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John Lightly
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John Lightly posted a blog post

Stretching the First Line

     Social media is full of debates, discussions, and general arguments resulting in name-calling on where water should be applied from. One camp is firm in its belief that fast water from whatever location or position is the best. The other camp belittles anyone who does not immediately initiate an aggressive interior attack. This debate has been going on for decades, really, it is now just being rehashed in a different format, that being the internet.     What often gets lost, I think, is…See More
Jul 17
John Lightly posted a blog post

Hardship is the price of success

I recently heard this statement in a podcast by Stephen Mansfield. Though I’ve heard variations of it in other places, the way he said it made me stop mowing the lawn and pay closer attention.It’s a simple statement, yet it’s packed with reality. The point of it is that life can be a struggle, success hinges on how you face up to those struggles.We teach our kids from their earliest moments this lesson. When a baby is first learning to walk and keeps falling, we encourage them with “come on,…See More
Jun 15
John Lightly posted a blog post

Surviving a Toxic Environment

Chief Halton stated in his FDIC 2019 keynote what many of us have said before- ”Firefighting is the best damn job we’ve ever had.” He is 100% correct. This is the best job there is, and I can think of nothing that I’d rather be doing. Although, being a cowboy on a ranch in Colorado or Wyoming with a view of the Rockies wouldn’t be bad either!But let’s be honest. Sometimes the best job gets you down because of the toxic environment that you find yourself in. People, politics, positions-they can…See More
May 13
John Lightly posted a blog post

Applications from FDIC 2019

     Having been blessed to attend FDIC 2019 last week in Indianapolis, I’d like to humbly offer some takeaways that can be applied to most any situation in life.1. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone     I think it’s safe to say that humans are creatures of habit. We are generally content to stick with what is familiar to us, especially the more introverted we are. As firefighters, we like being in control of things and have an intense belief that our system is best. It may be. But…See More
Apr 16
John Lightly posted a blog post

Parents Not Mentors

A mentor is defined as a trusted counselor or guide, someone who may be an influential sponsor or supporter. A coach is one who instructs or trains. These are terms that are used everywhere in our culture of leadership and personal development books, podcasts, and lecture series. A mentor is viewed as that old sage who takes us under their wing to give us little snippets of wisdom and tweetable quotes. The personal coaching industry has a large market share in business circles and seems to make…See More
Mar 30
John Lightly posted a blog post

Debating Cancer Prevention Techniques

For some time now, cancer in the fire service has been a hot topic leading to passionate pleas and spirited debates. It seems there has recently been an even bigger uptick in the “air time” that cancer is getting in articles, on social media, and in presentations across the country. Everywhere you look, it seems that a new study is being conducted, results are out from a study completed, or a new way of doing things is making the rounds.We all agree that cancer is a major concern for us. What…See More
Feb 12
John Lightly posted a blog post

Preplanning Tracks in the Snow

     A major portion of the United States was just hit with a pretty decent snowstorm. My area in NE Ohio was no exception, getting anywhere from 10”-16” of the white stuff. As I left my shift in the darkness and headed home, it was no surprise that the main roads were plowed while the side streets were still untouched. The majority of the business parking lots were unplowed as well, likely due to the fact that many would be closed that day for MLK Jr. observance, and thus, didn’t need to be…See More
Jan 22
John Lightly posted a blog post

Challenge Crushed!

My first FireEngineering Training Network blog post was on the pushup challenge I undertook for the year.  The guys over at http://firefighterfunctionalfitness.com/ put out the challenge to do 100 pushups, every day, for the entire year.  Thinking that this wouldn't be very hard, I took the challenge.  I'm proud to say, that not only did I complete the challenge, but I crushed it!  I viewed 100 per day as the…See More
Dec 31, 2018
John Lightly posted a blog post

Communication Thoughts for Officers

Rank might bring privileges, but it doesn’t necessarily equal leadership. You may have the authority that comes with the badge, however, this does not mean that your subordinates will follow you. The trust and willingness on their part to follow you must be earned. One way to quickly earn trust, and therefore, leadership, is through having good communication skills.Communication only happens when both parties hear and understand what has been said. Until then, it’s just words being spoken. Too…See More
Dec 6, 2018
John Lightly posted a blog post

Creating Instructors

“I think I taught you how to be instructors, but I don’t know if I taught you how to pass the state test.”  This is what I told my class of fire instructor students at the end of the course today. It’s a shame, really, when you think about it.  For the past number of weeks, I have been pouring my time, mind, and heart into the course, trying to make it informative, relevant, and useful.  I have taught them how to set up a room, operate audio-visual technology, and how to eliminate distractions.…See More
Nov 8, 2018
John Lightly posted a blog post

Lessons from Civilian Fatalities

Recently, I found myself in the unenviable position of Incident Commander at a house fire that resulted in a civilian fatality. We arrived to find heavy fire from multiple rooms and witnesses telling us that people were inside. An aggressive interior attack and search operations were begun with the 2 first arriving units and supplemented with later arriving companies. One victim was pulled unresponsive from the home and transported by the ambulance provider. The individual later died, the…See More
Oct 15, 2018
John Lightly posted a blog post

Two Steps Forward

Two steps forward and one step back. Ever use that phrase to describe the progress with yourself, your relationships, or your workplace? It is generally used as a negative. You are in essence saying that you are not accomplishing your goals. But is this really the case?Shouldn’t we really be using this phrase in a positive light? Two steps are greater than one step. Going forward is certainly preferred and going backward is seen as being a failure. However, isn’t the important part the two…See More
Sep 30, 2018
John Lightly posted a blog post

Communication on the Court

My life has recently taken on a new role: Junior High volleyball parent. I have two daughters playing this sport for the first time. In fact, 98% of their team is playing for the first time. Which is to say, the team isn’t very good. Success is not being measured in wins but in the improvements of technique and fundamentals.In addition, I’ve had the opportunity to start “serving my time” as a line judge for some of the games. The chance to be on the court and see the game from a player’s…See More
Sep 27, 2018
John Lightly posted a blog post

Fantasy Football for Firefighters

The Fall season of Fantasy Football is upon us. With the beginning of the National Football League schedule this weekend, hundreds of thousands of fantasy leagues are getting underway. Online accounts are being made, draft parties are being planned, and player stats are being scrutinized.Full disclosure: I don’t do fantasy football. Not against it, just not my thing. So maybe my perspective is a bit biased, but I don’t think it is. Bear with me for a minute.Quite frankly, I don’t want to hear…See More
Sep 6, 2018
John Lightly posted a blog post

Back to School for Fire instructors

Across the country, school systems are gearing up for another academic year. Teachers are excited about their new classroom design. Students are looking forward to getting back to their friends. Parents are ecstatic to get the kids out of the house again!This time of year is also when many fire training academies get back underway. It may be a new recruit academy or a local technical center aimed at volunteers. Large urban department training centers with all the trimmings or small rural…See More
Aug 20, 2018

Profile Information

Lives in:
Ohio
Department:
Youngstown
Title/rank:
Battalion Chief
Years of public service:
21
Agency structure:
Paid fire department
Professional Qualifications:
FF2, Fire Instructor, Fire Officer 2, Paramedic

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John Lightly's Blog

Stretching the First Line

     Social media is full of debates, discussions, and general arguments resulting in name-calling on where water should be applied from. One camp is firm in its belief that fast water from whatever location or position is the best. The other camp belittles anyone who does not immediately initiate an aggressive interior attack. This debate has been going on for decades, really, it is now just being rehashed in a different format, that being the internet.

     What often gets…

Continue

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 1:48pm

Hardship is the price of success

I recently heard this statement in a podcast by Stephen Mansfield. Though I’ve heard variations of it in other places, the way he said it made me stop mowing the lawn and pay closer attention.

It’s a simple statement, yet it’s packed with reality. The point of it is that life can be a struggle, success hinges on how you face up to those struggles.

We teach our kids from their earliest moments this lesson. When a baby is first learning to walk and keeps falling,…

Continue

Posted on June 15, 2019 at 10:11am

Surviving a Toxic Environment

Chief Halton stated in his FDIC 2019 keynote what many of us have said before- ”Firefighting is the best damn job we’ve ever had.” He is 100% correct. This is the best job there is, and I can think of nothing that I’d rather be doing. Although, being a cowboy on a ranch in Colorado or Wyoming with a view of the Rockies wouldn’t be bad either!

But let’s be honest. Sometimes the best job gets you down because of the toxic environment that you find yourself in. People, politics,…

Continue

Posted on May 13, 2019 at 7:55am

Applications from FDIC 2019

     Having been blessed to attend FDIC 2019 last week in Indianapolis, I’d like to humbly offer some takeaways that can be applied to most any situation in life.

1. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone

     I think it’s safe to say that humans are creatures of habit. We are generally content to stick with what is familiar to us, especially the more introverted we are. As firefighters, we like being in control of things and have an intense belief that…

Continue

Posted on April 16, 2019 at 10:50am

 
 
 

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