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July 2015 Blog Posts (63)

Fire and Training

Join me on Wednesday evening 7/22/15 at 7:30pm for the next edition  of Fire and Training on Fire Engineering  Talk Radio.  Joining me will be colleagues Chris Naum and Joe Pronesti as we explore Training and Operations for Today's Main Street fires.  The discussions will include building construction, renovations or lack thereof, structural stability, re-appropriated use,…


Added by Douglas K. Cline on July 21, 2015 at 9:53pm — No Comments

Overhauling a Training Program

    A training program that is not comprehensive, effective and / or efficient must be changed!  When you consider how events have impacted our operations in recent years, we as the fire service have taken on EMS, Hazardous Materials, Technical Rescue, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Terrorism  just to name a…


Added by Douglas K. Cline on July 21, 2015 at 3:55pm — No Comments

Why We Train

“Why We Train”

I was asked, during a conversation with an older firefighter, one night, “Why it was “so necessary to train so much?” My best answer to that question, goes something like this.

Along with many others, I attended a "Fire Dynamics" set of classes recently, at my local county fire academy, here in my part of Pennsylvania. These classes were based on the science that N.I.S.T. is bringing to the table of America's Fire Service. N.I.S.T. has countless…


Added by Andy Marsh on July 20, 2015 at 3:53pm — No Comments

MFA #4 - The New Rules: 1. Water Flow is Good 2. Air Flow is Bad

Simplistic as these statements are, most of the recommended tactical changes that have resulted from the fire dynamics research are ultimately related to those two general findings.  They summarize the reality of the effects of our primary fire control tactics.  Certainly, the implementation of these “rules” will be situation-specific and in no way as cut and dried as such a short list suggests, but they do represent the themes, so to speak, of how the approach to structure fire control is…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on July 20, 2015 at 9:53am — 2 Comments

No More Excuses

Over the last few weeks I have seen on social media and many other outlets a growing frustration for the lack of making training a priority. I share in the frustration of others when it comes to the mindset that may be out there when it comes to this. I have a very experienced Captain who I am grateful to be working alongside. He has close to, if not over 30 years of service. He has…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on July 19, 2015 at 10:00pm — No Comments

How many of you have had a line painted down the middle of the floor between the engine and truck?  I bet a few of you did.... The Sunday Preach: Together.... Separately "While members of engine and…

How many of you have had a line painted down the middle of the floor between the engine and truck?  I bet a few of you did....

The Sunday Preach:

Together.... Separately

"While members of engine and ladder companies have historically had separate and distinct duties, they are absolutely interdependent upon one another. Truck companies that open ceiling and…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on July 19, 2015 at 4:37pm — No Comments

Organizational Assessment from the Department - Head

Assessing Fire Department Organizational Behavior comes in many different forms. There are many professional standards, response models and certified accreditation. On a recent training trip I had the opportunity to provide an unofficial organizational assessment of a department. Assessing organizational behavior is important for instructors. You see you can learn a lot…


Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on July 18, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

Who has the juice?

Who has the juice?

One of the great blessings in life is the time that we all have to quietly ponder and think. Our quiet place and time may differ but the results are the same. If you don’t have that place and time in your life, and in your work, I think it is vitally important that you find it. I hope that you will.…


Added by Warren Cersley on July 18, 2015 at 9:52am — No Comments

Be Professional

Vince Lombardi once said “when you get into the end zone, act like you’ve been there before”. This applies to firefighting, meaning when you arrive on the scene of a working fire do the job you have been trained to do. Don’t act like a fool, be professional


Added by David Polikoff on July 17, 2015 at 3:26pm — No Comments

A Systematic Approach To Firefighter Fitness Part 1


As firefighters, most of us follow SOP’s, algorithms or protocols depending on what type of call we go on. The goal of these procedures is to provide a systematic guide to our decision making process. What if we just showed up on a fire and said “well, I feel like doing this today”. That would be unacceptable because inevitably we would miss an important component of our fire attack. We need to think about this concept every time that we step inside a gym or a weight room for a…


Added by Ben Dubin on July 16, 2015 at 10:57pm — No Comments

Quality Matters

        Whether it’s halligans, hooks or hoses, the unfortunate truth is that too many firefighters are using inferior tools and equipment on the fireground…and this needs to stop. To most of the brothers and sisters that will take the time to read (and watch) this, this is old news; but to many of our brethren, this is the first they’re hearing of this.…


Added by Nick Ledin on July 16, 2015 at 12:30am — No Comments

White Shirt Fitness

White Shirt Fitness

There are numerous “hot topics” that face leaders in the fire service right now, and it does not take much to stir up a heated debate among “brothers” around a station or on the Internet.  Firefighters are very passionate in their beliefs, and if you want to know what they think, generally all you have to do is ask them.  Bring up simple topics like vertical ventilation and smooth bore…


Added by The First Twenty on July 15, 2015 at 8:11pm — No Comments

Hump Day SOS Rerun: To Be Or To Do

To Be or to Do? Your Fork In the Road

by David Rhodes

This Hump Day SOS was…


Added by David Rhodes on July 15, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Are firefighters athletes?

I like to pose this question to any firefighter that will take the time to listen to me. I don’t want you to answer just yet. In my previous career, prior to joining the fire service I worked as a Performance Specialist with Athletes Performance (now EXOS). I was fortunate to train some of the top professional athletes in the world and work alongside some of the best Strength and Conditioning coaches in the industry. Most of the coaches that I worked with are currently working in a…


Added by Ben Dubin on July 14, 2015 at 4:59pm — No Comments



After nearly 10 years of working with firefighters around the country, I have decided to start this forum for my fellow firefighters. My passion for reducing on and off the job injuries WHILE increasing performance in the culture of firefighting has allowed myself and a few others to develop a world class program at EXOS (Formerly Athletes' Performance). We have had the privilege of helping fire departments across the country in educating their brothers and sisters on…


Added by Ben Dubin on July 14, 2015 at 4:19pm — No Comments

Hydrant Pressure Reducer?

This will be my first attempt to use this source to solve a problem. Please don't let it fail me.

I'm evaluating 2.5" handlines and smooth bore nozzles. A problem I have here that is unique to us is our high hydrant pressure, 150 psi plus. All of our lines are as stiff as boards due to the pressure. Gating it down works great as long as the nozzle is open but once it is closed the pressure quickly builds to 150 psi. This has always made our 1.75" tough to move and as you can imagine…


Added by Jerry Holenbeck on July 13, 2015 at 4:11pm — 3 Comments

Firefighters and Divorce

Firefighters and Divorce

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

            Something I am very careful about when I teach, speak to groups, or submit articles to Fire Engineering, is that I only talk about subjects and topics which I feel that I…


Added by Joseph Kitchen on July 13, 2015 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

David v. Goliath et Al. (Haters Gonna Hate)

At times, it can be overwhelming.  That desire to do great things, crushed hopelessly underfoot, trodden into the mud beneath an army of detractors marching against you.  Seemingly insurmountable odds and an enemy that looms over you and hurls taunts and discouragements. 

Bear with me, heathens, for we are about to delve into an Old Testament tale of victory in the face of overwhelming opposition from all sides.  It is a tale thousands of years old, but it has direct parallels…


Added by William Knight on July 12, 2015 at 4:32pm — 2 Comments

the grass is always greener...

The Sunday Preach

Is The Grass Always Greener?

After spending the last two days out of state on manicured green grass soccer fields, another parents and I began to start to compare and contrast the places we have traveled too. Some nearby, some afar... in the end, there was no place like home.

Likewise, many of us in the fire service take time to peruse other fire departments than the one's we are working with. 

It made us reflect on…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on July 12, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Conference Speaker Proposals: FDIC and More

Having just weeded through a very large queue of FDIC 2016 speaker proposals, I thought I might share some tips and pearls for prospective conference speakers and presenters.  Three times or more each year, I cull through speaker proposals, grading and selecting those I believe would best serve the needs of FDIC, EMS Today (our sister magazine "JEMS" annual conference) and Pulse Check (a small New York State EMS Conference).  Some conferences limit the number of submissions, others don't. …


Added by Mike McEvoy on July 10, 2015 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

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