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Posted: 10/30/2008 5:50:40 AM EDT
I need to know what positions are which on a typical engine

It's my understanding that the driver is usually the engineer and the guys in the back are usually the firefighters and/or EMT's.  

who's riding shotgun?

who's responsible for communications in route / on scene?

I know that the vehicle with the green light is the incident commander (usually the Bat.Chief IME).

any other info you could help me understand when it comes to firefighter communications  (on scene) would help me.  I'm pretty clear, I believe, with the dispatch side of things.  looking for a generic view,  I know that each department has it's own way of doing things.

Link Posted: 10/30/2008 6:03:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/30/2008 6:04:28 AM EDT by TheRedGoat]
The officer, typically.

You question's answer wil vary based upon the size ofthe department, the type of incident, the apparatus involved etc.

There is not really a 'single' answer for each call.

Link Posted: 10/30/2008 6:07:25 AM EDT
If it's a paid the Dept, the officer (usually a Capt) is riding shotgun.

If it's volunteer, then there's really no telling. Volly's have to do more with less, so there's a lot of improvising.
Link Posted: 10/30/2008 6:13:01 AM EDT
if it helps... the department I typically deal with is paid, running the typical 4-6 position pierce pumper trucks.

I don't need to detailed description, just a high level view/understanding of typical operations.
Link Posted: 10/30/2008 6:19:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RED_5:
if it helps... the department I typically deal with is paid, running the typical 4-6 position pierce pumper trucks.

I don't need to detailed description, just a high level view/understanding of typical operations.

What kind of incident? MVA? Medical Assist? Structure Fire? Wildland?

Even in the larger, 'paid' departments, you will see variation based upon the indicent.

And, driver/engineers and others in the department will 'ride up' (move up in position), for training, covering sick days (officer's sick engineer might be officer, and FF might be driving), etc.

Typically, There is an officer in the front right seat.  But, not always.


Link Posted: 10/30/2008 6:20:19 AM EDT
As the others have said, there's no one real answer to your questions.

For my department, We generally have 4 guys per apparatus (sometimes 3).  Driver/Engineer, Officer and 2 Jumpmen.  The Driver is a Senior Firefighter, the Officer is a Lt or Capt and the Jumpmen can be whatever (other senior FF's and below).

Our roles change from depending on the senerio.  If we're the first to arrive at a structure fire, I'll be at the pump panel and the other 3 will be fighting fire.  If we're second, third, forth due to a fire, my officer will take a jumpman and I'll take a jumpman and we'll do our assigned task.

The officer would be responsible for communication while en route and whoever is in charge of a group would be in charge while on scene.  There's so many things that are being done on scene of a structure fire and there will be several groups/companies that are doing different tasks and they'll be reporting into the IC.
Link Posted: 10/30/2008 8:05:56 AM EDT
In our Dept.

Driver is a FF but on scene he is the pump operator
Shotgun is officers seat, usually a Lt.
Guys in the Back are FF / EMT's
Link Posted: 10/30/2008 8:47:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/30/2008 8:51:43 AM EDT by BuckeyeRifleman]
At my department,

The officer in charge sits in the front right seat, he is in charge of communications, establishing "command", size up, etc. The driver is the pump operator, he also can be "command" for a short time while the OIC makes an interior attack with his crew. Once the second due companies arrive the district chief will take command. The FF sitting behind the officer is usually the nozzle man and the FF sitting behind the driver usually hits the hydrant.(although this changes depending on which side of the street the hydrant is on)

Ladder crew is a little different. The guys sitting on the right side of the truck, along with the OIC are the interior crew. There jobs are 1. Forcible entry 2. Primary search and rescue. 3. Pulling ceilings and walls for the engine crew.

The guys sitting on the left side of the truck including the driver are the outside vent crew. There job is 1. Do a 360 of the building and shut off the utilities. 2. vent the structure (ie cut holes in the roof and break windows depending on where the fire is located).

Firefighting is one of those "situation dictates procedure" types of work, so all of that is subject to change and usually does change when it comes to second third and fourth arriving units, but those are the tasks on a typical first due truck and engine.

Link Posted: 10/30/2008 8:59:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RED_5:

who's riding shotgun?

who's responsible for communications in route / on scene?

Captain for both

The rookie sits behind the Capt. The driver operates the rig/ladder. The rest are FFs. This is how is was explained to me when I stopped by a station when they were busy with BBQ, watching TV, washing their cars I mean practicing drills.

Link Posted: 10/30/2008 9:07:50 AM EDT
The C.O. rides sgotgun.
Link Posted: 10/30/2008 12:40:11 PM EDT
thanks guys!
Link Posted: 10/30/2008 7:23:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/30/2008 7:25:35 PM EDT by krazy_karl]
We are a paid dept and run three FF per engine and quint. The driver is the engineer and does all of the pump work and is responsible for all of the equipment taken off the engine. The guy riding shotgun is the captain and is responsible for communications, map book, CAD, operating the siren, helping the driver take control of the intersections, scene size-up, and initial command and accountability. The captain is also supposed to take in the closet hook and TIC even though my captain has me take in the TIC. My job in the back is to make hydrants when we are second in, if we are first in i will stretch the attack line to the door and flake out the hose, I will then mask up while my captain brings me the nozzle with our type of hose load. Once he is masked up, we gain entry and go to work.
Link Posted: 10/30/2008 8:48:17 PM EDT
We run with a normal staffing of 3 on an Engine. Driver is usually FF 1st class or sometimes 2nd class, Officer is usually a Captain or Lieutenant but can be a FF 1st class, Back-seater can be any rank of FF or can be a "Reserve" FF (what we call our volunteers) if they have their FF2 and EMT certifications and sufficient experience. All our personnel are Firefighter 2/EMT's with a few that are medics but since we are a BLS department only operate at that level. Officer handles radio communication and assigning tasks (other than the seat assigned ones), he also checks the computer for updates. If it's a fire call back seater is looking up the nearest hydrant, medical call they are gloved up and grab the jump kit.
Link Posted: 10/31/2008 4:28:59 AM EDT
My dept runs a minimum staffing or 3 on an engine, with a max of 6 (I have NEVER seen 6 on at once though). The Captain rides shotgun and is responsible for the crew, radio, navigation, looking for traffic, etc. The Driver drives and is responsible for the apparatus and runs the pump at fires. Both the Driver and Captain are promotions with certain training and time served requirements and they get paid more. You must serve as a driver before you are eligible to be a captain. Like TRG said, if the captain is off (sick, vacation, etc) then the driver 'rides seat' meaning he acts as the captain, and one of the firefighters drives (we keep a rotation, some places the senior FF drives).
At volunteer depts there is often not a set seating position. When I was a volunteer I was almost always the Sr. FF and would drive and command if there was no officer because many of the new FF were not allowed to drive etc.
Link Posted: 10/31/2008 5:47:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/31/2008 5:48:50 AM EDT by Tango7]
Link Posted: 10/31/2008 12:20:43 PM EDT
We have Lieutenants or Acting Officers that ride the right seat(shotgun).  They are responsible for radio coms and operating the MDT.  Currently we go en route, on scene, returning by button pushes.  When going on scene the First company in will go on radio and give the size-up. The second company will establish command and become IC until a Chief Officer arrives and takes over (if one responds depending on the incident).

We are a combination department with 4 stations operating 3 ALS ambulances, 2 engines, a tower ladder and a jump company that has an engine and a squad depending on the incident.
Link Posted: 10/31/2008 8:54:49 PM EDT
I suggest that you ask someone at the local fire department to do a ride along.  That will give you a much better understanding of how things are run at your individual department and you can hear and see everything go down.
Link Posted: 11/10/2008 6:07:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/10/2008 6:12:34 PM EDT by Bandaid_Cop]
I've worked for both a paid and volly dept. Both are pretty small depts and in a rural area. I can't speak for other shifts or when other respond, but when I (captain) am on the truck it's like this:

Driver - AO / Engineer
Front Pass. - Highest rank (comms/siren to and from, usually safety and incident command)
Rear Left and Center - Interior Attack (usually a FF and LT or 2 FFs)
Rear Right - Plug man and ground equipment (fan, ladder, etc.)

Wow I could get all into this, but I'll leave it basic. Like many have said, it depends on the dept S.O.P's, size, scenario, and availble resources.

For those who are screaming the "2 in, 2 out" rule, relax... Our primary engine has a fully electronic pump panel with "set it and forget it". I have my AO set the pump and then, with the plug man, act has R.I.T. If need be I'll work the pump until a seond truck can get on scene.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 10:55:09 AM EDT
I'm Vol Here in Alabama and who ever gets to the station first drives , then the next person will ride shotgun.. We have  5 pumpers and 1 tanker truck . We also have a first responder car and dodge ram ..

We are on the way to the call who ever gets 911 on the radio first lets them know we are in route. We all have radios , so we call in to 911 when we get called out so that they know someone is on the way to the fire house...
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