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September 2014 Blog Posts (46)

Journal Entry 34 - After the Fire

Most of you who know me know that I write about either a training concept or things that inspire me. This month I’m inspired. It comes right in time for Fire Prevention month. Sorry to scare off some of you with the FP words but keep reading anyway. 

On January 19, 2000, an arson fire took the lives of three college freshman and injured 58 others at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J. I was a Chief in New Jersey at the time and colleagues of mine had been to the fire. It was…


Added by RON KANTERMAN on September 29, 2014 at 1:29pm — No Comments

The Instructor

If you notice, the title is not "The Training Officer" and your first thought is, what is the difference? Much. Your thinking of the old myth that an Instructor has to be certified from an accredited group such as IFSAC or ProBoard. But that myth is wrong and here is why. I myself, your blogger for the time being, is a Certified Fire Instructor from both Massachusetts and New Hampshire and I have the "Certs" to prove it but, does any of this make me a good or a better Instructor than anyone…


Added by Mark Munroe on September 29, 2014 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Firefighters as Caregivers

 We as Firefighters are trained to handle most anything that comes our way , and with that comes the added stress of handling our own family's needs , esp when your spouse becomes ill . The journey I have been on since last October of 2013 has been a whirlwind experience , going from having my spouse being they had Stage 4 Brain Cancer to the Operation to recovery  to treatments and the ups and downs of dealing and becoming the go to guy.

We really have no idea what are spouse's do…


Added by Mike France on September 29, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments


As we start the week off, lets take today to review your departments MAYDAY policies. These tasks, procedures and policies need to be practiced and reinforced through training constantly. We sometimes put this off to one time a year or when the next…


Added by Richard Riley on September 29, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments


The Sunday Preach


~A few quotes from pg. 248 of the book "25 to Survive:  Reducing Residential Injury and LODD" tells a story of reflection, introspection, humility and refinement for personal and professional progress...

"We know that few firefighters or company officers have experienced the 'perfect fire'. In that scenario, every fireground task said and done is accomplished right on…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on September 28, 2014 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Positive Learning...Not Ridicule

Mental therapy for me is sitting around with the men and women discussing the "job" and how we can effectively learn from each run and training scenario.  As with any incident, the most rewarding time for the Incident Commander, Company Officer, and Chief is when the "team" executes every play from the play caller. 

Training programs are essentially one of the most critical programs in any fire department.  Having a pro-active training plan can and will eliminate chaos on the fire…


Added by Jeremy Rebok on September 28, 2014 at 11:53am — No Comments

The Instructor


Added by Mark Munroe on September 26, 2014 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Hiring Right

The recent defense verdict in Connecticut (Ultegra LLC v. Mystic Fire District No. 3:09-cv-01284 (MPS)) brings to light the need to evaluate your fire departments hiring process used in bringing a new candidate into your organization. There are numerous ways to recruit and hire a qualified volunteer or career firefighter ranging from legacy hiring (a family member nominates the candidate and they are voted in) to a comprehensive hiring process…


Added by John K. Murphy on September 26, 2014 at 12:19pm — No Comments

G-T-L for Firefighter Survival

The television programming in my house is changing. Our children are getting older and the programming is moving to a more diverse genre. The other night my oldest was watching the show Jersey Shore on MTV;  so I sat down and decided to see what he was taking in.  It didn't take long to figure out the cast had a mantra for "summer life" on the shore.  Mike "The Situation" and another, Pauly D. often stated their day was going to consist of "G-T-L"; and it took me some time to figure out what…


Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on September 25, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Is It Time To Change Your Obsolete Leadership Style?

If there’s one frustration I experience more often than others, it’s when someone says, “My leadership style is ….” Why do so many leaders believe they must follow a particular leadership style or model, when most issues can be addressed by a variety of approaches, or even a combination of them? Maybe it’s time to ask ourselves: “Is my leadership style obsolete?”

Today’s fire service leaders are facing more danger, complexity, and uncertainty. And it’s not slowing down. Whether it’s…


Added by Billy Schmidt on September 25, 2014 at 6:04am — No Comments


I am a firm believer in earning your place - starting from the bottom of the ladder, doing the less desirable jobs, while climbing to the roof. New firefighters must prove themselves in what seemingly matters little, and more experienced firefighters will notice - and in turn trust them with more important jobs. The old adage “shut up and listen” still holds true today…


Added by Paul Combs on September 24, 2014 at 9:05am — No Comments

Hump Day SOS - The Checklist

Don’t Lose Site of the Purpose of Checklist

I had a few conversations with some folks that really push the use of the “checklist”. This is not a bad thing but I see it getting misapplied in many departments. I once saw a safety officer circling the building with a clipboard busy filling…


Added by David Rhodes on September 24, 2014 at 8:25am — No Comments

Get Over It

We’ve all been there at one point or another.  We’ve had our idea shot down, we’ve been moved to a station or a shift we didn’t like, or we’ve been labeled as something we aren’t.  If you haven’t been there yet…just wait you will.



Added by Grant Schwalbe on September 23, 2014 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment

Extrication "Quick Tip" 18 (RAM BASE)

This is a quick tip showing an alternative push base for a Hydraulic Ram. Spreaders pinched on the rocker panel may or may not be recommended depending on your individual hydraulic manufactures recommendations. This is just a quick option to keep the ram base from "running" down the rocker panel. Drive the halligan spike into the rocker with a axe,…


Added by Isaac Frazier on September 23, 2014 at 7:46am — No Comments

Are You a Hoarder?

Have you seen the recent articles, classes and information on hoarding? It is a real problem for us as a society and for us as firefighters.

The dangers are obvious based on the conditions of the homes and buildings we have to enter and search. It can make our push very slow and can easily disorient us with so many obstacles.

Just like with these homes, some firefighters are hoarders. Not in the sense…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on September 22, 2014 at 9:46pm — No Comments

Looking out for your guys

Have you ever heard someone use the phrase, “they look out for their guys”? I have heard it on several occasions and it has often made me wonder, what the true meaning of these words is. I have had conversations with fellow firefighters and it typically is directed at the company officer. Sometimes the conversation consists of firefighters being in trouble and things being swept under the rug. Sometimes, there is talk of things that are going on around the station that are unprofessional and…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on September 22, 2014 at 2:17pm — No Comments

Garden Apartment Search Blog

I would like to continue with the search blogs.  As a reminder, I will post a video of the fire scene and provide some basic information.  I would hope you would respond to the blog by commenting at the bottom of the page.  If you are a little timid, (you’re probably not a “B” shifter) at least think about the situation and figure out what you would do if you were assigned search at that fire. 

This fire occurs in a three story garden type apartment. One level is mostly below grade…


Added by Skip Coleman on September 19, 2014 at 11:18am — 4 Comments

Rescue: Remove the Victim or Remove the Fire?

            It’s an age old question that is still debated by firefighters to this day, and often quite vigorously. When responding to an occupied residential structure fire, do you immediately go for the rescue to remove the victims or do you attack the fire? Many firefighters would say that you should do both at the same time, and if you have the available resources showing up quick enough to do so, that is probably the most correct answer. However, many times our reality is that we are…


Added by Chris Langlois on September 18, 2014 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Terrorism - Are You Ready?

 ISIS, Hamas, Lone Wolf's, Mexican Drug Lords, Etc all have one thing in common, their dislike of the United States, it's government but more importantly, you and your families. A few years ago, while watching my son play with other kids on the playground, I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman watching his grandson interact with mine. We discussed how cute the kids were and how well they got along. Within a few moments, his facial expression changed and I could see he was…


Added by Mark Munroe on September 17, 2014 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Securing Nozzle Bails When Extending Hose Lines

From my post at

With the advent of reduced pressure, breakaway nozzles the fire service was presented with the option of extending charged hose lines when coming up short. While ideally this operation is completed in a protected, non-IDLH position, such as a stairwell, the reality is that this operation is sometimes conducted in an IDLH , leaving the…


Added by Samuel Villani, III on September 17, 2014 at 11:45am — No Comments

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