Currently my department doesn't have riding assignments. Not who sits in the seat but the job assigned to that sseat. I think it would be a good idea to require some accountability and eliminate freelancing as well as eliminate the possibility of four guys trying to do the sake job and no one establishing water supply, getting tools etc. I expect some pushback from older members. Any thoughts?

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Capt. We do have a span of control issue every now and then but on larger incidents we have officers from other depts. to help spread the load a bit. And as most volly depts can tell you its hard to get a full turn out on most calls. As for the SO and the IC. If its a smaller incident the IC "roams" the scene checking on progress but returns to staging when needed. The SO stays in staging at all times.

its important to have assigned or designated seating at all times. for example my department is a combination department who ever the station i worked for, for 10 year is ran by all paid call and only a 40 hour captain so at night time we rely on our seating, if theres no senior personal the engineer will be in charged,

officer/ senior firefighter- with proper training the senior ff can effectively be good as any officer.

engineer/operator- engineer should be trained or have officer training classes under his or her belt.

FF1 right rear seat- assigned for water supply and medical bag.

FF2 right behind officer seat- pipe man, or medical bags, first contact with patient.

FF3 left rear seat- pipe man, first contact with patients.

FF4 behind driver seat- setting up tools, or putting up ground ladders.

Just wanted to give Ideas of what can be done, this is the way my station is done its effective it works simple training like hooking hydrants makes it easier to remember what that seat is there for. or what roles you can train on.

@ Captjack

 

 

My dept runs with anywhere from 3-4 personnel on shift, we are a paid on call department.

 

for my crew as the crew leader I have givin out seat assignements to each ff on my shift and seems to work out well

 

Eng

Fire pump ops pulling extra lines pulling out vent fans getting ladder rack down

mva start pump pull line if needed then transition into vehical stabilization

alarm system stage truck near fdc prepare for fdc connection if needed as well as prepare to pull line

mutual aid grabs irons

 

ff 1

fire pull attack line and grab handtool usually a haligan

mva vehical stabilization if needed if minor takes vehical 2

alarm system irons and water can

mutual aid depending on task either irons or saw for vent

 

myself

fire tic and tnt tool

mva overall scene size up vehical one extrication if needed

alarm system tnt tool tic go directly to panel

mutual aid depends on assignment but always tnt tool

 

emt only

fire set up rehab secure water source if nearby  help set up vent and rit tarp

mva purely pt care/triage

alarm system assist engineer with duties

mutual aid assist in ff rehab

 

additonal firefighters

same as ff1 except with a different tool and not pulling a line on a fire

Most cities run three personal shift i know we do but we can have 6 reserves working in one shift, usually with a three man crew, engineer, senior firefighter/officer, firefighter.

having assigned seating during the time our captain is working, my job will be hooking hydrant, stretching hose, as my capt. does hes 360 im already have my hose flanked out charged, then my capt. will come to be pulling hose with me, if we had additional FF he could be down doing the water supply, or if it was hand jacked by the engineer the FF could be with me on the hose or setting up ladders, engineer setting tools cache.

evenings with no officer im taking the captains seat running the scene, writing down PCRs, small incidents im ic, safety, operations,  all at the same time. thats how we are trained. Any questions ill be happy to ask.



captnjak said:



Jason Van Order said:

We really dont have a "company officer" like full time depts have.  Our dept is small.  We have 4 officers (including chief) and only 18 firefighters.   On every call we have at least one officer go to the scene directly to give a size up and call for additional resources asap.  That officer becomes the IC of the event untill they decide to transfer command.  So 90% of the time we know what we are dealing with before we even get on scene.  For smaller incidents the IC also runs our staging.  On lager events we will have a separate staging officer.  The IC tells the staging officer what they want done and the SO assigns the tasks to those available.  once finished those ff return to staging and check in with the staging officer.   For example.  Toned out to a room and contents fire.  2 ffs are sent to horizontal vent.  After they vent they go to the staging area and check in with the staging officer.  As for accountability we have tags with our numbers on them that clip to the back of our helmet.  When assigned a task the IC or SO take the tags and records what task they are doing at that time.

captnjak said:

Do the smaller vollie departments have a minimum number of guys needed in order to turn out? Or a minimum to operate at scene? I realize that small emergencies, alarm investigations (nothing showing), etc can be easily handled by even one responder. Large scale emergencies and fires should have some kind of minimum response/turnout. If your minimum is three, then come up with a plan that assigns the three highest priority actions to the three responding. This can change depending on type of response. 

Our first out engine seats 6 total.  After 6ish on weeknights and anytime on the weekend we have no problem filling the truck.  During the day during the week it is not uncommon for the truck to roll with only 2 because of everyone else working.   This is why for most of us rural depts. its important to have a good working relationship and have good mutual aid agreements with our neighbors.   When the s hits the fan we all can count on each other to be there no questions asked with whatever resources they have.

For fires, couldn't a firefighter be assigned a position upon arrival, with highest priorities being addressed by earliest arriving members? Outside vent #1 could do outside recon and VES. Roof firefighter #2 could be assigened to assist roof #1 with recon and venting at roof level. Engine #1 officer and nozzle stretch line to location of fire. Engine #2 could assist with stretch and begin interior search. This being done as part of an overall SOP for a house fire would allow standardized titles, positions and tasks. Communications, coordination, operational efficiency and safety would all benefit. If Ladder #1 outside vent firefighter goes missing, the entire fireground would know he was VES position. They would know where to start looking for him immediately. 

Once we are in route we are usually given a scene size up by the officer that goes directly to the scene.  From there the officer or senior ff gives us or assignments for when we get on scene.  From what i have heard they have had it in the past where you sit determines what task you will do and sadly it turned into a pi$$ing match on who got what seat or guys would don their gear slowly on purpose so they wouldnt get a certain seat.

Jason,

Do you not work under supervision of company officers? You stated that you complete initial assignment and then report to staging. You are then given another assignment. Who besides the IC knows where you are and what you are doing? There appears to be no standardization. 

I'd love to hear from smaller department members who DO use standard positions. Or tried it and went back to not using them. Can it work? I have to believe it can. And I have no doubt a good system would be safer and more efficient.

Thanks for the reply. Command and control operations of small rural departments are foreign to me. Seems like you could run into "span of control" issues.

Are the SO and IC in the immediate vicinity of each other?

The assignments should be task based not seat based. Then guys wouldn't be able to manipulate themselves into an assignment. An officer, trained as an officer, not just a senior man, should make the assignments. 

Too many departments are run like social clubs. I don't care how small a department is, there should be a level of professionalism involved. Firefighting assignments turned into pissing matches? Really? Why not just stay home so no one gets hurt? Or worse.

Very rarely do we roll without an officer. but id does happen every now and then.  As for the dept being run like a social club I agree.  Our chief now is amazing.  No more of the show up when you want for what you want and only do certain things.  You are either all in or all out.  That goes for trainings,meetings and calls.  If you dont meet a minimum percentage per quarter you get to have a sit down with the officer staff and explain why you didnt make the required calls.  But there are a few exceptions to that too.

captnjak said:

The assignments should be task based not seat based. Then guys wouldn't be able to manipulate themselves into an assignment. An officer, trained as an officer, not just a senior man, should make the assignments. 

Too many departments are run like social clubs. I don't care how small a department is, there should be a level of professionalism involved. Firefighting assignments turned into pissing matches? Really? Why not just stay home so no one gets hurt? Or worse.

It comes down to good communication with your crew. For a good example: The firefighter that rides backwards behind the officer's seat is in charge of deploying the hose line and the firefighter that also rides backwards the driver/operator seat changes the hydrant. Realistically speaking, communication and training is the key to working together well when your on a run. 

We have seat assingments as a volunteer dept.  Sometimes the seats are not full, but we have the mentality that the seat assignments are set in stone.  

I argue that if adjustments need to be made en route, they should be made.  Some on the dept should not be in the Hydrant seat, they are not strong enough.  I should not be stuck in the "hydrant" seat while someone else who will not put a SCBA on sits in the "hose" seat.  It takes a capable man out of the interior crew.  No one sits in the hydrant seat if they can help it, so I get stuck with it because I live so far from the station.  

I would like officers or senior guys to be more flexible en route and made adjustments rather than stick to arbitrary seat assignments.     



Jim Conrad said:

We have seat assingments as a volunteer dept.  Sometimes the seats are not full, but we have the mentality that the seat assignments are set in stone.  

I argue that if adjustments need to be made en route, they should be made.  Some on the dept should not be in the Hydrant seat, they are not strong enough.  I should not be stuck in the "hydrant" seat while someone else who will not put a SCBA on sits in the "hose" seat.  It takes a capable man out of the interior crew.  No one sits in the hydrant seat if they can help it, so I get stuck with it because I live so far from the station.  

I would like officers or senior guys to be more flexible en route and made adjustments rather than stick to arbitrary seat assignments.     

____________________________________________________________________________

If I am understanding you correctly, firefighting assignments are based on order of arrival at the fire station?

Please tell me I'm wrong!

Sorry for the delay. 

As bad as it sounds, yeah it kinda works that way.  

Sometimes we dont have an officer, sometimes the person that shows up to drive the engine cant pump it.  Sometimes the nozzle crew cant airpack.  

I live eight miles from the firehouse.  If I even make the engine, it will be in the hydrant seat because no one wants to do it.  My only argument is that I would prefer the officer or senior man to make a decision on the way to the fire and assign someone who does not operate interior to the hydrant.  

Yeah, its a bit of a cluster.  Welcome to rural Montana, its a different world here Cap.   

Seat assignments can work in a small volly dept if trained on regularly to make it more efficient so that each member is familiar with each seat assignments and the task required to perform that assignment. On the other hand I may be difficult to maintain each specific seat job due to man power and experience.

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