More Controlling Utilities

Just another quick thought about controlling utilities. For some reason I have found that sometimes crews are a little reluctant to shut off gas to the building. Especially when presented with a gas meter setup like the one pictured below. If you have time you can trace the pipe and try to isolate the specific meter needed, or you can do my favorite and just shut them all down. I understand that this may make things more difficult for the building owner and gas company, but it’s a little bit of piece of mind to the outside team to be able to confidently say “utilities secure.” Beware of the meter bypass line that may make it appear the line has been secured, again when in doubt, turn them all off! You can’t see it in the picture but their may be one valve (behind the milk crate) that would shut the entire riser down at once. -Jimm-

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Controlling Utilities

Controlling utilities is an important outside truck function. Regardless if your department uses inside/outside truck teams or not,(or dare I say no truck company at all) outside functions need to happen at every fire. This first picture was from a call my truck company recently ran on. It was in another department’s first due so the arrival of the truck company was delayed. En-route we hear an engine company announce “utilities secure.” Once my truck got on scene we went to work: first job 360 the structure (which should always be done!) and verify utilities. During the 360, it was noticed that the utilities were still operational! It was pretty easy to notice, most of the lights were still on. Moral of the story: When multiple breakers/shunts/switches or what ever are present… Shut them all off!

Apparently this building owner wants his structure to burn down. Try getting these utilities when the dumpsters are full and heavy. -Jimm-


Nice Trench

Whadda think?

We at understand that many Truck Companies are also tasked with handling Special Operations incidents. So we figured we’d start to include some Special Ops stuff. How many safety issues can you find in this one? -Jimm-


Ring of Fire Video II

Here is a link to the five minute version of The Ring of Fire Video. The first 2.5 minutes are the same, the last 2.5 minutes are worth watching. Thanks to Brother M. Stallings of Orlando Fire “the Pride” and The Fraternal Order Of Leatherheads Society (FOOLS) for the link.-Jeff-



Dangerous Parapets

Here is a new type of parapet they are placing on buildings. This structure is Type 2- non combustible construction. These parapets are made from foam and are covered with stucco. They look exactly like the rest of the building; however they are NOT load bearing. You can see in one of the photos here that they even spray paint them with “Do Not Stand here” and “Not Structural Keep Off” Problem is the spray paint fades after a few months. It is very important that you know your first due area!

Now why did this show up on

What if you utilized a ground ladder to gain roof access? What would happen to the structural integrity of the parapet after fire vented from a second floor window (hopefully away from your choice of ladder placement.) What about stepping onto the parapet from the bucket while attempting to get the roof?

As Frank always taught us…The building is your enemy, know your enemy. –Jimm-

Additional photos here

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Stupid engine guys…

And they say Truck guys are too aggressive…

Click here for video

What the heck were these guys thinking? -Jimm-


Ironic isn’t it?

Didn’t we just mention this?

What was he going to do anyway? No airpack…-Jimm- 

Photo from


Another Awesome Ventilation Video

Check out this awesome video focusing on vertical ventilation. Some of the shots are pretty extreme examples. We understand some of the safety concerns you may have with some of the practices. Go ahead and leave some comments here on the blog and let us know what you think. By the way thanks MS for pointing this video out to us! Great stuff. -Jimm-

Click here for the video



Porches provide a great tactical advantage. It allows the outside truck team to VentEnterSearch (VES) two rooms from one ladder and a stable platform. In addition if you do find a victim, it’s much easier to pull them onto the roof and wait for other assistance then to possibly take them down the ladder on your own. Porches however need to be “sized up” before operating on. How many people have built, or help build someone else’s porch? Amazing how many building construction experts we have when it’s someone else’s project. Ever heard the term “can’t see it from my house” when working on a brothers home? Exactly how many cold ones were consumed before the project was completed? All I’m saying is, if your entire operation is based on this “stable” platform, just give it a good once over before you operate on it. Personally I would love to have the staffing that is displayed in this picture. Looks like a six man outside truck team, with their own chief! Personally If I were to throw two ladders to the same porch I would place them on opposite ends. That way everyone isn’t piling up on each other if the time comes to un-ass that porch. Two ladders side by side may have been placed to facilitate carrying a victim down, but by the look of this picture, I doubt it. -Jimm-

Picture from  


Thoughts from Jeff

Thank you to all who have posted and are currently visiting our site. As Jimm has posted, the site is undergoing some major renovations at this time. Some of the plans that we have for are to keep ongoing series of articles that will give ideals, suggestions as will as insightful information on all aspects of Truck Company operations. This site is being developed as not only a learning resource but also a place to discuss the many facets of truck work as well as special operations, which have become some of the many responsibilities of our operations. We plan to post on many various topics, which will include building construction, SOG’s, ventilation, forcible entry, search and rescue techniques and much more. We will include pictorials and examples of discussion topics to give you more of a visual understanding of the discussions. Some of the new areas we intend to have will include newly posted articles as well as an archive section to refresh on the many previous issues as well as current discussion topics and forums. In the long term we intend on publishing a newsletter that will be mailed to individuals as well as departments to continue to impress the importance of training as well as sound tactics to make safe and effective tactical operations. In many parts of the country the art of Truck Company operations are fading fast and it is our hopes here at to continue to provide the essential training as well as provide a path for allowing readers to pass on their years of knowledge and recommendations to keep this art from becoming extinct. We also hope that our site will become a path for not only these seasoned veterans but also the newest members of our profession. We have many talented individuals that have operated many years on truck companies through out all concepts and operations that will have many insightful articles from which we will expand upon. Once again thanks to all and keep checking back as there are many great things to come. –Jeff-


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