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Fire Department Considerations for Heavily Snow Loaded Roofs

With the recent snowstorm that has blanketed much of the country, the fire service needs to take a look up before we commit to an interior or exterior fire operation. The type of structural materials, design and condition all play a big part on whether that snow loaded roof is going to be a problem. I recently took a few minutes to travel around the area to assess any potential snow hazards I could find. I was surprised to see that more than three quarters of the dwellings in the area had…


Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on January 23, 2023 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Pockets of Pliers: A Preferred Practice

Pockets of Pliers: A Preferred Practice

When I first got on the job, I had the privilege of working for a Lieutenant who was the epitome of a fireman’s fireman. After catching a fire during a 24-hour tour, we were swapping out our turnout gear in an effort to curb our exposure to cancer causing…


Added by AB Turenne on January 11, 2023 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Curb Appeal, Iron and Steel: Basics for Heeling the Butt of a Ladder

Ground Ladders are part of the basic fundamentals that make up the initial Firefighter Training

Curriculum as identified in NFPA 1001 (Standard for Firefighter Professional Qualifications)

and have an abundance of uses and purposes in the fire service.…


Added by AB Turenne on December 18, 2022 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Challenges the Fire Service and their Leaders face

The tones drop and the pagers activate, firefighters drop what they were doing and rush to get the trucks out. Unfortunately, that changes a little more year by year, fire departments across the US face multiple challenges, some are from within the structure of the fire department to include its municipal leaders or board of directors.


One of the most significant challenges faced in the fire service is recruitment and retention, it is a proven fact that the interest in…


Added by Jeremy Perrien on November 21, 2022 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Community Fire Prevention; Take Care of the Little Things

If you have read my fire prevention missives in the past, you have learned that, in my opinion, preaching the good word supporting public fire and life safety education is part of our mission of saving lives and protecting property. Consider how much property can be saved with the effective use of a sprinkler system, or a fire extinguisher. In the restaurant and commercial occupancy world, an Ansul system, or a FM 200 system and the like, can also prevent some damage loss and protect…


Added by Andy Marsh on June 21, 2022 at 8:10pm — No Comments

Floor Vents and Egress Orientation

“Some say knowledge is power,…the wisest among us know that the real power lies in shared knowledge”

- Mark VonAppen / Fully Involved…


Added by AB Turenne on June 11, 2022 at 1:06pm — No Comments

Navigating the “Awkward Years”

Navigating the "Awkward Years"

Let me start by laying out a disclaimer. There is absolutely no substitute for experience. Period. None. Taking calls, going to jobs, and getting dirty is the only true way to ever really master this craft. We must see, do, and sometimes stumble to get better. Now here is my caveat to the above statement: if we wish to grow and develop in this career, we cannot sit by and just wait for fires. We must seek additional knowledge and information to…


Added by Ethan Heigel on March 15, 2022 at 12:32pm — No Comments

The Mickey D’s Franchise Theory

How many times have you heard, "Man, it's like we've got four different fire departments working here!" Many have and we all know the meaning behind that statement. Fire Departments that have 3 or 4 different operational shifts, can often do things each a little differently. You know what I am talking about like differences in daily chores, vehicle maintenance, riding assignments or even operational responses. The amount of "different" can be dependant upon the amount of leadership…


Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on February 27, 2022 at 2:51pm — No Comments

Pass the salt

First responders are a unique group to say the least. Most of us fit into a box when described

(Type “A” personality, Committed to safety of others, self sacrificing, brave, strong moral compass ect..) But how do others that work with us, or live with us describe us? Have you ever heard of someone and the way they are described is “they are salty, they are angry, they seem like they hate every run that comes in, they are burnt out”. Almost all of us get into this profession to help…


Added by Cody Tweedy on February 16, 2022 at 1:05pm — No Comments

Tactical Mastery

Tactical Mastery

by William Greenwood

What does it take to become the go to person in the firehouse? Time and tenure doesn’t mean that a person has real experience. We have all seen people with 20 years on the job with 2 years’ experience. So what does it really take to become the elite firefighter? Elite firefighters have invested a tremendous amount of time and effort mastering their…


Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on December 12, 2021 at 8:13am — No Comments

One (1) Inch Tubular Webbing: Beyond the Water Knot

Like a magician storing a rabbit in their hats or stuffing flowers up their sleeves, firefighters for years have held small tools and equipment on reserve within the pockets of their turnout gear. You can rummage through the gear grid of any firefighter and find plyers, wedges, and window punches in their pockets in the event their unique use and purpose in the fire service is needed.

In all sets of my gear, I keep a self-tensioning webbing slash that consists of two…


Added by AB Turenne on November 25, 2021 at 7:00am — No Comments

Advice to a Rookie

  I guess now is as good a time as any to tell you one of the truths about “the job”. Please understand that these ramblings are my opinion and that of firemen I respect. It is not intended to imply condescension rather; it is intended to pass along some truths I have learned along the way.

  With the endless hours of training a question that many new firefighters ask is, “So when does it get to be fun?” The short answer is... never. The demand of your courage and you honor is…


Added by Michael Bricault (ret) on September 16, 2021 at 1:45pm — No Comments

Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today

Life can get overwhelming with taskers, due-outs, deadlines, professional obligations, and family commitments.  Many of us take on more than we can handle in fear that we may lose out on an opportunity or expose that we are not reliable.  Over the past year I have found it extremely difficult to stay on track and organized with my day to day.  I thought with my new schedule I would be home more and be able to finally tackle a lot of the projects around the house and dedicate more time to…


Added by Dave McGlynn on September 7, 2021 at 7:00pm — No Comments

The Halyard Quick Tie

The Halyard Quick Tie

(See Youtube link at bottom)

To tie or not to tie? That’s one of the biggest debates on the internet. Couple that with fly in vs fly out and you’ll break the internet with the discussion. 

The halyard is not tested as part of annual ladder testing. We’ve all seen the old Manila rope break. That’s one of our biggest excuses for not relying on it to tie off the fly section when…


Added by Clay Magee on August 15, 2021 at 2:08pm — No Comments

They aren't you... And that's ok!

“I just don’t understand the kids being hired these days.” How many times have we all heard this? I am sure too many times to count. Chances are that it is usually being said by an officer who is trying to lead these newly hired firefighters. There is a fairly good chance that the same thing was said when that person entered the fire service as well. In this article, I will discuss a few areas that officers seem to struggle to connect with their newer…


Added by Derrick Kiel on July 8, 2021 at 8:12am — No Comments

Get Busy Living

“While we are postponing, life speeds by” - Seneca, Roman Stoic Philosopher

We each have 168 hours in a week with which to accomplish things. We have to budget time for work, sleep, food, relationships, and leisure. There are plenty of time management books, podcasts, and apps that claim to have the ability to help us get more things done.  But the issue isn’t always a time management problem. It’s a person problem. After all, if everyone starts with the same amount…


Added by John Lightly on June 22, 2021 at 6:21pm — No Comments

Vehicle Variables: 4 Key Factors to Aid in Size-Up

Vehicle Variables: 4 Key Factors to Aid in Size-Up

An initial size-up for any emergency response has the ability to set the tone for the duration of the incident. For EMS runs it is the initial general impression of a patient. With hazardous materials incidents, the initial identification of placards or shipping containers can determine the initial actions taken on part of responding units. One of the most…


Added by AB Turenne on June 8, 2021 at 8:20pm — No Comments

Educators versus Presenters

We aren’t trained as educators in the fire service, we are trained as presenters.

Educators make sure they are hitting on different learning styles, reach different cognition levels, and have a mastery of their subject. They have the ability to read the room to see if students are truly understanding and then clarify as needed. Educators spend hours preparing for a class in order to deliver the most relevant content.

Presenters, however, often just read from a premade slide…


Added by John Lightly on April 16, 2021 at 9:33am — No Comments

Assume Positive Intent: Helping to Crush the US vs. THEM Mentality

I was having a conversation with a firefighter the other day and he was expressing some frustrations he was having at work. They were easy issues to talk about and work through, but something came up that I have heard before. The Us vs. Them mentality or mindset. Us being the firefighters and officers on the line and Them being the chief officers or executive staff in your departments.

There are many things that can contribute to the Us vs. Them mindset or problem within a…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on April 8, 2021 at 9:30am — No Comments

Resilient Leaders

Everywhere you turn it seems the topic of leadership is present. Books, blogs, and podcasts constantly talk about what leadership is, how to achieve it, or how it is displayed. One of the most commonly discussed areas is on the characteristics that leaders have.

An example of this is influence. It is no secret that leaders have tremendous amounts of influence on those around them, both positive and negative. How they exert that influence is key. So it is a good thing that this…


Added by John Lightly on March 10, 2021 at 9:03am — No Comments

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