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September 2016 Blog Posts (24)

What's in a title?


What is in a title? A title defined by the dictionary is; a descriptive or distinctive appellation, especially one belonging to a person by right of rank, office, attainment. It’s something that can give a person power and authority or it can mean you have achieved the most elite status in a sport profession. In all instances the word title holds a lot of power!

In the fire…


Added by Andrew Sauder on September 30, 2016 at 12:32pm — No Comments

The Quick Race to the Grave


Heroin....What's that mean to you or, what do you think about when hearing that word. Another overdose, more narcan, another code, another meaningless death, or another set of parents without a child again. This drug...Heroin…= Epidemic. There’s no other word to describe it. This drug has become the drug of choice in recent years to wreak the most havoc in the families of the loved ones that abuse it and are addicted…


Added by Les Allen on September 28, 2016 at 8:46pm — No Comments

How Trusses Affect Firefighter Safety

I submitted this as part of my Fire Science degree program.

Building construction has had an impact on the outcomes of the firefighter’s ability to survive in a hostile fire environment. The types of construction have evolved over the years, with residential construction be built using lighter and lighter materials. Additionally, the contents of residential occupancies have changed, both in quantity, but also in the what those materials are made of. The increase in contents made of…


Added by Michael Lloyd on September 28, 2016 at 3:30pm — No Comments

5 Ways To Resolve Your Own Comm Problem

Top FIVE Ways to Resolve Your Own Tactical Communications Problem

(Requires NO equipment outside of what you already have)

1. Move to a window

2. Stand up (if conditions permit)

3. Orient portable radio VERTICALLY

4. Raise your portable up high (again, if conditions permit)

5. Switch to SOP/common practice-driven Simplex/Talkaround/Direct Channel

Added by Samuel Villani, III on September 27, 2016 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Pride, perception and people

In this next installment of Our Own Worst Enemies, I tackle pride and perception.

But first, I want to make a confession. I am guilty of almost all of the behaviors I have railed against. I openly and freely admit it, and to all that I have subjected my anger to, I'm sorry. Not an excuse, but it's hard to separate the anger directed towards one's self and not have it spill over to others. When the atmosphere you're in is toxic, and there's no known PPE against it, it takes maturity…


Added by Larry Browne on September 27, 2016 at 8:30am — No Comments

Has the mission changed?

In 1999 Andy Fredericks asked “is the fire service straying away from its core mission”? Do we place more emphasis on peripheral issues/training as opposed to bread and butter skills?  RIT training is important and needs to be a part of our training, but shouldn’t we put more effort into not getting into those situations in the first place. I know there are unforeseen circumstances that happen on the fire ground. Knowing how to fill out triage tags is a skill we should know, but do we need…


Added by David Polikoff on September 27, 2016 at 8:20am — No Comments

The Working Company Officer

     Many fire departments throughout the nation operate with fire companies that are considerably  understaffed.  Officers assigned in these companies have the added responsibility of performing firefighting at the task level during nearly every incident.  Whether pulling ceiling, stretching a line, or chasing kinks,  the company officer needs to remember his/her primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of the members and location in which they are operating. 

     Being a…


Added by David DeStefano on September 23, 2016 at 9:58am — No Comments

Leadership…Why has it gone wrong in so many places?

There are all kinds of schools for management and leadership, some good, some bad and some just silly.  I made myself a promise many years ago that if I ever found myself in a leadership position in a fire department that I would be the officer that I always hoped for and was fortunate enough to get in my career.  The following is a list of attributes that I have always deemed important.

1)  A passion for the job that goes from day one until retirement.  You can’t…


Added by Don Catenacci on September 22, 2016 at 4:27pm — No Comments

Bradley Golden – Still Tragic Fifteen Years Later

I wrote this story in 2003 and first released it on September 25th of that year; two years after the tragic death of then 19 year-old Firefighter Bradley Golden, who died in a live burn training exercise in Lairdsville, New York. I have posted it every year since then to keep a promise; to honor and to remember Brad. I do not do it to keep the emotional wounds fresh. I do it because there are so many important lessons to be gained by…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on September 22, 2016 at 10:50am — 1 Comment

How Leadership Can Affect an Organization.

This is a paper I wrote for a college class. I hope you enjoy.

Ronald Reagan says it pretty clearly; "The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." All people crave leadership. What makes up leadership, and how can it be defined. How does leadership effect your organization and life? When I speak of the organization, it could mean family, community, workplace or anywhere that…


Added by Michael Lloyd on September 21, 2016 at 7:00pm — No Comments


Sometimes the best way is to just keep it simple and direct!


Click here to see more of my work or order prints, go to:…

Added by Paul Combs on September 21, 2016 at 3:16pm — No Comments

Stop Believing Start Knowing

Stop Believing Start Knowing- What does this mean?

 By, Sean Gray


After sitting in several days of meetings with some of the greatest minds in the fire service. I started thinking about the current cultural divide in the fire service. I came to a conclusion that it’s not just in the fire service it’s in our…


Added by Sean Gray on September 21, 2016 at 6:00am — No Comments

Ballistic Vests– false sense of security?

The increase of violence against American law enforcement and firefighters has presented a new and not so innovative way to prevent damage from violent events from turning into a fatal event. The current panacea is the plethora of bullet or knife resistant vests now being issued by the various fire departments across the country. No vest is bulletproof so I will refer to them as ballistic vests for the remainder of this article.…


Added by John K. Murphy on September 20, 2016 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Baptism by Fire

Way back in 2009, during a church service, my Pastor got me to thinking. He was preaching about baptism. He was explaining to us his belief that some faiths baptize at too early of an age. Now before you spout off how wrong he is, or whatever opinion you may have about baptism, or other faiths, hear me out first. I will try to relate and tie in what he had to say in terms of being a firefighter. I mean this not to be a lesson in religion as the pastor did, simply an analogy, nothing…


Added by Andy Marsh on September 20, 2016 at 10:25pm — No Comments

Pay it Forward - Mentoring

Many people consider mentoring as a formal program that occurs in someone else’s department. Or, maybe there is one or two people in your life that gave you advice from time to time. However, I would argue that mentoring can be formal but the most powerful transformations are developed from informal mentoring. I have been fortunate to have surrounded myself, on purpose and by luck, with tremendous mentors in my life. It should not be good enough for any of us to just go home after every…


Added by Brian Ward "FireServiceSLT" on September 19, 2016 at 9:42am — No Comments

You Can't Save Them All

           Today I was having some conversation with a good friend of mine and a fellow company officer. We were exchanging ideas and issues about dealing with people and how to motivate ones that don’t seem to have any motivation. We discussed different techniques, approaches and even the behavior we have to demonstrate as officers to have a positive impact on the individuals that just lack motivation. We further discussed how to make hardheaded individuals see…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on September 16, 2016 at 5:00pm — No Comments

BEAT IT - September Fire Engineering magazine illustration.

"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear."  - Thomas Jefferson

I love this quote by our third U.S. President. A man of vision, exploration, and curiosity who never stopped wondering "what if..."  Some of the most groundbreaking moments…


Added by Paul Combs on September 15, 2016 at 3:19pm — No Comments

Our own worst enemies

What are we doing to each other? We are driven to serve, use the terms brother and sister religiously, put our lives on the line for people we've never met. Yet we are terrible to one another.

The adage "That's the way it's always been." is a common reply. "We bust chops. It's a firehouse thing." "Look how we turned out." All common responses to questions about…


Added by Larry Browne on September 14, 2016 at 11:10am — No Comments


As we pulled out of the firehouse at 0300 hours, the dispatcher informed responding units that they were receiving numerous calls for a serious motor vehicle crash with multiple patients trapped. I relayed the information to the backseat to notify them that we would be going to work. From that point, each member begins to dig into…


Added by Isaac Frazier on September 14, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

MFA #35: Small Times - An ideal strategy for the minimally staffed

It can be demoralizing to learn that something to which you had dedicated a lot of time and effort studying, practicing, and promoting has been rendered irrelevant, or at least less relevant, and I speak from personal experience.  The tactical modifications inspired by fire dynamics research that have incited the most rancor are those regarding initial water application targets and ventilation timing, with the proponents of still bypassing showing fire in favor of immediate entry, and of…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on September 13, 2016 at 11:39am — No Comments

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