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February 2014 Blog Posts (36)

Do the Right Things-What Does That Mean?

The fire service has so many different sayings and mottos that they become cliche and difficult for newer firefighters to truly understand what they mean.  But, more than just saying these slogans and even understanding, in some cases we need to make sure we act on those mantras.

One of the sayings that I hear a great deal of and say myself is "do the right thing."  For some of us we probably take for granted that the persons we are telling this to know what it means to do that.  …


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on February 28, 2014 at 11:24pm — No Comments

Next Man Up

By:  Mark vonAppen 

Working a shift trade on a company that you are not totally familiar with poses some interesting and potentially hand-tying problems.  It also presents an opportunity for growth.

As things were winding down at our last structure fire, a…


Added by Mark vonAppen on February 28, 2014 at 10:22pm — 1 Comment

Hump Day SOS - Wind Driven PPV

I was watching the wind driven fire research and recognized a bit of irony. During the wind driven fire study a large PPV fan was used to create the wind for the study. A fire curtain was deployed to block the wind from the fan in order to control the wind driven…


Added by David Rhodes on February 27, 2014 at 4:10pm — No Comments


Hello, my name is Paul Combs. I am a firefighter NREMT-B and I have a problem relating to my patient’s emotional and physical needs.

There, I’ve said it publicly, you’ve read it on social media, and I can now begin my personal growth. It’s that easy, right? I wish!

EMS care has been a struggle for me. Not the training, certifications, continuing…


Added by Paul Combs on February 27, 2014 at 11:08am — No Comments

Ahi Tuna & FDIC

Old guys like me are occasionally asked what we consider to be the highlight of our career.  I always thought standing on the “big stage,” at FDIC represented the pinacle of achievement in our business.  It’s where I’ve seen all of my fire service heroes stand and talk on the latest in firefighting and what is coming next.  I had the honor some years ago to stand there.  I couldn’t believe that they let me anywhere near that podium, but I was honored to have the chance to do it.  But as it…


Added by Eddie Buchanan on February 26, 2014 at 11:02am — No Comments

“In the area of, “ Photos and Video from Prince George’s County Townhouse Fire

Engine 846 with smoke showing PLUS articles from Fire Engineering

Prince George’s County firefighters responded to the townhouse fire in the 600 block of Harry S. Truman Drive. The box alarm consisted of Engine companies 46, 33, 5 and 23; Truck companies 37 and 38; and Truck 9 as the Rapid Intervention Company. Engine 846 arrived to find smoke showing from the end unit of a two-story row.…


Added by Bill Carey on February 26, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments


Appointed or Anointed?

I have had the honor of serving as a Chief Officer for nearly twenty-eight years. I have seen a few things and I have been around the block a couple of times. I may be different from some because I believe that I was appointed but never anointed.

I recall a Captain opening my office door and advising me that a Battalion Chief from FDNY was in the…


Added by Warren Cersley on February 25, 2014 at 12:15pm — 1 Comment

A better mouse trap

One constant in the fire service is there is never a shortage of people who have a better way to build a mousetrap.  Without this naturally occurring firefighter forward-thinking mentality, we would certainly see a fire service that is less capable, less safe, and just plain less than it is.  Because emergencies can be approached and executed from many different angles, our training and preparation can also be approached in many ways.  We see this all the time. You can talk tactics with the…


Added by Paul Strong on February 25, 2014 at 12:11pm — 1 Comment

January 2014 On-Duty Deaths in Detail


Eight members of the fire service died while on duty


The following information is a breakdown of the details of those members in the fire service who died while operating “on-duty” as defined by the United States Fire Administration. For more information on this definition and that of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation's definition of "line of duty death" read “…


Added by Bill Carey on February 25, 2014 at 10:33am — No Comments

To Go or Not-To-Go, Thats the Wrong Question

Today’s blog is inspired by my nephew who I am incredibly proud of after following in my footsteps joining the DCFD. I was fortunate, that as the Chief of Operations, I got to go to a few fires with him and I watch him grow in to a solid firefighter. Unfortunately for him, this often exposed him to the daily serenades of “Uncle Larry’”


Its been interesting managing the difference in fire department philosophy between my views (as the Boss) and his view’s as the one who has to…


Added by Lawrence Schultz on February 22, 2014 at 9:35am — No Comments

Stretch Some Lines!

This past week I found myself being very stressed out with my work. Not so much the duties I perform everyday but the recent frustrations I have with the way things are being done, or not done. We all have our pet peeves. We all have the things we are passionate about. Most of mine are very simple and just to name a few; pride in uniform appearance, training, accountability and passion for the profession we spend months or years trying to get into. At the end of this frustrating week for me…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on February 22, 2014 at 8:15am — No Comments


What do you do in your free time? Pick up a fire service magazine, grab an instructional book, or pick up a seldom used tool and learn, and teach those who may not know.

Our time is always in demand - use it wisely.

Take care and ALWAYS make a…


Added by Paul Combs on February 21, 2014 at 8:52am — No Comments

Who to Listen To?

I remember being a young, volunteer firefighter and learning as much as I could from whoever would share.  Being in a small, mostly rural department, and with no social media--only the monthly trade journals---I depended on the more senior guys around me to pass on what they had learned and I always assumed that they knew what they were talking about.

It didn't matter what the topic was, I seemed to always come away with something I didn't know before hand.  The one thing that I can…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on February 20, 2014 at 8:58pm — 1 Comment

Response to ISFSI Firefighter Safety Call to Action, Scott Corrigan

This is the letter that I submitted to several people regarding some recent topics and recommendations.  This is not an issue about cowboys and cowards.  It needs to be about educated, honest fire service leaders who understand that we do not have a duty to die, but we absolutely have a duty to act.  This is not a flash in the pan reaction, but a written response that was formulated over several months of painstaking self analysis to ensure that I was not reacting to something that simply…


Added by scott corrigan on February 20, 2014 at 6:48pm — 2 Comments

Out With The Old/In With The New

I have a photo of a young boy around the age of six or seven years old dressed in a fire fighter outfit he got for Christmas, axe ready to slay the dragon.  As a young boy, he would walk past the fire station in his neighborhood and dream of being a firefighter; not a fire fighter in the bigger, more populous cities, but a firefighter at…


Added by Captain Jason Bonds on February 20, 2014 at 11:30am — No Comments

Getting the New Fire Service Officer - "Up to Speed"

                     The fire service can move at lightning fast speed one minute and other times the clock can move at a turtle’s pace... …


Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on February 19, 2014 at 9:02pm — No Comments

The Price of a Fire Engine

The local fire engine that sparkles in parades and is a standout among the community.  People depend on it when they dial 911 to come and fix their emergency.

The community doesn't care what age the apparatus is as long it performs in their emergency. A good fire apparatus preventive maintenance program improves longevity of the apparatus and ensures operational readiness of the equipment before you hit the streets enroute to the incident scene.

Though if you…


Added by Brad Nair on February 19, 2014 at 1:04pm — No Comments

Why Have I Not Been Promoted Yet?

A few times a week, I get phone calls or emails from people trying to find out why they have yet to be promoted or hired (if from the outside applying for a position). Either they failed the recent promotional exam or they did not score high enough to get promoted and they seem to want to blame everyone but themselves for their misfortune. Most of the time, when people ask my advice, they usually start off with something to the effect of "what more do I need to obtain in the way of…


Added by Steve Prziborowski on February 17, 2014 at 12:26am — No Comments


Protect the steps.

One of the most important lessons I learned from my first Captain was to protect the steps.

Whether we went upstairs to get a burning mattress in a brick apartment, or to perform search and fire attack in a two story house, Captain Mac would never allow a staff meeting…


Added by Warren Cersley on February 15, 2014 at 12:01pm — No Comments

Wing Type Nursing Home Fire

This is a wing-type nursing home.  The center or hub of the home contains the nurses stations, kitchen and dining hall, recreation area, offices and the like.  The wings contain the rooms for the residents.  Apparently,  there was a malfunction with the built-in automatic fire protection system.

This fire occurs in one of the wings.  This wing contains 12 rooms with two residents in each room. This particular wing contains all non-ambulatory residents.

The fire occurs at 0630…


Added by Skip Coleman on February 14, 2014 at 5:28pm — 7 Comments

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