Im an acting capt on a Ladder company that is in a Dept that in the last three years has just decided that Trucks werent just long engines that you put guys who got in the way on the engine on. We have had a change in the upper ranks of our department and things are changing for the better. We just started a actual truck ops sop. I was on a truck in a busier dept before coming here and it makes me crazy but I dont know where to start. We just got dedicated people to trucks but I still deal with people who are of the old mind set that lazy people were on the trucks. SO how do I start to change this mindset and not make people think im want it to be like up north or that im being a pain?? Just some ideas and hints would be great! THanks

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Personally my department started emphasizing the Truck concept harder in the past years as well. Once upon a time they were a hard core truck company doing the searches and the venting and no engine work.....when I joined we had just bought a brand new E-One 100' straight stick....a beautiful truck mind you...but the problem being we settled on a "quint" basically a big engine with a big ladder on top! Our engine company was......putting it lightly....the pinical of small town volunteers! So being we were a quint with real firefighters we got stuck being first in engine quite often! Anyway my chief at the time was a lot like me, firefighting was his life and we shared a lot of the same goals so we got together and started talking about some SOP's for our Truck. We started with some basics.....what are the positions on the truck..."Irons", "can", "OVM", "Officer", "Chauffer".....for a basic crew. So we decided to put together a riding since we were volunteer it wasnt a "you sit here" type of was a "ok your sitting here so you do this job!!" With that we began cross training our guys to do every job both ways....(Truck, or Engine)...(Basicaly like a FDNY Squad company) If we had to play engine we had a riding list if we were truck we had a truck list! Thats the best place in my opinion to start! Hope this helps!!

I think Tommy has some great points, especially the riding lists. Years ago we launched our truck concept with a few of us diehard truckies and we rounded up the personnel who were the most gung hao about the job, not whackers, but guys who you could count on to not take shortcuts, to work hard at their craft, and willing to take the extra classes and all and put them together as a team.

I'm on vacation but when I get back I'll throw some stuff to you.
The first time your outside vent man carries a 20' ladder through 3 backyards, over 2 fences, past a vicious dog, and ladders the back of a building to take out a 3rd floor window with a hook to open up in front of an engine crew and keeps them from getting baked, they'll begin to appreciate you. (They will never let you know that though!)
There is a good, straight-forward, book out by Harold Reichman. "Truck Company Operations" is basic stuff, but having a copy or two around can really help. I think this is a good resource for your fighfighters.

"The Fire Officers Handbooks of Tactics" by John Norman is a great book and a good resource for you.

Sorry if this stuff is too basic, but I don't know where you are starting out.
hey chicfirefighter, I was just posting simliar issue to another, the best way is to single out the lazy sloths and round up the gun ho members, I take it as acting capt. you are also acting training officer?, if so you have the tools in hand to change this all make the truck crew the ones who ae gun ho a team the first responding assigned crew, have them if time allows to train together , now anyone can take truck ops school but s training officer you decide when and with what other members, if the old brain waves start to feel left behind a few will change attitude and want to be with the team its a natural emotion like the kid in grade school last to be picked everyone wants to be on the better team, also while sop's are a great tool some of what is in them must be put into by laws this gives you a foundation to act on if those who are lagging refuse to budge if its a by law and they don't follow suite you now have a way of backing up your's and other officers actions without something in writing that the members and line officers can see they have to do you have no recourse, it sounds way out there but a by law or roberts rules of order do stand up in your favor if they do not comply. Also before you go with any of this have a line officers meeting write it out print it and present in a confident but open minded way if the officers back it tey can't break chin of command and run to the Lt. or chief and cry .
assign the lazy ones the hardest job on scene
Being in a department that has no truck, but doing the truck work I wish I had good ideas to help you. My best sugestion is to train your crew the right way, get them to buy in to the truck concept, and get to a point where your crew can do their jobs in their sleep. Also hopefully since I see this was started in April 2008 your rig is set up right. By this I mean, if the chief has shit just tossed on the rig and put it on thinking it was an oversized engine it will be hell to do truck work. Tools and accesories need to be arranged on the rig to complement the operation as a truck. Case in point, why the hell put all the ground ladders on the officer side of the rig and the hooks on the driver side? Irons in the cab and the can in the back compartment? If you have stuff located logically so that whoever if preforming a function can grab it quick with the fewest steps possible it will help the cause a great deal.

And I like the idea of riding assignments based on are we a truck today or a big ass engine since that is the way we have to roll having no truck.



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