1. #1
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    Question Ladder Company Poll

    I just saw the newest poll on the main page about truck company operations.

    Besides search and rescue, what is the next most important job for a truck company?

    Perhaps the poll would have been better if it asked what the most important job of the truck was to begin with. Many may argue that search and rescue is not the #1 priority of the truck. I myself feel that ventilation is the most important job for the truck. Search can be done by any unit on the scene, whereas ventilation can only be done by the truck company.

    Anyone have any other ideas on this?

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    Guess it would depend on how your department operates. Here, the first in (engine or truck) companys priority is search & rescue. If the trucks not first in, its priority is ventilation.

    Dave

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    Like Dave says... it depends. RIT RAT FAST whatever you call it. The job sucks but who can argue that firefighter rescue is the most important job function, especially if you're the one trapped and running out of air. But if no one can get in then nothing gets done... so forcible entry. If nothing needs forced then ventilation, you can save more people by fighting the fire, especially if there are a lot of people, even more so if old or disabled. Exceptions are of course obvious rescues (people hanging out windows with heave fire/smoke behind them)and confirmation of someone inside.
    Last edited by ruffneck104; 12-29-2004 at 11:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Ladder Company Poll

    Originally posted by stnyfools
    I just saw the newest poll on the main page about truck company operations.

    Besides search and rescue, what is the next most important job for a truck company?

    Perhaps the poll would have been better if it asked what the most important job of the truck was to begin with. Many may argue that search and rescue is not the #1 priority of the truck. I myself feel that ventilation is the most important job for the truck. Search can be done by any unit on the scene, whereas ventilation can only be done by the truck company.

    Anyone have any other ideas on this?
    Easily the MOST IMPORTANT JOB is everyone going home Safely.
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    Default Safety is important

    There are many ways to provide safety on the fireground for fire fighters. Proper size-up and tactics given the situation; proper supervision of assigned personnel, etc etc.

    With that said, ventilation done properly and early can provide a very important safety factor for fire fighters who enter to do search and rescue.

    Ventilation of a building fire reduces the chances of backdraft, smoke explosions, flashover and rollover. It assists the engine in locating the seat of the fire, it reduces horizontal fire/smoke spread, and gives a better chance for the search team to find victims and fire.

    Depending upon your procedures/guidelines for your truck, but a good number of aggressive department that I know, they will split their crews into at least two teams. One will take inside ops, such as forcible entry and search, and the other will take outside ops such as laddering, utility control and ventilation.

    The key here is using your assigned personnel in the most effective way based upon the conditions and factors that you know exist prior to the fire (pre-planning/inspections) and the conditions and factors that you see upon dispatch and arrival. A coordinated attack will take these factors into account, take the appropriate stategic role, (offensive vs defensive) establish command and then let everyone know through their first-in report. Then follow-up during the course of the fire to make sure that appropriate steps are taken if conditions change.

    IMHO, proper and early ventilation is frequently the difference in those departments that are successful and those who are not. If it is a priority early, then more often than not their going to be successful. Does this mean that they won't make a parking lot? NO, but they have a better chance of saving a structure, than those who don't consider ventilation an important factor early.

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    I like Chief John Norman's acronym, LOVERS U, taken from the first letters of the primary tasks. It should be pointed out that the acronym does not indicate any order of importance or sense of timing, but is merely an easy way to remember the general categories of truck duties. Not all items will be required at many fires, but at other incidents the tasks become more complex and are subdivided further.

    L Ladders
    O Overhaul
    V Ventilation
    E Entry (as in forcible)
    R Rescue
    S Search and Salvage

    U Utility Control
    DKK
    Truck Man
    APFD
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    "Above all, an assignment to a truck company should be considered a promotion."

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    Life safety is most important. If it is achieved through ventilation, so be it. If search is what is needed, then do that. These are just tactics used to achieve the main objective, regardless of what your unit is...life safety.

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    The whole reason for showing up is search and rescue. It takes priority over everything else. Now it could very well be done by getting the line in position, by putting up a portable or aerial ladder, venting the roof,roof rope rescue, knocking it down with the can (long stretch or delayed water) Containing it to one room by closing the door, even going past the fire if possible (using your training and common sense), and often Searches might only be possible because you DIDNT vent: tightly sealed buildings or a windy night, it might be better to search BEFORE glass is taken.
    As far as the poll, its kind of a lousy question, 1st priority IS search and rescue, but how thats accomplished could be by any of the tactics mentioned.

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    Im sorry, I just re-read the poll...I guess it is stating Search and rescue is top priority. However, the next most important thing still can vary depending on any number of things.

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    Default EVERYTHING is important

    Lets us not forget the importance of forcible entry. Ya' gots to get TO that fire !
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    I think the first in Ladder Company should address ventilation. Make the operating environment cooler, less toxic for the victims, and improve visibility to increase the safety of the interior crews.

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    I said ventilation, but alot of those tasks listed can/are done simutaneuosly (sp).
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    At my house the signle most important Truck function is to give the Hose Monkeys a hard time.

    Actually I'd probably have to say the ventilation is job #1.

    Stay safe this New Years Eve.

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    First of all, nicely put glowpop. I'd say that every fire is different and task are usually given their priorities as the sizeup dictates.

    We split into two, two man teams. I carry irons for focible entry and my axe. My firefighter brings up 2 hooks and his axe. Our 2 'outside' guys ladder and ventilate vertically as needed. Ground ladders are the tillerman's priority, minimum of two, to where it is needed, while the driver is setting up the stick.

    Everything usually changes as immediate priorities often change. Search and rescue is the priority. Horizontal ventilation as the need arises while searching. Sometimes the search is put off to get the lines where they need to be. Our bread and butter is 3 story apt buildings and 2 1/2 story houses.

    I guess I am pretty spoiled by what our department has for us. Each truck and rescue carry MSA Evolution 5000 TIC. I work in a triple house with a pumper, rescue and tiller truck and have a sister station 2 miles east of us with the same. So out of our house alone, we put 12 firefighters on the scene with 2 cameras and 6 people to search with two on the roof. Double that manpower as the other station usually responds with us. That's 4 cameras on scene with 4 men on the roof, and 8 for search with 2 handlines.

    Our usual regular reponse is 2 pumpers, 1 rescue, 1 truck and a chief. In our district, it is usually 2 pumpers, 2 rescues(1 for RIT), 2 trucks and a chief. The first in district is about 4 square miles so our reponse time is usually under 3 minutes.

    Aggressive verticle ventilation provides for fast attack and fast search. We are a very aggressive department. With our manpower and response times, search gets done very quickly. Ventilation and search are priorities that go hand in hand.

    I'm on my way to the station for the New Years Eve shift. 24/48 here, just two workdays removed from my Christmas shift.


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    Life safety of both firefighters and victims is the top priority. Both ventillation and S & R needs to be performed at all fires within structures. To say the S & R is the top priority isn't necessarly true. What happens at those fires where you need to vent to draw fire away from victims? My personal opinon is that the two go hand in hand. Let the situation dictate the action.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-RFB-KTF

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    As said earlier. Search and Rescue is number 1 priority. It may be required that other tactics be done to facilitate it (vent, ladders etc..) but it all is done for 1 reason, search and rescue, with property preservation a distant second. But to sum it up, everything is being done to protect life. Could you imagine "sorry we didnt find your child maam, but we did vent"

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    MattyJ probably just said what I'm about to post more succintly

    Strategic priorities are:
    Rescue
    Exposure
    Confine
    Extinguish
    Overhaul

    Those strategic priorities are accomplished, in whatever order is appropriate, by three major tactics:
    Water
    Ventilation
    Search

    If you take that "Rescue" is our #1 priority until it's reasonable to believe it's not, then you use Water, Ventilation, and Search tactics to support that -- get a hose line between fire and victims, vent as necessary to relieve interior conditions and/or draw the fire away (keeping in mind situations Matty pointed out like don't vent when you may blow the fire towards victims), get a crew in to do the search.

    The traditional "Truck" functions such as ventilation, searching for life & fire, forcible entry may be moved up and down in the priority list as the incident and manpower dictates. Your strategy remains constant of first handling life, then exposures, then the property that's actually involved -- those line up pretty well by the way with "Life Safety, Incident Stabilization, Property Conservation"
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    If there are confirmed or possible victims that are viabiale, and the situation is stable enough to allow a rescue, then obviously search and rescue is the primary objective for the OVERALL operation, not just a single company. To achieve that objective, the truck company may have to be committed to forcible entry or ventilation while an/the engine and/or rescue company/companies conduct the search. To say that search and rescue is the number one priority for any particuliar company, and to make that a departmental doctrine, seems to tie the hands of the incident commander in terms of assigning tasks to incoming apparatus.

    Just my thoughts.

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    My Dept's SOP's call for the truck company to vent while the rescue company provides for SAR

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    Again...LaFire...You seem to think I mean nothing else is done other than guys crawling around searching. Any Depts Number 1 priority (Doctrine)SHOULD be life. As I said, EVERYTHING else is done to get the job of protecting life (rescueing people) done. After life is taken care of, then, preserving property is the next priority.

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    The Memphis FIre Department dispatches 2 engines, 1 truck, and a BC to reported house fires. Multiple calls or confirmed fires recieve 1 heavy rescue as well. Our SOPS are as follows:

    I. 1st Engine
    A. Attack

    II. 2nd Engine
    A. Splits into 2 teams
    1. Driver and hook-up establish water supply
    2. Lt. and nozzle - search and rescue

    III. Truck
    A. Splits into 2 teams
    1. Driver and outside man vent and control utilities.
    2. Lt. and inside man assist 1st engine with attack.

    IV. Rescue
    A. As assigned by incident commander. Will also spilt into teams.


    The important thing to remember is that despite all of these predetermined tactics, everyone is searching for life whether they realize it or not.

    As the 1st engine is stretching the line to the base of the fire they come across a victim. They either stop their advance and remove the victim or preferablly communicate to the inside truck team who is hopefully on their heels and then proceed to extinguish the fire.

    The inside truck team is going in with axes and poles to assist the 1st engine. They come across a victim. They remove them.

    The second engine would be best suited to initiate a search opposite the direction of the handline.

    The point to all this being that every firefighter that enters a building, no matter what his task, is searching for victims along the way.

    Lt. Robert Kramer, Jr.
    Engine Co. 34-A
    Memphis Fire Department

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    The Memphis FIre Department dispatches 2 engines, 1 truck, and a BC to reported house fires. Multiple calls or confirmed fires recieve 1 heavy rescue as well. Our SOPS are as follows:
    We do it pretty much the same, except the first engine is attack/search, our rescue handles utilities, the only crew split is the second due engine (water supply) and we get 3 engines instead of 2 (1 for RIG).

    We also cross train our people so they are able to handle any of the jobs we may need to do on scene. So if the truck is first in, they act as the first in engine. If we need ventilation, the crew from the other units 1) knows were the equipment is on the truck and 2) knows how to use it. We dont have a set thing of "your on the truck today so you do truck work". All depends on the situation.

    Dave

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    Hey Dave. I am currently trying to get an additional engine company added to every assignment. As stated earlier, our normal repsonse for a single caller reporting a house on fire is 2 engines, a truck, and a chief. All companies in Memphis ride with 1 officer, 1 driver, and 2 firefighters. This leaves us out of compliance with NFPA 1710. If multiple callers report a house fire 1 rescue gets added to the response which with the 4 additioanl people will meet the NFPA standard for personnel, but may fall short in the required time restraints of the 1710 standard. We have 2 squads covering the territories of 56 stations. It may take them awhile to get there.

    The leadership of our fire department is currently I feel, the strongest that it has been in quite some time. It is stil hard to get through to them on some issues however. This happens to be one of them.

    I personally find it a disgrace that a city that operates 56 engines, 26 trucks, & 2 heavy rescue squads - all manned with 4 personnel doesn't see the need get more than 13 people on the scene of a house on fire. We have resources that most fire chiefs dream about, but we operate like we only have 3 stations.

    Thank you.

    Lt. Robert Kramer, Jr.
    Engine Co. 34-A
    Memphis Fire Department

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    Exclamation

    A city as large as Memphis should be running with 5 and 5. Five on all engines and 5 on all trucks! The rescue if manned should have 5 on it. Put back the drivers (aides) for the Battalion Chiefs and Captains back on the job. Why they did away with Captains in the companies is one of the dumbest things that happen there.

    The next thing that will happen in the bluff city will be taking away Lieutenants and replacing them with Sergeants!
    Last edited by CaptOldTimer; 01-03-2005 at 11:25 AM.
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    Thumbs down Damn..........................

    Originally posted by MemphisE34a
    Hey Dave. I am currently trying to get an additional engine company added to every assignment. As stated earlier, our normal repsonse for a single caller reporting a house on fire is 2 engines, a truck, and a chief. All companies in Memphis ride with 1 officer, 1 driver, and 2 firefighters. This leaves us out of compliance with NFPA 1710. If multiple callers report a house fire 1 rescue gets added to the response which with the 4 additioanl people will meet the NFPA standard for personnel, but may fall short in the required time restraints of the 1710 standard. We have 2 squads covering the territories of 56 stations. It may take them awhile to get there.

    The leadership of our fire department is currently I feel, the strongest that it has been in quite some time. It is still hard to get through to them on some issues however. This happens to be one of them.

    I personally find it a disgrace that a city that operates 56 engines, 26 trucks, & 2 heavy rescue squads - all manned with 4 personnel doesn't see the need get more than 13 people on the scene of a house on fire. We have resources that most fire chiefs dream about, but we operate like we only have 3 stations.

    Thank you.

    Lt. Robert Kramer, Jr.
    Engine Co. 34-A
    Memphis Fire Department
    Jeesh, You got the resources, use them. Bob, a tip 'o the helment to you for speaking out on this. We are a large Combination operation with a tendency to have better staffing since Volunteers are part of the mix. We send 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, and a Rescue to a structure Fire, along with a Chief. If the Rescue is too far out, it is replaced with a third Truck. Nights and Weekends, when more Volunteers are available, we can have a one alarm Fire with 35-40 people.
    Last edited by hwoods; 01-02-2005 at 04:54 PM.
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