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July 2012 Blog Posts (18)


Hollywood movie plots can be so far removed from reality that the viewer has to wonder which planet the protagonist and antagonist are actually playing out their epic conflicts. Mega-bombs, apocalyptic super viruses, shoot-outs were no one runs out of ammunition, or an insane high speed chase through congested city streets. All so extravagant in their role playing…


Added by Paul Combs on July 30, 2012 at 2:16pm — 3 Comments

Fire Station Workout- Intervals for Cardiovascular Fitness

I've had a lot of requests for workout options that can be performed at the station with minimal equipment.  Here is an option I created for a firefighter/medic that has no equipment and only some stairs and a parking lot. This can be used as a cardio interval training workout day (for those following the 28-day Quickstart Program) and/or as a good workout to get the blood flowing.   Give it…


Added by Aaron Zamzow on July 25, 2012 at 7:40pm — No Comments

Is Your Department Extinguishment or Search Oriented?

This article is inspired by a quick post I threw up on my Facebook page asking, "Is your Department Engine or Truck/Ladder Oriented?" Facebook- Backwards and Stupid. In that post I discussed many suburban departments tending to lean toward Engine work and leaving Truck work as an after thought. That's sort of where I am going with this post. In todays suburban fire departments and much of what is written about changing…


Added by Chris Sterricker on July 24, 2012 at 7:37pm — No Comments


From time to time I get asked if I ever worry about inuring my hand or eyes fighting fires. My answer is always a swift and confident "no"! My explanation sometimes leaves people puzzled, but I try and explain that if I think about injury, injury will most certainly happen. It's much like an athlete who throws their body into stressful situations with little regard…


Added by Paul Combs on July 23, 2012 at 12:57pm — 7 Comments


  Over the last year I have met several FF's via the social netwrok  and there are a few that i have formed unique friendships with. To my amazement , it's not that i have never fought fires with Female firefighters , because I have within my own dept.and they are outstanding , but there are some that I formed a social friendship with are very unique in their own different ways.All hail from different parts of the United States ,

  The first one , is not a Firefighter althought she is…


Added by Mike France on July 23, 2012 at 9:14am — No Comments

NIMS and Chaos

For some truly unfortunate reason there seems to have been a number of chaotic events in my state over the last few months. Wildfires, two Police LODDs and most recently the devastating mass murder and assault in an Aurora movie theater that left over 70 injured and 12 dead at the time of writing this.

Regarding the Aurora shooting specifically my neighbor asked me yesterday, “How can you even prepare for something like that?” I provided a stock answer of MCI drills, multi-agency…


Added by Brian Brush on July 22, 2012 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

Tap the Box - Leadership Edge to Get Promoted.

Check out this month's Tap the Box Radio Show - Leadership Edge to Get Promoted.



Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on July 20, 2012 at 7:00am — No Comments

Behind the Back and Thru the Legs

I always loved sports. I played just about every sport I could and eventually settled in with basketball and baseball. The coaches I had were always preaching the fundamentals and basics explaining that as players, we had to master the basics to the point that things like dribbling and passing were second nature. When those basics were mastered we were able to ascend our skill sets to seeing an open player before he is open and making moves on the fly, avoiding the defender with moves…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on July 16, 2012 at 1:59pm — No Comments

History and Heritage!

While stumbling around the web the other day, I found this Fire Engineering cover from the June,1960 issue. The longer I studied this photo, the greater the sense of pride I felt for being a contributor to Fire Engineering. I began thinking about all the great men whose footsteps I now follow and the rich history and heritage of the fire service. This dramatic photo speaks volumes to me and humbles me as I begin to draw my next editorial illustration.



Added by Paul Combs on July 16, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments

" Leave Room For the Truck "



Life safety is the most important task on the fireground. That term “Life Safety” is in the fire service’s mission statement and it is found in the mission statements of most career and volunteer departments as well. Most of us have probably heard that statement; “ Look out for #1!” and know that the # 1 we’re talking about is us the firefighter. We then look out for our partner or crew and then take care of the victims in the…


Added by Andy Marsh on July 15, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments

Play your own game.

Our profession is comprised of three distinct elements, the department, the crew and the indiviual. All three must synchronize to get the best results. When walking into the firehouse or responding from home, if you are not bringing your personal best the hierarchy will fail to a have foundation for success. We all must play our own game.

During grammar school, I…


Added by Christopher Huston on July 12, 2012 at 10:07am — 1 Comment

The Passion For Excellence

Last shift, during my free time I decided to start a new book I had heard was excellent titled "Fearless" and is written by Eric Blehm.  This book chronicles the life of SEAL team six operator Adam Brown.  This book is good on many different levels, but it tells the story of a passionate man with a huge heart and the love for a career.

To summarize the book very briefly, Adam started out as the kid in school who was driven, passionate about success and a knack for…


Added by Jonah Smith on July 12, 2012 at 8:00am — 2 Comments


Buy a print of this illustration, visit:


Added by Paul Combs on July 10, 2012 at 9:00am — 5 Comments

The Benefits of Realism in Training

“No passion so effectively robs the mind of its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”  Edmund Burke


     Fear, as well as the synonymous emotions and actions that accompany it, has no place in the fire service.  For us to examine this powerful emotion, you must understand the type of fear that I am discussing.  We all have trivial fears, and these are not what I want to focus upon; fear of being late for roll call, fear of not getting a raise in the coming fiscal year,…


Added by Jason Jefferies on July 4, 2012 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Thankful for Independence, our Soldiers and God

The initial "Stars and Stripes" represented and accounted for the 13 colonies that were then known as the  "United States of America" . It originated in a time when we battled one country for freedom and independence. The flag and our independence were also raised on a foundation and a belief in God. Today, the meaning of the flag maintains just that, yet it has a farther reach and deeper meaning. For  not only does it represent that initial war, its victory and its human losses…


Added by Andy Marsh on July 4, 2012 at 1:05pm — No Comments

Are You Firefighter Fit?

A couple weeks ago I published a blog post about "defining Firefighter Fit." I appreciate the numerous responses and comments about this question (see that blog post here) and today want to follow up and add some more information and questions about this topic. One of the consensus opinions expressed when asked to define "firefighter fit" was that a…


Added by Aaron Zamzow on July 3, 2012 at 9:35pm — No Comments

Fly In?

For the first 14 years of my fire service career I had never questioned the fly out instruction I had received in regards to extension ladders. I just assumed if it was so engrained it must be for good reason. During the ground ladders component of my department’s truck company operations academy the instructor presented us with a letter from Duo Safety (our ladder manufacture) regarding the use of their ladders in a fly in configuration.…


Added by Brian Brush on July 3, 2012 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Keep Your Eyes Open

While carrying out perhaps my favorite fatherly duty of reading a bedtime story to my young son, I read a line that sparked a flurry of thoughts in my head.  The line came from Dr. Suess's book I Can Read with My Eyes Shut.  As with most Dr. Suess books, there isn't really a plot to follow just some good rhymes.  However, one line struck me that I related to the fire service, here it is: "There are so many things you can learn about, but you'll miss the best things if…


Added by Jonah Smith on July 1, 2012 at 7:00pm — No Comments

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