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December 2015 Blog Posts (48)

The Unmentionable Sickness

Sometimes in our lives, We all have pain, we all have sorrow…

Some of us have talked about this, and some of us are too afraid to and I understand that. However after the news of the Kansas City Firefighter who tragically died after suffering from the illness we all pretend doesn’t exist called Depression, I felt the…


Added by Dave McGlynn on December 19, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

Part 3: Fireground Troubleshooting

This is part 3 (of 3) on care, maintenance, and troubleshooting of the fire service portable radio. In the previous two parts, I shared how to perform a checkout of the radio and how to clean it. Now on to fire ground troubleshooting.

Regardless of whether your radio system is 800-megahertz digital, P25-compliant (newest type of public safety radio system) or V/UHF analog…


Added by Samuel Villani, III on December 18, 2015 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Highway Incident Survival Tip #2

Highway Incident Survival Tip #2 - At vehicle fires, be sure to chock the wheels of the vehicle on fire to prevent "roll-away". You don't want to have to chase your fire! Then again you don't want the fire to chase you either!

EXAMPLE: Sandy Springs Rolling Car on Fire

Added by Jack Sullivan on December 18, 2015 at 1:52pm — No Comments

Highway Incident Survival Tip #1

Highway incident survival tip #1 = On arrival perform size-up, announce lanes involved for incoming units, establish Lane+1 block on angle, protect MPO if pulling hose lines, turn front wheels away from work area, and chock tires.…


Added by Jack Sullivan on December 18, 2015 at 10:33am — No Comments

MFA #18: Like Herding Bees with a Whip - Why you shouldn't even try to push fire

Continuing resistance to the idea of applying water to a structure fire from the exterior comes from those who believe that a fire attack via an interior route is inherently better.  It's not.  We all used to think so, and it was the approach taught and practiced for decades, but now we know better.  The NIST and UL studies have shown that flowing water into a compartment containing fire only makes things better, making the most direct route to the fire the best choice.  

I was once a…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on December 18, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

Journal Entry 40 – Setting the Tone - Time to Tune-up

I was working away the other day and the “almost daily” TSL popped up on my screen. I took a quick read and it was about some internal strife at the PG County FD in Maryland. I know a bunch of those guys through the NFFF Memorial Weekend. They are a hardworking, respectful, smart group of guys, so I dug in a bit in disbelief. Billy posted a note regarding a shoving match at a fire…


Added by RON KANTERMAN on December 17, 2015 at 11:12am — No Comments

Firefighters & EMTs Struck by Vehicles in 2015

2015 has not been a good year for Firefighters and EMTs working at roadway incidents. As of today there have been nine (9) firefighters and/or EMTs struck and killed by vehicles in 2015. That is the highest number of fatalities from struck-by-vehicles that I have tracked over the last 15 years. "D" drivers are hitting our personnel and our fire apparatus with surprising frequency. "D" drivers are distracted, drunk, drugged, drowsy, disgruntled and/or just plain dumb. They outnumber…


Added by Jack Sullivan on December 17, 2015 at 10:49am — No Comments

From Firefighter to Fire Chief: Hard Truths Everyone Needs to Know

Updated November 17, 2016

I hope what you’re about to read upsets you.

  • Annually, on average, there are between 80-100 line-of-duty-deaths (LODD).
  • Annually, on average, approximately 50% of LODDs are due to sudden cardiac events (SCE).
  • Annually, there are also between 800 and 900 non-fatal yet high-impact SCEs reported. This figure is believed to be drastically underreported (Smith, 2015).…

Added by Dan Kerrigan on December 16, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

Company Planning at Buildings--Podcast

IMG_1336  IMG_1344  IMG_1628  IMG_1630  …


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on December 15, 2015 at 4:56pm — No Comments

Forcible Entry: Overhead Sectional (Garage) Doors

            There are many times throughout the year that we respond to structure fires in both residences, and commercial occupancies that have garage or overhead doors. These doors can challenge crews that are gaining access into them if they’re not familiar with how they work, how they’re made, and what cuts to make. Regardless of whether we’re gaining access for interior operations, defensive operations, or just to open it up for means of egress; we need to know how they operate, how…


Added by Chad Menard on December 14, 2015 at 4:58pm — No Comments

Believing the Lies

For too long now, I have relied on other peoples' opinions to dictate how I operate. Like little devils on my shoulder, there has always been a barrage of voices telling me what is and is not possible. "You have to shut down the nozzle to make any kind of advance with a 2 1/2" line." "You have to have at least two people to carry a 35' ladder." "You don't gear up for an automatic alarm; the dispatcher would have told us if it was on…


Added by Jonathan Brumley on December 13, 2015 at 8:30pm — No Comments


What do the stats have to do with it?
"This book identifies 25 prevalent and vital topics necessary for firefighters and company officers to address when called to combat fires in residential buildings, highlighting issues common to fires in those structures.These topics are obviously not an exhaustive or exclusive list, but are compiled from our personal and…

Added by Dan Shaw on December 13, 2015 at 5:35pm — No Comments


Hard cartoon to look at - even harder to live with! There is NO shame in asking for help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (24/7), visit their website at Want to help? Then save, print, and post the small 8.5x11" poster below and include your own…


Added by Paul Combs on December 13, 2015 at 4:51pm — No Comments

Tool or NO Tool?

IMG_0175  IMG_0178  IMG_0179  IMG_0182  IMG_0186

By Jason Hoevelmann with Steve Heidbreder

Tool or No Tool?

     When we go to conferences or sit around with other engaged firefighters there is no lack of lively conversation and debate. From world affairs, to sports teams, bands and of course, tactics! There is no better time spent with other firefighters learning about what others do and why. That is the key, WHY, things are done the way…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on December 13, 2015 at 4:24pm — No Comments

There is "NO" Replacement

As I ventured to NYC last week to assist a fellow Chief Officer, I happened to message Lt. Doug Mitchell to see if he was on duty; figuring I would pay a visit since it's been a while since we talked. His relpy to me was simple...and it read "I am taking a class today, always a student." I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to see that message, and really got me to thinking about a comment that was made to me a while back after returning from a training seminar. I happened to take a 3 day…


Added by Jeremy Rebok on December 13, 2015 at 2:54pm — No Comments

FDNY*EMS: Time for Big Changes?

FDNY is the largest fire department in the United States and is a trendsetter.  A recent report by the Citizens Budget Commission, a New York City watchdog organization puts some very interesting handwriting on the FDNY wall.  The report, "Twenty Years Later: Integrating Services In The New York City Fire Department" reflects growing call volumes, steadily declining fires and ever…


Added by Mike McEvoy on December 13, 2015 at 10:54am — 1 Comment

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 firefighter and creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g. stocking,…


Added by John K. Murphy on December 9, 2015 at 8:33pm — No Comments

Forbidden Fruit...Roof Work

Why is it when we attend seminars and many other places where we get training, we sometimes see scare tactics using roof ventilation as the example, talking about how it is too dangerous? Is it any less dangerous than dragging a hoseline into a burning building full of ignitable, lethal gases? I would say no, they are equally dangerous. In fact research and facts support that far more firefighters are injured and killed performing interior operations (search, not flowing water, etc.), than…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on December 9, 2015 at 6:14pm — 1 Comment

Evolution of Health and Wellness in North Carolina’s Fire Service

Evolution of Health and Wellness in North Carolina’s Fire Service

North Carolina has always strived to deliver the highest quality of fire training to its emergency service family. Year after year, we remain among the top states for offering IFSAC accredited fire and rescue certification programs. The folks at the North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal (NCOSFM) have worked diligently to provide…


Added by The First Twenty on December 9, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

MFA #17: The "Steaming Victims" Issue - How water flow makes everything better at a fire

Steam is both the firefighter’s enemy and ally.  It can burn us by penetrating anything that does not have a moisture barrier, such as our hoods, or by entering any gaps in our gear that expose skin.  There is even research ongoing at NIST to determine if it can get past intact PPE, or be formed when our sweat vaporizes (  On the…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on December 8, 2015 at 8:43am — No Comments

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