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August 2014 Blog Posts (44)

It Doesnt Matter What Your Title Is.

Are you a senior firefighter, company officer, battalion chief or fire director? Before I even know the answer I want you to know that it really doesn’t matter what your title is as long as you understand that your primary job is to lead a team. Your team may be a team of three or several hundred. A strong leader knows his or her job is to take a group of people, align them with a common goal, get them to work as a team, and march them toward that goal. The bottom line is that you have to…


Added by Frank Viscuso on August 11, 2014 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Watch this FREE Green Building Webnair

This webinar will cover the results of a study commissioned by the Fire Protection Research Foundation to develop a baseline of information on the intersection of “green building” design and fire safety. The study identified gaps and specific research needs associated with understanding and addressing fire risk and hazards with green building design.

Instructor: Brian J. Meacham…


Added by John Shafer on August 11, 2014 at 10:39am — No Comments

Navigating Dangerous Waters

On April 14th 1912, a screeching sound awakened many on an “unsinkable” ship. This couldn’t be happening! They’d said it was impossible; that the ship was unsinkable. When I think of training, I consistently relate it in many ways to the events leading up to the Titanic’s tragic night.  The source…


Added by Isaac Frazier on August 10, 2014 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Generation Gaps

In 2009, I wrote an article for the “Everyone Goes Home” Newsletter. In it I wrote about the generational differences that we have to overcome, in order to get good fire prevention education out there. Fire Prevention supports our mission of saving lives and protecting property, but we still need to understand how best to get out those “safety messages” with one general concept in mind ( Life Safety), yet in the language that each generation can embrace and remember. There’s still a…


Added by Andy Marsh on August 8, 2014 at 4:17pm — No Comments

AUGUST Magazine Cartoon

It's obvious where I stand on interior attack regarding known hoarder homes. What are your thoughts?

Added by Paul Combs on August 8, 2014 at 3:53pm — No Comments


When you get sued for workplace harassment, discrimination, motor vehicle accident or for any other reason, one of the first things the plaintiff’s lawyer (and your defense counsel) will seek is your departments Personnel Policy Manual, SOG, SOP and Best Practices.

 If you are like most departments, there is a thick layer of dust on the covers or the Word version you used to…


Added by John K. Murphy on August 8, 2014 at 2:55pm — No Comments


We cannot go through our career throwing our hands in the air and giving up when things don't go our way.  Time has a way of rendering jagged edges supple.  It also has a way of softening our perspective, making us less prone to impulsive decisions.  The courage and perseverance that it takes to…

Added by Mark vonAppen on August 8, 2014 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Are We Doing Safety Justice?


Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on August 7, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Dumb Things Firefighters Say

You’ve heard them all. Maybe you’ve even said some of these things. I’m talking about fire service staples like, “Don’t worry kid, this is just a routine fire,” – “All you have to do it put the wet stuff on the red stuff,” – “Stay in until you can’t stay in anymore,” – “Because that’s the way we’ve always done it,” – “Keep your mouth shut probie,” – “Books don’t put fires out. Why are you wasting your time reading that?”…


Added by Frank Viscuso on August 7, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments

Low Pressure Training

More commonly only considered a tool for standpipe operations I want to demonstrate the benefits of adding inline pressure gauges to your department for simple, anytime, any place hose work training.

The 2 ½” inline pressure gauge was brought to all our engine companies in 2007 when the department changed our standpipe operations. The inline pressure gauge is…


Added by Brian Brush on August 5, 2014 at 11:01pm — No Comments

What's Your Alias

Each day across America, firefighters key up radios and transmit numerous emergency and non emergency messages across the airways above us.  Without this form of communications, the fire service and many of us would be lost.  With the new technologies that have been introduced into the communications realm, firefighters have been challenged and protected better all at the same time. 

The one thing I want to bring everyone's attention to is how are your radios aliased?  I know, I know,…


Added by Jonah Smith on August 5, 2014 at 10:30am — No Comments

"Fire Porn" and other nonsense...

Its your very first day on the job. You walk into the firehouse with a stupid grin while balancing a box of doughnuts in one hand and your PPE in the other. Some old dude with a giant gray mustache barks "What are you doing here, ya jack wagon?" Take a minute; for realz. What called you to the fire service? Maybe the excitement, the lights, the sirens, the danger, just…


Added by Brandon Strickland on August 5, 2014 at 9:00am — 4 Comments

Weapon X

       My wife and I were watching a movie a couple of nights ago (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) where they referenced 'Weapon X'. For anyone that hasn't seen Origins, 'Weapon X' is a clandestine research project that genetically engineers humans and mutants, making them into super weapons. They take the best (or the worst, depending on your perspective) parts of numerous individuals to make one fully, badass…


Added by Nick Ledin on August 4, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Firefighter On-shift Interval Workout

I get a lot of emails asking for good workout options for the firehouse when on-shift.  

Working out on-shift is a major concern, you want to make sure you keep your body in good "fit for duty" condition but also want to make sure you have enough "left in the tank" to respond and perform in an actual response.  Over the last couple of years I have…


Added by Aaron Zamzow on August 4, 2014 at 10:12pm — No Comments


We are now all aware that Ebola has become a national topic of discussion especially when there were two infected Americans health care workers flown to Emory University Hospital for treatment; a facility built in collaboration with the CDC. They are apparently doing OK and have been released. We are also fully aware of the high mortality rate of these hemorrhagic fevers up to a 90% mortality rate in affected patients.There are a number of these viral hemorrhagic disease types…


Added by John K. Murphy on August 4, 2014 at 7:00pm — No Comments


The dictionary defines mindset as, “the ideas and attitudes with which a person approaches a situation.”  It’s an all-encompassing view that determines how we think and act.  Mindset determines tactics.  Tactics in turn determine the skills we use to accomplish the tactical goals of the operation.  Our mindset should be that of saving the lives of the citizens at EVERY SINGLE fire we fight.  That is, after all, the primary reason we are there.  Safety first is a great mindset…


Added by William Knight on August 4, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Engaging The Team

There have been many arguments over the years, about what makes a fire department successful.  I can remember mornings at the card table, having conversations about owning the best fire apparatus, having successful fundraisers, issuing the best turnout gear, and owning a beautiful fire station, and at one point I believed that.  Though many people in today’s world feel flashy and expensive tools/equipment matter, it’s reality that those things are in my mind…the conclusion to…


Added by Jeremy Rebok on August 4, 2014 at 2:19pm — No Comments

Significant Stuff Learned from NIST/UL Studies: Besides Exterior Water Application

I have been sifting through information, articles, blogs, classes, videos and everything in between for the past couple of years from the recent UL and NIST burns and research. We have all argued or debated about the application of exterior water and whether or not this is appropriate or not. While I believe there is a time and place for exterior water application, for me there are some other valuable conclusions or considerations that have not played a prominent role in these…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on August 4, 2014 at 11:14am — No Comments

Extrication "Quick Tip" #13 (POP FROM THE TOP)

In vehicle extrication, many…


Added by Isaac Frazier on August 4, 2014 at 9:06am — No Comments

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