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June 2014 Blog Posts (42)


The Star Of Life symbol represents many things; Detection, Reporting, Response, On-Scene Care, Care In Transit, Transfer to Definitive Care, and at the center of it all is the ancient Greek symbol, the Staff of Asclepius. However, my interpretation has another element - Accountability For Your Actions. For those of us lucky enough to provide not only fire and rescue…


Added by Paul Combs on June 30, 2014 at 3:54pm — No Comments

Instructor/Training Search...


Added by Isaac Frazier on June 30, 2014 at 1:27pm — No Comments

Extrication "Quick Tip" #10 (Wreckers)

This weeks tip covers the usage of heavy wreckers on the emergency scene. When teaching I make it a point to ask departments if they work closely/train with their local towing/recovery companies. Nationally the answer is often no. On incidents/extrication involving big rigs, this is one of the most under utilized pieces of equipment at our disposal. They can quickly stabilize or assist a lift to expedite the extrication process. But you must make it a point to train with the company often as…


Added by Isaac Frazier on June 30, 2014 at 8:25am — No Comments

The Sickness

I believe in the Fire Service.

I believe in the men and women who make up our clan. Especially those who relentlessly pursued their passion years before most of us ever donned a helmet. They built our brotherhood and the honor belongs to them.

I believe greatness is within us all. Sweat is the only key to it's release and there are no short cuts…


Added by Brandon Strickland on June 29, 2014 at 9:30pm — No Comments

"Training" - What does this word mean to you?

“Training.” “Training.” What does the word “training” mean to you?

Too often in the busy life of [INSERT YEAR HERE] we are consumed by tasks of the day that put pressure on us as chief officers, training officers, company officers, and even peers, to give less time and credence to our daily, weekly, and monthly training.  Hurrying the training process to allow time for meal preparation, inspections, incident response, returning home to family, or other reasons often shortcuts the time…


Added by Dan Miller on June 29, 2014 at 2:30pm — No Comments



As I wind down my career in the best calling and the best profession that I could have hoped for, I constantly count my blessings. This week was no exception and I so enjoyed myself. What a GREAT week!!!

This week, I and our MDA boot drive kickoff team had the privilege of visiting all of our department members, the BIG team, on three shifts, a total of…


Added by Warren Cersley on June 28, 2014 at 9:34am — No Comments

The Bottom Line

By Mark vonAppen

In this time of transition in the American Fire Service, due to mass retirements and paradigm shift in how we do business, the unfortunate, and sometimes…


Added by Mark vonAppen on June 27, 2014 at 11:30am — No Comments

"For the Love of the Firefighter Jake and their Spouse"

We have focused our attention on preparing the firefighter for battle, but this week's post will provide some insight and support for the firefighter and his/her family. You see most fire administrations are buried, buried in the politics, the management of budgetary…

Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on June 25, 2014 at 8:30pm — No Comments

How does a Fire Department lose its identity?

There are many ways a fire department can lose its identity. Identity loss is a problem within the fire service as whole today. In a post September eleventh world, many departments are going through large changes within their structure and beliefs. Let’s face it, the fire service as we know it is turning over a new leaf. Firefighters and Fire Officers are retiring, new fire suppression methods and techniques are becoming more popular, and the safety minded “Everyone goes home” campaign is…


Added by Cory Crosbie on June 25, 2014 at 3:04pm — No Comments

Zero Tolerance for Alcohol and other Intoxicants - Policy Required

As a retired Deputy Fire Chief, Attorney at Law and health care practitioner, I read with great interest the most recent postings on all of the fire service media related to Reno Fire Department's negotiated Policy agreement to allow firefighters to report to duty while impaired. This Policy negotiated in 2002 between labor and the City allows the following levels of drugs and alcohol in a firefighter’s blood (add on descriptors are authors notations):

City of Reno limits for a…


Added by John K. Murphy on June 24, 2014 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Standpipe Systems Review

Standpipe systems are designed to supply water to a remote area (high-rise/low rise commercial and residential, malls, parking garages, stadiums, warehouses). Standpipe systems are either wet or dry and systems may or may not be supported (pumps, domestic water). When we discuss standpipe systems we should also discuss our attack systems; hose, nozzles and appliances because…


Added by Brian Brush on June 24, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

Versatility in Leadership

Today I want to talk about the importance of being “Versatile” as a Chief/Company Officer.  As I have said previously at several training sessions, it is important for officers to be in this job for the community and not yourself.  Training and education are very important in this business as positive reinforcement is key for the community to ensure they feel they are getting a good rate of return for your services.

Versatility is defined as an individual that has competency in many…


Added by Jeremy Rebok on June 23, 2014 at 9:06am — No Comments

Extrication "Quick Tip" #9 (X Method)

When it comes to extrications involving "big rigs" our methods must change due to vehicle size, load, and weight. This leads into the X Method for stabilizing tractor trailers (rolling). Obviously if lifting is involved then struts, more cribbing, etc. will be used. I will often see crews attempting to control horizontal movement (rolling) by small wedges or chalks. After training one of the ways we found to increase stabilization on the horizontal plane is with (2)…


Added by Isaac Frazier on June 23, 2014 at 8:20am — No Comments

It's just one week, what about the others?

As we near the end of safety and health week in the fire service I have had a lot of time to reflect on my own personal health and safety. Recently in my organization we had an event where one of our firefighters fell into cardiac arrest and was successfully resuscitated and has made a recovery. He fell ill and collapsed while completing his annual performance evaluation which encompasses essential fireground skills. I know this served as a reminder to me of just how quickly my career could…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on June 20, 2014 at 8:16pm — No Comments

Public Safety Employees First Amendment Rights Protected - Stronger Whistleblower Protection

Just when you were thinking you had some protection when you reported wrongdoing in your department, the Supreme Court ruled recently there is a stronger shield for public employees from punishment or terminations if they testified in court against their superiors. As a firefighter, your First Amendment rights protects those who tell the truth and reveal corruption and your First Amendment Rights are found in the Bill of Rights (of the US Constitution) and prohibits the making of any law…


Added by John K. Murphy on June 20, 2014 at 4:14pm — No Comments


You walk into a department store and pick up that brightly colored shirt you've been looking for all over town. However, on the rack you notice a sign that reads "Caution: Clothing Contains Known Carcinogens." Would you still buy the shirt? Would you wear it proudly and show off a selfie with you posing gallantly by the warning sign? My guess (and hope) is that you are…


Added by Paul Combs on June 20, 2014 at 1:13pm — 1 Comment

Virtual training creating virtual firefighters

The word change has probably created more anxiety than any other word in the fire service. Regardless of the reason for change, we should always evaluate it to see if the desired outcome took place. Take computer training for example. With the infiltration of computers into our training world, have we yielded better firefighters as a result? In some areas, yes and in other areas, no. It's time to evaluate the change that computers have created in your training.

Strategy and…


Added by Paul Strong on June 20, 2014 at 11:07am — No Comments

Safety Week: It Takes Engagement!

This week is Safety Week for the fire service and there will be a lot of slogans and banners posted on the numerous fire service websites.  We, as a profession, will blog and instruct on the importance of safety and the initiatives that are part of our fire service culture.

These are all very important and I am not at all implying that these attempts to bring safety to the forefront are not good programs or that the intent is not good.

But, every week this time of year it…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on June 18, 2014 at 3:09pm — No Comments


If you don't know what it is, or how to use it, maybe it's time to train on it! We all have tools and appliances that are on our rigs, but are very seldom used - that's no excuse not to know how to use them. Train, train, and then train a little more.

Added by Paul Combs on June 18, 2014 at 9:07am — 1 Comment

Hump Day SOS - The CP - Company Punk

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…


Added by David Rhodes on June 18, 2014 at 8:11am — No Comments

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