Where should the Company Officer be?

When should you be on your knees? LOOK at that NOZZLE!!

There is always the extreme. We need to find a middle ground.


 This is a BIG ONE! Where should the Company Officer of the First arriving Engine be? Should He or She be on the attack line inside? Should they be outside commanding the nozzle firefighter that is inside by them selves or under someone else’s supervision? The question you need to ask is; why do I believe/do what I/you do?

Why do you believe in what you believe? Why is your opinion correct/ the way? Has it been time tested under real conditions? Has it always worked? Is it what’s right for the citizens?

Some Fire Departments have their first in Officer Stand outside holding a radio with a pretty vest on. Does this make it a safe realistic fire ground?

What is really the one thing that can make everything better on the fire ground, when stuff is burning?

Pensacola 11-25-2000 RFB 201 “Maurice Bartholemew”

What is the one Tactic that makes everything better?

Location of Fire and getting WATER on it is High Priority!

Hallways and Back-up Lines. Communicate your conditions.

Do you see the nozzle? When can the initial attack line go unattended?

What are your priorities when first due at a House Fire?

Rest in Peace Brother. We will NEVER FORGET. Your sacrifice has trained others.

 Firefighter Maurice Bartholemew made the ultimate sacrifice on 11-25-2000 while making the initial interior attack assigned to the nozzle. Engine 5, his company, was first to arrive at a 1200 sq ft house fire with entrapment. Maurice stretched the first attack line and advanced through the front door and down the hallway. He advanced to the last bedroom on the left and that is where the nozzle was located after the fire was extinguished. The initial attack line never made it to the fire. While he was in this room a PPV was started at the front door and conditions started to change. The Officer and door firefighter exited and once outside realized he had not followed them out. He some how got off the line and searched his way right into the main body of fire. It was nearly an hour before he was located.

This FIRE is not uncommon in the American Fire Service and happens multiple times a year. The problem is we do not study and share what happens. We must share and learn from each and every one of them. Engine Tactics must become a priority and the Instructors of this Great profession must make Engine Training a top priority. Firefighters are getting killed more and more on the initial attack line. Their last words sometimes are its hot and we can’t see.

I too love Truck Company Operations but not at the expense of getting Water On The Fire!!!!

Please print report below and review in Honor of Maurice. RFB 201


Roof Operations “Read Below and give your Opinion”

What type of Saw do you prefer?When do you need a hoseline on the roof?

When do you need a Line on the roof?

Truck Company Operations vary so much based on manning and the culture of your FD. There are so many ways to vent a roof and all have there place. The questions are; What type of saw do you prefer and what are its positives and negatives? How long will your saw operate without refueling? What type of blade or chain do you prefer? Will your FD allow a K12 on a pitched roof and do you like using a K12 on pitched roofs? When do you prefer a Chain Saw? Do you like the depth gauge or no depth gauge? Do you like the sling attached or does it just get in the way? What have you found that the 30 tooth carbide blade will cut? How long will your composite blade last? What blade is left on the saw when sitting idle on the rig? How often do you run your saws?

What can the Thermal Imager do for you on the roof?


Why do we fight FIRES from the inside? Should WE???

Why should we go interior? If we go interior how would you engage? What would your first two tactics be?

 Why do so many Firefighters, People, Leaders, Chiefs’ and/or whoever it is, think we should stand outside? What direction is the American Fire Service headed?  Are we headed in the right direction and who is at the wheel? Can you help direct the course?

Where are the majority of the Firefighters dying? The ones that die on the inside, is it because they should not have been in there or because we engaged incorrectly?

I am so motivated after watching General Welsh’s Speech at the USAFA. We signed up! It’s like the Armed Forces, you volunteer to sign up and take the JOB!

You Must watch this. Watch the first 5 minutes and your not going to stop. One of the Best Speeches ever. The best 50 minute leadership class ever.



LDH Supply Lines

Curb the Supply. Bring supply in Curb side when possible.

The LDH is a serious water supply asset when used properly and totally understood. But with anything it too can be a problem when all factors are not considered. When securing a hydrant consider a reverse lay in the opposite direction of the remaining companies that are responding. This will allow them easier access with-out the hinderance of the LDH blocking them. Consider hugging the curb to lay the line as close as possible to curb and not block the street. Once you have arrived at the scene try and minimize any excess hose by breaking and utilizing the shorter links out of the compartment. Also consider if a Ladder Company has arrived and/or will be needed. If it has not arrived and will possibly be needed, consider how to arrange supply as to not impede Ladder Company positioning.

Take the time and get it right the first time. LDH is only as good as we allow it to be.

What is the distance for collapse zone? If inside where is the safest?

Where is the safest place to be "when inside the colllapse zone" during a building collapse?

Firefighters have been seriously injuried and killed by building collapse. You should always keep in mind the buildings construction and collapse potential. Firefighters have been killed from collapse hours after the fire had been brought under control. There are still extreme dangers during overhaul. Evaluate the buildings stability.

Company Pride

What have you done for company pride? Are you still keeping the rig clean and ready for combat? Have you detailed it lately? Have you taken any photos of it? How about getting your crew together and take a photo next to your WAR WAGON!

Why would you cut on the non-fire side of a fire wall?

Was this really necessary? Why would you cut a roof that does not have active fire underneath it?

Making a trench cut on the opposite side of a FIRE WALL.Why would you do this?

When you have a large amount of fire in an open attic space that you most likely will not be able to extinguish and the building is separated by some type of fire wall. Be pro-active and make a cut on the non-fire side. In the top photo we had three-story hotel with 48 rooms on fire. The fire wall was 40 years old. The decision was made to cut on the non-fire side. This also allowed us to complete the cut in reasonable safe conditions. While making the cut we observed fire penetrating numerous breaches and the heat was so intense that you could not have your face over the vent hole with-out a mask on.

In the second photo, a some what of a trench cut was made to release serious heat build up from the two-story townhouse that was fully involved on-arrival. The fire never breached the fire wall. The heat did however conduct through the fire wall and was visible after the cuts were made. The trusses were not damaged during the cutting and resulting in the owner being able to rapidly fix and allow the exposure townhouse to be reoccupied within a week. Still a couple of years later this entire block of row houses/townhouses were demolished due to extensive drug activity.

So in the end, be open to non-traditional tactics that may be pro-active and not understood by all. I would rather a hole in the roof of my apartment that can be easily fixed, than heavy smoke conditions and/or fire extension from serious heat build up that was not released.  Trusses require us to sometimes complete pre-mature vertical ventilation based on the likely hood of the future fire growth.