In Part 1 of our series we discussed some of the duties and roles to consider as the second due engine. The included establishing a water supply if one has not set up and stretching an initial hoseline. Of course there are many more duties we can talk about. Today we will focus on a few of the bigger ones to remember.
Stretching the Back Up Line
If we arrive on scene and the first line is stretched and in operation it will be up to us to back them up with a second line. The line we choose should be equal or greater in diameter to the initial line stretched.
We also need to carefully estimate how much hose we will need. We will need enough hose to cover the first line but may also need additional line to cover the floor above if needed. We should have our line charged and ready to go at the same entrance utilized by the first due engine. If operating at a private dwelling where the initial line is operating only a short distance from us we can stand fast there and for the commercial occupancy we may need to follow the first line in and remain a short distance back. If the fire becomes too much for the first line to handle or they encounter another problem our line will need to go into service.
It is important to note, if this line is utilized it is now no longer a back up line. A third hose line will need to be stretched in order to provide protection.
Stretching a Second Line
At times initial fire conditions warrant the need for a second hand line. This may be due to the initial engine company not stretching the appropriate diameter line or fire may have spread to an adjacent area (a second store in a taxpayer) or may have extended to the floor above the original fire area.
At this point we can fall back on what we have learned previously about stretching hose lines (see my previous article on The Three R’s Of The Engine Company ) We can use the mindset that we have to use our initial size up information to stretch the right line, the right length and to the right place.
Once that has been taken care of we can call for water and go to work. This is not a substitute for a back up line, it is another attack line and it will be the responsibility of another arriving engine company to stretch a back up line.
The topics above are not meant to dictate that these are the only duties a second to arrive company may be required to complete. Every fire is different and we need to be flexible to achieve the end result of extinguishment. The areas described above will however provide all your members a good base to train on.
Every one of the topics above can be used as a drill. If you would like some ideas to plan a drill or training of this nature please leave a comment below, I have multiple trainings that I could share on this or a host of other engine topics. As with all good information you have read it now it’s up to you to share it.
Cover and Feature Photos Courtesy: Steve Silverman
Part 2 of 2
Part 1 Link: https://firefightertoolbox.com/role-second-due-engine-co-part-1/