August Training Prompt:Top Floor Fire, Truck Duties

Along with a few other changes and updates, we’re bringing back the monthly training prompt series. Keeping with the original purpose the idea is to prompt you to respond to the subject and questions provided. What you do next can range from something grand such as a company level drill, to something as simple as looking up the answer in your rookie book or SOPs.

August Training Prompt: Top Floor Fire, Truck Duties

Either assigned to the truck or simply getting on it before it goes out the door, you arrive at a top floor fire. The video above is meant to stimulate your brain and not be your answer or your area of critique. Based on your department’s operations and your fire service education, how do you answer the following questions:

Riding Assignments, Company Duties and Communication
If you are part of a ladder company and assigned the roof position, what are your tool assignments and duties?

If you are part of a tower ladder company and assigned the roof position, what are your tool assignments and duties?

What communication is expected from you by the truck officer and incident commander?

What communication are you listening for from the engine company inside, or your truck’s interior team?

After completing your roof work, what are you expected to do next?

Who is responsible for operating the tower ladder – the driver or the firefighter in the bucket?

Challenge yourself or the guys riding across from you. Let us know how you operate.

Thanks to Firefighter Spot for the video. Image courtesy of Stephen Walsh, Box714Imaging.

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  • Hey Bill,

    I’m going to assume this scenario is at a residential dwelling. Our single Tower Ladder company is staffed w/ 4 and would commonly split crews for this scenario:

    The interior crew (Officer and Irons) would go to the fire floor to search for life and fire. The exterior crew (Driver of OVM) would deploy as follows:

    -While the Driver was setting up the aerial, the OVM would throw ground ladders, control utilities and horizontally vent as necessary (and possible).
    -Once the Truck was setup, they both would take the irons, a roof hook and the appropriate saw to the roof.
    -Once the hole was cut, they would radio that they were finished, conditions on the roof and anything else pertinent. Ideally, the interior crew or the Engine would give feedback as to conditions on the interior after the opening was made.
    -Based on the feedback, the exterior crew would either adjust their tactics if interior conditions did not change/improve OR get off the roof and get back to work on the ground (or as directed) if their operation was successful.

    Regarding tower operations, it’s a judgement call based on timing and conditions. Our next aerial truck is 20+ minutes after a mutual aid request, so our truckies can be busy during the initial operations. I had a very senior truck crew (my OVM is now the assigned Truck Driver). We already knew that he would “fly” solo and that I (the Driver at the time) would climb the ladder to catch up with him. This may also be reversed if he was busy on the exterior.

    The game plan changed when we had a floater riding OVM. If it was someone who I knew could operate efficiently, we would work together and figure it out. If they were “green” I would always operate the bucket (from either position).

    Someone always plays the what if game when you leave the turntable unstaffed. Our philosophy was that the KNOWN HAZARD was the place we were going on the aerial, NOT the aerial itself. As such, we stayed together when we used the aerial.

    Great topic and questions. I hope others contribute. Be SAFE!

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