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Nick J. Salameh's Blog (21)

Proactive vs. Reactive

            Data, the empirical information that helps fire departments make educational and justifiable decisions to bring about good change and improvement. Today, many of us use the data born from the modern fire science research being conducted by Underwriters Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute (ULFSRI), to help better understand fire dynamics, the actions and reactions of our tactics, and to learn better methods that improve firefighter effectiveness, safety, and…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on January 16, 2020 at 5:03pm — No Comments

Take a Breath

          As I look at the calendar, there are exactly 10 days, until Christmas. It can be an exciting and celebratory time for people, but it can also be a very difficult time. People who suffer depression or perhaps lost a loved one around this time of year can find it difficult to cope. I know for me, this time of year always makes me think about my Dad, who passed away over a decade ago. The pain and suffering never truly goes away, we just learn how…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on December 16, 2019 at 11:04am — No Comments

Memorium, Honor, Celebration

In honor of September 11, 2001, this space is dedicated to:

  • The men, women, and children who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and beyond as a result of that day.

  • The men and women who struggle to live today as a result of September 11, 2001.

  • The men, women, and rescue dogs that responded and worked tirelessly to save lives and to recover lives on September 11, 2001, and beyond. 

  • The men…

Added by Nick J. Salameh on September 5, 2019 at 10:53am — No Comments

VEIS, Not Limited To Windows

Whether you call it Vent, Enter, Search (VES) or Vent, Enter, Isolate, Search (VEIS) doesn’t matter. What matters is that you know and understand the tactic and practice it frequently to build and maintain proficiency.

VEIS is an effective method for entering a structure from an alternate location, generally from a window, to search survivable space for trapped occupants. It is essential to isolate the room…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on August 8, 2019 at 11:05am — No Comments

Warehouse Size Structure Fires

I recently viewed a video of a warehouse fire that reminded me of how frequently I see fire departments applying residential structure fire tactics to warehouse size fires. I often wonder what the root cause of operating this way is. Is it due to a lack of knowledge, improper training, lack of preplanning and underestimating the resources required, department culture, complacency, habitual operations of doing the same thing for every fire call, or simply a…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on May 16, 2019 at 2:27pm — No Comments

Building A Reputation To Be Proud Of…Not Just For The Probationary Firefighter

I recently reviewed the “25 Things Probationary Firefighters Should Know and Do” in order to build a great firefighter reputation, created by fire service leaders Frank Viscuso (retired Deputy Chief, Town of Kearny Fire Department) and Michael Terpak (retired Deputy Chief, Jersey City Fire Department). I’ve seen similar lists that frequently address the probationary firefighter, but what about the rest of us? Shouldn’t there be a similar list for…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on April 22, 2019 at 1:24pm — No Comments

Leave It Better

Within the fire service, each of us has a duty and responsibility to leave the service better than when we came in. This includes bettering ourselves along the way. Each generation firefighter receives the theoretical baton from those who came before. The baton symbolizes the rich history of the fire service, where we came from, where we are today, and where we’re headed. Modern fire science, through the work of Underwriters Laboratories – Firefighter Safety…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on March 15, 2019 at 10:44am — No Comments

Public Perception Is Everything

Lately I’ve been thinking about how the fire service is perceived and whether firefighters take advantage of public perception and/or take public perception for granted. Perception is relative, right? It’s in the eye of the beholder. What kind of impression do you think we as firefighters set on the public we serve?

Firefighting is a noble profession, but not everyone can do it. It takes special men and women to be firefighters. They must have courage, strength, integrity,…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on February 21, 2019 at 11:00am — No Comments

Government Shutdowns and Increased Public Safety Vulnerabilities

Without getting political, the current government shutdown is the longest in our country’s history. Despite this fact, how do government shutdowns increase our public safety vulnerabilities?

My heart goes out to individuals and families directly and indirectly affected by the shutdown. The added stress and anxiety this matter brings to hundreds of thousands of government employees and those that rely on government services is mind blowing. Imagine wondering how to meet your…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on January 17, 2019 at 12:14pm — No Comments

Alphabet Soup

The fire service is filled with an alphabet soup of acronyms many of us are aware of. Whether for fire suppression, EMS, Hazmat, etc. these acronyms are convenient aids that help firefighters and officers remember size-up points, operational and procedural considerations, and can be effective in recalling critical actions to be taken in emergencies.

Examples of common suppression acronyms:

C-Construction                                     …


Added by Nick J. Salameh on December 16, 2018 at 10:47am — No Comments

Saving Our Own

When we hear the phrase, “saving our own,” many of us probably think about the actions a Rapid Intervention Team may take to rescue Fire/EMS personnel on the fire ground. What I want to focus on in this writing is saving our own off duty.


On the job, each of us feels a sense of comfort in knowing one of our crew members has our back. We should feel the same sense of comfort when we are hanging out together or off duty. With the holiday season upon us, many of us will…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on November 12, 2018 at 1:19pm — No Comments

Vehicle Fire Refresher

This month a vehicle fire video out of Kenner, Louisiana was circulated on a number of social media pages including Fire Engineering and Stop Believing Start Knowing (SBSK)…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on October 9, 2018 at 12:09pm — No Comments

A Day To Honor

This month we honor the victims of the horrific attacks against our country and our people, which occurred on September 11, 2001. As a country we vow to never forget the many people who lost their lives, from the innocent who ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time to the numerous first responders who sacrificed their all to come to the aid of others. For the public safety workers who were involved and survived these incidents, we couldn’t forget that day…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on September 17, 2018 at 9:10am — No Comments

Rumor Has It...

With every official system of communication there is an unofficial system, which is commonly referred to as the “Grapevine” or the “Rumor Mill.” This communication system is a social network used to transmit social news and often, an organization’s official information, in an informal manner.


The grapevine is not a preferred method of communicating information within an organization. Official news traveling through the…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on August 15, 2018 at 3:53pm — No Comments

Being the New Guy - A Retired Guy's Perspective

This article is intended to compliment the article “The New Guy, By A New Guy” written by Thomas Redden and “Being the New Guy – A Rebuttal” written by Andrew Olson. Both of these articles offer what I believe is a view of the past and one of the future. Both authors bring up good points and, at a minimum, have created an opportunity to consider the new person, and whether we give them more of the same or something different. I appreciate and respect both their positions, and thought I’d…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on July 25, 2018 at 10:00pm — 2 Comments

Modern Fire Science - What's in the Name?

From the start, I’ve been a huge supporter of the Underwriter Laboratories Firefighter Safety Research Institute (UL-FSRI) and the many fire science studies UL and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are producing on behalf of the fire service. Never before has the opportunity for firefighters to learn and understand the topics of modern fire dynamics and modern firefighting tactics been greater than today. Modern Fire Science is the culmination of these studies that is…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on July 18, 2018 at 6:49pm — 2 Comments

Communicating for Positive Results

Positive communication, why does it matter? Whether oral or written, we’ve all seen examples of effective and ineffective communication. Each example usually speaks for itself. Much of this article will focus on written communication and how to leave your audience with a positive impression, but also speaks to effective verbal communication.


Many of us have seen examples of work related documents and emails that have contained numerous spelling and/or grammatical errors, or a…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on June 14, 2018 at 2:36pm — 2 Comments

One Fire Service Family

Over the past year I’ve been contributing to the Stop Believing Start Knowing (SBSK) blog, a professional firefighter page dedicated to helping firefighters learn and understand modern fire attack principles, based on the modern fire dynamics science studies provided through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Underwriter Laboratories (UL).   SBSK has…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on May 14, 2018 at 2:29pm — No Comments

Operational Risk Management: How To Make Good, Defendable Decisions On The Fly

Standard operating procedures (SOPs), rules and regulations, departmental orders, and other policies and training procedures serve as the basis for operational risk management and the decision-making process that occurs within fire departments. These guidelines are established for events which can be identified in advance, for example, having procedures in place that address when an employee is late for work, identify company response assignments, or to identify the steps to take when…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on April 16, 2018 at 11:20am — No Comments

The Culture of Negativity

The culture of negativity within an organization is, and will continue to be its demise if each member of the organization does not take ownership to influence (Lead) a more positive and optimistic work environment.

Over my 36 year career in the fire service, I noticed an underlying common thread of negativity that seemed to appear frequently regardless of the topic at hand. This seemed to be a common trend among other departments I was acquainted with. You may be familiar with the…


Added by Nick J. Salameh on March 16, 2018 at 11:42am — No Comments

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