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November 2017 Blog Posts (22)

The New Generation

On October 27th, my youngest son (center) joined the ranks of the Hartford Fire Department, as did his brother ten years prior, and as I did back in 1988.  I had 8 weeks of training and the rest was ON THE JOB as they used to say!  My youngest just endured 16 weeks of comprehensive training, testing, and certification to become the best trained, prepared, and ready to work firefighter that the modern fire service has to offer.  We have come a long way in this endeavor to protect and serve,…


Added by Leigh H. Shapiro on November 28, 2017 at 8:07pm — 2 Comments

Divisions and Distractions - Exploring hot-button topics

I stirred up more than a little controversy recently when I questioned the feasibility of increasing our effectiveness by decreasing our caution (See "Worth Dying For?!" at  Many who contacted me were supportive and encouraging, with some describing…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on November 27, 2017 at 8:25am — No Comments

A Culture that Works!

What is culture? Basically, the customary beliefs or social norms of a group. This is why some fire department's culture can be the same as others or different. You can walk through doors, and just there's something different. A lot of times, it comes down to the culture. It's what they consider is routine. This is normal. This is how we always act.

 I've got a couple of different stories that I've read about, and they've really just dawned on me for this. They're about rescue or…


Added by John Lovato Jr on November 26, 2017 at 4:32pm — 1 Comment

A 5-k Device with 0-k of Training...

The Sunday Preach:

...Clear, Concise and Consistent

We give much of our training on 'tactical' issues. Be it hose stretches, laddering, forcible entry, search... but when was the last class or training that you received on radio usage. Whether you are talking on the apparatus radio's to give on scene reports or on a portable radio giving a status report after taking a lap, the message has to come through clear, concise and be consistent with policy, procedure…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on November 26, 2017 at 10:15am — No Comments


Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

STAY FIRED UP, and stay safe out there!


To see more Drawn By Fire, go to:…


Added by Paul Combs on November 22, 2017 at 11:56am — No Comments

Rethinking Leadership: Are your control issues damaging morale?

"Micromanaging vs…


Added by Benjamin Martin on November 22, 2017 at 9:51am — No Comments

The 3 Hours

The 3 hours is something I live by and try an do every day. I talk about the 3 hours in every class I teach, every person I mentor, and every periscope I do. I have even mentioned it on several podcasts such as the Firefighter Training Podcast with Chief Peter Lamb specifically in this episode…


Added by Robert Owens on November 20, 2017 at 1:20pm — No Comments

Teaching The Working Length

The working length of hose is critical when it comes to an engine companies ability to rapidly extinguish a fire. The working length is that first 50 feet of hose from the nozzle to the first coupling. It is the money length of hose! If you can get that length to the fire room rapidly then your chances of putting the fire out multiply exponentially. However I feel that even though it is emphasized in training, students still miss the mark on its importance or even recognizing it.…


Added by Robert Owens on November 20, 2017 at 1:17pm — No Comments

Standpipe Ops: Hose and Nozzle selection

Last week we discussed NFPA 14 and the design standards and required static and residual pressure parameters for installation.  It is important to remember that standpipe systems designed prior to 1993 have a required operating pressure between 65 psi and 100 psi.  Standpipe systems designed Post 1993 have a required residual pressure between 100 psi and 175 psi. Outlets are required to produce 250 GPM.  REMEMBER, if the standpipe valve is a Pressure Reducing Valve, it does not matter how…


Added by Clay Magee on November 19, 2017 at 2:39pm — No Comments

Rank vs. Respect

When it comes to rank there are those who think that respect comes with it. This thinking is so far from the truth it is almost laughable. We know that respect is earned and not given. I do agree that you need to respect the rank, but not always the person.  The question is, how does one earn respect? Respect is earned over a long period of time. The day you walk into the fire house be it career of volunteer you are being watched and evaluated by your actions. There are many thing you will…


Added by David Polikoff on November 19, 2017 at 6:16am — No Comments

Are You A "Truck Driver" Or Do You Just Drive The Truck

Are You A “Truck Driver” Or Do You Just Drive the Truck?


By: Ricky Riley

From: Art Of Firemanship Winter 2017



It’s shift change at your firehouse, or maybe you’ve come in to drive for a couple hours at the volunteer house. You grab your gear and head to the rig you’ve been assigned to drive and throw your gear in the compartment.…


Added by Richard Riley on November 18, 2017 at 7:00pm — No Comments


NEW Fire Engineering editorial cartoon: Charging Nowhere.

This commentary came to me while presenting Get Fired Up at a regional fire conference where an instructor was boasting about how his training academy was using nothing but dollhouses and YouTube…


Added by Paul Combs on November 15, 2017 at 9:08am — No Comments

Standpipe Ops: NFPA 14 - Small Talk About A Big Subject

This week we will be discussing NFPA 14 “Standard the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems”.  Over the next two weeks we will discuss nozzle tip size and hose sizes for standpipe operations.  This information from today will help set a background on the numbers that will be used over next few weeks.


Warning: This post may be lengthy and somewhat boring but the information is crucial to understanding weapon selection.  This is a small talk about a big…


Added by Clay Magee on November 11, 2017 at 6:00pm — No Comments

The Vacant Mindset

               Abandoned structures are a part of almost every community in this country. But abandoned and vacant are two very different things. If you work in any urban, and most metro areas, you have more than likely heard something similar to this statement on your radio. “Fire reported in a vacant house.” To some firefighters, like me, this statement means absolutely nothing. I step off the truck with the mindset that every tenable space within that…


Added by William Brandon Lewis on November 9, 2017 at 2:02pm — No Comments

Are you a Driver or an Operator?

Many of you may have heard the saying that there are drivers and there are operators. A senior captain once said to me that we didn’t have very many operators left and we needed to get back on track. A good operator is critical and we all need to ensure that’s what we are putting on our rigs. So, let’s take a look at a few differences. For this entry, I will focus on the Engine Operator.


What is a driver?

Being a driver…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on November 9, 2017 at 2:00pm — No Comments

The "Standard" Approach to Standpipe Operations

Possibly the best-known standard in the fire service regarding standpipes is NFPA 14.  The reason we are most familiar with this standard is probably because this standard gives the fire service power. NFPA 14 is the Standard for the Installation of Standpipes and Hose Systems. This standard is the authority we use that holds contractors and manufactures accountable…


Added by Brian Brush on November 7, 2017 at 9:30pm — No Comments

The Critical Role of The Mentor 4 Reasons Why Mentorship is Essential in Fire/EMS

It wasn’t until recently; with the passing of Chief Alan “Bruno” Brunacini, that I realized just how very fortunate in the later portion of the first decade of my career I have been. I have had the opportunity to train and learn from some of what I consider the greatest leaders in the modern American fire service. All of these men and women stepping up to guide me made me realize just how critical the role of the mentor is in our business.…


Added by George McNeil on November 7, 2017 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Passion vs. Pragmatism

A lot of discussion was generated by my last post (Worth Dying For?! at]), both pro and con, and much of it quite strongly-worded.  (To me, the most amusing comments are from those who claimed to stop reading my post when they reached a point with which they…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on November 6, 2017 at 7:26am — No Comments

Standpipe Ops: The Great Nozzle Debate

The age old debate in the fire service among nozzle men is certainly smoothbore vs the combination fog nozzle.  Both have their place in the fire service. Both have advantages and disadvantages.  However, when it comes to standpipe operations their is only room for one, and that is the Smoothbore nozzle.


Here are a couple of reasons why:


1) Pressure - Smoothbore nozzles are low pressure, they operate their rated flow at 50 psi. Why is this important in…


Added by Clay Magee on November 4, 2017 at 11:59am — No Comments

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