Friday, March 20

You Make the Call...Opposing Engine Companies

This topic came up at the dinner table a few watches back and was the cause of much the heated debate. I wanted to pass along the scenario to you and see what you think or what your department dictates.

The Dispatch

You are the Captain of Engine 1, a 3 person engine dispatched first due to a report of a structure fire. You know the area is mixed residential, mostly 2-5 floors, varying types of construction. You are first due of a three engine response, there are 2 truck companies also responding along with other units from farther out.

Your neighboring district, district 2, was in the area on a building alarm not long ago and they go en route over the air before you leave the station.

Refer to the picture below.
Special thanks to Oak Park, Illinois
As you make the left turn down the one way narrow street, you see Engine 2 making the turn and opposing the opposite direction, against the one way sign. You see fire mid-block blowing out the third floor.

There are no other cars on the street between the 2 engines.

You are first due and your driver wants to know where to go. If you advance you will reach the fire building before Engine 2.
There is a hydrant on both corners, near the current position of both engines.
What do you tell your driver, and why?

You Make the Call


Jean said...

I'm almost afraid to speak my mind. I'll state my logics as they pops in my mind. Maybe I'm watching too much Gordon Ramsey's shows? :D

Where's communications??? Quick, establish WHO'S the IC. Why nobody is trying to establish IC BEFORE you all arrives to the fire scene? I tend to look at getting local station where fire is to be IC. If other station arrives first, check to see if local want to be IC once they arrives. I don't care who gets there first. I don't care who's who. What I care about is TEAMWORK. If you find one-way street empty... wonderful and consider yourself fortunate while you all work together to keep that street blocked from general public access. Get PD to do that if you could. I'd then have both engines to connect to their own respective hydrants and lay hose toward the fire, sticking to the side of where hydrants are located. I'd allow vehicles that's not a ladder to part partly on sidewalk to allow room for ladder truck to access closer to the fire on that narrow road. That is, if it is permitted for heavy truck to park partially on sidewalk. I don't know what I'd do if hydrants are on same side of street where burning structure is located (you may wished you could move hose if fire spreads sufficiently).

Feel free to correct me in anything!!

MotorCop said...

Train A leaves Chicago at 4:15 traveling due south. Train B leaves Seattle and heads due east. At what point does MC begin to care about either train when he will be at the PD watching the pretty fire on the morning news?


Anonymous said...

My approach would have been considering placement of the ladder and which way they would be expected to enter the scene. Engine 2 should also have been keeping that in mind. I am assuming that in your illustration, Ladder 2 was arriving from the expected direction. My answer to my driver is to get on the radio and order Engine 2 to stop, let Ladder 2 pass them for access, and then for them to lay in behind the ladder, Engine 1 will be going straight in.

Engine 2, being the normal second-due, should expect to play the second-due role (water supply), unless discussion over the radio changed those roles while en route. In your scenario, that discussion never took place, so Engine 2 will still play the second-due role. Deviation from that will be corrected by Engine 1 in its first-due role as size up-search and initial IC.

- F4

Michael Morse said...

The first in engine proceeds to the fire, second engine secures the water supply. Make sure there is enough room for the ladder companies to set up operations.

If the second due engine arrives first, and only if that second due engine is clearly first then go to Plan B.

Chris said...

Not a fire guy at all, but I would let E-2 go to the fire. Reason being that if E-1 parks right, they can block off the road to all other traffic, allowing the ladder truck to get in easier by going the wrong way down the now-empty one-way road.