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Jarrod Sergi's Blog (45)

Control the Building, Control the Fire

It is not uncommon for me to occasionally hear firefighters say “we don’t need to ventilate, its already venting”. In some cases, yes, this remains true. Maybe there is no more property to save and we can get away with saying that. One thing that I hope doesn’t get missed is that we ventilate the buildings to control the way that fire behaves inside that structure. We want to make that fire do what we tell it to do; especially given certain types of building construction. Yes we also…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on September 17, 2015 at 9:37am — No Comments

You Can't Take Enough Grounders

The other day at work, I was standing in the apparatus bay having a conversation with one of my firefighters. He is currently working on his acting officer development book and we were having lots of discussion on a variety of topics. One subject in particular was size-up. We were discussing the importance of practicing size-up when responding to automatic alarms, whether they are residential or commercial. I explained the value of taking every opportunity to size-up buildings when going on…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on September 5, 2015 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Water Supply When "SHIP" Happens

This information may only reach out and touch a few people that visit the Fire Engineering Community. If you are part of an organization that responds to military installations, specifically US Navy waterborne installations, this applies to you. It is equally important to those of us responsible for shipyards where military vessels will enter port. For the most part this will include departments on or near each of our coastlines, to include the gulf coast. I served in…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on August 24, 2015 at 5:08pm — No Comments

Bring Meaning to Core Values

We can trace core values back to several places. We get them from our upbringings with parents or other family members, from our church, and several others. They are the guiding principles on how and why we make decisions in our lives and in our work. The core values we have in our personal life may not always mirror the same ones we have in our organizations. Often times they are still good values and even carried into our personal lives may still have application and meaning.



Added by Jarrod Sergi on July 30, 2015 at 11:37pm — 1 Comment

No More Excuses

Over the last few weeks I have seen on social media and many other outlets a growing frustration for the lack of making training a priority. I share in the frustration of others when it comes to the mindset that may be out there when it comes to this. I have a very experienced Captain who I am grateful to be working alongside. He has close to, if not over 30 years of service. He has…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on July 19, 2015 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Tips for the New Truck Officer, From a New Truck Officer.

I recently was assigned to a Ladder Company as a new Lieutenant. Prior to this assignment  I had spent two years as a Lieutenant in the training division running recruit academies and providing department wide training. I had a Battalion Chief tell me, Jarrod, no one cares about Jarrod Sergi the Firefighter. They don’t care where you were or what you did. They don’t care what experience you gained while at your previous stations. All they care about is watching you as a new Ladder Lieutenant…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on June 8, 2015 at 1:22pm — No Comments

It's just a T-Shirt

So you have put the time in to study for the promotional exam. You have made it through the assessment centers and the interview process and have been handed a new t-shirt. The letters on your back have turned gold and you are ready to start your journey as a Company Officer, or are you? Anyone can wear a shirt with gold letters on their backs. If we choose to not take the responsibility and live up to the title that is on our chest, then it’s just a t-shirt and nothing else. The shirt and…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on May 20, 2015 at 7:49pm — No Comments

Flat Roof Recon


So you’ve got the order to go to the roof of a residential or commercial dwelling that has a flat roof. The lack of pitch alone can make for speedy ventilation if done correctly, but there is much more we can do and more information we can gather once we get up there. Obviously the Incident Commander cannot see what the…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on May 7, 2015 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Are You Stressing Out?

It’s no secret that incorporating stress into a training environment has its benefits. It causes us to think and make logical decisions while we are battling increased breathing, heart rate, and auditory exclusion. The first place we can begin this type of training is with new recruits entering the fire service. Incorporating these stressors little by little throughout their practical training in my experience has been the best way to go with a grand finale if you will near the end of their…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on February 19, 2015 at 7:12am — No Comments

Build Your Army

At times I get frustrated with things in my organization, as I am sure all of you do. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud to be a part of the department I work for, but there are times I question the motives of others. What are they doing in the Fire Service? Are they here to be sticker collectors, do they just like holding the title of firefighter? You know the ones; they reek of mediocrity, do nothing to improve their performance, and are satisfied with the status quo. Plenty of days I go…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on January 16, 2015 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Are you Coordinating?

There is no question that it takes discipline to do this job. It takes discipline to perform. It takes discipline to come in everyday and make sure your tools are ready for the fight. We never know when it will happen and we must always be prepared. Now let’s take it to the fireground. Coordination of ventilation and fire attack is one of the most important things that takes place. Almost a harmonized dance between the engine and ladder crews. The engine knowing that the ladder made it to…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on January 5, 2015 at 7:52pm — No Comments

Beware of Hoarder Houses

Have you had much experience inside of a hoarder house? You know the type of house where there is just a tremendous amount of stuff packed to the ceilings dying to bust through the walls. Yet the owner of this stuff refuses to let it go. I’m sure some of you have. I’m sure of it because I see it in my own organization so I am certain it is all around the country. The type of hoarder house I am referring to is a hoarder in a firehouse. The stuff packed to the ceiling…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on December 31, 2014 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Go Take a Walk

Often times we conduct training in our firehouses where we are crawling around in turnout gear for a RIT drill, throwing ladders, and stretching lines. All of which is extremely important. Some of this hands on training is supplemented with talk about strategies and tactics around the galley table as a crew, or watching a fire video online and practicing size-up. Once again, all great stuff. One thing we need to make sure we include into our training calendars is a simple walk through of our…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on October 27, 2014 at 10:24am — No Comments

6 Minute Abs for the Fire Service

Just the other day I was sitting here at work and was part of a short conversation on a theory of why the fire service is the way it is. You know us firefighters; we will sit around the galley table and solve everything. Doesn’t matter if its fire service specific or how to fix the economy, run the presidency, or the way we would deal with the Ebola situation. In this case in particular it was about how the fire service is plagued with firefighters who are always trying to come up with the…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on October 20, 2014 at 6:23am — No Comments

Looking out for your guys

Have you ever heard someone use the phrase, “they look out for their guys”? I have heard it on several occasions and it has often made me wonder, what the true meaning of these words is. I have had conversations with fellow firefighters and it typically is directed at the company officer. Sometimes the conversation consists of firefighters being in trouble and things being swept under the rug. Sometimes, there is talk of things that are going on around the station that are unprofessional and…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on September 22, 2014 at 2:17pm — No Comments

What does it take?


            Sitting on my couch last night watching TV and just relaxing, I saw an update from Fire Engineering about a LODD in the Houston Fire Department. I read the details about the incident up to that point and immediately my thoughts went out to the firefighters in Houston and the affected families. There are usually a few things that go through my head when I hear about a line of duty death. The first thing is usually think about is that firefighters family and…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on July 10, 2014 at 9:29am — 2 Comments

It's just one week, what about the others?

As we near the end of safety and health week in the fire service I have had a lot of time to reflect on my own personal health and safety. Recently in my organization we had an event where one of our firefighters fell into cardiac arrest and was successfully resuscitated and has made a recovery. He fell ill and collapsed while completing his annual performance evaluation which encompasses essential fireground skills. I know this served as a reminder to me of just how quickly my career could…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on June 20, 2014 at 8:16pm — No Comments

Riding Assignments

Riding positions are an important factor in the successful outcome at a structure fire. Before I get into this realize I do understand that some may be performing all four seat positions based off of your staffing. My hat is off to you if you are the firefighter that drives the truck, throws it in pump gear, pulls the line and charges it and waits for others to get there. I have never had to do that. I have only heard stories and could imagine how difficult it could be. Recently I sat…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on June 13, 2014 at 12:03pm — No Comments

Not An Officer, Not My Problem: Wrong Answer

There are several things that make my skin crawl when it comes to attitudes, performance and passion for our profession. If you read my blog you can probably nail down quite a few.  For some reason there is one statement that I have heard several times over the last few months. This statement just shouts mediocrity, apathy, and indolence. This statement is: “I am not the officer, it’s not my responsibility”. This has generally been used in conversations about poor performance of fellow…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on May 29, 2014 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Avoid Overeliance on Technology

Technology is weaved all throughout the fire service. It has been for a long time. We have thermal imaging cameras, GPS locaters tied into our PASS devices, mobile data computers that tell us where to go, and where all of our hydrants are, and even fire apparatus that will set their own pressures with the simple push of a button. I am not saying that any of these things are bad, but are we beginning to become dependent upon technology? Technology has helped us save lives, improve…


Added by Jarrod Sergi on May 21, 2014 at 9:13am — No Comments

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