Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

Mark J. Cotter
  • Male
  • Salisbury, MD
  • United States
Share on Facebook Share

Mark J. Cotter's Friends

  • Eric Maurouard
  • Michael Dombroski
  • Chris Leier
  • Brad Hoff
  • P.J. Norwood
  • George H. Potter
  • Bobby Halton

Mark J. Cotter's Groups

 

Mark J. Cotter's Page

Latest Activity

Mark J. Cotter posted a blog post

Changing Directions - Attic, basement, and exterior fires

Much of the energy expended in promoting, discussing, and opposing Modern Fire Attack (MFA) methods regards the use of exterior streams for controlling fires in structures, an understandable focus given the rather revolutionary, and therefore controversial, nature of the research findings.  (In a nutshell, applying water from the outside was found to be a whole lot more useful, and a whole lot less harmful, than we had believed.)  Drowned out in the noise of this debate, so to speak, have been…See More
Oct 7
Mark J. Cotter posted a blog post

The Other Half - Implementing MFA Techniques

With the debate regarding the benefits of exterior streams and ventilation control having been settled in favor of at least adopting the option to perform these potentially faster, safer, and more effective approaches for controlling fires in structures, many fire service leaders and instructors are asking: “How can our department implement these valuable practices?” Fortunately, the most significant efforts toward making these changes have already been expended by the LODD investigators whose…See More
Sep 23
Mark J. Cotter posted a blog post

Half Ready - Limiting our options

Excellent firefighters are easy to spot: they’re usually doing something that will enhance their skills and knowledge. Though individual abilities will differ due to such variables as time in service, experience, and level of training, the consistent traits of the best firefighters are that they tirelessly study the trade, practice skills, and critique responses in order to better assist the citizens they are sworn to serve. This quality is readily apparent in their focus, attitude, and…See More
Sep 9
Mark J. Cotter posted a blog post

Experiments vs. Experience: How a handful of test fires beats tons of real fires.

A frequent criticism of Modern Fire Attack (MFA) methods, often phrased as a warning against their adoption, is that the actual number of experimental fires upon which they are based totals only a few hundred, while Traditional (TFA?) tactics have been "proven" effective many thousands of times.  To be exact, I counted just 106 test fires performed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in the most widely-discussed studies published over…See More
Aug 26

Profile Information

Lives in:
Salisbury, MD
Department:
Salisbury Fire Department
Title/rank:
Engineer
Years of public service:
45
Agency structure:
Combination fire department
Top issues in your department:
Staffing, Training, Preparation, Hazard Analysis
Professional Qualifications:
Bachelor of Sciences in Health Sciences, Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, Philadelphia, PA 1977
Physician Assistant - Certified, since 1977
Maryland Professional Qualifications Board Certified as:
Firefighter II
Fire Inspector I
Fire Instructor III
Hazardous Materials Operations
Fire Officer I
Additional Maryland Fire Rescue Institute Courses:
Emergency Medical Technician - Basic
Emergency Vehicle Operator
Pump Operator
Truck Company Operations
Aerial Apparatus Operator
Advanced Cardiac Life Support Instructor since 1978
Topics you provide training for:
Single Company Operations
Emergency Service Myths
Modern Fire Attack
Areas of expertise:
Single Company Operations - obtaining maximum efficiency and effectiveness from small firefighting crews;
Emergency Service Myths - seeing beyond hype and habits;
Modern Fire Attack - application of fire dynamics and simulations research to fireground tactics;
Bio:
Third generation firefighter, with grandfather the Fire Chief of Anaconda, Montana, and maternal uncle Fire Chief in Richland, Washington. Born and raised in Summit, NJ, a bedroom community in the NY metropolitan area. Joined town's volunteer first aid squad as a junior member in 1972, then the combination fire department as a volunteer in 1974. Attended Physician Assistant school from 1975 to 1977, working one year as a driver for an inter-hospital commercial ambulance company, and joined a volunteer fire department (Coal Township, PA) during my internship. Married in 1978, moved to Philadelphia, fathered a daughter and son, and worked two years as one of four EMS Field and Training Coordinators for the Philadelphia Fire Department, earning EMT-Paramedic and Instructor certfications. Moved in 1980 to northeastern Pennsylvania to resume medical practice in freestanding emergency room, and joined volunteer fire departments in Wind Gap, then Pen Argyl, PA., where I rose to the rank of Fire Chief. Also assisted in establishment of regional Advanced Life Support service. Began writing feature articles for fire and EMS publications. Moved to current location in 1987 to join practice providing staffing of local emergency room, and continued writing and teaching. Joined combination fire department in Salisbury, MD, as a volunteer in 2002, rising to rank of Captain, and currently serving as Engineer.

Mark J. Cotter's Blog

Changing Directions - Attic, basement, and exterior fires

Much of the energy expended in promoting, discussing, and opposing Modern Fire Attack (MFA) methods regards the use of exterior streams for controlling fires in structures, an understandable focus given the rather revolutionary, and therefore controversial, nature of the research findings.  (In a nutshell, applying water from the outside was found to be a whole lot more useful, and a whole lot less harmful, than we had believed.)…

Continue

Posted on October 7, 2019 at 7:00am

The Other Half - Implementing MFA Techniques

With the debate regarding the benefits of exterior streams and ventilation control having been settled in favor of at least adopting the option to perform these potentially faster, safer, and more effective approaches for controlling fires in structures, many fire service leaders and instructors are asking: “How can our department implement these valuable practices?” Fortunately, the most significant efforts toward making these changes have already been expended by…

Continue

Posted on September 23, 2019 at 5:55am

Half Ready - Limiting our options

Excellent firefighters are easy to spot: they’re usually doing something that will enhance their skills and knowledge. Though individual abilities will differ due to such variables as time in service, experience, and level of training, the consistent traits of the best firefighters are that they tirelessly study the trade, practice skills, and critique responses in order to better assist the citizens they are sworn to serve. This quality is readily apparent in their focus, attitude, and…

Continue

Posted on September 9, 2019 at 6:21am — 3 Comments

Experiments vs. Experience: How a handful of test fires beats tons of real fires.

A frequent criticism of Modern Fire Attack (MFA) methods, often phrased as a warning against their adoption, is that the actual number of experimental fires upon which they are based totals only a few hundred, while Traditional (TFA?) tactics have been "proven" effective many thousands of times.  To be exact, I counted just 106 test fires performed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL)…

Continue

Posted on August 26, 2019 at 10:28am — 1 Comment

Addressing Public Expectations - Meet or change?

Duty to the citizens we serve is frequently held up as our most basic and sacred responsibility as firefighters, and I couldn't agree more. It motivates us to perfect our skills for the benefit of others, face dangers known and unknown, and even to leave a warm bed to assist a stranger. In short, it inspires selflessness. Still, though that obligation is powerful, it is unfocused; it serves as a compass, not a map. My point in making this distinction is to counter the frequent citation of…

Continue

Posted on March 31, 2019 at 4:17pm

Comment Wall (1 comment)

You need to be a member of Fire Engineering Training Community to add comments!

Join Fire Engineering Training Community

At 11:01pm on April 27, 2009, Chris Leier said…
Hey Mark, we met out in FDIC at the NIST booth as I work for them, I am out in Salisbury quite a bit as my girlfriend goes to school out there and would love to see the station and that beautiful new ladder truck in person. Maybe we can work something out, if you are ever in PG let me know as I am a member at station 12. Nice to meet you and hopefully we can keep in contact.
 
 
 

Policy Page

CONTRIBUTORS NOTE

Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to www.fireengineering.com/archives.

Fire Engineering Editor in Chief Bobby Halton
We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our policy page HERE. -- Bobby Halton

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail peter.prochilo@clarionevents.com.

FE Podcasts


Check out the most recent episode and schedule of
UPCOMING PODCASTS

Groups

© 2019   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service