1. #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.

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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...
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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.
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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?
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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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    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.

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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.
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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.

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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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    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.

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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.
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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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    There are a lot of people saying the CO must stay with the crew. You never break your crews up? CO + FF on the nozzle, and 2 FF searching, venting, utilities etc? Every place I've worked journey level firefighters are expected to be able to function with minimal supervision, if we can bump up to act as the captain for the shift we certainly should be able to do so onscene.

    I would prefer to be with my crew but there are times my place is as the IC, one of those considerations is can my crew function without me, if I can't say absolutely yes, then command will be passed to the next unit. Somedays the whole crew could do my job, other days they need me by their side, it all depends on who is working that day.

    BTW this has nothing to do with ICS or NIMS, these are incident management systems, they provide a frame work for commanding an emergency scene. They do not dictate tactics, command styles etc. It happens that a proponent of one off shoot of FIRESCOPE ICS happens to be pushing the command style some of you are complaining about, that also happens to be well distributed in the structural fire community it has nothing to do with NIMS, NIIMS, or FIRESCOPE ICS. You might notice that desciples of that particular brand of IMS are unhappy that NIMS has followed NIIMS / FIRESCOPE ICS rather than the Phoenix IMS model.

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    Yes NIMS is all fine and dandy when you hit multipal alarms (40) and need all the command functions, I.E. Hazmat, USAR, Large wild fires, etc. But for your run of the mill house with 3 engines and a truck ( 3 engines in my case ) you do not need to fill all of the structure... IC is also OPS... We get 11 guys thats it... Back up is comming from home on call back and they get to cover the rest of the city..... We need less chiefs and more indians inorder to get the jobs done... The span of control is covered when using the chain of command so that is no issue... First in engine can establish command or pass it, If they keep it the driver can fill in until the next officer arrives and the captain can stay with his pipeman....If we took 2in..2 out consideration we would become basement savers..... We consider all structures occupied and if the quick attack is possible which is most of the time, we go.... Until the government gives us more money for staffing and the lawmakers in madison stop playing games with budgets,, Get back to critical service funding. and support the citys, then we will have to keep doing what we are doing. Command can still be achieved on paper even with the CO iinside with his crew. Its getting hotter I can feel the heat comming......
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    Quote Originally Posted by plisken View Post
    Yes NIMS is all fine and dandy when you hit multipal alarms (40) and need all the command functions, I.E. Hazmat, USAR, Large wild fires, etc. But for your run of the mill house with 3 engines and a truck ( 3 engines in my case ) you do not need to fill all of the structure... IC is also OPS... We get 11 guys thats it... Back up is comming from home on call back and they get to cover the rest of the city..... We need less chiefs and more indians inorder to get the jobs done... The span of control is covered when using the chain of command so that is no issue... First in engine can establish command or pass it, If they keep it the driver can fill in until the next officer arrives and the captain can stay with his pipeman....If we took 2in..2 out consideration we would become basement savers..... We consider all structures occupied and if the quick attack is possible which is most of the time, we go.... Until the government gives us more money for staffing and the lawmakers in madison stop playing games with budgets,, Get back to critical service funding. and support the citys, then we will have to keep doing what we are doing. Command can still be achieved on paper even with the CO iinside with his crew. Its getting hotter I can feel the heat comming......
    That has nothing to do with my post, was it supposed to or was it just another random jab at NIMS?

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    not a jab at you or NIMS. We are forced to take NIMS up through 200, Officers through 400... We have found NIMS has nothing to do with fireground ops. Yes so seniors feel we must follow NIMS to the letter.. This does not work in small career depts. LAfire feels he needs to stay outside I am fine with that if he feels he has one else comming to take control.... In our case the driver becomes incident command or we pass command. that is what works for us... Just throwing out a new way of doing things when it comes to smaller city departments... As for NIMS I think they have butchered a system that works well and tried to make it into something that the government ageincies can feel good about. I could be wrong! but thats another discussion..
    Be SAFE!!! Go home when your shift is done and enjoy life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDAIC485 View Post
    How does this satisfy two in/two out? The pump-operator cannot be part of the equation.
    He/she is here. Same for a staff officer, an investigator or anyone else with PPE and an SCBA who happens to be on-scene.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 05-09-2007 at 08:24 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983 View Post
    He/she is here. Same for a staff officer, an investigator or anyone else with PPE and an SCBA who happens to be on-scene.
    I think we have had this discussion before Dave. As far as I'm familiar with the OSHA respitory standard only one of the two outside can take on additional roles.

    Person 1- Officer in command
    Person 2- Pump operator

    Both people under the proposed senario have additional duties and thus wouldn't qualify as 2-out as far as OSHA is concerned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983 View Post
    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.
    Dave,

    Maybe I am just not understanding, but this makes absolutely no sense to me.
    I don't see how you are advocating that the IC has to stay outside in order to be "effective" in scenario 2 and then not agree with it in scenario 1.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983 View Post
    He/she is here. Same for a staff officer, an investigator or anyone else with PPE and an SCBA who happens to be on-scene.
    C'mon Dave. I think the entire 2 in/ 2 out policy is a big joke anyway, but your Drivers really routinely standing around the pump panel in an SCBA?? I guess the IC's are Chiefin' in airpacks as well.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 05-09-2007 at 12:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NonSurfinCaFF View Post
    There are a lot of people saying the CO must stay with the crew. You never break your crews up? CO + FF on the nozzle, and 2 FF searching, venting, utilities etc? Every place I've worked journey level firefighters are expected to be able to function with minimal supervision, if we can bump up to act as the captain for the shift we certainly should be able to do so onscene.
    NoSurfin,

    We routinely split up truck companies, but engine companies for the most part stay together. I think the bigger premise of the question however is that as a first in engine officer I am going to participate in the tactics and not sit outside and point.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 05-09-2007 at 12:19 PM.
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "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.

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    Remember Florida is NOT an OSHA state, so the Federal OSH Act does not apply to State or Municipal employees.

    What they have done, for firefighters, is under the State Fire Marshal's office established a Firefighter Safety & Health unit that may adopt any or allFedOSHA regulations.

    The critical difference is Florida did not become a State-plan OSHA that would require they adopt at least the minimum standards called for by FedOSHA. By remaining outside of OSHA, they have the flexibility to pick-and-choose among the regulations. Most obviously, this is in Florida's ability to waive the 2in/2out rule annually for departments that the State Fire Marshal's office determine can't afford to meet it. That's not an option under in states with a State-plan OSHA.

    http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=& URL=Ch0633/SEC821.HTM&Title=->2005->Ch0633->Section%20821#0633.821

    Is there Firefighter Safety & Health law, and it explicitly allows both of the 2out to be assigned other roles, unlike the Federal rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    NoSurfin,

    We routinely split up, but engine companies for the most part stay together. I think the bigger premise of the question however is that as a first in engine officer I am going to participate in the tactics and not sit outside and point.
    This is something I never understood. Why when the company officer arrives does he send his men into battle without supervision on the handline. The nozzle team will be the closest to the fire and in the most dangerous of circumstances and to not have an officer inside evaulating the situation and progress (if any) is beyond foolish.

    Yet presumably another company lets say a Ladder Co. (or company acting in the capacity of a Ladder) and this Engine Co. officer is to give orders to another company officer? Does the 2nd Arriving officer not know dept procedures? Is he incapable of coordinating his companies efforts with the Engine officer? Why does he become subserviant to the first arriving officer? Since when is an Engine officer going to give commands to a Ladder Co. officer as to what he and his men are to do?

    How is an Engine officer to update the chief as to the conditions and progress upon the Chiefs arrival if he is in the street?

    FTM-PTB

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    By actionj21 in forum Line of Duty: In Memory Of
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 09-21-2001, 04:20 PM

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