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Pressing the Safety Engine Into Action Early

Many fire departments designate one engine company as RIC on first alarm to a building fire. This is done to ensure that the responsibility of RIC is established early in the game and takes the place of the Initial Rapid Intervention Crew (IRIC) which is the “two-out” part of two-in, two-out. The use of a first alarm engine company as a dedicated RIC is an example of the Safety Engine concept in action.

Some but not all SOPs call for the replacement of this early dedicated RIC with a…


Added by Dan Miller on February 7, 2016 at 11:00pm — No Comments

"Mind the Step"

The Sunday Preach:

‘Mind your Step’

"We must recognize the importance that staircases have in all of our operations, from pre-fire control to overhaul. We must understand their structural building components, know the materials used, their limitations, and how to prevent and overcome problems impeding our goal of going up or down the stairs. Anytime we are going up or down steps, we must be extra alert. We must also recognize and plan to utilize a secondary means of egress…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on February 7, 2016 at 3:57pm — No Comments

4 Ways to Practice Like You Play


Added by AB Turenne on February 6, 2016 at 10:57pm — No Comments

Tactical Communications Preplanning

In my last post (part 3: Troubleshooting), I mentioned a the radio relay and Vehicle Repeater System (VRS). The former is a quick solution that requires personnel in dedicated positions; the latter requires a unit with VRS to arrive on-scene and activate the VRS. I will address both in this post, as they are the simplest options for fixing a tactical communications problem.…


Added by Samuel Villani, III on February 3, 2016 at 1:07pm — No Comments


This week’s “Quick Tip” is simple…GET TO AN EXTRICATION CHALLENGE!…


Added by Isaac Frazier on February 2, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

If Not Us, Then Who?

The public has a set of expectations when they call the fire department. They expect that we will: 1) Save anyone that is inside 2) Put the fire out. 

Many departments (including mine) give awards for saves and great stops on fires.  I’m all for awards and unit citations, but if you really think about it, we are giving awards for meeting the expectations of the public.  Does any other job do that?


Speaking of Expectations

I set out my trash…


Added by Grant Schwalbe on February 1, 2016 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Forking Around

You will find in various text books and firefighter skill sheets that the swing of a door should dictate how the forks of the halligan are oriented to the jamb for forcible entry. When “forcing” a door is viewed as a single step process this type of approach makes sense in that the orientation of the forks to the jamb will maximize the mechanical advantage and therefore the force delivered.…


Added by Brian Brush on February 1, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments


"Residential Recognition - Take off the blinders!"

"All our senses must be on alert. We must use all our five senses to gather intelligence about the bigger picture, then attempt to validate the smaller tactical pieces to make sure the outcome is what is anticipated. We must absolutely resist the temptation

to put the blinders on and run like a moth to a flame in our tactical decision making." Chapter 21, Page…


Added by Dan Shaw on January 31, 2016 at 7:36am — No Comments

Size Up: Not always what it seems - part 2

A few months ago I posted an article on fireground size up titled, "Size Up's: Not just what it is, but what it was". This article is the second part on size ups. It focuses on two important factors that are not always discussed when talking about size ups. A major key to being able to perform a good size up actually begins well before the fire with taking the time to get to know your district inside out and…


Added by David Topczynski on January 30, 2016 at 9:00pm — No Comments

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatality: AR

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 7th Line Of Duty Death for 2016 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighter & Lieutenant Ronald Jason Adams has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and our Brothers & Sisters with the East Pulaski County Fire Department.



Added by Brad Hoff on January 29, 2016 at 11:28pm — No Comments

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatality: OH

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 6th Line Of Duty Death for 2016 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighter Scott D. Bruggeman has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and our Brothers & Sisters with the Middletown Division of Fire.

Scott D.…


Added by Brad Hoff on January 29, 2016 at 11:21pm — No Comments

EXTRICATION "QUICK TIP" #51 (Compressed Natural Gas-CNG)

Compressed Natural Gas, with a name like that, it has to be bad. Right? I was recently asked to provide some information on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) transport vehicles. Now remember, LNG differs from CNG in that it is super-cooled and…


Added by Isaac Frazier on January 29, 2016 at 9:13am — No Comments

training with staffing

Its  3 in the afternoon you get dispatched for a working fire in a single family dwelling. You get there and find that there is a working fire in ranch style house unknown entrapment, but your next in help is still 15 minutes out, you and your crew of 3 are all you have in the meantime.…


Added by Chris Willis on January 27, 2016 at 8:49pm — No Comments

Residential Primary Search, Pt. 1

Whether or not your department has or staffs a truck company, it is essential that a quick and concise search be made of the involved structure. It is this author’s opinion that there are two top priorities on the fireground of equal importance; getting the first line in place, and getting a primary search underway. Despite what any study tells you about heat and thermal behavior, the autopsy on almost every single fire victim tells us that their cause of death was smoke inhalation; an awful…


Added by Zach Schleiffer on January 26, 2016 at 9:00pm — No Comments

212 degrees - the one degree difference

This photo is actually of a poster that I saw in the middle school while on a fire alarm. These posters hang throughout the entire school. It is simple, but it says a lot. This post is simple and short. It's not a motivational speech about being a 212 degree firefighter but reminder…


Added by David Topczynski on January 25, 2016 at 3:54pm — 2 Comments

New Construction / New Hazards

Modern building technology is an amazing thing. That being said, technology can also create new firefighter hazards unforeseen by many.  For example on a recent building familiarization tour with my truck company, we located many of these pre-engineered smoke ventilation hatches on a new constructed occupancy in my district. 


We all know working on the roof is dangerous. Our working environment often yields decreased visibility; night time darkness; seasonal weather related…


Added by Lt. Billy Greenwood on January 22, 2016 at 12:30pm — No Comments



The mirrored elevator doors opened and the couple walked quietly past the Bellman’s stand. The Bell Captain said good morning to them and he knew their last name. He held the door to the hotel dining room for them and then returned to the stand.

He asked if I knew who the couple was and I replied that I did not. He explained that they had come to…


Added by Warren Cersley on January 21, 2016 at 11:24pm — No Comments

Staying Afloat In A Sea of Cynicism

After getting all caught up on the back-and-forth going on between Captain Tom Kenney of the Providence, RI Fire Department and the city administration AND the Providence Journal newspaper, it is very clear that there is mutual disdain, to put it mildly.

Let me say right here/right now that I HATE sensationalist headlines.

You know the type if you have spent time on the Internet. It is a…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on January 19, 2016 at 6:12pm — No Comments

Dream On

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoken over 50 years ago in a speech that changed our way of life, our perception and view on culture and reminded us what we as Americans stand for, what we stood for and what we should stand…


Added by Dave McGlynn on January 19, 2016 at 5:13pm — No Comments

MFA #21: ACRONYMITY: Tripping over letters

We in the fire service are fond of initials.  They are used both as abbreviated identifiers (e.g., BC, LT, EMS, FADO, AFA, MVC) and/or shortened versions of unwieldy terms (e.g., IDLH, BLEVE, SCBA), forming the type of private, insider language common of all professions.  They have also proven to be valuable memory aids, helping us to learn and recall the components and steps of complex processes.  For instance, the myriad and extensive considerations that should be included in…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on January 19, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

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