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December 2009 Blog Posts (20)


The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the 86th, LODD for 2009:

Craig C. Starr, Age: 44, Gender: Male, Rank: Fire Chief, Status: Volunteer

Nature of Death: Heart Attack Incident Date: 12/24/2009

Death Date: 12/24/2009

Fire Dept. Info: Plymouth Fire Department

PO Box 130, 20110 North

Plymouth , Utah 84330

Chief: Pending

Initial Summary: Fire Chief Starr passed away from an apparent heart attack… Continue

Added by Brad Hoff on December 30, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

LODD: Wisconsin

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the 90th, LODD for 2009:

Steve Koeser, Age: 33, Gender: Male, Rank: Firefighter, Status: Volunteer

Incident Date: 12/29/2009

Incident Time: 19:20

Death Date: 12/29/2009

St. Anna Fire Department

N 126 School ST

New Holstein, Wisconsin 53061

Chief: Bob Thome

Initial Summary: Firefighter Koeser died from injuries sustained… Continue

Added by Brad Hoff on December 30, 2009 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

Firefighter Richard Miller Dies During PT

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the 89 th, LODD for 2009:

Name: Richard Adam Miller, Rank: Firefighter, Age: 24, Gender: Male, Status: Career

Date of Incident: 12/29/2009

Date of Death: 12/29/2009

Fire Department: Belmont Fire Department

Address: 301 Keener BLVD, Belmont, NC 28012 (USNG: 17S MU 9654 9910)

Fire Department Chief: George Altice

Incident Description: Firefighter Miller collapsed… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on December 30, 2009 at 9:44am — 1 Comment

USFA has received notice of the following firefighter fatality of Clair Melvin Pierce

Name: Clair Melvin Pierce Rank: Firefighter Age: 68 Gender: Male Status: Volunteer Years of Service: Pending

Date of Incident: 11/26/2009 Time of Incident: Pending Date of Death: 11/26/2009

Fire Department: Wellsboro Fire Department

Address: PO Box 81, 21 Pearl ST, Wellsboro, PA 16901

Fire Department Chief: Lonnie W. Campbell

Fire Department Website:… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on December 28, 2009 at 4:05pm — No Comments

Death of 9/11 firefighter hero Jim Ryan, overshadowed by 'flashier' Flight 253 terrorism story.

WTF is wrong with our society and media these days??? Here's an article about 9/11 victim Jim Ryan that has honesty and heart.
NY Daily News

Added by Brad Hoff on December 28, 2009 at 3:49pm — No Comments

York Pennsylvania, A Model Program for the Fire Service

Pennsylvania's York Habitat for Humanity’s “Fire Safety Build” at East Poplar Street

The fire on the 300 block of East Poplar Street was started by children playing with a lighter in a 3rd floor bedroom and quickly spread down the row of homes. By the beginning of 2010, York Habitat hopes to have funding in place to demolish the (now) condemned homes and replace them with simple, decent, affordable, energy-efficient homes for four deserving families who are actively partnering with… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on December 28, 2009 at 12:14pm — 2 Comments

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatality

Name: Paul D. Holmes

Rank: Firefighter/Paramedic

Age: 37

Gender: Male

Status: Career

Years of Service: 1

Date of Incident: 12/26/2009

Time of Incident: 2321hrs

Date of Death: 12/28/2009

Fire Department: Douglas County Fire Department

Address: 3901 Chapel Hill Road, Douglasville, GA 30134 (USNG: 16S GC 1164 3111)

Fire Department Chief: Scott Spencer

Incident… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on December 28, 2009 at 11:30am — No Comments

Wish List

Merry Christmas, and a very safe New Year!

Added by Paul Combs on December 25, 2009 at 6:30pm — No Comments

NFFF Full Throttle Support 2 Suppporting the Families of Our Fallen Heroes!


The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) has received over $160,000 through the NFFF Full Throttle Support campaign. Pierce Manufacturing and Harley-Davidson Motor Company continue to give to the cause, and are honored to launch NFFF Full Throttle Support 2. By donating $10 online,* you’re entered to win this custom Harley-Davidson® Fat Boy®. All proceeds benefit the National Fallen Firefighters… Continue

Added by Brad Hoff on December 21, 2009 at 7:00pm — No Comments

FDNY Chief Sal Cassano is the new FDNY commissioner.

The NY Daily News today broke the story we all had been anticipating that FDNY Chief of Department Sal Cassano is the new fire commissioner. We would like to wish congratulations to our friend chief Cassano on this tremendous accomplishment. We know that he is going to continue to lead the FDNY with the same level of integrity, professionalism and dedication that have been the hallmarks of his career. There are few officers today with his level of expertise, passion and love for the job. Read… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on December 21, 2009 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Syracuse Names Right Man for the Job

Every now and then the politicians get it right! The city of Syracuse New York was smart enough to choose Mark McLees, as their new chief. Mark has been with Syracuse now for 24 years and is currently one of their district chiefs. Mark contributes every year as a regular at FDIC and has been a long-standing friend of Fire Engineering and the fire service training community in general. We know Mark will make a tremendous chief because he has the right skills at every level of our profession and… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on December 18, 2009 at 11:36am — 1 Comment

Safer Deadline Extended and the Rules Have Changed

Today we received an important press release regarding the use of SAFER. Earlier this year, the President authorized Janet Napolitano, the director of Homeland Security, to grant waivers to cities that have experienced extreme economic hardship and are unable to fulfill the requirements of the SAFER grant as it was stated. These waivers are available; however, economic hardship must be proven and must have affected other public safety entities as well as the fire… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on December 17, 2009 at 9:40am — No Comments

An Encouraging Training Session

I just finished giving a two-day training program to a very “together” group of firefighters and officers. I won’t mention where the training took place, but it was very apparent that these departments worked well together.

The group of fire departments was part of an area where over 40 departments existed in the same county. Of course, there was a major metropolitan department representing one of the 40 departments and surprisingly, they were represented at the training.

I had the… Continue

Added by Skip Coleman on December 16, 2009 at 5:35pm — 3 Comments

911 Tenth Anniversary Challenge Coin

I received this note from my good friend John Sulka and wanted to remind you all once again what an important project that this is and what a fantastic gift it is for any firefighter to receive this Christmas holiday. I urge you to get one for yourself and for someone you love. Below is John's note


After much planning and effort a September 11th Commemorative Coin has been struck to coincide with the 10 year anniversary of the… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on December 16, 2009 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Long Slow Ride

Added by Paul Combs on December 10, 2009 at 6:30pm — No Comments


A good low cost safety reminder tool from IAFC! I took this article from Firefighter Close Calls

This is not some huge request (especially during these tough budget times), as this is for your FD to consider $1.50 (each) for the purchase of a pocket "Firefighter Survival" 2010 planner for all of your members.

With the holidays right around the corner, there is a cool opportunity for your organization to provide something to your members, and support the work of the… Continue

Added by Brad Hoff on December 9, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments


Far too many officers, whether it be insecurity or ego driven, demand their due respect - for it is more important and self-serving to be recognized by rank than as an effective leader. Respect is earned by action alone, not self-gratification. Earn your subordinate's trust, and respect will come naturally.

Added by Paul Combs on December 8, 2009 at 6:30pm — 4 Comments

10th Anniversary of Worcester 6: Remember Our Fallen this day and everyday!

Tragically on this day 10 years ago, 3 December 1999, we lost 6 brave men to a higher calling. Their dedication and sacrifice forever changed the American Fire Service for the better. It is with heavy hearts that they are no longer with us as we celebrate their passion and love for our job and we remember the lives of our Brother Firefighters Paul A Brotherton, Timothy P. Jackson, Jeremiah M. Lucey, James F. “Jay” Lyons III, Joseph T. McGuirk and Lt. Thomas E. Spencer on Box 5-1438 on 3… Continue

Added by Brad Hoff on December 2, 2009 at 8:42pm — 3 Comments

Vehicle near miss vehicle vs. building

Had a vehicle operation related close call today. Getting ready for the holidays we were hanging holiday lights in our radio room. Of course we couldn't complete the job without having to use something from the rig. We used a small step ladder from the engine to hang the lights. Of course the newer firefighter was asked to get it from the rig. In doing so left the compartment door open which was on my side. I was unaware he was going to leave it open as we never should. In the process of… Continue

Added by Lance Neuses on December 2, 2009 at 7:07pm — 2 Comments


So I decided it was time to either get a new helmet or restore mine to a serviceable condition. Upon close inspection, (this means taking stock of my helmet's grievances) I found the liner worn in several areas although the ratchet was functioning, the attachment points were in a bad way, the earlaps were ripped and heavily soiled, the paint was badly cracked and chipped in multiple places and the exposed leather was beginning to dry out. Time to… Continue

Added by Ben Fleagle on December 2, 2009 at 1:00am — 10 Comments

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