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December 2013 Blog Posts (40)

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…

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Added by Brad Nair on December 15, 2013 at 7:45pm — 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…

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Added by Dave Werner on December 15, 2013 at 6:30pm — 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…

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Added by Mark Cummins on December 15, 2013 at 1:42pm — 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…

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Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 15, 2013 at 8:18am — No Comments

DECEMBER MAGAZINE CARTOON

Added by Paul Combs on December 14, 2013 at 4:21pm — No Comments

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatality: MN

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 94th Line Of Duty Death for 2013 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighter & Chief Matt Frantz has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends and our Brothers & Sisters with the Rice Lake Township Volunteer Fire Department.…



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Added by Brad Hoff on December 13, 2013 at 8:18am — No Comments

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatality: WV

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 93rd Line Of Duty Death for 2013 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighter & Chief Charles Pierson has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends and our Brothers & Sisters with the Southern Jackson Volunteer Fire Department.

Charles…

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Added by Brad Hoff on December 13, 2013 at 8:05am — No Comments

The new four letter words and phrases in the fire service

There are a few new, four letter words in today's fire service to many. The words and phrases that include "new tactics", "UL", "NIST", "attack from the burned side", "transitional attack" and a few others seem to get under the skin of many. Immediately many will respond "just because it's new doesn't make it right". We have all heard and probably at one point had similar thoughts.



Today, I am not going to preach new tactics or techniques. I am simply going to start the conversation…

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Added by P.J. Norwood on December 12, 2013 at 8:30pm — 4 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)…

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Added by Skip Coleman on December 12, 2013 at 2:28pm — 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…

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Added by Jason Hoevelmann on December 12, 2013 at 1:05pm — 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?…

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Added by Dave Werner on December 11, 2013 at 7:33pm — 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…

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Added by David Rhodes on December 11, 2013 at 12:42pm — 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…

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Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 9, 2013 at 6:49pm — No Comments

Influence

  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…

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Added by Mike France on December 9, 2013 at 3:22pm — No Comments

WHAT'S YOUR ENTHUSIASM?



Never, ever lose your rookie enthusiasm and passion for the greatest calling in the world. Approach each day like a wide-eyed child who wants to soak in every experience and can never learn or do too much. Personally, I never want to look back on my career and say “I wish I would have done more”.



Do, love, share, enjoy, and experience - it all goes by so…

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Added by Paul Combs on December 9, 2013 at 3:03pm — 1 Comment

Hump Day SOS - Vacant Structures Don't Kill FF's, Vacant Decision Do!

So much attention is given to the "vacant structure" being the killer of firefighters when  decisions are the culprit in most cases. Some LODD's are just an unfortunate association with the risk of the profession. We cannot eliminate ALL risk without eliminating the job itself. Many of these fatal decisions were made long before the fire that led to the tragedy…

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Added by David Rhodes on December 6, 2013 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Routine Compared to What?

This is just a short post on staying sharp and keeping your edge. We all hear, and probably say, the word routine eventhough we know and understand that very little of what we do IS routine.



It can appear to be routine, but once we dig into the skill, task, or incident, that word no longer applies.



So, in the following picture, we could argue that this fire and building would be "routine." We would pull hose and deploy tactics that we "routinely" drill and train… Continue

Added by Jason Hoevelmann on December 6, 2013 at 4:40pm — No Comments

Victorian House Fire Search

Ever onward.  

Here is the next simulation.  This is of a victorian house.  It is approximately 4000 sq. ft. (not including the third floor).   

There are six bedrooms. The fire occurs at 0630 hours on a saturday morning.  What you see in the video is what you get.  

You are on your department riding your apparatus and are assigned Search by Command.  An engine company has arrived before you and is stretching a line to the front door.

1) What type of…

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Added by Skip Coleman on December 5, 2013 at 9:00am — 7 Comments

Gates Fire District Rope Rescue from rooftop.

Rope Rescue in Gates

By Lou Comenale

Illustrations and Equipment  Photos by Lou Comenale

On Scene Photos by John Spaulding

There has always been some questioning of the purpose of spending thousands of dollars in rope rescue equipment.  The Gates Fire District really doesn’t have the topography that would warrant a rope rescue incident, we do have some vertical embankments along the Erie Canal that makes…

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Added by Lou Comenale on December 2, 2013 at 11:00am — No Comments

A PLACE AT THE TABLE

A place at the table

Some years ago, I worked on a family farm. The people I worked for treated me like a part of their family, even though I was only distantly related by marriage. Every morning before sunrise everyone would meet at the farm house and enjoy a large breakfast. The same applied during hunting season.

When my personal life came on a very rough time, I remember not wanting the family to feel uncomfortable or to put them in a bad predicament with my presence in…

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Added by Warren Cersley on December 1, 2013 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

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