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Featured Blog Posts (285)

Hump Day SOS How Many Have Sacrificed?

How Many Sacrificed Lives for Freedom?

David Rhodes


As we celebrated Memorial Day this past Monday I started wondering how many Americans have sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom in wars and…


Added by David Rhodes on May 27, 2015 at 6:08pm — No Comments

Smooth Bore Nozzle Advancement

For years nearly every nozzle manufacture has been attempting to bring some type of new and attractive technology to the tried and true smooth bore. In my short career I have seen countless variations of integrated, variable choice, or adjustable diameter tips/nozzles, none of which have gained much traction beyond the exhibition floor.

Some would stop the…


Added by Brian Brush on May 19, 2015 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments

It's Time to Pull Our Heads Out of...the Sand

This piece is directed to the leadership of the American Fire Service. Therefore, it is directed to the Boards of leading fire service organizations. It is directed to those who oversee the most popular of fire service publications, websites, and more respectable blogs. It is directed to those leading the efforts at our most prominent and active research agencies to better improve our understanding of fire dynamics and our best practices to combat today’s fires. It is directed to fire…


Added by Rick Ennis on May 15, 2015 at 2:39pm — 1 Comment

Extrication "Quick Tip" #35 (ALTERNATIVE DASH OPTION)

Displacing vehicle dash assemblies can be a challenging task at times. Many options are available when a vehicle is sitting upright. However, displacement options can quickly diminish when vehicle orientation changes or the involved vehicle is pinned against various objects. Todays "Quick Tip" will show an alternative technique that is quick, and many times can provide enough displacement to free trapped patients. I have used this method many times when a…


Added by Isaac Frazier on May 19, 2015 at 6:30am — No Comments

Milwaukee, Louver, Rochester Peak, Syracuse, Tee Pee Cut. What is right for us?

Milwaukee, Louver, Rochester Peak, Syracuse, Tee Pee Cut.

What is right for us?

I had the opportunity to attend FDIC the past month and was fortunate enough to take the eight hour HOT class Urban Essentials.  If you ever get the chance to go to Indianapolis for FDIC take Urban Essentials, lots of skills that you can take back to your home department and implement.  At Urban Essentials one of Milwaukee’s finest truck companies…


Added by Lou Comenale on May 3, 2015 at 6:16pm — No Comments

Main Street Fire Escapes Need Review Too!


Added by Joseph Pronesti on April 2, 2015 at 12:05pm — No Comments

Social Media Blogs are Like Opinions: Everybody’s Got One!

There is plenty of change going on the world these days, and the fire service is no different.  We are looking into the science of our business and debating how to apply it, wrestling with generational issues, technology, etc., but one of the most striking changes to come along in the last ten years or so has been the way we get our information.  And it is important to recognize these changes and how they influence our industry.  Our younger members may not have the experience to recognize…


Added by Eddie Buchanan on April 1, 2015 at 6:30pm — 1 Comment

The Benefits of the Low Prop in Firefighter Bailout Training

We have the distinct honor and pleasure to offer our Firefighter Bailout class at FDIC 2015 this year as one of the HOT classes.  We feel, like most, that we should train and drill constantly on the basics like engine company operations, search, ventilation, fire behavior, ladder work, forcible and the list goes on, to prevent the need for a firefighter to have to exit an…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on March 24, 2015 at 10:33pm — No Comments

Four Simple Rules for the Company Officer

I talk a great deal about the role of the company officers and how they influence the members of your department.  When teaching officer development we hit hard on setting and establishing expectations and ensuring that there is follow-through with those expectations.  I was recently asked about expectations for my company officers.  They aren't too different from what I expected from my crew members when I was a company officer.

When I sit down with my crew and…

Added by Jason Hoevelmann on March 18, 2015 at 1:15pm — 1 Comment


By: Mark vonAppen

A well-intentioned co-worker took me aside as I…


Added by Mark vonAppen on March 11, 2015 at 8:43am — No Comments


It's only a little more than a month away and I'm starting to get excited! I'm presenting for the first time and I'm hoping to see each of you there. Mark you calenders for Thursday, April 23rd, 3:30 p.m. - Rooms 109-110, for Drawn By Fire: A Decade Of Fired Up' Toons.


Drawn by Fire: A Decade of Fired Up 'Toons…


Added by Paul Combs on March 6, 2015 at 9:51am — No Comments


This throwback photo was taken in the seventies at the retirement party for Raymond “Raybo” Adams. Raymond was an “old timer” when I joined his company. He also was the star pitcher on the department baseball team and he could still “bring the stuff” as he aged.

The picture always reminds me of the old and the new and the generational differences that we hear so much about in the Fire Service. It also causes me to stop…


Added by Warren Cersley on March 4, 2015 at 10:46am — No Comments

New Guys and High Expectations



As I am sitting here at my desk after finishing up daily round of paperwork, daily tour log and browsing the interwebs to kill some time, I sit here and ponder the job. How much I love it, how much I want other brother and sister…


Added by Ian Schulte on February 23, 2015 at 12:08am — No Comments



“It takes two flints to make a fire.” Louisa May Alcott

What’s the condition of our team?

Is our team incipient, smoldering, vent limited, ignited, developing, heavily involved, fully involved or…


Added by Warren Cersley on February 17, 2015 at 2:55pm — No Comments

Hump Day SOS - Why are you a Firefighter?


Why Are You A Firefighter?

I was recently invited to speak at the Angola Fire Department Symposium. During the last class of the day which was Leadership: Trust, Love and Thermodynamics, I started off by asking those…


Added by David Rhodes on February 18, 2015 at 6:04pm — 1 Comment


Too much? Nah! Who doesn't like a little pop culture parody - and Fifty Shades of Grey was just too juicy to pass on. 

So, what crazy or embarrassing calls have you been on? Share - but please, let's keep it PG rated - just the facts, ma'am.

Click link below to see more of Paul's work or to buy prints:…


Added by Paul Combs on February 17, 2015 at 9:05am — No Comments

Making the tragedy personal is the first step in preventing the next Line of Duty Death.

 “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.” Joseph Stalin

After recently reading Dan Ariely’s book, Predictably Irrational, and his use of this quote, I pondered if this quote from the feared Communist leader Joseph Stalin could help reduce our line of duty deaths and the answer is YES! While Stalin’s quote was most likely intended for more sinister purposes it does…


Added by Dan Shaw on February 5, 2015 at 4:09pm — No Comments

Hump Day SOS Penciling Is For Drawing the Nozzle Fully Open

Penciling is for Drawing a Nozzle Fully Open

When recruit firefighters are told one thing and then shown something different they end up applying what they were…


Added by David Rhodes on February 4, 2015 at 8:00am — No Comments

Leading Without Rank

Leading Without Rank

Joseph L. Kitchen, Fire Chief Bath Township (Lima, Ohio)

Shiny collar brass, gleaming white helmet, command vehicle, right front passenger seat, forty hour week. Do any of these make…


Added by Joseph Kitchen on February 3, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

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