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Clay Magee's Blog (18)

White Collar Customer Service in a Blue Collar Job

Photo Credit: Alan Baker

Customer service has been a buzz word in the fire service for decades now.  As the fire service…


Added by Clay Magee on November 9, 2023 at 9:30pm — No Comments

The Halyard Quick Tie

The Halyard Quick Tie

(See Youtube link at bottom)

To tie or not to tie? That’s one of the biggest debates on the internet. Couple that with fly in vs fly out and you’ll break the internet with the discussion. 

The halyard is not tested as part of annual ladder testing. We’ve all seen the old Manila rope break. That’s one of our biggest excuses for not relying on it to tie off the fly section when…


Added by Clay Magee on August 15, 2021 at 2:08pm — No Comments

The Can: How to Fill It- Updated

*****UPDATE: I'm a big enough man to admit when I'm wrong. I was challenged on the ability to put 100 psi in a can overfilled with water so I experimented.  It is possible to fill a can with 100 psi regardless of how much water is in it, so proper pressure does not equate to a properly filled can. The only way to accurately check a can is to weigh it and check the pressure with a gauge to make sure the cheap gauge on the can is accurate.*****

Do you know how to fill the…


Added by Clay Magee on August 11, 2019 at 3:30pm — No Comments

K-12: Inboard vs Outboard

I would think it’s safe to say that practically every truck company in the US carries a K-12, whether Partner, Stihl, or Husqvarna. Departments without dedicated trucks often carry these versatile saws on their engines. Obviously we also find them on squads and heavy rescue companies.

They are a great tool to have and if you’re lucky you have at least two. There’s a lot that can be…


Added by Clay Magee on June 4, 2019 at 3:22pm — No Comments

Discipleship in the Fire Service

A couple of weeks ago I had the honor to deliver a short invocation at the inaugural Deep South Fire Conference in Birmingham, Alabama.  What follows is an updated format.



If you are reading this, you have probably heard of Andy Fredericks?  You’ve probably also heard of “Andy’s Ambassadors”. You…


Added by Clay Magee on April 9, 2019 at 11:45am — No Comments

SMA Dailey's Top 10 to Sergeant Majors applied for the Fire Service

Last week I came across a post on Facebook titled “Dailey’s Top 10 to SGMs, in his own words”. Dailey is Daniel A. Dailey, Sergeant Major of the Army.  For those that do not know, the SGM of the Army is the top enlisted position in the United States Army.  He is a combat infantry veteran, an Army Ranger, and has received numerous awards including the Bronze Star numerous times.  I really enjoyed reading through these and thought they…


Added by Clay Magee on November 28, 2018 at 2:36pm — No Comments

Basic Elevator Use at High-Rise Buildings

A basic understanding of elevators is a must for companies involved in high-rise fire suppression activities. Elevators can be used to shuttle men and supplies to the floors above. Elevators will be used extensively early on, but be prepared for elevators to be placed out of service during an extended event due to water damage or loss of power.

A few basic rules to understand with elevator use:

1. If the fire is on the 7th floor or below, take the stairs.

2. Firefighters…


Added by Clay Magee on August 28, 2018 at 3:53pm — No Comments

The Bastardization of Fire Service Maxims

The “Fire Service”.  “Fire Service” is composed of two words. “Fire” and “Service”.  According to Webster’s, “Fire” is defined as “a destructive burning (as of a building)”.  Webster’s defines “service” as “the occupation or function of serving;  the work performed by one that serves; contribution to the welfare of others”.  So it’s easy to extrapolate a definition for “Fire Service”.  “Fire Service” as defined by me is “A group committed to serving the citizens, whom we are sworn to…


Added by Clay Magee on March 8, 2018 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

Standpipe Ops: The 2.5" Encased Inline Gauge

This piece of equipment is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your tools for standpipe operations. It is second only to your hose and nozzles.  It's selection and use it just as important as hose and nozzle selection. Unfortunately, it is one of the most overlooked and least understood pieces as well.


By placing this inline gauge on the standpipe outlet you are in essence moving the engine's pump panel to the floor below the fire.   As a nozzle man, can you…


Added by Clay Magee on December 3, 2017 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Standpipe Ops: Hose and Nozzle selection

Last week we discussed NFPA 14 and the design standards and required static and residual pressure parameters for installation.  It is important to remember that standpipe systems designed prior to 1993 have a required operating pressure between 65 psi and 100 psi.  Standpipe systems designed Post 1993 have a required residual pressure between 100 psi and 175 psi. Outlets are required to produce 250 GPM.  REMEMBER, if the standpipe valve is a Pressure Reducing Valve, it does not matter how…


Added by Clay Magee on November 19, 2017 at 2:39pm — No Comments

Standpipe Ops: NFPA 14 - Small Talk About A Big Subject

This week we will be discussing NFPA 14 “Standard the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems”.  Over the next two weeks we will discuss nozzle tip size and hose sizes for standpipe operations.  This information from today will help set a background on the numbers that will be used over next few weeks.


Warning: This post may be lengthy and somewhat boring but the information is crucial to understanding weapon selection.  This is a small talk about a big…


Added by Clay Magee on November 11, 2017 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Standpipe Ops: The Great Nozzle Debate

The age old debate in the fire service among nozzle men is certainly smoothbore vs the combination fog nozzle.  Both have their place in the fire service. Both have advantages and disadvantages.  However, when it comes to standpipe operations their is only room for one, and that is the Smoothbore nozzle.


Here are a couple of reasons why:


1) Pressure - Smoothbore nozzles are low pressure, they operate their rated flow at 50 psi. Why is this important in…


Added by Clay Magee on November 4, 2017 at 11:59am — No Comments

Standpipe Packs: Denver vs FDNY

Today we will discuss the Denver Fold and the New York Fold.


These two are my favorite folds.  They meet all of the criteria laid out in last weeks article.  They are broken down into 50’ sections, they fold easy, and they flake easy.  The deployment of both is practically the same.  If you want to see how to deploy them, and I recommend that, go to YouTube and search for the Denver Fold.  There are plenty of videos from different departments including Chief McGrail of Denver…


Added by Clay Magee on October 28, 2017 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Do Your Job

Do Your Job


Those three little words. It's what citizens expect of you and your department. The citizens, that we took an oath for and swore to protect THEIR life and THEIR…


Added by Clay Magee on October 25, 2017 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Choosing a Standpipe Pack

Departments that have standpipe equipped buildings should put serious thought into choosing a standpipe pack.  The "we've always done it this way" mentality should not be a guiding factor.  There are multiple different options for standpipe packs. Some are good, some are bad.  Even the good ones have their positive and negative attributes.  


There are a few attributes you want to consider when deciding what fold to use.


1. Lightweight - There is no one size…


Added by Clay Magee on October 21, 2017 at 11:57am — No Comments

Watered Down Standards

Warning: Firefighting is a dangerous occupation. You will be exposed to low visibility and high heat situations. You will be expected to perform with professional athletic performance at the sound of a bell. No warm up. No do overs. No disappointed fans. This is life or death. “That’s no line man.”

Standard. Noun meaning “a level of quality or attainment”.  

Fire departments across the United States have physical fitness standards that must be met to hire on.…


Added by Clay Magee on October 13, 2017 at 11:24am — No Comments

Bad A**

I've been blessed to sit through Chief Dave McGrail’s (Denver Fire) class on Engine Company Standpipe Operations and High Rise Command and Control multiple times. During his class, Chief McGrail introduced us to his Categories of Excellence. It is a six level scale. As follows:

1. Total BAD A**! = Frighteningly Awesome!

2. Top Shelf Fireman = Does his job with excellence, and is consistently “into and engaged in the job”

3. Good Guy = Does his job, does it well, may or may not be… Continue

Added by Clay Magee on October 1, 2017 at 10:28pm — No Comments

Risk little to save little

Risk little to save little

We’ve all heard it. Probably the first time you heard it was in recruit school right? “Risk little to save little. Risk a lot to save a lot.” What is “little” though? Who gets to decide that? That question can only really be answered based on perspective. Depending on the person answering the question, the perspective is going to change. If you ask a lot of structural firefighters across the United States they are going to tell you that the “little” is… Continue

Added by Clay Magee on September 22, 2017 at 10:22pm — No Comments

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