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September 2013 Blog Posts (37)

Halligan Adze: The Working End

The forks of the Halligan bar get the bulk of the attention in most fire service text books. To meet "critical criteria" on various state or local certification exams you must force doors by a very specific check list of operations using just the fork end with great attention to detail on how the bevel or arch of the forks is in relation to the door jamb.  Too many…


Added by Brian Brush on September 29, 2013 at 4:30pm — No Comments

State Forester Releases Yarnell Hill (AZ) Accident Investigation Report

The Arizona State Forester today released the Yarnell Hill Fire Serious Accident Investigation Report, which analyzes the circumstances leading to the June 30 entrapment and deaths of 19 firefighters of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew. The report and accompanying documents are available at

The State of Arizona convened an accident investigation team…


Added by Fire Engineering on September 28, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Understanding the (Y) in a Multi-Generational Fire Service Workforce!

Hello FE Community.


Thought of the Day -  We have all been through numerous administrations in our fire service careers.  "Given all things equal within an organization, same fire department, same dedicated men and women protecting our citizens, it is the Level of Leadership that sets that same organization greatly apart...."  FETC



Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on September 28, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

Little Drops of Nuggets


Great discussion points online from Andy Fredericks Training Days 2013

Starting in 2009 in Alexandria Virginia, the Andy Fredericks Training Days has become one of the most popular small-scale fire service education events that have large-scale reach.  Organizers keep the weekday event focused on Andy’s legacy of…


Added by Bill Carey on September 27, 2013 at 1:48pm — No Comments

Search Scenario #3 Large Ranch

Ok,  So far so good.  I would still like more of you to suck-it-up and post what “you” would do.  No one will pot-shot you.  I won’t let any negative, over critical or down-right mean post up there. 

This scenario is a larger ranch house (at least that’s what we would call it where I come from).  Again, what you see is what you get. 

Assume for this scenario that the first assignment given was “Attack”.  The first arriving engine company has secured a water supply and stretched…


Added by Skip Coleman on September 27, 2013 at 9:29am — 19 Comments

Search Scenario Help

I have posted two scenarios now that depict a specific scenario that centers around search.  Each has a quick video showing the building and fire. Each has a floor plan of the building (or a close proximity). There is a quick explanation of the scenario and a few questions asking how you would search this building. 

This is supposed to be an interactive learning tool designed to allow you to participate by first thinking of what you would do in the same scenario and then answering the…


Added by Skip Coleman on September 26, 2013 at 10:39am — No Comments


Each year at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg and at the IAFF Memorial in Colorado Springs, we gather to memorialize and pay tribute to our fallen. The ceremonies are dignified, respectful, appropriate and most moving. I would hope that every member of the Fire Service could make the opportunity to attend one or both of these ceremonies, at least once.

It is so important to keep the Line of Duty Death numbers in perspective and in sharp focus. Each fire service lost is…


Added by Warren Cersley on September 24, 2013 at 5:07pm — No Comments


Added by Paul Combs on September 24, 2013 at 2:35pm — 1 Comment

2012 LODD Report

See what the numbers are telling us. Are we putting our focus in the right places? 2012 LODD Report: Heads Up Firefighting

Added by Dave Werner on September 23, 2013 at 10:53am — No Comments

Switching It Up

What would happen to your crew if the leader was suddenly taken out of the fight? Would your people step up and take control? Learn the benefits of encouraging leadership initiative in all aspects of what we do...Switching It Up: Heads Up Firefighting

Added by Dave Werner on September 23, 2013 at 10:52am — No Comments

Staying Sharp

We are forced to do annual refreshers on all sorts of skills. Why don't we have annual refreshers for our basic firefighting skills? What can we do to work towards a formal system? Staying Sharp: Heads Up Firefighting

Added by Dave Werner on September 23, 2013 at 10:50am — No Comments

Fire Behavior: Back drafts and Smoke Explosions

What is the difference between a back draft and a smoke explosion? Is there a difference? Let's hear what you think...Back Drafts and Smoke Explosions: Heads Up Firefighting

Added by Dave Werner on September 23, 2013 at 10:48am — No Comments

Size Up Practice

Do you take the time to rehearse your size ups? If you don't take the time to practice, you will not be painting an accurate picture...Size Up Practice: Heads Up Firefighting

Added by Dave Werner on September 23, 2013 at 10:46am — No Comments

The Holy Grail of Fire Attack?

With all the recent fire studies conducted by UL, NIST, ISFSI, etc. the fire service is undergoing a renaissance...or at least that's what I thought. The aforementioned organizations have pumped out volumes of empirical data that we can consume and digest to make our profession smarter, more effective and most importantly, safer. Although over the past couple of months I have heard too many people spout misinformation regarding the findings of these studies. Specifically, I have had…


Added by Nick Ledin on September 23, 2013 at 12:00am — 6 Comments

"Pushing the Fire"

Have you ever heard firefighters use the term "Pushing the Fire"? If so, did the firefighter have a clear understanding of the term? Although this is a valid term in the fire service, it seems there are some misconceptions regarding our actual ability to “Push the Fire”. Most commonly I have heard this term used when firefighters are discussing how they attacked a residential fire from one particular entry point because they didn’t want to “push the fire…


Added by Kevin Dippolito on September 20, 2013 at 1:41pm — 3 Comments


I am thankful for the opportunity to blog on Fire Engineering. This is my first blog post.

My name is Warren Cersley (Kers-lee) and I have been a Fireman for just over thirty-nine years. I came through the ranks in Richmond, Virginia where I currently serve as a Battalion Chief, a position I have held since 1986. When I write that it sure sounds like a long time, but I have enjoyed the people business, the fire service, so much that it seems like only yesterday.

My goal is to…


Added by Warren Cersley on September 19, 2013 at 4:41pm — No Comments

why do we do that


How many of you can think back to your first days in the fire service. You were brand new, and had no clue how any of the tools worked, nor did you know about any tactics related to the fire service. Now if you can, think back to when you started to learn these things. Was it in Probie…


Added by Chris Willis on September 19, 2013 at 10:55am — No Comments


Added by Paul Combs on September 17, 2013 at 5:03pm — 2 Comments

We Should Be Hearing All About Mike Behette Today, Rather Than Knowing So Much About the Navy Yard Shooter.

Here we go again.


By now, we know way too much about the coward with anger management issues who killed a dozen innocent people yesterday at the DC Navy Yard.  I won't repeat his name.


Someone said he never got over "his demons" working at Ground Zero immediately following the 9/11 attacks.  Boy, that sure sucks, eh?


In my opinion, we give these criminals way too much coverage.  They don't deserve our attention.  I'll keep it clean…


Added by John Mitchell on September 17, 2013 at 11:42am — No Comments

What Type of Search Would You Use #2? Split Level

Thanks to those that posted comments. They were good and showed some different ideas which is what I want.  

In this scenario, we have a fire in a split level residential house.  The fire occurs at 0630 hours on a Sunday morning. As with all these scenarios, what you see is what you get!   As a reminder, you are using your departments staffing, procedures and equipment.

Here is what i want to discuss:

  • Where would you enter the house to begin your…

Added by Skip Coleman on September 17, 2013 at 11:10am — 4 Comments

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