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P.J. Norwood's Blog (47)

Yes, you do make mistakes!

We all make mistakes personally, professionally and tactically. Imagine if someone was to follow anyone of us (yes including you reading this) around on the fireground with a camera. The footage would reveal a ton of items and mistakes made. Mistakes that the individual making the errors would even be surprised they occurred.

Do mistakes mean we are a bad firefighter of officer? No, it simply means we are human and not perfect.

Look at the Near Miss reporting system…


Added by P.J. Norwood on March 2, 2014 at 11:30am — No Comments

Chameleons in the Fire Service

Chameleons are a distinctive and highly specialized group of lizards. Some chameleon species are able to change their skin coloration.

Different chameleon species are able to vary their coloration and pattern through combinations of pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown, light blue, yellow, turquoise, and purple. Color change in chameleons has functions in social signaling. The relative importance of these functions varies with the circumstances, as well as the species. Color change… Continue

Added by P.J. Norwood on February 14, 2014 at 8:10am — 1 Comment

We are the Fire Department and we don’t say no!

Since its inception, the fire service has continually redefined its knowledge base to respond and mitigate any call for service. The fire service is very different from any other public or private agency. We do not have one specialty. We never say, “Sorry you have to call someone else,” when someone dials 911 and asks for help. We respond and solve the problem regardless of what type of event it may be.

Think back to when the haz-mat push hit the fire service. If you told a…


Added by P.J. Norwood on December 31, 2013 at 3:04pm — No Comments

Now is the time to change!


Next week many people across this country will make a new years resolution.

 Many gyms will have new customers, the candy isle at the local grocery store will be avoided and the “diet” sections will be buzzing. Many firehouse meals will not look the same as they do this week. 

 As a firefighter you may or may not…


Added by P.J. Norwood on December 27, 2013 at 2:00pm — No Comments

The new four letter words and phrases in the fire service

There are a few new, four letter words in today's fire service to many. The words and phrases that include "new tactics", "UL", "NIST", "attack from the burned side", "transitional attack" and a few others seem to get under the skin of many. Immediately many will respond "just because it's new doesn't make it right". We have all heard and probably at one point had similar thoughts.

Today, I am not going to preach new tactics or techniques. I am simply going to start the conversation…


Added by P.J. Norwood on December 12, 2013 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments

Training To Adapt

Does your training teach members to think outside of the box? Do you train members to perform skills one way and one way only?

The fires and calls we respond to are extremely dynamic and regardless what some will tell you no two fires or calls will ever be identical.

There are always similarities but something will inevitability be different. Therefore if we…


Added by P.J. Norwood on November 4, 2013 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Fire Dynamic Research in Tactical Operations


I congratulate the ISFSI membership and their leadership for supplying us all with their Position Statement.


This statement is what the fire service of  needs! We can no longer train and educate firefighters based on personal experiences only. The fire service is changing each and every day as it has since its inception. There is not room for those who won't change to meet today’s fireground needs. We must embrace this new knowledge and begin applying it on the…


Added by P.J. Norwood on October 30, 2013 at 5:08pm — 4 Comments

It's not about the offense or defense - It's about winning!

For some strange reason I thought we the American fire service was progressing away from the "100 years of un-changed tradition" statements.

Today, we are each faced with a magnitude of "new" information that has been educating us in a way that no firefighters have ever had the chance to receive before. We are being armed with data and information that is giving us an ability to better know our enemy.   However, we continue to set ourselves up for failure. We train in live fire in…


Added by P.J. Norwood on October 26, 2013 at 7:47am — No Comments

Let's Debate V.E.I.S.

Before we get into the debatable topics we must address the "new" I in VEIS.


Just because we have inserted the "I" it does not mean that anything has changed. All firefighters who have been taught the right way have been completing the "I" since day 1!


Firefighters have performed the "I" every time they have performed this high risk tactic. The "I" is…


Added by P.J. Norwood on September 9, 2013 at 7:39pm — 5 Comments

The Role of the Safety Officer and Radio Communications

In the world of do more with less the Incident Safety Officer (ISO) role is becoming more complex. Your responsibility is the overall safety of the firefighters on scene. This is not the time to be focused on the “small” things such as gloves and chin straps. Those items are important but they need to be addressed ahead of time during training not on the fire ground.

We have seen it time and time again where Incident Commanders (IC) and other command staff miss the MayDay radio…


Added by P.J. Norwood on May 29, 2013 at 12:44pm — No Comments

Another Fire Service Debate

The Fire Service as we all know it has many debates that we all take part in. Smooth Bore versus combination/fog, PPV or not to PPV, leather helmet or “plastic” you know those timeless debates that seem like they will never go away.


One of those debates that I know occurs in many firehouses is in regards to portable radios. Do you carry them on a strap with a lapel mic over or under your jacket? Do you use the radio pouch on your jacket with or without a lapel…


Added by P.J. Norwood on March 4, 2013 at 4:34pm — 19 Comments

EMS Does Not Have To Be A Four Letter Word!

Even  though Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is not a four letter word it has definitely caused many four letter words to be spoken from myself and I predict from many of you. Every call offers us great opportunities but it’s up to you to capitalize on those opportunities.

If you haven't embraced EMS at this point you are no longer behind the eight ball you are behind the whole rack of balls. EMS being a trend or the next new thing to do for our citizens has long passed. EMS is the…


Added by P.J. Norwood on October 25, 2012 at 9:07am — No Comments

May Day! May Day! May Day! - What would your dispatchers response be?


Do your dispatchers know how to handle a May Day?

If you answered no, I now have the answer for you!

I have a published article, June Fire Engineering Magazine;…

Added by P.J. Norwood on October 1, 2012 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Blog Talk Radio Show Anouncment's

The announcement for the September 12th Fire Engineering Blog talk radio, The P.J. Norwood Show has been released.

I am doing something a little unique to get the message of the show out to you. Would you like to subscribe to this list?

My goal is to send no more then five e-mails similar to the one below per month. The emails will be to announce and remind you of the show. Provide you with the live and archived show links as well as other important information. The…


Added by P.J. Norwood on August 31, 2012 at 2:39pm — 2 Comments

Today's Leadership

    I rarely venture into writing about leadership as I still consider myself a student and not necessarily a teacher when it comes to leadership education. However during a recent travels and visits with firefighters I have yet to find a firehouse where someone does not complain about the boss. Routinely, the same common denominator is present. The "officer" was never educated to be an officer. So the decisions he or she are making are not based on best practices. They are based on…


Added by P.J. Norwood on August 27, 2012 at 10:37am — 7 Comments

The Little Things

I am going to take a little from Chief Alan Brunacini and what he has preached for years. Chief Brunacini has defined and shaped the fire service of today through his focus on customer service.

There is not anyone reading this that enjoys when a taxpayer says in the many way they do how they pay our salaries. However, in all honesty they really do pay our salaries and we as public service employees must be there for them and help them through the worst moment of their life.…


Added by P.J. Norwood on July 12, 2012 at 1:36pm — 3 Comments

Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio - New Show

Welcome to my first post of Fire Engineering’s Blog Talk radio show – The P.J. Norwood show. I am sorry to disappoint some you but there will be no skits, song parodies and top ten lists!

My new show will be specifically centered on the great Penwell/Fire Engineering authors. The authors and instructors that you have read their books, articles, training DVD’s and sat in their classrooms year after year at FDIC.

Each night I will have one of the best the fire service has to…


Added by P.J. Norwood on June 28, 2012 at 7:52am — 2 Comments

Handling the Mayday: The Fire Dispatcher's Crucial Role

Please take the time to read my article in the June issue "Handling the Mayday: The Fire Dispatcher's Crucial Role".

We as firefighters, fire officers and fire chief's must stop blaming the dispatch office for the inadequacies. Are they not operating up to the level that they should? Then I must ask, what have…


Added by P.J. Norwood on June 12, 2012 at 1:17pm — No Comments

The Street Signs for a Company Officer

Today's current Fire Officer's know all too well the hardest part of the job that very few are prepared for is the daily non fire ground decisions.

When you drive down any road in America you will see street signs that can represent the many days of your career as an officer.

Some days you will be running on an 8 lane highway at 80 mph. There will be no rest stops in sight and your fuel gauge will be pushing toward empty. This is when you must be on top of your game and…


Added by P.J. Norwood on May 10, 2012 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Bridgeport LODD Video and previous blog post

December 21, 2011, I posted a blog "Ask and you Will Receive" here on the Fire Engineering Training Community

Today I ask that you not only read but watch the below video and truly consider what I am recommending.

Today I watched a you tube video that details the LODD incident in Bridgeport CT July 2011. Please take the time to watch this video …


Added by P.J. Norwood on February 21, 2012 at 10:00pm — No Comments

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