In the first part of this article we discussed the qualities that are necessary for a truck crew to become a well oiled machine. Those qualities and practices build the foundation for your team to arrive well educated, assess the needs of the incident, grab your tools and go to work; all the while, making it look seamless and very effective.
The second part of the equation is having pre-assigned task lists based on riding positions. I will give you my, and I emphasis my, position and task list that our crew operated under. I encourage you to give me your thoughts in the comment section. It really doesn’t matter what positions get the tasks, what matters is that the task get done in an efficient and rapid manner. Remember, this matrix is based on an offensive attack operation for the first arriving truck.
The Truck Officer
Primary task: needs assessment and deviation from the plan assessment.
Tools: RADIO and a good knowledge base and experience.
Secondary task: assist the attack crew in locating the fire while conducting a primary search of the fire floor.
Third task: relay conditions to command.
Primary task: forcible entry for the search and attack.
Secondary task: search of floor above and/or fire floor.
Tools: TIC (Thermal Imaging Camera).
Third task: utilities
OVM – Outside Vent Man (Front)
Primary task: tactical ventilation of side a (front).
Tools: RADIO, hook/bar.
Secondary task: ladder side a.
Third task: rooftop ventilation
Tools: saw and bar.
OVM – Outside Vent Man (Rear)
Primary task: tactical ventilation of side c (rear).
Tools: RADIO, hook/bar.
Secondary task: ladder side c.
Third task: assist rooftop ventilation.
Tools: axe and hook.
These tasks and pre-assignments are an example of what worked well for my crew. It is not the end all to be all.
The point I am making is that in order to succeed and do it well you must have a preplan as to how you work as a company. As you can see I emphasized a RADIO. In order to be effective and survive, you must (not should) have a functioning radio on you. If your department or company does not provide them for each riding position, get on them every hour of every day to purchase them!
I will save the radio rant for another article.
Now who does the various task and what position are they riding? In my world it goes like this:
Driver/Operator- Outside Vent Front
Tiller/Jumpseat-Outside Vent Rear
Now, each position and each person knows who is doing what. More importantly, they know about where in/on the building each person should be. This is true accountability, every firefighter knows where every firefighter is and what they are doing. If someone gets “jacked up”, somebody knows about where they should be. Again back to the trust thing.
In your department or company you must make the adjustments for the way you operate. That said, this will and does work regardless of career or volunteer or a combination department.
Now a little homework. Let me know how you do these task assignment currently. I might learn something new!!!
Until the next time, be safe, and keep learning your life depends on it!!!
– Article Photo Contributed by John Gallagher, FirefighterToolbox.com