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At 12:47pm on December 23, 2010, Nick Miller said…



You okay? I heard the sad news. My prayers and heart go out to the families and the Dept. for the two that were killed and the others injured.

At 4:23pm on September 21, 2010, Tom Dunne said…
How have you been? My condolances to the Chicago FD on the recent firefighter death.
Tom Dunne
At 9:32am on October 2, 2009, Paul Basic said…
jim, paul basic here. please give me a call. 773-433-0245. thanks

At 9:51pm on August 19, 2009, Jeff Schwering said…
Welcome back Jim. I've been kind of busy lately. Hope all is well.

Talk soon, Stay Safe!
At 11:01pm on June 15, 2009, Art Zern said…
Hey Jim,

Welcome back, I hope you and your family are well.

At 7:01pm on May 3, 2009, Ryan Berter said…
I've been gone a while from the site, sorry for not responding to you. I work in an industrial district that doesn't do much fire activity. We're more fire alarm experts than firefighters. All joking aside we don't do that much fire. If and when something happens in my first due it stays relatively small due to suppression systems. I am wondering if you have any thoughts or tactical issues you could expound on with large commercial buildings. Primarily large warehouse type building, some in excess of 500X500. Currently our first due attempts to find the best access to the fire area. We deploy a hose pack of 1 3/4 supplied with 2 1/2" from teh truck. The second due engine lays into us if we don't have a yard hydrant. The third engine is usually the one to supply the FDC. So we are talking about switching to all 2 1/2 for these types of buildings. We are beginning to look at different ways of doing things. Here is our thought:
The first due Engine will find the best and closest doorto the fire area. With search rope and our 2 1/2 hose packs we will attempt to find the fire. Once found we will find the closest door, man door or overhead, and have the 2nd Engine will meet us with a 2 1/2 supply line to feed our hose packs. The 2nd due will reverse lay to a hydrant and supply the line. The 3rd due will supply the FDC.
Let me know any thoughts or concerns you would have with this. This was picked up by my training Capt at FDIC and the idea was introduced to me the other day.

Look forward to the discussion thanks for your input.
At 8:07pm on April 23, 2009, GEORGE B. WIGGINS said…
I hope everything goes well with you and your family..Be Safe and take care
At 8:05pm on April 23, 2009, GEORGE B. WIGGINS said…
It has been a while since I have been on here, St.Matthews Fire Dist is in suburban Louisville KY. The rank of Sergeant is the apparatus operator on the company and is the fall back officer in absence of the Captain(popular in the south east of the US).
At 12:02pm on March 24, 2009, Mike Cervik said…
Hey I heard you were going to teach a class at Duneland Fire School down here by us but it got canceled. What happened with that?
At 4:36pm on March 3, 2009, David DeStefano said…
Jim, I can't get to FDIC this year, but the next one is a priority! From what I'm told they are great events.
At 2:02pm on March 2, 2009, David DeStefano said…
Just read your article from last week on leadership and knowing the district. Nice work! I liked the story from your experience. I was a covering lieutenant for about a year, and although we are tiny in size compared to Chicago, I can relate to your issues!
At 6:36pm on February 25, 2009, Nick Miller said…
Thanks for the add Jim. Stay safe brother!

At 3:26pm on February 21, 2009, Todd Maier said…
I went to Monroe a couple of years ago and liked it. Anytime you get a chance to train with live fire conditions, it's a good thing.
I'm hoping to get to FDIC for the first time this year. Any recommendations on what classes to take? Being a new training officer, I was going to stick with training programs and officer developement classes.
At 2:26pm on February 21, 2009, Jim Vena said…
Hey Jim,
The FLSTP program is newly re-developed. According to my Chief, at the Career Chief's meetings which are held I think every 2-3 months or so, Career Chief's from across the state meet to work on issues affecting the fire service in the our state. I don't know the the particulars about what occurs, but do know that my Chief has brought back and shared a lot of positive information. Recently during a conversation with my Chief he indicated that one of the bigger issues last year was the FDNY FLSTP program. Apparently the Chief in charge of training attended several of the career chief's meetings to ascertain from upstate departments what their needs were. The program was subsequently revised and updated. This is great news. Any chance I could get a copy of the new material?
At 1:08pm on February 16, 2009, Todd Maier said…
Thanks for the hit. I just stumbled across this community and was almost overwhelmed with the information.
As far as our first alarm, we rely on mutual aid full assignments. Our department guarantees the first in engine on duty. If were lucky, off duty response gives us another engine, truck and chief officer. With the full assignment, we get four engines, one truck, and four chief officers from neighboring communities. This usualy totals around 20 if fully staffed. We have excellent relations with these departments and they are very solid.
I am really looking at officer development as one of our next projects. Our personnel are put in leadership roles early in their career that indirectly prepare them for the officer role. State certification is required for a promotion and we have the privilege of excellent instructors from surrounding communities passing along their knowledge and experience.
At 9:01am on February 16, 2009, Brandon Krause said…
Jim, with the lack of aggression I think it goes back to a lack of experience with the crews. We are doing in house training now with alot of tactics work to get these guys where they need to be. We have people who have come from slow stations and are not used to running alot of call or fires so it is just a training thing we need to work on. I will not be making it to FDIC this year although I do believe from what I have heard from the office next door (chief) I will be going to Fire Rescue International.
At 11:41pm on February 11, 2009, Jim Vena said…

Thank you for the welcome. I am not able to make FDIC but thanks for the invite anyway. Niskayuna is a suburb of the City of Schecnectady located in Schenectady County, NY and is part of the Capital District (Albany, Schenectady & Troy). As far as officer development goes, once promoted, by state law we attend FDNY's 4 week First Line Supervisor's Training Program (FLSTP). In my opinion it is really good training opportunity, but does not fully meet the need of small departments. For instance FDNY's first alarm response and staffing is greater than the strength of my entire department (yes I am jealous) and also once promoted we may work for 6-8 months before getting into the FLSTP whereas when an FDNY FF is promoted they go straight to FLSTP. In our case as was the case for most of the other "upstate" officers attending the training many sessions contained education on things we had to learn through trial and error or by NYS outreach training and wound up a good review but was redundant. To combat that I would like to develop a program to bridge the gap and make the transition from FF to officer better for our situation until the more formal training can be accomplished by FDNY. I think it could also provide a model for aspiring officers to as well as a method for current officers to help evaluate potential candidates. So any advice or CO development programs you or anyone else has here that you are wiling to share would be greatly appreciated.
At 10:44pm on February 10, 2009, John Ortlund said…
Hey Jim,
I have received a couple of other department's officer development programs. A couple of research papers also on the same topic. Now I have to conduct my own interviews and research. Once I get through all of the information I can start designing our program. Thanks for asking..Be safe.
At 9:24am on February 7, 2009, John Ortlund said…
I like the CSF blog and training site. Keep up the good work. Research is going well. Alot of generous people in the training blog are sharing input. As far as your HOT class in the suburbs. What about oak lawn, tinley park, Orland Park. Will any of those departments have the facilities you need? Let me know..Be safe.
At 7:12am on February 7, 2009, Jay Hurley said…
Our department has no program for officer development. We could be the poster child for innefective company leadership. Promotions are handed out solely on seniority, and there is no incentive to train...PERIOD. Perhaps in the future we could change all this, but for now it's FUBAR. On the initial alarm we get 3 engines, 1 aerial, 1 rescue, and 1 staff car. Total of about 10 personnel, depending on staffing. We run 3 on an engine, but our mutual aid department only runs 1

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