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  1. #21
    Forum Member FDAIC485's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    There needs to be a command officer, on the exterior of the building, at ALL times on EVERY incident. To me, this is a point on which I see no compromise.

    This is a basic safety premise. Command must always exist.

    To many things can happen that are not visable from the inside. Condition changes visable only from the outside may be missed. Many radio messages can be missed while working inside. Information that civilains or property owners may have about contents, occupancy or structural conditions will not reach the firefighters. My assumption is that your jumpseat firefighters are fully trained and competent to stretch the line and make firefighting decisions. I see no need for an officer to supervise them if they have been trained and understand the basic departments firefighting objectives.

    I see an officers role as an overall, or macro supervisory role. Compeltently trained firefighters do not need to be supervised all the time.

    If you have a rescue situation that requires 3 firefighters, why not simply take the pump operator off the pump and assign him to the crew? If you are flowing a single line, the company officer should have no problem pumping the engine and taking care of command functions at the same time. I have done it many times, and have had no issues.

    The situation described is command in our area. SOP is the first due officer or senior man will stay outside and command the incident. Firefighters will go inside, and the senior firefighter will manage the crew.
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  2. #22
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LaFireEducator
    There needs to be a command officer, on the exterior of the building, at ALL times on EVERY incident. To me, this is a point on which I see no compromise.
    Even for a BS "medical" at 0200 hours?
    A basement dewatering call?
    Investigating a water leak in a ceiling from an overflowing toilet?


    Incident Command is a dynamic situation. If you are the officer on the first due rig, and it's just you, the nozzleman and the pump operator and pull up to a room and contents fire and the rest of the troops are a minute or two out,what are you going to do. Stand outside with your thumb in your bum and let the fire spread or get to work, knock the living crap out of it and preserve the rest of person's property?

    The correct answer is "get to work".

    There are departments who wait until every single vest in the incident command structure is filled with a warm body before even starting fire ops... of course, those FD's that do should change their name to the "cellar saver FD" or "parking lot FD".
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #23
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    The engineer can tell if things are going to Hell. He can advise of the situation outside and radio the Captain, who should be inside seeing to extinguishment in 99.9% of the interior attack fires. The other .1%? Hell, I don't know, but there's probably some situation I've not thought of.

  4. #24
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    FDAIC ...

    Combo, primarily volunteer department. The officers here are not assigned, and neither are the firefighters, including the 1-3 man paid on-duty staff to a particulair "company". The vehicles arrive with the firefighters and then they are tasked. It's not uncommon to arrive with the engine and be tasked to ventilation or arrive with the rescue and then be tasked to fire attack, depending on the number of vollies already on scene or if an engine from one of the all-vollie satelitte stations is already on scen with lines out and volunteer members working them. Officers are assigned on a need basis either to supervise a sector or take an ICS staff assignment, even if they arrive on apparatus.

    Gonzo ..

    We have established command at every call. We make every effort for command to not be physically envolved in the incident and away from the immediatte incident area.

    EMS calls we make an effort for the IC to not be involved with patient care if at all possible. He may not be outside, but we try to keep him free to look at the big picture and not get tied up with care.

    In your scenario there are three options. Option one would be the officer, or senior man drives the rig to the call, anticipating that they will be the only 3. Then the officer, or senior man pumps the apparatus and functions as command from the pump panel. This option works well, and I have used it many times. Option two is once on scene, the officer or senior man switches roles with the driver, sending him interior while he pumps the truck and functions as command from the pump panel. This can be effective but there is a slight time delay as the driver now packs up. The officer can help the jumpseat man get line on the ground and do FE while he packs up, so this option can work with a bit of teamwork. Both option 1 and 2 keeps command outside where, IMO, it belongs. Honestly, this is not a situation we face often as we have at least 1-2 volunteers riding out, or a volunteer or two arriving on scene either before or at the same time as the first due engine.

    Option 3 has the officer or senior man going inside with the jumpseat man and functioning as combat command. One advantage we have is that if I choose this option, the first arriving volunteer can pack up, follow the line in, and replace me so I can head outside and be where I need to be if I am the senior man.

    The bottom line is it's my belief that you cannot effectivly command while interior.

    I realize that in bigger cities or places where there are designated "companies", officers feel more thied to thier men. We do not have that here. Officers and senior men are flexible in thier assignments and are tasked where the need is, not where the personel from the apparatus they came in on are working.

  5. #25
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Command should be established on every call... but when Mrs. Smith's toilet is overflowing, is it necessary to be outside?

    There are times where you will have to go to work without the benefit of having someone "outside"... other wise, the outcome may not be favorable.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  6. #26
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    Gonzo ...

    Mrs. Smith's toliet overflowing or an EMS call is a different situation from a commanding a working structure fire while inside, where you are trying to command an operation with a limited view of the problem while in an SCBA, dragging line, monitering fire conditions are trying to communicate with your crew, not to mention you don't get a view of the whole picture. With Mrs. Smith's overflowing toliet, you don't have any of those issues, and you really don't need an overall view of the structure to moniter changing conditions. Even in that case, I would still prefer to be in another room, or maybe even outside. My crew doesn't need me peering over thier shoulder. It's good to give some independence and let them solve the problems on thier own, and report back to you when it's solved.

    There may be situations where for a minute or two you may not have the benefit of someone outside, but luckily here they are few and far between.

  7. #27
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Gonzo ...

    Mrs. Smith's toliet overflowing or an EMS call is a different situation from a commanding a working structure fire while inside, where you are trying to command an operation with a limited view of the problem while in an SCBA, dragging line, monitering fire conditions are trying to communicate with your crew, not to mention you don't get a view of the whole picture. With Mrs. Smith's overflowing toliet, you don't have any of those issues, and you really don't need an overall view of the structure to moniter changing conditions. Even in that case, I would still prefer to be in another room, or maybe even outside. My crew doesn't need me peering over thier shoulder. It's good to give some independence and let them solve the problems on thier own, and report back to you when it's solved.

    There may be situations where for a minute or two you may not have the benefit of someone outside, but luckily here they are few and far between.

    Well, you did say someone outside in command at every incident without exception...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  8. #28
    MembersZone Subscriber JohnVBFD's Avatar
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    If an officer responds with a company and assumes responsibility of that company and stays outside onscene. The two firefighters get lost/seperated and one dies, is that officer not responsible for them? Or did he pass that responsibility onto someone else because he took over the "incident command"?

    If you are an officer or a senior man riding in the officers chair, and you sit in that rig in that chair, YOU are responsible for ensuring that the same amount of people leave that scene on YOUR truck that arrived. Chiefs assume the title of chief to be responsible for command. A company officer is responsible for their company and their companies conduct and tatics on that scene. ****** poor tatics by two firefighters inside should not be excused or condoned because the company officer was outside wearing a fancy vest with 8 radios.
    Co 11
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    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  9. #29
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    ****** poor tatics by two firefighters inside should not be excused or condoned because the company officer was outside wearing a fancy vest with 8 radios.

    Doc... you forgot to mention what the vest says...

    I'm in charge.. where the hell are they?
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  10. #30
    MembersZone Subscriber JohnVBFD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Doc... you forgot to mention what the vest says...


    He would know where they were at but he was parked 2 miles over behind a curtain of yellow caution tape with the copy paper "Command Post" taped to that, uphill, upwind, calling for mutual aid because his companies are hiking it over in full gear to check in then hike back to go to work while the ladders set up a defensive perimeter around the county/town with a curtain of master streams to ensure the barbeque grill fire doesn't extend to the main structure.
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    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  11. #31
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    In our situation, there is no garuntee that the senior man or captain sitting in that seat will not end up being the incident commader. Even though we have a paid FTAssistant Chief (Chief and Deputy Chief are volunteers) who works M-F 8-5, there is no garuntee that he will be on-scene as he may be tied up out of the district at a meeting or other function. The reality is here, there is no garuntee that someone else will show up to relieve the first in command officer, so taking command initially is the way that our system has been set up.

    We have a tremendous amount of confidence in our jumpseat firefighters that they will attack the fire in a way that is consistant with our standard way of doing business.

    In your situation, the officer may be able to go inside on a working incident because they are garunteed the arrival of a chief. here that's not our situation unless you hear them coming on the radio.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    In our situation, there is no garuntee that the senior man or captain sitting in that seat will not end up being the incident commader. Even though we have a paid FTAssistant Chief (Chief and Deputy Chief are volunteers) who works M-F 8-5, there is no garuntee that he will be on-scene as he may be tied up out of the district at a meeting or other function. The reality is here, there is no garuntee that someone else will show up to relieve the first in command officer, so taking command initially is the way that our system has been set up.

    We have a tremendous amount of confidence in our jumpseat firefighters that they will attack the fire in a way that is consistant with our standard way of doing business.

    In your situation, the officer may be able to go inside on a working incident because they are garunteed the arrival of a chief. here that's not our situation unless you hear them coming on the radio.
    So I ask again, if that officer or senior firefighter sits in that forward passanger seat, otherwise known as the "Officer in Charge" and responds with that company, and stays outside. IF something happens to the backstep firefighters inside the structure and that rig comes home a man short........WHO is responsible?

    A company boss should not be wearing two hats.
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    You'll find me inside with my company.
    Amen..........................

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    I have read all of posts and it does answer the original question. I like to operate within the rules and not within the exceptions. Obviouly, LaFireEducator operates within the later due to conditions particular to his Department. If that works for them, good for you. The fact of the matters is for the majority of us it is not the first option. I listened to Lt. McCormack (FDNY) presentation few months ago and again yesterday. There is no question about the reason why the 1st officer on scene takes the responsibility to lead his crew into a fire. Moreover, NFA Managing Company Tactical Operations (Desicionmaking) describes specific responsibilities of the company officer during an emergency. I will just paste in this section some the text.
    In page SM 5-32 under Company Officer responsibilities (nine of them) you will read: size-up, selecting strategy and tactics, develop and implement IAP, coordinate resources, modify IAP, request additional resources, maintain command until can be transfered or passed, and BE PREPARE TO FILL A SUBORDINATE POSITION WITHIN THE INCIDENT ORGANIZATION. Under this training you will learn few command options available for the IC if he is the 1st in officer/company: nothing-showing mode, fast-attack mode, and command mode.
    From the NFA text:

    " Nothing-showing mode: these situations generaly require investigation by the initial arriving company while other units remain in a stage mode. The CO should go with the company to investigate while using a portable radio to command the incident"

    " Fast-Attack mode: situation that must be stabilized immediately require the CO's assistance and direct involment in the attack. In this situations the CO goes with the crew to provide the appropiate level of supervision...""
    The only time it is possible for the CO/IC to sit outside (with the lime green vest with the print command on it) is for those situations where the complexity and size of the incident are beyond his company capabilities. In this case, an interior attack may not be your initial strategy (going deffensive mode may be best) and then assigning one of FFs as acting officer while you take overall command. " The collective and individual capabilities and experience of the crew will regulate this action. The other to options for the 1st in officer under the command mode is to assign your crew to another officer or to assign them to staff functions".

    Again, thanks for all of your input. There is no question about where I am going to be in an emergency(fire or other) ....with my crew

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    LA-- My situation is very similar to yours. We have a 3 man career engine with vollies supporting and two other 100% vol station as 2nd and 3rd due. While I do not agree with your position on standing outside while you send your guys inside. That is your way of doing it, whatever works for you. Personally I feel that I owe it to my guys to be standing beside them come hell or high water.
    The question I have is on the Mr. Smith Toilet calls why are you not in their LEADING your guys and getting dirty with them. On calls that are single company response (public assist, small fuel spills, small rubbish fires, basic BS calls.) what are you commanding? Do you leave all the work to the jumpseat firefighter and the driver standing back watching them work?
    The purpose of a company officer is to lead his guys. The only way to lead them is to be in the front, if not you are following. I feel that a good company officer needs to be the first one to work and the last one to leave. He needs to take a follow me approach.

    Company officers lead firefighters and chief officers manage systems.

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    For what my opinion is worth....

    The company officer does not necessarily need to be IC. This could be the job of the pumper operator, until the Chief arrives on scene.

    What I see taking precedence is "2 in/2 out" and "rookies need to be supervised." The officer can attack the fire with a FF1 and leave the remaining FF1 with the pump operator as an IRIT. One of them can serve as IC and direct incoming units until the next higher officer arrives.

    The FF1 on the outside is doing things like preparing to ventilate, lighting, electricity, gas, etc....

    But then, I come from a department where there might be 2-3 paid on the first in unit and whatever volunteers are at the station when the call comes in, or respond from home.

  17. #37
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    Here it is set by SOG, and there is very little "wiggle" room. And let me say I DO NOT agree with the way we do it.

    If you have a 4 FF company, the CO is expected to remain outside and establish IC. This takes care of two things. One, you have IC and two, you satisfy 2 in-2 out. While I dont agree with it, I can live with it.

    What I cannot live with is if you have 3 on the rig, the CO goes in on the line, but is still expected to establish IC. Sorry, but that goes against everything I learned when I was going to company officer school. To be the IC, you need to be outside in a position to monitor conditions and make assignments as dictated by the situation.

    As for when we establish IC. SOG is anytime you have more then one unit assigned to an incident. So yes, if we have an EMS call with several patients, we establish IC. If we have a toilet overflow and the first due company calls for help with salvage, then we have an IC.

    Now that doesnt mean we put vests on and assign sectors. In these situations it more to establish one CO to handle radio traffic with dispatch or to handle assignments if more units are requested. It also designates who gets to do the report. And its good practice for the times you do need a full-blown IC set up.
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  18. #38
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    Doc ...

    If the senior man on the first-in apparatus has to stay outside and be the IC, he, like all ICs is responsible for everything that occurs on the fireground.

    The senior jumpseat firefighter on line then becomes reponsible for the interior, and is responsible for making all decisions regarding interior operations. If a more senior man or officer then arrives by later arriving apparatus or POV, he may be replaced by the senior man/officer. If only junior men arrive, they will be assigned to relieve him on the line so he can supervise the interior sector without being bound to a handline. Again, until he is replaced, he is reponsible for the interior sector.

    It's really not a complicated system. We do not have apparatus assigned "company officers" in the traditional sense, and personnel often do not work as a company but are split up once on the fireground with a senior man put in charge of the teams. Personnel, including officers, report to staging and generally do not remain with the senior man on that truck unless the crew is assigned a task by command prior to arrival. They are commonly assigned to other tasks and other teams based on fireground need as they arrive. They are often mixed with other personnel, including officers, arriving by POV and reporting to staging.

  19. #39
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    I don't know about all of you but I want my officer right behind me on the line...He can pass command to the next in every time as far as I am concerned... To have a front line engine captain standing outside is a waist of resources...... If i am driving fine, the officer and the FF's go in, and I will be in command until the next officer arrives on scene...Then I will pass it or keep it till the B/c arrives..... Nothing says the driver can not be command if the engine is command, I can be the eyes out side until the next arrives... If getting a knock on the fire can be achieved with the initial hand line why wait, if a life rescue is possable than 3 searchin is better than 2, if ladders need to go up then command can wait until the life rescues are done... Control is accomplished, We all know what needs to be done and how to do it.. We don't have to be guided as to what comes next... With a good size up and initial assignments to arriving units prior to entry than why have him standing out sidewearing a vest.
    Be SAFE!!! Go home when your shift is done and enjoy life.
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  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983 View Post
    If you have a 4 FF company, the CO is expected to remain outside and establish IC. This takes care of two things. One, you have IC and two, you satisfy 2 in-2 out. While I dont agree with it, I can live with it.
    How does this satisfy two in/two out? The pump-operator cannot be part of the equation.
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