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December 2015 Blog Posts (48)

Stay Humble

As we close 2015 and move into a new chapter in our journey by welcoming in 2016, let's look back at how things went.

For me 2015 was a challenge but through every challenge comes reward. I found out I am going to be a Father again, I started my own company, I was booked to present my Leadership Development class and open for Frank Viscuso, I was able to meet in person three of my mentors, men who…


Added by Dave McGlynn on December 31, 2015 at 11:30pm — No Comments


Where will you be a year from now? Is there something in your life that needs to be improved? How many of us reflect back on 2015 and wish we would have started a change in January? I know I do! So, will we be asking ourselves this same question in 2016, or will we actually put thought and desire into motion. Eat healthier, lift more, work longer without getting tired,…


Added by Paul Combs on December 30, 2015 at 6:30pm — No Comments

You Deserve a Health and Wellness Program

You Deserve a Health and Wellness Program


Who is the most valuable asset to the fire service?  You are!  You, the firefighter, are the most valuable, most critical, and most important asset to your fire department!  This is why you follow the Phoenix Model, why scene safety is the first step at any of your EMS scenes, and why you change your strategy and/or tactics when an incident begins to move in an…


Added by The First Twenty on December 30, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

Commit to your Health in 2016

As 2015 draws to a close, it is a good time to ask yourself where you stand in terms of your personal attitude, accountability and the action you take on your own health and fitness.  As a member of the fire service, it is probably the one thing that you can improve upon on a personal level that has the most influence on every other part of your life and all of the people that are a part of it.

Your impact is more powerful than you may think.  Every day,…


Added by Dan Kerrigan on December 30, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

A Different Kind Of Christmas Story


A Different Kind of Christmas Story


As Ted hustled up the short macadam driveway he could smell the unmistakable odor of a ‘job’. It was a chilly evening and he was riding the ‘barman’ seat on the ladder.  Above the wail of the other incoming first due apparatus he could distinctly hear the sounds of his…


Added by Michael R. Horst on December 29, 2015 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Buildings, battleground or enemy?

Previously in my fire service career I took a college course on Dr. Francis Brannigan’s book Building Construction for the Fire Service. As a Company Officer, I feel it never hurts to gain new information, so I recently took a class on Lightweight Construction.  

One of the first slides in the new course quoted Dr. Brannigan’s book “the building is your enemy, know your enemy” the course continued with another quote, “...buildings constructed with lightweight wood…


Added by Lou Comenale on December 29, 2015 at 12:44pm — No Comments

MFA #19: Hostile Fire Events - The reasons for the research

When considering the need to modify traditional tactics that many believe still work quite well, thank you very much, it’s important to think back on the reasons behind the new recommendations.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) became involved in our business at the request of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the process of the latter’s investigation of firefighter Line of Duty Deaths (LODDs).   When some fatal events could not be…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on December 29, 2015 at 9:39am — No Comments

To Refurbish or Buy New

As we all know today money in our local fire departments is getting tight right? During the time of the AFG being open many fire departments have to make the decision of whether or not to apply for a grant for new apparatus or to keep their old apparatus. Coming from a small department in Rural Indiana we face the time of applying for a grant or refurbishing our 1996 E-one Engine or looking at getting a new engine. With the stipulations of the grant saying the apparatus can't be used any…


Added by Trey Foust on December 28, 2015 at 3:45pm — No Comments

"It's Lonely at the top" is a myth

People say it's lonely at the top, but that's not…


Added by Frank Viscuso on December 28, 2015 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Legal Series - Constructive Discharge

Question: My Fire Department is trying to fire me or force me into resignation with unfounded charges, frequent transfers to other Divisions and other similar harassment behavior. I am a Battalion Chief, caucasian male and 54 years old. I want to retire when I am 62 and I am not sure I will be able to do that. What can I do?

Answer: There seems to be a recent trend with fire departments forcing older firefighters…


Added by John K. Murphy on December 28, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

BEST OF 2015

Best of 2015: Fire service illustrations that made you laugh, chuff, scoff, cringe, and send "fan mail". Thank you all for following my work and allowing me to be a part of your life - I look forward to an exciting 2016!
To see my complete collection, visit the print store…

Added by Paul Combs on December 28, 2015 at 9:01am — No Comments

The Nob,The Pipe, The Tip, The Nozzle

The Sunday Preach:
The Nob, The Pipe, The Tip, The Nozzle.
The 'Nob' requires someone to operate it. Most firefighting nozzles require approximately 8 pounds of force applied to the bale to open the nozzle for water delivery. While obviously this is not a feat of enormity, the nozzle…

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 27, 2015 at 11:27am — No Comments


Here's hoping that each of your Christmas wishes come true, and that we all have a safe and glorious 2016. Merry Christmas, Brothers and Sisters!

Added by Paul Combs on December 25, 2015 at 12:44pm — No Comments

Why Are Some Memories So Vivid When Others Quickly Fade?

The headline from “The Hawk Eye” newspaper on December 23, 1999 read: They Gave The Ultimate.

Asst. Chief Dave McNally, 49 at the time, Firefighter Jason Bitting, 29 at the time and Nathan “Nate” Tuck, 39 at the time all died in the line of duty while trying to rescue three children from…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on December 24, 2015 at 10:35pm — No Comments


It is our obligation to share our experience and what we know. It was certainly done for us when we first walked through those firehouse doors, so we owe nothing less to the new faces starting their fire service journey. Be the mentor, the voice of experience, and the guiding hand to usher in a new generation of firefighters and EMTs – they are…


Added by Paul Combs on December 23, 2015 at 2:45pm — No Comments

Are You a Coachable Firefighter?

Are You a Coachable Firefighter?

Joseph Kitchen, Bath Twp. Fire Department (Lima, Ohio)

            A few years ago I responded to the scene of an MVA on a busy interstate in our jurisdiction. I arrived in my chief’s vehicle and our fire and EMS units were already on scene. As I exited my car…


Added by Joseph Kitchen on December 22, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

No More "I's" in the Galley

The tables in your station galleys are probably the focal point of the firehouse; hopefully it’s not the bunkroom. Mentoring, complaining, problem solving, and training all occur here over that world class firehouse coffee. We have heard conversation after conversation take place here, but the next time you are engaged in one of those conversations, listen closely. Ask yourself how many I’s are in that galley.

If you want to see where a crew, station, or individuals stand when…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on December 22, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

Integrity And The Cultural Decline

Integrity and personal accountability are two individual level traits that challenge not only interpersonal relationships and the brotherhood but the overall trust in departments as a whole. 

These certainly are not new issues to us. Any time you have human beings involved in making choices of any kind there will be some who make decisions that offer no legitimate benefit to them selves, their relationships or the larger works of their organizations.

So why then is this…


Added by Brian Bastinelli on December 22, 2015 at 9:20am — No Comments

Another Senseless Firefighter Death

Firefighter Larry Millard of the Endeavor-Moundville Volunteer Fire Department, in Wisconsin was struck and killed while working at an accident scene on I-39 in Marquette County on Friday December 12th. As they were operating on the highway a vehicle approached and swerved to avoid the fire apparatus striking Firefighter Millard.

I have moved back and forth between sadness over the death of a firefighter in a nearby community and anger over the needlessness of it.  I am sick and…


Added by Don Catenacci on December 21, 2015 at 3:19pm — No Comments

The '2C's'... and no, its not Christmas and Chanukah

The Sunday Preach:

"The 2 C's"

If you have followed us for any length of time you know our stance on COMPLACENCY in the fire service. Complacency, when left to fester in one person, one company or one department, (while difficult to document with statistics) that complacent attitude, can be a killer. We must prepare for the fire of our career each and every time out the door.

The other C is CANCER. Anyone who is or knows someone who is fighting cancer, knows it is indeed…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 20, 2015 at 11:01pm — No Comments

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