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Mark J. Cotter's Blog – August 2015 Archive (5)

MFA #9: From a Different Perspective - The new methods make more sense to non-firefighters

Sometimes we need to seek out opinions from others in order to ensure the validity of our own, and that is not a natural or even comfortable process.  In fact, it seems someone is always trying to tell us how to live our lives or do our jobs, providing advice we didn’t seek out, or explaining their view of our world.  Still, it is often only with the assistance of outside eyes that we can truly see ourselves. 

How many times have you been asked by a…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on August 31, 2015 at 8:10am — No Comments

MFA #8: Timing is Everything - Delivering the correct one-two punch of water and air

I used the term “Vertical Vandalism” as the title of my most recent post 

(, leading some to believe that I was suggesting we abandon that tactic.  In fact, my specific wording was that we could stop “routinely” creating damage in the pursuit of increased…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on August 25, 2015 at 6:12am — No Comments

MFA #7: Vertical Vandalism: How much risk and damage is acceptable just to remove smoke?

As we continue to discuss and explore modern fire attack (MFA) methods, I thought it was time to start talking about what may be the greatest tactical change: we can stop routinely cutting holes in roofs and breaking windows of burning buildings!  (And by "greatest" I mean the one offering the most benefits and challenges.)  Now, you can read all of the recent fire dynamics research reports and analyses yourself and never find that recommendation, but I see it as a logical and…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on August 18, 2015 at 7:23am — 4 Comments

MFA #6: Words that Convey Nothing - “Aggressive Interior Attack”

I borrowed the title of this blog from the late Tom Brennan, FDNY Captain, Waterbury (CT) Fire Chief, Fire Engineering Editor, and firefighting sage extraordinaire, but I take full responsibility for the example.  Tommy’s “Random Thoughts” column in the March 1996 issue of Fire Engineering railed against the use of phrases such as "Be Advised", because of uselessness; and “Heavy Fire Condition”, because of imprecision.  He related his frustration with persons who would describe a a building…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on August 6, 2015 at 6:30am — No Comments

Link to MFA Reference

Here's the direct link to Jones & Bartlett's "Evidence-Based Practices for Strategic and Tactical Firefighting" that I referenced in my latest blog, MFA #5 - Keeping Up to Date - Where to look when the textbooks are wrong:

That publisher today allowed me to post this link to a free download of this supplement, a testimony to their…


Added by Mark J. Cotter on August 4, 2015 at 7:31am — No Comments

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