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FREELANCING OR NOT

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  • kldugas412
    replied
    This is my take

    This is my take on the Questions that were originally asked.

    The big answer is follow your dept’s SOP or SOG but here’s my .02

    1Ground ladder- If there is a reason to get to the roof or window exp. Victim trapped on second floor. No Vic no ladders until command orders crew to vent roof. No reason to be on the roof you might be needed elsewhere.
    Reason being, if a search is being made it may pull fire in to an area that is not burnt or area of a Vic. How do you know where to cut the vent hole. The true seat of the fire has not been found.

    2)Pulling hose line- Should be in SOP or SOG the only thing I see is hose size 1 ¾ or 2 ½. That would be up to the SR FF or SR Officer First Due. If it were me smoke showing SFD 1 ¾ Com 2 ½ no? asked

    3)Taking window- This should never be done except for the purpose immediate rescue at that particular window or coordinated horizontal ventilation. This can cause many problems, back draft, super heated air draft that can get behind FF or compromise search operations.

    4)Shutting off gas- This is standard SOP/SOG at all calls if there is believed to be fire present all utilities except water are shut off. It is safer to shutit off than take the chance.

    5)Open up roof no permission - This is a no no. See #1 If you are ordered to the roof then it is expected that the task given to you/team is to coordinate with the interior crew and open up where the seat of the fire is if at all possible.

    6)Opening nozzle to vent out of a window- We do have this option but only when it is relayed to outside crews that we will be venting and the ok is sounded and when there is someone in place to keep all personnel out of harms way. He must have direct radio contact with the hose/attack team.


    This is how we would handle the situations above,

    Leave a comment:


  • the1141man
    replied
    Originally posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    Originally posted by trizahler26 View Post
    Let us use the military for example:

    U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, not much freedom for a soldier to make tactical or operational decisions within the boundaries of their orders.

    U.S. Army Special Forces, a great deal of freedom for a soldier to make independent tactical or operational decisions within boundaries of their orders.

    Actually there is not much difference at all. The soilder in either unit has no more nor any less decision making than each other. The biggest difference is that "normal" military units have a more structured mission and operate in conjunction with other divisions/regiments/services. Special forces have no more wiggle room in their mission orders than the airborne soilder, however they operate solo and independent without any or with minimal support outside of their own unit.

    We are neither of these units, though we have structured our service as they have to some degree. I would say more to the side of small teams of operators as in Special Forces A-Teams.

    Though these teams are allowed autonomy in their decision process they are never without orders and a commanding officer.

    I personally hope we are operating more in conjunction with those around us than solo like the special forces.
    Thanks for pointing that out, Doc. I was going to comment upon it, but figured the poster either has never been in the military...or was actually in the 82nd ABN (OJS) and wore his beret too tight--that maroon dye works wonders on brain cells.

    Leave a comment:


  • DocVBFDE14
    replied
    [QUOTE=trizahler26;809099]
    Let us use the military for example:

    U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, not much freedom for a soldier to make tactical or operational decisions within the boundaries of their orders.

    U.S. Army Special Forces, a great deal of freedom for a soldier to make independent tactical or operational decisions within boundaries of their orders.

    Actually there is not much difference at all. The soilder in either unit has no more nor any less decision making than each other. The biggest difference is that "normal" military units have a more structured mission and operate in conjunction with other divisions/regiments/services. Special forces have no more wiggle room in their mission orders than the airborne soilder, however they operate solo and independent without any or with minimal support outside of their own unit.

    We are neither of these units, though we have structured our service as they have to some degree. I would say more to the side of small teams of operators as in Special Forces A-Teams.

    Though these teams are allowed autonomy in their decision process they are never without orders and a commanding officer.

    I personally hope we are operating more in conjunction with those around us than solo like the special forces.

    Can't we just adopt this type of thinking and apply it to the out-dated term of freelancing?

    Why must we time and time again be assigned a task as new members of a department and watch as the more undisciplined i.e. probie/senior firefighters go do their own thing while the people caring for their reputations/safety do exactly what they are told.

    I gotta be honest. I really didn't have a problem with anything you said up until that little highlighted section. I'm not going to "rant" and "rave" or tell you this or that. All I will say is this, if your senior firefighters are that undisciplined, then they are NOT senior firefighters.

    And one last note. Let us be continue to be competitive for action, though let us realize that we have dedicated our time to false alarms, and bogus calls ,and when something real happens let us not get carried away with doing something even if it means freelancing.

    I am not competitive for action. I could care less if the companies on the West End of the city have a working fire or not. I only care if I have to backfill their station. Personally though? I don't dedicate my time to false alarms or anything. I dedicate my time to drilling and studying. I find a way to turn that false alarm into a learning experience and review tatics with those I ride with on the trucks.

    QUOTE]

    Leave a comment:


  • trizahler26
    replied
    Why do we all have different views?

    So, getting back to freelancing.

    Why do we all have different views?

    In the end no matter where you live, operations, or SOG's shouldn't we all operate as a paramilitary organization? We model ourselves after such. Why can't we all realize that no matter how your operations differ from place to place, freelancing is to err, freelancing is to be human. Let us correct and make it a priority to be stopped.

    Let us use the military for example:

    U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, not much freedom for a soldier to make tactical or operational decisions within the boundaries of their orders.

    U.S. Army Special Forces, a great deal of freedom for a soldier to make independent tactical or operational decisions within boundaries of their orders.


    We are neither of these units, though we have structured our service as they have to some degree. I would say more to the side of small teams of operators as in Special Forces A-Teams.

    Though these teams are allowed autonomy in their decision process they are never without orders and a commanding officer.

    The CO coordinates the show.

    You must act within the scope of your knowledge, skills, abilities, SOPs/SOGs, you orders, and the second by second coordination and planning of your CO.

    Can't we just adopt this type of thinking and apply it to the out-dated term of freelancing?

    Why must we time and time again be assigned a task as new members of a department and watch as the more undisciplined i.e. probie/senior firefighters go do their own thing while the people caring for their reputations/safety do exactly what they are told.

    Why do we have IC's walking around issuing different orders to companies or firefighters that are already engaged?

    These are the behaviors that continue the fine art of freelancing into today.

    This adds to the confusion.... This LEADS to the unheard MAYDAYS.. and ultimately the deaths of our OWN!

    And one last note. Let us be continue to be competitive for action, though let us realize that we have dedicated our time to false alarms, and bogus calls ,and when something real happens let us not get carried away with doing something even if it means freelancing.

    This is the job you chose paid or unpaid; let us remember you are here for the part of the country you live in. Let us remember to be disciplined and do what needs to be done but at the commands of those in charge.

    And to those in charge, remember you are modeling for the next generation, so if you go off on your own and do your own thing, the next firefighter will believe this to be okay, and the cycle will continue.

    No one firefighter is perfect.. But be aware of your actions, think of firefighting not as a sport or hobby, but as an art, and art form that includes the highest degree of personal and professional discipline.

    Discipline that guides your every though and action.

    Discipline that includes considerations such as;
    scope of your knowledge, skills, abilities, SOPs/SOGs, you orders, and the second by second coordination and planning of your CO.

    Let these guide you not, getting in on the action.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    There is one point that I didn't see anyone touch on, that I think is the biggest reason NOT to freelance for any reason. ........Accountability.......Whether or not you know what needs to be done or even what the s.o.g.'s say, Unity of command dictates that your line officer knows where you are and what you are doing. All you officers out there should know this! Not to say that you need express permission to do your job. For example, if I am part of the crew responding on the tower, we don't even leave the cab until the company officer has given us our task and who is doing it. (i.e. vent the roof on the 'd' side) how we get our butts up there and what we used to vent is up to us. But I cannot just grab a ground ladder on my own and say.."oh...I think I'll ladder the 'b' side". THAT is freelancing. Shutting off the gas main may be a good thing, but at least let your officer know what your going to do. I'm sure he'd say "good idea,then when your done, come back". When the feces hits the rotating blades, everyone needs to be accounted for.

    Thanks and be safe.

    [This message has been edited by ntvilleff (edited 04-17-2001).]

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hey guys,thanks for the interesting comments.Most of you responded just like I would.SO HERE'S WHAT I DID. I took comments from the first 15 posts,put them together and this is what i came up with. Their is a difference between freelancing and doing your job w/o being told to. Most of the items I brought up,the feeling was your doing your job as long as it's covered some where in the SOP's and you know what you're doing,why you're doing it,and how to do it w/o having a possible detrimental impact on the operation.If it's something that requires multi-unit coordination the officer/IC needs to make the call. Freelancing IS being ordered to do one thing,but you do something else. Or you'll be called a freelancer if you do something w/o being ordered because it needed to get done, and it goes wrong. The fire scene is organized chaos and certain tasks need to be performed w/o permission, and alot of these are common sense things. FF's have to think and act quickly to get things done that sometimes are not "specifically" in the SOP's w/o being ordered,like pulling attack lines,throwing ladders,using the hoseline for ventilation after knockdown,and cutting off utilities(common sense). These things should be done automatically and/or simultaneously espically with a crew that works together on a regular basis and knows what each other is doing. Every chief needs to know it's impossible to issue every order on a fire and don't micromanage. If you don't let your ff's do anything w/o an order, you are promoting non-thinking ff's. And that's dangerous. I HOPE THIS KINDA SUMS IT UP. STAY TUNED FOR SOME TYPE OF SCENERIO ON THIS TOPIC, LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Geez .... freelancing? I thought those days were over .... long gone .... went the way of the charcoal canister masks and 'monkey see - monkey do' training. I honestly hope and pray that freelancing isn't a real problem anywhere.

    As we firefighters of today write our own chapter in the history of firefighting we should be proud to have; established SOPs, the highest levels of training, preplans, critiques, RIT, 2in/2out, TICs, LDH, cutting edge technology, and ICS to make our job easier and safer. Freelancing should have ended several chapters ago.

    My take on all this is very simple; as long as you're operating within your SOPs (the tried and true policies and procedures of your Fire Department) you can't possibly be freelancing.

    If you are so undisciplined that can't work within those SOPs - or worse yet, if you can't think and act without command telling you everything - it's time to look elsewhere.


    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Excellent Question...

    In my dept, freelancing is doing anything you're not told to do, or doing something that isn't in the SOGs.

    Our SOGs say that for a structure fire, a hydrant will be tied. Thus, without telling you too, my IC expects that the 1st or 2nd Engine in is catching a hydrant on the way in. He expects to have a water supply set up. He expects everyone to be bunkered out and with air packs on.

    Now who gets on the line, is up to the IC or Officer. But NO ONE breaks anything with out command. If you are told to do something you do it. You don't pass it along or go off and decide what you think is more interesting to do.

    Being a volunteer department in a small town, granted, it's much easier to keep a closer look at what everyone is doing. But freelancing can still be a big problem. That's where knowing your SOG's is a must.

    Lines don't get pulled off unless an Officer or IC asks for it. You don't ventilate until IC or an Officer asks for it.

    I'm not sure how different this is when you are a larger dept.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Theres no point in having a commanding officer if everyone does what they want!! Part of command is sizing up the incident and forming a strategy to achieve a positive result, so if everyone does what they want there is no co-ordination of efforts and chaos runs the occurrence. So in answer to the question most of the examples given are FREELANCING. Sure you have some givens but what if you realize you need to pull a line for a structure fire so you go ahead and tear a one and a half off the engine and the commanding officer in their size up has determined that a two and a half are required and the attack will be defensive or that the engine needs to be relocated do to concerns uncovered in an effective size up now what do you do with the hose that is in a heap next to the rig? Do as Commanded things will work a lot smoother!!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I respect but firmly disagree with some of the opinions that have been expressed here, especially in regards to having 'command' give all the orders. ICS - Incident Command Systems should be employed by all fire departments at every incident irregardless of the nature of the call. None of the examples given by oz10engine should be the commanding officer's decision, and most of the examples are 'automatic' and performed by well trained firefighters following the policies and procedures in their SOPs.

    While preplans, SOPs, training, critiques, and etc all weigh heavily in the elimination of freelancing, it's a good ICS that keeps everything together and running smooth - making the job easier AND safer!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Looks like you started some great convo with this one Oz, but I guess that's the whole purpose right? You picked a wide variety of examples and as has been pointed out a lot depends on the situation. Many of us now have department written SOPs, SOGs or what ever we have chosen to call them. One purpose of these writings is to allow you as a firefighter to act on the fireground,at times, with out current direct orders. You already have your standing orders in these established polices, procedures and guidelines. You department needs to make sure that they train you based on these procedures if they want to avoid freelancing. We all show up on the fireground intending to do what is right and assist those in need. But if no one tells you how they want you to do that can they really say you freelanced? Every Chief knows that it is impossible to issue an order for EVERY action taken on the fireground. But if we prepare and train you well enough in advance, we can stand back and give you an "At a Boy" for doing your job well.

    ------------------
    I shall fear no evil, for I am a Firefighter

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Good question oz10engine .... "Atta-Boy!" but seriously speaking; it's my opinion that in this day and age every fire department, every battalion, every company, every squad, every officer, and every individual firefighter MUST have: 1) a complete working knowledge of their SOPs, and 2) basic fundamentally safe and sound firefighting skills. Those two factors with training, practice, experience, and lots and lots of critiquing will eliminate any possible freelancing problems. If something needs to be done; well, you better do it!! Wait until ordered? Where does it say that you don't do anything until ordered? If you don't know what to do, how to do it, when to do it, or why you're doing it - you best go home, and quick or go for the coffee. Where does it say that firefighters aren't suppossed to think and act? Where does it say that officers - especially command - have to micro manage? Something needs to be done - do it! Don't wish later on that you had.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by engine1321:
    ...we learn that anything done WITHOUT orders from or approved by command is freelancing.

    You said it almost perfectly, Engine1321... I will add that where I am, certain tasks are expected to be performed without orders or approval, but those are carried out by personnel who understand the effects of what they are doing and how those completing tasks may affect others. Anything done, however, IS communicated to command at the time it is completed. If a task may produce questionable results, it is not done unless approved or ordered by the Incident Commander. Things differ from area to area, I suppose, but most fireground activities should be approved by your superioirs before you attempt them. Stay safe, all...

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    You guys must be reading the abridged book or firefighting essencials. Where I come from (both as an Explorer AND a volunteer) we learn than anything done WITHOUT orders from or approved by command is freelancing. What I also learned about it was that it could potentially get someone injured or worse, killed. I say, prevent LODD's and don't freelance.

    ------------------
    Chief R.J. Stine
    XFD Explorer Post #29
    The Yellow Knights

    [This message has been edited by engine1321 (edited 04-12-2001).]

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Oz,

    I don't believe that most of what you have described would be considered "free lanacing" on our job, at least not by officers and chiefs that know their jobs and know what they are taklking about.

    When a pump operator takes it upon himself to throw additional ladders, flake out lines, chock doors, etc., I would not consider it free lancing, as long as he has his portable radio with him and is never out of contact with his crew inside. Actions such as these serve to make the fireground safer and more efficient.

    However, when it comes to horizontal ventilation, all actions MUST be carefully coordinated, and consideration must be given to the location of the fire and the positioning of CHARGED hose lines. The practice of arbitrarily breaking out windows just because smoke is comming out of them can often have the dire consequnces of intensifying and spreading the fire. The tragedy at Cherry Road is a prime example of what can happen when horizontal ventilation and and engine company operations are not coordinated.

    As far as vertical ventilation is concerned, it can and should usually be done right away without the need to get permission or coordinate with engine company actions. Removing skylights and scuttle hatches should be done immediately at every fire by the roof team. This will make it much easier for the engine to push in when it is ready, and will not usually cause a fire to intensify or spread. In fact, it can and usually will prevent flashover from occurring.

    Cutting the roof, however, should only be done if the fire has posession of the top floor and/or attic/cockloft areas (or on a 1-story building with a cockloft and/or no natural openings). There are, of course, exceptions to this. The roofs of balloon frame Queen Anne type structures with fire in the basement and extending upward should be cut right away to prevent the mushrooming of heat,smoke and flames on the top floor and attic.

    To sum this overdrawn answer up, actions taken on the fire ground which are coordinated, communicated and and result in enhancing the safety and efficiency of the fireground would never be considered free lancing in my book!

    [This message has been edited by DCFD1051 (edited 04-12-2001).]

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