Fireground support operations (truck work) are the functions on the fireground that equally impact firefighter safety and civilian survivability. Traditionally, dedicated truck companies carried out these functions. However, the “can-do-all” apparatus (quint) has challenged firefighters as to what role they should play and when. The idea of a “can-do-all” apparatus works well when you have sufficient staffing and resources. However, most departments have limited staffing, making a multifunctional apparatus, such as a quint, a single-function operation on the fireground. Students are guided in how to prepare personnel for the fireground response beforehand. Heavy emphasis is on developing standard operating guidelines.
ROB FISHER is a 26-year veteran of the fire service and a lieutenant with Snohomish County (WA) Fire District #7, where he is assigned to the ladder truck. He is also an instructor at the state fire academy; he has an associate degree in fire command.