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December 2013 Blog Posts (26)

"What's in you basement?"

The Sunday Preach:

"What is in your basement?"

Answer the question for yourself. Basements can include everything from garden supplies to Grandma. Hopefully not always the case, but many times... BOTH. 

More on basements this coming week...…

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 29, 2013 at 8:53pm — No Comments

"What's in your basement?"

The Sunday Preach:

"What is in your basement?"

Answer the question for yourself. Basements can include everything from garden supplies to Grandma. Hopefully not always the case, but many times... BOTH. 

More on basements this coming week... follow along with us as we discuss it …

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 29, 2013 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Hump Day SOS - The Suspicious Package - Lack of Trust

In most departments this would be considered a suspicious package. The lack of trust between the headquarters staff and line members is one thing that will prevent progress and bog down the grandest of plans. The reception of these packages are not usually in the form of gifts however, any delivery from the chain of command will be accepted or rejected based on the previous…


Added by David Rhodes on December 26, 2013 at 9:28am — No Comments


I believe firefighters can be placed into 3 categories in terms of engagement and leadership.  Generally speaking: 

  • 25% believe in (or pretend to believe in) current leadership staff…

Added by Mark vonAppen on December 23, 2013 at 1:00pm — 4 Comments


Yes, yes, I know... this is just wrong. But I couldn't help my twisted self:)

Have a safe and blessed Christmas, everybody.

Added by Paul Combs on December 23, 2013 at 8:01am — 2 Comments

A tale of 'two stories'

A tale of 'two-stories'

O' to the door, pesky thing... creaking, slamming, perhaps pinching a finger or two at times. It's just a hunk of wood over an opening, or is it? 

Now more than ever, we need to pay attention to the presence, absence and have control of the doors we come across. …


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 20, 2013 at 10:40am — No Comments


I receive a lot of emails over the course of a week. Among the onslaught of solicitations and wealthy foreigners who want to share their wealth if I'll just give them my bank account info are legitimate questions about art. The question I receive most often is "how do you come up with those crazy characters?".…


Added by Paul Combs on December 20, 2013 at 9:17am — No Comments

Culture Change Challenge: Why Have More Firefighters Died This Way Than in Vacant Buildings?


If only there was a way to "sell" it


Each and every single firefighter death is a loss not only to those directly connected with the victim but also in this vanilla brotherhood fire service across the nation. Each one should, as rightly expected, be properly mourned and remembered and when applicable have lessons from the tragedy distributed to the rest of us so…


Added by Bill Carey on December 18, 2013 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Why the Quint Works for us; The Driver

Why the Quint Works for us; The Driver

By Lou Comenale and Justin Ientilluci

A couple of posts ago we wrote how the Quint works for our department.  That really was a quick overview of our operations and training using the Quint.  If we were to dive deeper into our operations using the Quint we have to look at each position.  Many people could make an argument for the officer sitting shotgun being the most important personnel on…


Added by Lou Comenale on December 16, 2013 at 11:18am — 1 Comment

Elected/Appointed Fire Volunteer Officers

Over the course of many years in the volunteer fire service, I noticed election for volunteer fire officers take place in either November or December of every year. Depending on your organization it may be every two years to elect fire officers. Some departments have no election and the fire officers are appointed by the local municipality or the fire chief may be elected and he or she appoints his or her fire…


Added by Brad Nair on December 15, 2013 at 8:45pm — No Comments

The Numbers Game: A Lesson From Law Enforcement


Awhile back I stumbled upon a website geared towards reducing law enforcement LODD's. I have to admit, I had never given it much thought. I find myself, like so many others, caught up in the battles we are fighting in the fire service. Obviously we hear about law enforcement (LE) LODD's every now and then. I think I speak for all of us when I say it hurts just as bad to hear about an officer losing their life as it does when a fellow firefighter gets put in the ground. What struck…


Added by Dave Werner on December 15, 2013 at 7:30pm — 1 Comment

Window shooting with CAFS

 I appreciate you asking for my opinion about this video and the LA/C use of CAFS for outside initial attack.  I have used this tactic for many years and it has never failed me to gain quick control of structure fires, even when I used to be working State and Federal forest fires that involved homes and buildings. We did not have proper PPE to inter the structures until the fire was out. I was very glad to see the window tactic in the video using a straight stream of water.  It works best…


Added by Mark Cummins on December 15, 2013 at 2:42pm — No Comments

I'm not a 'stat' guy, but...

The Sunday Preach:

Got Residential Buildings? 

While not always known as 'stat' guys.... when we are, we review them to make ourselves and our team aware of 'the why' behind our need to be proficient in our operations at residential building fires... It is for US and for THEM!

These stats are from the USFA

~1326 civilian fire fatalities reported by U.S. news media between January 1, 2013 and December 12, 2013, for criteria = All Causes, 1…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 15, 2013 at 9:18am — No Comments


Added by Paul Combs on December 14, 2013 at 5:21pm — No Comments

Boarded Up Multi-Family

Before I get into some Multi-family and Commercial buildings, let me cover a few other things.

As with all of these, "what you see is what your get"!  Its' 0630 hours on a Saturday morning.

These first questions are for the initial Incident Commander.  

1) Would you assign Search?

2) If so, what if any assignments would you make prior to assigning Search?

3) Is there anything you would want in place (additional tactics, evolutions or tools placed or set)…


Added by Skip Coleman on December 12, 2013 at 3:28pm — 7 Comments

Study and Understand HRR

I recentlyposted about Heat Release Ratesand the rookie asking the question. Here is some resource material to help you with this. Heat Release Rates must be understood in the context that we may not be in the fire compartment or we may be at a presumed safe distance from the seat of the fire, but if the fire compartment is not cooled, the Heat Release Rate that is in today's fire…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on December 12, 2013 at 2:05pm — No Comments

Mental Prep

Mental Prep


Anyone who has been in the fire service more than a day knows that uncertainty rules our world. Chalk it up to Clausewitz’ fog of war, that pesky Murphy fellow, or just the way things are. In fact, the harder we try to constrain the fireground into more certain terms, the further we plunge towards chaos. When it comes to dealing with uncertainty, acceptance is the best medicine.


So what can we do?…


Added by Dave Werner on December 11, 2013 at 8:33pm — No Comments

Hump Day SOS "Those Darn Scientist"

Those darn scientist keep letting facts get in the way. Several subjects of research have sparked some pretty lofty debate but most of those so passionately against the "scientist" haven't even read the material or know what it means. Most of the research is teaching us about fire behavior. Its not telling us what to do every time but rather what happens when we do what. Before you hear a rumor or make an assumption about any new research, do a little research of your own. Find out exactly…


Added by David Rhodes on December 11, 2013 at 1:42pm — 1 Comment

"The 10-year Itch"

"The 10 Year Itch"

We have been told that our firefighting equipment can no longer be in service after 10 years....

For some fire companies, 10 years would leave it barely broken in... others it would be long since useless and nearly shredded.

So, what's the point?

While we are not all the "same" in terms of volume... the point is, we are all the "same"... we are Firefighters and Fire Officers.

Your next fire could be the "one" you talk about for the next…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 9, 2013 at 7:49pm — No Comments


  Lately , it's been hard for me to talk shop , but while standing at my Sister's Wake , a few days ago , something had struck me , and that was how much of an Influence she had been as an educator for over 33 years . Watching and listening to her former students and…


Added by Mike France on December 9, 2013 at 4:22pm — No Comments

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