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  • How do you pick who does what?

    I've read a few posts on this forum about riding assignments, fireground deployment, and the like. I tried searching, but was unable to find an answer to my question--if I missed something and this is redundant, please accept my apologies.

    My question is mostly in regards to departments who use "riding assignments" or duties by position. How do you chose who does what? FDNY guys (and anyone else)--how does the officer decide who will ride a certain position for the tour? What qualities, training, experience do you look for? Are there positions that automatically go to the "under-experienced" by default?

    I'm looking especially for information on what different departments use to judge competence in certain positions versus putting "meat in the seat." Are there certain positions that are coveted over others (besides the nozzle?).

    Thank you so much for your help....

  • #2
    Riding assignments in my FD are by seniority; the members (except officers) select their riding assignments every year. This is part of the union contract.

    All department members are qualified drivers, pump operators. and aerial operators.

    The Chief has the right to change a selection for cause (rare).
    Last edited by KenNFD1219; 12-24-2006, 08:13 PM.
    -------------------
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
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    • #3
      The officers involvement is "Who's doing what?" He really stays out of it, the crew decides. Everything is by seniority, meaning the most senior guy could have the pipe every day if he wanted. Most companies have a rotation. Ours is you get the pipe the day after your Daley day. Other positions are usually decided by playing cards or whatever.
      I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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      • #4
        We rotate, as we only have 4 guys on a shift. Actually we have 5 but with vacation & holidays 1 person is usually off. We rotate on our pay period, we go from driver of the engine or ladder to the rescue engine and then to the hose position.The officer is usually in his seat. Thats it in a nut shell, if you want more details let me know.

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        • #5
          Well 1st off a little background. I am an officer on an Engine company, and almost always ride with a total of 4 personnel including myself. Occasionally we will have an extra and ride with 5, but this is vary rare. We will also occasionally, for brief periods of time through out a shift also ride with 3 - when someone has to ride in with the ambulance for example. When this occurs, we are available to make other medical calls, but will not be dispatched to a fire until we are back to a standard compliment of at least 4.

          For my regular crew, the guys normally work it out on their own. I am aware of the experience levels and abilities of my assigned crew and with exception to a newly assigned member, feel comfortable with all of their abilities. In fairness to my new guy, its not that I distrust him, he has just not proven himself yet. For that reason, he and people detailed in are the only people that I dictate their position.

          The new guy rides nozzle. That keeps him with me and gives him experience. People detailed in normally ride hook up, which means he initially aids the driver getting a water supply if needed, then teams back up with us and works as a back up man - I think the same thing FDNY calls the door man? Is that right Fred??

          When all members riding are suffieciently qualified to do any job, they will often ride "sides." Which ever side the fire is on, that guy will take the nozzle and the other will do the hookup man duties.

          Truck companies here ride with 4 as well and fall under the same exact possibilities listed above as it pertains to manning. They ride with an inside/outside crew. This typically consists of the officer and the lesser experienced guy being the inside team, and the driver and the more experienced guy riding outside. This normally ensures that the guys operating independent of their officer are the more experienced guys. Once the officer is comfortable with everyone assigned, the guys may as on the pumper, work it out on their own. For example if a guy has 10 years on and another has 12, they should both capable of riding inside or outside. The most common scenario would be swapping every set from inside to outside.

          Hope it helped.
          Last edited by MemphisE34a; 12-24-2006, 10:47 PM.
          RK
          cell #901-494-9437

          Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

          "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


          Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

          Comment


          • #6
            Great posts

            Thanks guys...

            Lt. Kramer, you're post was very helpful. I know that you guys catch a good amount of fire in Memphis, so experience is easier to get. If an officer was on a Truck, what would a FF have to do in order to "prove himself" worthy of being the OVM (if you guys have one) or "roof man." What kind of skill sets or individual size-up things do you expect your guys who will be working more independently to know?

            Again, you guys are being very helpful...I appreciate you taking the time to respond....

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            • #7
              We ride with 3 man companies, 1 Off/ 2 FFs. Senior FF has the pick of drive or jumpseat. Most crews work together all the time, so we try to rotate swing to swing-I'll drive these 3, you drive next swing.

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              • #8
                For the ones who use seat assignments, does the CO have the flexability to change up the assignments based on specific incident situations? If say your the irons man for the day is that it? Or can the irons man be told to grab a knob if needed?

                Pardon my ignorance, but the whole concept of seat assignments is foreign too me, as no one around here uses them. Well of course, except for the officer and engineer that is. Our Co's give assingments to the back-seat crew as they arrive on scene, depending on size-up, situation etc. We do have task-specific tool requirements on a whole crew basis, just who grabs what isnt pre-determined, again except for the officer (radio, TIC etc).
                Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

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                • #9
                  Much like Chicago our boss, just asks what everyone has. Most of the regular bosses know who gets what based on who is in groups who is on Roster OT and who is obviously a detail and where they are comming from. The only time a boss will give out assignments is when there is a very junior incoming roster or one of details from Ladders.

                  Obviously the seated Chauffeur in groups gets to be the MPO if he so chooses (most of the time).

                  Then by who is in groups and who is senior gets to pick first...obviously most times the senior man chooses the nozzle. Then the next most senior takes either Back-Up or Control depending on the other persons expereince who would get Control. When we have a 5th man...the most junior man or a detail will get that spot.

                  Obviously if a Manhattan 4 man Engine only has two incoming for that tour and the other 2 are details from St. Albans Queens Truck and one guy rotated through Engine Co. 50- 8 years ago and the other only has 2 years OTJ and has only worked a few times in Queens Engines...the more Senior man who has Engine time will do the right thing and take the control man's spot..even though he'd rather be Back-Up he obviously is much more familiar with standpipes and stretching of handlines into large buildings not typically found in Private Dwelling areas of Queens.

                  As for Ladders, some places the Senior man gets the Irons, other places the Senior man almost always takes the OVM. Some places give the johnny the Can Man spot...while others stick them with the roof.

                  The Truck in my house from what I've seenl usually gives the OV to the Senior man after the LCC and then the IRONS, then the roof and then the Can to the junior man or the Engine Detail.

                  Much of it depends on what type of buildings one has in their areas. The roof man in L-162 has much different duties at a typical fire for them, than lets say Lad. 24 in Midtown Manhattan.

                  Originally posted by Dave1983
                  For the ones who use seat assignments, does the CO have the flexability to change up the assignments based on specific incident situations? If say your the irons man for the day is that it? Or can the irons man be told to grab a knob if needed?

                  Pardon my ignorance, but the whole concept of seat assignments is foreign too me, as no one around here uses them. Well of course, except for the officer and engineer that is. Our Co's give assingments to the back-seat crew as they arrive on scene, depending on size-up, situation etc. We do have task-specific tool requirements on a whole crew basis, just who grabs what isnt pre-determined, again except for the officer (radio, TIC etc).
                  Dave you are pardoned...

                  The seat assignments are intergral to our accountability and operational efficency and thus is recorded on the BF-4 (riding list on the rig and with the officer) along with the riding board at the firehouse.

                  The men are seated with the tools appropriately positioned near their seats and during a turnout to a box each member can begin sizing up thier duties and responsibilites according to what position they have for the tour.

                  Yes if you are assigned the Irons, at just about every run, (other than a pin job in some Ladders) you will be comming off the rig with the same tools and the same duties. Under no forseeable circumstances baring every Engine man having been rendered a quadripegic will a Truckie ever touch a nozzle other than the one on the end of the can or the end of the TL bucket!

                  If you have the roof, you are without pause going to make your way to the roof by whatever means possible following the guidlines set forth by the job for that position. There could be people hanging from windows and you will not be reassigned to that task as the completion of your assigned duties will in all likelyhood result in more lives and property being saved than if you had begun throwing portable ladders.

                  If you have the Back-Up, you will be the second man in the strech and you will take your folds and drop them on the floor below and flake out the line before backing up the nozzle man for the advance...this is 99.999999999% sure.

                  We do not haphazardly assign roles, duties, responsibilites and tools on sight according to the officers discression. There are RARE occurances where under our procedures the officer is permitted to have a member perform other duties other than those he is typically assigned and those circumstances are expressly outlined in the few places...as in releasing a member of the Engine from the Stretch to open the roof in the absence of a Ladder Co on scene.

                  I hope that answers your question.

                  A question for you...when you arrive and lets say are to perform the duties of the 1st Due Ladder Co(I remember that you guys don't maintain any semblance of company identity..eng or Lad.)...don't you essentially require a man to carry the Irons, another man to carry lets say a hook and a can or another tool 99% of the time? A search needs to be conducted shortly thereafter agressive pre-control overhaul in conjunction with the 1st Due Engine Co. Does it really varry that much that your Chiefs couldn't set out basic assignments for your men just as they have with the officer and Engineer? Wouldn't that make your operations response more predictable, effiecent and safer considering that certain tools and men would always be gauranteed and wouldn't this allow for greater ease in planning operational responses and budget needs for your chiefs?

                  FTM-PTB
                  Last edited by FFFRED; 12-25-2006, 08:51 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by phyrngn View Post
                    If an officer was on a Truck, what would a FF have to do in order to "prove himself" worthy of being the OVM (if you guys have one) or "roof man." What kind of skill sets or individual size-up things do you expect your guys who will be working more independently to know?
                    Answer:

                    Originally posted by FFFRED View Post
                    If you have the roof, you are without pause going to make your way to the roof by whatever means possible following the guidlines set forth by the job for that position. There could be people hanging from windows and you will not be reassigned to that task as the completion of your assigned duties will in all likelyhood result in more lives and property being saved than if you had begun throwing portable ladders.
                    What Fred said. You have to know that the guy is going to do the job assigned regardless of what he sees, thinks, or feels he needs to do on his own or have one hell of an answer for the deviation. Its basically just a trust thing. Do you have confidence that the guy can accomplish the task without killing himself or anyone else and then report back to you.

                    Originally posted by Dave1983 View Post
                    For the ones who use seat assignments, does the CO have the flexability to change up the assignments based on specific incident situations? If say your the irons man for the day is that it? Or can the irons man be told to grab a knob if needed?
                    Dave,

                    Keep in mind, that your seat assignment is the same, but task is differen't (at least for us) depending on the order that you arrive on the scene. My nozzleman is only coming off with the nozzle if we are the first arriving engine on the scene - and then only after I make a determination of which line I want to use. Of coarse there is more to it than this, but basically our SOP's dictate that the firsat engine is attack, the second is supply, and the third is support as dictated by the IC.

                    Therefore, the nozzle guy will not necessarily be on a nozzle at every fire he is at.

                    Make sense?
                    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 12-25-2006, 10:31 PM.
                    RK
                    cell #901-494-9437

                    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

                    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


                    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      To go along with what FFRED stated. In my company the junior man working that tour gets the BF-4 from the Boss and gives it to the senior man on the backstep (not the MPO). Basically it goes by this:

                      * RSOT Gets detailed
                      * OT, if in house, gets Door or Control, (not gonna hog the money and the pipe)
                      * Details get the door, unless we are 10-14 then he'll get control, unless he's a truckie....but if he came from an engine...he'll get control.
                      * NEVER, NEVER, NEVER will a truckie EVER get the nozzle in my house, not even if they came from our company before crossing the floor. Even if a truckie relieves the nozzle man, he will not get the Nozzle.
                      * Probies, we start them out on the nozzle until they get a nozzle job, then they will get the other positions.
                      * Our senior man will usually take Control or Door. Control b/c he has the most experiance, door, so he can watch EVERYONE of us on the line.
                      * 24s on the inside are not to be done unless there's some wired reason it must be done....2 details for each tour would be one reason.
                      * If you had the nozzle at the start of the 24, you get control the second part of the 24. Same goes for backup and door.
                      * If you put your papers into another company....you get Control until the transfer happens....even if that takes 6months to a year. If you don't want to be in the company, you do not get the honor and provilage of the Nozzle.

                      That's the jist of it.
                      IACOJ Member

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                      • #12
                        Well........

                        With Volunteers, and not having "Shifts" life is a little different. This is where the "Seat" assignment is at it's best advantage. Members come in the station, they look at the status board and take the next available assignment, unless they are new enough to still have some restrictions on what they can do. Newer folks will be assigned by the Officer. Our crew size may vary some, with fluctuating numbers of people on the apparatus. The Heavy Rescue and the Rescue Engine both have 8 seats, the Fire Engine has 6. The Ambulance and Brush rig normally operate with 2. Chiefs are usually alone. Our normal minimum is 4 persons, if we have 6, they all go on the first piece dispatched, if a couple more come in, the first piece drops back to 4, and a second piece is staffed with 4. As additional members come in, they fill additional seats, until we have 12, the the last 4 staff the third piece. To fill every seat, we need 35 people. This can be done, in unusual circumstances such as Hurricanes, Blizzards, Tornados, and non weather events such as a terrorism alert. Sounds confusing, I'm sure, but it works well for us.
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                        Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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                        • #13
                          Can you please post what seat assignments are present in the FDNY and what there duties are?

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                          • #14
                            Awesome!!!

                            Thanks guys...you really provided me with a lot of information. I need this, as I'm working to have seat positions more defined with the departments with which I respond. I'm still fighting the uphill battle involved with the "what ifs," but I see it as an accountability tool. To me, it's an insult to the guys' intelligence to give them assignments on every fire...they should know what they are doing, and things should be simplified per position. Plus, if anything bad happens, RIT should have an idea where to look, because the OV on the first Truck should be in a certain location most of the time. That sure beats asking around and then acting.

                            Now, do you provide position-specific training...hwoods alluded to that somewhat with his response. Do you actually have OVM Training, Control Training, etc.?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by VinnieB View Post
                              * NEVER, NEVER, NEVER will a truckie EVER get the nozzle in my house, not even if they came from our company before crossing the floor. Even if a truckie relieves the nozzle man, he will not get the Nozzle.
                              Originally posted by FFFRED
                              Under no forseeable circumstances baring every Engine man having been rendered a quadripegic will a Truckie ever touch a nozzle other than the one on the end of the can or the end of the TL bucket!
                              I didn't think this even needed to be spelled out. I thought it was a cardinal rule taught on the very first day of every academy!
                              I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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