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Do you know what really GRINDS my gears?

I'm sure that a few of you are fans of the TV Show "Family Guy." In one episode, Peter gets a job on the local newscast as a commentator. His spot was called "Ya' know what grinds my gears?" Of course, Peter's perspective on life is a little slanted, and wackiness ensued. I've decided to add this to my blog post as a "ya know what grinds me gears related to the fire service?" You can agree, disagree, laugh, or agree to disagree. I'll add more as I think of them.

Things that really "Grind my Gears:"

1) Firefighters who don't carry tools with them--especially truckies.

2) Truckies that try to steal the nozzle--shouldn't you be searching, ventilating, laddering, getting utilities, or generally trying to make the Engine guys' lives easier?

3) When people say that "I'm just a volunteer, or I'm just an EMT."'re JUST as important!

4) Career firefighters that think they are better just because they receive a paycheck.

5) Either career or volunteer firefighters that are just unwilling to stop dwelling on whether they are career or volunteer and instead being more productive by trying to perfect the craft of firefighting.

6) Hose beds higher than about 55 inches off the ground.

7) Ladder racks that are inaccessible.

8) Not pulling lines correctly on fires or raising ladders because they are inaccessible, generally perpetuating the inability of crews to perform their tasks effectively and performing their craft.

9) Chiefs that forgot that we still need to pull hose and raise ladders, but decided to spec rigs that are "multi-purpose" for that one call that we might get in ten years and thus rendering our apparatus ineffective for what they are intended.

10) Calling 100' of 1 1/2" single jacketed hose with a forestry nozzle on it a high rise pack.

11) When a firefighter from another department knocks on your station door (or a citizen, for that matter) and they aren't welcomed with open arms.

12) Anybody that thinks PPV is "the stuff" for ventilating at every structure fire. Nitroglycerin is "the stuff" for medical calls, too...but I don't use it on every patient.

13) Taking a tool and then placing a "fire service use" designation on it in order to tack another grand or two to the bill.

14) Fire equipment salesmen that haven't ever fought a fire, but by god the tool they want me to buy is just "the cat's meow."

15) Firefighters that expect the fire department training division to supply them with all the training they'll ever need.

16) Firefighters that can tell you exactly how to hook up your surround sound system, but can't find an axe on the rig.

17) Not being able to use a Medic Unit as a firefighting resource, especially when staffing is low.

18) Spending more time justifying why we shouldn't do something than why we should.

19) Not stabilizing a vehicle before extrication takes place.

That's all I can think of right now...

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Comment by Jim Mason on October 14, 2008 at 9:30pm
All good ones Tim
Jim Mason Chgo FD
Comment by Brenda Tenney on October 7, 2008 at 5:12pm
Hi,guys ,the only computer in our dept is the Chief's .When he does bring the pc in for us to see scenes ,etc.
No fooling around in the dept...or on and scene..What a Chief we have,i respect him for keeping us on our toes.
Comment by Sven Schievink on August 30, 2008 at 10:49am
Sad thing about that Tim, is that there are guys in every Dept. who act just like that. those of us who have travelled and experienced hospitality and true brotherhood have an uphill battle to change this! KTF - DTRT And hopefully someday I'll make it to Nebraska......Maybe when we do some more Firetown classes for you guys
Comment by Tim Linke on August 29, 2008 at 10:04pm
Hey Sven, I wrote number 11 just for you! That got me thinking about how positive the PS FOOLS are and how everyone up there took such good care of me while I was there! We've been trying to pass that along here, as well...slowly but surely. If you're ever in Nebraska....
Comment by Sven Schievink on August 29, 2008 at 9:21pm
Way to generate some discussion Tim! And I feel your pain!
Comment by Tim Linke on August 29, 2008 at 3:02pm
Hey must be on the computer 24/7 like me, LOL!
Comment by Josh Materi on August 29, 2008 at 2:57pm
I hear you Brother
Comment by Tim Linke on August 29, 2008 at 1:02pm
Thanks, Josh...I guess that was the gist of my blog. Not so much to be negative, but rather, as Steve Reno would say, "to start thinking like firefighters again." More than anything, I'm poking fun at the ones who aren't IN to the job and maybe helping to remind myself as to why I am!
Comment by Josh Materi on August 29, 2008 at 12:51pm
I got one or two..Leaving dirty water in the mop bucket after mopping the station...
Guys that spend all day texting and xbox and can't go through the lock.
Guys that know how many K days they have but dont know how many feet of ladders they cary.
Thanks Tim. we can go on for days. Tom hit it on the head PRIDE is contagious, look at how Chief Lasky is helping change the fire service.
Check out this article on the Orange Peel from
Eric Guida
Comment by Tim Linke on August 28, 2008 at 4:39pm
I know...isn't the definition of insanity doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result?

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