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December 2014 Blog Posts (44)

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


Captain Laura Larson volunteered to help instruct the Omaha Fire Academy Class of 2012.  As the Chief of Training, this is where I had the distinct pleasure of working side by side with Laura.  Lasting 17 weeks, this academy took place during one of the hottest summers on record with temperatures regularly in the upper 90s and low 100s, and would be a challenge for all.

Laura Larson was hired by the Omaha Fire Department as a part of the recruit Class of 2000, and was assigned to…


Added by Dan Miller on December 16, 2014 at 12:00am — No Comments

Throwing Sand!

Taking a few minutes can save days of lost time from a needless injury. When ever father winter knocks at your door, be it a medical or fire throwing down ice melt or sand can make a hugh difference. Injury prevention starts with attention to detail.  …


Added by Frank Ricci on December 15, 2014 at 10:09pm — No Comments

Firehouse Nutrition Tip- Eat more fruits and veggies....

Firefighters have physically and mentally demanding jobs which means we (as fire rescue athletes) have demanding nutritional needs to match.  Unfortunately, research confirms that most are deficient in some essential nutrients. The most common deficiencies are in protein, water (hydration), healthy fatty acids, and the essential vitamins.…


Added by Aaron Zamzow on December 15, 2014 at 12:46pm — No Comments

Extrication "Quick Tip" #23 (Guardrail Entrapments)

Do a quick internet search on vehicles vs. guardrails and your photo results will be…


Added by Isaac Frazier on December 15, 2014 at 10:02am — No Comments

A December to Remember

The Sunday Preach

A December to Remember.

For several reasons, 'tragedy and loss' during the month of December always stings just a little deeper. In the line of work we are in, we know that all too well... we see 'tragedy' on a daily basis.  

Our beloved fire service is not immune either, with several line-of-duty deaths occurring during December. Most recently, a residential building fire that…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 14, 2014 at 11:20am — No Comments

Another Bungalow Scenario

The fire occurs in a small, 540 sq. ft. Frame bungalow.  The alarm is sounded at 0630 hours on a Sunday morning.  As in the photo, there are vehicles parked on the “D” side of the structure. 

“Attack” has been assigned to the first due engine.  Your crew is assigned “Search”. 

Develop a search plan including entry point, where you will start and end up the search.  Also include search type and any other considerations.

View video at:   …


Added by Skip Coleman on December 10, 2014 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Hump Day SOS Why Santa Rides In on a Fire Rig

When the Sleigh Is Out the Rig Fills In

Have you ever noticed that if Santa is in a parade, being delivered to a public function or is just needing a ride around town, that it’s usually a fire engine filling in for the sleigh? Now I don’t get much snow where I live and sleighs are rarely seen. In fact the closest thing we have to a sleigh or even a sled is an…


Added by David Rhodes on December 10, 2014 at 9:42am — No Comments

C O U R A G E to C L O S E the G A P

C O U R A G E to C L O S E the G A P


As a follow up to the “Revenge of the Nerds” blog from November, I wanted to clarify my position because there have been some out there in the Social Media world that have been critical of the blog and many others that took offense to it. It was not written to offend anyone or to drive a wedge between the two sides. In the past there have been many one-sided comments made on current fire service culture. It’s…


Added by Sean Gray on December 9, 2014 at 7:20pm — 2 Comments

The Night before Christmas at the Fire House, Legally Speaking

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property in a wintery municipality (hereinafter "the Fire House") a general lack of stirring by all firefighters and creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking, socks, bunker boots, etc., had been affixed…


Added by John K. Murphy on December 8, 2014 at 6:00pm — 1 Comment

Creating a Culture of Customer service

Every organization has a culture. It is either created by design or default. Creating a culture of customer service does not happen by accident. Buying into the concept of layered leadership (the need for leaders throughout your entire organization) is especially important when it comes to customer service.

Helping others seems to be part of the DNA of most firefighters. Creating culture; however, goes beyond just being a good person. There has to be a clear and focused objective or…


Added by Frank Viscuso on December 8, 2014 at 3:44pm — No Comments

Suicide: Join the Conversation

Recently, I have been reading articles on this subject with much uneasiness.

In fact; I hesitate to call suicide a “subject”, because for many; suicide is real and has impacted them. It has reached out and grabbed them in some way. It is someone very close to them, someone they know or someone famous, whose career they have followed.

And, are loved ones LEFT to make “sense…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on December 8, 2014 at 1:44pm — 2 Comments



The Fire Service as a whole and we who are fortunate to be a part of it need triage. In our day to day we seem sometimes unwilling to exercise the same honest, thorough, open and sometimes painful assessment that we use in a mass casualty incident.

Whether in prevention, service delivery, leadership, training, team dynamics, morale, community assessment of…


Added by Warren Cersley on December 8, 2014 at 11:03am — No Comments

Imperfect Pitch

It used to be that ventilating residential fires was pretty straightforward.  Even today, the process hasn’t changed, but the difficulties encountered while completing the task have multiplied.  Difficult roofs aren’t new; commercial flat roofs have long been a tough cookie to crack, with an infinite number of roof material combinations and challenges that pop up right in the middle of the cut.  With today’s engineering capabilities and ever-changing building construction technology,…


Added by William Knight on December 4, 2014 at 5:43pm — No Comments


The fire service is rich in tradition, stories, pomp, and legacies - and it is legacy that brings me full circle to this cartoon. Some families can boast generations of service to a community, or having married into another fire service family to carry on a lineage that in some cases spans a century. Me? I’m the first of my family to hear and follow this noble calling, and…


Added by Paul Combs on December 4, 2014 at 3:59pm — 2 Comments

Are We Chasing The Right Things?

Today I read the US Fire Administration’s report on the Worcester Fire from December 3rd, 1999.  It’s a significant fire in terms of life lost and lessons learned.  I’ve read the report before and many others like it, but today something struck me.  It was the description at the front of the report on the condition of the Fire Department at the time of the incident.  I’ve never given too much thought to it before. In some LODD reports you can see obvious problems (now that we know…


Added by Grant Schwalbe on December 3, 2014 at 1:58pm — No Comments

So What Are You Doing Around 1745 Hours Dec 3rd

Our youngest members were probably between 5-10 years old, our now more "seasoned" members were proby firefighters trying to learn, fit in, be a sponge, etc. But it's been 15 years since that cold night in Worcester, Massachusetts and if you're reading this without any idea of what I am talking about or a foggy mind I encourage you to take an hour or two from your busy holiday season and web search Worcester Cold Storage".

It sat as a hulking building windowless and a reminder of… Continue

Added by Joseph Pronesti on December 3, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments

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