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Culture Shock: 5 Tips to Build a Winning Culture in Your Organization

Culture, does it mean something to your organization or is it just a soft buzzword that gets thrown around at staff meetings and in emails? My point behind the post was simply this, many organizations seeking change for the better should stop and examine the culture within.

It should be no big secret to anyone reading…


Added by George McNeil on May 21, 2019 at 5:56pm — No Comments


Firеfighting iѕ оnе оf thе wоrld’ѕ greatest occupations, yet, аbоut one of thе mоѕt dаngеrоuѕ and ѕtrеѕѕful job in thе wоrld. Eасh day аnd night, we рlасе ourѕеlvеѕ in harm’s way to come to the rеѕсuе of those whо are mostly in lifе-thrеаtеning diѕаѕtеrѕ. First rеѕроndеrѕ ѕuсh аѕ firеfightеrѕ are еxроѕеd tо trаumа as a nаturаl and unаvоidаblе раrt оf our dаilу routine.

Sреаking оf…


Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on May 21, 2019 at 9:09am — No Comments

Fire Engineering Radio: The Future Firefighter Podcast with the Happy Medic

Tune in on Tuesday, May 21st at 4:30 PM PST / 7:30 PM EST for this episode of the Fire Engineering Radio: The Future Firefighter Podcast with Rescue Captain Justin Schorr, of the Happy Medic, as we discuss why it is…


Added by Christopher Baker on May 19, 2019 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Avoiding a legal firestorm -- Lawyer911

One of the issues facing fire service leadership is when to call an experienced attorney to assist the department in mitigating a problematic legal issue in their department. Every fire department chief has interacted with an attorney on a routine rather than emergent legal issues facing the department. Those range from labor contracts, policy creation, purchasing fire apparatus or firefighter safety gear, acquiring property and building new station to working on complex legal issues of…


Added by John K. Murphy on May 19, 2019 at 4:00pm — No Comments


My apologies to any of my readers who are not comic book geeks like me, and may not understand this cartoon's Avengers Infinity War/Endgame reference. But to those who are, you understand the magnitude of the "snap." In this case, using the bad leadership traits (stones) for ill-will or for your own twisted sense of reality.

It only takes one…


Added by Paul Combs on May 17, 2019 at 2:10pm — No Comments

Warehouse Size Structure Fires

I recently viewed a video of a warehouse fire that reminded me of how frequently I see fire departments applying residential structure fire tactics to warehouse size fires. I often wonder what the root cause of operating this way is. Is it due to a lack of knowledge, improper training, lack of preplanning and underestimating the resources required, department culture, complacency, habitual operations of doing the same thing for every fire call, or simply a…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on May 16, 2019 at 2:27pm — No Comments


Ten years! This month marks ten years of being published in…


Added by Paul Combs on May 15, 2019 at 1:19pm — No Comments

Surviving a Toxic Environment

Chief Halton stated in his FDIC 2019 keynote what many of us have said before- ”Firefighting is the best damn job we’ve ever had.” He is 100% correct. This is the best job there is, and I can think of nothing that I’d rather be doing. Although, being a cowboy on a ranch in Colorado or Wyoming with a view of the Rockies wouldn’t be bad either!

But let’s be honest. Sometimes the best job gets you down because of the toxic environment that you find yourself in. People, politics,…


Added by John Lightly on May 13, 2019 at 7:55am — No Comments

Cowardice from the Cheap Seats

Dealing with cowardice from the cheap seats

I was standing in the parking lot of our training center shooting the breeze with a few guys when one of them said, "Hey man, you've got to see this!" He whips out his cell phone, dials up Youtube, and proceeds to show me a video of two firefighters over zealously practicing a push of a 1.75" line in a parking lot. I quickly recognize the tone of the video is more satire than instructional, basically knocking the Nozzle Forward program. In…


Added by Benjamin Martin on May 7, 2019 at 5:38pm — No Comments

The Book on Safety and Health

Journal Entry #52

Dear brothers and sisters,

I missed you all at FDIC this year (home with a temporary medical issue) while Fire Engineering rolled out my new book. I’ve heard from many of you regarding same, seeking information. I’m very proud of this project and wish you a healthy career and safe operations always!

Ronnie K…


Added by RON KANTERMAN on May 7, 2019 at 9:00am — No Comments

Thank You Chief Havel

At face value, firefighting is a profession that seems relatively straightforward when expressed outloud. Our mission is to “fight fires”, “put the wet stuff on the red stuff”, and to “go home with the same number of firefighters that we started our tour with”. Although we attempt to streamline our duties in order to make our jobs more self-evident, firefighting is far from clean and uncomplicated. It’s a trade that requires extreme expertise in order to keep our members safe…

Added by Adam J. Hansen on May 6, 2019 at 8:30am — No Comments

Wednesday Reflection

I start off my week with a reflection and random thoughts. We work, we learn, we train, we talk, and we pass on the knowledge, whether it’s in the form of accountability, life lessons, or mastering competences. We make it our goal, mission, duty to pass on the skills, lessons, and knowledge learned to other members. By doing this we can only hope that someday, they too can pass on what they have learned to other new members. Hopefully if we have done our job correctly the cycle continues to…


Added by John on May 1, 2019 at 1:20pm — No Comments


Are we losing sight of civility in the fire service - especially on social media forums? Is it already lost? Constructive debate and dialogue is taking a back seat to the discourse of demeaning comments and anger over any differing opinions or tactics. Ideology has replaced thoughtful discussion between people of contrasting backgrounds, response…


Added by Paul Combs on April 24, 2019 at 9:49am — No Comments

Building A Reputation To Be Proud Of…Not Just For The Probationary Firefighter

I recently reviewed the “25 Things Probationary Firefighters Should Know and Do” in order to build a great firefighter reputation, created by fire service leaders Frank Viscuso (retired Deputy Chief, Town of Kearny Fire Department) and Michael Terpak (retired Deputy Chief, Jersey City Fire Department). I’ve seen similar lists that frequently address the probationary firefighter, but what about the rest of us? Shouldn’t there be a similar list for…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on April 22, 2019 at 1:24pm — No Comments

Up in Smoke - Medical Marijuana in the Fire Service

One of the current big controversies in the fire service is substance abuse testing and possibly terminating firefighters within the confines of Zero-Tolerance department policies. Departments with substance abuse policies designed to ensure the safety of the firefighters and the community they serve. Contained within these policies(1) is the testing for reasonable suspicion, the protection of employee’s rights, rehabilitation opportunities, last chance agreements and the ramifications of…


Added by John K. Murphy on April 19, 2019 at 3:00pm — No Comments


As the old saying goes, "If you have to tell everybody you're the leader, you're most likely not one!"

STAY FIRED UP, and lead by actions, attitude, humility, and integrity.


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

Added by Paul Combs on April 17, 2019 at 9:01am — No Comments

Applications from FDIC 2019

     Having been blessed to attend FDIC 2019 last week in Indianapolis, I’d like to humbly offer some takeaways that can be applied to most any situation in life.

1. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone

     I think it’s safe to say that humans are creatures of habit. We are generally content to stick with what is familiar to us, especially the more introverted we are. As firefighters, we like being in control of things and have an intense belief that…


Added by John Lightly on April 16, 2019 at 10:50am — No Comments

Discipleship in the Fire Service

A couple of weeks ago I had the honor to deliver a short invocation at the inaugural Deep South Fire Conference in Birmingham, Alabama.  What follows is an updated format.



If you are reading this, you have probably heard of Andy Fredericks?  You’ve probably also heard of “Andy’s Ambassadors”. You…


Added by Clay Magee on April 9, 2019 at 11:45am — No Comments

Don't say "It will not happen to me", just do whatever you can to prevent it

A basic system consists of a central control panel to which smoke alarms and heat detectors are connected, together with bells or horns & sprinklers that are activated when the system triggers an alarm. The control panel operates from the electrical system in the building and should contain an emergency battery which can operate the fire alarm part-system for about 24 hours during a power shortage.

The basic requirements for the number and locations of alarms depend mainly on the…


Added by Hannah Stouterr on April 5, 2019 at 6:00am — No Comments


April Fire Engineering magazine cartoon.

Way too much of this going on these days!

STAY FIRED UP, and be you, be original... or at the very least, give credit where credit is due!


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

Added by Paul Combs on April 3, 2019 at 8:59am — No Comments

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