Let me throw this one out there for discussion. This one is more geared towards the volunteer side. The pictures are from a bus fire that I was I.C. at and actually moved around as the IC/Ops. Agree or Disagree.
Here are the basics stats: 1) 2 Engines intially on scene with a total of 5 personnel including myself. 2) While enroute we were told that it wasn't just a "vehicle" but a charter bus fully involved. 3) Called immediately for mutual aid to respond with a tanker and then once on seen called for additional mutual aid for an Engine Co. from the city/career dept which brought me an additional 4 guys. Intially I didn't know there were only 2 personnel on the other responding engine from our Station 2.
Command post was the front positioned Engine Co. but I did move about throughout the incident but did stay fairly close to the command post for the majority of the time. Open to all thoughts and questions. Thought this would be a good one to throw out for discussion.
I see no problem in being a mobile IC on this incident.
On vehicle fires, MVA's and other smaller incidents, a mobile IC can be a good thing as long as the mobility does not interfere with the communication through the IC and other officers/personnel.
Tom, I think you did what you had to do in this incident and as Chief's, thats what is expected. In my company, a volunteer company, during the day, it is completely possible as I have done in the past, that as command you pull handlines, hook up supply lines and anything that will help your crews while running command. Running command can be more than anyone knows. The tactics, answering the radio, making decisions and helping the crew that will make you look good. I think at times being mobile is a good thing, espically short staffed it can be a must. Good Job!!!
I agree with everything you did and with the other responses in regards to extra water and vehicle positioning. The only thing I might want to do additionaly is request some type of medical response to provide any transport or treatment if needed for the group that was on the bus and for your personnel on scene if needed. I also agree with you in your decision to be mobile. In a smaller incident such as this where you have limited personnel you can wear many hats initially (IC, Safety, accountability etc.) and you dont have the eyes of your other group/branch/division leaders to paint that picture for you.