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May 2018 Blog Posts (20)

What Do You Win When You Lose?


© 2018 Jim Wick



What Do You Win When You Lose?


Jim Wick


Have you ever been intimidated when first meeting an organizational icon?  I was.  “What do you win when you lose?”  John asked sternly with an intense stare as I walked into his office. I was already…


Added by Jim Wick on May 30, 2018 at 1:10am — No Comments

Cost Recovery for Fire Departments - Heresy or Reality?

Many of us in the public safety business have always believed that through property taxes or other publicly funded methods, the fire service would be able to provide a full range of services in an ever-changing and challenging environment.

There are a lot of hands reaching out for limited pubic money to adequately fund parks, police, parks, potholes and other necessary services provided by government and now is the time to discuss the elephant in the room, cost…


Added by John K. Murphy on May 25, 2018 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments


Recently, I read this quote by an anonymous author - “A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands for everybody else.” I can think of nowhere else this is truer than in today’s fire service.

My daughter, now 24, has never known a mother and father that wasn’t inspiring her to be anything she wanted – anything, regardless of the physical,…


Added by Paul Combs on May 24, 2018 at 4:02pm — No Comments

The Art of Accountability: Sometimes You Just Have to Cut Off the Head of a Concubine

One of the more difficult challenges a firehouse leader is faced with, is dealing with an employee that has seemingly replaced their passion, motivation, and commitment to serve, with an equal commitment to be a royal pain in the buttocks. You know who I’m referring to: it is the person that, as a recruit, once sat across an oral board panel with a suit, tie, and twinkle in their eye, promising to embrace “the mission.” They were the candidate that once…


Added by Scott Ferguson on May 24, 2018 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Leadership – Equipping Your Firefighters with Complete PPE

     We all know that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a necessary part of firefighting. Through the years PPE has evolved into the most high-tech equipment ever used by the modern firefighter. Every year that passes brings new innovations to make a dangerous job, on a good day, a little safer.

     None of us would ever dream of sending our firefighters into a burning structure without proper PPE. We would never send them into fight fire without the best gear we can…


Added by Robert Medford on May 24, 2018 at 11:00am — No Comments

A Leader's Nightmare: "I don't trust you"

I hate to admit it, but unfortunately, as a leader, I know what the words I don’t trust you sound like. Perhaps the most frustrating part for me at the time was that I didn’t know exactly what I did at the time to earn this statement. I spent countless hours second-guessing myself, asking other’s opinions, and trying to find a way to reconnect with this person to get us back on track.


But in searching for answers I found none.  Each day the distance between us…


Added by Benjamin Martin on May 23, 2018 at 8:01pm — 1 Comment

Assessing Fire Safety Designs Based on Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling

One of the most important aspects of fire safety design deals with the configuration of the smoke ventilation system. If a fire breaks out, the ventilation system needs to successfully extract the smoke and gas from the area while ensuring a safe evacuation of any people in the building and, at the same time, reducing the temperature and maintaining sufficient visibility to make the firefighters’ job easier. …


Added by Anastasia Churazova on May 23, 2018 at 3:00am — No Comments

What hill would you be willing to die on?

Apparently, its origin is debated, but the implication of "a hill that one is willing to die on" is a goal, principle, or cause that one believes so deeply in that they are willing to make a great sacrifice on its behalf. It’s a warning that the struggle you’re facing could cost you everything—maybe not literally your life, but your job, or a friendship, or something else you can’t get back.

Decisions on whether to fight could be very practical and easy to explain, or they may be very…


Added by Scott Ferguson on May 15, 2018 at 7:00pm — No Comments

C.S.S.T. Gas Lines

            The number of people switching to natural gas as a fuel source is ever growing. It’s obvious the frequency of “gas calls” in which we respond seems to be increasing by the day. With this becoming a solid reality, the opportunity of becoming complacent as a fire service when responding to these calls has become a tangible threat. The following is a call we responded to where even the gas company representative was surprised to find what had materialized.…


Added by Adam J. Hansen on May 15, 2018 at 10:44am — 1 Comment

One Fire Service Family

Over the past year I’ve been contributing to the Stop Believing Start Knowing (SBSK) blog, a professional firefighter page dedicated to helping firefighters learn and understand modern fire attack principles, based on the modern fire dynamics science studies provided through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Underwriter Laboratories (UL).   SBSK has…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on May 14, 2018 at 2:29pm — No Comments

No Standpipe? Make One...

Photos by Brian Butler/Rob Dooley

A few years ago while doing a fire preplan at an old parking garage downtown in our first due, we discovered the seven deck parking garage had no standpipe. So every year, we conduct a training exercise to make our own standpipe. There are several methods to deliver water to an upper deck…


Added by Brian D Butler on May 10, 2018 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Preparing Members For Growth Mindset

“Preparing New Members For A Growth Mindset”

by Matt Beakas

     Becoming a firefighter takes poise, stamina, physical strength and more importantly, mental…


Added by Matt Beakas on May 9, 2018 at 3:30pm — No Comments


“Only one quarter (27 percent) of fire departments have a basic firefighter fitness and health program, slightly down from 30 percent in 2010.” 

-NFPA Needs Assessment, 2015


27 percent


“…slightly down from 30 percent in 2010”




While it is doubtful that every single department in the country participated in this assessment…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on May 9, 2018 at 1:20pm — No Comments

Reducing Firefighter Line Of Duty Deaths Through Wellness


I am conducting a pilot study through the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to better understand organizational factors that influence wellness.

The research conducted in conjunction with this survey explains the need for multifaceted wellness programs that address aerobic fitness, mental health, recovery, nutrition, and sleep. These areas are interconnected and all attribute to cardiovascular disease risk.

Abundant research has examined the effects of total…


Added by Dena Ali on May 7, 2018 at 9:02pm — No Comments

Take Command of Your Personnel Problems

The firefighters that make a job the most fun to come to work are often the same people that drive you so bat crazy that the trip home each day seems like a summer vacation. Fortunately, the same familiar tools used for taking command of a fire scene can effectively be used in managing personnel issues before they grow to be unmanageable.…


Added by Scott Ferguson on May 7, 2018 at 6:30am — No Comments

Mandatory Duty - Ghost Ship Fire

The Alameda County judge recently ruled that Oakland officials had a "mandatory duty" to ensure safety at the doomed Ghost Ship warehouse, leaving the city potentially liable for a fire where 36 people died. Attorneys for the dozens of victims and their families, as well as reports by Mercury News (CA) have detailed numerous visits by police, firefighters and building officials in the years before the deadly Dec. 2, 2016, fire. The maze-like Fruitvale district warehouse with…


Added by John K. Murphy on May 6, 2018 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Leadership – Problem Solving or Putting Out Fires?

     I have had these ideas on leadership swimming around in my head for quite some time. I have now decided to try to share some of my thoughts on leadership in the hopes that my thoughts on the subject might, in some small way may help other leaders or aspiring leaders. At the very least, maybe it will generate the desire to slow down and consider different solutions to problems. You may find, after some thought, that the problem you thought you had isn’t really a problem for anyone but…


Added by Robert Medford on May 3, 2018 at 12:08pm — No Comments

Rechargeable Batteries

Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) International is considered by many in the Fire Service as “the Greatest Show on Earth.” This is a place where Chiefs, Leaders, Aspiring Leaders, Firefighters and all walks of life in Emergency Services come to learn, network and more importantly get their batteries recharged.

Batteries Recharged? This got me thinking…

As I walked through the show room and the halls and took in every second of everything I could that was offered…


Added by Dave McGlynn on May 2, 2018 at 11:30am — No Comments

Avoiding The Blinder Mentality

Life moves at a fast pace these days... So fast you can easily miss an opportunity to improve one self. The pace affects everybody from the firefighter down on the floor, right up to the chief’s office. There are two common management models during these busy times, the first would be the progressive management model. Being progressive involves supporting the needs and requirements of the organization and predicting or forecasting the future. The latter is called crisis or chaos management…


Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on May 2, 2018 at 11:30am — No Comments

Community Collaboration: How Local Fire Departments, First Responders, and Business/Industry Can Form Partnerships

Community Collaboration: How Local Fire Departments, First Responders, and Business/Industry Can Form Partnerships

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



Added by Joseph Kitchen on May 1, 2018 at 5:00pm — No Comments

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