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Featured Blog Posts (376)

Hump Day SOS - Spring Cleaning

Spring is here and it’s time to do a little spring cleaning but, be careful what you ask for. Would it be interesting to tell the 1 year rookie to “get rid of everything that doesn’t get used anymore” and then see what ends up at the dumpster? Along with the items shown in the picture might also be conversation, common sense, station…


Added by David Rhodes on March 26, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments


How many times have you seen it (or participated in it)? A tragedy happens where a firefighter gets injured or killed and the comments begin to fly about what went wrong - and how they would have done it differently, of course. Let’s take an incident that hit close to home for me. The Toledo Fire Department lost two brothers during an apartment fire this past January.…


Added by Paul Combs on March 21, 2014 at 11:13pm — 5 Comments

"Pinning the line"

1996 was the year I entered the fire service as a volunteer, this was also the first year I read an article by Andy Fredericks. In his 19962 ½” Handline article for Fire Engineering Andy laid a foundation of support for an incredibly…


Added by Brian Brush on March 20, 2014 at 12:00am — No Comments


I can’t remember what I am supposed to do at a fire anymore. The acronyms keep coming and I don’t want to screw anything up so I’m going to suggest we use OMAHA just like Peyton Manning. If you get to a point where all the acronyms run together and you are about to panic just take a deep breath and call,…


Added by David Rhodes on March 19, 2014 at 8:00am — 2 Comments


What do you do in your free time? Pick up a fire service magazine, grab an instructional book, or pick up a seldom used tool and learn, and teach those who may not know.

Our time is always in demand - use it wisely.

Take care and ALWAYS make a…


Added by Paul Combs on February 21, 2014 at 7:52am — No Comments

Ahi Tuna & FDIC

Old guys like me are occasionally asked what we consider to be the highlight of our career.  I always thought standing on the “big stage,” at FDIC represented the pinacle of achievement in our business.  It’s where I’ve seen all of my fire service heroes stand and talk on the latest in firefighting and what is coming next.  I had the honor some years ago to stand there.  I couldn’t believe that they let me anywhere near that podium, but I was honored to have the chance to do it.  But as it…


Added by Eddie Buchanan on February 26, 2014 at 10:02am — 1 Comment

Why Have I Not Been Promoted Yet?

A few times a week, I get phone calls or emails from people trying to find out why they have yet to be promoted or hired (if from the outside applying for a position). Either they failed the recent promotional exam or they did not score high enough to get promoted and they seem to want to blame everyone but themselves for their misfortune. Most of the time, when people ask my advice, they usually start off with something to the effect of "what more do I need to obtain in the way of…


Added by Steve Prziborowski on February 16, 2014 at 11:26pm — No Comments

Hump Day SOS - Technology Dependence

Technology is great and it allows us to operate with speeds only imagined just a decade ago. It also make us somewhat vulnerable as we rely on it and become a little complacent in the fundamental basics. For many, GPS and Google maps = not learning territory, TICs = not training on room orientation and wall…


Added by David Rhodes on February 12, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

LODD: A Widow’s Perspective

In March of 2011, I posted Maple City Sorrow on the anniversary of the death of…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on February 9, 2014 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Experience or Education - Is One Better Than the Other?

It seems to me that the fire service struggles with a debate that is taking on many similarities to the fog vs. solid stream debate. This debate is newer but is discussed with the same vigor. It is a debate about education in the fire service and its importance in comparison to experience.



Added by Dane Carley on February 7, 2014 at 9:00am — 2 Comments


Brothers and Sisters – I am giving up my words with this post to those who know how to write them – and write them well. Sarah Gura, Chief Kenny, and Lt. Olson have agreed to co-conspire with this post regarding our mentality of invincibility. Please read…



Dear Firefighters,

This is a longer…


Added by Paul Combs on April 2, 2014 at 7:11pm — 2 Comments

Hump Day SOS - T-Shirt Management

I am always amazed at how many critically important issues there are to manage in the fire department. With any high risk occupation the day is filled with decisions that have long lasting effects. Yet it seems that we never have time to do things right but we always have time to do them over.............. and when a departments crisis is at its height, we are reminded of…


Added by David Rhodes on January 29, 2014 at 6:00pm — 1 Comment

Hump Day SOS - Brothers By A Different Mother

The opinions about solid streams and fog streams are as old as the nozzles themselves. UL is planning a new round of experiments to answer questions about different hose streams. The advisory group has come up with a good list of potential questions that we want answered. But my question to you is, “What is your question?” What do…


Added by David Rhodes on January 22, 2014 at 10:03am — 1 Comment

Fitness Resolutions for the New Year

Every time the clock ticks past 12am on December 31st, millions of people decide on resolutions to carry out for the New Year. More popular than ever are goals directed towards health and fitness. Due to this fact, gyms are usually packed for the first 2-3 weeks at the start of the year, and this may even be the busiest time for most commercial gyms. After the initial few weeks though, most people abandon their resolutions and fall back into similar patterns of…


Added by Mackenzie-Anne Kelly on January 10, 2014 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment


There is a certain speech that I am getting tired of suffering through. I have heard it time and time again, and I'm sure there are scores of other "rogues" out there in the same position. The speech I am referring to is the one about not getting discouraged. Sound familiar?

I am going to throw up if I have to hear this again. Please understand that I realize the delivery of the speech is usually done with kind intentions. I'm not trying to kill the messenger. Here is what I…


Added by Dave Werner on January 9, 2014 at 2:57pm — 5 Comments

Garden Type Apartment Fire

The Fire occurs at 0630 Hours on a Sunday morning.  The building is wood platform construction with a truss roof assembly.  The exterior load bearing walls are wood frame. The floors are constructed of a joist system with 2x10 joists supporting the floors.  The exterior has a brick veneer. All interior wall assemblies are drywall (sheetrock) on wood studs. There is no built-in fire protection system. Individual units have battery operated smoke detectors.  

This is a one section…


Added by Skip Coleman on January 3, 2014 at 10:52am — 14 Comments

Hump Day SOS - Learn to Talk Fire

Do you know what you are talking about when you size up a fire? Too often we hear “fully involved” in the description from the first arriving company only to find out upon our arrival that it is a one or two room and contents fire. Some people don’t think this is a big deal but it is a huge deal. The words used to describe the situation set the…


Added by David Rhodes on January 8, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

The ABC's of the Attic Fire

If you are in to fire porn, then there is an unlimited supply to be found on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook these days. I would surmise that if you have an ounce of fire service passion left in you, then you too are a fan of fire porn. Over the last several months, I have watched many videos of fires where the fire was located in the attic area and more obvious in the void spaces of the knee-walls.


As I always say, it is ridiculous that we reinvent how we deal with…


Added by Lawrence Schultz on January 6, 2014 at 8:18pm — 2 Comments

Tales of Betrayals

We have to distrust each other. It is our defense against betrayal. – Tennessee Williams

Much has been written about the motivations of firefighters.

Though there may be different reasons for why some choose to be full-time, while others are paid-on-call or volunteer; all firefighters CHOOSE to serve the public. The frequency of the…


Added by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on January 6, 2014 at 7:58pm — 2 Comments


We’re coming for you.

“The Mayday – Firefighter Down training for tomorrow is cancelled by the Captain, no reason given.”

Such was the similar message of April 14, 1912 when Captain Edward Smith of RMS Titanic cancelled the life boat drill. At 1140 PM that same day, Titanic struck an…


Added by Warren Cersley on January 5, 2014 at 5:16pm — 4 Comments

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