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Nick Martin's Blog (9)

Actions Seen at a Box Alarm for a "Light smoking".

Around mid-day, a structural response was transmitted for "a light smoking" inside of a gym facility.  One of those dispatches where so many are tempted to judge the outcome of the call before they even get on the fire truck, and their conduct on the scene then reflects that attitude. Nationally, this complacency too often results in a predictable surprise that we call a tragedy.  As I was in the area, I responded on the call and noted the following actions being carried out by responding…


Added by Nick Martin on November 25, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

What's your standard? The firehouse just got a new puppy...

In my Department's "Rookie Book" process, probationary firefighters have a 6-month series of monthly tests.  These tests consist of written questions & knowledge and skill-based material.  The goal of course is to insure and guide their growth after the fire academy, so that when they come off probation they are well versed in "fire department life" and well capable on the fireground.

The 1st month evaluation is conducted by the rookie's battalion chief. There are 18 questions and…


Added by Nick Martin on September 16, 2015 at 6:55am — No Comments

Check the Resume

Years ago the fire service shared its opinions, lessons learned, and post fire academy knowledge primarily in magazine articles. There was no Facebook, Twitter, or blogging. Articles were submitted and reviewed by an editorial panel.  The members of these panels were seasoned fire experts who had “done their time” not only in the firehouse, but in the world of fire service literature.  Many readers often judged the quality of magazines based on their editorial panels. An article would be…

Added by Nick Martin on July 6, 2015 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

People Trapped? Don't Panic - Do Your JOB!

In general, a report of "victims trapped" should not cause any major changes in your initial operations. They may cause slight alterations - like where you take your line, which window you VES, etc.  However your plans/SOGs should already be setup assuming there are persons trapped. When added information increases the likelihood of entrapment, we should be doing what we always do - just harder and faster!

Remember, all tasks work in…


Added by Nick Martin on June 29, 2015 at 8:30am — No Comments

Snow Days

For kids, a snowy forecast is cheerfully received as a sign that tomorrow will be an easy day.  No school, watch some movies, have mom bake some cookies.  In the fire service, some make similar assumptions - no drill today, chief won't be by on rounds, just show up to nap and run some calls.  WRONG.

Across the country, some firefighters deal with snow more than…


Added by Nick Martin on February 12, 2014 at 1:10pm — No Comments

Combat Ready - "The Little Things"

We often talk about being a "Combat Ready" firefighter. What does that mean? I first heard the term "Combat Ready" and the idea behind it around 2003 from Lt. Pete Lund, a storied fire officer from FDNY Rescue 2 who was also a volunteer at Kentland with his son (Matt, aka "Vinny") while I was living there.

So what does it mean to be a "Combat Ready firefighter"? Is it your certifications? No... Is it a cool paint scheme on your fire truck? Absolutely not. Is it a "holier than…


Added by Nick Martin on February 6, 2014 at 8:03am — 1 Comment

Combat Ready - Sheperdstown, WV

Last weekend I was invited to present "Combat Ready Firefighting"to the firefighters of Jefferson County, WV.  After a great class, the more than hospitable members were eager to show me their firehouses and apparatus.  The pride in their departments and history was obvious (good thing!).  …


Added by Nick Martin on February 1, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments

Keeping Track

These log books vaguely capture what the company did. Who captures the how you performed at an individual level?



Added by Nick Martin on November 18, 2013 at 6:00pm — No Comments

What is a "COMBAT READY" engine company?

Tim Linke from Lincoln, NE sent me this basic but thought provoking inquiry.  We all talk about being "combat ready".  Weather you use that particular term or not, if you're reading this you're probably interested in being your best, A+ performances all the time, etc...


So for those of us in an engine company - WHAT IS COMBAT READY?

dcfd   …dsc02735


Added by Nick Martin on November 22, 2011 at 2:21pm — 2 Comments

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