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February 2015 Blog Posts (48)

Fifty Shades of Fire Service Leadership

Ok, there are probably not fifty shades of leadership but there are many shades worthy of some commentary.

One of the most important things a leader can accomplish is to lead from the front and not from your office directing your subordinates “what to do” and “how to do it”. If you have that leadership style, then do it yourself, because you will be continually disappointed in the outcome. A great leader is the “tip of…


Added by John K. Murphy on February 14, 2015 at 6:06pm — No Comments

Employee Assistance Programs, More than a Buzzword for a Promotional Exam



Humpday Hangout

 Editor in Chief Bobby Halton and FireRescue Editor in Chief Erich Roden talk to Frank Ricci, P.J. Norwood, and Jim Rascati about employee assistance programs (EAP) and mental health issues.…


Added by Frank Ricci on February 14, 2015 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Instructions for Use and Care

We’re sitting here in 2015 amidst all of the technology, articles, blogs and videos of “modern” firefighting, most of which is built off of “traditional” firefighting, and yet we struggle with some of the simplest tasks. Two very important tasks that I am particularly writing about here are the ones called listening and providing feedback and acknowledgement of what’s been said. These are two very important components of what is known as the “communications circle” and more importantly,…


Added by Andy Marsh on February 13, 2015 at 5:04pm — No Comments

Choosing the Right Bailout Kit

From Engine House Training, LLCCo-Owner and Lead Instructor Frank Lipski

Choosing the Right Bailout System for Your Department


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on February 11, 2015 at 9:50pm — No Comments

The Hump Day SOS - Fire Service Irony- Creating Wind Driven Fires

Fire Service Irony – Creating Wind Driven Fires

After spending a few days last week at UL for the final PPV / PPA experiments I couldn’t resist pulling out a retro Hump Day from last year. Now let me put a disclaimer here, the results of all the experiments are…


Added by David Rhodes on February 11, 2015 at 7:00pm — No Comments



I remember a time when I worked as a Firefighter in what was considered to be a rough neighborhood. Several blocks from our fire house was an automatic dumpster. The dumpster caught fire automatically every few days.

One evening we were…


Added by Warren Cersley on February 11, 2015 at 3:25pm — No Comments

Getting the Most out of Your Fitness Training

The quality and purpose of your fitness regimen are much more important than quantity.

As firefighters, we can all agree that attaining and maintaining physical and mental fitness is a requirement of our job. If you know me, you know that I push this philosophy, and so should you. But any fitness professional will tell you, training just to train instead of training for purpose will not produce the results you might expect. A couple conversations I've had recently with some…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on February 11, 2015 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Extrication "Quick Tip"#27 (Cable Barriers)

It isn't uncommon for entrapments in my response area to involve guardrails. This common occurrence was covered in Extrication "Quick Tip'' #23. Cable barriers are not common to my part of the country. However, there are many misconceptions to the emergency response to entrapments involving them. Here is some great information from Minnesota DOT covering the emergency…


Added by Isaac Frazier on February 11, 2015 at 8:11am — No Comments

Facial Hair, Religion and Respiratory Protection

Scenario – A firefighter in recruit academy has a beard based on his religious beliefs and was expelled from the academy based on the fact he could not pass the SCBA fit test due to his facial hair. He was not provided the opportunity to attempt the fit testing process. Is this discrimination?

 The academy rule on facial hair is:

1.4 Facial Hair

All ------- personnel who wear…


Added by John K. Murphy on February 10, 2015 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

SOG's and SOP's

        SOP’s and SOG’s are a fantastic way to make sure everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done and how. They provide the standards for actions that should be taken by fire fighters in certain situations to ultimately ensure the safety of everyone at the scene.

        Standardized procedures and guides hold the fire fighters accountable for their actions. It gives them a reason for what they did if someone got hurt as a direct result of their actions, that way if…


Added by Victor Zarate on February 10, 2015 at 12:04pm — No Comments


DRAWN BY FIRE Flashback - The Circus Is In Town!

We are at times our own worst enemy.…


Added by Paul Combs on February 10, 2015 at 10:06am — 2 Comments

Chauffeur Drill for Minimum Staffing

We are not all Big City Fire Departments

Chauffeur/Driver Drill.

It has been almost a year into my first year as a company officer of a three man Quint.  I have taken time off from writing to learn the “job”, more reading, and developing drills for the company and the department.  

One of the last blogs I wrote was the Chauffeur/Driver position of our Quint. …


Added by Lou Comenale on February 9, 2015 at 2:26pm — No Comments

Leadership Mentoring


Check out our last show on Leadership and Mentoring

By Frank Ricci, Jason Hoevelmann & Jim Moss…


Added by Frank Ricci on February 8, 2015 at 11:19pm — No Comments

eLearning or Traditional Style Training, that is the Question ?

As a pioneer in eLearning, I can relate to several questions you may have when it comes to eLearning. Like you, I had several questions when I was first introduced to this new technology. So, you’re responsible for training for your Fire Department and you just acquired a new Learning Management System for your Department training. As you looked through the training they had to offer, a lot of it didn’t follow your SOP’s and Protocols. As the new training officer, you want to be able to…


Added by Freddie Batista on February 8, 2015 at 9:27pm — 4 Comments

Backstep or Backlit?

The Sunday Preach: 


"Only a firefighter truly knows what it is like to be a firefighter. Only we, who crawl down smoke filled hallways, know what it is like when lives are on the line." Page XI. http://25 to Survive: Reducing Residential Injury and…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on February 8, 2015 at 7:42pm — No Comments

What Happened to Ethical Behavior?

The other day I was reading the January issue of Fire Engineering and came across the Paul Combs cartoon about how a single firefighters bad behavior affects all of us in the fire service. (Fire Engineering, January 2015) I then thought of all the bad stories I had been reading lately about firefighters caught having sex in departmental vehicles and stations on duty, a former fire chief pleading guilty to grand larceny, a firefighter charged with sexual battery of a patient, another chief…


Added by Michael D. Staats on February 6, 2015 at 7:00pm — No Comments

When "Not" to Assume Command

The first officer on the scene, often a company officer from an engine or truck, establishes command upon arrival to all types of incidents, day in and day out. Ranking officers, usually chiefs, whether they show up simultaneously or some time later, often assume command out of hand.

When officers get comfortable and competent with managing incidents with all their many facets, whether high or low frequency, high or low risk, there is a reward system that exists in every one of us. It…


Added by Dan Miller on February 6, 2015 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

The North American Fire Officer Leadership Learning Survey

The North American Fire Officer Leadership Learning Survey

A few years back a consultant asked US Army brass how they learned their leadership skills – and the answers were surprising, and important to those who need to plan the development of new officers and to expand the skills of incumbent officers. Ascend Leadership (the folks that developed The Right Seat DVD series with Fire Engineering) have…


Added by Dave Casey on February 6, 2015 at 12:15pm — 2 Comments

Don't Let The Popularity Contest Ruin Your Reputation

Finding the balance between leadership skills and the popularity contest can be the most challenging transition faced by newly promoted leaders. This is a career long struggle for some. It is not easy switching roles. One day you are working for the idiot and the next day you are the idiot. It doesn't take long to realize that maybe; just maybe, you didn't give your officer enough credit for all of the issues they had to deal with on a day to day basis. I know the switch to company officer…


Added by JR Hall on February 6, 2015 at 7:57am — No Comments



“Our life and leadership are like a round of golf; we begin and end at the same place and the only thing that really counts at the end of the day is the things that we did in between and how we did them.” I said that.

When we embark on a round of golf or we choose…


Added by Warren Cersley on February 5, 2015 at 5:35pm — No Comments

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