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August 2015 Blog Posts (73)

Using today's G.I.S. and internet mapping for your pre-fire kitchen table study

The next time it is too crummy, hot, rainy, snowy, etc. to get out of your firehouses and into your streets looking at your buildings grab your laptop, tablet, etc. and search out the many different mapping and G.I.S. programs on the internet and also most likely available through your city or county real estate, auditor, property websites and "take a drive through town" While doing this one quiet day in the firehouse I found another great medium to help keep our members more informed and…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on August 14, 2015 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment


Everytime I turn around it feels like I’m being told to change. I’ve been told my thought process is outdated, my tactics are obsolete and, even worse, that I am dangerous. A lot of change in the fire service is driven by NIST /UL research. A lot of beneficial information has come out of that research, information that has allowed firefighters to better understand what is…


Added by Kiel Samsing on August 14, 2015 at 8:30am — No Comments

Being a Mentor, By John Fogg

The following words are not mine. They are from Firefighter John Fogg from Harrisburg Pennsylvania. He posted the below on a FaceBook page and it grabbed my attention. While they are not my words I agree 100% with him.

I encouraged him to re-post his thoughts here on the Fire Engineering Training Community. He asked me to do it for him.

So here you go in the words of John Fogg, well done Brother!



Added by P.J. Norwood on August 13, 2015 at 8:01pm — No Comments

Getting The Job Done

Getting The Job Done



On more than one occasion, I have heard firefighters complain about SOP’s, specifically how they can’t be written for every situation and or you are putting us in a box.  This could not be further from the truth.  What we are doing, is establishing a game plan for specific incidents and the operational concerns that they pose. In recent years, dedication to getting the…


Added by Richard Riley on August 13, 2015 at 2:26pm — No Comments

The Little Things

If you spend any time at a fire house, you will undoubtedly hear older firefighters say "It's the little things that matter." They talk about the past and tell stories about tedious tasks (which many new school guys would call “busy work”) with reverence. They talk about detailing brass, scrubbing with toothbrushes, and washing the trucks after every run. They know that…


Added by Kiel Samsing on August 13, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

Embezzlement – a dishonor to the fire service.

 Embezzlement is described as - theft or misappropriation of funds placed in one's trust or belonging to one's employer. A recent uptick in the theft of funds, equipment or property from the fire department is creating an embarrassment to the fire service as a…


Added by John K. Murphy on August 12, 2015 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Pt. 2: The Art of War for Fire Service Leadership & Combat

           Written 2,500 years ago by Sun Tzu, a general and strategist in ancient China (770-476 BCE), The Art of War consists of organizational and strategic planning to help an army achieve victory in battle. It continues to be relevant and is used in modern military study and increasingly being applied to business and leadership…


Added by Chris Langlois on August 12, 2015 at 3:31pm — No Comments

A Good Suppression Plan = A Great Safety Plan

The RIT/RIC dilemma raised its ugly head again last week when my friend Doug Mitchell (25 to Survive) posted a chart of FDNY’s RIT statistics from 1989 to 2008.  The stats that really grabbed my attention were 1. The elapsed time from the working fire declaration (10-75) until the Mayday, 19 minutes, and 2. Who found the Mayday firefighter.  First alarm units, excluding the F.A.S.T. or RIT team, found the Mayday firefighter 76.47% of the…


Added by Jim Silvernail on August 12, 2015 at 12:14pm — No Comments

Being in “Shape” is Relative; Being Fit for Duty is not

Being in “Shape” is Relative; Being Fit for Duty is not


In this time of fitness fads and trends, I submit to you that in the business of firefighting, there is no room for confusing what is and what is not fit for duty.

Under your turn outs, no one cares if you have six pack abs or biceps like boulders. What the community you swore to serve and what your crew cares about is that you arrive…


Added by The First Twenty on August 12, 2015 at 10:31am — No Comments

Extrication "Quick Tip" #41 (INVERTING THE LIFT)

At this point in the "Quick Tip" series we have covered many different methods and extrication tactics. If you haven't been following, take a look back and review many of the dash displacement methods in this series. While teaching Tactical Extrication Courses, students typically get the dash lift down pretty quickly. However, when the vehicle is on…


Added by Isaac Frazier on August 12, 2015 at 8:56am — No Comments

Activity vs. Productivity

          Busy people get things done. I used to say those words all the time - usually in a sentence like this one, “If you want to build a successful team, look for busy people because busy people get things done.” There is a coma of complacency in society today. we are battling a communicable disease I call entitlement mentality. Everyone wants the rewards of labor, but far too many don’t want to work for those rewards. Many who do the work are busy, and busy…


Added by Frank Viscuso on August 11, 2015 at 1:30pm — No Comments

“We don't fight as many fires as we use to kid”, is that right anymore?

We often hear during training “we don't have fires anymore” we have all gotten so use to saying this that we do so without really knowing the truth of the statistics. Just prior to his untimely death Glenn Gaines, Deputy US Fire Administrator made a comment during a conference call of fire service leadership that I thought was a warning to us all. Chief Gaines basically said that a lot of people don't realize that residential structure fires are, and have been increasing every year for the…


Added by Steve Pegram on August 11, 2015 at 7:00am — No Comments

Firefighter "Fit for Duty" Workout Schedule

Do you workout on shift?  Should you workout on shift and what is the best workout to perform?  How do you schedule your workouts around your shifts or calls?

This is a major concern for the fire rescue athlete.  On one hand we know we should be working out to stay and get fit for duty. Yet , if we burn out in the gym we won't be able to perform when it…


Added by Aaron Zamzow on August 11, 2015 at 12:11am — No Comments

"Having Your Cake and Getting Through It Too!" Main Street tar build up

Just like any other visit to your Main Street buildings signs of heavy tar built up may not exactly hit you in the face but some leftover materials left up on the roof should be taken into account as you look at your buildings prior to the fire, do you see empty tar buckets? Old tar mops? Roofing paper rolls? Even a fire extinguisher? Yes a fire extinguisher, these may be needed as a safety measure as roofing contractors utilize heat to adhere the roofing paper (I am…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on August 10, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

Fire Ground Decision Making-First Solution Vs Optimal Solution

As first responders we are tasked with arriving on the scene of some sort of emergency or problem and being responsible to come up with a solution.  Whether it’s a fire, EMS call, entrapment or water emergency our success is largely determined by how fast we can decide what needs to be done, get the resources and execute the plan.   Colonel John Boyd refers this process as the OODA Loop.  The OODA Loop is made up of 4 parts: Observe, Orient, Decide and Act.  The faster we do this the more…


Added by Grant Schwalbe on August 10, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments


The bottom, bottom, bottom line!

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


Added by Paul Combs on August 10, 2015 at 8:48am — No Comments

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatality: CA

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 50th Line Of Duty Death for 2015 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Wildland Firefighter & Acting Assistant District Fire Management Officer David “Dave” Ruhl has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and our Brothers & Sisters with the Big Valley Ranger District of the Modoc National Forest.…


Added by Brad Hoff on August 9, 2015 at 10:44pm — No Comments

A View from the Street: Street Context


Added by Christopher Naum, SFPE on August 8, 2015 at 5:47pm — No Comments

Practice Doesn't Make Perfect

When you train individually or as a team - is it a check the box type of day or this could really happen type of day? It’s very easy to check the box in our daily lives and make everything a routine. Wake up, shower, coffee, drive to work, check the box for minimum expectations, go home, etc…. If you fall into this mentality it can be personally and professionally devastating at the extremes. However, even if nothing “bad” ever happens I challenge you to contemplate how much you are missing…


Added by Brian Ward "FireServiceSLT" on August 8, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

Who says you’re a leader?

Are you a self-proclaimed leader? This doesn’t work (sorry to all the self proclaimed leaders out there). Sure, you can think your leader material, but if you’re the only one who thinks this way then you’re in for a big surprise.

So you’ve taken a few leadership classes, you attended conferences and heard experienced fire service members speak on the various topics surrounding leadership, and maybe even read some books written by experts. Are you now a leader? You may want to…


Added by Paul Strong on August 7, 2015 at 11:45am — No Comments

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