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Dave McGrail
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Profile Information

Lives in:
Denver, Colorado
Denver Fire Department
District Chief
Years of public service:
Agency structure:
Paid fire department
Topics you provide training for:
High-Rise Firefighting
Standpipe Operations
Engine Company Operations
Truck Comapny Operations
Fireground Strategy & Tactics
Command and Control of Fires and other Emergencies
Areas of expertise:
Student of Firefighting... Working to become an expert...
Dave McGrail is a 26-year veteran of the fire service and a District Chief with the Denver Fire Department (DFD). As a Captain, Dave served as the company commander of DFD Engine Co. 3, and then Rescue Co. 1, two of the DFD’s busiest fire companies. He instructs internationally on a wide range of fire service topics, specializing in high-rise firefighting and standpipe operations. He is the lead instructor for the engine company (standpipe) hands-on training (HOT) at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, FDIC West, Sacramento and Los Angeles, and FDIC East Atlantic City. He was a keynote speaker on United States high-rise firefighting operations, at the Fire and Emergency Services Asia (FESA) Singapore, 2005. He is a member of the FDIC and FDIC West Educational Advisory Boards and is editorial advisor and contributing editor for Fire Engineering Magazine. He is the author of the new book Firefighting Operations in High-rise and Standpipe Equipped Buildings published by PennWell (Fire Engineering Books and Videos) in 2007. Dave holds two Associate of Applied Science Degrees in Fire Science Technology and two Bachelor of Science Degrees, one in Human Resource Management, and the other in Fire Service Administration.

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At 7:30pm on January 8, 2012, Tommy Dixon said…

Hey Chief,

I am in the process of trying to make some positive change in my department. I have been doing a lot of research lately on nozzles, hose lines and the myth that a fog pattern will protect you. I feel as though I have a lot of good information to be heard by my department. I am simply just a firefighter with 5 years on the job and just under 2 years at my current department. Were no different in that we have  a lot of people who dont want/like change and think that as long as we keep putting the fires out then we must be doing something right. So why change they say? It is just hard to get people to hear you and actually listen when youre not an officer or have several years of experience. Do you have any advice and/or resources for proving some of the things I am trying to change??? One thing that scares me is that we dont even have an established standard fire flow for residential or high-rise/commercial fires. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

At 7:53pm on January 2, 2012, Joe Meyer said…

Just finished reading your book,reaaly enjoyed it !
Also seen your speech by web at FDIC wish I could have seen you in person !
I' m intrested in your work out program using highrise buildings.
Do you have a set program ? Do you complete it in turn out gear or gym clothing ? On air or off air .
What type of excercises do you add with the program ( as in the book. push ups btw floors )
I Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon !
Joe Meyer

At 10:54am on September 6, 2011, Lauren Heil said…

Hey Dave!

    My name is Lauren, I'm a journalism student at CSU writing a story about the 9/11 stair walk at Red Rocks happening this year. I was hoping to ask you a couple questions about it, and possibly include some of your input in my story?

At 11:33am on July 3, 2011, Stephen Savoca said…
Hi Chief, i had the pleasure of attending FDIC in 2009 ,  one course i attended was High- Rise Operations which you were the lead instructor. The training i received was eye -opening. Prior to the trip to FDIC my departments High Rise equipment consited of 1 3/4 attack line, and automatic nozzles. Soon after returning to my department we changed all our High Rise attack lines to 2 1/2 with smooth bore nozzles and continue to train in High Rise Operations as i was taught @ FDIC. I am a frequent visitor to and would  like to personally  thank you and the training staff for providing the invaluble training i received in Indy. Thanks 2nd Asst.Chief Steve Savoca
At 5:42am on July 22, 2010, Fred Bramston said…
Thanks for your quick reply Dave, much appreciated!
The on-line article is below with the relevant section copied and pasted below that.
Actually I can a benefit of having the male inside in that the hose can be fed from the shoulder when dispersing it, making it a faster lay, however having the butt already connected may cause difficulty where it would then be next to, and banging against, some part of the body when placed over one shoulder. This of course can be obviated by having a firm grip on that end of the bundle. Thanks, and sorry my first contact with you is over an "issue". -Fred
The high-rise hose pack should be assembled in the following manner:
Photos 1,2,3. Starting at the male coupling, measure 32 inches from the outside of the male coupling up the hose. With permanent black ink, mark the 32-inch mark (32"H/R) on both sides of the hose for future use. It is preferable that at least three firefighters be used to assemble the hose pack, to keep it as tight and as compact as possible.
Photo 4. At the 32-inch mark, make your first bend in the hose, and return back down to a point just short of the male coupling. Do not go past the coupling; this will keep the hose pack small and compact. (Going past the coupling with the hose will make the hose pack fat and bulky at the ends.)
At 10:43am on April 14, 2010, Greg Wyant said…
Chief I am looking for a hose pack for 2 1/2 that deploys eazy. I have been talking to some brothers with the F.D.N.Y also just trying to find the best for my dept , it has been a long battle to get them to agree to switch from 1 3/4 with turbojets to the 2 1/2 with solid stream so I want to come up with the best option out there.
At 4:42pm on March 8, 2010, Ty Clinton Eidam said…
I would like to know which 2.5" nozzles Denver Fire uses and where to purchase them.
Thank you,

At 12:52am on February 25, 2010, Joe Pantaleo said…
Chief, really enjoyed talking high rise with ya in St. Charles IL the other day. Thanks for coming out! I took alot back home with me. Keep fighting the good fight, brother, and thanks again!
At 4:55pm on January 18, 2010, Mark Sicuso said…

hope all is well!! be safe brother!
At 6:47pm on January 14, 2010, Dave McGrail said…
Hello Art,

Happy New Year. Great to hear from you...

As for the SP Equipment, I recommend a separate Elbow, Akron Brass, #630 I think that's the #... And a separate SP Inline Pressure Gauge, I recommned Red Head Brass, #125...

I don't know of any Elbow / Gauge combination out there...

Any other questions, e-mail me at

Stay Low Brother,

Dave Mc.

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