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Douglas Mitchell, Jr.'s Blog (77)

"Mind the Step"

The Sunday Preach:

‘Mind your Step’

"We must recognize the importance that staircases have in all of our operations, from pre-fire control to overhaul. We must understand their structural building components, know the materials used, their limitations, and how to prevent and overcome problems impeding our goal of going up or down the stairs. Anytime we are going up or down steps, we must be extra alert. We must also recognize and plan to utilize a secondary means of egress…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on February 7, 2016 at 3:57pm — No Comments

The Nob,The Pipe, The Tip, The Nozzle

The Sunday Preach:
The Nob, The Pipe, The Tip, The Nozzle.
The 'Nob' requires someone to operate it. Most firefighting nozzles require approximately 8 pounds of force applied to the bale to open the nozzle for water delivery. While obviously this is not a feat of enormity, the nozzle…

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 27, 2015 at 10:27am — No Comments

The '2C's'... and no, its not Christmas and Chanukah

The Sunday Preach:

"The 2 C's"

If you have followed us for any length of time you know our stance on COMPLACENCY in the fire service. Complacency, when left to fester in one person, one company or one department, (while difficult to document with statistics) that complacent attitude, can be a killer. We must prepare for the fire of our career each and every time out the door.

The other C is CANCER. Anyone who is or knows someone who is fighting cancer, knows it is indeed…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 20, 2015 at 10:01pm — No Comments

Nature vs. Nurture

The Sunday Preach
Nature vs. Nurture...
None of us were created firemen.
We owe so much to those who inspired us, those who invested the time and energy in making us the firemen and fire officers we…

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on December 6, 2015 at 6:24pm — No Comments


The Sunday Preach:
"I" Save Lives
I, I, I, I, I... There we said it. Not to add the "I" for personal gain, fortune, create a new blog page or cult following... but just to tweak an old friend to help those who help others.

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on November 22, 2015 at 9:25am — No Comments

fire down below...

The Sunday Preach:

"What's in your Basement?"

"Basements, like garages and sheds, are full of anything and everything that you don't necessarily want in the main living space of your home." (Ch 11, pg. 112.)

With a basement fire, you never know what you may encounter. It may be unfinished and contain strictly storage, or…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on November 15, 2015 at 10:56am — No Comments

Out, yet IN

The Sunday Preach:
'OUT'... but maybe in the best spot to be 'IN'?
Utilizing the 2 team approach, (inside and outside) the outside team (or perhaps lone outside FF) can accomplish several tasks simultaneously when communicated and coordinated with the inside team.…

Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on November 8, 2015 at 2:18pm — No Comments


The Sunday Preach

Are you comfortable?

"...without a working SCBA, you are nothing more than a civilian in a fireman costume." 

As simple as it sounds, we need air to breathe. The SCBA is THE TOOL that allows us to perform inside the IDLH. It allows us to make that push down the hallway, make the search in the back bedroom. It is our LIFE...

"You must be intimately familiar with your departments brand of SCBA. You must study how it…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on October 18, 2015 at 10:28am — No Comments

An all year event...

The Sunday Preach:

Clean Up

Cancer has seen a dramatic spike in the fire service. It is increasing effecting our fire service brethren; regardless of race, creed or gender. Having friends and family who struggle and have succumbed to cancers deadly grasp, it is devastating, debilitating and taken many good men and women far too soon. 

While October brings attention to increasing awareness for "breast cancer" and November touts men's health…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on October 11, 2015 at 8:35am — No Comments

Past and Present

On the heels of the somber occasion today at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial, where 87 firefighters and fire officers names were added to the monument in Emmitsburg Maryland, we pause and reflect, in their honor and sacrifice. 

While we must never forget their sacrifices, we must also make a commitment to better ourselves in so much that their sacrifice is not in vain. Whether that may be a personal commitment to fitness, a…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on October 4, 2015 at 4:15pm — No Comments

Mission Critical...

The Sunday Preach:

"ONE MISSION AND ONE MISSION ONLY" "A key foundation to doing our job since the inception of the fire service is the establishment and delivery of water." (Chapter 16 'Where is My Water' - pg. 167)

Water on Fire = No more Fire

...and this my friends, is good for everyone

So, while Engine may have over the generations changed color, shape and size and have more bells and whistles…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on September 27, 2015 at 10:41am — No Comments

A Keen Eye

A Keen Eye

"Remember that we are all in this together. We must consistently watch out for each other. Only a firefighter truly knows what it is like to be a firefighter... When things go wrong, only more firefighters like us are coming in after us." (pg. xi)

The application of these few sentences speak volumes on several fronts. For one, they do not only just pertain to just the fireground. While we know that the fire floor can be extremely…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on September 13, 2015 at 5:08pm — No Comments

September 11, 2015 ~ 'The Gold Standard'


Fourteen years.


This week will mark the 14th anniversary of September 11th 2001, an anniversary that some say has been forgotten by society at large. While certainly there are exceptions, perhaps it is largely because many do not have a personal ‘tie-in’ to the events that shook places like Shanksville, Arlington, and New York City.

Yet, it remains unforgettable by some, especially to those in our line of work… it is a date that lives…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on September 10, 2015 at 8:41am — 1 Comment

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

The Sunday Preach:

Expectations & Communication

"We can earn loyalty by training well, treating people fairly, and by setting a positive example... Someone is always watching your actions and interactions. Set the tone for the way you expect your crew to perform, and they will follow you." (pg 12).

If there are no parameters for performance, how can the team know when they achieve success? A team that is loyal to both the leader and the…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on August 30, 2015 at 12:09pm — No Comments

Crystal Ball Not Required...

The Sunday Preach:

See the future... (crystal ball not required)

If you are looking to see potential forcible entry challenges in the residential setting, often you need to look no further than your local hardware store.

"Residential building forcible entry is no longer the 'mule kick' on a hollow core wooden door. Formidable forcible entry concerns are becoming prevalent in the single family…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on August 16, 2015 at 10:20am — No Comments

It's so's hard.

The Sunday Preach

"Click it"

Look in the mirror, in the end... you are responsible for the choices you make. 

In our personal vehicles, we would never think to drive or ride without a seatbelt securely fastened... How is it that in the rig, we think it's not required?

"The safe response is paramount and cannot be understated. The chauffeur and the company officer are equally responsible for that safe response. Be certain to wear your…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on August 2, 2015 at 8:40pm — No Comments

How many of you have had a line painted down the middle of the floor between the engine and truck?  I bet a few of you did.... The Sunday Preach: Together.... Separately "While members of engine and…

How many of you have had a line painted down the middle of the floor between the engine and truck?  I bet a few of you did....

The Sunday Preach:

Together.... Separately

"While members of engine and ladder companies have historically had separate and distinct duties, they are absolutely interdependent upon one another. Truck companies that open ceiling and…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on July 19, 2015 at 4:37pm — No Comments

the grass is always greener...

The Sunday Preach

Is The Grass Always Greener?

After spending the last two days out of state on manicured green grass soccer fields, another parents and I began to start to compare and contrast the places we have traveled too. Some nearby, some afar... in the end, there was no place like home.

Likewise, many of us in the fire service take time to peruse other fire departments than the one's we are working with. 

It made us reflect on…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on July 12, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Be Great!

The Sunday Preach:

Be Great...

"Did you ever go to a fire where everything went exactly as planned or where you came out and thought you did everything right and wouldn’t change a thing you said or did? The only consistent thing when it comes to firefighting is that it is different each time. No fire is routine and no two fires are ever exactly alike. While you may practice due diligence in an area where fires are prevalent, fire behavior from building to building, from day…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on June 7, 2015 at 9:03am — No Comments


The Sunday Preach


For those of you who may have children who play sports, you may relate to this next brief piece. While the topic pertains to many, in this instance, this is about me and one of my kids... and their favorite sport.

Passion drives the desire for perfection, therefore practice is the fuel that drives the desire....

It started early, I could see the passion for the game in his eyes. The intensity in the commitment to better himself and be…


Added by Douglas Mitchell, Jr. on May 3, 2015 at 6:18pm — No Comments

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