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I am a BIG believer in SOGs (or, SOPs depending on your Department). Standard Operating Guidelines are the foundation for how we approach most incidents and a baseline for what is expected of us as firefighters. Although it is up to ALL of us to follow and uphold our Department's SOGs, I'm putting this commentary on the… Continue

Added by Paul Combs on October 18, 2010 at 2:45pm — 9 Comments

Arizona has a chance to set the example for the US once agian

On Nov. 2, the people of Arizona will decide whether to amend the state constitution to bar the government from discriminating against or granting preferences to individuals or groups in public employment, contracting, and education. I wholeheartedly support Proposition 107, the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative. A person’s race, ethnicity, or skin color should not be a part of their promotion or the application process. Individuals should be promoted, hired, or admitted based on their… Continue

Added by Frank Ricci on October 15, 2010 at 1:18pm — 1 Comment

Chief Bobby Halton's October Rant

Socialists or Capitalists

Oct 1, 2010


I have a great friend; he is provocative, insightful, and funny. He is the kind of guy that you never know what he is going to do next. He voted for President Obama then showed up at the Courage and Valor Fun Run this year wearing a T-shirt with former President George W. Bush’s picture on it and the caption “Miss Me Yet?” He is not afraid to change his mind or speak it; he has courage in his convictions, and… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on October 12, 2010 at 10:56am — 10 Comments


Let's get something straight before the hate mail begins to fly; I am not an Islamaphobe, and I DO support Islam's Constitutional right for Muslims to worship where they choose, though very reluctantly in this case. Just because you CAN put a Mosque at Ground Zero, doesn't mean you SHOULD put a Mosque at Ground… Continue

Added by Paul Combs on August 17, 2010 at 1:40pm — 38 Comments

Ambulance Delayed: NFPA 1917

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee on Ambulances balloting this week failed by one vote to move a draft “NFPA 1917, Standard for Automotive Ambulances” forward into the review and public comment process that would have rolled an ambulance design standard out the door during mid-2012.

At issue was inclusion of several AMD (Automobile Manufacturers Division of the National Truck Equipment Association) testing standards incorporated into the draft document… Continue

Added by Mike McEvoy on August 5, 2010 at 9:43pm — 1 Comment

Is making a mistake a crime

Chief Halton, I was made to smile as I could feel the anger generating from your thoughts thru your pc keyboard. It is a sad fact that so very, very few of today's politicians from the local level to state and federal levels have zero to little knowledge of how the actual agencies they are elected to oversee, function and/or operate. Equally sad are "appointed" heads of such agencies, specifically police, fire, and public safety, who have no prior experience in the specific agency they are… Continue

Added by Jon D Marsh on July 30, 2010 at 11:14pm — 9 Comments

Turning Heroes into Villains

It never ceases to amaze me how the small minded and weak tend to dominate the world of politics and government. I am convinced that these weasels who are so common in government work are constantly trying to get back at the rest of us who actually made the team in high school. I recently wrote about how difficult it is to make decisions on the fire ground. I spoke about how the mind works and how a complicated and dynamic environment like the fire ground can become very confusing very quickly.… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on July 30, 2010 at 2:00pm — 7 Comments

Bridgeport's Fallen Wake & Funeral Arraignments

Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters of Connecticut

The Following is the official Wake and Funeral Arraignment Announcement from UPFFC , Secretary Louis P. DeMici


The viewing for Brother Velasquez will be held on Thursday, July 29, 2010 from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Klein Auditorium, 910 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06605; (203) 337-6195.

The viewing for Brother Baik will be held on Thursday, July 29, 2010 from 4:00 to… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on July 27, 2010 at 2:34pm — No Comments


Sorry, forgot to post this month's magazine commentary. Thanks for the gentle nudge by Chief Murphy:)

Not sure what else to say about this piece other than it's a "sign of the times". The fear of litigation may be pushing many Dept policies, but I'm not sure what choice the policy makers have. Lawsuits,… Continue

Added by Paul Combs on July 24, 2010 at 11:17am — 5 Comments


For those of you that have not read Chief Halton's commentary in June's Fire Engineering magazine "Is Making A Mistake A Crime?", please take a moment to do so - trust me, it's worth your time. My second illustration this month plays along many of the same lucid points made in his commentary and highlights the challenge… Continue

Added by Paul Combs on June 22, 2010 at 3:01pm — 6 Comments

A Sacred Duty Honoring the Fallen

Every now and then there comes a cause, that at the fire service, all firefighters just have to get behind and support 100% The Tour of Duty Run is one of those events. The Tour of Duty Run is a journey that will end in New York City, early on the morning of September 11 2010. The fire-fighters of America and Australia are coming together as allies to remember our fallen colleagues, our… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on June 28, 2010 at 2:16pm — 2 Comments

Cochran Resigns as US Fire Administrator / Who's Next?

The mayor of Atlanta today announced that Kelvin Cochran is going to be returning to his position as the fire chief of Atlanta. Chief Cochran was fire chief there for little less than a year when he took the position of US fire administrator in the Obama administration.

The position of US fire administrator is really underutilized currently however I feel it could be an extremely important asset to the American fire service. We have an opportunity to have our voices heard by the… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on June 9, 2010 at 3:00pm — 5 Comments


Perhaps this illustration is a bit over the top, but it is an unfortunate reality for many of our retiree and disabled Brothers and Sisters. Pension benefits often do not cover sky-rocketing medication costs, not if you intend to eat, too. Volunteers have it worse, yet - some gave 20 to 30 plus years of service to a… Continue

Added by Paul Combs on June 8, 2010 at 9:16am — 8 Comments

Nice Guy vs Not so nice Guy.

First time so go easy on me. I am a relatively new company officer (3 years now) and I am looking for some advice. I am a nice guy and feel lately that it is hurting me as a company officer. I frustrated to the point that I don't want to be that "nice guy" anymore, but that is not who I am. I know that I am well respected by members of my own department and members from the agencies around me but I get the feeling that it is almost expected that I should be this "not so nice guy" and that… Continue

Added by Mark Wadsworth on June 1, 2010 at 4:55pm — 9 Comments

RIDING BACKWORDS...A Rookies Perspective on Issues Affecting the Fire Service

When make do shouldn't do

Firefighters and emergency medical workers must be largely optimistic - if they weren't then how or why would they want to do the job. Is a pessimist going to routinely put themselves in a position to respond to what may be the worst day of someone's life and expect to make it better - or at least make a difference? If they believe that they can’t/won't be able to make a difference then why even respond? An optimistic attitude is essential for success for… Continue

Added by John Barrett on May 25, 2010 at 2:30pm — 4 Comments


One of my all-time favorite quotes pretty much sums up my feelings on this month's commentary; "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with the results" - George S. Patton.

Nothing is more demoralizing than to have a job or responsibility ranked from underneath you,… Continue

Added by Paul Combs on May 24, 2010 at 9:30am — 4 Comments


...and just in time for all those summer wildfires, too. I am truly amazed every year as I watch reports from the network news drama-mill about folks who refuse to leave homes and property threatened by wildfires. Understanding that every home is a man's castle and we'd all fight to keep ours, it's comments like "I'm can… Continue

Added by Paul Combs on May 12, 2010 at 2:00pm — 3 Comments

9/11 Statue at National Fire Academy to be Posted on eBay...WTF!

Here is a story about the investor fraud and how the money is going to payback these investors...this is so not right! Why won't the government step up to the plate with this one?

Under an agreement, it must stay at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park.


Associated Press Writer

Posted: Mon, 05/10/2010 - 09:59

Updated: Mon, 05/10/2010 - 10:11


A 40-foot sculpture in…

Added by Brad Hoff on May 10, 2010 at 11:13am — 2 Comments

The Firefighters National Day of Prayer

Today is National Prayer Day it was established by our forefathers in 1775, on the eve of Revolution, the First Continental Congress called for "a day of publick humiliation, fasting, and prayer."

When our forefathers said public humiliation they did not mean humiliation as it would be interpreted today what they meant was being respectful and being grateful to a higher power for the blessings that been bestowed upon this nation and its people. A lot of people today claim not to believe in… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on May 6, 2010 at 12:45pm — 3 Comments

On the Failed Times Square Bombing

The entire country, and in particular the New York City public safety system, breathed a collective sigh of relief this week when an improvised explosive device (IED), placed inside an SUV and left to detonate in Times Square, failed to detonate. This morning a naturalized citizen from Pakistan was arrested as he attempted to board an airliner for Dubai. As we congratulate the alert citizens of New York, the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of New York, the Federal Bureau of… Continue

Added by Bobby Halton on May 4, 2010 at 3:39pm — 3 Comments

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