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Joseph Pronesti's Blog (43)

This week's simulation, The large Victorian & pocket doors

You are called for a fire in the oldest area of your town or response area, as you hear the address you are instantly reminded that this is a rather large somewhat run down residence that was once considered a "mansion" 100 years ago when built, you have been there many times to assist the resident with his elderly invalid mother who resides in a bedroom facing the A side.

As you review the video simulation consider your thoughts:

  1. At the front porch slide as you…

Added by Joseph Pronesti on June 29, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

The bowstring truss......Do all your members know the hazards? or do you THINK they know?

This week's fireground simulation focuses on an old nemesis of our great service, the bowstring truss. There are many types of the bowstring truss roofs and all bowstring trusses are not created equal and do not share the same characteristics when found in a building and occupancy.They may have the same shape, but shape alone does not define the bowstring truss. Based on the type, design, construction, materials, age, span, spacing, configuration, occupancy and application there are vast…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on June 21, 2015 at 1:18pm — No Comments

Carriage House Fire With a Victim....this week's simulation

Its a hot July 4th mid-morning, you have finished the day's firehouse chores or maybe a volunteer firefighter at home planning your cookout with family when the house tones hit, or your pager goes off............ A resident of your town was working on his jet skis when a hot trouble light comes into contact with a flammable liquid puddle, there is a flash fire and he is burned was inside the garage with his wife and children.


That is this week's scenario involving a…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on June 14, 2015 at 9:28am — No Comments

Its in the Attic! This week's simulation

This week we will look at a fire that has originated on the rear deck of a multi-residential condominium complex constructed in the early 1980s. Access to the C or 3 side is difficult because it is built near a ravine and has a steep slope ladder access is going to be difficult or impossible. We all have some type of condo complexes and if this simulation is similar to something you have in your community great. The key take away this week is do you go for the fire knock on the C or 3 side…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on June 7, 2015 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Fireground Simulation........ The mixed use

This week's simulation involves a two story mixed use dwelling; the first floor houses a deli/small supermarket, the second floor is chopped up into several apartments. This building was built in the early 1930s. Based on this era, what type of construction would you assume? Go ahead and play out the scenario based on your departments response and apparatus. This building is similar to the one that burned in Buffalo New York in 2009 that claimed the lives of two firefighters. I have…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on June 1, 2015 at 6:00am — No Comments

Fireground Simulation...... The Multi-Family

Good Morning,

I will attempt to post a simulation every week, this first one is a working fire in a multi-family residential, the fire is called in as a porch fire but while en route you are updated to a more serious condition of possible people trapped.

Building Facts:

Built Early 1900s

Balloon or Platform 

Multiple Apartments

Residence is a common response address for your department re: EMS go ahead and make up what ever…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on May 28, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

An Overlooked,but possibly easy access below your "Main Streets".....The Showroom Bumpout

Back before super stores, mega malls and big box stores, consumers in many towns purchased their clothing and household goods from stores located on respective “Main Streets”. These stores had large display windows that advertised what shoppers could find once inside (Think Ralphie from the movie A Christmas Story staring at his Red Rider BB Gun). Because many of these Ordinary Constructed Type III structures were built specifically as retail these display cases had what best…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on May 25, 2015 at 2:14pm — No Comments

A modern issue in a legacy residence......Venting The Stairway Landing Window

When I became a firefighter twenty-seven years ago my father who spent thirty years on the job in the same town offered me a bit of advice when fighting fires in our town's residential structures, when fighting an upper floor or attic fire a good engine company making the advance with the initial attack line will take the stairway landing window(s) to vent and in turn make the the…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on May 19, 2015 at 8:23pm — No Comments

The "Main Street Hybrid"

Just as the car industry has reinvented itself with the “Hybrid” vehicle, today’s Main Streets have reinvented themselves by renovating nineteenth century structures by adding and renovations thus breathing life into…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on April 14, 2015 at 10:27am — No Comments

Main Street Fire Escapes Need Review Too!


Added by Joseph Pronesti on April 2, 2015 at 12:05pm — No Comments

“Watch a Fire Video Without Watching the Fire? And How to Better S.U.T.E. your Size up Training Using Video”

A guide to help your self-study in size up and command


By: Joe Pronesti


With today’s social media everyone knows that fire video is a click away sometimes we can get video while crews are on scene still. It’s great that we can…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on March 29, 2015 at 6:30pm — No Comments

A New Acronym to consider-UL (Universally Linking)

What does a two year firefighter and group of firefighters from the Netherlands have in common? No it’s not a joke but a great example of what Steve Kerber from UL along with Dan Madrzykowski from NIST have really done with the research data disseminated to our fire service, they have brought firefighters from across the globe together and talking about tactics and that is in my opinion the greatest lesson for us. Now back to the probie and the Dutch firefighters, I have had the privilege to…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on January 20, 2015 at 7:09pm — No Comments

Church Fire Quick Points

A rare but challenging fire you may face in your career will be a burning church, synagogue, mosque, or temple. These buildings may be the treasure of the community and the artifacts inside may be irreplaceable, pre-fire study and planning plus proper initial size up may be what separates a community tragedy or a proud save of the building and all that’s inside.

One of the most important fire ground operations in these buildings takes place prior to the fire even occurring, it is…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on January 13, 2015 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Congratulations, in 2015 you will be promoted to a Command Level Officer...MAYDAY,MAYDAY,MAYDAY!


It’s a new year and in many fire departments across America large or small, paid, part-paid and volunteer, members of our service will be retiring from positions of command and new faces will be taking their spots. If you are in one of these categories of either retirement or promotion I say congratulations and Godspeed. Now, for those of you getting promoted to command positions (which will include me in 2015) I ask if you are ready to hear one word repeated three…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on January 1, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

TRANSOM WINDOWS: An often forgotten modern fire behavior danger lurks in Legacy constructed buildings

If you attended an older school like I did growing up I guarantee your teacher or even you yourself performed a ventilation technique and didn’t even know it when you opened them, what am I talking about? It’s the transom window and their effect on your operations in legacy buildings need be taken into consideration, especially with all that has been recently disseminated to our fire service in regards to ventilation and fire behavior.

A transom window is a window…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on December 29, 2014 at 1:30pm — No Comments

So What Are You Doing Around 1745 Hours Dec 3rd

Our youngest members were probably between 5-10 years old, our now more "seasoned" members were proby firefighters trying to learn, fit in, be a sponge, etc. But it's been 15 years since that cold night in Worcester, Massachusetts and if you're reading this without any idea of what I am talking about or a foggy mind I encourage you to take an hour or two from your busy holiday season and web search Worcester Cold Storage".

It sat as a hulking building windowless and a reminder of… Continue

Added by Joseph Pronesti on December 3, 2014 at 7:00am — No Comments

Oriented Vent, Enter, Isolate, Search is a viable option given today's fire environment and heat release data

It appears and rightfully so, that there is an increase in "chatter" about the utilization on the fire ground for VEIS (Vent, ,Enter, Isolate, and Search) training. A few years back I wrote an article for Fire Engineering on utilizing what some call the 'Oriented Man" V.E.I.S. this tactic utilizes two members one with a thermal imager to conduct the operation. the two member approach in my opinion helps calm any naysayers who state that this tactic is far too danger and is only for the "big…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on November 21, 2014 at 2:00pm — No Comments

A Fire in an occupied dwelling back in time, water on the fire was the same whether in 2006 or 2014

At a recent class I attended the instructor  speaking on the merits of studying today’s fire behavior and tactics exhibited a piece of paper with one sentence written on it, the words scribbled by a great fire service leader said, “Quick water is the…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on November 13, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments

"Want To Play Extric Jenga ?"

It's time to play inside, at least in my neck of the woods in Northern Ohio. The cold/snowy weather is upon us and unless you want to sit in the fire house all day it can be a challenge to keep your members fresh and well prepared. So why not a "game night or day".

The following game described below I call…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on November 9, 2014 at 8:37am — No Comments

Are You Ready For The Balloon Frame Fire??

One of the ways I mentally prepare and train as an incident commander is to review major working fires around the country, this past Sunday while reviewing the day’s prior events I read about a terrible tragedy that occurred in Portland, Maine where five victims perished in a fire in a large two story duplex apartment house. I researched the photos and listened to the fire department audio from the scene and based on these I am assuming…


Added by Joseph Pronesti on November 3, 2014 at 9:00pm — No Comments

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