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November 2015 Blog Posts (42)

TRUST Makes Leadership Possible, Pt. 2

       Previously in TRUST Makes Leadership Possible, Part 1 we briefly discussed the concept of leaders trusting their people (trust down the chain of command). But there is another side to the two-way street that is trust, and it is just as important if not more so.…


Added by Chris Langlois on November 30, 2015 at 9:38am — No Comments


“We bring water”

 “What is consistent is that it does not matter what the specific situation is, hose will be laid in the street and we will be shortly filling it. There is a no valid excuse in hydranted areas why an engine company on a reported residential structure fire would

not lay out. The following are some excuses that may

be used:

• Complacency: “We have been to this place two

times today,” or “We never run…


Added by Dan Shaw on November 29, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

TRUST Makes Leadership Possible, Pt. 1

During an interview, Gen. Colin Powell was asked what the one thing that makes leadership possible is. Without hesitation, and displaying absolute conviction he replied, “Trust”.

Do you feel that you can trust all of the people in your…


Added by Chris Langlois on November 28, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

Random thoughts for the day...

Empty years do not equal worthwhile experience and neither does a certificate mean you are capable of doing the job.

If you are an empty shirt skating through your career and not engaging in worthwhile training, and gaining meaningful experience, you are to blame for the slide into mediocrity that seems to be infecting the fire service.

If you are…


Added by Don Catenacci on November 27, 2015 at 10:46pm — No Comments

Searching Tenable Space

There has been a great push for both firefighters and civilians to understand the concept of “closing the door”.  To them (civilians) it means that they are safer in the event of a fire in the home.  To us, it means tenable space and a greater potential for a save, even in a well -involved building.


What if we find a victim in the bedroom?  How are do you plan to take them out?  We are creatures of habit, which means we are likely to go out the same way we came in.  If we…


Added by Grant Schwalbe on November 27, 2015 at 12:28pm — No Comments

Being Thankful

With the Thanksgiving season here I had an opportunity to reflect on things. A lot of us don’t realize that Thanksgiving isn’t just a time to eat great food and a whole lot of it, (well part of it is). But it also represents a time to reflect, a time to look back and look at yourself now and be thankful of where you were to where you are now.

As Fireman we…


Added by Dave McGlynn on November 26, 2015 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Actions Seen at a Box Alarm for a "Light smoking".

Around mid-day, a structural response was transmitted for "a light smoking" inside of a gym facility.  One of those dispatches where so many are tempted to judge the outcome of the call before they even get on the fire truck, and their conduct on the scene then reflects that attitude. Nationally, this complacency too often results in a predictable surprise that we call a tragedy.  As I was in the area, I responded on the call and noted the following actions being carried out by responding…


Added by Nick Martin on November 25, 2015 at 12:30pm — No Comments

MFA #16: The Rescue Imperative - How to save a life

Some critics of the SLICE-RS approach point to what they see as its lack of emphasis on rescue, as well as its perceived over-emphasis on firefighter safety to the detriment of civilian victims.  Initial drafts of my enthusiastic arguments to the contrary consisted of a comprehensive review of the entire process of search and rescue, including rationales, priorities, methods, and a myriad of other considerations.  My treatise on this topic was beginning to approach the size of a decent…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on November 24, 2015 at 10:55pm — 1 Comment

It's the Small Things

I was listening to a recording of firefighters explaining how they feel like there is sometime not enough recognition being spread among the ranks. They were explaining how things like a simple hand shake and a job well done can go a long way. I agree with them 100%. This is something we all need to keep in mind. I feel like I don’t thank my guys enough for the work that they do. Award ceremonies and public recognition are all great ways to recognize people. I have noticed during my…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on November 24, 2015 at 4:30pm — No Comments

To Be Up or Down

IMG_3757 2


In my years as a younger firefighter, both as a volunteer and during my career training, it was driven home that we enter building fires with a low profile.  More specifically on our hands and knees.  I was never going to question my instructors, the books or the more veteran firefighters that mentored me.  However, the more fires I got to fight, the more I started to…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on November 23, 2015 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Guest Blogger Alyssa Hurd (My Daughter) :)

Firefighters: they’re the iconic men and women that make a difference in our community through simple things such as educating children and community leaders on fire safety to rescuing someone from a burning building. Despite all the heroism, they’re people just like you and me. They shop in the same grocery stores and walk the same streets. They have families to take care of and kids they have to spend lots of money on. . . Between saving lives and keeping up with a family, firefighters…


Added by Jeremy Hurd on November 23, 2015 at 4:03pm — No Comments

Progressive Discipline

Question – My department is disciplining me for a charge that an alleged comment on the training ground offended a probationary firefighter. The charge was that I was “too tough” on the candidate requiring him to repeat certain basic firefighter skills that he had a hard time completing. The alleged comment was related to his performance and not directed as him as a firefighter. The penalty assessed by the department was 15 days off without pay, a letter of reprimand and I…


Added by John K. Murphy on November 23, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

Duck on Water

Several years ago, I was having conversation with a friend of mine who is a seasoned Company Officer from an agency I use to work with.  I was inquiring on how he always seemed to be calm, cool, and collective on incident scenes.  I was always impressed by his demeanor and command presence on any incident, but especially on those significant ones.  His was reply was simply I’m a “Duck on Water.”  I looked at him with a blank stare and said what does that mean?  He said I make myself stay…


Added by Ben Ojinaga on November 22, 2015 at 6:04pm — No Comments


The Sunday Preach:
"I" Save Lives
I, I, I, I, I... There we said it. Not to add the "I" for personal gain, fortune, create a new blog page or cult following... but just to tweak an old friend to help those who help others.

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on November 22, 2015 at 10:25am — No Comments

Building Renovations: the hidden dangers

Having an understanding of building construction is one of the best tools a firefighter can have to help them perform safely and efficiently at a fire. It may not be possible to know the specific details of a building’s layout before a fire, but by studying how buildings are constructed, we can predict how a fire will behave, travel, and react in different types of buildings.…


Added by David Topczynski on November 18, 2015 at 3:46pm — 1 Comment

Training Tip: Build a House in 30 Minutes

Training Tip:  Build a House in 30 Minutes

Lt. Brad French


Almost every jurisdiction in the United States has some form of active building construction going on at any given time.  Whether it be a new housing development on the edge of town, some urban in-fill housing spattered throughout an older residential district, or just simply a random house going up on a…


Added by Brad French on November 18, 2015 at 2:22pm — No Comments

Have you had “The Talk” with your crew?

Many of us run on short-staffed units.  We arrive on scene and begin the stretch with just an officer and a firefighter on the line.  Throw in a corner or two this can be a difficult stretch for just two people.  But what if you come across a victim?  Do you have a plan?  Have you talked about it with your crew?  Stats tell us that over 1/3 of the time civilians are found while trying to escape or control the fire.  With odds that great we should plan and practice for…


Added by Grant Schwalbe on November 16, 2015 at 7:30pm — No Comments

My Happy Place

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to read. Being that my interests have been very specific, I loved to read fire books.

So it only makes sense that the National Fire Academy’s Learning Resource Center is the “holy grail” of fire literature. Contained within its historic walls are over 208,000 books, video, research papers and publications.

THIS is my happy place.

If you have not personally been to the National Fire Academy, the campus and its top notch…


Added by Stephen Raclaw on November 16, 2015 at 5:47pm — No Comments

How the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge Changed my Life

How the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge Changed My Life


We all have that defining moment, the event that changed us. The moment that changed our lives, changed our paths, changed the way we view the world.  Some people have more than one.  And for some of us, we find something that continues to change and shape our lives.  For me, that discovery was the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge.



Added by The First Twenty on November 16, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

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