Engine Company Operations
I have a question to ask. First, lets assume the following condition: a combination FD with 1st out engine company staffed with four personnel and a chief officer arriving on scene four to five minutes later. Fire conditions will require offensive operations. So, the question is: you as a company officer would estabish command and remain outside and assigns two presonnel (fiefighter 1 and 2) to conduct interior fire attack or would you assume interior operations role with FF1 and pass command to the arriving chief?
Establish command or go in?
As Captain I've run into the same exact scene more than once. It has to depend on the situation. More often than not I will go in with the crew of two others, pump operator outside, after I'm sure another Chief Officer, ours or mutual aid is no more than 2 minutes out. By the time I let dispatch know I am going inside, first due Chief to take command, the line is at the door, charged, everyone is on air and in we go. It also gives me a chance to do a quick size up before making the final decision. If I'm not comfortable with how long it will take the next in Officer, or need time to make more size up, positioning decisions for the next engine and ladder, I would opt for outside and turn over Command to the Chief arriving first or just get "stuck" with Command for the call. Bottom line is if it isn't safe for the two firefighters to start the attack, then it probably isn't safe for the three of you and no command system either.