Thread: Drivers Role?

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    Question Drivers Role?

    I am interested in everybodyís input on a driverís role. I was recently promoted to an Engineer in December of 04. I have roughly 8 years experience and I am just interested in how everybody else works. I work as part of a 4-person company. My outlook is that if I am first in and pumping only 2 lines of smaller GPM (250 or less) then I am able to leave the pump panel and take on other tasks. Utilities, Ventilation etc. I have gotten into discussions with other pump operators who believe if you have even one line off the truck and someone on the end, then you need to be at the panel. Does it make a difference if you are driving a ladder instead of an engine? We have no written SOG pertaining to this and do not see one in the future.

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    if you have even one line off the truck and someone on the end, then you need to be at the panel.
    Chuckles, you ever leave the damn panel when I am squirting water on a fire and I will chase my burned corpse through hell to kick the c@#P out of you.

    Think about it.
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    Originally posted by FlyingKiwi


    Chuckles, you ever leave the damn panel when I am squirting water on a fire and I will chase my burned corpse through hell to kick the c@#P out of you.

    Think about it.
    ROFLMFAO!!!!!

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    Why? If a water supply has been established, the pressure is set; the relief valve is set, why can't an operator help? An operator will know the sound if something goes wrong, and can carry a radio to monitor what is going on. I am not saying they leave and never return, but assist in outside duties within a reasonable distance to their truck.

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    I was going to let the engine guys beat you up, but you just don't understand.

    If my ***** starts burning up because your pump starts cavitating or someone drives over your LDH or lose your prime in the pump and you're not close to your panel, I will kick your *****. It takes no time at all before all hell breaks loose at a fire scene. It's called Murphy's Law.

    Last edited by jerrygarcia; 05-12-2005 at 10:45 PM.

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    So your running on hydrant supply with the tank topped up and fill/suction valve closed. Your crew is inside a pre-flashover basement in zero visibility searching for a victim.

    Some idiot drives over your hydrant line (see Stupidity thread).

    What happens to your crew as you lose prime and have to go running back to the truck to try to salvage flow off your tank?

    And what happens to the same crew now that your ventilation strategy has been interrupted and the fire blows back on them with low water?

    And what happens to that $500,000.00 Fire Truck when the diesel engine runs away and the pump tosses a bearing from the over rev?


    I don't think you have to sit and stare at the panel, but you shouldn't be more than a couple of steps from your pump.
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    We usually do a reverse leadout so you have to stay at the panel.
    But on the occasions that we preconnect the fire I will do what ever as long as I'm within a second or two of the rig.
    That includes throwing a ladder for egress, sometimes ventilation of side A, kill the gas if you can see and reach the meter.
    Set up lights, take a fan to the front door etc.
    When we do lead out I dump as many tools as possible prior to leaving. The engineer position is not just driving.

    As for the ladder or squad we have to go to work not enough people to stay with the rig just in case.

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    here you are pretty much at the panel and YOU are responsible for all equipment that comes off the truck as far as who took it and where did they say they took it ? I agree with the others that you need to be at the panel as there are just to many variables to consider when you are flowing water. I know when we are breaking down/picking up the operator can assist with hose pick up, making sure items made it back to the truck, etc. It is a darn important job driving and getting us water. Dont jeopardize it by getting roped into tasks that could lead you to far away from your rig.
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    If I have any kind of line coming off my pumper, I stay with the panel. If everything goes to crap, and they need another line, they don't need to wait until I get back to the pumper. Plus another thing, just because your pumping, have a supply line, your relief valve set and so on, that doesn't mean that everything will stay fine. In our department, we have enough equipment, and personnel on the scene that it is usually not necessary to have to hunt for someone to take care of a task. Our residential assignment is 3 engines, one truck, and one Rescue Truck. So we are not hurting for people on the scene of a fire.

    Stay with your pumper!!!!

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    As an engineer, my sole responsibility on scene is our engine and everything on it. If we're flowing water, then I'm going to be no more than a few steps away from the pumper at all times. The brothers inside put their faith in me that I'm going to keep them in water... I have no desire to let them down.

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    I will step away from the pump only to get a piece of equipment off the rig if someone doesnt know where it is (like a mutual aid FF) or I will walk to the other side to put up flood lights or pull some cord off the reel or when I'm hooking the LDH to the steamer (ours is on the officers side). Beyond that, I'm at the pump.

    Dont EVER count on any automatic controls, set the pump and walk away. Your just asking for trouble.
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    we only run with a 3 man crew so therefore the pump operator has to preform other task, until the next in company arrives. ie. egress ladder, monitor building conditions, and outside vent.

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    When I'm the driver/operator and I've got lines off, I will do/assist with other tasks, but only in the immediate vicinity of the engine itself. These could include helping to flake out hose for the hose teams, changing SCBA cylinders, setting up exterior lighting, and similar activities that I can do while staying within a very short sprint to the rig. I'd never be found on a roof, in the building, down the street, or anywhere else out of the immediate vicinity of the pump when I have crews operating with lines from my engine (or from a rig I'm supplying, etc.).

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    Tell you what, I will set the pump with supply water, and put you on the nozzle and I will walk away from the truck. Let's see what happens. Don't ever do this to anyone.

    I have been driving for the past 4 years and can honestly say I have never walked away from my pump panel. I was working a fire about a month ago when my line burst inside and the driver was no where to be seen

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    As on Officer I insist my drivers to stay with the truck at all times. They can step away from the panel to assist others in getting/locating equipment if needed but that is it. I strongly disagree with giving them other assingments, if they are pumping lines. It would be so easy for them to get distracted if they are doing other tasks such as Vent. Uitlities, ect. if another line is needed, or the attack crews need more/less pressure they need to be right there at the panel to preform these needs.
    A "Good" fire is not measured by how big it is, but by the fact that everyone is going home safe, and that we possibly learned something new about firefighting. Member:IACOJ

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    stay at the panel , to many things could go wrong

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    After my post I thought of an incident that happened to me several years back that stresses the importance of the pump operator needing to stay at the pump panel and not walk off to preform other tasks.

    Several years back when I was a FF, I was on an interior attack line with heavy fire in the back of the house. My engine was first in and started pumping off tank water while the 2nd due laid the supply line. When the 2nd due hooked into my engine the FF told my driver the supply line was tied in. We were inside fighting fire when the line went limp. As we were calling command on the radio and backing out we regained water pressure. After the fire I talked to the driver as to why we lost pressure while inside. He said when the FF hooked into the supply intake he (the FF) "forgot" to open the intake valve. The driver noticed this when he ran out of water and quickly regained water supply by opening the intake valve. Now what would have happened if the driver was off setting up a vent fan or something else when this occured. Just one example of why it is so important for the driver to stay at the pump panel at all times
    A "Good" fire is not measured by how big it is, but by the fact that everyone is going home safe, and that we possibly learned something new about firefighting. Member:IACOJ

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    In the UK the driver is (takes deep breath)...driver, pump operator, command support officer (radio link between fireground radios & main scheme to control centre), BA Entry Control Officer, traffic control (pump panels are at the back of UK trucks), hydrant finder, gopher for extra gear, crowd control, tea maker....an any other tasks when not shifting water!
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    If you are flowing water from your engine, DO NOT LEAVE IT!!!
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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    I dont like getting off the panel for anything. That is one position that doesnt need to be worried about other things other that getting water to the end of the pipe. Unless it is a task that has to be done or others will suffer from that not being completed, but only do same if it is a quick task. 30-45 secondsm, not minutes.

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    Originally posted by Station2Capt
    As on Officer I insist my drivers to stay with the truck at all times. They can step away from the panel to assist others in getting/locating equipment if needed but that is it. I strongly disagree with giving them other assingments, if they are pumping lines. It would be so easy for them to get distracted if they are doing other tasks such as Vent. Uitlities, ect. if another line is needed, or the attack crews need more/less pressure they need to be right there at the panel to preform these needs.
    I have to agree 100% with the Capatain. I do not want my Engineer doing anything away from the pump panel that will distract him/her from the most important duty on the fire ground, that is keeping water in my line and my ***** covered in the event of the major "oh s*^t". It sounds to me like you are lucky to work with a four person crew. Not all are that fortunate. I may or may not have four person assigned. In the event that we are working with three we complete all outside functions prior to making entry (remember 2 in 2 out) and the next company arrives to make the fire attack. Bottom line is the Engineer stays with the apparatus even if it an EMS call and everyone else is inside.
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    In the case of an engine, the driver is known as the Motor Pump Operator. All they do is run the pump. They don't fetch tools, they don't set fans, they don't set ladders.

    In the case of a truck, either aerial or heavy rescue, the driver is known as the Head Equipment Operator. They run the outriggers, the aerial (if not running the pump, in the case of a quint), and the power units for extrication.
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    My drivers better be on the panel or damn close to it once we r in the structure...and not only that, they better have their headset or portable on our Tac channel, cause if they dont answer me when I call em' its gonna be hell to pay..the good news is they know that. lol DO NOT ASSUME SOMEONE ELSES RESPONSIBILITIES...YOURS IS AS BIG AS THEY COME! STAY SAFE.

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    Default Im going to go with Bob on this one

    Originally posted by bobsnyder
    When I'm the driver/operator and I've got lines off, I will do/assist with other tasks, but only in the immediate vicinity of the engine itself. These could include helping to flake out hose for the hose teams, changing SCBA cylinders, setting up exterior lighting, and similar activities that I can do while staying within a very short sprint to the rig. I'd never be found on a roof, in the building, down the street, or anywhere else out of the immediate vicinity of the pump when I have crews operating with lines from my engine (or from a rig I'm supplying, etc.).
    I was the driver of our citys only Engine Co. for 14 years (7 man on duty shift staffing) and had to do other duties on the fire ground...not because I wanted too but they needed to be done. When you work short staffed all your position have to do more to make sure that the outcome is good for everyone.....BTW the panel is a boring position I would rather be on the other end where the fun is..
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    BTW the panel is a boring position I would rather be on the other end where the fun is..
    .....uhm DUH!
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