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December 2011 Blog Posts (37)

Tactical Thoughts: 1

Take a look at the pictures and ask a few questions. There are always variables that we don't know about using a still photograph, but we can put ourselves in that picture and think about what we would do. The idea is to consider different approaches and outcomes and keeping ourselves ready should a similar even occur.

1. Is there tenable space in this…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on December 30, 2011 at 1:30pm — No Comments


There have been numerous complaints from a small group about my latest seat belt cartoon. Enough so that Brother John Willgohs felt compelled to share his story of an apparatus accident that happened in 1998. If you can read this, and look at the attached photo without realizing the necessity for you and…


Added by Paul Combs on December 30, 2011 at 10:23am — 5 Comments


There have been numerous complaints from a small group about my latest seat belt cartoon. Enough so that Brother John Willgohs felt compelled to share his story of an apparatus accident that happened in 1998. If you can read this, and look at the attached photo without realizing the necessity for you and…


Added by Paul Combs on December 30, 2011 at 10:22am — No Comments

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

It is in great sadness and with heavy hearts, that we as a Brotherhood post the 80th Line Of Duty Death in 2011 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighter James Rice has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to our brothers family and the members of the Peabody Fire Department.

James “Jim” Rice

Rank: Firefighter



Added by Brad Hoff on December 28, 2011 at 6:33pm — No Comments

What Are Your Plans For 2012?

2012 is just around the corner.


If you haven't already made plans for the new year, then you'd better start now.


I am speaking to volunteer fire departments.


Have you made plans to recruit, and then retain new members?


There are people in your communities who are sitting on the fence. They want to get involved in their community in some way. Do you know who they are and have you reached out to them?


The days of…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on December 28, 2011 at 4:37pm — No Comments


Here's hoping that everyone has a very safe, job secure, and happy New Year!!!


Added by Paul Combs on December 28, 2011 at 11:12am — 2 Comments


Life Safety Initiative #4 “All firefighters must be empowered to stop unsafe practices” could be the single most effective initiative that we can put into place. This initiative is one that firefighters from all levels, backgrounds and types of department can embrace.

The question regarding this statement is “Are they lacking the power to speak up or are they lacking the knowledge of what an unsafe act/practice truly are?

All across the country, we have seen “that guy”… Continue

Added by Christopher Huston on December 26, 2011 at 6:46am — 1 Comment

First Due Friday: Row House Fire

Share your strategies, tactics and experience!  Every Friday we'll post a picture or video and want to get your take on the situation.

THE SCENARIO:  You're wearing all the hats today! You're dispatched to a reported "structure" fire.  It's the middle of the week during Christmas vacation and the neighbors don't know if the kids are there or not.

  • What is your initial report?
  • Where is the fire?
  • Where is it going?
  • How…

Added by Matt McDowell on December 23, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments

Training? Why do we have to do that?

So many times I hear "Why do we have to train?" or "Why is it so important?". When I hear these comments I can't help but get upset and mad. But I have had to remind myself numerous times that when I hear things like this it is my job to change those "Attitudes". We must do "Whatever it takes" to make sure we are ready to answer the call when the bells go off. Training is what keeps us as firefighters safe and ready to do our jobs better and more effectively. Yes there is always that chance…


Added by Bryan Altman on December 22, 2011 at 7:30pm — 3 Comments

It Was 12 Years Ago Today

On December 22, 1999, we lost three (3) Keokuk, IA firefighters (


I received the news on the fire in Keokuk, IA that claimed the lives of Assistant Chief Dave McNally, Firefighter Nathan Tuck and Firefighter Jason Bitting as they attempted the rescue of three, small children, who also perished in the fire.


The headline in the Thursday,…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on December 22, 2011 at 7:10pm — 1 Comment

Winter Highrise Standpipe Operations

Water supply is vital for the completion of our job of extinguishing fires. It really is as simple as that.  Arguably, no incident demands for the quick actions of a competent driver as much as a Highrise building.  They are tasked with establishing and maintaining a positive water supply in this normally standpipe equipped building.  The added element of supplying a Fire Department Connection (FDC) certainly adds an additional dimension to that of a residential structure…


Added by Dan Shaw on December 22, 2011 at 9:48am — 1 Comment

Anatomy of a Basement Fire:Basic

Here is a short video that you can use for a drill or training night. Feel free to use however you like. This is from a recent basement fire and what was looked for and what was done. There are some considerations to think about. This is not everything for all basement fires. Just a simple tutorial. Feel free to add your experience and ideas to this video.

Stay safe,



Added by Jason Hoevelmann on December 21, 2011 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Initial Attack Athletics!

"There Ain't No Slack in Initial Attack!"

After 6 Seasons with Cal-Fire, and 7 Years of College, I finally said it out-loud.

I want to start a company and an NPO to partner with that provides Fitness, Education, Training and Resources to Wildland Firefighters.

We are Here! And - Here is…


Added by Katy Luetke on December 21, 2011 at 8:30am — No Comments

Ask and You Shall Receive!

The recent MayDays that have occurred in Brooklyn New York City and Springfield Pennsylvania have highlighted many things. There will be the Monday morning quarterbacks and the official analysis from the respective departments. There should be no surprise to any of us that there has already been a lot said and discussed on the social media sites. There is one specific item that I am here to discuss and to peak your interest in. I am hopeful that you will consider my points, look at your…


Added by P.J. Norwood on December 20, 2011 at 8:25pm — 2 Comments

Christmas and the Six Year Old

My wife and I were at the mall finishing up our Christmas shopping and taking in the sights of the holiday season.

There were grade schoolers singing Christmas songs or I assumed that they were. I couldn’t hear them over the Christmas music blaring over the mall’s speakers.

There were dancing sugar plum fairies. Check that; it was mall cops chasing another shoplifter.

Everyone was in the Christmas spirit. Some could be heard complaining about how crowded it was. Others…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on December 20, 2011 at 6:09pm — 1 Comment


Have a safe and wonderful Christmas, everybody!!

Oh, and keep an extinguisher by the fireplace, just in case Santa needs a little…


Added by Paul Combs on December 20, 2011 at 10:12am — 5 Comments

Firefighter Fundamentals

Within the culture of the American Fire Service, we have sub-cultures. There are those who seek to be professionals in their chosen trade. Then there are individuals who simply seek entitlement. No matter where you align yourself on that scale, this trade has minimum requirements. You must position yourself within the team and carry out the duties you are assigned. Our business has been forged through blood, sweat and tears. Even if you care not for the sense of pride and accomplishment…


Added by Christopher Huston on December 20, 2011 at 8:40am — 2 Comments

Heavy Vehicle Lifting Plans - A, B, C ...

What’s your plan for a collision pinning a victim between the hood of a car and the rear-end of a heavy vehicle?  Is this an unlikely scenario?  Whether you are in a small town or big city, commercial vehicles are stopping and going through your jurisdiction daily.  See my previous post on cribbing for heavy vehicles to get an idea of the weights.

It is imperative for us to…


Added by Paul Hasenmeier on December 17, 2011 at 10:10pm — No Comments

Extreme Makeover; Moline Illinois Edition


My other blog on the situation in Moline IL entitled “City Fires; Chief Retires” can be found here. Pertinent links to local news coverage can also be found under the Comments section.

After watching the Moline budget talks being covered on local TV, in the local papers and listening on local talk radio, I am convinced that fire departments will NEVER win another battle against manpower cuts, as…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on December 17, 2011 at 8:48am — 3 Comments

Are you a Coach?

Fire service professionals appreciate that our trade is built on teamwork. At the foundation of any successful team is a coach. Depending on your staffing levels your coach in the field may be the Chief all the way down to the Company Officer. The informal leader may even be a Senior Firefighter. No matter what rank or title the individual holds, they must take on the role of Coach when responding. This coach must be able to call the plays in accordance with department standards and what…


Added by Christopher Huston on December 16, 2011 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

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