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October 2009 Blog Posts (9)

Recipe For Disaster

I love Halloween! It's my favorite holiday and my favorite time of year, so it only seemed appropriate to combine the "witching hour" into my latest commentary.

She really is brewing quite a disaster, and sadly, it doesn't take a witch to cook-up this poison - we do a fine job, ourselves.

Added by Paul Combs on October 31, 2009 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Suicide Awareness

Due to numerous comments, I'd like to take a moment and highlight one of my recent Fire Engineering mag illustrations.

The illustration in question tackles the topic of firefighter suicide and the fact that we can't always see the underlying problems that lead to this shattering conclusion. This topic had been eating away at me for over a year before settling on a visual commentary. In 2008, my Department went through such an ordeal… Continue

Added by Paul Combs on October 30, 2009 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Crystal Ball

Added by Paul Combs on October 22, 2009 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Taking a Shot at Public Health

As a firefighter/paramedic, I'm embarrassed over the scene being created by health care workers (including nurses, medics, and firefighters) refusing flu vaccination. The consequences are serious: they cast public doubt over the best tactic we have to prevent spread of influenza in our communities. Vaccines have slashed death rates from twenty five diseases. Get a flu shot in the fall and you are half as likely to die during winter as people who don’t. When physicians, nurses, medics,… Continue

Added by Mike McEvoy on October 22, 2009 at 10:01am — 7 Comments

It's like riding a bike

As I mentioned in my last blog about buddy breathing, 75% of what you learn (hands-on wise) is lost - forgotten, if you don't reinforce (practice) it within two weeks. There is psychological theory that states "when people are put in a stressful situation, they revert to what is "usual and customary" for them. These to "theory's" work hand in hand and ignoring them has cost a lot of us our lives.

Rick Lasky took self-rescue and firefighter rescue to new levels several years ago. With the… Continue

Added by Skip Coleman on October 20, 2009 at 4:43pm — 3 Comments

BRÁITHEREACHAS THAR GACH NÍ - Brotherhood Above All Else


Key Note for October 10th 2009 – Interior Firefighters, Alaska State Firefighter's Association "Fireman’s Ball"

When people ask me about the “Brotherhood”, I often find myself at a loss for words to define it for them. Because for me, the “Brotherhood” we are speaking of is something felt very deeply, something that has taken years to mature and show itself, but which once exposed ran to full throttle, without reservation. I find that it is something… Continue

Added by Ben Fleagle on October 16, 2009 at 12:00pm — 9 Comments

Remembering September 11th. President Obama's way.

This Blog was originally posted September 14 but was deleted in the set up on the new web site. I am posting it again.

I generally let politics roll off my back. I believe I'm too ignorant about the true facts and history in general to comment. But something caught my eye (or more rightfully so - my ear) a few days back. I was listening to talk radio and the host mentioned that if you visit the White House web site… Continue

Added by Skip Coleman on October 12, 2009 at 3:34pm — 2 Comments

Buddy Breathing

I have two problems with the buddy-breathing device on SCBA’s.

1) Unless you drill on using it “often”, like once a month, in blacked out facepiece conditions, you probably won’t be able to actually do it in a real, stress-filled emergency. 75% of what you learn is forgotten within two weeks if it is not reinforced! (That’s a fact Jack!)

2) It’s (for lack of a better word) illegal to use. Not to buy (to the joy of the manufactures) but to actually use.

When I… Continue

Added by Skip Coleman on October 12, 2009 at 11:00am — 5 Comments

Firefighter website translation

Hi everyone

If you are like me and search the web for firefighting stuff. With google translater the language barier is no longer a problem. You can use google translater to translate almost any website into your language. I've used it with some pages so far, it's not perfect but it's not bad.

To try it go to

You can use it to translate text but also to translate an entire webpage to do so just write the site's URL then select the… Continue

Added by Pascal Marchand on October 1, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

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