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April 2016 Blog Posts (38)


Tragedy has a strange way of clarifying a tough issue especially with the tragic death of Nicole Mittendorff, paramedic/firefighter from Fairfax County Virginia. We will never know the true reason she took her life, but the pressures must have been unimaginable for her to take this action.

The tabloids and media are speculating that her suicide is linked to cyberbullying, bullying and harassment by members of her department and…


Added by John K. Murphy on April 29, 2016 at 1:30am — No Comments

EVENT Reporting: Time To Pull the Plug?

E.V.E.N.T. or the EMS Voluntary Event Notification Tool is a reporting web site launched in 2012.  Backed by a long list of prestigious supporters, EVENT was designed to accept anonymous reports of EMS safety concerns in an effort to improve safety across the EMS spectrum.  The concept was similar to an airline safety system that accepted "near miss" reports from…


Added by Mike McEvoy on April 28, 2016 at 7:57am — No Comments


The age old question...CUT OR SPREAD HINGES? Although we have…


Added by Isaac Frazier on April 28, 2016 at 6:30am — No Comments

Pushing the Firefighter “Reset” Button

Pushing the Firefighter Reset Button

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

            Do you ever get to the point where you just feel exhausted? Your work schedule has been busier than usual; your home life is hectic. Family, friends, kids,…


Added by Joseph Kitchen on April 27, 2016 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Not Everyone Makes It Home

Not Everyone Makes It Home

..... and some get thrown away in the pursuit.…


Added by David Rhodes on April 27, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

MFA #27: Intended Consequences - The two facets of Tactical Ventilation

Previous postings on this subject addressed the need to reassess our approach to ventilation as a fire control tactic in light of our newfound awareness of the significant increase in heat production it can cause ( and then provided an alternative basis for categorizing the different circumstances in…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on April 27, 2016 at 7:14am — No Comments

It’s Been A Year......

I realized that last week marks a year since retirement.  My how the time flew.  I figured I’d sit down and record some of my thoughts.

I still miss the job.......

The year has been whirl wind of activity.  My wife is finishing up a dual master’s degree, she starting working last fall; I have three kids in hockey, two in Daisies and one in Cub Scouts.  All these…


Added by Stephen Raclaw on April 26, 2016 at 10:51am — 1 Comment

Inheriting Abused Firefighters

Have you ever watched that commercial that shows all the beaten dogs with the “Arms of an Angel” song by Sarah McLachlan playing in the background? I was up late one night and that sad commercial came on and it dawned on me, there are Firefighters who are abused by their previous leaders.

For years in every firehouse across the world there have been leaders who verbally abuse or neglect their people. These Firefighters might have the potential to be some of the best people for that…


Added by Dave McGlynn on April 25, 2016 at 9:00pm — No Comments


In July of 64 A.D., a fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half its population homeless. According to a well-known fable, Rome’s emperor, the unpopular and sadistic Nero, “fiddled while Rome burned.” As with all historical events, much can be learned from their triumphs and tragedies, and here we can apply the burning of one of…


Added by Paul Combs on April 25, 2016 at 1:16pm — No Comments

The Greatest Week of the Year: FDIC

HOT classes, classroom workshops, parties, pipes and drums, an amusement park worth of apparatus and gear. This is only a fraction of things that can be found every April in Indianapolis. Thousands of firefighters flock to the Midwestern city every year to train, to educate, to celebrate, to shop and to pay respect to their brothers…


Added by Ian Schulte on April 24, 2016 at 10:52pm — 1 Comment


I often get asked, what do you think is the most important piece of technology in firefighting and firefighter safety, and actually I ask the same question in a college course that I teach.

While I have always said I thought the most important piece is the SCBA as it not only allows us to get in further, conduct our search and save lives and property, but also helps protect us from the carcinogens and toxic insult.  Well this past week at FDIC, my opinion was changed, but I can still…


Added by Brian Kazmierzak on April 24, 2016 at 8:30pm — No Comments



I once worked with a Battalion Chief who would jokingly thumb up his collar trumpets and say “I woke up one morning and there they were.” He always did this in a crowd and usually while looking at himself in a mirror. He would then walk away and leave the people wondering what the intended message was. Since the unwritten rule of that day was that a conversation with an Officer was always initiated…


Added by Warren Cersley on April 24, 2016 at 10:59am — No Comments

MFA #26: Tactical Ventilation Redefined - Putting theory into practice

The new information produced by recent fire science research demands a significant reassessment of the role of ventilation for fire suppression.  MFA #25 The Ventilation Revolution - New information brings new understanding ( provided the introduction…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on April 19, 2016 at 7:32am — No Comments

When Opportunity Presents

What you give others as a mentor, a public servant and as a friend costs you NOTHING. So why are we so reluctant to give freely? This is a major problem that we are facing in today's fire service. We are not paying it forward. The results of that is catastrophic to our future. In order to influence people "You must take your turn" as a mentor, coach, leader, an officer.

Developing the next generation of leaders is critical for tomorrow's fire service. We are at the time period that… Continue

Added by Douglas K. Cline on April 17, 2016 at 7:54am — No Comments

The Domino Effect of Your Leadership

I wanted to take a few short minutes out of your day and talk about the domino effect and the power it can have in our organizations. I, like you, tend to want to see instant results from the work I put in. I want my organization to be great and work hard every day to make it so. Most times I don’t get the instant results I am looking for. These results take time. Weeks, months, or even years until we see our hard work come to fruition.…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on April 16, 2016 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Studying the Past

One of the less well-defined roles of a Company Officer (or even a senior firefighter mentoring younger members) is that of unofficial fire service historian.  Sometimes in the whirlwind of EMS protocols, WMD training, fire dynamics, probationary check-off packets, apparatus operator approvals, and myriad other training requirements that are placed upon today’s firefighters, the “where we came from” and “how we got here” sometimes get lost in the fray.  The Company…


Added by Brad French on April 16, 2016 at 3:44pm — No Comments


It's that time of year again. Time to greet old friends, meet new ones, learn from the best instructors on the planet, and see what new innovations the fire industry has to offer. Yep, it's FDIC time! I look forward to this week all year and can't wait to get the show rolling.

Safe travels, brothers and sisters - see'ya in Indy!!!!…


Added by Paul Combs on April 15, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

SAFE Fireground

        While the title of this piece is obviously absurd and impossible, this doesn’t stop us from striving to make it a little safer through training. This is obviously evident since life safety, both for them and for us, is our primary goal. Seems simple enough, right? Well, for some, the rub comes when we start discussing whose safety is more important… theirs or ours? Over the past couple of decades some have stated that the focus on firefighter safety is, at…


Added by Nick Ledin on April 15, 2016 at 12:30am — No Comments



Leaders lead.

They make no excuses about their inheritance, the crews or the present climate and they do not lead with an attitude of fear and they surround themselves with great people.

Leaders don’t carry a white flag, they plan to win.

Many years ago, I printed off…


Added by Warren Cersley on April 14, 2016 at 7:19pm — No Comments

5 Healthy Food Hacks for Fire Rescue Athletes

Do you want to know how fit fire rescue athletes make nutritious meal choices?  Here are some shortcuts, go-to recipes, cooking suggestions and go-to snacks for making the life of a fire rescue athlete a little healthier.

Eating healthy with a demanding job can be difficult.  Add in the fact that the firehouse is usually full of non-nutritious choices like cakes and baked goods and its no wonder that obesity, diabetes and heart disease are huge concerns in the fire industry.  Yet, as…


Added by Aaron Zamzow on April 14, 2016 at 6:46pm — No Comments

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