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Robert Owens's Blog (21)

The 3 Hours

The 3 hours is something I live by and try an do every day. I talk about the 3 hours in every class I teach, every person I mentor, and every periscope I do. I have even mentioned it on several podcasts such as the Firefighter Training Podcast with Chief Peter Lamb specifically in this episode…


Added by Robert Owens on November 20, 2017 at 12:20pm — No Comments

Teaching The Working Length

The working length of hose is critical when it comes to an engine companies ability to rapidly extinguish a fire. The working length is that first 50 feet of hose from the nozzle to the first coupling. It is the money length of hose! If you can get that length to the fire room rapidly then your chances of putting the fire out multiply exponentially. However I feel that even though it is emphasized in training, students still miss the mark on its importance or even recognizing it.…


Added by Robert Owens on November 20, 2017 at 12:17pm — No Comments

Leadership Tunnel Vision

Webster’s Dictionary defines Tunnel Vision as:

  • constriction of the visual field resulting in loss of peripheral vision
  •   extreme narrowness of viewpoint : narrow-mindedness; also : single-minded concentration on one objective

In the Fire service, we often associate “tunnel vision” with the narrowing field of view during an incident based on a…


Added by Robert Owens on October 10, 2017 at 2:40pm — No Comments


Placards are used to help us identify what a vehicle is hauling. They usually have a corresponding number in the ERG to let us know what to do when we encounter the corresponding material.

However would you be surprised to know that people have placards too? Would you even be further surprised to know YOU have…


Added by Robert Owens on October 10, 2017 at 2:29pm — No Comments

4 B's of the 360

Read any NIOSH report and failure to do a 360 is usually mentioned as a contributing factor. Unfortunately this has turned the 360 into a check box item rather than something to do in order to gain the entire fire ground picture. I have personally seen critical issues missed on structures due to the first in officer omitting the 360.

This leads to the question, What to look for on a 360? People teach various methods and I have one that was taught to me that is simple to remember, easy…


Added by Robert Owens on October 10, 2017 at 2:27pm — No Comments

How Can We Reach The Future Of Our Service

How Can We Reach The Future Of Our Service?

I have the chance to interact with young kids, pre teens, and teenagers a lot. Sometimes it is through coaching, other times it is through my part-time job as a Fire and Safety Technician at a local theme park. When I do I often get the question…

How do you become a firefighter?

Once I begin to explain the process of becoming a firefighter or even an EMT Basic I am…


Added by Robert Owens on July 12, 2014 at 4:29pm — No Comments

How Can We Know Our Buildings?

Frank Brannigan said the building is our enemy and we need to know our enemy. Some have amended that with the fire is our enemy but the building is our battlefield and we must know the terrain in which we are to do battle. Either way you put it building construction is important to everything we do. However just the subject of building construction is VAST and unending. Engineers, construction companies, contractors, developers, etc. are always trying to come up with cheaper, and more…


Added by Robert Owens on July 1, 2014 at 12:22pm — No Comments

Why Fight Fair?

By now I am sure a lot of you who frequent the trade magazines, fire service blogs, etc. have seen videos and reports on how new and old furnishings impact fire growth and development.

We all know it yet we continue to see minimal change or acceptance to change on the tactical level.

I heard this quote from an instructor the other day while he was teaching about difficult airway. Basically he said when it comes to difficult airways he doesn’t belive in “fighting fair” and he is…


Added by Robert Owens on June 16, 2014 at 9:05am — No Comments

What Do You Want To Be?

There is a lot of debate about what is and what is not aggressive. A lot of people determine aggressive based on their location on the fire ground. I have often thought that aggressive should be defined as the actions you are taking not where you are standing.

As I have been debating this for several years I have begun to think that perhaps we are defining our fire service “actions” with the wrong words. I have seen very non aggressive moves right next to a fire, some very aggressive…


Added by Robert Owens on June 8, 2014 at 6:27pm — No Comments

Turning Your Commute Into a Classroom!

One of the biggest things I always here about why firefighters do train everyday is time! To be honest I get it! Most firefighters in the country are volunteer and are working a full-time job, raising families, and still trying to find time to serve their volunteer departments and communities.

The same can go for career firefighters who often have one or more part-time jobs, and families. I myself have my full-time fire department job, a part-time job, and 2 beautiful boys who…


Added by Robert Owens on May 12, 2014 at 11:37am — No Comments

The Motorized 360

Big Box

Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Toys R Us, or various other chain and brand name stores. No matter the name they go under they all have one thing in common.


They also provide a very difficult fire problem for even the largest and best staffed fire departments in the fire service. In these instances we must abandon our traditional “residential” tactics and deploy more…


Added by Robert Owens on May 8, 2014 at 9:37am — No Comments

Chock Enhancement

Everyone knows the tale of Hansel and Gretel. Two kids who get lost in the woods and leave a trail of bread crumbs to lead themselves back home. Well while the method was not perfect Hansel and Gretel had a great idea and it is something we can use on the fireground.

door chock 1

Here are the two styles of door chocks I carry in my gear. While this may seem simple think about this…


Added by Robert Owens on May 5, 2014 at 12:39pm — 2 Comments

No Standpipe? No PROBLEM

We often times are not able to get out of service in order to get vital training. Either other companies beat us to it, calls get in the way, or other vital mission critical stuff pops up (staffing, broken equipment, etc.). We also sometimes lack the proper resources to perform certain drills. This is when the creativeness and ingenuity of the american firefighter starts to take over! Some times in order to get some great training all you need to do is look around the fire…


Added by Robert Owens on May 3, 2014 at 4:42pm — No Comments

The Double Keyed Deadbolt

Click the link for the post!


Added by Robert Owens on May 1, 2014 at 11:23am — No Comments

Simple Hose Roll For DPO

This is just a simple trick that was taught to me and I have been passing on for years. Every engine company carries short supply hose sections of various sizes and lengths. I often found that when these rolls get above about 25 feet they can become a little difficult to deal with. Storage, deployment, etc. they are just difficult. A lot of these rolls are simply straight rolled, or doughnut rolled and placed in the compartment, or tray and not thought of until the next fire. Getting a water…


Added by Robert Owens on April 29, 2014 at 8:10pm — No Comments

FDIC 2014 Wrap UP!

WOW what a great conference FDIC2014 was. If you wonder where the brotherhood is then look no further than FDIC! This year the classes where once again great, as well as the opening ceremonies with Chief Bobby Halton and Eric Rohden, but everyone knows about that in anything you read you hear about the education you get from going to FDIC and it is by far second to none, so I want to focus on some other things in my FDIC wrap up.

I will however as usual give a shout out to the best…


Added by Robert Owens on April 25, 2014 at 9:56am — No Comments


In just a few days I like many of my fire service brothers will be heading to the greatest fire service conference on the planet FDIC!

While there we will take classes, walk around the exhibit floors, network, and enjoy the brotherhood that is hanging out with 40,000 like minded people.

The one other thing people will be doing is searching. Searching for that tid bit, that trick, that “secret of the fire service” .

Well I have figured it out! No it’s not RECEO,…


Added by Robert Owens on April 4, 2014 at 2:06pm — 1 Comment

Hose Line Kink

Since the weather has been getting warmer it is allowing more time to train outside and get some real good engine work in. Been practicing a lot of moving lines up stairs. With a 3 person engine it makes it difficult especially in a…


Added by Robert Owens on March 30, 2014 at 4:09pm — No Comments

Urban Opinion

This one has been in the back of my mind for a long time, and it is meant as no disrespect it is just some thoughts and opinions.

I remember getting into the fire service at age 15 and getting introduced to some of the older guys a lot of whom worked for various fire departments around the area some worked in the Urban city but most in the suburban counties. Both had differing opinions on how the best way to do things was.

Then I remember going to college and meeting…


Added by Robert Owens on March 30, 2014 at 3:48pm — 1 Comment

Rules of the Fire Service

With all of the acronyms, studies, and science being brought into the fire service today, I often hear of people clamoring for a simpler time. A time when the job was what they describe as simpler. Even as a believer in a lot of these different studies, and I feel that the fire service should be an educated fire service, but at the core of our job what we do everyday has not changed. A lot of these concepts are not even “new” if you are familiar with any fire service history. I learned about…


Added by Robert Owens on March 27, 2014 at 4:33pm — No Comments

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