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January 2014 Blog Posts (51)

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 Honor of Firefighter Mark Falkenhan, CLOSE THE DOOR!

On the evening on January 19, 2011 Fire Fighter Mark Falkenhan lost his life while working inside a building fire.

While we should try to honor all LODD, this one holds a special place in my heart because at the time of his death I was on my quest to learn more about fire behavior and was reviewing the latest reports from UL and NIST.  These reports along with talking to actual smart firefighters I soon  realize that I really needed to know more about fire behavior, than just how to…


Added by John Shafer on January 19, 2014 at 4:16pm — 1 Comment



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


When it comes to safety, sometimes we are no better than a group of chickens clucking, scratching, and scurrying about the barn yard! We say all the right things about safety, complain about the lack of safety, and will even criticize and chastise others when things go wrong - but are you courageous enough to stand up for what's right when the time comes? Have you ever…


Added by Paul Combs on January 17, 2014 at 2:46pm — 1 Comment

Make Your First Job First

This is the third post on making yourself an attractive prospect for promotion. These are just quick tips that I have had passed on to me and things that I look for as one who has been on intreview boards for promotional processes. This list in no way gaurantees a promotion nor does it contain everything you might want to consider. But, those that have used these and paid close attention have had good luck.

In the first post we provided a list of things for consideration when trying…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on January 17, 2014 at 1:48pm — No Comments

Firefighter Health: Cooking your way to a healthier tomorrow

Fad diets and “miraculous” pills continue to be a huge market because people still want weight loss to be quick and a small amount of effort. Luckily, the market is getting smaller and people are becoming more aware on the issue thanks to the spread of information, but it has still not been a strong enough force to make the diet pill obsolete. Desiring to lose weight or make a lifestyle change is a fantastic thing, and can have a drastic impact on your life and your career as a firefighter.…


Added by Mackenzie-Anne Kelly on January 16, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Treat People Right

By Mark vonAppen

If you subscribe to this blog, it's no secret to you that I am a bit of a rogue at heart.  I am driven by passion,  I talk to myself,  I have a short fuze, I live for my family, and I live for the craft.  I…


Added by Mark vonAppen on January 13, 2014 at 1:36pm — No Comments

"What's your tone?"

"Often its not WHAT you say but HOW you say it"

Are we setting our new recruits for failure from the start? Think of the tone of voice used when instructing new firefighters? 

Obviously, the need for recruit discipline, attention, and movement with purpose on the training ground is strong and completely understood. However, a 'rush, rush, rush' & 'push, push, push'... during tactical parts may not be best…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on January 13, 2014 at 11:16am — No Comments

The Discussion EVERY Shift MUST HAVE

It’s going to happen so you might as well get it out on the table now


I should admit I’ve never seen a complete episode of Rescue Me, ever. I’ve seen bits and pieces at the firehouse, but I have never intentionally sat down to see one episode from start to finish. I’m not much of a television person but I understand the gist of the show and its borderline…


Added by Bill Carey on January 13, 2014 at 7:36am — No Comments

Make Yourself Attractive, And I Don't Mean Pretty!

This will the be the first of many posts that will lead into an Ebook that I'm working on and an online academy that will be rolled out later this year. We will start with one of the most common questions I get about being a company officer, however, it can be used for promoting up from company officer to chief officer as well.

"How do I make myself a strong candidate for promotion?"

Well, there is not any singular answer to this and each situation is unique in many cases.… Continue

Added by Jason Hoevelmann on January 12, 2014 at 1:29pm — 3 Comments

Mutual Aid Response to the Motor City

The Model City Firefighter is headed to the Motor City to provide mutual aid!

A couple months back, the Detroit Mutual Aid Project was launched to raise much needed funds to purchase equipment for our brothers and sisters in Detroit, MI. As a Board Member of the National Firefighters Endowment, I have been involved with the project since…


Added by Andrew Catron on January 12, 2014 at 10:49am — No Comments

The Real 2 Inch Hose.


I have read the many articles in various periodicals and online blogs about the new, super, almost 2 inch, 1 3/4 inch hose and wondered why not just use 2 inch hose?  The Wyocena Bureau of Fire, a small rural paid on call fire department has been doing that for over a decade now.  We don't use 1 3/4 inch hose or 2 1/2 inch hose at all.  We are a 1, 2, 3, 5 inch fire department.  The 1 inch is forestry hose, 2 inch is our handline, 3 inch is used for our apartment line, feeding FDCs,…


Added by Don Catenacci on January 11, 2014 at 12:38am — No Comments

Fitness Resolutions for the New Year

Every time the clock ticks past 12am on December 31st, millions of people decide on resolutions to carry out for the New Year. More popular than ever are goals directed towards health and fitness. Due to this fact, gyms are usually packed for the first 2-3 weeks at the start of the year, and this may even be the busiest time for most commercial gyms. After the initial few weeks though, most people abandon their resolutions and fall back into similar patterns of…


Added by Mackenzie-Anne Kelly on January 10, 2014 at 4:30pm — No Comments


There is a certain speech that I am getting tired of suffering through. I have heard it time and time again, and I'm sure there are scores of other "rogues" out there in the same position. The speech I am referring to is the one about not getting discouraged. Sound familiar?

I am going to throw up if I have to hear this again. Please understand that I realize the delivery of the speech is usually done with kind intentions. I'm not trying to kill the messenger. Here is what I…


Added by Dave Werner on January 9, 2014 at 3:57pm — 4 Comments

More on basements...

Brrr....cold enough for you?

A great majority of the heating plants in multi-story residential homes are found in the basement. Think about this from 25 to Survive: Reducing Residential Injury and LODD...

~pg 113 "Picture yourself crawling into a giant barbecue, only we are the meat…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on January 9, 2014 at 9:27am — No Comments

Hump Day SOS - Learn to Talk Fire

Do you know what you are talking about when you size up a fire? Too often we hear “fully involved” in the description from the first arriving company only to find out upon our arrival that it is a one or two room and contents fire. Some people don’t think this is a big deal but it is a huge deal. The words used to describe the situation set the…


Added by David Rhodes on January 8, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

Is your check engine light on?

Is your check engine light on?




      Many times before that annoying orange light on your dash goes off, your vehicle may give you warning signs that something is wrong. Sometimes it just pops up out of nowhere. You drive it to the nearest auto part store to check the code and await the damage, hoping that its something minor. With…


Added by Ryan Torres on January 8, 2014 at 3:05am — No Comments



I was asked to write this account some time ago for the benefit of young people and I have honestly found it difficult to write. The difficulty in telling the story comes from my wish to teach and to make    IN THESE BOOTS about the learning and never about me. I’ll focus on that and share some of my random thoughts on go time.

Readiness in the Fire Service…


Added by Warren Cersley on January 7, 2014 at 8:39am — No Comments

The ABC's of the Attic Fire

If you are in to fire porn, then there is an unlimited supply to be found on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook these days. I would surmise that if you have an ounce of fire service passion left in you, then you too are a fan of fire porn. Over the last several months, I have watched many videos of fires where the fire was located in the attic area and more obvious in the void spaces of the knee-walls.


As I always say, it is ridiculous that we reinvent how we deal with…


Added by Lawrence Schultz on January 6, 2014 at 9:18pm — No Comments

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