Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

Jason Hoevelmann's Blog (134)

Stay Calm!

Being in control on the fire ground is critical for the fire officer. Nothing is worse than an officer screaming and shouting about EVERYTHING!

This shows a lack of control on the part of the officer. Staying in control allows you to think more clear, instills confidence in your members and allows for members and other officers to actually understand what your saying over the radio or through your mask.

The more your scream and lose your cool, the more inept you…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on April 23, 2014 at 1:48pm — No Comments

Control What You Can, and Do It Well!

You can't worry yourself with what the other crews or shifts do or don't do.

Don't bother yourself with what the other officers are or are not doing.

When you come on shift, all you need to worry about and focus on is taking care of business.

Your members will do the same. Control what you can, when you can and control it well!

Be that crew, company and officer. Be the best!

Added by Jason Hoevelmann on April 19, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

No Excuses!

We all advance at a different pace. Sometimes due to us not being prepared, sometimes just being beat out and other times factors we can't control come into play.

No matter what the reason, use a promotion lost as a learning experience. Not only about the process itself, but where to improve.

Use the time to gain more experience, master the craft and to prove you're the best candidate.

No sulking, no complaining and no…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on April 18, 2014 at 12:26pm — 1 Comment

The Becoming of an Officer

Becoming an officer and an effective leader is not accomplished from passing tests or being the best interviewer or having the highest level degree or the most years on the department.

It is achieved by being a servant of the fire service. It is achieved through performing the most subtle acts on a daily basis that makes the fire service and others better.

It is achieved by making sure others come first and that the successes of those around us are as important as our… Continue

Added by Jason Hoevelmann on April 12, 2014 at 9:06am — No Comments

The Stone and the Blade

As many are preparing to make their way to FDIC or are already there, it is important to understand what our roles are as fire service instructors and leaders. Yes, you are both, whether you are an officer or not if you are helping to make the fire service better, you are a leader and instructor at some level.

I was using my knife the other day and it needed to be sharpened. I have an old stone that has sharpened knives for many years.  When you learn how to use that stone and are…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on April 6, 2014 at 8:18pm — No Comments

Are You an Unconditional Firefighter?

I am one who has had my share of frustrations with the fire service at times.  There were times that it would have been really easy to sit back and just glide into a recliner and drift away into the land of complacency and doing as little as possible.  

It would have been real easy to become one of those guys that learned all I needed to know at the academy and on the job.  I could have been the one who wears the t-shirts and puts the stickers in the back window of my truck to…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on March 1, 2014 at 11:22am — No Comments

Do the Right Things-What Does That Mean?

The fire service has so many different sayings and mottos that they become cliche and difficult for newer firefighters to truly understand what they mean.  But, more than just saying these slogans and even understanding, in some cases we need to make sure we act on those mantras.

One of the sayings that I hear a great deal of and say myself is "do the right thing."  For some of us we probably take for granted that the persons we are telling this to know what it means to do that.  …


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on February 28, 2014 at 10:24pm — No Comments

Who to Listen To?

I remember being a young, volunteer firefighter and learning as much as I could from whoever would share.  Being in a small, mostly rural department, and with no social media--only the monthly trade journals---I depended on the more senior guys around me to pass on what they had learned and I always assumed that they knew what they were talking about.

It didn't matter what the topic was, I seemed to always come away with something I didn't know before hand.  The one thing that I can…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on February 20, 2014 at 7:58pm — 1 Comment

New Officer? Don't Try to Save the World All at Once

As progressive, engaged and enthusiastic firefighters, we all took classes, trained hard and created an image of the way we would be when we got promoted. We would do this and we would do that, damn the consequences and those we might piss off. But, when we got there, it may not have all gone as planned. Hmmm.....did you ever wonder why?

I have seen this happen over the years and it has happened to me during my first years as a young company officer and later on as a chief officer,…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on February 13, 2014 at 9:41am — No Comments

Don't Downplay Your Down Time

We know we don't spend every waking hour at the firehouse running calls or training or working out. There typically is some down time during your shift or rotation.

As a prospective officer candidate and informal leader, what you do with your down time can make a huge difference in how you are perceived and what separates you from others interested in promoting up.

I have seen firefighters spend hours on end looking on the internet for cars, car parts, campers, motorcycles and…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on January 23, 2014 at 12:58pm — No Comments

The Good, The Bad, And the Insignificant

In the last post I provided a short list of how to be an attractive candidate for promotion to company officer. I can’t overstate how important it is to build a complete body of work as a firefighter and building the respect based on how you handle yourself everyday. One of the items in my list is to learn not just from good or well liked officers, but also learn from the poor leaders and officers.

I would argue that an astute firefighter that really pays attention could learn more…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on January 20, 2014 at 1:41pm — No Comments

Make Your First Job First

This is the third post on making yourself an attractive prospect for promotion. These are just quick tips that I have had passed on to me and things that I look for as one who has been on intreview boards for promotional processes. This list in no way gaurantees a promotion nor does it contain everything you might want to consider. But, those that have used these and paid close attention have had good luck.

In the first post we provided a list of things for consideration when trying…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on January 17, 2014 at 12:48pm — No Comments

Make Yourself Attractive, And I Don't Mean Pretty!

This will the be the first of many posts that will lead into an Ebook that I'm working on and an online academy that will be rolled out later this year. We will start with one of the most common questions I get about being a company officer, however, it can be used for promoting up from company officer to chief officer as well.

"How do I make myself a strong candidate for promotion?"

Well, there is not any singular answer to this and each situation is unique in many cases.… Continue

Added by Jason Hoevelmann on January 12, 2014 at 12:29pm — 3 Comments

Here's to a New Year's Revolution for 2014!

As we ring in this new year we will be inundated with well wishes and "Happy New Year" for the next few days as we run into friends and family. We will also discuss everyone's resolutions that seemingly are very similar to those of the prior year but weren't quite reached.

This year I say we start and sustain a Revolution in the fire service for 2014!

I say we revolt against mediocrity in our profession!

I say we revolt against complacency in our profession!

I… Continue

Added by Jason Hoevelmann on January 1, 2014 at 10:17am — 1 Comment

Study and Understand HRR

I recentlyposted about Heat Release Ratesand the rookie asking the question. Here is some resource material to help you with this. Heat Release Rates must be understood in the context that we may not be in the fire compartment or we may be at a presumed safe distance from the seat of the fire, but if the fire compartment is not cooled, the Heat Release Rate that is in today's fire…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on December 12, 2013 at 1:05pm — No Comments

Routine Compared to What?

This is just a short post on staying sharp and keeping your edge. We all hear, and probably say, the word routine eventhough we know and understand that very little of what we do IS routine.

It can appear to be routine, but once we dig into the skill, task, or incident, that word no longer applies.

So, in the following picture, we could argue that this fire and building would be "routine." We would pull hose and deploy tactics that we "routinely" drill and train… Continue

Added by Jason Hoevelmann on December 6, 2013 at 4:40pm — No Comments

Find Those Learning and Practice Moments

Training is not just for the drill ground or the classroom. We need to look for learning moments and practice opportunities whenever we can.

We recently responded to a fast-food joint for a fire in the kitchen. I was on overtime and we were on the engine that was second in. The first in company used a Type-K extinguisher to put out the small grease fire on the grill.

The first due captain indicated that the fire was small enough that the suppression system above the grill did…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on November 13, 2013 at 10:28am — No Comments

Alternative to LUNAR for Mayday

Here is a very good article on the LUNAR concept for Mayday and consideration for an alternative that is more fireground friendly and effective.

Scott is a fellow instructor with Engine House Training, LLC and a Lieutenant with the Metro West Fire Protection District.

LUNAR....Is There an Alternative?

As a Fire Service, we have done a good job…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on October 10, 2013 at 12:56pm — 3 Comments

A Culture of What?

There has been a lot of talk recently, the last few years especially, about the culture of the fire service. There have been all kinds of cultures thrown around: a culture of safety, a culture of extinguishment, a culture of tradition, a culture of nexters, etc. I think you get the point.

I'm going to keep this short.

First, cultures are created over long periods of time by attitudes, beliefs and habits. Cultures of anything are not easy to change or fix, if that is the…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on September 7, 2013 at 8:12pm — 1 Comment

Drilling for the Prevention of Bad Things

Drilling for effectiveness cannot be overstated enough.  In posts and articles firefighters and officers are imploring that we, as a fire service, put a heavy emphasis on drilling and training on a regular basis.

Not just when training is scheduled, but everyday we are at the fire house, we must use the equipment and techniques to master our craft and to know the capabilities and intricacies of our equipment and that of ourselves.  What have we forgotten?…


Added by Jason Hoevelmann on July 30, 2013 at 11:07am — No Comments

Policy Page


The login above DOES NOT provide access to Fire Engineering magazine archives. Please go here for our archives.


Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to

We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our community policy page.  

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail

FE Podcasts

Check out the most recent episode and schedule of

© 2023   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service