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Jim Mason
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Profile Information

Lives in:
Chicago IL
Chicago Fire Dept.
Years of public service:
Agency structure:
Paid fire department
Topics you provide training for:
Fire ground operations
Company Officer Training
Fire Ground Survival
Areas of expertise:
Engine,and Truck Operations
Company Officer
21 years total member of the fire service, 6 years in Oak Lawn (IL)
15 years in Chicago (IL). As a FF assigned to Engines, Trucks and Heavy Rescue Squad. Associates Degree and Published in Fire Engieering Magazine, Speaker at FDIC.
Thank you to all for the best wishes on the family issues thing. Now let's get back to it.

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At 4:23pm on September 21, 2010, Tom Dunne said…
How have you been? My condolances to the Chicago FD on the recent firefighter death.
Tom Dunne
At 11:01pm on June 15, 2009, Art Zern said…
Hey Jim,

Welcome back, I hope you and your family are well.

At 7:01pm on May 3, 2009, Ryan Berter said…
I've been gone a while from the site, sorry for not responding to you. I work in an industrial district that doesn't do much fire activity. We're more fire alarm experts than firefighters. All joking aside we don't do that much fire. If and when something happens in my first due it stays relatively small due to suppression systems. I am wondering if you have any thoughts or tactical issues you could expound on with large commercial buildings. Primarily large warehouse type building, some in excess of 500X500. Currently our first due attempts to find the best access to the fire area. We deploy a hose pack of 1 3/4 supplied with 2 1/2" from teh truck. The second due engine lays into us if we don't have a yard hydrant. The third engine is usually the one to supply the FDC. So we are talking about switching to all 2 1/2 for these types of buildings. We are beginning to look at different ways of doing things. Here is our thought:
The first due Engine will find the best and closest doorto the fire area. With search rope and our 2 1/2 hose packs we will attempt to find the fire. Once found we will find the closest door, man door or overhead, and have the 2nd Engine will meet us with a 2 1/2 supply line to feed our hose packs. The 2nd due will reverse lay to a hydrant and supply the line. The 3rd due will supply the FDC.
Let me know any thoughts or concerns you would have with this. This was picked up by my training Capt at FDIC and the idea was introduced to me the other day.

Look forward to the discussion thanks for your input.
At 12:02pm on March 24, 2009, Mike Cervik said…
Hey I heard you were going to teach a class at Duneland Fire School down here by us but it got canceled. What happened with that?
At 5:36pm on March 3, 2009, David DeStefano said…
Jim, I can't get to FDIC this year, but the next one is a priority! From what I'm told they are great events.
At 3:02pm on March 2, 2009, David DeStefano said…
Just read your article from last week on leadership and knowing the district. Nice work! I liked the story from your experience. I was a covering lieutenant for about a year, and although we are tiny in size compared to Chicago, I can relate to your issues!
At 4:26pm on February 21, 2009, Todd Maier said…
I went to Monroe a couple of years ago and liked it. Anytime you get a chance to train with live fire conditions, it's a good thing.
I'm hoping to get to FDIC for the first time this year. Any recommendations on what classes to take? Being a new training officer, I was going to stick with training programs and officer developement classes.
At 3:26pm on February 21, 2009, Jim Vena said…
Hey Jim,
The FLSTP program is newly re-developed. According to my Chief, at the Career Chief's meetings which are held I think every 2-3 months or so, Career Chief's from across the state meet to work on issues affecting the fire service in the our state. I don't know the the particulars about what occurs, but do know that my Chief has brought back and shared a lot of positive information. Recently during a conversation with my Chief he indicated that one of the bigger issues last year was the FDNY FLSTP program. Apparently the Chief in charge of training attended several of the career chief's meetings to ascertain from upstate departments what their needs were. The program was subsequently revised and updated. This is great news. Any chance I could get a copy of the new material?
At 2:08pm on February 16, 2009, Todd Maier said…
Thanks for the hit. I just stumbled across this community and was almost overwhelmed with the information.
As far as our first alarm, we rely on mutual aid full assignments. Our department guarantees the first in engine on duty. If were lucky, off duty response gives us another engine, truck and chief officer. With the full assignment, we get four engines, one truck, and four chief officers from neighboring communities. This usualy totals around 20 if fully staffed. We have excellent relations with these departments and they are very solid.
I am really looking at officer development as one of our next projects. Our personnel are put in leadership roles early in their career that indirectly prepare them for the officer role. State certification is required for a promotion and we have the privilege of excellent instructors from surrounding communities passing along their knowledge and experience.
At 10:01am on February 16, 2009, Brandon Krause said…
Jim, with the lack of aggression I think it goes back to a lack of experience with the crews. We are doing in house training now with alot of tactics work to get these guys where they need to be. We have people who have come from slow stations and are not used to running alot of call or fires so it is just a training thing we need to work on. I will not be making it to FDIC this year although I do believe from what I have heard from the office next door (chief) I will be going to Fire Rescue International.

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