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Cats in the Cradle

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

In 1974, Harry Chapin released a song entitled Cats in The Cradle; it was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. I was only 13 years old, and probably more interested in the Eagles and Chicago than a ballad singer, but I remember the lyrics had an impact on me then, as they still do today. The story centers…


Added by Scott Ferguson on June 19, 2018 at 12:48pm — No Comments

Communicating for Positive Results

Positive communication, why does it matter? Whether oral or written, we’ve all seen examples of effective and ineffective communication. Each example usually speaks for itself. Much of this article will focus on written communication and how to leave your audience with a positive impression, but also speaks to effective verbal communication.


Many of us have seen examples of work related documents and emails that have contained numerous spelling and/or grammatical errors, or a…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on June 14, 2018 at 2:36pm — 2 Comments

In Memorium- Recognizing Those who have served before us.

The following comments are something I put together for  Piscataway NJ's Fire Departments annual memorial service a few weeks back. A reflective look at those who have served in fire service and have since passed.…


Added by Anthony Correia on June 12, 2018 at 12:42pm — No Comments

Why We Do It

I was watching a Simon Sinek “Ted Talks” motivational video on Leadership. He spoke on something that opened my eyes, he said “why do we do it?”

Instantly my brain adjusted to referencing how that statement could apply to me as well as the people I work with and more importantly the people we serve. I first started with why I became a Firefighter.

Why did I become a Firefighter? Such an odd question that when asked many of us are seemingly caught off guard and can’t describe…


Added by Dave McGlynn on June 11, 2018 at 10:32pm — No Comments


Psalm, 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

Crew unity provides members with a sense of cohesion and confidence during calls, and a natural support network when returning to, or at, the fire station. A close crew is one…


Added by Paul Combs on June 11, 2018 at 8:43am — No Comments

LET GO OF MY EGO! - June Fire Engineering Magazine Editorial Cartoon

How BIG is your ego, and are you getting in the way of the very people you should be building up?

STAY FIRED UP, and remember, it is always about them!


To see more Drawn By Fire, go to:…


Added by Paul Combs on June 6, 2018 at 9:47pm — No Comments

Maybe Average Really Can Be Awsome

Movies celebrating great teams that have overcome adversity to become hugely successful are awesome. Leadership books that summarize their most prominent themes at the end of each chapter are awesome. Guest speakers that tell a story of how they rose from the ashes to become masters of their craft…are awesome. Fire departments that are rich with resources, staff, equipment, and are quick to share their innovative training tools and techniques – you guessed it –…


Added by Scott Ferguson on June 6, 2018 at 5:30pm — No Comments

The Berlin Wall - Overcoming Generational Boundaries

  Almost every department across the country has has that one neighboring department. The one department that five, ten, or twenty years ago did something to shake the foundation of trust. From that incident, years of rumors, distrust, and animosity grew between your departments. You’re naive to think these situations don’t exist because they do, and they’re every bit as dangerous as the IDLH environments we face. How in…


Added by Matt Beakas on June 4, 2018 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Our Reformation

Our Reformation



The Citizen. The Neighbor. The Stranger. The Family.…


Added by Dustin Martinez on June 3, 2018 at 10:00pm — 1 Comment

The Future Firefighter: Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio Show with Firefighter Functional Fitness

(Photo Credits @MTLfirehousefitness IG)

“Fitness is 90% mental, 10% execution. The body cannot go where the mind does not…


Added by Christopher Baker on June 1, 2018 at 6:30pm — No Comments

What Do You Win When You Lose?


© 2018 Jim Wick



What Do You Win When You Lose?


Jim Wick


Have you ever been intimidated when first meeting an organizational icon?  I was.  “What do you win when you lose?”  John asked sternly with an intense stare as I walked into his office. I was already…


Added by Jim Wick on May 30, 2018 at 1:10am — No Comments

Cost Recovery for Fire Departments - Heresy or Reality?

Many of us in the public safety business have always believed that through property taxes or other publicly funded methods, the fire service would be able to provide a full range of services in an ever-changing and challenging environment.

There are a lot of hands reaching out for limited pubic money to adequately fund parks, police, parks, potholes and other necessary services provided by government and now is the time to discuss the elephant in the room, cost…


Added by John K. Murphy on May 25, 2018 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments


Recently, I read this quote by an anonymous author - “A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands for everybody else.” I can think of nowhere else this is truer than in today’s fire service.

My daughter, now 24, has never known a mother and father that wasn’t inspiring her to…


Added by Paul Combs on May 24, 2018 at 4:02pm — No Comments

The Art of Accountability: Sometimes You Just Have to Cut Off the Head of a Concubine

One of the more difficult challenges a firehouse leader is faced with, is dealing with an employee that has seemingly replaced their passion, motivation, and commitment to serve, with an equal commitment to be a royal pain in the buttocks. You know who I’m referring to: it is the person that, as a recruit, once sat across an oral board panel with a suit, tie, and twinkle in their eye, promising to embrace “the mission.” They were the candidate that once…


Added by Scott Ferguson on May 24, 2018 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Leadership – Equipping Your Firefighters with Complete PPE

     We all know that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a necessary part of firefighting. Through the years PPE has evolved into the most high-tech equipment ever used by the modern firefighter. Every year that passes brings new innovations to make a dangerous job, on a good day, a little safer.

     None of us would ever dream of sending our firefighters into a burning structure without proper PPE. We would never send them into fight fire without the best gear we can…


Added by Robert Medford on May 24, 2018 at 11:00am — No Comments

A Leader's Nightmare: "I don't trust you"

I hate to admit it, but unfortunately, as a leader, I know what the words I don’t trust you sound like. Perhaps the most frustrating part for me at the time was that I didn’t know exactly what I did at the time to earn this statement. I spent countless hours second-guessing myself, asking other’s opinions, and trying to find a way to reconnect with this person to get us back on track.


But in searching for answers I found none.  Each day the distance between us…


Added by Benjamin Martin on May 23, 2018 at 8:01pm — 1 Comment

Assessing Fire Safety Designs Based on Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling

One of the most important aspects of fire safety design deals with the configuration of the smoke ventilation system. If a fire breaks out, the ventilation system needs to successfully extract the smoke and gas from the area while ensuring a safe evacuation of any people in the building and, at the same time, reducing the temperature and maintaining sufficient visibility to make the firefighters’ job easier. …


Added by Anastasia Churazova on May 23, 2018 at 3:00am — No Comments

What hill would you be willing to die on?

Apparently, its origin is debated, but the implication of "a hill that one is willing to die on" is a goal, principle, or cause that one believes so deeply in that they are willing to make a great sacrifice on its behalf. It’s a warning that the struggle you’re facing could cost you everything—maybe not literally your life, but your job, or a friendship, or something else you can’t get back.

Decisions on whether to fight could be very practical and easy to explain, or they may be very…


Added by Scott Ferguson on May 15, 2018 at 7:00pm — No Comments

C.S.S.T. Gas Lines

            The number of people switching to natural gas as a fuel source is ever growing. It’s obvious the frequency of “gas calls” in which we respond seems to be increasing by the day. With this becoming a solid reality, the opportunity of becoming complacent as a fire service when responding to these calls has become a tangible threat. The following is a call we responded to where even the gas company representative was surprised to find what had materialized.…


Added by Adam J. Hansen on May 15, 2018 at 10:44am — 1 Comment

One Fire Service Family

Over the past year I’ve been contributing to the Stop Believing Start Knowing (SBSK) blog, a professional firefighter page dedicated to helping firefighters learn and understand modern fire attack principles, based on the modern fire dynamics science studies provided through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Underwriter Laboratories (UL).   SBSK has…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on May 14, 2018 at 2:29pm — No Comments

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