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David Polikoff's Blog (31)

My first Speech

Below is the first speech I ever gave. I was asked by Chief Rodney Twyman to be the guest speaker at the Ridgley Volunteer Fire Dept. in WVA:

Good evening. My name is David Polikoff and I am extremely honored to be here. I am Battalion Chief in Montgomery County Maryland, life member at Kentland Volunteer Fire Department in PG County Maryland, and volunteer at Sykesville Fire Department in Carroll County Maryland. I am also an instructor with Capitol Fire Training. I…


Added by David Polikoff on July 22, 2016 at 6:54am — No Comments

Managing the MCI

As incident commanders (IC) we are tasked to run a gambit of incidents. There are some incidents that can cause anxiety, of those 1 in particular can overwhelm IC’s quickly, the mass casualty incident (MCI). These incidents grow quickly and in order to manage it an IC needs quickly wrap his/her hands around it and dole out tasks. Below is a quick action guideline to assist you in with these incidents:


  • Quickly scan the incident for hazards to fire and rescue personnel…

Added by David Polikoff on June 24, 2016 at 7:36am — No Comments

NIMS and Command

There are many things that can impact poorly on an emergency incident: poor communication, disregard of SOP’s, poor tactical decisions and lack of command, just to name a few. I will focus on command. A strong command presence can overcome most issues on an emergency incident. Most think that command starts once a chief officer arrives on the scene; this ideology can prove to be detrimental to a successful outcome on an incident. The fact is, during an emergency, the incident…


Added by David Polikoff on June 3, 2016 at 6:33am — No Comments

Garden Apartments

Fighting fires in garden apartments present some unique challenges to fire fighters. The main challenges fire fighters face are the construction of the building, the building’s location from the street, the layout of the apartment unit, adequate resources needed, basic strategies and tactics, and a solid incident command system. If one of the above components is missing, the results could be tragic.




Garden apartments can host varying methods and types of…


Added by David Polikoff on May 17, 2016 at 9:01am — No Comments

Passing command


There are times when you arrive on the scene of a working fire and what you are faced with may hinder you from taking command. You as the first due unit officer are able to pass command over the radio 1 time. Ensure you are not giving it to the RIC or any special service. The most important things that have to happen on the fire ground is fire fighter safety and ensuring the first line gets to the fire.


Added by David Polikoff on November 13, 2015 at 7:46am — No Comments

Kill them with Kindness

Always keep your composure when dealing with the public. There may be times that they may be upset with your performance. Remember they have no idea how we work, so a simple explanation in a calm manner will defuse most incidents. Above all do not lie, give factual information and if you are unsure contact the BC they will get answers. Kill them with kindness.

Added by David Polikoff on October 9, 2015 at 6:51am — No Comments

Come on Engine Guys!

Just because you are on an engine company, does not excuse you from bringing hand tools in to do work other that hose line stuff.  A good engine crew will be ready to overhaul the fire area once the fire in knocked. Sometimes the truck crews are doing other stuff like search, laddering or venting. The truck crew might not be there to pull ceilings so it is up to you as the engine crew. Same holds true for forcing doors. You carry those tools on the engine for a reason.

Added by David Polikoff on September 29, 2015 at 8:45am — 1 Comment

Gas Emergencies

When running an inside gas leak ensure you protect yourself and your crew from possible explosion. Call out your water supply. You may have to take a hydrant further away to avoid passing the incident. Park your apparatus away from the front of the building and approach with your meters on. Call for additional resources as needed. Control sources of sparks, such as lights, doorbells, pilot lights. Turn on all hand lights prior to entering the building.…


Added by David Polikoff on September 4, 2015 at 9:46am — No Comments

Be Professional

Vince Lombardi once said “when you get into the end zone, act like you’ve been there before”. This applies to firefighting, meaning when you arrive on the scene of a working fire do the job you have been trained to do. Don’t act like a fool, be professional


Added by David Polikoff on July 17, 2015 at 3:26pm — No Comments

Tactical Tips for Garden Apartment Fires

Tactical Tips for Garden Apartment Fires

When running a fire in a garden apartment fire, anticipate the following: 
1.Your pre-connected attack line may come up short have a plan to extend it    …

Added by David Polikoff on June 26, 2015 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Control your radio

The first 5 min of an incident is the most critical yet that is when you hear the most unnecessary radio traffic. Thinks before you speak on the radio. Is what your going to say going to have an impact on the incident or is it something that can wait.

When things go bad on the fire ground they go bad fast. Let the crews fighting the fire have the radio courtesy they deserve.
Something to think about!!

Added by David Polikoff on March 6, 2008 at 8:10am — No Comments

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