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Ten years! This month marks ten years of being published in…


Added by Paul Combs on May 15, 2019 at 1:19pm — No Comments

Surviving a Toxic Environment

Chief Halton stated in his FDIC 2019 keynote what many of us have said before- ”Firefighting is the best damn job we’ve ever had.” He is 100% correct. This is the best job there is, and I can think of nothing that I’d rather be doing. Although, being a cowboy on a ranch in Colorado or Wyoming with a view of the Rockies wouldn’t be bad either!

But let’s be honest. Sometimes the best job gets you down because of the toxic environment that you find yourself in. People, politics,…


Added by John Lightly on May 13, 2019 at 7:55am — No Comments

Cowardice from the Cheap Seats

Dealing with cowardice from the cheap seats

I was standing in the parking lot of our training center shooting the breeze with a few guys when one of them said, "Hey man, you've got to see this!" He whips out his cell phone, dials up Youtube, and proceeds to show me a video of two firefighters over zealously practicing a push of a 1.75" line in a parking lot. I quickly recognize the tone of the video is more satire than instructional, basically knocking the Nozzle Forward program. In…


Added by Benjamin Martin on May 7, 2019 at 5:38pm — No Comments

The Book on Safety and Health

Journal Entry #52

Dear brothers and sisters,

I missed you all at FDIC this year (home with a temporary medical issue) while Fire Engineering rolled out my new book. I’ve heard from many of you regarding same, seeking information. I’m very proud of this project and wish you a healthy career and safe operations always!

Ronnie K…


Added by RON KANTERMAN on May 7, 2019 at 9:00am — No Comments

Thank You Chief Havel

At face value, firefighting is a profession that seems relatively straightforward when expressed outloud. Our mission is to “fight fires”, “put the wet stuff on the red stuff”, and to “go home with the same number of firefighters that we started our tour with”. Although we attempt to streamline our duties in order to make our jobs more self-evident, firefighting is far from clean and uncomplicated. It’s a trade that requires extreme expertise in order to keep our members safe…

Added by Adam J. Hansen on May 6, 2019 at 8:30am — No Comments

Wednesday Reflection

I start off my week with a reflection and random thoughts. We work, we learn, we train, we talk, and we pass on the knowledge, whether it’s in the form of accountability, life lessons, or mastering competences. We make it our goal, mission, duty to pass on the skills, lessons, and knowledge learned to other members. By doing this we can only hope that someday, they too can pass on what they have learned to other new members. Hopefully if we have done our job correctly the cycle continues to…


Added by John on May 1, 2019 at 1:20pm — No Comments


Are we losing sight of civility in the fire service - especially on social media forums? Is it already lost? Constructive debate and dialogue is taking a back seat to the discourse of demeaning comments and anger over any differing opinions or tactics. Ideology has replaced thoughtful discussion between people of contrasting backgrounds, response…


Added by Paul Combs on April 24, 2019 at 9:49am — No Comments

Building A Reputation To Be Proud Of…Not Just For The Probationary Firefighter

I recently reviewed the “25 Things Probationary Firefighters Should Know and Do” in order to build a great firefighter reputation, created by fire service leaders Frank Viscuso (retired Deputy Chief, Town of Kearny Fire Department) and Michael Terpak (retired Deputy Chief, Jersey City Fire Department). I’ve seen similar lists that frequently address the probationary firefighter, but what about the rest of us? Shouldn’t there be a similar list for…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on April 22, 2019 at 1:24pm — No Comments

Up in Smoke - Medical Marijuana in the Fire Service

One of the current big controversies in the fire service is substance abuse testing and possibly terminating firefighters within the confines of Zero-Tolerance department policies. Departments with substance abuse policies designed to ensure the safety of the firefighters and the community they serve. Contained within these policies(1) is the testing for reasonable suspicion, the protection of employee’s rights, rehabilitation opportunities, last chance agreements and the ramifications of…


Added by John K. Murphy on April 19, 2019 at 3:00pm — No Comments


As the old saying goes, "If you have to tell everybody you're the leader, you're most likely not one!"

STAY FIRED UP, and lead by actions, attitude, humility, and integrity.


To see more Drawn By Fire cartoons, go to:…

Added by Paul Combs on April 17, 2019 at 9:01am — No Comments

Applications from FDIC 2019

     Having been blessed to attend FDIC 2019 last week in Indianapolis, I’d like to humbly offer some takeaways that can be applied to most any situation in life.

1. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone

     I think it’s safe to say that humans are creatures of habit. We are generally content to stick with what is familiar to us, especially the more introverted we are. As firefighters, we like being in control of things and have an intense belief that…


Added by John Lightly on April 16, 2019 at 10:50am — No Comments

Discipleship in the Fire Service

A couple of weeks ago I had the honor to deliver a short invocation at the inaugural Deep South Fire Conference in Birmingham, Alabama.  What follows is an updated format.



If you are reading this, you have probably heard of Andy Fredericks?  You’ve probably also heard of “Andy’s Ambassadors”. You…


Added by Clay Magee on April 9, 2019 at 11:45am — No Comments

Don't say "It will not happen to me", just do whatever you can to prevent it

A basic system consists of a central control panel to which smoke alarms and heat detectors are connected, together with bells or horns & sprinklers that are activated when the system triggers an alarm. The control panel operates from the electrical system in the building and should contain an emergency battery which can operate the fire alarm part-system for about 24 hours during a power shortage.

The basic requirements for the number and locations of alarms depend mainly on the…


Added by Hannah Stouterr on April 5, 2019 at 6:00am — No Comments


April Fire Engineering magazine cartoon.

Way too much of this going on these days!

STAY FIRED UP, and be you, be original... or at the very least, give credit where credit is due!


To see more Drawn By Fire cartoons, go to:…

Added by Paul Combs on April 3, 2019 at 8:59am — No Comments


...because sometimes the only point is to be silly.

STAY FIRED UP, and from time to time, lighten up.


To see more Drawn By Fire cartoons, go to:…

Added by Paul Combs on March 31, 2019 at 4:20pm — No Comments

Addressing Public Expectations - Meet or change?

Duty to the citizens we serve is frequently held up as our most basic and sacred responsibility as firefighters, and I couldn't agree more. It motivates us to perfect our skills for the benefit of others, face dangers known and unknown, and even to leave a warm bed to assist a stranger. In short, it inspires selflessness. Still, though that obligation is powerful, it is unfocused; it serves as a compass, not a map. My point in making this distinction is to counter the frequent citation of…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on March 31, 2019 at 4:17pm — No Comments

Parents Not Mentors

A mentor is defined as a trusted counselor or guide, someone who may be an influential sponsor or supporter. A coach is one who instructs or trains. These are terms that are used everywhere in our culture of leadership and personal development books, podcasts, and lecture series. A mentor is viewed as that old sage who takes us under their wing to give us little snippets of wisdom and tweetable quotes. The personal coaching industry has a large market share in business circles and seems to…


Added by John Lightly on March 30, 2019 at 8:13pm — No Comments

March Fire Engineering Magazine: GUILTY!

Yep, we all know this instructor... and hopefully it's not you!

STAY FIRED UP, and teach beyond the slide!


To see more Drawn By Fire cartoons, go to:…

Added by Paul Combs on March 28, 2019 at 8:27am — No Comments

Toxic Ego

I want to begin this with a challenge to each and every one of you out there reading this, it’s a simple phrase and think about how this makes you feel. “I am not here for me, I am here for we, and we are here for them”. Are these just words to you? Is there any action behind this? For some of you however on the other side this may be your sole purpose for existing in the fire service and for that I say THANK YOU! In the past I have written about Titles, and Own It which are both important…


Added by Andrew Sauder on March 27, 2019 at 8:21am — No Comments

Bully-Type Behaviors - Extreme Leadership FDIC2019

Leading up to FDIC2019 and our Pre-Conference Workshop titled Extreme Leadership – Building High Performance Teams on Tuesday April 9th, 2019, let’s talk about one of the most challenging leadership encounters… that of having to deal with the bully-type individual.

It seems in my travels a lot of good fire departments are slowly being…


Added by Assistant Chief Billy Greenwood on March 25, 2019 at 8:30pm — No Comments

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