1. #1
    Frank Denan
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Fire Officers Responding on Apparatus

    We are Vol.Department we respond to 475 calls a year, The Chief officers respond to the Fire Location all others respond to the station. We now use when the engines respond with a officer the engine# and responding with Command. I know that Command is on the Fire Location But I like to know when there is a Fire Officer responding with that unit. Is there any other wording than Command that you might be using. However we do not want to use numbers as we want something to catch your ear. Thanks

    [This message has been edited by Frank Denan (edited 02-04-2001).]

  2. #2
    MetalMedic
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Smile

    Command is "Command"... that is the Incident Commander, not the guy sitting in the passenger front seat with a read helmet. You do need to do something to prevent the confusion. How about, "Engine X in service, Office on board". If you normally have an officer on board, perhaps you should try the opposite. If the engine has an officer, just say, "Engine X in service" and if there is NO OFFICER on it, then say, "Engine X in service with no officer".

    Our Officers always handle the radio on the apparatus, so we can tell if there is an officer on the truck because we recognize the voice. On the few occasions where there is no officer on the truck, the IC can tell the voice is unfamiliar on the air so it is really no big deal here.



    ------------------
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

  3. #3
    iwood51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I always just gave "Firecom, 5-22-3 signal 2, 8 men, Captain". This was down and dirty everything that was needed Firecom (county dispatch), 5-22-3 (My engines identifier), signal 2 (en route), 8 men (even if there was a female on board, no time for being PC at that moment), Captain (Identifying OIC of truck). That way everyone knew who was coming and with what.

  4. #4
    M G
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    The county where I go to school does something similar, however, I cannot confirm it. The units will attach the "command" suffix when an officer is riding the unit from what I can tell.

    ex: "Ladder xx command, responding with 6" this means that ladder xx is responding with an officer and 5 firefighters.

    If the apparatus is undermanned (however they determine minimum manning) the transmission would be

    ex: "Ladder xx command, responding undermanned" this means that ladder xx is responding with an officer and less than the minimum staffing of firefighters.

    The command sounds good to me, its clear and to the point. Officer on board is adding more extra words in my opinion. If the firefighters know the system it doesnt cause confusion.

    If no officer is riding is is simply "ladder xx responding _______ " The blank is the manning status.

    Look for "mikedevunno" or "bucks eng91" on here they ride in the county I describe and would know better.


    ------------------
    The information presented herein is simply my opinion and does not represent the opinion or view of my employer(s) or any department/agency to which I belong.

  5. #5
    Neptune 33
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    In my county, we have a system that works fairly well. All you do is call in and tell them what you are responding with example: 770 from Engine 33, we are responding. Now if dispatch has no other officer signed on, they will just give any additional information to the Engine, which usually has at least one officer on it. We don't like driving to the scene, except for the Chief, because there have been too many accidents.

  6. #6
    gls779
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    The company here up the following:
    with officer:
    "Engine 81, Captain 8 responding"
    without:
    it's just "Engine 81 responding"
    If A higher officer markes on location in command before the Engine then the captain is just the leader of the engine crew.
    if not he/she will take command upon arrival.

  7. #7
    Mr.Meaner
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    My vol FD and those in our mutual aid group all use the same system: The unit number is followed by the number of firefighters which is followed by the number of officers.

    Example: Let's say you're Captain of Engine 2 and your Company receives an alarm at the K-Mart. You, your Lieutenant, and four firefighters show up. You'd say, "Engine 2 responding K-Mart 4 and 2." It works because it's brief, and all communication centers, command at scene, and all other units, know exactly what the manpower aboard is.

    PS: We do not include junior firefighters in the count or any member that is not qualified as an "inside" man.

    This works really good if Command needs to have a unit perform RIT/FAST duties.

  8. #8
    ArmyTruckCompany
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Good lord I am glad that my county went to "PLAIN SPEAK" a few years ago....iwood- what the heck was all that rubbish you spat out?? What's wrong with "Engine 11 to communications, responding with 5"?????

    ------------------
    "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

  9. #9
    Wally57fire
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    In our county it we would say 57-64 responding with 4 firefighters and 57-officers number. That way the cheif knows if an officer might be responding on a truck.

  10. #10
    sponge
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    In my old dept., we would say "captain" or "lieutenant" at the end (ie "Firecom, 345's 21, captain") if we had one on the truck. If we had a light crew (4 or less), we'd say that too.
    In my current department, we'll give the number of firefighters on the rig, but nothing about officers. We all have radios, so we know when an officer is responding from his house to the scene or station.

  11. #11
    colfireman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    I'm sorry but i really don't get the whole meaning of this post.If your "chief officers"go direct then when the engine arrives on scene with no officer they can take over that engine assignment.Also Would you leave the station if there was no officer?does it really make a difference if it's a senior firefighter?In our dept we always have a "Duty Officer"on duty after our regular working hours of 8-5.our duty officer can be Chief on down to Lieut.All others respond to station and board apparatus as need be.If no officer is available then Senior firefighters take unit because they can "fill in" for us.BTW we use plain english here as well."Engine 51 in service"

  12. #12
    iwood51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by ArmyTruckCompany:
    Good lord I am glad that my county went to "PLAIN SPEAK" a few years ago....iwood- what the heck was all that rubbish you spat out?? What's wrong with "Engine 11 to communications, responding with 5"?????

    I fail to see why mine is any different, except I include the Officer on the truck.

    Firecom, 5-22-3 signal 2, 8 men, Captain".

    You say Engine 11, I say 5-22-3 as this is how my engine is identified to county dispatch, as are the other 300-400 engines in the county. 5 means 5th division (out of 10 divisions), 22 identifies my department (out of approx 35 in my division) and 3 indentifies my unit number within the department.

    You say "Communications" I say "Firecom" mines actually shorter.

    You say responding, I say signal 2. Got me there, but that's radio protocol in my county.

    you say with 5, I say 8 men Captain.

    Where's the big difference, I bet it takes the same amount of time to say over the air.

  13. #13
    FD111
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    O.K....Maybe I am missing the point of this topic, but what does it matter if there is an officer on the truck or not, and why does everyone have to know???
    Just put the truck enroute and give your manpower status. Who cares whether or not there is an officer on the truck. If there isnt then the senior ff is in-charge. I guess I just don't understand why it is such a big deal that there is an officer on the apparatus.

    Just my 2 cents worth..(and yes I know it is only about 2 cent worth...lol)

  14. #14
    Mr.Meaner
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Put me down as someone who very firmly believes that all responding units should clearly inform command, communication centers, and other responding units that there is - or is not - an officer on board.

    How you choose to do it is up to you - use what works - but I'm all for it.

    While most incidents probably do not even require the services of a chief officer; and most of us probably even recognize an officer's voice over the radio, there are still sufficent times that a fire incident requires the commanding officer to utilize arriving officers for Incident Command System roles and functions.

    Often times what at first appears to be a small, seemingly insignificant fire is in fact a pandora's box of unexpected surprises. Command may need to call in other agencies; mutual aid, arson, hazmat, or a technical assistance group (confined space or high angle for example) for a situation. No matter how great the guy with the white hat is, command can not possibly do it all by himself.

    Having assumed command as a Capatain many times myself I've found that I have been quickly inundated with problems that I've had to delegate to other officers. I would have lost the handle on the fire if I didn't have other officers to delegate jobs to.

    RIT/FAST, staging, rehab, EMS, water and SCBA air supply ... all that - and more - hits every fire scene commander all at once. Hearing that a unit is responding with an officer he can delegate a task to him making his command job easier and more efficient, but even more importantly that ultimatley makes everyone's job safer.

  15. #15
    sponge
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by FD111:
    O.K....Maybe I am missing the point of this topic, but what does it matter if there is an officer on the truck or not, and why does everyone have to know???
    Just put the truck enroute and give your manpower status. Who cares whether or not there is an officer on the truck. If there isnt then the senior ff is in-charge. I guess I just don't understand why it is such a big deal that there is an officer on the apparatus.

    Just my 2 cents worth..(and yes I know it is only about 2 cent worth...lol)
    If you say you have an officer on board, then people know who's going to be in charge. This mainly comes into play if you don't have a chief responding. If Engine X says they are responding with a captain, Engine Y says they have a LT, and Truck Z doesn't have any officers, then we know that the captain of Eng X will be in charge.


  16. #16
    ArmyTruckCompany
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    If there's an officer on the vehicle, than in my opinion, he/she is in charge of the engine/truck/squad (or whatever)company. You don't break up the company, plain and simple.
    Additionally, why do you need an officer to perform certain command functions? Does a white helmet lend magical powers?? Can't a yellow helmet wave the magic wand (portable radio) any better than a white helmet?? If a senior firefighter is in "the seat" then he/she should be able to perform all fireground operations functions. (But refer back to my previous statement- don't break up the company.)
    iwood- didn't mean to offend, I just thought that "Engine 11" sounded easier than "1102" (our old system) or your number. If it works for you, go with it.

    ------------------
    "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

  17. #17
    Mr.Meaner
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Since I am an old 60s anti-authority anarchist deep at heart I don't believe that you 'need' to delegate command structure tasks to officers 'only' and my experiences have shown that 'plain ordinary' (is there really such a thing - I don't think so) volunteer firefighters can more than adequatley perform those types of duties - but even though volunteer fire officers like myself are often elected by popularity rather than ability - there are usually still very, very strict minimum training, experience or length of service standards (often state law) that officers must comply with which makes (or hopefully should make) them much better suited and prepared for a command structure assignment over the 'average' firefighter. Therefore my first choice will almost always be an officer; so knowing he or she is responding - by whatever method or radio codes used - is, to me a huge advantage.

    I can also fully understand the policy that some departments employ where they do not 'break up' their company manpower - BUT with so, so many variables in responding and available manpower (sometimes 5-6 volunteer firefighters can only show during the day; but then there's 25-30 at night) I've found that it's impossible for me not to split the company - especially with the 2in/2out law. I've had to have units just park the rig and then split up and send their manpower to many different assignments as the need dictates.

  18. #18
    dmstreet
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our units always give the total staffing on the piece when it is responding. Example: "Engine 272 responding, (address here), 4 with 0. (4 persons total, no officer)", OR "Engine 272 responding, (address here), 4 with 1 (4 persons total, of which 1 is an officer)". Knowing how many officers are responding is important to the IC from the standpoint of span of control on the fireground, ie a supervisor/ crew leader(Capt. or Lt.) should be in charge of no more than 3-5 firefighters. Our department prefers that officers be in charge of crews/sectors/divisions/teams to the maximum extent possible, and the Chief Officer responding will always be provided with the number of personnel responding to enable him/her to make tactical assignment decisions early on.

    ------------------
    Donald M. Street
    Emergency Services Specialist, CHEMTREC
    Volunteer Captain Maryland City VFD
    Laurel, MD

  19. #19
    iwood51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by ArmyTruckCompany:
    If there's an officer on the vehicle, than in my opinion, he/she is in charge of the engine/truck/squad (or whatever)company. You don't break up the company, plain and simple.
    Additionally, why do you need an officer to perform certain command functions? Does a white helmet lend magical powers?? Can't a yellow helmet wave the magic wand (portable radio) any better than a white helmet?? If a senior firefighter is in "the seat" then he/she should be able to perform all fireground operations functions. (But refer back to my previous statement- don't break up the company.)
    iwood- didn't mean to offend, I just thought that "Engine 11" sounded easier than "1102" (our old system) or your number. If it works for you, go with it.

    I don't know the size of your department, but as others have said, sometimes you don't have the luxury of having full complements running out of each station and combined crews are a necessity, therefore it is important to know where the officer of the truck is coming from. Flip side is that maybe the Chief is on scene and just hears trucks coming, if he hears that there's a Lt./Capt/Ex-Capt in the front seat, that he knows he only has to give an order to that truck and all delegation below that order would/should be followed. I know you will say that, that should happen regardless, but it's not necessarily true daytime running light crew.

    As far as the call sign for the truck, I have been asking/fighting for a Department paid dispatcher for 13 years now, then we could use Engine 3, Rescue 4, Brush 12 or whatever. Until then, like I prebiously stated, with approx 300-400 engines in the county, we must go by division-department-truck.


  20. #20
    Fire29_1999
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We are a small department and what works for us is that the person sitting in THE SEAT of the first out engine HAS to be able to run the scene until someone of higher rank arrives at the scene and either takes command or assesses the need for higher ranked IC. If you sit in THAT seat and the crew in the truck thinks you are not ready you won't be there long.
    stay safe

  21. #21
    KIPSKI137
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Fire29_1999:
    As an officer in a volunteer fire dept. i feel i should go right to the incident to direct all in comming units,members,and the members going for the equipment.this way i am looking into the safety of the public,as well as all emergency personal as well.

  22. #22
    CAPTAINKAOS
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    How about this, all Captains have the numbers 13(station I.D)71-78(position).
    Engines- 1301 Trucks- 1331
    Brush Vehicles- 1311
    Tankers- 1321
    Rescues- 1341
    Chief Officers- 1361-1364
    We run 4 engines, 1 truck, 3 tankers, 2 rescues, and 1 brush unit.
    So if I am responding to an alarm of fire on the first due piece it would be 1371(officer) calling fire control 1302(engine) is responding full crew. That seems pretty simple


  23. #23
    Fire Line
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    "Engine 1 responding 3 on board" We don't designate if an officer is on board or not. We train all our FF to be in charge wether an officer is on board or on scene. We have fought fires with 6 officers and 1 fire fighter and other fires with no officers. Our chief responds directly to the scene, other officers respond to the halls until they hear that all the reponding units have left then we head to the scene. Now while I wouldn't expect somebody with six months if the fire dept. to run a scene, they get things set up for a more experienced FF or officer.

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