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NEW Fire Engineering​ blog editorial cartoon: It's the Thought that Counts!

Here's hoping your Holiday Season is filled with joy, family, friends, fire, and as little bureaucracy as possible.


Added by Paul Combs on December 24, 2018 at 9:47am — No Comments

Priorities and Tactics - Apples and Oranges

When engaged in an activity where seconds count, lives hang in the balance, and there is little margin for error, choosing the correct initial action is critical.  As firefighters, we must "get it right" the first time, and there are no “do overs”.  To be most successful in protecting lives and property, our selection of methods and their execution must be flawless.…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on December 24, 2018 at 6:00am — No Comments


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

There is a difference you can find in those who stand apart from the crowd, those people of character who just get it. The intangible quality that sets them apart is something completely tangible.  It's called a work ethic, and it is the oft-forgotten…


Added by Paul Combs on December 21, 2018 at 10:13am — No Comments

Very close call for four Orlando Firefighters!

My good friend who I used to work with posted this on his Facebook page just now. His son also  works for Orlando Fire Department. Names were edited due to a current investigation. This was so important as a reminder that I needed to re-post his article. Be alert and never ever let your guard down! …


Added by Mauro Porcelli on December 21, 2018 at 8:14am — No Comments

The Fire Chief / CEO Mindset

The Fire Chief / CEO Mindset.

Many Fire Chiefs in small or mid-sized departments waste time on what I call $15 an hour work dealing with the day to day tasks like vehicle checks, chores and maintenance. Meanwhile, they forgo working on visionary work like professional development, or obtaining grants that could yield thousands of dollars to assist the operating budget. Time needed to build relationships with the right people, inside and outside the organization, to further advance the…


Added by Assistant Chief Billy Greenwood on December 20, 2018 at 6:30pm — No Comments

It’s Xmas New Guys, Step Up

We all enter the fire service knowing it’s the greatest job on earth and there is not another occupation we’d rather be doing. We also grasp the harsh reality that we are in fact a 24/7 service being open for business on nights, weekends, holidays, and everything in between. At the start the year, shift, or however your respective department operates, there is one specific date everyone immediately I gonna be stuck working Christmas? If assigned…


Added by Adam J. Hansen on December 17, 2018 at 1:34pm — 1 Comment

Alphabet Soup

The fire service is filled with an alphabet soup of acronyms many of us are aware of. Whether for fire suppression, EMS, Hazmat, etc. these acronyms are convenient aids that help firefighters and officers remember size-up points, operational and procedural considerations, and can be effective in recalling critical actions to be taken in emergencies.

Examples of common suppression acronyms:

C-Construction                                     …


Added by Nick J. Salameh on December 16, 2018 at 9:47am — No Comments

Class opportunities!!!

For the first time in many years we have decided to reset the waitlist and open up Tactical Extrication. With the move last year I finished up some promised classes and as I had also promised we are opening up for 2019 classes. This class has morphed over the years into something that I am incredibly proud of. Email me at to inquire about hosting a class. As always this opportunity won't last long....If you have ever taken a course by Tactical Advantage or…


Added by Isaac Frazier on December 15, 2018 at 9:59pm — No Comments

Preventing Legal Fires 2018 - Year in Review

I always like to review year end legal issues for the fire service, even as I routinely write about them, as an interesting study in firefighter legal behavior over the past year. It is a reflection of where we are and where we are going. The short story is our behavior is not changing as fast as the fire service would like as we still see complaints and litigation popping up every week.

We continue to see patterns of bad legal behavior, in spite of the frequent lectures and articles…


Added by John K. Murphy on December 11, 2018 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Leadership Lesson #2 - Build Trust First Before Making Changes

This can't be reiterated enough. If your crews don't trust you, the changes you will attempt to make will often get overlooked or even worse completely ignored. Be patient, trust takes time and effort to build and there are two essential steps to building that trust.

The first step is having open discussion about your expectations of your crews and what their expectations are of you. The second step is being consistent in everything you do. These two things, if done well will provide…


Added by Troy J. Bonfield on December 11, 2018 at 12:19pm — No Comments

Communication Thoughts for Officers

Rank might bring privileges, but it doesn’t necessarily equal leadership. You may have the authority that comes with the badge, however, this does not mean that your subordinates will follow you. The trust and willingness on their part to follow you must be earned. One way to quickly earn trust, and therefore, leadership, is through having good communication skills.

Communication only happens when both parties hear and understand what has been said. Until then, it’s just words being…


Added by John Lightly on December 6, 2018 at 7:26pm — No Comments

The New Generation

Today in the fire service there are many different barriers that we all face everyday.  Technology, growing scope of responsibility, and life in general are challenges that each and every company officer, chief, and Administrator face when it comes to forming the fire department camaraderie of old.  We often hear the brotherhood is dead, the new generation is lazy, and on and on and on.  The fact is, we can complain (and firefighters will we know) or we can seek out new and innovative ways…


Added by Jonah Smith on December 5, 2018 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

We lost another

My heart hurts after learning of a fellow firefighter who died by suicide yesterday. This one is especially painful to me because Ron Gebhart didn't want to die by suicide. He recognized the progressive illness that is suicide, and he aggressively sought help, and tried to battle it's relentless power. He attended classes to understand mental health and suicide. He reached out to others for help.

But, sadly, preventing suicide is not as easy as sharing lifeline numbers. Once one has…


Added by Dena Ali on December 4, 2018 at 8:08pm — No Comments

Save Your Firehouse!

If you want to lose control of your station, your crew and everything you have worked for your entire career, then go ahead and allow a rogue fireman to take control of your firehouse without any regard for your authority or anyone else’s well-being. We all know him. He, or she, is the fireman who shows up for work…


Added by Mauro Porcelli on November 30, 2018 at 10:17am — No Comments


Do Your Job! Sounds easy enough, right? However, far too many try to control things outside of their control to the frustration and aggravation of everyone around them. This cartoon, which is inspired by Mark von Appen's Big Four leadership message, is one of many cartoons in our combined 2019 Calendar.

And now, I yield the…


Added by Paul Combs on November 30, 2018 at 7:56am — No Comments

SMA Dailey's Top 10 to Sergeant Majors applied for the Fire Service

Last week I came across a post on Facebook titled “Dailey’s Top 10 to SGMs, in his own words”. Dailey is Daniel A. Dailey, Sergeant Major of the Army.  For those that do not know, the SGM of the Army is the top enlisted position in the United States Army.  He is a combat infantry veteran, an Army Ranger, and has received numerous awards including the Bronze Star numerous times.  I really enjoyed reading through these and thought they…


Added by Clay Magee on November 28, 2018 at 1:36pm — No Comments

Do Not Resuscitate Tattoos

As pre-hospital medical providers we see a lot of patients in all sorts of medical disrepair. The public and patients expectation is that we put a full effort into doing the best we can with our limited field resources and either take the patient to a medical facility, leave at home, send the patient to their primary care or specialist physician or call the…


Added by John K. Murphy on November 24, 2018 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Personal Accountability in Today's Volunteer Fire Service

The Importance of Individual Accountability in the Volunteer Fire Service.

“A different perspective on the issues plaguing volunteer departments”

     Two years ago I set out with a…


Added by Matt Beakas on November 18, 2018 at 7:20pm — No Comments


NEW November Fire Engineering magazine cartoon: Blah Blah Blah!
As in politics,…

Added by Paul Combs on November 15, 2018 at 10:27am — No Comments

Saving Our Own

When we hear the phrase, “saving our own,” many of us probably think about the actions a Rapid Intervention Team may take to rescue Fire/EMS personnel on the fire ground. What I want to focus on in this writing is saving our own off duty.


On the job, each of us feels a sense of comfort in knowing one of our crew members has our back. We should feel the same sense of comfort when we are hanging out together or off duty. With the holiday season upon us, many of us will…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on November 12, 2018 at 12:19pm — No Comments

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