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May 2014 Blog Posts (53)

Never Lose Your Flame

Do you remember your first day? Fresh out of drill school, your first shift? Walking in the bay, the smell of the tinge of diesel exhaust, the smell of the turnout gear in the lockers. The sudden realization that the controlled scenarios have now ended, the decisions you make may have very permanent results and that the danger is now even more real than ever…


Added by Ian Schulte on May 30, 2014 at 8:56pm — No Comments

We, and those who shape Us

What is the purpose of a fire blog? To me it accomplishes several things; including the following: Brain storming, ventilation (not the type accomplished on a fire scene), education, and many more that I am sure I will find out later.

            I have been in the fire service for 10 years now. Several years as a volunteer, 7 at a career department, 7 years working on a day crew (for the volunteer department I was at, had to…


Added by James Thomas Short on May 30, 2014 at 1:59pm — No Comments

Are You the Example?

It's very hard to set expectations for your crew if you have none for yourself.

It's very hard to make your crew better if you don't make yourself better.

It's very hard to hold your crew to high standards if you don't hold yourself to those same standards.


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on May 30, 2014 at 12:38pm — No Comments


Change is inevitable, but there are those who cling to the past like a monkey with fuzzy hands grabbing a Velcro banana (get it? fuzzy, Velcro… ok, that was bad, but you get the visual). However, change brings progress, and progress is good. We need progress. Progress in gear, progress in apparatus, progress in technology, and progress in… wait for it… tactical…


Added by Paul Combs on May 29, 2014 at 12:08pm — No Comments

Not An Officer, Not My Problem: Wrong Answer

There are several things that make my skin crawl when it comes to attitudes, performance and passion for our profession. If you read my blog you can probably nail down quite a few.  For some reason there is one statement that I have heard several times over the last few months. This statement just shouts mediocrity, apathy, and indolence. This statement is: “I am not the officer, it’s not my responsibility”. This has generally been used in conversations about poor performance of fellow…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on May 29, 2014 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Hump Day SOS - College Is Not Knowledge

This week is another retro-SOS from my original first few months. These were pictures only so now that we are broadcasting out to the FE community and in full blog mode I will add some commentary. Again, if you already saw this one I hope you get another laugh or affirmation that you are not alone in your thinking.…


Added by David Rhodes on May 28, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Are you Compliant Complacent?

What is this term "Compliant Complacency" you ask?  Well to be honest we are seeing more of it not only on the training ground but at fires as well. The underlying cause is textbook training.  When we…

Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on May 27, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Extrication Quick Tip #6 (Stabilization with less)

What happens when you arrive on scene of an entrapment and have no struts or specialized equipment? Look at your apparatus and prepare for various stabilization scenarios. What do you have to stabilize until backup arrives? The picture shown, is a quick and easy Engine Co. stabilization. Is it better than a strut system? No. But it does work well with a couple wedges for a quick under equipped company. Backboard, come-a-long and wedges is a quick option. Just remember, not every department…


Added by Isaac Frazier on May 27, 2014 at 9:21am — No Comments

Welcome Home Veterans

This Memorial Day brings home the realization that many of us in the fire service are veterans of the military and I thank you for that service.

You bring a new commitment and experience to your communities, again in uniform, with many of the traits you learned during your military service - honor, courage, selfless sacrifice's, commitment and duty.

It is important to remember while serving your community you must bring those hard earned traits to your department teaching the…


Added by John K. Murphy on May 25, 2014 at 11:30am — 1 Comment


               Seeing that the Cold Water Challenge is out there and I have been called out Twice and completed , It's Time for a new CHALLENGE and this is one that we all can do ;

              I'm calling out all those Brothers and Sisters to step up and Mentor one New Firefighter in the Their Department .. The Goal is to Pass on our Knowledge to them to make them a better Firefighter and a Better Brother .

             The only reward is this Satisfaction knowing that we are…


Added by Mike France on May 24, 2014 at 1:11pm — No Comments

Leadership Wanted

We've always heard people are born leaders, they aren't made.

I'm not sold on that theory.

There are some who have that natural ability to lead a group of men and women into battle, but what about those who have been molded over time due to training and dedication to the service?

As a Chief Officer, it's great to sit back and watch a member grow…


Added by Jerry McGhee on May 23, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments


The term two-hatter has traditionally been used in the fire service to recognize firefighters who work for a career fire department, as well as volunteer for another. However, on this Memorial Day, I would like to recognize another two-hatter - the men and women who serve as firefighters in their communities, and serve our country as warriors here at home and abroad.…


Added by Paul Combs on May 23, 2014 at 9:35am — No Comments

Brother in Need of Support

Hello FE Friends. Please, SHARE this with your friends as well. This could easily be YOU or I in time of need. We pray that never happens to anyone...  If each of us gave up just one coffee or soda to PAY IT FORWARD to a fellow brother, we would be able to help a brother in need without any real inconvenience. THANKS FOR SHARING.…

Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on May 22, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

Living your life as a leader

People aren’t born leaders. Just as well, you can’t read a book and take some classes and then call yourself a leader just because you have a certificate in your hand. Leadership is so many things. It encompasses a set of skills that are learned, developed, and maintained through practice and practical application.  As leaders, everything we do and the choices that we make all have some kind of an effect or influence on others.  As a leader, you have a great responsibility to the people…


Added by Paul Strong on May 21, 2014 at 6:39pm — No Comments

Hump Day SOS - Prevent RIT

KThis week is another retro-SOS from my original first few months. These were pictures only so now that we are broadcasting out to the FE community and in full blog mode I will add some commentary. Again, if you already saw this one I hope you get another laugh or affirmation that you are not alone in your thinking.…


Added by David Rhodes on May 21, 2014 at 9:27am — 2 Comments

Avoid Overeliance on Technology

Technology is weaved all throughout the fire service. It has been for a long time. We have thermal imaging cameras, GPS locaters tied into our PASS devices, mobile data computers that tell us where to go, and where all of our hydrants are, and even fire apparatus that will set their own pressures with the simple push of a button. I am not saying that any of these things are bad, but are we beginning to become dependent upon technology? Technology has helped us save lives, improve…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on May 21, 2014 at 9:13am — No Comments


By Mark vonAppen

Be careful with the word potential.  It has a misleading connotation.  We often refer to potential as a positive thing, an imaginary upside that exists solely in our minds if only we could tap the…


Added by Mark vonAppen on May 21, 2014 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Attached Garage Fires - Read the Smoke

Smoke conditions on your arrival at an attached garage fire will tell you a lot about interior door positions. Excessive smoke in the home indicates an open door between the garage and home. Little to no smoke in the building says the door is closed. Sounds simple! However, it's what you do with this information that makes a difference to firefighters and the homeowner.

With fire in an attached garage and no smoke in the home, crews should attack the fire through the garage.…


Added by Devon Wells on May 20, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

Where were you on 9/11?

I often ask probationary firefighters one question when they have desires of joining the department.

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

With the opening of the 911 Museum, I've found myself looking at old videos and tapes of that day. Not only the events that unfolded in New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania, but in our response area.

September 11th for our department opened with a cool foggy morning that started off on Lens Creek Road in Hernshaw. The roadway is…


Added by Jerry McGhee on May 19, 2014 at 3:28pm — 1 Comment

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