1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest


    On a fire does your driver have freedom to roam and do things that need to be done or is he handcuffed to the pump panel ? A lot depends on the fire and the manpower. Here's a little scenerio, tell me what you think. You are a 4 man engine company responding 1st due to a report of a rowhouse fire.The chief is about 30 seconds to a minute behind you. As you pull into the block you see smoke, so you stop at the hydrant and lay a supply line. You arrive on scene and find a 2 story rowhouse with smoke showing 1st and 2nd floors, with an occupant at the 2nd floor window. The rest of the troops won't be there for 1-2 minutes. The crew pulls the line off and it gets charged. Do you get handcuffed or are you set free?

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'd personally say if you are the driver, and your guys are pulling a line, your main concern at that time would be water supply. Once that is established then I don't see a problem throwing ladders off your engine.

    Stay Safe

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Originally posted by FFD#30:
    I'd personally say if you are the driver, and your guys are pulling a line, your main concern at that time would be water supply. Once that is established then I don't see a problem throwing ladders off your engine.

    Stay Safe

    Defenetly agree with this. It all depends as well on what you SOG's say. In our department, the operator does "roam" around, but if we need anything off the truck, and we don't know where it is, that about as much roaming that happens.


    If you sent us to HELL, WE'D PUT IT OUT!!

    **And of course these are only my opinion and only mine. Don't take it out on anyone else but me.**

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    With my Dept. the driver has to stay with the vehicle. They arent handcuffed to the panel but if the crew needs water it is the drivers job to get it to them.
    As was said before the only roaming the driver can do is around the truck.

    Shawn M. Cecula
    Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Be free! Just don't go so far that you can't attend to the pump quickly. I don't personally have a problem with a driver throwing a ladder, bringing tools to the front door, setting up lights in the front yard.
    The engineer must have a radio and the ability to drop what he is doing to go back to the engine. Lets face it after the lines are set and flowing and you have a constant water supply the engineer just sits around and watches and waits.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    operator must stay with the rig. If he starts throwing ladders, then he will start opening windows, searching, rescue and the like. Operating the pump is a safety position, they are responsible for the proper gallonage and interior crews well being. I say no to doing other tasks. First in engine officer must set tactics. Do they concentrate on rescue or extinguishment. I know of no four man crew that can do both.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    A good driver can be flexible and help out the crew when possible.
    In the example given the driver could be pulling the attack lead to the door, or throwing a ladder to the second floor. The driver should not do any interior operations, including going up the ladder.
    Likely the driver is going to have to have a pack on his back to be part of the two in/two out initially.
    I am an driver on a busy engine company with three personnel. I feel it's even more important for me to help out the crew than with a four person crew. I usually pull the lead to the door while the officer does his walk around and the FF is packing up.
    After establishing flow in the attack line and a water supply, I will try to accomplish the following if it is not being done by other companies yet: pull a backup lead to near the door, place the PPV fan turned away from the house at a point it can be utilized when called for, and generally do the busy work outside necessary.
    During this I will stay within close sight and (often more importantly) hearing of the engine and stop by the panel often.
    The key is to have the rig and water flow be the priority, but by helping the crew when possible, the efficiency of the fire ground operations increases considerably.

    By busy, I don't mean nearly as busy ad DCFD E-10, but we do ok for business.

    [This message has been edited by FEOBob (edited 04-14-2001).]

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In reply to an above response....It takes a minimum of 1-2 ff's to advance a charged 1-3/4" handline into a rowhouse. It takes a minimum of 1 ff to throw a ladder to a 2nd floor window to get someone down.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    OZ; We're quite impressed with your thinking! You're postings are informative and provocative...you would make an excellent instructor at the TA!!! ;-)

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    "lt" no luck for you, ha, ha!

    How about the fifth man (PM) lay out and the fourth man throw a ladder?

    Or, lineman & driver get line in service (to door) and OIC throws ladder while layout is running up the street. You could probably still get your line in before E8/6/12/18 etc gets there. WD would then do first aid (if no P)

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Had a first due fire where we were initially dispatched single-engine/4 men. arrived to find fire in 2 windows, not yet broken. Driver got us water and broke windows to vent. Helped alot with interior conditions, especially with the rest of the box delayed. As I think you know Oz for PG, this delay is a rare blessing.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Oz10Engine, I've worked for two departments (one full-time, one POC) that had polar opposite views. Both departments were of similar size and staffing levels but differed in their approach to this issue. My full-time department purchased communication headseats and mandated that the engineer plug in at the panel not for better communications, but so that he only had the 6 feet of the cord to be able to roam. It was very constraining. My POC department EXPECTED that the first-due engineer made his own water supply (if able), charged the attack line, threw at least one ladder for personnel egress and was the eyes and ears on the outside for the initial attack crew. Personally I agree with the way my POC department did things. It was very hard for me to go to work at my FT job and see that a ladder was needed or take out a nearby window when the interior was calling for it etc. and have to wait until the other stations crews got there. Frustrating.

    The opinions expressed herein are my own and do not reflect those of my Department or it's Administration.

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    thanks for the posts guys.
    Utilize your driver as much as you can. Especially if manpower is limited and your 1st due. On a scenerio like this you have to count your driver as one of the crew. If you have him stay at the pump panel you are wasting valuable manpower. Once the line is charged, the pump will run itself. Go help get the person out of the window. The driver is usually one of the senior guys and should know what other things he can and can't do as a pump operator. The driver can flake/hump and unkink lines, run back and turn the hydrant on, throw ladders, vent windows, chock enrty doors, cut gas off, provide 1st aid,etc. And still watch the pump. YOUR DRIVER CAN BE MORE THAN JUST A PUMP OPERATOR.

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    4 man engine company

    MPO: Responsible to get the 1st line in operation (pulling the proper handle at the proper time) and establish a positive water supply. A lot to do for one guy being handcuffed to the panel. After this is complete, nothing interior but assist where needed.

    FF1: Nozzleman, no need to explain his job.

    OIC: Chiefs 30 seconds out? Go into the fast attack mode, have officer work with FF1 as a back up and (for lack of better terms) assume the position of Interior Division Supervisor. (Gawd, I hate all these new titles)

    FF2: Have him toss a ladder, start rescue ops or VES.

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We are not hand cuffed.
    Primary job is getting water were it needs to be. We have low staffing so pump operator is responsible for his supply hook up. After this they assist with removing tools from the truck and sitting up lighting in the yard. No set policy but we stay close to the truk with no assignments that would put us near the structure. After first entry we are also incharge of the cascade which is carried on our two primary pumpers.

  16. #16
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I think you have to look at the situation...

    Our drivers aren`t per say "hand cuffed" to the engine, however one of their responsibilities is to pump the truck and maintain it.
    Now, you pull up and have someone hanging out a second story window... Your guys are pulling the lines... You go ahead and get the truck set up and charge the line... BY ALL MEANS I SEE IT AS A MUST TO GET THE LADDERS READY... You arent just acting for the civilian but also your other firefighters. Remember.... Minutes do count!

  17. #17
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Remember, with any position on the fireground, you have to be flexible. I dont like the word "roam", this word associates itself closely with "freelancing".

    I prefer that it is allowable for the pump operator to complete certain tasks that the company would deem necessary. These tasks of course would be secondary to establishing an immediate supply of water from the tank, and then securing water supply from some type of distributing system, hydrant, shuttle, draft,etc...
    Once that is accomplished certain tasks such as, placing tools out for easier access, fireground lighting,etc... can be accomplished. Remember ladders are tools. By all means throw the ladder to the civilian, just make sure your company is not advancing down a hall with fire over their heads, and victims close to them, and your placing a ladder to a victim who is less of an exposure and just has a louder voice than those inside.

    But most importanly remember as the operator, you are still part of the company. Check to see where your company positioned their line, make sure they are receiving the proper flow, watch your gauges (if there is a constant flow during a normal residential fire, maybe the line is burnt through, remember under normal nozzle ops. the guage will be moving up and down with the opening and shutting of the nozzle.) The company has a limited air supply, forget about the safety team, and the guys setting up the board or tags, you make sure after a certain period of time, that you see your company. This is your responsibility no matter how big or small your department.
    P.S. carry a radio, if leaving the pump panel, have the mic by your ear, check the battery at the beginning of the shift, make sure it works along with everything else before breakfast, and know what your responsiblity is in the case of loss of water and emergency evacuation of interior personel.

    [This message has been edited by PBF8T (edited 05-13-2001).]

  18. #18
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'll assume you mean 4 men and an officer:

    You dropped a supply line to the hydrant; 1 man down to key and hook up.

    Stop at the building. Officer enters and attempts interior access to the person showing, at the same time attempt to locate the fire. Smoke showing floor 1 and 2 I will first assume a first floor or basement fire.

    Nozzle and back up stretch a line to base of interior stairs. Have line charged and protect stairs.

    ECC start booster water then complete hydrant connections, call for water from hydrant.

    Officer attempts access to person on second floor. If possible, extricate via interior stairs. If not call for irons or portable from hydrant man who is now free.

    The time this takes really leaves no opportunity for the ECC to get involved.

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