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January 2014 Blog Posts (60)

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 9:54am — 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 8:41am — 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 6:30pm — No Comments

The Struggles of Staying Physical Fit

Physical fitness and personal wellness are not two things that I have always been passionate about. Honestly, at the beginning of my career, I wasn’t fit for the job I was expected to perform. While it’s hard for me to admit this, it is a fact. At the same time, it is something that I have battled with throughout the last few years and continue to do so today. There is no doubt that…


Added by Andrew Catron on January 21, 2014 at 2:03pm — 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 2:31pm — 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 1:41pm — 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 3:16pm — 2 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 11:22am — No Comments

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatality: MD

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 3rd Line Of Duty Death for 2014 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighter James "Doc" Delbert Brooks has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends and our Brothers & Sisters with the Prince George's Fire/ EMS Department.

James "Doc" Delbert Brooks…


Added by Brad Hoff on January 17, 2014 at 5:20pm — 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 1:46pm — 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 12:48pm — 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 12:00pm — No Comments

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatality: GA

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 2nd Line Of Duty Death for 2014 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighter Chris Swan has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends and our Brothers & Sisters with the Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Fire Department.

Christ Swan…


Added by Brad Hoff on January 15, 2014 at 9:44pm — 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 12:36pm — 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 10:16am — 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 6:36am — 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 12:29pm — 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 9:49am — 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 10, 2014 at 11:38pm — 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 3:30pm — 1 Comment

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