I am Sorry What Did You Just Say??? By: Larry Schultz

By: Larry Schultz   I am taking a break from my typical anarchist message and, pleading with you to read this very personal story as a personal assessment tool. I am a fire service traditionalist to the core and my style of writing is always intended to offer an opposing (or alternative) view of what I term the “overzealous safety culture”. My issue(s) are not, nor have they ever been about safety itself, but our approach to assessing and managing risk, without using emotional coercion. I am going to attempt to address a true risk / health and safety concern,…

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 8 skill categories, with several skills per category. The rookie must be able to answer any questions and demonstrate any skills that…

New Deal, Raw Deal…Part 1 of 3 by Larry Schultz

Recently, while teaching a hands-on-engine class in Delaware, my younger and wittier teaching companion Roger Steger found it was time for our traditional protein bar and Monster (drink) run. As he headed out the gate, he stopped and asked me if I needed some Metamucil to go with my Ensure. This was his not-so-subtle way of reminding me that I am old. It was day two of running long-lines, pushing in with large lines and box-alarm drills, and on top of that it was 97 degrees. I needed no reminders. As I get ready to cross the threshold into my…

Getting The Job Done

Getting the Job Done By Ricky Riley On more than one occasion, I have heard firefighters complain about SOP’s, specifically how they can’t be written for every situation and or you are putting us in a box. This could not be further from the truth. What we are doing, is establishing a game plan for specific incidents and the operational concerns that they pose. In recent years, dedication to getting the job done correctly and doing so while operating within the SOP has shown me the great ingenuity and decision making skill that our company officers possess. This is directly…

What To Do With The Ground Ladders on Your Engine

http://www.rigspot.com/articles/features/2015/07/what-to-do-with-the-ground-ladders-on-fire-apparatus.html

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 reviewed by technical editors whose job was to make sure that the points in the article had value and were accurate….

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 support of each other on a fire. Abandoning one will reak havoc on the others. The results do not improve the victims chances, and put us at greater…

Touching The Ground

Touching the Ground By: Ricky Riley   When we talk about Ladder Towers, there is always the discussion of the ability of them to place their basket on the ground to do the patented sidewalk sweep. On most units especially rear mounted towers this can be a very long distance from the side of the rig. On some units they may have to extend out 60’ just to be able to touch the ground and start operating in the hydraulic sidewalk sweep tactic. For those of us that are Aerialscope snobs, and believe only in these units midship-mounted configuration and…

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