1. #1
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    Aug 2005

    Default manning Pumpers/Ladders in the US

    Is there a specific manning order for certain fire apparatus in the US ? From reading various articles in this forum it seems the various pumpers/ladders have very different crew mannings. Is there a nationwide tactical concept or is this handled from county to county ? In germany we have a very strict nationwide tactical concept. There are only 3 different mannings.
    1st "Trupp" (Troop?) 1+2
    2nd "Staffel" (Squad?) 1+5
    3rd "Gruppe" (Group?) 1+8

    1 is always the team leader. The driver is always the engineer as seems to be the same everywhere else in the world. A "working squad" in germany always consists of 2 people. What you seem to call the "buddy system" (2 in 2 out) is law in germany for operating with SCBA. As thus only the "Staffel" and "Gruppe" are "tactically self-contained" in germany. Any short answer on base tactics in the US would help me understand the articles posted here better.

    thanks to all
    (sorry for my bad english)

  2. #2
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    Dave1983's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
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    The recomended standard is 4 on each. Problem is, the agency that sets the standards has no enforcement powers. As long as fire protection is funded at the city level, the federal government nor the individual states will not get involved. Therefore, you have a huge difference in staffing from city to city. The only way to change this to a true national standard is for the federal government to take over funding fire protection nationwide. And I dont look for that to ever happen.
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  3. #3
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    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....

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    I think Dave has pretty well defined it. What is not apparent to many at first glance, is that America's Fire/Rescue/EMS services all have roots in a small, local, area. Even Our largest cities started with Individual, Independent, Volunteer Organizations. There has never been any interest in a National system here, because no one wants one. I know that I don't want any more controls placed on what I do or how I operate, in fact, I'd like to get out from under a bunch of stuff that is already out there, hindering my operations now. Fierce Pride and Independence is the foundation that this great nation was built upon, and no one today exhibits those qualities better that America's Firefighters.
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  4. #4
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    JackTee09's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    SC & NJ


    Ditto the above two answers.

    You might see from 6 down to 1 on any given department.


    "Insert quotation here."

  5. #5
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    MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Memphis, TN - USA


    Posted by Marc1:

    Any short answer on base tactics in the US would help me understand the articles posted here better.

    Hello. This will vary as much as staffing levels, but for a common house fire, for the most part:

    1st engine (4 guys) - Lay lines to attack the fire.

    2nd engine (4 guys)- Lay lines to supply the 1st engine. May pull another line off of 1st pumper to aid in fire attack.

    3rd engine (4 guys)- provide support to 1st two arriving engine companies as ordered by command.

    1st Truck (ladder) (4 guys) - split into inside/outside teams. Inside-primary search, aid in fire attack, ves. Outside-handle utilities and vent.

    Rescue Squad- Support as ordered by command

    Battalion Chief- Command

    Like I said, this varies greatly. A couple of larger cities are fortunate to run with 5 & 6 man companies. Some small cities might be lucky to have 2-3 guys per company. Volunteer companies never know what there gonna get!! Then different departments send different amounts of resources to the same type incident. We get 3 engines, 1 Truck, a Squad, and a Chief on working house fires. The next town over may onlt send 2 & 1, or 4 & 2, etc.

    Hope it helps.
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    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.

    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2005


    Thanks to all for the quick replies so far.
    As you might guess, the more I read the clearer a picture I get.
    Nearly every subforum contains excellent threads.
    Especially the fireground tactics and EMS section have been highly useful so far. I have a fireman's history book which includes 2 chapters on the beginnings of the first volunteer hook & ladder companies in the US. So I already knew a bit of the early history. Interesting that it was for common citizens to jump on a horse-drawn ladder cart in case of an alert. Unfortunately the book ends with the beginning of the 20th century.

    You must understand that in germany, Fire-Safety is organized on town-level too. New Rigs and Firestations are paid 1/2 by the town/city/village and 1/2 by state. But only to a certain level. Disaster-level emergencies (be it natural or technical disasters are partly under the management/funding of the state and partly by the nations government. USAR for example is completely under the control of the government. They are organized in a specialized service called THW(technical assistance group?). Very hard to translate. They ride in marine-blue rigs and are usually the victims of many evil jokes.

    If anyone has a question of his own regarding the operation of german fire departments I will promise to try my best and translate a bit.

    Regarding the answer of Dave1983: with 'the agency' do you mean the NFPA ?

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