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November 2016 Blog Posts (23)

Firefighter Line-of-Duty Deaths: Are we Missing the Big Picture?

Firefighter Line-of-Duty Deaths: Are we Missing the Big Picture?


By: Dan Kerrigan & John Spera


“The Shortest Route to Fewer Firefighter Deaths is through the Heart.”

-National Fallen Firefighters Foundation


When an operational fire service line-of-duty (LODD) death occurs, we give it…


Added by The First Twenty on November 30, 2016 at 3:26pm — No Comments

Door Control and the Spring Clamp: A Recipe for Safety and Success

There is one thing we can all agree on: There are a million ways to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (I prefer smooth PB, strawberry jam, wheat bread, cut into 4 squares), and at the end of the day it still tastes great. In terms of fire service tactics, we have a lot of tools and options at our disposal as well.  Yes, we must save viable victims. Yes, we must locate and extinguish the fire. Yes, we must protect the exposures and limit further damage to the structure/property. More…


Added by AB Turenne on November 29, 2016 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

Considerations for the QUINT Company Officer


There has been a lot written, taught, debated and lectured on in regards to fire apparatus that fall under the definition of a quint.  If you look it up, there are several definitions of what a quint is and should be to be considered so, but it boils down to a very simple description.  The technical idea of a quint is that it must do five things, however, if you look at NFPA 1901, it lists well more than five functions.

My idea of a quint is more simplistic…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on November 28, 2016 at 11:42am — No Comments

The Go/No Go Concept of Interior Benchmarking


Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on November 27, 2016 at 1:28pm — No Comments

Practice for your MAYDAY using simulations and video

"Hey kid, go out on the apparatus floor and play with the R.I.T. bag, oh and put your gloves on." Well readers that's as far  as many command level officers regardless of rank handle their MAYDAY training. Sadly, few command officers prepare themselves emotionally and tactically for handling that MAYDAY call. Whether its a firefighter out of air, sudden change in fire conditions, or partial ceiling collapse that bangs a few noggins of your members will cause moments of excitement, anxiety…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on November 27, 2016 at 1:25pm — No Comments

Challenge of Leadership

Shakespeare writes, “all that glitters is not gold” expressing the idea that shiny things aren't necessarily precious things. How does this apply to our leadership in the fire services?

Gold signifies those in a leadership position are high on the leadership ladder. Gold badges, provided to the chief officers in the organization is indicative of the achievement: often hard fought with years of training, education,…


Added by John K. Murphy on November 26, 2016 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Top 10 Animals Who Saved People

We’ve all heard about extraordinary cases of animals who saved human lives. Even though there are countless stories about animals being saved by humans, the following stories show that animals are more than capable of returning the favor.

Dog: Saved her Owner from a Burning Truck

Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend, and are known to be…


Added by Steven M. Mehler on November 25, 2016 at 11:10am — No Comments

Stress Fact Sheet

Stressors can affect us physiologically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Understanding how stressors affect us physically can be difficult until you understand the signs.  Take a look at the Stress Fact sheet and see how your body is responding to stressors and what you can do to address the bodies Stress Response.…


Added by Daniel DeGryse on November 23, 2016 at 4:55pm — No Comments

Want to Get Promoted? Be First at the Right Things

Getting promoted is more than just passing a test and performing well in an interview.

I was lucky to have some great officers and leaders influence my career path in the fire service, in business and in life. They were always offering sound advice and sharing their experiences. Some I heeded right away and others I had to learn the hard way over time due to my stubbornness.  Either way, their words and actions provided me a template to use to work to be the best I can be and…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on November 23, 2016 at 3:57pm — No Comments

Barn Boss Leadership on Team Building

How often do we actually train on performing as a team? How often do we examine what we do as a team that makes us function effectively or fail effectively? As firefighters we train constantly to function as part of a team, however, do we always carry that to the field? When a team has worked together and has bonded, they seem to function as the right hand knows without saying what the left hand is doing. A fire brother on mine, David Bullard,…


Added by Brian Ward "FireServiceSLT" on November 22, 2016 at 2:23pm — No Comments

Leaders Build Teams

Building Teams for Leaders: It's the Basics

Any leader that is successful understands that he cannot do it alone. The good leaders are well prepared and adept at building teams, especially building teams with future leaders. Just one of the definitions of leadership states that leaders have the ability to get others to do things they might not do on their. I would add that leaders get others to do things they normally would not do, not because they have to, but…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on November 22, 2016 at 9:26am — No Comments

Maintaining a Mission-First Fire Service Culture

     Every department, group, organization, team, etc was initially created to achieve a mission. The founding members of the organization clearly understood what that mission was, and focused their efforts on achieving it. Over time though, the organization can lose focus on that mission.

     What is your fire department’s mission? Why does it exist? What is its purpose? What is it’s WHY? Yes, I know that there are many…


Added by Chris Langlois on November 21, 2016 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Sobering Stats... and Search

The Sunday Preach:
Chapter 25: We Save Lives
Perhaps no greater reward in our line of work than that of saving a life from the ravages of fire. While it is the number one aspect of our job "to save lives and property" it doesn't always get the…

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on November 20, 2016 at 12:09pm — No Comments

Promotional exam - what?

Much to my chagrin, I've been charged again to run a captain's promotional exam.  Those circumstances are another story entirely.  However, whatever the irony and backstory, It's happening.

As I begin the process of assembling a team, updating the test, etc., a question forms as it always does when testing time arrives.  Does our testing process choose the best potential person for the job, or does it help us choose the best test taker?  I don't pose that question because I see that…


Added by Mike DeVirgilio on November 17, 2016 at 5:27pm — No Comments


Hopefully if you are into vehicle extrication, you study vehicle anatomy enough to understand the mechanics behind each procedure you do. Why does a dash lift when you vertically spread the A post? Why on heavy damage/intrusions does the “A-Plan” dash lift not consistently work? As I have said before, just knowing the steps to perform an extrication plan are not enough. What if said you could complete a dash displacement without any…


Added by Isaac Frazier on November 15, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Good Vs Great....Where do you fall in?

The Good vs Great Mindset frustrates many.
What it is, most of you guys can relate to this, we have something called minimum standards in the fire service and most people meet minimum standards. They're a one-year firefighter their whole career, that's their choice. There's others that want to master the craft and keep going on and challenging themselves and learning more. I want to call them the great. You have the good, which is minimum, you might not agree with me on…

Added by John Lovato Jr on November 14, 2016 at 2:49pm — No Comments

Couples to Companies: The Staffing Debate Continues...

                Whether career or volunteer, municipal or private, urban or rural, firefighters are the cornerstone of the fire service, and have been since the Vigiles of Ancient Rome.  Without firefighters, a fire department has nothing and can do nothing.  A fire station won’t provide maintenance to its own apparatus and equipment.  Apparatus can’t drive to fires and pump themselves.  A…


Added by Paul M. Rank on November 9, 2016 at 5:05pm — No Comments

The Power of the Fire Service

A few weeks ago, I had the humbling experience to be part of a new theory developed by a local volunteer fire company. Colonial Park Volunteer Fire Company, PA., is an all volunteer organization being led by disciplined, energetic, and talented young firemen who want to make a difference for tomorrow. This inspirational group of Company Officers and Firemen decided to develop a mini FDIC in their own backyard; offering and delivering some of the best classes and instruction over a 3 day…


Added by Jeremy Rebok on November 7, 2016 at 7:37pm — No Comments

What is the value of your volunteer fire department?

      If you are in a leadership position in a volunteer fire department, you constantly think about resources (people, equipment, funding) to effectively perform the mission of the organization.  How well does your community support your volunteer fire department? Do they show up for your department’s open houses? Does the community understand that a volunteer fire department exists in their…


Added by Brad Nair on November 7, 2016 at 11:17am — 1 Comment

MFA #36: Fight Fire With Water - Correctly

From my perspective - that being someone who entered the fire service just as the era of "surround and drown" was being replaced by the "get in and hit it up close" approach - the most immediate and practical operational change inspired by fire dynamics research is the early application of water.  While the recommendation to delay ventilation also has significant benefits - and loud critics - “opening up”, especially vertically, was a tactic that many of us who worked in small departments…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on November 7, 2016 at 7:30am — No Comments

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