Fireground Tactics Ch4 Summary
Submitted By kj1978
Chapter 4 Summary
Chapter 4 gives me an overview of basic company operations on a fire ground. It shows a "big picture" view of a typical fire and discusses, in greater detail, the functions of engine and ladder companies. Specialized companies like rescue squads, quints/quads, and ems are mentioned, but are not the chapter's focus. I was introduced to the chapter with an Industrial Revolution "division of labor" philosophy: individuals with different specialized skills are more productive. SPFD uses many of the same operational guidelines, including the NIMS approach to operations, and overall safety.
Engine companies are the most common, first-in, basic companies on the fire ground. They pump, attack the fire, and perform rescues as necessary. As the first company in the building, they have to balance fire attack operations with immediate rescue operations. Making the decision is based on time, resources, and if anyone can actually be rescued. SPFD is no different. Our decision-making is, however, based on the likelihood of more companies arriving within minutes. Our typical response is 3 engines, a ladder, and a rescue sqaud.
Ladder companies are responsible for ventilation, search & rescue, and providing additional means of egress. They are able to split into 2-person teams to accomplish the many tasks they may be assigned. They need to be aware of ventilation needs, proper positioning to accomplish their operations, and know where the different exits are. SPFD typically assigns ladders to provide ventilation of a structure, then perform a search of the building while an offensise attack is made by the engine crew. They are also the primary defensive attack crew, given their extended reach.