One of the most important positions/roles on the fire ground and the one that gets the least praise is the Back up Nozzle Firefighter Period!
As the Back-up Nozzle Firefighter(BNF), you are given the task of assisting the Nozzle Firefighter(NF) to successfully stretch, deploy and assist in moving the attack line to make the NF’s job as easy and successful as possible to find the seat of the fire and extinguish it.
This mission, if you choose to accept it, will require you to do a lot of labor and get no glory in terms of actually using the nozzle. However, if you do not accept the mission, it is virtually impossible for the NF to do their job successfully especially when the fire is upstairs, downstairs, around a hallway etc. This will completely hinder if not worse, will paralyzed the fire ground operations. Hence causing great destruction to the property and the will negatively impact the other crews working on the fire ground.
Here are just some of the many important tasks the Back up Nozzle Firefighter needs to be doing:
- Be constantly moving and communicating with the NF to make sure the NF is advancing where he/she needs to go.
- Be vigilant to make sure no fire has been passed by the NF.
- Be ready to force a door, or vent a window in coordination with the fire attack
- Be constantly monitoring the radio and possibly informing command of fire conditions and their location.
- Be disciplined and focused to not leave these tasks no matter what. Because if you leave this assignment the Nozzle Firefighter is practically stuck and probably won’t be able to advance or move the hose line which will hinder the main goal of life safety & putting the fire out.
What should Our Mindset Be As the Back-up Firefighter?
Well, I don’t know about your mindset or attitude, but for me, I:
Take it as a personal challenge to be the BEST Back-up Firefighter that the Nozzle Firefighter ever had.
My goal is for the NF to tell me after the fire, “That was the easiest job they I ever had being on the nozzle.”
What Does Everyone Want to know?
Everyone wants to know who got the fire, who was on the nozzle, but you and I know it’s all about how the Back-up Nozzle Firefighter performed. That’s what made the NF get the fire.
But What Does Everyone Really Want To Know?
Everybody really wants to know who the ultimate firefighter is on the fire ground that day.
The Ultimate Firefighter – The Most Valuable Firefighter With No Glory (MVFWNG) on the fire ground AKA The Back Up Nozzle Firefighter.
The one that fulfilled the mission and brotherhood of being the firefighter’s firefighter: The Ultimate Firefighter aka the Back Up Nozzle Firefighter.
So Here’s to the Back Up Nozzle Firefighter.
You are the ultimate firefighter, You are the champion maker. The Most Valuable Firefighter(MVF) on the fire ground that gets the least glory & praise but plays a crucial role to the success or failure of the fire ground’s operations.
We know it was all you’re doing, all your hard work, all your discipline to serve others without glory. The ultimate firefighter and team player.
So, here’s to you!
Now, hopefully, on the next call, you’ll get the nozzle. ;-)
Until then, be disciplined, be strong, work hard and do the most important role with the least glory on the fire ground.
Be Safe, Be Ready!
Photos Contributed by John Gallagher – FirefighterToolbox.com