5 Minute Drill / Limited Staffing

Objective is to develop a plan to implement tactical operations with a minimum of 2 firefighters arriving on the scene simultaneously. The objective is to evaluate at least two persons operating as a team to begin basic tactical operations.

This drill develops a consistent plan of what is expected of firefighters arriving at a working fire with limited staffing. There are numerous things to be accomplished before the arrival of the
remaining troops that give the IC additional strategic options.

Limited Staffing – 5 minute drill / 2 persons

This drill is designed to be completed in 5 minutes by two persons. The purpose is to practice what we actually do for most of our initial operations. We usually have only two persons initially and then others show up individually.


  •  Complete a 360 degree assessment
  •  Prepare to begin interior structural fire suppression operations.
  •  Establish sustainable water supply

Equipment Needed

  • Engine / fully equipped
  • Training facility where water can be flowed

First arriving Engine Driver/Operator

IF the water supply is a hydrant – the second firefighter should wrap the hydrant and get back on the apparatus to work at the scene.

Engine Operator

  • Set parking brake
  • Place pump in gear
  •  Set wheel chock
  •  Stretch 1 3/4″ handline to appropriate location
  •  Return to pump panel charge initial attack line
  •  Stretch 1 3/4″ backup handline / don’t charge
  •  Assist first two arriving firefighters with donning of their SCBA
  • If nurse operations are to be used for water supply – deploy supply line for next arriving water source or
  •  Make connection from hydrant to pump panel.

Second arriving firefighter

  • Secure hoseline to hydrant return to apparatus
  • Don SCBA
  • Establish command
  • Complete a 360 degree walk around
  • Determine strategy / tactical evolution
  • Pull electric meter
  • Control natural / propane gas
  •  If night time pole lights out or up
  • Get fan out for positive pressure ventilation start and place if time allows
  • Command is transferred to the next appropriate firefighter

We have now passed the 5 minute mark as others begin to arrive.

  •  3rd arriving firefighter staffs hydrant
  •  ** when hydrant is staffed let them know you are ready for line to be charged.
  • 3rd arriving firefighter reports to first due Engine to don SCBA and staff initial attack line
  •  3rd and 4th firefighters don SCBA and staff initial attack line
  • 5th and 6th firefighters don SCBA and prepare to staff backup handlines
  • 7th and 8th firefighter protect exposures or place ventilation fan