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January 2016 Blog Posts (35)


"Residential Recognition - Take off the blinders!"

"All our senses must be on alert. We must use all our five senses to gather intelligence about the bigger picture, then attempt to validate the smaller tactical pieces to make sure the outcome is what is anticipated. We must absolutely resist the temptation

to put the blinders on and run like a moth to a flame in our tactical decision making." Chapter 21, Page…


Added by Dan Shaw on January 31, 2016 at 8:36am — No Comments

Size Up: Not always what it seems - part 2

A few months ago I posted an article on fireground size up titled, "Size Up's: Not just what it is, but what it was". This article is the second part on size ups. It focuses on two important factors that are not always discussed when talking about size ups. A major key to being able to perform a good size up actually begins well before the fire with taking the time to get to know your district inside out and…


Added by David Topczynski on January 30, 2016 at 10:00pm — No Comments

EXTRICATION "QUICK TIP" #51 (Compressed Natural Gas-CNG)

Compressed Natural Gas, with a name like that, it has to be bad. Right? I was recently asked to provide some information on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) transport vehicles. Now remember, LNG differs from CNG in that it is super-cooled and compressed so that its storage is in a liquid form, which…


Added by Isaac Frazier on January 29, 2016 at 10:13am — No Comments

training with staffing

Its  3 in the afternoon you get dispatched for a working fire in a single family dwelling. You get there and find that there is a working fire in ranch style house unknown entrapment, but your next in help is still 15 minutes out, you and your crew of 3 are all you have in the meantime.…


Added by Chris Willis on January 27, 2016 at 9:49pm — No Comments

212 degrees - the one degree difference

This photo is actually of a poster that I saw in the middle school while on a fire alarm. These posters hang throughout the entire school. It is simple, but it says a lot. This post is simple and short. It's not a motivational speech about being a 212 degree firefighter but reminder not to give up and cool off to 211 degrees. It is about the importance of the single…


Added by David Topczynski on January 25, 2016 at 4:54pm — 2 Comments

New Construction / New Hazards

Modern building technology is an amazing thing. That being said, technology can also create new firefighter hazards unforeseen by many.  For example on a recent building familiarization tour with my truck company, we located many of these pre-engineered smoke ventilation hatches on a new constructed occupancy in my district. 


We all know working on the roof is dangerous. Our working environment often yields decreased visibility; night time darkness; seasonal weather related…


Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on January 22, 2016 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment



The mirrored elevator doors opened and the couple walked quietly past the Bellman’s stand. The Bell Captain said good morning to them and he knew their last name. He held the door to the hotel dining room for them and then returned to the stand.

He asked if I knew who the couple was and I replied that I did not. He explained that they had come to…


Added by Warren Cersley on January 22, 2016 at 12:24am — No Comments

Staying Afloat In A Sea of Cynicism

After getting all caught up on the back-and-forth going on between Captain Tom Kenney of the Providence, RI Fire Department and the city administration AND the Providence Journal newspaper, it is very clear that there is mutual disdain, to put it mildly.

Let me say right here/right now that I HATE sensationalist headlines.

You know the type if you have spent time on the Internet. It is a…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on January 19, 2016 at 7:12pm — No Comments

Dream On

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoken over 50 years ago in a speech that changed our way of life, our perception and view on culture and reminded us what we as Americans stand for, what we stood for and what we should stand for. He started it with four simple words, four words that made the…


Added by Dave McGlynn on January 19, 2016 at 6:00pm — No Comments

MFA #21: ACRONYMITY: Tripping over letters

We in the fire service are fond of initials.  They are used both as abbreviated identifiers (e.g., BC, LT, EMS, FADO, AFA, MVC) and/or shortened versions of unwieldy terms (e.g., IDLH, BLEVE, SCBA), forming the type of private, insider language common of all professions.  They have also proven to be valuable memory aids, helping us to learn and recall the components and steps of complex processes.  For instance, the myriad and extensive considerations that should be included in…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on January 19, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments


Make Your Ladders Happy!


“Portable ladders want to be used at fires. They want to get out of their ladder racks and be used, see the light of day, be near the heat and smoke, and help you do your job more quickly and easily. They live to be thrown against residential building fires. It makes them happy. They love to be carried or dragged into place by one firefighter. They want to be placed at the level of the residential windowsill for best overall operations.” Chapter 22,…


Added by Dan Shaw on January 17, 2016 at 4:02pm — No Comments

Mechanical Advantage for Limited Manpower


Added by AB Turenne on January 16, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments


It is fourth and goal with the game clock tick, tick, ticking away. The success or failure of your next play will bring your team victorious glory or public disgrace (and these days, social media shaming). You take your positions, the ball is snapped, you run your route awaiting a precise throw from the quarterback, the ball is released and it's coming your way, you…


Added by Paul Combs on January 15, 2016 at 9:52am — No Comments

The One With All the Answers

One of the top reasons I love being a firefighter is the possibility of encountering something I have never seen before. My day can go any one of one hundred different ways each time I am on shift. The potential to encounter the unknown is there every single time the tones go off for a run. I have worked in retail…


Added by Jonathan Brumley on January 14, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments



This morning while working on the 50th installment of the "Quick Tip" series, I must say that I am impressed by the changes vehicle extrication has encountered over the years. On the street, new methods are being tested and put through the paces by firefighters daily. The vehicles,…


Added by Isaac Frazier on January 14, 2016 at 8:30am — No Comments

Stop Exercising and Start Training to Get Fire Rescue Fit...

Before I worked as a firefighter, I was a trainer in both large and small health clubs.  During that time I would see a lot of people exercising consistently and with intensity but only make a limited amount of fitness progress.  Why? Because we are all creatures of habit in the gym and out.  These “snail paced progress” gym goers were all doing the same thing… exercising, not training.  And yes, their is a difference.

What is…


Added by Aaron Zamzow on January 14, 2016 at 12:00am — No Comments

The First Twenty is Being Put to The Test!

The First Twenty is being put to the test. 

The program is being studied in two federally funded research projects.  The first is funded by FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighter Grant’s Research and Development mechanism and is…


Added by The First Twenty on January 13, 2016 at 2:50pm — No Comments



A friend of mine enjoyed every opportunity that he found to rag me about my profession.

Whenever he had an audience, his speech would detail how all that we did was play checkers, cards and dominos. That, he continued, was when we were awake and we were only awake for the games and when it was time to eat.…


Added by Warren Cersley on January 11, 2016 at 1:07pm — No Comments

TIC Talk - What Are You Seeing?


The research and purchase of a new thermal imager is not a simple task and is definitely one that should not be taxed upon a single person within your fire department.  Whether you are purchasing a camera through an acquired fire grant, hard earned fundraiser money or your taxpayer's budget from a capital improvement program, the costs associated with this purchase justifies creating a small, dynamic TIC committee.


The committee should steer the…


Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on January 11, 2016 at 11:11am — No Comments

Poor Choices / Poor Outcomes

I am taking a break from my typical anarchist message and, pleading with you to read this very personal story as a personal assessment tool. I am a fire service traditionalist to the core and my style of writing is always intended to offer an opposing (or alternative) view of what I term the “overzealous safety culture”. My issue(s) are not, nor have they ever been about safety itself, but our approach to assessing and managing risk, without using emotional coercion.

I am going to…


Added by Lawrence Schultz on January 11, 2016 at 8:32am — No Comments

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