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May 2017 Blog Posts (15)


Some firehouse traditions should not be messed with, right? But this whimsical take on our traditional carnivores-only-kitchen-club poses an interesting question about what tradition really means in the fire service, and when it's appropriate and advantageous to change it. Change never comes easy, even when it's in our best interest to blaze a new direction. I'm a…


Added by Paul Combs on May 31, 2017 at 9:31am — No Comments

Teaching Your Thoroughbred

As leaders, we must understand how to give power away and to reign it in, within boundaries.  Leaders who mentor those under them must relate this to the way that a race horse is trained.  We hire employees and recruit volunteers who are essentially thoroughbreds.  Strong, energetic, and have an enthusiasm for “running.” If were to buy a race horse, then you certainly wouldn’t be afraid to let it run.  Yet, as leaders we sometimes don’t recognize the fact that our thoroughbreds need to…


Added by David Bullard on May 27, 2017 at 8:59am — No Comments

The Job. The Calling. My Short Story

Most of us took this job because it was all we ever wanted to do. Some call it a calling, some are following in their parents footsteps. I remember when I was 7 all wanted to be was a firefighters. I remember my mom taking me to the fire house in Greenbelt MD, where my dad and grandfather volunteered.  At 4 years old my mom told me I use to try to walk the fire house dog (which was a Dalmatian named Pepper) but most of the time the dog ended up dragging me across the engine room floor. When…


Added by David Polikoff on May 26, 2017 at 8:37am — No Comments

Firefighters: Its time to bring down the weight

Faced with one of the most demanding jobs around, firefighters are trained to act in dangerous and volatile situations. Entering unfamiliar structures that are actively on fire with a ton of heavy gear giving limited mobility, is the number one dangerous situation that comes to mind when thinking about firefighters. But on a daily basis we are presented with a multitude of dangerous encounters. Car wrecks on busy highways, power lines struck down in the crash, taking care of medical patients…


Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on May 24, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Is it a Job or a Living?

Almost 20 years since the day you first started this, you used to say to yourself “I can’t wait to get on the job.” Years of mental stress, physical stress, time away from family and lost friendships over Fire House politics have taken their toll on you. You ask yourself “has this become a job?”

In every fire house across America there is someone just like you, someone who has lost their motivation, lost their desire…


Added by Dave McGlynn on May 24, 2017 at 11:17am — No Comments

Volunteer Fire Service Fundraising versus Training


Added by Brad Nair on May 24, 2017 at 8:18am — No Comments

The Importance of a Deluge Valve System for LNG

Use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the modern economy is growing strongly, with LNG production expected to reach 10% of the global crude production by 2020. Like all fuels, LNG is highly flammable, making your fire protection system a critical consideration when developing new LNG infrastructure.…


Added by Jacob Simkovich on May 23, 2017 at 8:30am — No Comments

FDIC Recharge

If, like me, you are a regular visitor to the FE Community, you will have noticed a sparsity of postings over the past few weeks, my own blog included.  I suspect that the explanation for my slacking is shared by many other regular contributors, and that is the vast amount of ideas and information we are sorting through since returning from FDIC International 2017 in Indianapolis.  While I spent a lot of effort on my own presentation, adding updates right up until my assigned time on the…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on May 17, 2017 at 6:49am — No Comments

10,000 hours  - Art of Leadership

While teaching leadership classes over the past several years, I often wonder how long it would take my students to master the Art of Leadership. Is it one or two classes; experiences in the field as a leader; higher education at the Bachelors or Masters level; boots on the ground or a combination of all aforementioned?

Then I wonder about the amount of time it takes to become proficient at our leadership skill…


Added by John K. Murphy on May 11, 2017 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

Pre-Rigged Systems for Hauling/Lowering a Downed Firefighter

Pre-Rigged Systems for Hauling/Lowering a Downed Firefighter

When dispersing equipment and tools amongst your apparatus and response units, a lot of time and thought is used to determine what the best fit for the best…


Added by AB Turenne on May 11, 2017 at 4:30pm — No Comments

The Company Officer: Competency First

The Company Officer: Competency First

A lot is written and talked about how the Company Officer is the backbone of the American Fire Service. I believe this to be true although I am always quick to point out at the same time that we need soldiers too, and a good senior man in particular is invaluable. But the Company Officer holds a special…


Added by Kevin F. Burns on May 10, 2017 at 8:10am — No Comments


Well, that'll clear it up! The foam finger also comes in DayGlo yellow and orange so not to clash with the Command Vest. Hey, I'm all for fashion management (I may have just found another cartoon topic).



Click here to see more of my work or…

Added by Paul Combs on May 5, 2017 at 7:12am — No Comments

Nozzles and Hose Lines

When deploying hose lines it is important that the line is kink free as you move into the fire area. I am still hearing that the “low pressure nozzles make the line kink more and that it is difficult to ensure that the lines stay kink free as crews move in.” We are now running 4 people on almost all engines. This is more than enough people to run a line. We have been using low pressure nozzles for almost 12 years. Line management is a key skill that all crews (engine, truck, rescue squad and…


Added by David Polikoff on May 5, 2017 at 7:04am — No Comments

Even Heroes Ask for Help

"By definition, a hero is a man who battles against overwhelming odds for a cause, an ideal, or for the lives of innocents. The cause and ideal may vary with the morning headlines – while the innocents in today's world of muddy morality, may ultimately prove to be guilty. Which leaves but one constant in the definition: that a hero is, above all, a man... A man subject to pressures and responsibilities far beyond those of his peers. Such is a burden that must take its toll, eventually,…


Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on May 2, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

Dr. Seuss and the Pack Conversion


Added by AB Turenne on May 1, 2017 at 10:30am — No Comments

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