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April 2017 Blog Posts (18)

8 Ways To Make Sure An Employee Is A Good Fit for Your Fire Crew

Finding the right person for your fire crew can be difficult. You may be wondering how in the world you are going to select the right person. The interviews and paperwork processes themselves are stressful enough, let alone the selection process itself. We’re here to take a look at some of the ways that you can make sure that a…


Added by Pat Fredshaw on April 27, 2017 at 9:27am — No Comments

Creating a Culture of Minimalists

          I have always been interested in hearing what departments require for their firefighters to sit through a promotional process. I have heard everything from just zero certifications to more than five. Now Let me be clear before I move on, I by no means believe that a certificate or a series of classes alone automatically qualifies you for a step up the ladder. I do believe that it can…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on April 22, 2017 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Small Department/ Big Challenge

     Those of us in the  fire service who respond with less than the minimum recommended levels of company staffing understand the challenges of arriving short-handed.  How do we overcome adversity and leverage our resources to our best advantage?  The aggressive application of our capabilities applied to the most urgently needed tactics to achieve life safety is the clear answer.  Understanding our capabilities and utilizing our resources efficiently is a challenge.  However, expecting too…


Added by David DeStefano on April 21, 2017 at 2:35pm — No Comments

MFA Tools and Rules - Reversing Polarity

So, think you know how to fight fire?  Sure you do!  And, as a reader of this blog, you’ve shown your interest in trying to keep up with all of the advances in knowledge that continue to come out of fire dynamics research.  But, have you translated this information into practical use?  That is, have you or your department made changes to your operational procedures that take advantage of the increased speed, effectiveness, and safety of the various MFA methods?  Even if you are…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on April 21, 2017 at 12:16pm — No Comments

Being a Rock Star

Recently I had the pleasure to see one of my favorite Metal bands in concert. I was amazed to hear how great they sounded. These guys have been together for 30 years and still sound like they did 30 years ago. One can imagine the life of a rock star and the toll it can take on one’s body, but through it all they were healthy and still rocking. This got me thinking about a couple of things. How did these guys sound so good after 30 years of playing music and being on the road? How were they…


Added by David Polikoff on April 21, 2017 at 7:43am — No Comments


Happy 140th Anniversary, Fire Engineering Magazine!

I can’t begin to tell you what an honor it is to be a small part of this magazine’s distinguished and rich heritage. The men and women who have written articles within these pages are literally a collection of the most important and distinguished movers and shakers in American fire service…


Added by Paul Combs on April 19, 2017 at 4:09pm — No Comments

Journal Entry 46: Fight the Fire, Not the Building

First and foremost, thank you all for your good wishes, thoughts and prayers regarding my cancersurgery. It went well and it looks like they got it all.

Hopefully, you looked at the subject title and asked yourself, “what is he talking about?” which caused you to read on. I’ll be presenting this class at FDIC 2017 so come by and see precisely what I’m talking about. (…


Added by RON KANTERMAN on April 17, 2017 at 2:17pm — No Comments

The Firefighter Recovering

The number one step is to forgive yourself. You are not a defective piece of equipment. You are never a failure for your feelings. There is no dishonor in what you have experienced. In fact, many of the strongest, kindest, noblest firefighters I ever met had come through some terrible darkness and lived to see the other side. Suicide attempts, opiate addiction, alcoholism, poverty, and crime. To come to terms with the dark parts of your history requires great integrity and courage.…


Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on April 17, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments



Added by Paul Combs on April 17, 2017 at 7:37am — No Comments

Commanding the Mayday: Part 1

Link to Podcast

Nothing can be so chaotic as a firefighter in trouble that calls a Mayday.  The fire service spends a lot of time and resources in training firefighters and task level officers in techniques and methods for calling a Mayday and surviving those situations---as it should be!  However, there has been little developed and created…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on April 15, 2017 at 2:26pm — No Comments

"Ladder Truck" Specifications

It seems that most of the fire world has come to accept limited ground ladder compliments on engines. We understand that we cannot expect the engine to serve as a ladder truck. Water, plumbing and hose should be the priorities of an apparatus with the primary mission of suppression and supply. Unfortunately in far too many instances we are not as forgiving in the expectations of a “ladder truck”. Just because a vehicle is larger and has room for more stuff does not mean it has room for…


Added by Brian Brush on April 14, 2017 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Stay Hydrated, Stay Alive...

Heart attack and strokes are more likely to kill firefighters than an actual fire.  A recent research article just confirmed one of the major reasons why.   The research confirms that the physical demands of firefighting may trigger the formation of blood clots and impair blood vessel function -- two factors associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke.  (You can read more about that research…


Added by Aaron Zamzow on April 13, 2017 at 10:48pm — No Comments


There are a lot of way to make access and free up occupyable space on the entrapment scene. One of my favorites (especially for under-rides or heavy front end entrapments) is to facilitate front seat reclining. However, remember to attempt to move the seat/recline it prior to cutting or securing the vehicles…


Added by Isaac Frazier on April 13, 2017 at 9:23am — No Comments



I’m thankful for my childhood friends and the lessons we learned together. As I found my way out of high school and into the Fire Department, somehow I ended up hanging out with the same kind of “got your back” kind of special people. I am THANKFUL for every one.

When I…


Added by Warren Cersley on April 10, 2017 at 2:19pm — No Comments

A Learning Experience.

A learning experience


Added by Lauran Welling on April 7, 2017 at 2:19pm — No Comments

Firefighters and The Struggle With Sleep

You’re rolling around in your bunk. Your weary eyes gaze through the gloom to your digital clock - 3:00 AM. You turn again and sigh. One minute, you’re too hot and kick at your sheets. The next, too cold. You can hear your buddy snoozing on the other side of the room - why can’t you be like him? You know a call could come at any time, but you try to force that thought from your mind. You need rest. You screw your eyes shut, and immediately the day’s events…


Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on April 3, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

MFA Tools and Rules: "Attack from the Burned Side"

Today’s example of a revision to a prior firefighting “rule”, inspired by the new perspectives provided by fire dynamics research, regards the direction of our fire attack.  It is a phrase I first saw used by Lieutenant Sean Gray of Cobb County (GA) Fire and Emergency Services in a November, 2011 article in Fire Engineering,…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on April 3, 2017 at 11:21am — No Comments

Your next battle.

The Sunday Preach:

Know yourself, Know your enemy...

If you look yourself in the mirror and say: "I'm ok with being mediocre today,…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on April 2, 2017 at 11:18am — No Comments

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