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January 2019 Blog Posts (17)


So, are YOU there yet? Being the Best-of-the-Best means being the best you can be, too.

STAY FIRED UP, and get in the gym!


To see more Drawn By Fire cartoons, go to:…

Added by Paul Combs on January 29, 2019 at 10:00am — No Comments


January Fire Engineering magazine cartoon. What kind of effort are you giving?

Excerpt from the 2019 Drawn by Fire/Fully Involved calendar, and Captain Mark von Appen:

Everyone has to do their job. Everyone has to treat one another right. Everyone has to give all out effort. Everyone has to have an all in attitude. Without these things, the group…


Added by Paul Combs on January 29, 2019 at 9:36am — No Comments

The Initial Attack Line: Uncompromised & Uninterrupted

In reviewing information recently I found a great series of definitions regarding "line" in the American fire service. The source is the general definitions section of the 2015 NFPA 1410 Standard on Training for Emergency Scene Operations. Of all the various terms and definitions we maintain, NFPA, at least in this case has distilled it down to attack, backup, initial attack,  leader, preconnected and supply line. …


Added by Brian Brush on January 28, 2019 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Rope Curtain as a Down Stream safety

Water Rescue: Are you ready downstream?

By: Josh Pearcy

As spring approaches and we enter what is predicted to be one of the “wettest” years on record crews should prepare themselves for spring rain and the reality of the swift-water calls ahead of us. For most responders it is time to dust off the swift-water gear, look at known trouble spots, and preplan responses to areas in your district.

For many crews in the nation the swift-water refresher starts with the review of…


Added by Josh Pearcy on January 26, 2019 at 12:31am — 1 Comment

Preventing Legal Fires - Conflict Management

Much of the personnel litigation affecting a department can be prevented with adequate and early communication between the parties in the attempt to resolve an issue of conflict. As you may be directly or indirectly affected, that could mean you are the Chief, the affected member or their representatives.

Conflict refers to some form of friction, or discord arising within a group when the beliefs or actions of one or more members of the group are either resisted by or unacceptable to…


Added by John K. Murphy on January 23, 2019 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Complacent or actively disengaged: What can be done about crappy attitudes?

      Have you ever had a conversation with someone whose outlook or attitude was so crappy about the topic that it exhausted you just listening to them?   As leaders, we are often tasked with realigning people's perspective and/or performance to the expectations of the organization.  Accomplishing this typically involves having to have "hard" conversations with people whose values and interest about the fire service may not resemble much of our own.  This becomes especially…


Added by Benjamin Martin on January 22, 2019 at 4:44pm — No Comments

Preplanning Tracks in the Snow

     A major portion of the United States was just hit with a pretty decent snowstorm. My area in NE Ohio was no exception, getting anywhere from 10”-16” of the white stuff. As I left my shift in the darkness and headed home, it was no surprise that the main roads were plowed while the side streets were still untouched. The majority of the business parking lots were unplowed as well, likely due to the fact that many would be closed that day for MLK Jr. observance, and thus, didn’t need to be…


Added by John Lightly on January 22, 2019 at 9:35am — No Comments


Excerpt from the 2019 Drawn by Fire/Fully Involved calendar, and Captain Mark von Appen:

Share what you love about the job, not how you think others should be. Save the highest standards for you and you alone for that is what you control. Gravitate towards those who exhibit similar DNA. You can't control others or make them shoulder your…


Added by Paul Combs on January 20, 2019 at 2:47pm — No Comments

Our Equation

There is a human factor to what we do. It is hard to quantify to someone what the public’s human factor exactly is. Can you measure it by data? Possibly. We could use intervals of time, judging different durations from one significant event to another, a way to justify outcomes as if predetermined. “She was 96 years old, she lived a good life.”…”It’s been six hours since anyone heard from him”. The ever-assuring comfort that time will be the alpha and the omega.

            We attempt…


Added by Dustin Martinez on January 18, 2019 at 11:00am — No Comments

Government Shutdowns and Increased Public Safety Vulnerabilities

Without getting political, the current government shutdown is the longest in our country’s history. Despite this fact, how do government shutdowns increase our public safety vulnerabilities?

My heart goes out to individuals and families directly and indirectly affected by the shutdown. The added stress and anxiety this matter brings to hundreds of thousands of government employees and those that rely on government services is mind blowing. Imagine wondering how to meet your…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on January 17, 2019 at 12:14pm — No Comments

Inching Closer to Agreement

I'm going to end 2018/start 2019 with a positive assessment of the past year's progress spreading the new fire dynamics knowledge and integrating it into our tactics. To be sure, this may be an overly optimistic view, as sometimes there seems to be more than enough distance between the two sides to take an entire fire service career before they meet somewhere near the center. Still, I have been seeing and hearing more and more evidence of the spread of our evolving understanding of…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on January 14, 2019 at 8:13am — No Comments

Preventing Legal Fires - Not All Speech is Free

As a firefighter or public safety government employee, what are your free speech rights under the 1st Amendment?

As we have seen a number of firefighters have lost their jobs over postings on their social media sites, thinking they had a protected right to say anything or depict otherwise offensive pictures for their shared audiences. The issue of “words matter” when speaking, brings one back to the often quoted but erroneous statement of “shouting fire in a crowded theater” opined by…


Added by John K. Murphy on January 6, 2019 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Self Improvement for the Modern Day Firefighter

Self Improvement for the Modern Day Firefighter

Assistant Chief Nicholas Christensen, CFO, FO

In today’s…


Added by Nicholas Christensen on January 3, 2019 at 4:30pm — No Comments

The New Year: Time for Change!

     Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year to all my brothers and sisters out there!

     As 2019 arrives, everyone, including firefighters, looks to implement some kind of change. Fire chiefs will implement their new,…


Added by Mauro Porcelli on January 2, 2019 at 4:40pm — No Comments

The Golden Rules for a Small Unit Leader

When I was in the military I use to hear two principles reinforced over and over again. I first started hearing these principles after my first promotion. I can remember many chiefs and officers walking up to me and congratulating me. They would offer their congratulations and then they would say two things to me. I will continue to hear these over the next few years that I spent at that command. I heard them again at my next promotion, I heard them…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on January 2, 2019 at 1:22pm — No Comments


So, will you be a contender in 2019?

STAY FIRED UP, and FIGHT like your life depends on it!


To see more Drawn By Fire cartoons, go to:…

Added by Paul Combs on January 2, 2019 at 8:42am — No Comments

Is Morale a Reliable Indicator of Leadership Success?

One of the most over used words in the fire service is the word "Morale". The word morale is often used as an indicator of how well things are going within an organization. More often the word morale is only focused on when the perceived morale is low. Administrative leadership blames low firefighter morale on several things such as generational changes, the…


Added by Troy J. Bonfield on January 1, 2019 at 7:00am — No Comments

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