot in either an engine or ladder, but additional OJT is given for members permenantly assigned to a specific company.

    2) If you do pick a certain type of crew to be on, what makes that decision for you?

    Personal preferance dictates what you end up on, I work for a single engine department, so I am on an engine, I am also a paramedic so I would be assigned to an engine in almost all of the other departments around here. Of course there are some people that aren't suited to one type of company and are well suited to the other for whatever

    3)How are your engines manned? and in the citys how are your stations manned?.

    Our system (I say system because iot envolves an automatic aide consortum) has most engines manned with 4 firefighters (1 being a company officer) with a few manned with 3 and a few downtown engines manned with 5. Ladders are all the same with many more manned with 5 firefighters and a few with 6. Rescues (ambulances) are manned with two firefighters . All Firefighters are trainied as EMT-Basics and ALS (advanced Life Support) companies have one or two (more commonly two) paramedics assigned to their units. Fire runs First response EMS and provides the ALS level care, some FDs utilize their own transport capiblities and other use private EMS.

    Well Thats the basic overview.

    ------------------
    Alan Romania, CEP
    romania@uswest.net
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.



  3. #3
    Ledbelly
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Hylo...Before I start, I'll put your questions back to you; from the sounds of it yall have some differences that we probably don't understand.

    Great question(post) by the way.

    Ours is a little different than Alan's, but he did cover the main points.
    1)Right now, we're not 'specialized' except for the Rescue crew and that only because our Rsq has a lot of different tools/equipment that aren't on every engine: jaws, air bags, cascade system, ropes/high angle equipt.
    We are (supposedly) about to get a new aerial and so will eventually have some "truck" crews. (see Alan's ladder co duties) Currently, any "ladder co duties" are spread about through the responding engines... 1st eng might be doing forcible entry or ventilation while another is laying/pulling hose or vice versa.
    We also do EMS and run the ambulances, but probably 75% of Dept are now medics, so engine crews backup/assist on EMS calls. I guess technically that's a specialty, but to us it's just everyday routine. I really can't say "Why?" ...except that (as I understand it) in other depts that have engines and trucks responding to same incident, job duties kind of go with the capability/equipment of that piece of apparatus. And like Alan sez... a lot of the training is reciprocal, but Truckies probably spend more time studying forcible entry/ventilation and engines more emphasis on stretching/operating hosestreams.

    2)Here, manning Rsq is pretty much "by request"... the crews at that station learn all the equipt. and anyone else showing an interest is pulled through there to be familiar with it so they can be a relief of regular crew. As I understand the new Truck will be staffed by request also...don't know what's gonna happen if everybody wants to be on it?!

    3)We have 8 stations in the City and 1 at the airport responsible for ARFF. (Those crews are specialized and have trained relief personnel) In town, engines are manned by a Capt, a Driver and a firefighter. (the quint which may have 2,3 or 4 FFs on it depending on daily manning) Ambos run 2 medics; Rsq has a driver and FF.
    5 of stations have ambulances; in the event of structure fires, the medics will respond/perform as FFs. Sta5 has an engine and the Rsq. 2 of stations have engines only. The 5 ambulance stations are spread around quadrants of the City, Sta5 is centrally located.
    In general, all stations have a Captain who is in charge of that station. Battalion Chief at Central Station is default IC and in charge of entire shift on particular day. Majority of the stations are home to 5 people, Central will have from 8-12 and two staions have 3 people. (There are 4 guys at airport)

    Hey I look forward to hearing what yall do different across the pond.

    Watch yer topknots,
    Lee

  4. #4
    SBrooks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Hey Hylo, fair is fair, explain YOURSELVES!

    My department runs engines, ladders, and squads.

    (forgive me for being wrong, but it's pretty close)

    Engine Company functions:
    1. Rescue
    2. Fire Containment / Exposure Protection.
    3. Water Supply
    4. Fire Extinguishment
    5. Overhaul.

    Generally...they pull a hose and Locate, Confine, and Extinguish the fire. If there are people in the building, the line (hose) goes between the occupants and the fire, protecting their paths of egress. If there isn't the line generally attacks from the unburned portion of the building.

    Engines typically stop at a hydrant on the way to a fire, usually within 400' of the fire building, drop a bundle of hose at the hydrant, which is above ground, and drive to the fire. The bundle of hose has a loop to be attached to the hydrant, which pull the hose out of the engines hose bed as it moves toward the fire. Another engine, arriving later, will connect to the hydrant and the hose and pump water to the engine at the fire building. Sometimes the engine that 'lays out' is called the wagon, and the engine that stays at the hydrant is called the pumper. Some departments leave a ff at the hydrant to attach the supply hose to the hydrant and to turn the hydrant on when the engine is ready for it. These departments typically have Large Diameter Hose (LDH), which is 4, 5, or sometimes 6" in diamter. My department has 3" hose. I believe New York City has 3.5" supply hose.

    The 'Line' or attack hose that they pull into the building is typically stored in a crosslay, and folded such that a firefighter can put the hose on his shoulder and have it 'flake out' as he walks toward the building. A crosslay a is a transversely mounted hosebed located immediately behind the cab and above the pump. Larger sizes and amounts of hose may be stored in the main hose bed, located at the rear of the engine. The most traditional sizes of hose are 1 1/2" and 2 1/2" in diamter, though 1 3/4" is probably the most popular now. 2" hose is fairly common as well.

    The nozzle at the end of the hose is also sometimes called 'the knob', 'the pipe', or 'the tip'. Typically it is a pressure regulating nozzle set at 100 psi discharge pressure and capable of delivering water in a straight stream, a wide (60 deg) fog, and anything in between. Constant flow nozzles (without the pressure regulating feature) are common as well. Many manufacturers are offering pressure regulating nozzles or 'automatic nozzles' set at lower pressures 50, 65, 75 psi. Smoothbore nozzlees are also still popular. Look at other forums to see the posts regarding the differences.

    Traditionally a full service pumper is called a 'triple combination' pumper---it has 1. a pump 2. a tank, and 3. hose. Nowadays more equipment is carried, notably EMS equipment, usually some forcible entry equipment, a 14' roof ladder, a 24 or 35' extension ladder, maybe a fan and salvage equipment, sometimes hydraulic rescue tools.


    Ladder Company functions include:
    1. Search & Rescue
    2. Ventilation
    3. Forcible Entry
    4. Laddering
    5. Exposure Protection (Elevated Streams)
    6. Checking for fire Extension
    7. Utility (gas & power) control
    8. Salvage
    9. Overhaul

    Our trucks aerial devices are either 'ladders' or 'towers'. Ladders are similar to your turntable ladders, except you only rarely see ours much longer than 100'. Ours also come in mid mount and tractor drawn versions. A mid mount and tractor drawn have the turntable forward of the ladder, behind the cab. Rearmount ladders are probably the most common. Our towers are similar to our ladders, except that they are built stronger and have a platform at the end. They also come in rear mount or mid mount designs. Trucks typically are staffed with 4 or more firefighters and equipped with many lights, cords, ground ladders, fans, salvage equipment, saws, torches, hand tools, etc. My department splits up into two or three teams...One team of two typically operates the aerial to make rescues and go to the roof, the second team takes hand tools into the building to perform search & rescue. If staffing permits, a third team will throw ground ladders.

    Rescue Squad functions are similar to truck functions, but there are no elevated streams, and squads typically don't carry anymore ladders than your average pumper. The squad's primary function is Search & Rescue, but it is also a resource for every tool you might possibly need at a fire or other emergency.

  5. #5
    Paul Grimwood
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    There are major differences between USA and Europe in terms of the operational approach to structural firefighting. However, there is also much common ground. In relation to the variance in logistics and organisation of response you might want to refer to my book at http://www.firetactics.com/FOG%20ATTACK.htm
    which details these differing approaches in great detail.....Hylo - all proceeds of the sales go to UK Burns Victims Fund.....PS -I'm coming to Dublin soon!!

    ------------------
    www.firetactics.com


  6. #6
    resqb
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I prefer to specialize in rescue, mostly because of the diversity of the operations. Secondly because of the total runs. The rescue company in my paid department is the busiest and goes to every fire alarm in addition to all of the "odd jobs" (I read that somewhere, believe thats a term from somewhere in Europe).
    How did I make that decision? In my dept. it is union bidding procedures. The most senior man that wants the open position gets it. Yes and no to the senior guys taking the easier spots. Some choose the busy companies.

    Now Hylo, please answer some of these questions yourself!!!!!!

  7. #7
    hylo
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Thanks guys for some excellent answers, things are clearer now, I still have more questions but for now, here is my side of the story.
    Dublin has 11 fulltime stations, a central station, a ring of two pump stations around the city,and futher out another ring of one pump stations. All stations have one ambulance, which serve as the main emergency ambulances for the city.
    The two pump stations also have a specialist appliance, foam tender, rescue tenders, platforms, water tankers and so on.
    The manning at the two pump stations are driver/pump operator, an officer,and three men in the back.
    The one pump stations are the same, except they carry four men in the back.
    Each ambulance is manned by two firefighters, trained too emt-b level, currently the only standard allowed in the country.
    We work at fires the following way, crews in the back are numbered 2,3,4,5. 2+4 are the crew responsible for entering buildings to fire fight or rescue. 3+5 in the meantime make down to the hydrant,(which are under ground in Ireland and Europe as a whole.) in other words they are responsible for securing the supply of water, hydrant, suction lift, whatever it takes.
    All our drills, ladder drills for example are set down in the brigade orders. The 45ft ladder for instance is a four man make down, each man with a set task, this continues through in all our procedures.
    This is now we are trained at recruit level, on the fireground, it just happens, the work gets done, but the drill that never changes is that 2+4 are the first attack on the fire, they never enter alone and never break contact. 3+5 must secure the water.
    We do not specialise, for instance, if I transfer back to my headquaters, I will be expected to man the ladder (turntable) or man the central phones.
    You do what you are due. My next day and night in work will see me on the ambulance.
    I will then have about 3 days and three nights before my next ambulance duty. In the meantime I will do one of the postions on the engine.
    The engines turnout to everything and are expected to deal with everything, our rescue has more equipment that is not carried on a standard engine. Man am I going on too much...
    Any way thats the main bits, if I left any thing out, tell me and I will get back on it.
    Thanks for the help guys and keep it comming.
    Hylo.

  8. #8
    hylo
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Thanks guys for some excellent answers, things are clearer now, I still have more questions but for now, here is my side of the story.
    Dublin has 11 fulltime stations, a central station, a ring of two pump stations around the city,and futher out another ring of one pump stations. All stations have one ambulance, which serve as the main emergency ambulances for the city.
    The two pump stations also have a specialist appliance, foam tender, rescue tenders, platforms, water tankers and so on.
    The manning at the two pump stations are driver/pump operator, an officer,and three men in the back.
    The one pump stations are the same, except they carry four men in the back.
    Each ambulance is manned by two firefighters, trained too emt-b level, currently the only standard allowed in the country.
    We work at fires the following way, crews in the back are numbered 2,3,4,5. 2+4 are the crew responsible for entering buildings to fire fight or rescue. 3+5 in the meantime make down to the hydrant,(which are under ground in Ireland and Europe as a whole.) in other words they are responsible for securing the supply of water, hydrant, suction lift, whatever it takes.
    All our drills, ladder drills for example are set down in the brigade orders. The 45ft ladder for instance is a four man make down, each man with a set task, this continues through in all our procedures.
    This is now we are trained at recruit level, on the fireground, it just happens, the work gets done, but the drill that never changes is that 2+4 are the first attack on the fire, they never enter alone and never break contact. 3+5 must secure the water.
    We do not specialise, for instance, if I transfer back to my headquaters, I will be expected to man the ladder (turntable) or man the central phones.
    You do what you are due. My next day and night in work will see me on the ambulance.
    I will then have about 3 days and three nights before my next ambulance duty. In the meantime I will do one of the postions on the engine.
    The engines turnout to everything and are expected to deal with everything, our rescue has more equipment that is not carried on a standard engine. Man am I going on too much...
    Any way thats the main bits, if I left any thing out, tell me and I will get back on it.
    Thanks for the help guys and keep it comming.
    Hylo.

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