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January 2016 Blog Posts (43)

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 9:00am — 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 7:30am — 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 13, 2016 at 11:00pm — 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 1:50pm — 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 12:07pm — 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 Assistant Chief Billy Greenwood on January 11, 2016 at 10:11am — 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 7:32am — No Comments

Developing Tactical Decision Games

Are you looking for a training idea? Have you ever used a Tactical Decision Game (TDG) as a delivery method? You have used them, even if you did not call them TDGs. The key is to understand how to maximize their impact and structure them so that the student learns as much as possible from each scenario. Below I describe an 8 step process on how to implement Dr. Klein’s decision making process and situational awareness into your…


Added by Brian Ward "FireServiceSLT" on January 10, 2016 at 3:17pm — No Comments

Lost in the “fog of the fireground”

 My mistake of getting “sidetracked” upon arrival could’ve led to a serious problem on one of my fire ground commands, don’t let yourself be sidetracked at your next serious event.

While not a veteran, I have tons of respect for and consider myself an avid reader and student of military leadership and command, and in one particular book from a former Marine who fought in World War II describes the term “lost in the fog of war”. According to this author, this expression…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on January 10, 2016 at 1:30pm — 3 Comments

The Benefits of Leader Schizophrenia

Having multiple personalities at work is not usually considered to be a good thing. But think about the benefits of having the ability to shift into different leadership styles as different people and situations cross your path.

In the Fire Service, it is critical to have an autocratic style on the Fire Ground. A crisis is no time for consensus building. Fire Personnel are trained for years on how to handle those situations and how to make quick and calculated decisions. Then later,… Continue

Added by Douglas K. Cline on January 9, 2016 at 8:00am — No Comments

You "Signed Up..."

                The modern day fire service is a world different than the fire service of 20 years ago.  Hell, it’s a world different than 10 years, 5 years, or even 1 year ago.  We live and work in an ever-changing, ever-evolving industry.…


Added by Paul M. Rank on January 8, 2016 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

rural vacant buildings.



I have been seeing a lot of photos lately of people teaching about shutting the door and control the flow path and they are teaching it to civilians as a way to try and save themselves and their belongings.  So what does that do for the small town firefighter?

Quite a bit.

Take a look at this photo…


Added by Chris Willis on January 8, 2016 at 12:37pm — No Comments

Service Calls

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Added by Jason Hoevelmann on January 7, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

MFA #20: The New Standard? - The risks of ignoring the science

So, now that the fire service has a synchronized approach to controlling structure fires (SLICE-RS), based on scientific research (e.g., UL, NIST, NYU), supported and promoted by respected fire service organizations (e.g., NFPA, IAFC, IAFF, ISFSI), and with the promise of improved efficiency and decreased risk (easier, faster, safer), are there now risks (e.g., charges of liability, malfeasance, or incompetence) associated with not adopting this strategy?  Probably not...yet. …


Added by Mark J. Cotter on January 7, 2016 at 8:22am — No Comments

Setting Specific Goals and Objectives--Podcast

Podcast Here:

This episode discusses the importance of setting very specific goals and objectives.  Being specific allows us to create a realistic and attainable plan to achieve our…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on January 6, 2016 at 10:32am — No Comments

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

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 1st Line Of Duty Death for 2016 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighter Trainee & Retired L.E.O Charles "Chuck" C. Adams Jr. has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and our Brothers & Sisters with the Spring Arbor Township Fire Department.…


Added by Brad Hoff on January 5, 2016 at 4:32pm — No Comments

Never Leave The "Emergency" Out Of Your Bypass Operations

Recently while observing a rural fire department's annual SCBA certification process I noticed a distressing trend with the younger members. While operating in a dark and simulated smoke filled environment members were asked to identify the location of their 'bypass'.  As a whole most of them struggled, it was not instinctive at all. When asked to display how to use the…


Added by Michael R. Horst on January 4, 2016 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Auto Extrication 102 - What You Think You Know Might Get You Hurt

How many times have you been told there are electrical storage capacitors that can fire air bags upwards to 15-30 minutes post battery disconnect? I would bet many have heard the same.  Well here is one for you from 2009 during a training evolution that fortunately no one was injured. This Volvo had NO BATTERY in the vehicle for well over a year. 

Here is the firefighter safety alert I created for our FB Training Page…


Added by Assistant Chief Billy Greenwood on January 4, 2016 at 2:30pm — No Comments


Disabling vehicle power (battery) is common practice when arriving at almost any auto accident. Cutting the vehicles battery is the first thing shouted with authority, when asked about procedures of first arriving units. However, what if it’s…


Added by Isaac Frazier on January 4, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Modern Fire Attack - What's been said, and what's left to say

The end of the calendar year brings with it a natural tendency to look back on what has been accomplished, and ahead to what still needs to be done.  I’ve been commenting for the past half year on the significant shift in fire dynamics understanding and resulting tactical modifications that the North American fire service is undergoing, and I would like to share a few reflections and predictions on that broad and controversial topic. 

Despite my demonstrated interest in the…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on January 4, 2016 at 8:30am — No Comments

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