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December 2016 Blog Posts (22)

New Year

As 2016 winds down, it is time to think forward to 2017. Most make resolutions that they never follow through with. To my fire service brothers/sisters I want to challenge you, make a resolution that will strengthen you, your shifts and the fire service in general. Keep your fire service resolutions for the entire year. Don’t give up 2 months in. Remember complacency kills. Below are some ideas, but please feel free to come up with your own:


  • Train every…

Added by David Polikoff on December 30, 2016 at 8:04am — No Comments

Fire Service Legal Issues – 2016 Review

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.

Interestingly enough, in spite of the fact there has been a plethora of information from your favorite fire service attorneys (Murphy, Varone, Comstock and Pinsky) in…


Added by John K. Murphy on December 29, 2016 at 12:26am — No Comments

Interior vs. Exterior, Combat, and other stuff.

Not to be overly dramatic, but to me, fire attack is combat.  Not much different than any other type of fight.  My intention is to present an overwhelming force that ends the fight quickly and in my favor.  This isn’t to be confused with fighting sports.  In the sporting environment, it’s often my turn, your turn, then my turn, and so on.  As my favorite defensive instructor says, “In a real fight, it’s my turn, my turn and my turn.”  The enemy never gets a chance beyond the ambush!  Also,…


Added by Eddie Buchanan on December 24, 2016 at 11:31am — No Comments

Perception vs. Reality

Perception is Realty Part One

If perception is reality for your fire department then you have a problem. This term has been bandied about the fire service for several years when talking about how politicians and the

public view us. Unfortunately, it has also come up in firefighter disciplinary hearings. It is one of those handy catch phrases that sounds good however, it may be true, false, or contain only a grain of truth.

Perception is the way that others see us. It… Continue

Added by Robert W. Burdick on December 23, 2016 at 1:05pm — No Comments

Quality vs. Quantity

I’m going to try something different, instead of sitting at the kitchen table in the fire house let’s pull up the chair that sits vacant most nights but is where your presence is most requested…our dining room tables.

There are few professions…


Added by Dave McGlynn on December 22, 2016 at 7:00am — No Comments

Leadership Lessons from Lt. General Hal Moore

If you are unsure of who Lt. General Hal Moore is I would encourage you to research one of the most decorated war time heroes in modern history.  In fact, General Norman Schwarzkopf, who was a student of Lt. General Hal Moore at West Point, calls him one of his “heroes.” General Moore was born in Bardstown, Kentucky; a small town of 11,700 people, per the 2010 census records. How does a small-town gentleman rise to be one of the most decorated military figures in history? I believe he lived…


Added by Brian Ward "FireServiceSLT" on December 21, 2016 at 6:32pm — No Comments

‘Unoccupied’ shouldn’t stand alone in calling a FF’s death ‘preventable’

Yes, we still have crews who work in collapse zones. Yes, we still have crews going in with uncharged lines. Yes, we still have people on the fireground who don’t speak up when they see something wrong, or don’t listen when people do speak up. And yes, it’s a damn shame when it feels like we lost good brothers for no good reason. 

But I…


Added by Barrett Dorner on December 21, 2016 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Attack or Search?

Imagine you are dispatched to a motor vehicle collision and when you arrive you see a driver unconscious with trauma to the neck and upper extremities bleeding profusely.  Without quick action he is sure to die.  But there are power lines on the car.  What comes first?  Deal with the power lines or go for the victim?


Many of us around the country are arriving…


Added by Grant Schwalbe on December 21, 2016 at 10:20am — No Comments

Your Volunteer and Their Disguise

Many times, we see fire trucks rolling down the road with lights flashing and sirens blaring, you can see the firemen in the back getting ready. Do you ever think about what you’re really watching? It’s a lot more than just a fire truck driving fast, making a lot of noise! It’s an everyday person that either left their family or left their job, someone that may have been off work and dropped what they were doing because someone is having the worst day of their life.

Have you ever…


Added by Jeremy Perrien on December 20, 2016 at 8:28pm — No Comments

Firefighter Down from Suicide.

As a firefighter, we face death in a million forms every day.  It could be the crash of a falling roof beam, entrapment in a quick-moving blaze, or the slow poison of the toxins we’ve accumulated in our lungs.  But there’s one that seems to make some people especially uncomfortable: suicide. 


For those of us who have never felt the urge, it can be incomprehensible that anybody would want to…


Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on December 19, 2016 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Succession Training at Every Level

Lets talk succession training. It always seems to be a hot topic when a bunch of firefighters get together. There is either a lack thereof or something that they always want to see happen within their departments.

I see as there's two types of succession training. There's formal and informal. Formal is going to be at department programs, maybe some larger agencies might be common. Even smaller ones are starting to get it.  You got to go through this program. It's 40…


Added by John Lovato Jr on December 15, 2016 at 7:51am — No Comments

No Half Measures...

      Our ultimate success during any incident is a direct result of the effort applied by available resources.  Incidents for which we have adequate resources (personnel, equipment, training) will usually have the most successful outcome possible given the circumstances.  How we choose to apply the resources at hand to mitigate an incident is generally the factor of which we have the greatest control once an incident begins.  Company officers and chiefs who direct operations from…


Added by David DeStefano on December 14, 2016 at 11:01pm — 1 Comment

Snow, Hills and Physics


Blog Note: I wrote this piece for the friends in my hometown. No fires, no fire trucks, no HOT topics and no politics. Just some childhood memories that, if you take the time to read, it may lift your spirits and unlock your mind to reveal similar memories of your own. It may give you a moment of pause to remember a simpler, innocent time in your life when you didn’t carry the weight of the…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on December 13, 2016 at 11:35am — 1 Comment



The World War II veteran was coming home. As he walked over a rise near his family home, one of his sisters saw him and yelled out “Harley is home.” The entire family rushed out to meet him. Harley recalled his Father’s tearful words “maybe now we can learn to sleep again.”  

The unrehearsed words of Harley’s Father reminded me of my Father and how he…


Added by Warren Cersley on December 13, 2016 at 10:57am — No Comments

MFA #37: Thinking Firefighters - Intelligent choices

We are learning that the fireground is more complex than we had previously understood, and we probably still don’t know the half of it.  While the recommendations for tactical changes that have arisen from ongoing fire dynamics research have spawned the most discussion amongst members of our profession, the raw information alone was revolutionary in its own right, even absent the practical applications that followed.  Flow paths, smoke as fuel, and the (actual) effects of hose…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on December 12, 2016 at 7:08am — No Comments


To say we live in a society of bold and colorful individuals is an understatement. One only needs to stroll down any city street to see people who would have once been characterized as “outsiders” or “one of them” pleasantly blending into modern society. It’s acceptable to be personality-loud! We “old-schoolers” may shake our heads in disbelief, but truth be…


Added by Paul Combs on December 9, 2016 at 2:02pm — 2 Comments

I Just Married a Firefighter: What Should I Know?

Among the well wishes that you will undoubtedly receive as a newlywed couple, friends and family are bound to ask you questions about your future life together. Where will you live? Will you have children? When? How many? What are your occupations? Upon learning that your spouse is a firefighter, you’re bound to feel a sense of pride when you receive accolades about your spouse having a career that is inherently…


Added by Mark W Lamplugh Jr on December 9, 2016 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

The BDA and the VRS

A good majority of the fire service community has at least heard of a Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA) and a Vehicle Repeater System (VRS). But what exactly are they and why are they a valuable tool in the tactical fire communications toolbox?

A BDA is a booster of incoming (Rx) and outgoing (Tx) radio traffic. You can find them in most large, modern buildings, and in most below grade transportation systems. The actual BDA is typically in a room with other telecom equipment. A system of…


Added by Samuel Villani, III on December 8, 2016 at 6:30am — No Comments

Developing a Firefighter Workout

Developing a Firefighter Workout

By: Jordan Ponder

Firefighter fitness is vital to our performance and longevity.  It is the cornerstone to increasing our safety and a critical element to protecting firefighters.  It’s a fact that can’t be overstated. The tragic trend of firefighter obesity, diabetes, hypertension and stroke can be positively impacted by implementing…


Added by The First Twenty on December 7, 2016 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Extreme Leadership - FDIC 2017

The Leadership Tune Up -

During our travels there seems to be a common complaint heard by many brothers and sisters around the country, that

their department…


Added by Fire Chief Billy Greenwood on December 5, 2016 at 12:30pm — No Comments

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