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Bring Meaning to Core Values

We can trace core values back to several places. We get them from our upbringings with parents or other family members, from our church, and several others. They are the guiding principles on how and why we make decisions in our lives and in our work. The core values we have in our personal life may not always mirror the same ones we have in our organizations. Often times they are still good values and even carried into our personal lives may still have application and meaning.



Added by Jarrod Sergi on July 30, 2015 at 11:37pm — No Comments

Social Media use in background checks

Scenario: I am a firefighter candidate. During the oral interview, one of the panel members asked me for my user name and password for my social media sites. Can the employer as for that information and for what purpose?

Discussion: With the liberal use of social media sites by millions of users, are social media sites fair game for your employer to search your social media sites for insight into your activities to determine your eligibility as a candidate? Some…


Added by John K. Murphy on July 30, 2015 at 12:00pm — No Comments

"So That's What It Sounds Like When Your Heart Breaks"

Stop Being Mean to Mommy

“So that’s what it sounds like when your heart breaks”

She measures barely 40 inches tall, and I have yet to take the training wheels off her bike, but today she made me feel like the child.  My oldest daughter, three years of wisdom to her beautiful name, directed some tough words at me this…


Added by Benjamin Martin on July 29, 2015 at 8:59pm — 1 Comment



I encourage young people to read and study the writings and speeches of Captain Tom Brennan, FDNY, including Brunacini/Brennan Unplugged FDIC 2003 and everything else that you can find.  I did not know Tom Brennan, I wish I had, but I surely liked his style.

Captain Tom Brennan was one who always left the audience with some important take away from his…


Added by Warren Cersley on July 29, 2015 at 4:43pm — No Comments

Hump Day SOS Rerun - T-Shirt Management

T-Shirt Management (A Hump Day SOS Classic from the Files)

I am always amazed at how many critically important issues there are to manage in the fire department. With any high risk occupation the day is filled with decisions that have long lasting effects. Yet…


Added by David Rhodes on July 29, 2015 at 3:45pm — No Comments

MFA #5: Keeping Up to Date - Where to look when the textbooks are wrong

New information regarding both fire behavior and making fire behave (AKA firefighting) is coming out faster than it can be delivered to the end user: firefighters.  This is due to both the tremendous volume of data and interpretations thereof, as well as the limitations on the ability to effectively process, catalog, and communicate - that is, teach - the new concepts and approaches resulting from the research.  Sorting through the reams of findings already published on the subject of fire…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on July 29, 2015 at 9:10am — No Comments

Am I My Brotherhood's Keeper?

“Brotherhood is dead.”

I’ve witnessed that same sentence uttered or typed several times in the last few weeks.  It’s out and out poppycock.  Balderdash.  Claptrap.  Malarkey. 

If service and selflessness are the foundation of this profession, then brotherhood is the mortar that holds all the other pieces of our house together.  Without brotherhood, we fall apart.  There are those in the fire service that truly do not appreciate that fact, nor do they care about…


Added by William Knight on July 28, 2015 at 4:46pm — No Comments

Fire Jealousy and Keyboard Heroes

This is probably going to piss a few people off, but that is okay. There are "firefighters" out there who are extremely jealous of other firefighters that go to fire. Crazy as it may seem, these people, instead of learning from the guys that go to jobs, have an innate ability to pick out several items that are “wrong” about a department’s operations based on a single photo during a second time frame of an incident. Typical comments include:

  • “You shouldn’t be on that roof”- Yet…

Added by Zach Schleiffer on July 27, 2015 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

The Greatest Gift

I just had an amazing experience. Today a firefighter contacted me on Facebook and asked if I wrote the book Common Valor. I told him I did and he informed me that he was the young victim in one of the stories I had featured in the book. I gave him my number and we had an emotional conversation about the incident and his story. It's a powerful one that I believe every firefighter should know about. Common Valor is no longer in print, but I wanted to share this story with you. Please take the…


Added by Frank Viscuso on July 27, 2015 at 6:00pm — No Comments


Firefighters, like any superhero worth their cape and cowl, act when called upon without hesitation or protest! They are reliable anytime and anywhere, to do everything within their power to make right that which is wrong. How reliable are you? Do you do your job and duties to best of your ability? Nothing speaks…


Added by Paul Combs on July 27, 2015 at 9:57am — No Comments

Extrication "Quick Tip" #39 (Dash Butterfly)

It’s 4AM and your company is dispatched to an MVC with entrapment. You arrive and find one vehicle against a large tree with the passenger heavily trapped by the dash. Due to the damage, the vehicle cannot be moved from the tree and passenger side access…


Added by Isaac Frazier on July 27, 2015 at 9:28am — No Comments


How enthusiastic are you about the job? Your duties? Training? Your people? Get excited, folks - this is the greatest calling in the world and we get to be a part of it every day!

Chief Frank Viscuso’s book Step Up and Lead is by far one of the best leadership books I’ve had…


Added by Paul Combs on July 27, 2015 at 7:00am — No Comments

Deputy Chief (FDNY) Paul Mannix Suspended for 50 days. He stood up for our service lets stand up for him

Merit and why it Matters
A Fund has been set up for Paul and his family. My wife and I sent in $100. Even if you can donate $10.00 it all adds up. Paul believes that: Achievement is neither limited nor determined by one's race or politics, but is determined by one's skills, knowledge, abilities, dedication, commitment and…

Added by Frank Ricci on July 26, 2015 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Behavior Modeling and Self Full-Filling Prophecy

I’ve recently been traveling teaching my new course (Training Officer’s Boot Camp) based on the Training Officer’s Desk Reference published – January 2015. If you have seen or read the TO Desk Reference you may recognize several names under the author’s section from across the country. When I was asked to take on the project as Managing…


Added by Brian Ward "FireServiceSLT" on July 26, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments



Added by Dan Shaw on July 26, 2015 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

The “Main Street 360” Tips on the initial 360 degree size up for your Main Street fire

Through the analysis of many line of duty death reports and close calls, the one stand-alone take away that I believe has been fully embraced and is in my opinion become a standard in today’s size up is the 360 degree evaluation of the structure immediately after arrival. But; as with most of our tactics this procedure has been honed on one particular type of dwelling, the residential structure. Doing a lap around an 80’ X 65’ can be done relatively quickly and in doing so can provide…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on July 25, 2015 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment

Fire Ground Decision Making-First Solution Not Optimal Solution

As first responders we are tasked with arriving on the scene of some sort of emergency or problem and being responsible to come up with a solution.  Whether it’s a fire, EMS call, entrapment or water emergency our success is largely determined by how fast we can decide what needs to be done, get the resources and execute the plan.   Colonel John Boyd refers this process as the OODA Loop.  The OODA Loop is made up of 4 parts: Observe, Orient, Decide and Act.  The faster we do this the more…


Added by Grant Schwalbe on July 24, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

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

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 48th Line Of Duty Death for 2015 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Sister Firefighter & Fire Police Officer Melissa "Missy" Doll has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to her family, friends and our Brothers & Sisters with the Jefferson Volunteer Fire Company.

It's never easy when we loose one of our Own and many of you know it's even harder when… Continue

Added by Brad Hoff on July 23, 2015 at 2:53pm — No Comments

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

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 47th Line Of Duty Death for 2015 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighter & Engineer John Whelan has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to the family, friends and our Brothers & Sisters with the Denver Metro Fire Department.



Added by Brad Hoff on July 23, 2015 at 2:44pm — No Comments

Promoting Health and Wellness in Your Department

Firefighter Functional Training - Promoting Health and Wellness in Your Department

In North Carolina the Office of the State Fire Marshal is the certifying body for the fire service.  As in most locales I am sure, it has been quite some time since our firefighter certification program received a major makeover.  Our latest makeover took effect January 1, 2015 and included the addition of three modules to the certification…


Added by The First Twenty on July 22, 2015 at 1:30pm — No Comments

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