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February 2016 Blog Posts (31)

You Have All the Power You Need

In a recent conversation I was going back and forth with a few fellow company officers about the normal stuff. You know, how we can single handedly solve all the issues that exist if they would just let us be king for a day. Probably all the same ideas that orbit all of our galley tables. One of them said something to the group that really stood out to me. The comment was made that their organization would be so much better if the…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on February 29, 2016 at 1:00pm — No Comments

The preconnected stretch...

The Sunday Preach:

The preconnect... are you handcuffed?

Most engine companies have several preconnected attack lines and "the invention of this hoseload allows for quick racking and deploying and can greatly assist in limited staffing departments." 

As they lay in rest on your engine in a preconnected fashion, they are a fixed length "...the implementation of the preconnected hoseline provided a safety blanket that firefighters could rest…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on February 29, 2016 at 9:15am — No Comments

Keeping Up With When Things Go Wrong

By Kyle Sanders, Engine House Training, LLC Instructor

Please check out our FDIC 2016 HOT Bailout Class!

Time to talk about the topic no one ever wants to talk about or train on. It always gets pushed off to the side or gets the classic “I’m smarter than that and won’t get in that situation.” This is something that no one expects to happen but can happen to the most…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on February 28, 2016 at 11:09pm — No Comments

Poking the Bear, in the Name of Justice

Everyday firefighters risk something. In the traditional sense, it’s our life, so that we may save the life of another. We risk our health, as we are exposed to hidden carcinogens around the apparatus bay, and on fire scenes. We put our bodies through hell with working shift work, and our emotional health is even worse due to the gruesome scenes we encounter. We do this, because we took an oath to protect people, we have a duty to act. It is why we take…


Added by Chris Kelly on February 27, 2016 at 11:49am — 2 Comments


As I post this the snow is coming down outside my studio window in big feather-like flakes and the cold is radiating through my double-pane windows. So much so that the triple-shot espresso that I am currently enjoying is doing little to warm my bones as I wait for the familiar sounds of spring training baseball broadcast to remind me that warmer days are around the…


Added by Paul Combs on February 25, 2016 at 8:18am — No Comments

The Value of Networking

The Value of Networking

Joseph Kitchen, Bath Twp. Fire Department (Lima, Ohio)

            Spending time with our fellow firefighters is one of the best parts of this amazing career that we all are honored to be a part of. The relationships that we have within our own firehouse are paramount to our…


Added by Joseph Kitchen on February 24, 2016 at 2:30pm — No Comments

A review WITH the troops.

 A review WITH the troops.

After the Civil War, scattered on battlefields across the country, muzzle loaded rifles were found that had ended their service loaded and unfired. Many were found to be multiple loaded, with two, three and even more loads of wadding, powder and ball.…


Added by Warren Cersley on February 24, 2016 at 12:21pm — No Comments

PPE for your Mind

PPE for your Mind

As firefighters, we face a multitude of stressful events each and every shift. Sometimes they’re physical stressors like lifting or climbing. Sometimes they’re mental stressors like sights, sounds and smells at a traumatic scene or feelings of failure when we can’t intervene in time to save someone. Fortunately, the human body is designed to handle stress, even…


Added by The First Twenty on February 24, 2016 at 9:49am — No Comments


Glad I had the opportunity to put together an incredible team for Real World, Street Smart Extrication @ FDIC 2016 (April 18 & 19).
If you have been to any of my programs you know up front this HOT will be no…

Added by Isaac Frazier on February 23, 2016 at 5:34pm — No Comments

MFA #23: Protecting Egress - And other hoseline placement myths

Coming to terms with the significant changes to firefighting tactics wrought by fire behavior researchers and the innovative implementors of their findings is an ongoing process, and there are repeated instances when the new information that has filtered into our understanding again changes our perspective.  This enlightenment is also cumulative, and even exponential, as the same knowledge is applied to other aspects of our craft, and it becomes steadily clearer that much of what we…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on February 23, 2016 at 8:00am — No Comments


I have got a few more years of stretching hose and throwing ladders in front of me, but I'm sure this cartoon will be me when that time comes. Can't imagine what it's like to know you won't be riding those big red rigs any longer - not sure I want to think about it. But for those of you who have served your years and shed sweat, blood, and tears, I…


Added by Paul Combs on February 22, 2016 at 10:52am — 1 Comment

Extrication "Quick Tip" #53 (THE 3RD DOOR)

Many rescuers have heard, seen, or used what is commonly known as a 3rd door conversion. The 3rd door conversion gains much needed access to rear occupants of a 2 door vehicle. This method can be completed quickly. The yellow lines show notches or cuts via the cutter or sawzall. If the cuts are done well, little to no…


Added by Isaac Frazier on February 22, 2016 at 10:28am — No Comments

Single... or am I?

The Sunday Preach:

Single... or am I?

"Legally or illegally, many of these homes have been converted to accommodate the addition of extended family or even an entire other family, effectively making them two-family homes." (Page XIV).

Many of the single…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on February 21, 2016 at 1:32pm — No Comments

A Legacy Tip that Could Save the Modern Company

We all know just how dangerous basement and cellar fires can be and the hazards are even more pronounced in a commercial building, an old tip that saved many lives fifty years ago needs to be reminded as a modern tip in today's fire environment. October 17, 1966 was one of the FDNY's darkest days prior of course to September 11th, 2001, for on that day twelve firefighters perished when a floor collapse occurred in an Ordinary Constructed building on 23rd Street in Manhattan.



Added by Joseph Pronesti on February 20, 2016 at 9:56am — No Comments

Life Happened

One minute you and your girlfriend are talking about getting married, you both feel that you’re sole mates and begin to joke and fantasize about how awesome it would be to be married and make a family. Next minute you’re missing vacations, missing parties, no more date nights and calling out sick at work to take care of a sick kid.

I know that my first true love…


Added by Dave McGlynn on February 17, 2016 at 10:30pm — 2 Comments

Words Matter

In our world decisions are made in a split second.  In our world victims in a house fire have minutes not ‘tens of minutes’.  In our world first reports are often wrong.  In our world, words said over the radio have an effect on operations.  Those words can mean the difference between an aggressive interior search and a passive secondary only search.  We all know…


Added by Grant Schwalbe on February 15, 2016 at 8:00am — No Comments


“Show the love”
Leadership is a foundation principle of our book and also the foundation of our success on the fireground. It is incumbent upon all of us regardless of rank, affiliation, or pay status to seek out mentors to develop our leadership skills because we all lead people.…

Added by Dan Shaw on February 14, 2016 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Legal Series - For Cause Drug Testing

Question – my department wants to start random drug testing. Many of the members have refused and have been threatened with termination. Our Union indicates it is a good idea, but cannot articulate why. Can you help?

Response – drug testing in the fire services has created one of the greatest controversies in our industry. With the emergence of recreational use of marijuana in Washington State and Colorado, it compounds an almost impossible job for…


Added by John K. Murphy on February 12, 2016 at 8:30pm — No Comments


How tight do you hold before you lose control? Any horse rider or race car driver will tell you it's a delicate balance between holding on tight enough to maintain control, but not so tight as to lose flexibility.

Lyrics by 38-Special may say it best "Just hold on loosely, but don't let go. If you cling too tightly, you're gonna lose control."



Added by Paul Combs on February 12, 2016 at 2:19pm — No Comments

Firefighter Fitness- 4 Reasons Why You’re Not Seeing Results…

Its the dead of winter, football season is over and spring seems so far away.  This is also the excuse season, the time of the year where most people fall off the fitness wagon and start to make excuses.  Its especially easy to make excuses and miss workouts if your not seeing results.  So, today I wanted to give you a little guidance and motivation (check out the FRF Fit for Duty…


Added by Aaron Zamzow on February 12, 2016 at 2:03pm — No Comments

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