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Richard Riley's Blog (19)

Are You A "Truck Driver" Or Do You Just Drive The Truck

Are You A “Truck Driver” Or Do You Just Drive the Truck?


By: Ricky Riley

From: Art Of Firemanship Winter 2017



It’s shift change at your firehouse, or maybe you’ve come in to drive for a couple hours at the volunteer house. You grab your gear and head to the rig you’ve been assigned to drive and throw your gear in the compartment.…


Added by Richard Riley on November 18, 2017 at 7:00pm — No Comments

The Front Suction

The Option of a Front Suction


By: Ricky Riley


Being from and working in the Metro - Washington DC area for most of my life, I thought that front suctions were a standard option on all fire apparatus. Who in their right mind would not want one of these on their rig?  It makes life so…


Added by Richard Riley on September 29, 2015 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Getting The Job Done

Getting The Job Done



On more than one occasion, I have heard firefighters complain about SOP’s, specifically how they can’t be written for every situation and or you are putting us in a box.  This could not be further from the truth.  What we are doing, is establishing a game plan for specific incidents and the operational concerns that they pose. In recent years, dedication to getting the…


Added by Richard Riley on August 13, 2015 at 2:26pm — No Comments

Touching The Ground by Ricky Riley

When we talk about ladder towers, there is always the discussion of the ability of them to place their basket on the ground to do the patented sidewalk sweep. On most units especially rear mounted towers this can be a very long distance from the side of the rig. On some units they may have to extend out 60’ just to be able to touch the ground and…


Added by Richard Riley on June 22, 2015 at 1:18pm — No Comments

Lieutenant Andre Kelley

 In almost every class that Traditions Training presents, we play the audio from Lancaster City, PA. of the MAYDAY by Lt. Andre Kelley of Engine 3. We use this as a training tool and to make firefighters aware of this near tragedy as it played out that fateful night. We expect all of our students to learn from the incident, study the incident and to better themselves and…


Added by Richard Riley on March 9, 2015 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Quick Tips on Tower Positioning

A fire on January 19, 2015 for the Harrisburg, PA. Bureau of Fire demonstrated some excellent teaching points for Drivers or Chauffeurs of Tower Ladders. The fire in the 300 Blk. of N. Front Street involved the top floor of a four story mixed occupancy structure. The first due truck was Tower 1 from the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire, the Driver positioned the rig with a perfect spot.…

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Added by Richard Riley on January 20, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Mayday Monday - The Radio Call

In reviewing all the procedures and policies related to Mayday incidents, we have to remember the actual call itself from the trapped or lost firefighter. Does your department have a standard information set that needs to be transmitted out to the Incident Commander or the dispatch center. This is a crucial script that needs to be practiced by your crew members during weekly…


Added by Richard Riley on October 13, 2014 at 8:32am — No Comments


As we start the week off, lets take today to review your departments MAYDAY policies. These tasks, procedures and policies need to be practiced and reinforced through training constantly. We sometimes put this off to one time a year or when the next…


Added by Richard Riley on September 29, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

REALLY You Have Got To Be Kidding Me?

I was on the Internet this morning and saw this picture posted on Facebook. It was bad enough that someone posted it, but the number of likes was even more disturbing. I will preface the rest of this blog with that I AM A REFORMED FIREFIGHTER. I was not always Combat Ready and I used many excuses to justify to myself my BAD habits and complacency.


None of…


Added by Richard Riley on March 15, 2014 at 2:00pm — No Comments


There are many facets of accountability on the fireground today. One of which is the tags, rings or passports that tell incident commanders which personnel are riding each apparatus on the scene. Another major one concerns personal accountability, where the company officer has a duty and…


Added by Richard Riley on May 20, 2013 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Automatic Fire Alarm Complacency

Automatic Fire Alarm Complacency

By: Tony Kelleher and Ricky Riley



Recently, we have had several discussions; both within my own areas fire department and in other departments across the country with regard to their policy and attitudes towards automatic fire…


Added by Richard Riley on October 16, 2012 at 9:40am — No Comments

FDIC Program "Waving Red Flags on the Fireground"

Thanks goes to Fire Engineering Magazine, PennWell and Chief Halton as Traditions Training Instructors Larry Schultz (DCFD) and Ricky Riley (Clearwater Fire and Kentland VFD) have been chosen to present our "Waving Red Flags on the Fireground" class. This class will be given Monday morning on April 16th at 0800 hours. At many incidents, all the signs and sounds are there for…


Added by Richard Riley on March 18, 2012 at 7:00pm — No Comments

The First Attack Line is Not Magic

Thanks to fellow Traditions Training instructor Joe Brown for getting me inspired this morning about a topic that we often talk about, but rarely look at in depth.

Over the past few days, compliments of the Internet, several videos have been posted that…


Added by Richard Riley on November 21, 2011 at 11:12am — 1 Comment

The Attack Line

A few years ago while working in Fairfax County we ran a website that was based on the two county fire departments and the one city department that ran together on calls everyday. It was and that site contained information about fires, apparatus, operating procedures, equipment and most important tactical advice and commentary. We were able to get one of the most respected and disciplined fire officers from Arlington County, VA. to write some articles for the site. As I was…


Added by Richard Riley on August 2, 2011 at 10:55am — No Comments

Big Fire, Big Water...Easy For The Chief to Say

This weekend Traditions Training delivered a two-day class in Quakertown/Coopersburg, PA. The class was in a large acquired structure that offered many challenges to the hose crews as they advanced lines all day into the structure, flowing water and simulating making the push.

My mind was going a mile a minute as we simulated fires in the structure.  I thought about all of the tactics I would employ if I was in command for an actual fire. The structure was an old school building, two…


Added by Richard Riley on May 18, 2011 at 12:52pm — No Comments

It's Not Just About You

At Traditions Training we consistently state at every program we teach... we must be "Combat Ready" as firefighters.  For some "Combat Ready" might just be taken as a "slogan" or a "buzz -word" of the week.  Other's see it as something they have to do personally, a facet of readiness that may just save a life: be it your own, your brother…


Added by Richard Riley on March 9, 2011 at 5:30pm — No Comments

When is Enough Training, Enough

Traditions Training presented a lecture program in a Washington D.C. suburb this past weekend.  The class focused on “Incident Command” and “Company Officer Development”.  As I looked across the room, scanning the crowd to see who was in attendance, I was rather stunned.   Sitting in the program were two of the most…

Added by Richard Riley on March 1, 2011 at 7:00pm — 1 Comment

5 Hour Energy Drink and Forcible Entry

Recently, after a long afternoon of dull fire department paperwork, a trip to 7-11 was needed to boost the energy for the rest of the workday.  As I walked into the store I stopped and took a look at the lock on the front entry door. This quick, passing glance made me realize how I had gotten out of the habit of conducting an on-going size-up of my surroundings before they were on fire. My size-ups had grown to a different level and the tasks that I do not perform everyday had fallen off my…


Added by Richard Riley on February 4, 2011 at 2:53pm — No Comments

When 250 equals 250

Recently, Traditions Training was invited to teach a program for a fire department in a “not so urban” area of the country.  Being that most of our instructors come from busy urban or suburban fire companies, 250 calls a month or more for a particular station or individual unit is not uncommon.  With that amount of activity comes more chances to refine and polish our craft.  It also allows for more chances to utilize the “tricks of the trade” that were passed on by our senior men and our…


Added by Richard Riley on February 3, 2011 at 6:00pm — No Comments

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