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May 2016 Blog Posts (29)

Leadership Credibility...Do you have it?

Credibility refers to the objective and subjective components of the believability of a source. In the modern fire service credibility has two critical components that cannot be really faked; trustworthiness and expertise. Both of these are easily faked for a short period of time but they become transparent if you are faking them - See more at:… Continue

Added by Douglas K. Cline on May 29, 2016 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Can You Help?



Recently I read something in the news about in reference to a certain fire department here in the United States about the fire department and EMS department being separate but it wasn’t so much as to the being separate departments of being the problem. Here in lies the problem: It’s a policy that’s in effect about the EMS and fire personnel not being able to play together. Now, I’ll go into a little more detail. “911, What’s your emergency?” “My…


Added by Les Allen on May 27, 2016 at 10:19pm — No Comments

Remain Aware of Suicidal Tendencies

Another shift day. The smells of the firehouse when walking in at the start of the new tour. Another 24 hours and homeward bound again to be with our biological families. But somewhere in the world within our brotherhood of business, someone will not get to go home; even as much as we strive for everyone's safety, so that everyone can go home; we live with the reality of one of our brothers or sisters not coming home. This is the nature of our career. We signed up for it, but we…


Added by Les Allen on May 27, 2016 at 9:59pm — No Comments


Spring and Summer bring an onslaught of action packed movies sporting muscle-bound studs and mercenary vixens who leap and punch their way into the American culture with gravity defying ease. I admit, I'm guilty of enjoying the latest exploits and theatrics of Captain America, too. But what happens when society places more emphasis on pop culture icons and…


Added by Paul Combs on May 27, 2016 at 8:08am — No Comments

Hump Day SOS Does This Plywood Make Me Look Vacant

Does This Plywood Make Me Look Vacant?

by David Rhodes

What if…


Added by David Rhodes on May 25, 2016 at 3:40pm — No Comments

Are We Skipping A Step?

Are We Skipping a Step? 

I love tactics, just as much as the next firefighter, but as we debate tactics are we missing a critical step, strategy. The strategic step is one that cannot be passed over. When we talk tactics we need to also talk strategy. 

 The reason we need to keep strategy in the conversation is you can throw all the tactics you have in your play book, but they will not fix any issues without a…


Added by Oj Kolodziej on May 25, 2016 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Don't Discount the Can

As a young firefighter at my first career job, I had a captain that made us take a can on just about every type of alarm. Fire alarm--take the can. Odor of smoke--take the can. The list goes on and it became a habit for us to grab the can. During my time there (it's not a real busy place) I never had the opportunity to see what it can do.

It wasn't until I moved on that I became more interested in the water can (extinguisher) that I became a full convert and believer in the…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on May 25, 2016 at 9:35am — No Comments


So, what's your motivation?



Click here to see more of my work or to order prints:…


Added by Paul Combs on May 25, 2016 at 6:45am — No Comments

A Dirty Portable Radio Will Fail You

In earlier posts I've discussed a lot of information regarding the fire service portable radio. It's important. It's the most used piece of equipment assigned to you. It goes with you on rip-roaring blazes and on the 80 percent-plus EMS runs you take in. And if it's not properly maintained, it will fail you.

To better illustrate how a dirty fire service portable radio will fail you, below you will see two pictures. Both illustrate signal…


Added by Samuel Villani, III on May 25, 2016 at 6:44am — No Comments

Corner Buildings & Vacant Lots Beware!

The engine rounded the corner on a quiet ride back after a late Sunday run and as the new firefighter looked at the rows and rows of "old" buildings he asked the acting Lieutenant what was on the corner vacant lot now filled in with gravel and weeds, "I have no idea kid, let's worry about dinner" was his quick response back. The rest of the day went by quietly and the young firefighter forgot about his inquiry, a week later the crew was fast asleep in their recliners and the young…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on May 24, 2016 at 8:00pm — No Comments



Firefighting is an action business; it is not passive or complacent and it requires decisive, action oriented people, with developed instincts.

I remember being taught to place the lower leg of a rescued child under my armpit before exiting the fire building. By…


Added by Warren Cersley on May 24, 2016 at 3:47pm — No Comments

MFA #29: Moving Products - Effective ventilation techniques

Winding up my treatise on ventilation in the modern era, this fifth and final (for now) blog on the topic will focus on the practical changes we need to make for controlling the air flow to a fire, as inspired by our new knowledge of its effects.  Links to sources for additional information on specific techniques will be provided at the conclusion of this installment.  Previous postings have discussed how fire dynamics research findings have required us to re-visit our use of this tactic,…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on May 23, 2016 at 5:43am — No Comments

The Halligan Bar: Close to 70 Years of Versatility

In a modern day fire service where the norm of preaching and…


Added by AB Turenne on May 22, 2016 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Every Section Matters

It's the beginning of your shift on the engine, and you have just finished a thorough check off of your SCBA; after all, that's the most important piece of equipment you will use today. Your gear is set up for flawless donning because you "have that feeling that you're going to make one." A quick glance at the crosslays has the appearance that everything is in order, but you…


Added by Jonathan Brumley on May 19, 2016 at 1:48pm — No Comments

The Precise and Accurate Debate...There is no Blanket Approach

Yes, I am going to go down this road after not writing in quite some time. I am utterly disgusted with articles and bantering I have read on social media these past few weeks. I have also been made aware of childish acts to gain attention that certain "so-called" leaders in the fire service (as they call themselves) viscously react in a manner against the very own words they wrote about themselves in their published books. 

Precision is being on point based on facts, and what brought…


Added by Jeremy Rebok on May 19, 2016 at 6:41am — No Comments

To stretch or not to stretch?

To stretch or not to stretch....

A call for a structure fire comes in, whether it be the odor of smoke sight unknown or a bedroom fire, what action does the first engine in take upon arrival?  With the latter scenario its easy to answer, stretch in and put the fire out, but what about the other possible scene? This is where the question comes in, do we or don't we stretch?  Always follow whatever your department’s SOP/SOG’s state, but what happens when a department leaves it…


Added by Lou Comenale on May 17, 2016 at 1:43pm — 1 Comment

Garden Apartments

Fighting fires in garden apartments present some unique challenges to fire fighters. The main challenges fire fighters face are the construction of the building, the building’s location from the street, the layout of the apartment unit, adequate resources needed, basic strategies and tactics, and a solid incident command system. If one of the above components is missing, the results could be tragic.




Garden apartments can host varying methods and types of…


Added by David Polikoff on May 17, 2016 at 9:01am — No Comments

Strong Winds and Undercurrents in 2016

During the 2012 election cycle, my blog took on a heavy political tone.

After-all, our nation had just suffered through four years of Obamacare, stifling EPA regulations, IRS shenanigans, Fast and Furious gun program, an ambiguous Afghan War strategy, Benghazi and on and on.

So, in an effort to express my concerns and my opinions based upon my many years of study of the political arena…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on May 16, 2016 at 5:49pm — No Comments

Primary Search Supported By Statistics (


I was taught to perform an inadequate primary search. I know there are thousands of other firefighters out there that share the same story.  Over the last decade, UL & NIST have studied the science behind ventilation and fire attack.  These continuing studies are giving us a better…


Added by Project THEM on May 12, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments


Firefighters are a spirited bunch, but social media has proven that we can be divisive, polarizing, and bombastic, too. It's human to have differing opinions, and that's what makes us a great culture and spurs change, but nothing gets accomplished by short-sighted opinions, contentious comments, and name-calling - we are better than this, my brothers and…


Added by Paul Combs on May 11, 2016 at 9:25am — 2 Comments

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