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September 2015 Blog Posts (63)

Recognizing Suicide Warning Signs in Firefighters and EMTs

Recognizing Suicide Warning Signs in Firefighters and EMTs


Behavioral health is a key component of an overall firefighter health and wellness program. Unfortunately, it is a difficult subject to discuss – many factors affect a firefighter’s ability to understand when a fellow brother or sister is suffering, but that does not make it any less critical an issue.


By far, the number one comment…


Added by The First Twenty on September 30, 2015 at 8:59am — No Comments

Perception versus Reality

Perception has a few different meanings.  For the basis of this blog, I am referring to it as “a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.”

Reality on the other hand is something very different.  It is defined as “The world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an…


Added by Stephen Raclaw on September 29, 2015 at 9:19pm — No Comments

Hair Raising Tales

Question. I am a firefighter with a ponytail. Can my employer make me trim it or cut it off?

Answer. The short answer is the employer can create a grooming standard and create an exception based on gender. There has been a lot of controversy related to the “right” to display tattoos, piercings, beards, hair length, coloring your hair a bizarre color and other personal displays of…


Added by John K. Murphy on September 29, 2015 at 9:00pm — No Comments

“STOP THE MADNESS, What we are and are not listening to”

So once again a short video clip of a fire has created a great stir in the world of the Internet. The latest video came from California and shows crews operating on a working fire in what appears to be an auto repair shop. Immediately the Internet safety zealots started posting “They should NEVER be on that roof” or “We would NEVER do that at a fire, it’s dangerous!” Many of…


Added by Steve Pegram on September 29, 2015 at 9:00pm — 4 Comments


Do you have command presence? Do your people know you are the person in charge, the person who they can turn to in a crisis and know will do everything in your power to produce a successful outcome for them? Do you lead by example and “walk the walk”, or rely on bombastic talk, domineering bully tactics, and a big voice/big stick mentality to prove that you are in…


Added by Paul Combs on September 29, 2015 at 4:03pm — No Comments

Come on Engine Guys!

Just because you are on an engine company, does not excuse you from bringing hand tools in to do work other that hose line stuff.  A good engine crew will be ready to overhaul the fire area once the fire in knocked. Sometimes the truck crews are doing other stuff like search, laddering or venting. The truck crew might not be there to pull ceilings so it is up to you as the engine crew. Same holds true for forcing doors. You carry those tools on the engine for a reason.

Added by David Polikoff on September 29, 2015 at 8:45am — 1 Comment

MFA #12: Research vs. Real World - How do laboratory results translate to the fireground?

The principles of modern fire attack (MFA) arose from the findings of the equally modern fire dynamics research.  Many have rightly asked why we should abandon tactics developed over many decades, built upon the experiences of thousands of firefighters at hundreds of thousands of structure fires, practiced by many to perfection, and embedded in fire service training, literature, and even culture, just because of contrary information gathered from maybe a hundred fires set in laboratories? …


Added by Mark J. Cotter on September 29, 2015 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

The Front Suction

The Option of a Front Suction


By: Ricky Riley


Being from and working in the Metro - Washington DC area for most of my life, I thought that front suctions were a standard option on all fire apparatus. Who in their right mind would not want one of these on their rig?  It makes life so…


Added by Richard Riley on September 29, 2015 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

We are Old School

Not long ago I posted some videos and pictures on social media that included a tour at my old firehouse. They were pictures of fires, the firehouse, and of the guys in front of the truck after a “good job”. Most of the firefighters on the thread had a good amount of time on the job, or had retired. Some comments were mostly in jest, and meant to just mess with us a little. Although some of the comments were essentially…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on September 28, 2015 at 3:20pm — 1 Comment

It's All About Service

Its All About Service

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

            The life of a firefighter/paramedic can certainly be challenging. Long hours, difficult calls, working nights, weekends, and holidays can take a toll. For company officers, managing day to day operations and…


Added by Joseph Kitchen on September 28, 2015 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Beyond the door, The Risk Analysis.

Risk a lot to save a lot, Risk nothing to save nothing.  It is spoken and printed on many hallways in the fire service and classrooms across the nation.  Has this become just another motto put in place to alleviate the liabilities or is it actually occurring on the scene? As history marches along the pendulum swings back and forth creating change and leaving behind chaos.  Too many emotions are being attached to decisions that are made in split seconds while…


Added by scott corrigan on September 27, 2015 at 9:07pm — 2 Comments

Mission Critical...

The Sunday Preach:

"ONE MISSION AND ONE MISSION ONLY" "A key foundation to doing our job since the inception of the fire service is the establishment and delivery of water." (Chapter 16 'Where is My Water' - pg. 167)

Water on Fire = No more Fire

...and this my friends, is good for everyone

So, while Engine may have over the generations changed color, shape and size and have more bells and whistles…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on September 27, 2015 at 10:41am — No Comments


Winning Words

“You can observe a lot by just watching.”

“You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

“Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.”

As a lifelong NY Yankees fan, one of my childhood sports heroes, Yogi…


Added by Warren Cersley on September 25, 2015 at 4:05pm — No Comments

Start your Next Firefighter Workout with This...

Are you still warming up for your workout by jogging or biking or maybe not at all?  Each one of your workouts should start with specific active stretching movements.  In the past you may have skipped this part, but I assure you these exercises will help strengthen and even tone your body.  In fact, if you had just 15 minutes to workout I would want you do an active warm-up routine (or one like it). …

Added by Aaron Zamzow on September 24, 2015 at 9:22pm — No Comments

MFA #11: SLICE-RS and Flow Paths and Change, Oh My! - MFA principles aren't so scary or different

It's certainly an interesting time for the American fire service as we continue to learn more about our ancient enemy and adjust our tactics to best accomplish its control.  "Revolutionary" is not an inaccurate term for the degree of changes that are being proposed for the fire suppression aspect of our mission.  Depending upon which side of this revolution you currently stand, you may find yourself pushing for those innovations, or having them pushed upon you.  Some even push back.  Despite…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on September 24, 2015 at 6:30am — No Comments

A Fitness Transformation

A Fitness Transformation

Many have shared their personal fitness journeys here over the past few months, so I thought it would be appropriate to share mine as well. We all have started in different places and begun for different reasons, but our end goal is all the same. To improve our functional fitness and to be become the best firefighter we can possibly be.

I have been on and off the…


Added by The First Twenty on September 23, 2015 at 2:22pm — No Comments

Extrication "Quick Tip" #44 (CUTTER WRIST TWIST)

When it comes to extrication tools, cutter torque is one of the most “common” and avoidable causes of catastrophic tool failures. In this week’s “Quick Tip”, we are covering an option to help in recognizing/preventing cutter torque in areas that the cutter blades are hard to visualize. There are a many strong points on a vehicle…


Added by Isaac Frazier on September 23, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Hump Day SOS - Search: Still the Reason We Go Inside

Search & reSearch & Rescue – Still the Reason We Go Inside

By David Rhodes

I'm headed out to Wichita for Wichita HOT this weekend to help with the SEARCH class, so I've dusted off an old Hump Day on SEARCH to get the thought process…


Added by David Rhodes on September 23, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

Understaffed RIT - Arrival & Initial Actions

      As firefighter’s we always want to be ahead of the game,. Especially when operating with short staffed RIT’s. Do not wait until a mayday occurs to make a plan. Have a plan in place on the fireground before a mayday occurs. This does not mean adding a RIT section to pre-plans. It means the RIT members need to have a plan for the fireground they are operating on that is based on what they are presented with at the time. RIT members need to know things like how…


Added by David Topczynski on September 22, 2015 at 12:20pm — No Comments

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