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David Topczynski
  • Male
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • United States
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Profile Information

Lives in:
Virginia Beach
Newport News
Senior Firefighter/Medic
Years of public service:
Agency structure:
Paid fire department
Top issues in your department:
Professional Qualifications:
Firefighter 1 & 2
Fire Instructor 1 & 2
Fire Officer 1,2,3,4
Rope Rescue
Confined Space Rescue
Vehicle Rescue
Topics you provide training for:
Presented at: FDIC 2015, South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo 2015, Firehouse Expo 2014 & 2013, Virginia Fire Chief's Conference 2015
Firefighter I & II
Strategy & Tactics
Engine & Ladder Company Ops
Command School/Officer's Academy
Incident Safety Officer
Areas of expertise:
Truck Company Ops
Technical Rescue
I am a firefighter in Newport News, VA and have been a member of the fire service since 2004. I have served in both career and volunteer departments on Long Island, NY and in Virginia. I am a state fire instructor with the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) and also a contract instructor. I am member of the Honor Guard, Live Burn Training team, and a Trustee on my IAFF Local 794 Board. I hold a degree in Fire Science and have taught at conferences around the country as well as written articles published in Fire Engineering Magazine.

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David Topczynski's Blog

Where has all the tradesmen gone?

While attending a recent training seminar the presenter, a well respected, seasoned veteran of the fire service made a statement that I seem to hear a lot lately, “the fire service sure has changed from when I first started thirty years go! Where has all the brotherhood and pride gone”.  Now, many are quick to blame the “newer generations” of firefighter’s, but talk with any retired firefighter and they’ll tell you that “these new generation of firefighters” have been “ruining” the fire…


Posted on March 27, 2016 at 2:00pm

Size Up: Not always what it seems - part 2

A few months ago I posted an article on fireground size up titled, "Size Up's: Not just what it is, but what it was". This article is the second part on size ups. It focuses on two important factors that are not always discussed when talking about size ups. A major key to being able to perform a good size up actually begins well before the fire with taking the time to get to know your district inside out and…


Posted on January 30, 2016 at 10:00pm

212 degrees - the one degree difference

This photo is actually of a poster that I saw in the middle school while on a fire alarm. These posters hang throughout the entire school. It is simple, but it says a lot. This post is simple and short. It's not a motivational speech about being a 212 degree firefighter but reminder not to give up and cool off to 211 degrees. It is about the importance of the single…


Posted on January 25, 2016 at 4:54pm — 2 Comments

Building Renovations: the hidden dangers

Having an understanding of building construction is one of the best tools a firefighter can have to help them perform safely and efficiently at a fire. It may not be possible to know the specific details of a building’s layout before a fire, but by studying how buildings are constructed, we can predict how a fire will behave, travel, and react in different types of buildings.…


Posted on November 18, 2015 at 3:46pm — 1 Comment

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