Currently my department is running 4 on trucks companies, (Officer, Driver, OVM Firefighter, Force Entry Firefighter). At the end of November, there will be a 5th person added to the trucks as a hook and canman, but that firefighter will more than likely get detailed out to other stations to cover vacancies to cut down on overtime.
What's everyone else staffing? Do you have ride and tool assignments?
We have 4 on our truck company and 3 on the engines, but the Driver and his guy that rides behind him are outside, which includes, locate electric, shut off gas, ladders for egress, secondary means of egress so if that means getting another door open in the rear they will make sure it opens so people can get out if needed, whatever ventilation is needed anything outside is usually done by them to and when the medics get on scene they help them out, and the Lt. side and the guy that rides behind him forcible entry, and search, as they like to call it, locate the fire for the engine company.
First of all, I am very happy for you that at this time when most FDs are short staffing, browning out, and laying off...your FD is increasing manpower. Please do not ever take this for granted and remember, no fancy tool or new tactic can replace MANPOWER!
I am sure not having an assignment works for your department, but you would be surprised how little has to be said and how quickly you can deploy your resources when you all have a clear picture of what is expected of you.
Ladders and Engines have a minimum manning of 4, Heavy Rescues 5.
Driver and firefighter (1) that sits behind him - Outside Vent
Captain and firefighter (2) behind him - Search, inside vent
If vent is already assigned - exterior ladders, and the typical salvage and overhaul.
Automatic Fire Alarms - FF 1 - Irons and hydra-ram, FF 2 can and hook, Captain TIC and search rope Driver either goes to alarm panel or assists with outside duty. On a highrise driver duties depend on what alarm we are assigned to.
FF 1 pulls combi tool and fire blanket from front bumper, FF2 turns pump (pump in on passanger side) on and gets cutter and step crib. Captain - sizeup and assists with cribbing, Driver - tool support and cribbing.
My Captain is pretty good in that he doesn't get in the way on extrications. He may tell us what he wants to happen (ie get passanger out first), but he usually doesn't tell us how to do it.
We have anywhere between 4 and 6 on our tower. If we have the min of 4 we run the Driver, Officer, Entry Man, OVM Man. If we have a full boat of 6 we just add 2 Can/Hook men. But once the fire is out everybody has a hook in their hand to go to work.
We run with 6 driver & man behind him set up officer & man behind search mid 1man vent mid man 2 tools so far this works well with us we used to have a stick with 2 man cab so they did everything until engine got there
I wish we could assign jobs to seating positions. Currently at our minimum staffing, we run 3 on Engines, 2 on the Ladder and the 2 Medics from the ambulance fill in as the remainder of the Ladder crew. Scary, but it works, kinda.
We run 4 on Truck 6. As for the riding and tool assignments, HHIFR choices a two team truck company. Basically it consists of an inside team (alpha) and an outside team (bravo). Alpha team is the Officer and Irons firefighter, and Bravo consists of the Chauffeur and the Tiller. For structures, Alpha usually commits to SaR while Bravo handles outside functions IE ladders, OV, PPV, vert. vent.
The department is in the process of updating SOG's and there is rumors about spelling out some riding assignments. I think riding assignments are a great asset not only for the operations, but also a great foundation to accountablity. hope that helps.
Being a Vollie we decide the assignments as we roll with the most senior member telling rest what the oic needs and who does what, the other thing we stand on is anyone wanting to run truck wears a harness on bunkers to avoid fighting for a belt if you do not have the harness you don't ride truck.
We ride 4 on our truck. On all fire runs we get a medic. So once the operations gets going there are a total of 6 members doing truck functions. The Lt. and his backstep are responsible for forcible entry,primary search, locate the fire and opening up. Tools that go with each riding location. Lt. grabs officer tool and tic. His backstep grabs irons and hook. The truck engineer and his backstep our responsible for secondary egress and ventilation. Their tools our set of irons, haligan and 2 hooks. The medic usually control the utilities. Depending on the type of structure, tools and responsible can be change according to fire.