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August 2016 Blog Posts (30)

Would You Want You Rescuing You?

Would You Want You Rescuing You?



Added by The First Twenty on August 31, 2016 at 2:30pm — No Comments

EMS Wake-Up Call

The mother of a 13-year-old girl gave me a wake-up call several weeks ago.  After her daughter overdosed on heroin, her husband rushed home from work following a panic-stricken call.  On the way, he passed an ambulance idling on a roadway several blocks from their home.  That same ambulance later arrived to provide care but only after law enforcement appeared on scene.  I knew exactly what the ambulance was doing--staging until the scene was safe.  Trying to explain this protocol to the…


Added by Mike McEvoy on August 31, 2016 at 1:00pm — No Comments


Yes, I've drawn another "wear your seat belt" cartoon! SPOILER ALERT: I will continue to draw them until we have 100% participation and everybody clicks that buckle (and that means your POV, too). So, scoff and ridicule if you wish, but I will draw my conscience and share my passion on this subject as long as there is ink in my pens.

Buckle-up, brothers…


Added by Paul Combs on August 31, 2016 at 7:28am — No Comments

Do We Make Others Feel Safe?

Do those we lead feel safe? Of course we should be providing for their physical safety at all times, and there is a lot of safety considerations that must be made. I am talking about emotional safety.

Do the people on your crew feel safe to make decisions? Do they feel safe to make mistakes?

I am hoping that I have instilled a feeling of safety in my crew to make decisions. Whether in routine station and public situations they should all feel that…


Added by Michael Lloyd on August 30, 2016 at 7:00am — No Comments

Happy Employees Equal Happy Customers!

"Happy employees’ equal happy customers. Similarly, an unhappy employee can ruin the brand experience for not just one, but numerous customers." Sir Richard Branson

How does the above quote apply to the Fire Service that we love so dearly? If you have never thought of it this way, but our bosses (the tax payers) are also our most valuable customer. If we do not treat…


Added by Michael Lloyd on August 28, 2016 at 7:12pm — No Comments

Hoarding Conditions - Taking a Step Back

Hoarding conditions have personally humbled me as a firefighter on several occasions, and I believe I am better at this craft for it. Recognizing, understanding and defeating hoarding conditions has grown to be a passion of mine. Bringing that passion and the lessons from the moments that have both humbled and educated me can hopefully be a tool for a brother or sister firefighter at an incident down the road.

That being said, hoarding conditions and the challenges they present to… Continue

Added by Will Heiney on August 26, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments



Firefighting is a team, action oriented job. It requires well trained people who expect action and prepare accordingly. The exceptional ones who stand out and constantly improve their team, regardless of position or rank, stretch out their imaginations and they do the team things that indicate that they care, they give a hoot, they hustle, they…


Added by Warren Cersley on August 26, 2016 at 8:00am — No Comments


The great thing about drawing cartoons is I have the ability to make people speak the truth within the frame of my work. And with the resent news about skyrocketing drug costs, this cartoon seemed appropriate... and true. I'm all for a free market, but the outrageous drug industry gorging on the sick and elderly has become an epidemic in its own right. I now deal…


Added by Paul Combs on August 26, 2016 at 7:41am — No Comments

Fire Prevention; It's Just Not for Kids Anymore

( I wrote this 7 years ago, much of it still applies. I updated it a bit as well.)

So much has been discussed about firefighter safety lately. We tend to think about firefighter safety as it relates to the fire ground, accountability systems, offensive vs. defensive fire strategies, rapid intervention teams, and the list goes on. What often times is left off of that list is fire prevention. Fire prevention…


Added by Andy Marsh on August 25, 2016 at 12:00pm — No Comments

FDIC - Time To Pass It On

The recent notifications of the FDIC 2017 instructors places a great responsibility to those chosen to pass on your acquired knowledge to others. Knowledge gained through experience, education and probably a failure of some sort that may have had you rethink what you were doing and how you were you doing it is the knowledge we need to pass on.  It is my understanding that over…


Added by John K. Murphy on August 24, 2016 at 10:11pm — No Comments

Why not have a formal mentoring program?

I recently posted a question for discussion on my Twitter and Facebook regarding formalizing the mentoring process. Most of the respondents stated most mentoring was informal. One of the respondents even stated that it shouldn’t be a formalized process. I must say that I agree that informal mentoring is effective, however the business world has been using formal mentoring for a long time with great success. I suggest that if the fire service were to establish formal mentoring it would help…


Added by Michael Lloyd on August 24, 2016 at 12:31pm — No Comments

Know your Buildings

As you're preparing for the night tour, think about taking advantage of some quality drill time; identify a building, any building and if both time and policy allow hit the streets with your company and spend time looking over the building, it's features, construction, hazards, risks and operational considerations. Remember night and day OPS have dramatically different risks and operational challenges. Discuss tactical options in the street and then table talk some scenarios back in quarters.… Continue

Added by Christopher Naum, SFPE on August 21, 2016 at 4:26pm — No Comments

Tallest Hybrid Mass Timber Building Underconstruction in BC

Tallest Hybrid Mass Timber Building Brock Commons Phase 1

Vancouver, British Columbia University of British Columbia Point Grey campus

One of the tallest mass timber buildings in the world is under construction at the University of British Columbia Point Grey campus. The 18-story student residence building will provide housing…


Added by Christopher Naum, SFPE on August 21, 2016 at 12:33pm — No Comments

Lead by Example

If you go back in time, especially with Fire Engineering, you’ll most likely find hundreds of articles on leadership. And you’ll find hundreds more on firefighter safety, both on the training ground and on the fireground. Many great fire service leaders who have gone before us and the ones who are among us still today, have most likely told the many of us to “lead by example”. It’s a simple message that carries with it so many lessons that young and inexperienced firefighters can place in…


Added by Andy Marsh on August 20, 2016 at 11:27am — No Comments

Sources of Power

In my latest book, Barn Boss Leadership, which released this month. I discuss an individual’s sources of power. We typically think of stripes and bugles as indicating power within the fire department organization, especially in the fire service and military. However, there are several sources of power which do not fall into the “Legitimate” source of power category. Legitimate Power comes directly from stripes and bugles, however, this is not the most influential source of power. The United…


Added by Brian Ward "FireServiceSLT" on August 19, 2016 at 3:10pm — No Comments

Learning about Ultra High Strength Steels

Consumer Drawings

Ever wonder about those vehicle images that show a color coded picture of the different steels used in the body structure? …


Added by Michael Smith on August 18, 2016 at 7:00am — No Comments

Be Selfish with your Personal Fitness

Be Selfish with your Personal Fitness

The Olympics are here, and most of us have been watching our American athletes as they perform to the best of their ability. We sit mesmerized watching these athletes compete against the best from other countries. These athletes are the elite of the elite, and they are amazing to watch. We cheer at successes and cringe at defeat right…


Added by The First Twenty on August 17, 2016 at 8:39pm — No Comments


“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

― Socrates

Apparently Socrates was a man of vision to foresee civility's death by the social media firing squad! We have forgotten how to have a disagreement in this country (and perhaps globally) and how to discuss our differences in a respectful way. Furthermore,…


Added by Paul Combs on August 17, 2016 at 2:49pm — No Comments

Extrication "QUICK TIP" #57 (DOES SIZE MATTER?)

When it comes to extrication tools, everyone has their personal preferences. Having the opportunity to travel the country teaching, I have had the opportunity to use most the tools out there at one time or another. This weeks “Quick Tip” will cover my personal opinion on the controversial topic of tool sizes/weights. You will get various…


Added by Isaac Frazier on August 17, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

Recycle, Re-Use, and Rescue

With the plethora of tools and equipment available in the fire service, it’s safe to say that there is a tool for every need. Unfortunately, with most fire departments, (both career and volunteer), tight budgets can hinder the purchase of the latest…


Added by AB Turenne on August 16, 2016 at 4:00pm — No Comments

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