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Matt McDowell's Blog (26)

A Mad Lib "On Firefighting"

“[A] FIREFIGHTER  who is uncertain whether he can SAVE someone, or [a] FIREFIGHTER who for religious or moral reasons knows he will not ENTER A BURNING…

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Added by Matt McDowell on January 9, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

The Fireground is Like Loading a Dishwasher

I suppose I am fortunate that one of the only ongoing debates between my wife and I are the nuances of loading the dishwasher.  You see, I load the dishwasher the way it was designed to be loaded.  My wife, she believes randomly loading the dishwasher.  We both think that our respective methods work best for fitting the most dishes and getting the job done the best.  Much like the fireground, and numerous other “hot topics” right now, there are many different opinions and theories on the…

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Added by Matt McDowell on October 12, 2012 at 8:10pm — No Comments

First Due Friday; Heavy Fire, Standpipe Ops & Mayday! (Video)

This video is a great training tool for size-up, radio comms & Command presence.  This FD sounds very professional despite difficult fire conditions.  This week we've got heavy fire & smoke on an upper floor w/ standpipe ops in progress and a Mayday called while transitioning to Defensive Ops.   Compare this FD's ops to your FD and  give us your RECEO VS considerations.  Enjoy!…

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Added by Matt McDowell on April 13, 2012 at 9:32am — No Comments

First Due Friday; "Houston" We Have a Problem!

THE SCENARIO:  HEAVY FIRE from the attic w/ extension to TWO other houses!  If this one doesn't test the strength and discipline of your crews and alarm assignments, congratulations!   Give us the report and your RECEO VS considerations.  Enjoy!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO!

Added by Matt McDowell on March 2, 2012 at 9:11am — No Comments

First Due Friday; Attached Garage w/ Heavy Fire & Extension

What would your FD do for this attached garage fire?  What would you do to address the extension issues?   Give us the report and your RECEO VS considerations.  Enjoy!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO

Be Safe

Added by Matt McDowell on February 24, 2012 at 7:43am — No Comments

First Due Friday; Surf's Up! We Need More Than the Surfboard On This One!

Check out this video.  Heavy fire from the top floor.  Pre-arrival and post arrival footage.  What would you do?  What do you of their tactics?  Give us the report and your RECEO VS considerations.  Surf's up!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO!

Thanks and Be Safe!

Added by Matt McDowell on February 9, 2012 at 8:30am — No Comments

First Due Friday; Bread & Butter House Fire? (Video)

What would do you do for this heavily involved attached garage fire?  Does the split-level layout change your strategies/tactics?  Give us the report and your RECEO VS considerations.  Have fun!


CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO!

Added by Matt McDowell on February 3, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments

First Due Friday; Heavy Fire on 2 Floors (Videos)

This week we've got a rippin' 2-story single family dwelling.  Share your strategies, tactics and experience! 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO!

Added by Matt McDowell on January 27, 2012 at 9:30am — No Comments

First Due Friday; 2-Story Balloon Frame Rockin' on the Peninsula

Watch the video of this heavily involved 2-story balloon frame house. Note the wind and the exposures. Give us your RECEO breakdown, initial actions and initial rig placement. Have fun!

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE!!!

Added by Matt McDowell on January 6, 2012 at 10:58am — No Comments

Your Chance to be the Chief's Aide (Cool Video)

Get a front row seat next to the Battalion Chief for this working Multiple Dwelling fire in Brooklyn.  Listen to the BC give great radio reports, great size-up information and even take time to talk to the neighbors.  Nice video with links to the popular conversation on Facebook.

Other things you'll see:

  • The Command presence
  • Notice the professionalism of the operating crews
  • Notice the window A/C unit falling to the street (around :40)
  • Notice the…
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Added by Matt McDowell on January 4, 2012 at 9:00am — No Comments

First Due Friday: Row House Fire

Share your strategies, tactics and experience!  Every Friday we'll post a picture or video and want to get your take on the situation.

THE SCENARIO:  You're wearing all the hats today! You're dispatched to a reported "structure" fire.  It's the middle of the week during Christmas vacation and the neighbors don't know if the kids are there or not.

  • What is your initial report?
  • Where is the fire?
  • Where is it going?
  • How…
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Added by Matt McDowell on December 23, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments

First Due Friday; Truck Arrives First at a House Fire

Share your strategies, tactics and experience!  Every Friday we'll post a picture or video and want to get your take on the situation.

THE SCENARIO:  You are the Officer on the 4 person TRUCK company who ARRIVES FIRST at this single-family house fire.  Due to other call volume, the FIRST DUE ENGINE is 5 minutes away.

  • Where is the fire?
  • Where is it going?
  • As a TRUCK, what tactics can you perform ahead of, without, an Engine for 5…
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Added by Matt McDowell on December 16, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments

I Have Always Done Victim Survivability Profiling

VSP is one of the hottest topics of conversation in the fire service today.  Captain Marsar’s research has taken the fire service by storm and has created an interesting “new” flavor of the month for those who feed on “firefighter safety through spectatorship”.  Maybe it was because of my animosity for the “let it burn” folks within our profession that I was initially against the concept of deciding if a building is searchable from the front yard and was unfairly biased.  However, the more I…

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Added by Matt McDowell on December 5, 2011 at 8:18am — No Comments

Video- Detroit's 9th Fire in One Hour!

Found this 2-part video of a serious fire in Detroit.  This fire originated in the obvious dwelling, then spread to the neighboring duplex.



Some background of this incident and some of the things people will notice:

  • According to the description, this was the 9th arson fire in THIS NEIGHBORHOOD in ONE HOUR.
  • The minimal use of SCBA.  According to the comments, these crews had run FOUR fires continuously and their was no more air available when this fire was…
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Added by Matt McDowell on October 3, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

Through-the-Lock; A NEED to Know Skill

www.safefirefighter.com

 

I recently updated the through-the-lock setup that I carry in my gear (see pics below).  For years I had used a modified set of locking pliers (ViseGrip style) with separate key tools and shove knife. This setup has proven extremely effective at both alarm runs and working fires.

 

I've decided to change my setup to a modified "Channelok" setup.  It's going to allow me merge 2 tools into 1 and…

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Added by Matt McDowell on September 7, 2011 at 8:24am — No Comments

Be The Warrior

 





 

 …

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Added by Matt McDowell on May 30, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

30& Club... Wanna Join? Pay your Dues

This article is being posted, with permission from the author Jake Rixner



In everyone's career, things are said or done that make the "light bulb turn on".  This article was one of the things that I read early in my career that had a tremendous impact on me.  Immediately after reading it, I knew I had to be a member of the 30% Club, that a 30 percenter was the type of fireman I wanted to be.  Though I 've…

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Added by Matt McDowell on April 27, 2011 at 8:45am — No Comments

Is Anyone (Else) Out There? First Arriving & Trapped

As reported in our nations news, five DC Fire Department members were injured yesterday in an early morning house fire.  They became trapped by a ceiling collapse shortly after making entry. The speed with which the RIC deployed and made rescues, coupled with the the IC immediately requesting a 2nd Alarm resulted in not only rapid rescue of multiple trapped firefighters, but also quick knock down of a serious fire.  

 

Unlike urban/metro FD's, the suburban FD may not have quite…

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Added by Matt McDowell on April 11, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

Forcible Entry: What Are You Doing?!?!

Forcible entry is always an interesting discussion around the service. On one side, you've got the forcible entry purists (myself included). These guys can force a door with a safety pin, a rock and a piece of duct tape. Despite their McGyver-esk skills, they prefer the irons.

 

On the other side of the discussion are the mule kickers. Often mistaken for SWAT Officers, these guys prefer the old size 10 for forcible entry. Kick... grimace... repeat. Sometimes it works, sometimes…

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Added by Matt McDowell on March 11, 2011 at 12:24pm — 4 Comments

Straight Stream vs. Fog: A Visual Aid

Among one of the greatest, and most historic debates in the fire service is the use of smooth bore versus fog nozzles.  What’s better and/or safer etc.?  A byproduct of that debate is hose stream selection for fire attack.  The question is, do you use a wide fog pattern, a narrow fog (a.k.a. power cone) or a straight (or solid) stream for offensive interior fire attack?  Watch this video and form your own conclusions.…

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Added by Matt McDowell on February 23, 2011 at 4:00am — 2 Comments

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