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…Continue
Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on December 12, 2021 at 8:13am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by AB Turenne on November 25, 2021 at 7:00am — No Comments
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
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…Continue
Added by Dave McGlynn on September 7, 2021 at 7:00pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Clay Magee on August 15, 2021 at 2:08pm — No Comments
“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…Continue
Added by Derrick Kiel on July 8, 2021 at 8:12am — No Comments
“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…Continue
Added by John Lightly on June 22, 2021 at 6:21pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by AB Turenne on June 8, 2021 at 8:20pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by John Lightly on April 16, 2021 at 9:33am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Jarrod Sergi on April 8, 2021 at 9:30am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by John Lightly on March 10, 2021 at 9:03am — No Comments
Do you remember your thoughts or feelings when you put on a fire helmet for the very first time? Maybe your feelings were different than the ones being written about here, but you can follow along and reminisce. On that day, there may have been happiness, excitement, exhilaration, and anticipation on what was yet to come. Calls for help, emergency responses. Red lights, sirens, and air horns oh my! There may have been some angst, nervousness, and shyness, even…Continue
Added by Andy Marsh on February 23, 2021 at 11:09pm — No Comments
We have all watched the news and social media apps with articles and videos from Texas and surrounding states of frozen and broken pipes. Most of the videos show broken residential pipes and sprinkler system breaks that are all too common in the northeast. The one video that made me stop in my tracks was of a water tower with a broken supply pipe. The water reserve for the whole system was no longer filling the system with water; instead, it made a lake on the ground below. I questioned if…Continue
Added by Erik P Quinn on February 19, 2021 at 12:34pm — No Comments
The “Extrication Boss”: Pre-Planning and Size Up for Company Officers
A highly promoted practice in the fire service, especially for first arriving company officers, is to conduct a size up and perform a 360 of structures upon initial arrival to incidents involving alarm activations and reports of smoke or fire. Being prepared for a successful mitigation to a working fire most often…Continue
Added by AB Turenne on January 31, 2021 at 7:00pm — No Comments
Worker Compensation claims during the Covid -19 Pandemic
America appreciates the first responders who place their lives on the line every day during this C-19 pandemic. Unfortunately some of us become sick and some will die as a result of this exposure. For those who are working in this hazardous environment, there is an associated amount of stress that you may contract the disease and affect friends, co-workers and family members.
With much of the country in…Continue
Added by John K. Murphy on January 3, 2021 at 10:57am — No Comments
In Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, he discusses 5 principles that are essential to success as a team. Patrick lists the five dysfunctions as Absence of Trust, Fear of Conflict, Lack of Commitment, Avoidance of Accountability, and Inattention to Results. Let’s discuss how these principles can be applied by the fire service instructor to not only ensure success of the individual, but also how those same individuals can learn how to function in a team environment with…Continue
Added by Troy J. Bonfield on November 30, 2020 at 8:00am — No Comments
“The new look had brought with it not only a new kind of weaponry but a new kind of warrior as well. Actually, the new breed was kind of a warrior diplomat; as bloodless ballistics seemed to be phasing out the role of fighters on the future battlegrounds, the emphasis increased on the diplomatic side of soldering”
“But then, suddenly, it was too late, even for a tourniquet: Chief of Staff Taylor disbanded all the Old Army regiments, with all their history and tradition to…Continue
Added by Robert Owens on October 15, 2020 at 3:07pm — No Comments
A career with an Industrial Based Fire Department can be a truly rewarding experience filled with the same level of camaraderie, brotherhood, and tradition of the surrounding local municipal departments.
Along with the same similarities such as training, morning rig checks, and stories shared around the firehouse dinner table, the Industrial Fire Service comes with other elements and experiences unique to the environment at hand that a firefighter wouldn’t normally encounter…Continue
Added by AB Turenne on August 23, 2020 at 2:27pm — No Comments
Establishing Engine Company Success by Estimating the Stretch
As the first arriving engine on scene to any working fire, you can set the tone for success or failure right from the stretch, literally. Determining the length of hose to pull from the bed first is a skill set that comes with education and experience that is earned and gained out in the…Continue
Added by AB Turenne on August 11, 2020 at 9:00am — No Comments
For firefighters, it is pretty common for them to interact with, well, fire. While many firefighters go headstrong into a burning building to put the fire out and rescue any victims that may be inside. For you full-time folks the components of fire and the importance of understanding combustion is reviewed everyday but for us small-time, maybe more rural volley fire departments this needs to be reviewed and better appreciated. …Continue
Added by Dustin Callahan on August 6, 2020 at 8:00pm — No Comments