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Jerry McGhee
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Jerry McGhee's Blog

Quit talking, get back to training

Has the fire service changed?

That's the question I've asked myself over the last several months. My guys have asked the same questions about changes, leadership and tradition. My answer to my crew is simple.

Times always will change and we have to be prepared for it. But you prepare for the challenges in the classroom and the training grounds. Given our ever changing…


Posted on September 4, 2014 at 4:38pm

Leadership Wanted

We've always heard people are born leaders, they aren't made.

I'm not sold on that theory.

There are some who have that natural ability to lead a group of men and women into battle, but what about those who have been molded over time due to training and dedication to the service?

As a Chief Officer, it's great to sit back and watch a member grow…


Posted on May 23, 2014 at 11:00am

Where were you on 9/11?

I often ask probationary firefighters one question when they have desires of joining the department.

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

With the opening of the 911 Museum, I've found myself looking at old videos and tapes of that day. Not only the events that unfolded in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania, but in our response area.

September 11th for our department opened with a cool foggy morning that started off on Lens Creek Road in Hernshaw. The roadway is…


Posted on May 19, 2014 at 3:28pm — 1 Comment

Mutual Aid Departments

I'm confident our department isn't alone, but how many departments have to deal with that mutual aid department that knows everything?

They arrive on scene wearing Superman capes and teach you how to fight fire. Set up ventilation. Salvage and overhaul. They may even try to take command.

They may run 4 or 5 fires a year, but the only thing they know is this.

You're doing it wrong.

At the end of the day, you know how your department trains, works and understands…


Posted on May 15, 2014 at 6:30pm

Profile Information

Lives in:
Marmet, WV
Marmet Fire Department
Assistant Fire Chief
Years of public service:
Agency structure:
Volunteer fire department
Top issues in your department:
Like any volunteer department, manpower during the day can cause issues at times. We have mutual aid stations within a few miles who can assist if needed.
Professional Qualifications:
WVU Fire Service Instructor

WVU Pro Board - Firefighter 1 & 2, Fire Officer 1 & 2, Fire Instructor 1, Haz Mat
Topics you provide training for:
Fire, Incident Command, Haz Mat, Rescue, Heavy Rescue & Extrication, Railroad Rescue, Communications & Leadership, Terrorism
Areas of expertise:
Fire & EMS, Leadership & Development
Member of the Marmet Fire Department in Marmet, West Virginia since 1999. Our department is made up of 29 volunteers that serve over 12,000 in our response area that include Interstate 77.

After working my way up the ranks I now serve as Assistant Chief in charge of Operations. I'm also responsible for department communications, fire prevention and community relations & education.

I've worked at Kanawha County EMS for 6 years as an EMT.
Web site:

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