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September 2015 Blog Posts (74)


What will you do when it's your turn to build onto what those who came before us started? Will you make it better? Will you have the courage to say "yes"?

Be the leader and build for the next generation to follow and exceed our progress.

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


Added by Paul Combs on September 14, 2015 at 2:59pm — No Comments

MFA #10: Firefighter DNA - Our colorful history of resistance to change

Good news: any guilt we feel about our collective hesitancy to modify our tactics can instead be laid upon our ancestors!  Well, not technically, since you can’t inherit stubbornness.  Still, even if we aren’t actually related to those who preceded us in this great endeavor, like them, we continue to face new challenges and debate the best solutions.  As with many walks of life, taking a look at our history can sometimes provide insight regarding current conditions, and at times help to…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on September 14, 2015 at 6:09am — No Comments

A Keen Eye

A Keen Eye

"Remember that we are all in this together. We must consistently watch out for each other. Only a firefighter truly knows what it is like to be a firefighter... When things go wrong, only more firefighters like us are coming in after us." (pg. xi)

The application of these few sentences speak volumes on several fronts. For one, they do not only just pertain to just the fireground. While we know that the fire floor can be extremely…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on September 13, 2015 at 5:08pm — No Comments

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

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 60th Line Of Duty Deaths for 2015 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighter Dennis Rodeman 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 Lansing Fire Department.



Added by Brad Hoff on September 11, 2015 at 12:41pm — No Comments

My 9/11 Story

With the 14th anniversary of 9/11 here I felt the need to tell my 9/11 story.

I signed up for the local volunteer fire department in June 2001. In July of 2001 I had to participate in the department’s physical agility test. The part that I hold close is that I was the last member of that department to have this fond memory. While climbing to the top of the 100 foot aerial stick I heard the operator’s voice speak on the speakers mounted at the top of the stick. After I…


Added by Dave McGlynn on September 11, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments


Honor and remembrance...

Added by Paul Combs on September 11, 2015 at 6:40am — No Comments

9/11 thoughts

I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I wasn't in the fire service, heck, I hadn't even graduated high school. I can tell you the classroom, the subject, the teacher and the emotions I felt that day.

I can remember watching the two giant towers crashing down to the ground, the images of the Pentagon, the field in Shanksville. Those images I'll never forget. I remember thinking about all of the innocent lives lost, the thousands of people whose lives would never be the same… Continue

Added by Tyler Hice on September 11, 2015 at 12:15am — No Comments


Saw a Facebook ad earlier today where somebody was having a 9/11 sale on t-shirts! Repulsive!
This is a time for remembrance and honor, not buying merchandise. Please don't support opportunistic…

Added by Paul Combs on September 10, 2015 at 6:04pm — No Comments

Reflecting on 9/11

Reflecting on 9/11

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

     I slept right through the September 11th  terrorist attacks. By the time I awoke, both towers had collapsed, the Pentagon had been attacked, and the last plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. I had worked the night before and only realized what had happened…


Added by Joseph Kitchen on September 10, 2015 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Remembering 9/11 and the Spirit of Who We All Are

The other day a close friend forwarded a picture to me. It is a picture looking across the Brooklyn Bridge at the Twin Towers, already burning from the terrorist attacks. Then you realize on the bridge is an FDNY Ladder truck, Ladder 118 to be exact, heading towards the mayhem and destruction that was 9/11. On board that truck were 6 of FDNY's bravest, doing what it is we…


Added by Michael D. Staats on September 10, 2015 at 1:41pm — 1 Comment

The Ultimate Firefighter 9-11 Tribute Challenge Workout

Every year around September 11th I like to take a moment and reflect on the significance of the day and honor those that sacrificed (and continue to sacrifice to this day).  I encourage you to do this workout, share your results and challenge others to do the same, at least once a year (on September 11th).    This "tribute" workout is difficult but has a great significance…


Added by Aaron Zamzow on September 10, 2015 at 11:20am — No Comments

September 11, 2015 ~ 'The Gold Standard'


Fourteen years.


This week will mark the 14th anniversary of September 11th 2001, an anniversary that some say has been forgotten by society at large. While certainly there are exceptions, perhaps it is largely because many do not have a personal ‘tie-in’ to the events that shook places like Shanksville, Arlington, and New York City.

Yet, it remains unforgettable by some, especially to those in our line of work… it is a date that lives…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on September 10, 2015 at 8:41am — 1 Comment

Seeing is Believing - Command Presence During Training Evolutions


"A point of view can be a dangerous luxury, when substituted for insight and understanding."  Marshall McLuhan


Over the last week (and most of the year), I have witnessed some disrespectful commentary on social…


Added by Justin Arnold on September 10, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

A Few Thoughts On Leadership…..

In the fire service in a similar way to the military we’re in a very long campaign. Obviously our enemies are vastly different but we still partake in many skirmishes and occasionally some all out battles.

Where our services are quite similar is in the need for effective leaders. 

Leaders who can step up and show us the way in an ever evolving environment both on and off our respective battlefields. 

Someone that people will look to and believe in and follow with…


Added by Brian Bastinelli on September 10, 2015 at 7:32am — 2 Comments

Cell Phone Privacy

Question – I am a Battalion Chief in a large department and use my personal cell phone for work related issues like taking pictures of emergency scenes and emails/texting to various chief officers and elected officials. My Chief informed me that material contained in my phone is available for review under a Public Records request for information if I am using it in the performance of my duty.…


Added by John K. Murphy on September 9, 2015 at 4:24pm — No Comments

Who are You Letting Down?

Who are You Letting Down?


Before you read any further read this article by Captain Steve Heidbreder.


I don’t know…


Added by The First Twenty on September 9, 2015 at 2:35pm — No Comments

Location, Location, Location!

With all of the debate about exterior versus interior, I wanted to share a video that I use in many of the tactical classes that I teach and offer a few observations.  First, this is a video that is used for learning, not to critique the methods or tactics that were or were not deployed during this fire.  Second, we were not there and do not know all of the circumstances surrounding why they made their decisions.

Overall, I think they did a pretty good job in the end.

When I…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on September 9, 2015 at 11:43am — 1 Comment

Sensible Aggression versus Reckless Aggression


This has been weighing heavily on my mind, and I don’t particularly like a lot of what I am hearing. It seems like everyone with a computer and access to the internet is weighing in on the whole aggression thing. Unfortunately it seems like supporting a position on the use of aggressive fire ground tactics is a no win situation. The use of aggressive tactics on the fire ground is being discussed as if aggression were an attitude or political affiliation, and not for what it is, a…


Added by Scott Thompson on September 9, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

Hump Day SOS Where and Who Do You Get Your Information From?

Where and Who Do You Get Your Information From?

 by David Rhodes


What if the internet curtain was pulled back on everyone that publishes information…


Added by David Rhodes on September 9, 2015 at 8:13am — No Comments

The Critical Few vs. The Insignificant Many

          I once heard a colleague jokingly say that change would be easy if it wasn’t so hard. I don’t fully agree with that statement. I personally believe that the hardest part about change is actually making the decision to change. I also believe that leading a team through change would be much easier if it wasn’t for a select group of stubborn people who resist change.

          It may be true that most people don’t like change, but it’s also true that for…


Added by Frank Viscuso on September 8, 2015 at 2:55pm — No Comments

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