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January 2014 Blog Posts (45)



What became of Fire Service leaders who were innovative problem solvers? Their big coat pockets were full of common sense and they pulled the trigger on problems. Isn’t that what we came here to do?

Large leaders are out there, probably closer than we know. Look for them; look at them, look like them. Don’t fall into the morale trap.…


Added by Warren Cersley on January 31, 2014 at 9:37am — 1 Comment

Training to Fail (Part 1)

        If you've read any of my other pieces you've undoubtedly heard me on my soapbox, I've repeated myself over and over again: "Train more!" I've said this so many times it's become my mantra, and pretty much everything I've ever written on here follows that simple theme, but there's more to training that just checking boxes and going through the motions. I've preached about the benefits of training and the dangers of failing to train, but training to fail can be just as…


Added by Nick Ledin on January 30, 2014 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Hump Day SOS - T-Shirt Management

I am always amazed at how many critically important issues there are to manage in the fire department. With any high risk occupation the day is filled with decisions that have long lasting effects. Yet it seems that we never have time to do things right but we always have time to do them over.............. and when a departments crisis is at its height, we are reminded of…


Added by David Rhodes on January 29, 2014 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Life is a Leadership Laboratory

By Paul Strong


If a lab was studying a person to determine their leadership abilities and they wanted you to be the researcher on this project, who would you pick as your subject to be studied? I know you can think of many people in history who were successful leaders, i.e. Patton, Martin Luther King Jr., or Gandhi.  But those people shouldn’t be the first choice for you. If you’re studying leadership with a goal to learn as much as you can about this topic, then start…


Added by Paul Strong on January 28, 2014 at 10:31am — No Comments


Dealing with a heavy heart this morning with the loss of two NW Ohio brothers. Prayers and thoughts for the families of the fallen and Toledo FD today.

I know I've used this image before, but it feels very appropriate to rework for this occasion.



Added by Paul Combs on January 27, 2014 at 8:50am — No Comments

Paying For Advocacy


If the fire service is populated with honorable and good people who are dedicated to providing their best efforts in the name of public safety to their communities, then why should we have to pay someone else to advocate on our behalf? Who better than us to advocate for our needs?

An advocate is defined as one who pleads the cause of another; one who defends, vindicates or…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on January 26, 2014 at 8:05pm — No Comments

Anytime, Anywhere

The Sunday Preach:

Tragedy Can Strike Anywhere, Anytime...

Today... like many days on our fire service calendar, we once again pause and take note of those who have made the supreme sacrifice. With the anniversary of multiple line of duty deaths this past week in New York... Sadly, we are hearing tragic news about the deaths of 2 members, in the city of Toledo Ohio.

While the names have yet to be made public, pending…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on January 26, 2014 at 7:48pm — No Comments

Change Things Up with Kettlebells

Are you bored with your current exercise routine or looking to try something new? Are you working out at the station or at home and want to focus on the most beneficial piece of equipment money can buy? Then check this out: The kettlebell will change your workout dynamic completely.

The kettlebell can date its history back in one form or another to the 1700’s and began to be heavily relied upon in Soviet Training programs in the early 1900’s. The…


Added by Mackenzie-Anne Kelly on January 23, 2014 at 10:13pm — No Comments

Residential Search: Complacency and Priorities

            When answering an alarm for a residential fire there are many tasks and priorities that must be addressed by the responding companies.  One of the most important yet frequently overlooked tactics is the various and multiple potential rescue scenarios that the first arriving companies may be confronted with. 

            The primary decision faced by the first arriving company is something that the company officer must decide on his own, whether or not to keep the balance…


Added by Michael Bricault (ret) on January 23, 2014 at 10:10pm — 1 Comment

Don't Downplay Your Down Time

We know we don't spend every waking hour at the firehouse running calls or training or working out. There typically is some down time during your shift or rotation.

As a prospective officer candidate and informal leader, what you do with your down time can make a huge difference in how you are perceived and what separates you from others interested in promoting up.

I have seen firefighters spend hours on end looking on the internet for cars, car parts, campers, motorcycles and…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on January 23, 2014 at 1:58pm — No Comments

Daddy's Girl

So, I'm at this BBQ when this guy walks up...

Listing, he points his wine glass at me, “Fireman, right?”



Added by Mark vonAppen on January 23, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments

It's Not About You

From the first day in the firehouse we learn about the importance of properly checking all of our gear and equipment to make sure it's ready for action. We are told to make sure our SCBA is functioning properly, that our cylinders are full, that all of our PPE is in good shape and laid out properly, and that all of our tools are cleaned and prepped. The preparation we do is endless and of critical importance.

Why do we do all of this? The obvious answer is for our own sake. No…


Added by Dave Werner on January 22, 2014 at 10:49pm — No Comments


Man, is it cold out there!!!! Keep warm thoughts, brothers and sisters - only a few more weeks 'til pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. Warmer weather's not too far away:)

Added by Paul Combs on January 22, 2014 at 1:39pm — 1 Comment

Hump Day SOS - Brothers By A Different Mother

The opinions about solid streams and fog streams are as old as the nozzles themselves. UL is planning a new round of experiments to answer questions about different hose streams. The advisory group has come up with a good list of potential questions that we want answered. But my question to you is, “What is your question?” What do…


Added by David Rhodes on January 22, 2014 at 11:03am — 1 Comment

Journal Entry 29-What Happens When You Leave?

My close friends, family and colleagues know that I just completed a 5 year assignment as a Chief Officer in SE Connecticut. I’ve never written about my command because approvals for publishing and using their name was prohibitive. However, now that I’m done, I was Chief of the Mohegan Tribal Fire Department, a Mohegan Tribal Government agency located on a Native American reservation located in Uncasville, CT. The members of the Department are highly trained, highly aggressive, and a very…


Added by RON KANTERMAN on January 22, 2014 at 10:54am — No Comments

Older Large Apartment Building

This is an Apartment Building in my old city.  There are two sections to this building that has a fire rated separation down the center of the building.  Each section has a center stairway in the front with two apartments on each floor (one to the left and one to the right of the stairway).  As indicated in the rear view, each apartment has a rear balcony with a fire escape stairway. There are a total of 10 apartments in each section for a total of 20 apartments in the building.



Added by Skip Coleman on January 22, 2014 at 9:41am — 5 Comments

Winter Fire Operations

In the northern latitudes and at higher elevations across North America, snow, ice, and bitter cold affect fireground operations for four or five months each year.  Winter operations and training demand different approaches. 


In the high desert of Central Oregon, winter operations start with a change of mindset, says Mark Taylor, Deputy Chief of Training at…


Added by Josh Baker on January 21, 2014 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Fire Behavior or Firefighter Behavior? Pennsylvania House Fire Video


Our views must be balanced to include what may happen, what is obviously happening and why it is happening


The video of a house fire in Dunmore, Pennsylvania last week became popular as it was viewed on the various blogs and Facebook pages. The theme of discussion among some of those was the fire’s behavior, notably the flashover. Here is what the…


Added by Bill Carey on January 20, 2014 at 3:31pm — No Comments

The Good, The Bad, And the Insignificant

In the last post I provided a short list of how to be an attractive candidate for promotion to company officer. I can’t overstate how important it is to build a complete body of work as a firefighter and building the respect based on how you handle yourself everyday. One of the items in my list is to learn not just from good or well liked officers, but also learn from the poor leaders and officers.

I would argue that an astute firefighter that really pays attention could learn more…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on January 20, 2014 at 2:41pm — No Comments



In my youth, baseball was the only game in town. The fields were built and maintained by caring parents. Umpires and coaches volunteered their time and each kid learned how to handle a rake and to pick up rocks.

Since my Dad and my older brother were left handed pitchers, with high leg kicks and wicked curve balls, someone had to catch. So it was that I put on…


Added by Warren Cersley on January 19, 2014 at 12:22pm — No Comments

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