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December 2014 Blog Posts (38)

Learning From The Past...Made Convenient

Each year we loose approximately 100 firefighters in the line of duty.  While all of the deaths are tragic and traumatizing to those involved, sadly many of them are the same story repeated over and over.  Vehicle accidents and heart attacks are common themes in the LODD notifications, while “combat casualties” seem to be the exception rather than the rule.


We vow “never to forget” and “not to let our brothers die in vain”. Do we really do this?  Do you pull up the NIOSH…


Added by Grant Schwalbe on December 31, 2014 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Beware of Hoarder Houses

Have you had much experience inside of a hoarder house? You know the type of house where there is just a tremendous amount of stuff packed to the ceilings dying to bust through the walls. Yet the owner of this stuff refuses to let it go. I’m sure some of you have. I’m sure of it because I see it in my own organization so I am certain it is all around the country. The type of hoarder house I am referring to is a hoarder in a firehouse. The stuff packed to the ceiling…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on December 31, 2014 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Reflect. Set Goals. Become a Champion.

As 2014 draws to a close, many of us take the time to reflect.  Where are we now in comparison to where we were a year ago, both personally and professionally?  As an individual? As an organization? As a profession?  If you're as passionate about the fire service as I am (as I am sure you are), then you understand how important it is to balance your passion for the craft with family -- to balance your life appropriately and not forget what's most important.  So, as you reflect and set…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on December 31, 2014 at 11:33am — No Comments

Fire Service Legal Issues – Year End Summary

This year has certainly been interesting related to the legal issues facing the fire service. We continue to see the fire departments in the news for many high profile fires, rescues, service calls and the other good things we do on a daily basis.

We also continue to see the fire departments mired in legal controversies that reduce the effectiveness of organizational cohesiveness and at times polarize our personnel and departments.

We can only read the legal effects of the…


Added by John K. Murphy on December 30, 2014 at 5:30pm — No Comments

TRANSOM WINDOWS: An often forgotten modern fire behavior danger lurks in Legacy constructed buildings

If you attended an older school like I did growing up I guarantee your teacher or even you yourself performed a ventilation technique and didn’t even know it when you opened them, what am I talking about? It’s the transom window and their effect on your operations in legacy buildings need be taken into consideration, especially with all that has been recently disseminated to our fire service in regards to ventilation and fire behavior.

A transom window is a window…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on December 29, 2014 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The RIT Reality

RIT, RIT, RIT.  We read a lot of the same information about it, and we’ve been reading it for a long time.  Specifically, “proactive RIT” has been pushed for over a decade now.  RIT is a good thing; having a team on standby to dive into the fray and rescue one of our own is absolutely one of the many priorities at most fires.  But let’s dig a little deeper into this dominating theme in RIT training.

Proactive RIT means having a RIT crew that doesn’t just stand in one spot like…


Added by William Knight on December 29, 2014 at 10:33am — No Comments

Don't allow rookie entitlement in your fire service

For those of us who have been around this business for a while, it can be easy at times to look at the rookies and wonder why they don't do it like the way we did when we were coming up. This, being a very broad statement, is nothing new to the old guys thinking they do it better than the young guys (at least in their minds) for each generation that comes through. Technical rescues, an EMS patient, or attacking fires can be accomplished in a multitude of ways and still yield the same…


Added by Paul Strong on December 29, 2014 at 2:28am — No Comments

New Years Resolutions

As 2015 approaches I cannot help but think of all the "New Year’s Resolutions" that will soon flood Facebook and will be the topic in the fire stations all over the world, from kicking the smoking habit, to eating healthier foods there are all types of resolutions out there but one I seldom if ever hear but I feel we should is to train more and be a better firefighter.


Think about it like this when you cut back on your internet use or TV use who does this effect? Essentially…


Added by Chris Willis on December 28, 2014 at 11:23pm — No Comments

The Engine Co. Officer

The Sunday Preach:

The Engine Officer.

From Ch 14: Preplanned Engine Company Riding Assignments: Pg 149: 25 to Survive: Reducing Residential Injury and LODD

"Whether it is because every close call or LODD report mentions command and control as a contributing factor, or simply that you…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 28, 2014 at 2:47pm — No Comments



May your shifts be safe and your rigs true on this Christmas day! Take a moment to hug your family, at home and in the firehouse, and be thankful for all you have in your life.

Personally, I want to thank each of you! Thank you for following my work and supporting its message. Thank you for being a sounding board for my…


Added by Paul Combs on December 25, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments

What Does This Season Mean?

Because of the special season that we’re in, I decided to take a brief break from the Chaplain Program specifics and share some thoughts about this time of year that means different things to different people. Some celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and even Festivus J (If you would like to share your experiences of “airing your grievances” or “feats of strength” around the Festivus pole, let me know). Regardless of what you celebrate, this month of December and the holidays that are…


Added by Jeremy Hurd on December 24, 2014 at 9:26pm — No Comments

Merry Christmas and safe holidays

Merry Christmas to my firefighter brothers and sisters. Stay safe out there.

Added by John K. Murphy on December 24, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Holiday Cheer

From my family to yours, wishing you all the best in life for the New Year. Indeed so fortunate to have good health, good friends and a loving family.... both at the firehouse and at home.  

With the turbulent times that we see happening around us, know that we must always continue to look at for each other, on the fireground, in the firehouse, and all places in-between.  

Life, much like the fireground, can be…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 24, 2014 at 12:21pm — 1 Comment

Merry Christmas to All

I wish to take this opportunity to wish all my friends and fellow bloggers a very Merry Christmas.

Thank you PennWell,,  and especially Bobby H., Erich R., Scott Nelson and the best blog manager around, Peter Prochilo.

You have provided me with a platform to share my diverse thoughts to a very…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on December 24, 2014 at 10:14am — No Comments

Extrication "Quick Tip" #24 (Leap-Frogging)


In my opinion, success at an extrication scene is based off efficiency, tactics, and teamwork. One of my…


Added by Isaac Frazier on December 23, 2014 at 10:31am — No Comments

Communication is the key...

The Sunday Preach


"There is a tendency that if someone sets up a PPV fan at the front door, it should be started and run." (Pg. 208) "While companies are still checking for pockets of hidden fire is not the time to fire up the fan!" (Pg. 209). "25 to Survive: Reducing Residential Injury and LODD"

Positive pressure ventilation (PPV) certainly deserves some discussion in the residential…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 21, 2014 at 9:40pm — No Comments

Fifteen Years Ago: A Deadly December

It’s not hard to remember December in 1999.


That year, in the month of December alone, this nation’s fire service lost EIGHTEEN firefighters in the line of duty.


Two fires accounted for half of that total.


On December 3,…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on December 20, 2014 at 3:44pm — No Comments

Finding Joy

I'm of the belief that success is a result of happiness.

Unfortunately, there are many that seek success so they can be happy. That is backwards. Simply due to the fact that success is never enough, so you keep pushing to get that next goal, so you can be happy again. Ultimately, you will rarely achieve that happiness, since you keep pushing past your previous…


Added by Devon Wells on December 19, 2014 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Don't Wait for Your Ship, You Might Miss It!

In recent weeks I have had the opportunity to be involved in both sides of the promotional process: as a participant and as an interviewer.  Both are stressful and will challenge you.  You must be able to pull from your training, education, experience and coaching in both circumstances to arrive at a positive decision and hopefully with a successful outcome.

This post is going to focus on  being the participant in these processes.  In my classes on officer development I try to hammer…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on December 19, 2014 at 11:38am — No Comments

Who is walking your halls?

Who is walking your halls?

By: Chad Hoefle

As many of you do on a daily basis, you walk the halls of the firehouse. You may be doing chores, giving tours, answering the door, or even just stopping in with your kids on your day off. Maybe it’s that you are a volunteer or a paid on call member and you are stopping by to see if there have been any calls in the past day or so. No matter why you are walking the firehouse, unless you take a…


Added by Chad Hoefle on December 19, 2014 at 11:08am — No Comments

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