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Chad Menard's Blog (15)

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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Added by Chad Menard on June 10, 2016 at 7:30am — 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…

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Added by Chad Menard on December 14, 2015 at 3:58pm — 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…

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

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…

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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…

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

Driver/Engineers....Can They Be Tactical?

       When you get promoted from Firefighter to Driver/Engineer there can be a host of emotions that come over you. When you first hear the news there is a great deal of excitement. There is a rush of happiness because the results of your hard work, training, education, and hours on end of studying friction loss equations, sprinkler systems, map books, fire department…

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Added by Chad Menard on March 8, 2015 at 8:30am — No Comments

The Scene Size-Up, Is It Really That Big of a Deal?

       The scene size-up is the most important thing the first due officer can do. In my class I have a large section based solely on the scene size-up and the things that go into establishing one correctly. It needs to be accurate. It needs to be complete. It sets the tone for the rest of the incident and should be based off of Life Safety, Incident Stabilization, and Property Conservation. If we do not get this done then the strategic and tactical goals of the incident may not be what they…

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Added by Chad Menard on March 2, 2015 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

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