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This is a little off the beaten path for me and my blogs, but it is something that I have been paying more attention to lately.  I have been laid up from a hernia repair and have been reading and doing a little research for other projects and it occurred to me that I utilize the same three books on a regular basis.

No matter what level you are at in the fire service, you should be building a decent sized library of fire/emergency related books.  This is one more method to staying sharp and on top of your game.  Having quality information to turn to for those forgotten tricks of the trade or to remember a characteristic of a certain type of construction is paramount and makes you a better firefighter.

Here are the three books that I use on a regular basis and why.

1. “Building Construction for the Fire Service,” 3rd Edition, by Francis L. Brannigan.

This book was one I got during the mid 90′s for a college course and I have it highlighted, marked and it is never too far from my grasp. The great thing about this book is that it has never gotten outdated.  The information is still relevant and insightful.  This is definitely one book that should be on your shelf.

Make sure you look at the “Tactical Considerations” in the chapters that give some ideas on how to apply the lessons to firefighting tactics.

2.  ”Collapse of Burning Buildings: A Guide to Fireground Safety,”  by Vincent Dunn

This book has a great deal of content that is covered in Brannigan’s book but more directly applied to the collapse of these buildings.  Chief Dunn goes into great detail how these buildings collapse and the problems that different types of collapses cause.

The illustrations are great examples for those that need some visual help and you can apply this information immediately as a firefighter and fire officer.  This book is a great tool to have company discussions with. Sit down with your crew and pick a chapter or topic and start playing out scenarios in your jurisdiction where these dangers exist.

3. “Safety and Survival on the Fireground,” by Vincent Dunn.

This book is everything firefighting.  Just about anything that you want to know about firefighting is in here. The great thing is that the information is short, to the point and easy to apply to situations.

Keeping these books and others within reach is a good way to stay engaged. These resources gives you valuable information at your fingertips when you need it. It is also a good way to pass on information to others and to have meaningful conversation about “fire stuff.”

Stay safe and keep your mind on the task at hand, becoming a better firefighter.

Other places to get books for the fire service:

Fire Engineering

Fire Service Books

FireBooks.com

FireRescue1

IFSTA

The Fire Barn

These are just a few, if you know of others, please let us know.

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"The Engine Company" by John Salka

"The Ladder Company" by John Mittendorf

 

These are two great books that go over the basics of our job.  (You know, where we screw up the most.)

-I've often found many fire texts have great information but often times they also have lots of "filler" material discussing techniques that sound good on the surface but are really impractical on the fireground.  What's more, many text books are usually geared to company officers; there's not as much in the printed word for firefighters.

-And my personal pet peeve is that many text books read like a text book; boring, like reading the yellow pages.

-An excellent resource that produces "street smart" books is The Fire Department Training Network, FDTN.  They publish smaller, less expensive manual type books packed with real, usable information geared toward working firefighters.  

-You want a library, but a text book.  You want real information in a manual you can throw in a gear bag, bring to work and toss in a locker?  Go to FDTN.

-As for text books, my personal favorites are Fire Officer's Handbook of Tactics by John Norman.  Not a true text book but full of knowledge is Random Thoughts by Tom Brennen.  And the true forerunner to Norman's book, a real classic that's hard to find but worth the read is Fireground Tactics by Emanual Fried.  

Hey, Brick, thanks for the great points and your suggestions for great books.

 

BTW, how are the Brothers from Albuquerque doing, in regards to the fall through the roof?  Send our best.

Jason

Michael Bricault said:

-I've often found many fire texts have great information but often times they also have lots of "filler" material discussing techniques that sound good on the surface but are really impractical on the fireground.  What's more, many text books are usually geared to company officers; there's not as much in the printed word for firefighters.

-And my personal pet peeve is that many text books read like a text book; boring, like reading the yellow pages.

-An excellent resource that produces "street smart" books is The Fire Department Training Network, FDTN.  They publish smaller, less expensive manual type books packed with real, usable information geared toward working firefighters.  

-You want a library, but a text book.  You want real information in a manual you can throw in a gear bag, bring to work and toss in a locker?  Go to FDTN.

-As for text books, my personal favorites are Fire Officer's Handbook of Tactics by John Norman.  Not a true text book but full of knowledge is Random Thoughts by Tom Brennen.  And the true forerunner to Norman's book, a real classic that's hard to find but worth the read is Fireground Tactics by Emanual Fried.  

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