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March 2016 Blog Posts (32)

Experience vs Science

Once again we are seeing a push by some to devalue fire service “experience” while inflating presumptions from the recent UL interior attack study. They would prefer we dismiss years of fire ground learning for data we do not yet have on limited experiments. Is this really a worthwhile debate or a preemptive attempt to further separate and stigmatize factions within…


Added by Samuel Hittle on March 30, 2016 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Journal Entry 41 – Community Risk Reduction

Everything we do revolves around this fairly new concept for the fire service. Even keeping the fire in the room of origin is risk reduction. The National Fire Academy developed an entire curriculum and delivers it across the board from a two day state weekend program to the Managing Officer program to the Executive Fire Officer program. There must be something to it if they are pushing it out at all levels.


I recently attended the Connecticut Fire Officer’s Weekend at the…


Added by RON KANTERMAN on March 29, 2016 at 12:49pm — No Comments


Hitting the books is as important as wearing the suits. Something that's easy to forget at times for us HazMat techs, and something I was embarrassingly reminded of during a recent department training. Who says I don't slap my own hand with these cartoons?!

Study. Train. Know.


Click link below to see more…


Added by Paul Combs on March 28, 2016 at 8:46am — No Comments

Easter Bunny Approved...

The Sunday Preach

What's in your basket?

Happy Easter to all our friends and followers. I can imagine that today many of you witnessed a similar scenario such as seen in the picture, of the 'overflowing basket of eggs.' 

As firefighters and fire officers we must avoid the tendency to become over reliant in the status quo and finding ourselves overly comfortable in operations that are routinely…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on March 27, 2016 at 7:54pm — No Comments

Where has all the tradesmen gone?

While attending a recent training seminar the presenter, a well respected, seasoned veteran of the fire service made a statement that I seem to hear a lot lately, “the fire service sure has changed from when I first started thirty years go! Where has all the brotherhood and pride gone”.  Now, many are quick to blame the “newer generations” of firefighter’s, but talk with any retired firefighter and they’ll tell you that “these new generation of firefighters” have been “ruining” the fire…


Added by David Topczynski on March 27, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Single Firefighter Ladder Deployment

A quick search of "ground ladders" on YouTube will pull up dozens of videos showing how to deploy a ladder using any number of methods. Some videos look like they came right out of the academy textbook, some are a bit more non-conventional, and others still show a single firefighter throwing a ladder with so little effort, the ladder might as well have been a paper…


Added by Jonathan Brumley on March 26, 2016 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

5 Common Mistakes New Fire Officer Make: Video and Podcast

Here is a video of a recent FREE webinar about five common mistakes that new fire officers tend make. These are by no means exclusive, but from my experience are committed by many new officers.

-Don't try to change the world

-Don't have an authority complex

-Don't micromanage

-Don't be a quitter

-Don't avoid discipline

I would welcome others that you might think of or have seen frequently.…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on March 25, 2016 at 5:47pm — No Comments

Think Before You Type

Think Before You Type

            I love technology. I have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and I post photos to Instagram. I enjoy reading fire service articles, exchanging tweets with firefighters from across the nation, and like many of you, I look at tons of fire scene photos and video clips. Sometimes I see things that make me cringe, sometimes I see things that make…


Added by Joseph Kitchen on March 25, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments


We can't all fight the volume of fires that some of the larger cities do, and if you don't, please don't act like you do! Some of the best instructors I've ever had the pleasure of meeting are volunteer/part-paid or work full-time in smaller departments - and they teach excellent classes despite not having a structure fire every shift. The one thing they all have in common…


Added by Paul Combs on March 24, 2016 at 10:41am — No Comments

Losing a Brother: Those Left Behind

This week our local fire community has a very heavy heart.   Sunday, March 20, 2016, the Conway Fire Department suffered an LODD.  Firefighter Christopher Gene Ray was killed in an apparatus related incident.  This took place in the early stages of a structure fire in the Conway fire district.

Even after 27 years of Fire and EMS I cannot imagine how Chris’s family feels this morning.  I understand the void that the…


Added by Chris Battlo on March 23, 2016 at 4:00pm — No Comments

The Fire Service Circle of Life


A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves ~Lao Tzu

Recently, a close friend and fire service brother posted an old picture of me on social media.  I was a young assistant chief acting as the operations officer on a residential structure fire.  When I saw the picture, I thought, “Where in the world did he come up with that…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on March 22, 2016 at 11:00am — No Comments

The Portable Radio Battery

The chirp (or beep, honk, etc) indicating a low battery charge on your portable radio is annoying enough when we're not operating on a call. Add an incident where you need your portable radio to relay important information, and it becomes a disconcerting reminder that you have a finite amount of transmitting and receiving before it becomes dead weight.

You can minimize the…


Added by Samuel Villani, III on March 20, 2016 at 2:12pm — No Comments

Shaving Seconds!

The Sunday Preach:
Shaving Seconds!
"in our years of conducting firefighter training, without fail, the longest delay in beginning firefighting operations result from the time taken to don the SCBA face piece and create the face…

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on March 20, 2016 at 12:38pm — No Comments

the rural v urban debate.

How many times have you watched a YouTube video or seen a picture of fire that has taken place and seen someone ripping into the department at hand.

You shouldn’t be on the roof UL says so.

You should have hit that thru a window first everyone goes home.

Why don’t they man up and get inside for an interior attack.

Search should be done at the same time as fire attack.

I’m sure we have all heard these statements in reading the comments of a fire video that… Continue

Added by Chris Willis on March 18, 2016 at 12:43pm — No Comments


You walk into a department store and pick up that brightly colored shirt you've been looking for all over town. However, on the rack you notice a sign that reads Caution: Clothing Contains Known Carcinogens. Would you still buy the shirt? Would you wear it proudly and post a selfie posing rebelliously by the warning sign? My guess (and hope) is that…


Added by Paul Combs on March 17, 2016 at 3:33pm — No Comments


The Man in the Box

Our firehouse quartered a two piece engine company, a truck company with a senior aerial and a Tactical Squad, which was designated as a compliment to firefighting staffing with the additional specialty of water rescue. There were fifteen of us on duty every day and each one of us knew what our job was before the bell rang.

There was no question about our…


Added by Warren Cersley on March 17, 2016 at 2:16pm — No Comments

Why is everyone so angry?

I recently went to the UL-FSRI visitors day. The goal was to see what they were about and to find my own answers straight from them. You see I don't own a training company, I am not on any type of panels, but what I am and so was the rest of the firefighters that were there, we are students of the craft. We had the same goal and that was to gain knowledge and I believe that is exactly what happened.

The day started with what tests are going to be conducted,…


Added by Oj Kolodziej on March 16, 2016 at 11:00am — No Comments

You Are What You Practice

You Are What You Practice

Learning through failure can lead to success

By David Rhodes 

Published Tuesday, March 1, 2016 | From the March 2016 Issue of …


Added by David Rhodes on March 16, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Take a Look in the Mirror

Take a Look in the Mirror

I was recently sitting in the doctor’s office after completing my annual physical.  As a Fire Chief, this is a moment that I had worked diligently towards the last 14 months.  This painstaking process would ensure that every member of my department received an NFPA 1582 compliant annual physical as well as the full implementation of…


Added by The First Twenty on March 16, 2016 at 8:30am — No Comments

MFA #24: With All Due Respect - Newer methods can save more and injure less

Good manners can be deadly, as in taking the time to excuse yourself before grabbing someone as they are about to step off a curb into the path of a moving car.  In the ongoing debates regarding firefighting tactics, there is a tendency to avoid offending and alienating fellow firefighters by describing those based on the recent research as “another tool in the toolbox”, and “something to think about”.  While not inaccurate descriptions, these new “tools” render many of the others obsolete,…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on March 15, 2016 at 6:50am — No Comments

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