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Chad Menard's Blog (26)

A Comparison of the 7/8" and 15/16" Smoothbore Nozzle

            There are some common fire service debates that just seem to be staples of our craft. In recent light a new one has arisen, traditional helmets versus European. While that one seems to be gaining attention, that won’t be what we discuss today. There are statements out there that say, “What goes around comes around.” and “Everything comes full circle.” This is true. If you talk to anyone that has been in their line of work for any amount of time, they’ll tell you common practices…


Added by Chad Menard on July 10, 2019 at 7:20pm — No Comments

Avoiding Risk Doesn't Make You Safe: It's All About Perception

            There’s a risk to not taking risks, it’s unsafe. Is that possible? I think so, and in today’s time I feel like some have enveloped themselves so much in being safe, that they no longer train to a standard that allows them to be prepared and competent. That’s unsafe. This does not mean that being safe isn’t necessary, and I would never advocate doing tasks that are unsafe just for the sake of doing them, that’s a suicide mission. However, there is no better safety factor than…


Added by Chad Menard on June 27, 2018 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

The Modified Minuteman Load

The Modified Minuteman Load

The minute man load is a popular hose load used on many apparatus across America, and it happens to be my favorite load of all the options I’ve seen. I feel as if the minute man load, in whichever configuration you have it loaded, is more versatile than other popular loads. This is of…


Added by Chad Menard on December 5, 2017 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Engine Company Riding Assignments

Engine Company Riding Assignments

In the following blog post I’m going to be discussing riding assignments for members of engine companies, but riding assignments overall are a good choice to aid in eliminating confusion and help streamline task completion early on in an incident. You can use riding assignments for any apparatus but the task or tool assignments would be different for each, for example,…


Added by Chad Menard on November 2, 2017 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Flow for the Fire, Not Your Firefighters

It was just a couple weeks ago when I found out that the pump of a new engine we placed in service was preset to 120 PSI. While listening to a group of firefighters talk I overheard one of the engineers state they felt that the needed 145 PSI for that nozzle was too much to handle so they had it set to 120. If you’ve spent any amount of time on a hose line, you should know that 145 PSI pump discharge pressure on 200 foot is very manageable with a single firefighter, but two firefighters…


Added by Chad Menard on August 2, 2017 at 7:30pm — No Comments

One, Two, or Three Sides: Laddering the Building

When it comes to ground ladders, some say throw them until one of two things happen:

  • You run out of ladders.
  • You run out of windows.

I must say, I do agree with this opinion. The placement of ground ladders allows firefighters to access areas they wouldn’t be able to, create a means of egress if needed, give roof access for ventilation crews, allow firefighters to search rooms, and give…


Added by Chad Menard on March 31, 2017 at 4:30pm — No Comments

The Life-Fire-Layout Size-Up

We know that the fires of today are burning hotter and faster than ever before. There are a number of contributing factors to this but what I feel is more important to take note of besides the growth time of fires in structures today is the amount of time these occupants have to get out of these buildings. It was said that in previous times of more legacy constructed homes that occupants had seventeen minutes to exit a structure fire, but today that number is as low as three to four…


Added by Chad Menard on February 5, 2017 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Check Your Nozzles

We were doing truck checks this past Tuesday like we always do. This is the day that we do the bay floors, check our saws, tune everything up, run all fans, extrication tools, and all that good stuff. I was on Engine 1 for the tour and we had already ran all of our equipment and before I went over to ask the Heavy Rescue or Ladder dudes what they had left to run I checked my nozzles. It’s not uncommon for me to walk around each shift and check the nozzles and hose loads from previous shifts…


Added by Chad Menard on January 6, 2017 at 1:23pm — No Comments

The Ground Ladder "Click System"

It seems that most of the time when ground ladder training is mentioned a lot of firefighters are hesitant to get excited. The ground ladder is probably the most simple of all the tools we use as firefighters. We don’t have to mix their fuel, choke them, charge their batteries, or anything of that nature because they don’t require any of those items. Although they’re one of the simplest pieces of equipment we use; that doesn’t take away from their importance. There is always a time and place…


Added by Chad Menard on June 10, 2016 at 7:30am — No Comments

Watching the Roof for Changes During Operations

I am posting this to share an experience I had at a structure fire a couple days ago. I try to take something away from every run, as most of us do, and this particular fire proved to me why proper sounding when performing roof operations is so important. I have gone on record and said before, and will say again, I am not a truckie from a large metropolitan department. I have performed vertical ventilation on multiple occasions with success and consider myself average with a decent knowledge…


Added by Chad Menard on January 8, 2016 at 10:30am — No Comments

Forcible Entry: Overhead Sectional (Garage) Doors

            There are many times throughout the year that we respond to structure fires in both residences, and commercial occupancies that have garage or overhead doors. These doors can challenge crews that are gaining access into them if they’re not familiar with how they work, how they’re made, and what cuts to make. Regardless of whether we’re gaining access for interior operations, defensive operations, or just to open it up for means of egress; we need to know how they operate, how…


Added by Chad Menard on December 14, 2015 at 3:58pm — No Comments

Company Officer Complaints Go Up, but Not Down!

There will come a time in a firefighter’s career where they look at themselves and their career and have to decide if they want to move up the chain of command and add more bugles to their collar. These promotions are big steps in anybody’s career because the higher you go; the more work you will take on. This work isn’t always fun and when going to a Company Officer role you really have to make sure you are prepared to step into that position and lead as a positive forward thinking…


Added by Chad Menard on November 15, 2015 at 11:03am — No Comments

Creating "Buy-In" from the Company Officer Position

       There’s a cultural paradigm shift taking place in today’s fire service, and if you ask most of today’s leaders how to deal with that they can’t give you an exact answer. We know that the generation differences in yesteryears crews that are Baby Boomers (1946-1964) and born in the early Generation X era (1965-1980) don’t always zig when they should zig with the later Generation Y (1981-2000) crowd.

       Now there are multiple studies out there that offer up opinions on why…


Added by Chad Menard on October 24, 2015 at 11:39am — No Comments

Converting the Minute-Man Load to a Cleveland Load.

There will come a time in your career, regardless of what pre-connected hose load you use, that you will run out of room when trying to make the stretch to your entry point and have hose left on your shoulder that needs to be dealt with. We definitely could continue walking down the street, walk way over into the neighbor’s yard, or back track and let the hose pay off the top of our shoulder, but that takes time, and time is not on our side in this business. The best water; is fast water, so…


Added by Chad Menard on October 11, 2015 at 5:37pm — No Comments

Master the Basics

How can one become a good firefighter? What is a good firefighter? If someone wants to be a good firefighter do they have to go take a bunch of rescue technician classes, become a smoke diver, or a hazmat specialist? I think if one wants to become a good well rounded firefighter; then they need to master the basics.

In my opinion you need two things to be really good on the fire ground and they are common sense and knowing the basics of whatever it is you do. If it’s at the…


Added by Chad Menard on October 4, 2015 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

The Normalization of Deviance Could Kill You.

       We hear the words situational awareness quite a bit in the fire service. We talk about how we need to maintain a wide lens and not tunnel vision in on the un-important things. We can’t lose focus on what the task is at hand, right? I think tunnel vision is human nature. It happens in our everyday lives. It happens at home, driving down the road, and so on. It happens at work too. This is where we run into a problem, especially if the Group Supervisors and/or the Incident Commander are…


Added by Chad Menard on August 20, 2015 at 6:31pm — 2 Comments

Improving Morale from the Company Officer Level

Can the Company Officer (CO) increase morale on his/her own? Do you think it’s possible for one person (CO) to change the outlook of firefighters who seem to be down in the dumps, bicker, moan, groan, and complain about how everything in the department is being done wrong or…


Added by Chad Menard on June 8, 2015 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Quint Crews Need To Be a Cut Above the Rest

I debated to myself on whether or not I wanted to open this can of worms because of the hate that this piece of apparatus tends to carry along with it. Obviously, after deep consultation with myself, I decided I would open the can and bait the hook too. The title says it all “Quint Crews Need to Be a Cut Above the Rest”. I think this is absolutely true and that is because most people do not like quints due to the fact that the crew members who ride them have to be…


Added by Chad Menard on May 24, 2015 at 9:30am — 3 Comments

Calling the Mayday with WWW

“MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY”. That is a sequence of words that we hope to never hear on the fire ground, and we hope individually, to never have to say. I think in the end, when firefighters perform the task they’re supposed to do, which is putting themselves between life and fire; we may end up in situations and events that could lead to a MAYDAY transmission. The MAYDAY transmission is one thing I believe firefighters need to perfect. We may only get one shot at calling it, and when that shot…


Added by Chad Menard on May 17, 2015 at 10:05am — 2 Comments

Air Management Comes Before The Call

When firefighters hear the term “air management” they often think of the ways they were taught to maximize their working time while on air in an IDLH environment. They picture consumption courses, spaghetti drills, and all the fun things from recruit school and other trainings that aided them in prolonging their operational time while wearing their SCBA. They think about skip breathing and various techniques taught by others to help get the last breath possible out of that bottle. Those are…


Added by Chad Menard on April 26, 2015 at 11:55am — No Comments

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