How to Deploy

How do you assign these firefighters?

How do you assign these firefighters?

Here is the scene. You are the officer in charge here and when you arrive this is what you see.

You have reports of possible victims in an early morning fire.

Now, this house is approximately 1600 square feet with a basement. Single story about 25-30 years old.

Based on your tactical priorities, start assigning these crews where it is most appropriate.  Explain where and why you sent your crews there.  Keep in mind you are a medium sized department that is a suburban island. Meaning that basically you have three trucks on the scene with this number of personnel.

Your next truck in is 10 minutes away.  You have public water supply.

The neighbor got up to go to work and noticed smoke coming from the house next door.  Exposure B and D are about 15 feet away on both sides.

What do you do?


  • Great drill!

    I see two firefighters on what appears to be an 1 3/4″ attack line. I will say the member on their knees behind them is their boss, whom has already returned from his walk-around (although the line is not charged yet). These two members will advance to the seat of the fire and extinguish it supervised/supported by the boss. We know that bosses in the suburbs are FORCED to get involved with operations due to manpower issues. This is not ideal, since ALL of his focus should be on WATCHING the safety and actions of the nozzle team to keep them safe.

    With this house being relatively small, these members should advance rather easily to the seat of the fire, supported by a member at the door (or a member of a search team) to assist with line advancement.

    I see at least 3, possibly 4 other members (photo small on my computer). If it is a three person team, the officer and one firefighter will enter this doorway immediately to locate and confine the fire and to search for any trapped occupants. The other member (or members) will position themselves opposite the fire to provide ventilation opposite the hose line advance, AND conduct VES operations behind the fire. This two-pronged search will give victims the best chance for survival.

    If conditions worsen and searches must be delayed due to extending fire conditions, searchers instead of simply leaving the building and waiting for the fire to be controlled, should switch roles and assist the first line in moving in on the fire.

    Just a few things thrown out there for discussion, any thoughts?


    Nate DeMarse
    Brotherhood Instructors, LLC.

  • bob says:

    I see and count a total of 5 firefighters. I would initially hold fire attacking efforts and focus on vertical ventilation first. With the smoke pushing out like that it has a high possibility for a backdraft. Once the roof has been opened up I would the attack crew start their initial attack while at that point the roof crew conducts a VES.

  • dc802 says:

    My line of thinking was very similar. I was looking for someone to perform a coordinated attack/search with an outside vent man performing VES. The OVM could even do vertical ventilation if needed, which if he is going to vent, this house is a perfect candidate for vertically venting.
    But, you hit most of the points. I think the real issue here is getting ventilation vertically and getting the heat and gases off of the victims as fast as possible.

  • Jason says:

    First priority is rescue. VES on the end of the structure away from the garage/house front door which looks like the furthest point from the fire. If the attack teams can enter through a window on the bedroom end of the house they can push the fire away from possible victims. After viable victims have been removed or an all clear is called, extinguish if possible or pull back and work to defensive to protect exposures. If rescue was not the priority then this would have to be a defensive fire because of the number of firefighters. Vertical vent would be great but without enough personnel to coordinate attack with it, it would only add oxygen to the fire. To me, rescue is the only “risk a lot to save a lot” on this scene. Even though you can only see 5 guys in the picture, you also have yourself and the Apparatus operator which can be your 2 out for your attack crew

    my 2 cents

  • dc802 says:

    Here is my take. You have to do an attack line search. I would suggest two for that. I am a believer in vertical ventilation on a deal like this. Coordinate a vertical vent with the interior team. PPV worries me for blowing fire horizontally on top of victims until the fire is located. An outside VES guy that is experienced. He has to coordinate with the interior crew.
    Interior guys, put out fire if you find, remove victims if you find it. Take a TIC and make sure you search fast. This is a speedy deal until you can isolate the fire location.
    I think vent high and go in low on this deal.
    360 is a must.
    So, two inside, two on roof and one VES. All coordinated. Vent needs to happen ASAP for interior conditions to improve. Don’t forget the pike pole to bust down the drywall, have seen that happen lots.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *