Redefining the Engine Company

By Christopher Huston One of the first discussions in the Firefighter I course addresses the fireground functions of various companies. Most texts, manuals, and curriculums define the companies as follows: Engine companies secure a water supply and extinguish the fire. Truck companies secure utilities, set up ladders, and ventilate. Rescue companies are responsible for search, extrication, and providing medical attention. However, once I finished recruit school and was exposed to how firefighting is really accomplished in suburban and rural America, I soon realized that for a large portion of our nation's fire service, these descriptions are far from true. The engine company is the fire s...

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