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August 2015 Blog Posts (63)


IT'S HERE! Get an early jump on the 2016 Drawn by Fire calendar - featuring Frank Viscuso's Step Up And Lead. It's been an honor to collaborate with Chief Viscuso on this project for what will be a year-long training aid and inspiration. Only $20, folks - secure your copy today!…

Added by Paul Combs on August 31, 2015 at 2:03pm — 1 Comment


Sometimes a little pride has to be swallowed to get the job done!

Click link below to see more of Paul's work or to buy prints:…


Added by Paul Combs on August 31, 2015 at 1:46pm — No Comments

MFA #9: From a Different Perspective - The new methods make more sense to non-firefighters

Sometimes we need to seek out opinions from others in order to ensure the validity of our own, and that is not a natural or even comfortable process.  In fact, it seems someone is always trying to tell us how to live our lives or do our jobs, providing advice we didn’t seek out, or explaining their view of our world.  Still, it is often only with the assistance of outside eyes that we can truly see ourselves. 

How many times have you been asked by a…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on August 31, 2015 at 8:10am — No Comments

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

The Sunday Preach:

Expectations & Communication

"We can earn loyalty by training well, treating people fairly, and by setting a positive example... Someone is always watching your actions and interactions. Set the tone for the way you expect your crew to perform, and they will follow you." (pg 12).

If there are no parameters for performance, how can the team know when they achieve success? A team that is loyal to both the leader and the…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on August 30, 2015 at 12:09pm — No Comments

Understaffed Company Operations

I often get asked how I began teaching on the topic of understaffed company operations, or why I feel addressing short staffed operations is so important. The answer is very simple, because our lives depend on it. Most foundation level training programs are based on students working in teams of five or six, even in my own state. Realistically, that is just not practical for many firefighters across the country. Our focus is to take the skills and material taught in most training programs…


Added by David Topczynski on August 29, 2015 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Cancer Sayings in the Fire Service

         There are a few common sayings that are heard on a daily basis in fire departments that absolutely get under my skin. Here are just a few to name; “It has been this way for 40+ years, you’ll never change it now” or “XYZ Fire Company does it that way so we will not”, but we are aware that there are plenty more that are used.  These statements are the “Cancer Sayings” in the fire service.  As volunteer and career guys, we have the best job in the world and if you do not…


Added by Dean Helsel on August 29, 2015 at 1:51pm — No Comments

A Fireman's Wife

A strong, good willed, open-minded, patient, listener but most importantly supporter walks into the room. This is a person with integrity, with values, a person who puts themselves second and lives to help and support others. No, I’m not talking about the Fireman, I’m talking about the Fireman’s wife.…


Added by Dave McGlynn on August 28, 2015 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Thanks for Hiring Me

Every once in a while, I look back on the individuals I hired as firefighters during my career. As the hiring process is a relatively complicated, I believe I made the right decisions in the hiring and rejection of candidate firefighters. That I made the right decisions was reaffirmed the other day when I stopped by one of my stations to check on crew deployed to Eastern Washington fighting the wildland fires and were met by several firefighters and…


Added by John K. Murphy on August 28, 2015 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Saving Firefighters Lives…

Its been very well documented that the leading cause of heart firefighter-on-duty deaths is related to heart disease. Therefore any information regarding decreasing the chances of heart disease are very valuable to the firefighting community. I’ve recently been researching the correlation between cholesterol and heart disease and have found some interesting correlations.

The long-established dietary recommendations of yesterday have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the…


Added by Aaron Zamzow on August 27, 2015 at 9:09pm — No Comments

This will be a working extrication of my head from my A$$

This will be a working extrication of my head from my A$$

“Avoid putting callouses in the hearts of your loved ones”

We have a ritual with our oldest child, Ayla who is three years old. We finish each nightly bed-time routine by…


Added by Benjamin Martin on August 27, 2015 at 3:00pm — No Comments

A Long History of Short Memories

By: Mark vonAppen



Added by Mark vonAppen on August 27, 2015 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Improving Internal Communication

Improving Internal Communication 

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

             Every fire chief has a pet peeve. For some its unpolished boots, for others its firefighters staring at their smart phones. Each of us has at least one thing that our personnel do that drives us crazy. For me, it…


Added by Joseph Kitchen on August 27, 2015 at 12:30pm — No Comments


During many of my Tactical Extrication Courses, students will occasionally come across compressed airbag cylinders located throughout the vehicle. Anyone who has taken one of my classes knows that I always push peeling back plastic and exposing posts/pillars to check for airbag cylinders. So what happens when you run across…


Added by Isaac Frazier on August 27, 2015 at 7:00am — No Comments

Should we link Firefighter fitness to pay, appraisals and continued employment?

Should we link Firefighter fitness to pay, appraisals and continued employment?

We are about to introduce a new fitness standard, and tests, in our Fire and Rescue Service (Fire Department), and after we have established that for 9 months Firefighters pay will be affected by whether they pass the tests or not. Even their continued employment with…


Added by The First Twenty on August 26, 2015 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Hump Day SOS - Stop Asking for "THE" Way

Stop Asking for “The” Way by David Rhodes

As fire research continues to evolve and more dialogue continues about fire attack I have noticed that many…


Added by David Rhodes on August 26, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

Journal Entry 39 – School’s Open, Drive Carefully (I mean us!)

I’m sure one of these categories fits you. Summer camp is done and the kids are bored, and driving you nuts. The kids are back to school or are going back to school shortly. You dropped your college student at the campus for another year of who knows what? Vacationing at the camp grounds, Disney, a resort, a remote island, the south of France or the back yard stay-cation are a distant memory. Did I hit it yet? One thing is for sure. We’re about to embark on the fall season and school is just…


Added by RON KANTERMAN on August 25, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

MFA #8: Timing is Everything - Delivering the correct one-two punch of water and air

I used the term “Vertical Vandalism” as the title of my most recent post 

(, leading some to believe that I was suggesting we abandon that tactic.  In fact, my specific wording was that we could stop “routinely” creating damage in the pursuit of increased…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on August 25, 2015 at 6:12am — No Comments

Water Supply When "SHIP" Happens

This information may only reach out and touch a few people that visit the Fire Engineering Community. If you are part of an organization that responds to military installations, specifically US Navy waterborne installations, this applies to you. It is equally important to those of us responsible for shipyards where military vessels will enter port. For the most part this will include departments on or near each of our coastlines, to include the gulf coast. I served in…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on August 24, 2015 at 5:08pm — No Comments

McCarthy and Croom Never forget their sacrifice the lessons

Monday August 24th is the sixth anniversary of a double line of duty death that must be studied and lessons taken by all firefighters responding to Type III legacy buildings If you are new to the service I have attached the report and also video and audio from the scene, crews arriving were met with a serious basement fire with reported people in the building.

The audio in my opinion should be a mandatory part of every command officer's training in this country and I encourage you to…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on August 23, 2015 at 6:00pm — No Comments


Do you PPV?

"Positive pressure ventilation (PPV) is a topic worthy

of some discussion. Ladder companies that carry PPV fans must be well versed in their use. There is a tendency that if someone sets a PPV fan at the front door, it should be started and run. This is not always the case. PPV fans are excellent tools for removing smoke…


Added by Dan Shaw on August 23, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

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