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Douglas Mitchell, Jr.'s Blog (77)

Is your team bringing the trophy home tonight?

The Sunday Preach:

'Everyday is your Superbowl'

"We have no such luxury of scheduling either our fires or where in the home these fires will occur. We may go to two in one day, one this week, or one in a year. Whenever a fire happens, we must be ready. For firefighters, every day is potentially game day, and we must be ready to play." (25 to Survive: Reducing Residential Injury and LODD Pg. 221.)

Tonight marks the culmination of the 2017 NFL season. Last years post…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on February 4, 2018 at 2:00pm — No Comments

A 5-k Device with 0-k of Training...

The Sunday Preach:

...Clear, Concise and Consistent

We give much of our training on 'tactical' issues. Be it hose stretches, laddering, forcible entry, search... but when was the last class or training that you received on radio usage. Whether you are talking on the apparatus radio's to give on scene reports or on a portable radio giving a status report after taking a lap, the message has to come through clear, concise and be consistent with policy, procedure…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on November 26, 2017 at 9:15am — No Comments

The 6th Sense...

The Sunday Preach:

Trust your instincts...

"The importance of analyzing our own human senses while we are in the fire environment is ever apparent. But is there some sort of sixth sense held by certain firefighters and fire officers? I am sure that you could recount many of your own stories here. These would be from past incidents in your careers that reflect an often eerie side of firefighting. Why did that firefighter tell us to move just prior…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on October 22, 2017 at 9:45am — No Comments

It's bigger than you are...

The Sunday Preach:

It's bigger than you are...

"When you decide to become a member of any fire department, you are making a large commitment. As the often-quoted New York City Chief of Department Edward F. Croker (1899–1911) stated during his tenure, “When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work.” 

The fire service is family. We all work together to do our…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on July 9, 2017 at 11:45am — No Comments

The Sunday Preach: "Shape up"

The Sunday Preach: Evening Edition

"Shape up!"

"The onus for fitness is not nor should it be placed on the fire department. It falls directly on you. While it is beneficial for both the department and the firefighter to keep yourself in shape, it has to start with the individual. Department sponsored and encouraged fitness programs are great to help those persons who need that little extra boost or…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on June 4, 2017 at 6:43pm — No Comments

Your next battle.

The Sunday Preach:

Know yourself, Know your enemy...

If you look yourself in the mirror and say: "I'm ok with being mediocre today,…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on April 2, 2017 at 11:18am — No Comments

'2 Minutes'

The greatest asset we deploy on the fireground is our people. Perception of passing time can be distorted by stressors and friction points on the fireground. How many times have you felt this?

Have you ever felt pressured by command to rush through tasks and give reports that are not fully investigated/completed. As though they have a checklist that they just want to have all the boxes ticked and the fire will go out and we can go home! We know that is not the case (at least we hope…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on March 6, 2017 at 1:02pm — No Comments

Sobering Stats... and Search

The Sunday Preach:
Chapter 25: We Save Lives
Perhaps no greater reward in our line of work than that of saving a life from the ravages of fire. While it is the number one aspect of our job "to save lives and property" it doesn't always get the…

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on November 20, 2016 at 11:09am — No Comments

Ladders: For Us, By Us.

The Sunday Preach

Chapter 22: Ladders, Ladders, Everywhere

"Portable ladders want to be used at fires. They want to get out of their ladder racks and be used, see the light of day, be near the heat and smoke, and help you do your job more quickly and easily. They live to be thrown against residential building fires. It makes them happy. They love to be carried or dragged into place by one firefighter. They want to be placed at the level of the residential windowsill for…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on November 4, 2016 at 10:11am — No Comments

Be good to each other...

"One cannot look back without also looking forward. Look back at the sacrifices we have made with gratitude, remembrance and honor... Look forward with new strength, new growth and a never wavering commitment to the future."

Sometimes I wish I could recall more of the details of that fateful day 15 years ago, and the week and months that followed... other times I am glad that I cannot. But since those days, I have looked to make myself a better man.

One thing I cannot…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on September 12, 2016 at 9:28am — No Comments

Take the Lap...

Chapter 12: 360-Degree Check
On the heels of last Sunday’s preach “Basement Fires”… the 360 is an excellent tool that can be used to identify topographical changes, building features, fire and smoke conditions, identify possible victim locations and solidify the operating plan of the arriving companies. Look at “6” sides of the fire. The 6 sides being:…

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on August 7, 2016 at 11:06am — No Comments

Mind the Steps...

The Sunday Preach:
Chapter 10: "Stairway to Heaven or Hell"
Do we ever teach our firefighters just how dangerous a seeming simple set of residential stairs can be... we would argue that we do not.…

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on July 24, 2016 at 11:59am — No Comments

Get Out There

The Sunday Preach:

Chapter 8: 'Get out there'

While everyone loves what is 'inside' the firehouse: the kitchen, rigs, tools, gym etc... we must get out into our first due and ensure that we continue to provide the level of protection that our citizens require and deserve. 

The only constant in life is that of change. 

Change in our personal lives, families & careers our communities, the world continues to change around us. It is…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on July 11, 2016 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Your SCBA and YOU!

The Sunday Preach CHAPTER 5:

It's Really The Only Time You Have.

"Much of how quickly you deplete your air supply is predicated on your level of comfort in wearing the SCBA ensemble, your physical fitness level, and your mental status." (Pg 39)

In the not so distant past, SCBA cylinders had "work" and "exit" times that were universally accepted for the various cylinder types. Those static numbers are a thing of the past.

While there are certainly unofficial 'rules…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on June 5, 2016 at 3:05pm — No Comments

"Stats, what do we do with them?"

The Sunday Preach:

"The Introduction"

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned

to repeat it.” —George Santayana (1863–1952).

"When the Spanish-American philosopher wrote this in his book, 'The Life of Reason, Volume I', he certainly was not referring to the fire service. Yet, it is deadly accurate for our profession and has applications for our everyday operations. As members of the fire…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on May 1, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

Student or Master

The Sunday Preach

'Student and Master'

The second section of "25 to Survive" and the program at is entitled "Mastering the Environment." A powerful section, with chapters discussing pertinent fire service topics such as: residential building construction, home and community design, stairway management, basement fires, the 360' and fire behavior.  

Attain 'mastery' in…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on April 10, 2016 at 2:11pm — No Comments

Easter Bunny Approved...

The Sunday Preach

What's in your basket?

Happy Easter to all our friends and followers. I can imagine that today many of you witnessed a similar scenario such as seen in the picture, of the 'overflowing basket of eggs.' 

As firefighters and fire officers we must avoid the tendency to become over reliant in the status quo and finding ourselves overly comfortable in operations that are routinely…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on March 27, 2016 at 7:54pm — No Comments

Shaving Seconds!

The Sunday Preach:
Shaving Seconds!
"in our years of conducting firefighter training, without fail, the longest delay in beginning firefighting operations result from the time taken to don the SCBA face piece and create the face…

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on March 20, 2016 at 12:38pm — No Comments

The preconnected stretch...

The Sunday Preach:

The preconnect... are you handcuffed?

Most engine companies have several preconnected attack lines and "the invention of this hoseload allows for quick racking and deploying and can greatly assist in limited staffing departments." 

As they lay in rest on your engine in a preconnected fashion, they are a fixed length "...the implementation of the preconnected hoseline provided a safety blanket that firefighters could rest…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on February 29, 2016 at 8:15am — No Comments

Single... or am I?

The Sunday Preach:

Single... or am I?

"Legally or illegally, many of these homes have been converted to accommodate the addition of extended family or even an entire other family, effectively making them two-family homes." (Page XIV).

Many of the single…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on February 21, 2016 at 12:32pm — No Comments

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