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Training - “Check the Roof”

            When firefighters begin their careers, formal training starts with either a trip to the Academy or a Firefighter One/Two class.  It is these institutions which provide basic knowledge and where the groundwork is set.   After the foundation is poured, it is up to the individual firefighter to go back to their department and decide what standard of career they will…


Added by Adam J. Hansen on February 17, 2017 at 8:00am — No Comments

The hard part of the job.

The hardest thing to do in the fire service is administrative work. Let’s face it, we would all like to be running calls. The reality is paper work fills up our days. Of all the admin work we do the hardest is discipline. We have had employees that are not performing at a level that is the standard. As an officer you can’t tell your chief that FF Doe can’t do the job. There must be paper work documenting their sub-par performance. Their IPPA (annual evaluation) must reflect poor performance.…


Added by David Polikoff on February 17, 2017 at 6:44am — No Comments

Improving Morale in the Slower Company

Do you ever wonder how morale issues exist in the fire service?  We all remember walking into the fire station the first time and hearing how it’s the best job in the world.  Then, somewhere down the line, the dark cloud of poor crew morale appeared.   Low morale can sneak up on even the most positive crews.   It presents itself in different forms; checked out shift members, beanery table gossip sessions, or lack of quality training.

Low morale occurs more often in slower…


Added by Alex Hickey on February 16, 2017 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Positive VS Negative

I want to talk about positive versus negative, and the first part is going to be the feedback.  Positive feedback goes a lot further than your negative feedback a lot of the time. I've gotten some really nice private messages from people, comments, posts, etc. It feels really good and I appreciate that because what you don't see are some of the negative feedback that I get for some of the stuff I do. I'm not going to share that because when it comes down to it, negative feedback,…

Added by John Lovato Jr on February 13, 2017 at 11:57am — No Comments

The Veteran Firefighter and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


  In the course of over a decade of continuous war, America’s soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen have served in nearly every climate and conflict type imaginable, from the burning sands to the frozen peaks of mountains. By now, most Americans are aware of the concept of PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Once known as “shell shock” or “battle fatigue”, PTSD is now recognized by the American Psychiatric Association in the DSM-5 as a psychiatric disorder.  It is increasingly…


Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on February 13, 2017 at 10:50am — No Comments

Downed Firefighter PPE Removal

Firefighter CPR-A Different Perspective

Giving full credit to Leland FD for first showing us an option for Firefighter CPR.  As with anything we see online, on FB or in a video, we study it, try it out and see how it fits into our department, staffing and circumstances.  That being said, three things stood out to us as we trained on Firefighter CPR.  The compression guy was always in the way, We may not have 3 people available initially and perhaps most important is that we…


Added by Grant Schwalbe on February 10, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

All Hazard Duties

Today’s fire service is called upon to more and more. The term “All Hazards service” is thrown around in the fire service. This means we as Firefighters are tasked to handle any and all emergencies from a sore toe to an active shooter situation and everything in between.  I want to dig down to the company level. Our fire apparatus is being set up to do multiple tasks. The names of the fire service apparatus are changing to fit the growing responsibilities:

Engine Tanker



Added by David Polikoff on February 10, 2017 at 6:43am — No Comments

True Aggressiveness Comes from Knowledge

It seems like nearly every time I open my social media accounts I stumble across an argument or negative comments between those who claim to be aggressive firefighters, and those who claim to subscribe to the science side of the fire service. I don’t know if it is due to ego, bravado, or just plain ignorance, but somehow many of us have missed the point that both of these things have to go hand-in-hand. Aggressiveness without knowledge is just recklessness, and knowledge without proper…


Added by James Johnson on February 7, 2017 at 12:58pm — No Comments

Timely Plans or Perfect Plans?

     There is a quote by General George Patton that while set in the context of war parallels our battles on the fireground with a lesson on decisive action.  "A good plan violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week."  While not an endorsement to rush into an incident without proper thought or size up, the quote should provide a reality check that we are in the business of delivering the safest and most effective emergency services with the resources available, not the…


Added by David DeStefano on February 6, 2017 at 12:32pm — No Comments


Upstairs with Mr. Bibbs

The cold winds swirled down the cobblestone streets and alleys as if they were always following me, and they caused me to step up my gate and on most dark mornings to hurry past people who seemed better prepared for the elements and in no particular hurry at all.

I could tell that I was poor by the work clothes that I wore and by my shoes that this…


Added by Warren Cersley on February 5, 2017 at 1:35pm — No Comments

The Life-Fire-Layout Size-Up

We know that the fires of today are burning hotter and faster than ever before. There are a number of contributing factors to this but what I feel is more important to take note of besides the growth time of fires in structures today is the amount of time these occupants have to get out of these buildings. It was said that in previous times of more legacy constructed homes that occupants had seventeen minutes to exit a structure fire, but today that number is as low as three to four…


Added by Chad Menard on February 5, 2017 at 1:30pm — No Comments

To layout or not to layout

You are the officer of the engine and you are dispatched first due for a house fire with reported people trapped. You have several decisions to make, among them is laying out going in? There are some who say that it takes time to layout and that is time the fire continues to burn and trapped occupants are in a hostile environment. There are others who say that they would lay out with a 4 man crew and leave the 4th man to wrap the hydrant and run back to the scene, or jump on the…


Added by David Polikoff on February 3, 2017 at 7:16am — No Comments

“I Shall Not Tell a Lie” – Honesty in the Fire Service

I Shall Not Tell a Lie Honesty in the Fire Service

Every year around the annual Presidents' Day holiday we are inundated with images of former presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. These men serve as beacons of early American history and shining examples of our country’s best leaders. However, I always get mixed up on which one of them…


Added by Joseph Kitchen on February 2, 2017 at 12:00pm — No Comments

How to silence critics: Confronting the loudest voice in the room

Confronting the Loudest Voice in the Room: How to silence critics…


Added by Benjamin Martin on February 1, 2017 at 8:38am — No Comments

Searching in Modern Times - Adult Victim Profiling

We all understand the mission of the fire service. Upon arrival to a given building fire, the fire department’s number one priority is life safety. If we have any possible chance of locating and rescuing an occupant, we must start a rapid and systematic primary search. Many smaller fire departments in the United States with limited manpower are forced to perform search and rescue from…


Added by Lt. Billy Greenwood on February 1, 2017 at 7:00am — No Comments

Frustration and desperation are two of the best motivators for change.

One of the questions that I am often asked is, “I’m am a newly promoted officer and I want to make some changes but I am encountering a lot of resistance, what should I do?”

Resistance can come in many forms – a micromanaging boss, a lazy or complacent culture, a core group of over inflated egos with “inner circle” mentality, and the all too common “because that’s the way we have always done it” mentality. Each…


Added by Frank Viscuso on January 30, 2017 at 1:38pm — 1 Comment

Addiction and Helping A Struggling Firefighter

Addiction is a mental disorder which affects millions of Americans across the nation. Addiction is characterized by a chronic inability to refrain from behavior which is harmful to the addict. The user feels a compulsion to continue engaging in this behavior, despite repeated bad experiences. Often, the addiction, in fact, continues to grow out of control, with the addict taking increasingly greater measures to ensure access to their preferred method of stimulation, and willing to…


Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on January 30, 2017 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Bring your Best in 2017 by Building the Mind

By: John Spera

"The mind is the battleground. It is here that the future is told." 


Goals are destined to be lost if the mindset to reach them is not built first. Our lives are a reflection of our mindset and have been built through our beliefs and perspectives of the world, to include ourselves in it. We have complete control over the mindset we choose to have on any given day—it’s up to us to create the…


Added by The First Twenty on January 25, 2017 at 11:44am — No Comments

Training: The Buck Stops with You

How did we get to a place as firefighters where we have the expectation that all training has to be presented on a silver platter and spoon fed to us? I know this is not the case everywhere, but far too frequently I seem to encounter a mindset that all training or knowledge needs to come from the training department in an official capacity. There is so much valuable information available to us through the internet, social media, and through printed publications such as Fire…


Added by James Johnson on January 24, 2017 at 10:36pm — No Comments

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