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Combat Ready – Sheperdstown, WV

Last weekend I was invited to present “Combat Ready Firefighting”to the firefighters of Jefferson County, WV.  After a great class, the more than hospitable members were eager to show me their firehouses and apparatus.  The pride in their departments and history was obvious (good thing!).

Sheperdstown Engine 3 stood out to me, outfitted for down & dirty firefighting.  In the suburban and rural environment.  Some things I noticed:

  • Low hosebed & crosslays, near shoulder height, for rapid deployment of hoselines. Should we really need a ladder to lay supply line or pull the attack line?
  • Versatile hose bed with various sizes, nozzles, hoseloads, and options for water supply and fire attack. 
  • Three (3) hard suctions, which I’ve learned in the rural environment are very important!
  • Ladders easily deployable off the side rather than hidden in some compartment or on some rack.
  • FRONT INTAKE!  How did these become so rare?  With the soft sleeve pre-connected, by the way… Great for sleeving hydrants or nose-in drafting.
  • Functional front bumper line – who says you can’t fight fire off of a bumper line?  If it’s spec’d right…

Probably one of the most important attributes – PRIDE.  These members were proud of this apparatus because they knew it was functional.  There was 2 feet of snow on the ground and this rig glimmered in the apparatus bay (clean).

Was there a ton of compartment space?  No not a ton… But rather than a jack of all trades and master of none (don’t we see a lot of those apparatus these days?), this rig was ready for engine company firefighting with enough room for the extra essentials.

Is your rig COMBAT READY?  If so, how?  If not – WHY NOT?

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Engine Company | Posted on 06-02-2014

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Check your Dance Card Part 3: “The Dance”

It’s on…

 

We have been leading up to our dance with this “beauty of fire” in both Part 1 and Part 2 of “Check your Dance Card.”  Feel free to go back and take notes as we journey closer and closer to this ‘beauty.’  We have discussed cues and clues to help us not get burned, things to note… both outside the fire building and on our way up to the fire floor.

 

Now is the moment we have been waiting for.  It is time to dance… this “beauty” can wait no more, it’s time to find her.  Excited?  Yes, but we have prepared, practiced and anticipated this event for some time now.  This isn’t the time to be posting about it on FB or squeezing 140 characters out on twitter… we can do that later.

 

We need to make our move out onto the dance floor and get into the fire apartment.  As we move in with cautious rapidity… keen up your senses.

 

LOOK…

 

LISTEN…

 

FEEL…

 

LOOK:  What are we looking for?  We are looking to find the seat of the fire and also locate trapped civilians.  With obscured vision from smoke conditions in the apartment, we may have had an opportunity to get the layout of it from a quick glance on the floor below or may get information down the road from those who may go to the apt. above.  Inside, look for layout clues, sometimes smoke movement causes a brief layer of clean air to develop low… you may just be able to make out the room/hallway and/or see that lovely ‘glow’ in the distance.  Do not get tunnel vision or be put blinders on, keep your head on a swivel, up/down/left/right.  Thermal imagers can assist us, but we must know what we are looking for … they are a tool to ASSIST us in the search.  Electronics are fallible, our preparedness, training and search techniques should not be.

 

LISTEN:  We never seem to listen close enough, often it’s the sense we often shut off when under stress.  We must be diligent, occasionally even force ourselves to stop and listen.  Use a 30-10 or similar technique (search 30 seconds, then pause, remain quiet for 10). Listen to whats going on around you.  You may hear a human life, the crackling fire, hoseline movement, water flowing, windows breaking, etc.  Listen to what is going on around you, they should be familiar sounds.  Don’t forget the ‘2 ears, 1 mouth’ saying…

 

FEEL:  On the dance floor, the fire apartment… we are covered head to toe in PPE.  As such, this is the way we must train ourselves to ‘feel.’  We must adapt ourselves to recognize clues in this encapsulated environment.  Residential recognition…with gloved hands take a second to feel the flooring you are on (tile, carpet, wood), feel and decipher the furnishings of each room you pass through.  Using the inferred info gathered from what you feel, you may have a better idea of where you are operating.  For example, tile floor, cabinets, countertop (kitchen).  Another example, large radiator, couch, TV (possible exterior wall in living room).

 

Check your Dance Card.”

 

Your dance with this particular ‘beauty of fire’ is now over.  You have been a great student over these last 3 lessons, learning at each step… the steps building up to the next, closer and closer we came to the beauty.  Today we got our dance, yet we were prepared, practiced and had anticipated the outcome.

 

You leave the dance floor sweaty, exhausted but still wanting more.

 

Time to tweet and FB post this ‘beauty’ so that others can see what we did and didn’t do, to make us that much better at the next dance.  But please, be humble, be respectful and be aware that your dance only came from someone else’s tragic misfortune.

 

Part 2

http://doug-mitchell.blogspot.com/2012/02/check-your-dance-card-part-2-getting.html

Part 1

http://doug-mitchell.blogspot.com/2012/01/check-your-dance-card.html

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, firefighting-operations, Tips & Skills, Truck Company, Uncategorized | Posted on 04-01-2013

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Check your Dance Card… Part 2 “getting closer”

Dance with me?

 

In part one of “Check your Dance Card” we discussed a few items to take a look at before we enter the fire building and start our dance with the “beauty of fire.”  In part 2, we will discuss a few more specifics that we should note as we enter the structure.  Make no mistake, a constant review of this Dance Card is a must for all members… take mental notes of what you see.  You’re going to want to come home from your latest “dance” and tell all your friends all about this “beauty.”

“Ok, let’s move” the boss said, after what seemed like an eternity to you.  The reality, it was only mere seconds.  We all know that reality is often suspended when you are out on the dimly lit dance floor.  You, you’re an eager beaver, and chomping at the bit to get on with this next .  Your Officer is more cautious; he’s been burned by this “beauty” before.  He remembers the sting of her touch, especially if you are caught moving too quickly on the dance floor.  He is trying to show you the patience required, but you are still rather wet behind the ears and excitable…

This “beauty of fire” doesn’t make it easy; she beckons you closer with her dancing flames and warm lustrous glow.  Again, the Officer reels you back in…one more review before we hit the dance floor.

As you enter the fire building…

1. WHAT TYPE OF STAIRS SERVICE THE BUILDNG?

Generally we have 2 types of tread design (on the staircase steps) and 2 types of staircases. They are either “Open” (having no sides, walls or doors at the top or bottom) or “Enclosed” (having sides, walls and doors at the top and bottom).  Open tread and open staircases allow the passage of smoke, heat and fire to the floors above and are not friendly to our operation.  Enclosed steps and enclosed staircases reduce the chances of fire spread in the building (if the doors are to remain in the closed position).  It may be wise to announce the style and type of stairs to other units as they arrive, so that they know what to expect.  This is of particular importance when in larger multiple dwellings or garden apartments and there are isolated, wing, or multiple staircases that serve specific lines of apartments (i.e. do not transverse the entire building).  “Ladder X to Command; we have enclosed wing stairs, we will be using the A wing stairs to reach the fire apartment.”

 

2. IS THERE A WELL HOLE TO USE FOR THE STRETCH

The presence of a “Well Hole” the space created between the landing section of the stairs and the run of the steps themselves can be utilized for quick hoseline advancement.  It must be rehearsed prior with the Engine Co. to achieve maximum effect.  It reduces the amount of hose needed to be humped up the treads of the steps and around each newel post (i.e. 1-50’ length can travel vertically 5 floors in the well versus 1 length per floor if going up and around each set of steps, newel posts and associated landings).  “Engine 22 to members, there is a well” should be enough to let the members know.

 

3. HOW MANY APARTMENTS ON THE FLOOR

A quick stop on the floor below can get you a lay of the land.  If you bypassed the lobby and forgot to count mailboxes, count the number and note location of the apartments that you see.  Remember that depending of the way the stairs run (scissor, return etc), they may be slight variations in the layout when you get on the fire floor.

 

4. VERIFY FIRE FLOOR AND APARTMENT NUMBER/LETTER

What may have appeared to be a fire on the 3rd floor from the street may turn out to on the second floor depending on the buildings configuration as it relates to the street level. Some buildings have lobby entrances that are raised above street level, which may change your initial fire floor notifications.  Verify the fire floor and announce the apartment number or letter over the air, so that those who may be going above can pinpoint the direction they need to head.

Open Tread and Open Stairs

Well Hole

Enclosed Stairs

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Company News, Engine Company, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, Tips & Skills, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company, Uncategorized | Posted on 22-02-2012

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Got Stickers?

Got Stickers?

 

Firefighters, absolutely love stickers and decals.  I know that you know what I am talking about, and… it’s ok.  It is absolutely fine to be proud of who you are as a firefighter, be you a career or volunteer member.  You should be proud of your fire company and your fire department. Affixing decals and stickers to your personal property is just one way for you to show that pride to others.  I’ve seen fire department decals not only on personal vehicles, but boats, golf clubs, I’ve even seen decals on coolers… and so on and so on.
I’ve also seen some sort of decal on almost every rig I have come across.  Some are big, some are small but they mean something to the members who put them there.  I’ve seen decals with company slogans and nicknames, department mascots, company patches, memorial decals, the stickers run the gamut.  While they all serve as reminders to the members, either in memory or to elicit a source of pride, but in aiding our functionality for fireground, eh…well the decals are really just for show.
Recently, I have taken notice of a few stickers and decals on rigs and placed on certain tools that are absolutely excellently placed for OUR increased safety, and will aid our operations on the fireground.  Now, I will certainly not take credit for inventing any of them, I’m just not that smart.  I just thought that they were great ideas and they can be incorporated into most companies and departments quickly, easily and relatively inexpensively.  A sticker, believe it or not may just save a life!
Take a good look at the lead picture above and those below, courtesy of my friend Joe Brown from firehouse pride (www.firehousepride.com).  Ladder and tool wraps can greatly increase visibility of such important landmarks on the fireground.  Also, they are great identifiers for your tools and equipment.
Another useful sticker found on fire apparatus that I have seen is this RIT/FAST one.  In reality the sticker isn’t for your members, they should know where all the equipment is on your rig… its is for everyone else!  You never know when an additions compliment of RIT/FAST supplies may be needed at an incident.  With this decals placement, there is no need to “compartment hunt” looking for the RIT/FAST pack or associated RIT/FAST tools.

Label your RIT/FAST compartment


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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, RIT / Survival, Tips & Skills, training-development, Truck Company, Uncategorized | Posted on 14-02-2012

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FDIC 2012: 25 TO SURVIVE (Lecture)

**This week we are featuring a short run-down of each of the programs that our staff will be presenting at this year’s FDIC in Indianapolis**

Tuesday (Pre-Conf Workshop, 130p-530p) – 25 to Survive

25 to Survive

TT’s Lt. Mitchell and Capt. Shaw will co-present thier flagship program, 25 to Survive:  The Residential Building Fire.  This program highlights 25 critical areas that present themselves to operating forces at the number one fireground killer of civilians and firefighters alike.  They will present this engaging, interactive presentation will focus on pre-incident, operations and post incident operations.  They will give you street smart tips and take home drills to make yourself and your fire company better prepared at the next residential fire you respond to.  


Lieutenant Douglas J.Mitchell Jr., Fire Department of New York and Captain Daniel D. Shaw, Fairfax County Fire & Rescue:

Course Summary:  More firefighters are seriously injured and killed while operating at residential building fires than at any other fire we encounter. This dynamic and interactive lecture program will address 25 critical firefighting errors and issues common to the residential building. Learn sound tips and take home practical drills to address and correct errors at residential fires. Topics include combat-ready attitude, leadership techniques, SCBA confidence, overcoming building construction features (setbacks, long stretches), communication failures on the fireground, developing and delivering sound and accurate on-scene reports, coordinated ventilation, and more.

 

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Posted by | Posted in administration-leadership, Blog, Combat Ready, command-leadership, Company News, Engine Company, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, Incident Command, line-of-duty, RIT / Survival, technology-communications, Tips & Skills, Truck Company, Upcoming Classes | Posted on 08-02-2012

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FDIC 2012: MODERN ENGINE COMPANY ESSENTIALS (Lecture)

**This week we are featuring a short run-down of each of the programs that our staff will be presenting at this year’s FDIC in Indianapolis**

Thursday, 1030-1215pm – MODERN ENGINE COMPANY ESSENTIALS

Join Dan & Doug as they present an engaging and interactive presentation on the most influential unit on the fireground – The Engine Company! As firefighters, we must be able to adapt to the environment we operate in which is changing every day. Some of the practices we employed years, weeks, or days ago may not apply to the fire you encounter tomorrow. Dan & Doug will provide a review of time tested and proven strategies and tactics along with new tips, tools, tactics for the modern firefighting environment.

Modern Engine Company Essentials

Captain Dan Shaw, Fairfax County (VA) Fire & Rescue Department & Lieutenant Douglas Mitchell, Jr., Fire Department of New York (FDNY)

While the ultimate job of getting water to the fire has not changed, building construction, fire behavior, staffing levels, and much of our equipment have. This class will teach sound tactics and techniques for preparing and operating the modern day engine company. Factual hose and nozzle data will enhance the student’s knowledge of the new tools available for the firefighting arsenal. The instructor will provide a comprehensive and definitive blueprint to hoseline/nozzle selection and deployment and discuss the tools, tips, and drills that will work best in your fire department.

 

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Company News, Engine Company, fire-rescue-topics, fires, news, Training Resources, Uncategorized, Upcoming Classes, Upcoming Classes | Posted on 06-02-2012

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Check your Dance Card….

I admit it, it’s happened to me… and I am sure that it’s happened to you too. Honestly, it’s easy to let happen.  You can try to justify it, in your own mind by saying; it’s just that we love what we do and that we want to do it all the time!  When fire presents itself, we want to get right in there!  While we know all to well the dangers and devastation that fire causes, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone that rides firetrucks that doesn’t want to go to them.  That said, the tendency to rush into action can sometimes make “the job” more challenging.  Even the best firefighters and company officers can, at times, be “blinded” by the auditory and visual display that is, the “Beauty of fire.”

Bee-Boop…Engine, Ladder  now the adrenaline starts to build, interrupting what had been a rather slow Football Sunday.  The cold snap is here, winter, it’s fire season.  It’s the middle of the afternoon, a crisp winter chill hit and runs thru you, as the apparatus doors slowly rise open… that arctic air rushing in.  Your rigs, your crew and you, gear up… to hit the street.

You are headed to a run for “the house on fire”, another round of adrenaline pops off when we hear the friendly dispatcher announce “We are getting a few calls on this” or “Sounds like you might have something there”  or better yet “PD on the scene with fire showing.”  Ah, it’s going to be a worker… all the signs are right.  As you turn the final corner you see the boss lean back, slide the window open to the crew and tell the backstep “looks like we got a job fellas.”  Whether it’s “10-75 the box, k” or “Strike the Working Fire dispatch” it’s on!  Time to go to work, this is what we do best.  We have trained ourselves to be a “Combat Ready” “Aggressive” firefighting team… everyone has the prepared, practiced and anticipated for our fire moment… let’s push right in!?!?

Whoa, fellas… the boss says: “one second”… What is he doing you wonder?  Before he let’s the team dance with this “Beauty of fire”, he just wants to take one quick look at the dance card.

Before you enter the fire building…

1) IS THIS THE PROPER ADDRESS?

Many times we receive the initial phone call reporting a fire that is:  behind, adjacent, across from the address we are responding to.  If you arrive and it is different, ANNOUNCE it!  Give the remaining companies responding a chance to make adjustments and respond to the right address.

 2) HOW MANY STORIES IS IT?  COUNT THE FLOORS!

Take a lap for PD’s (Private Dwellings), get reports from outside teams at MD’s (Multiple Dwellings), or reports from units responding from an opposite direction. Note terrain variations making more stories in rear than front or vice versa, the presence of walk out basements, setbacks… etc.

3) IS THERE ANY VISIBLE FIRE? WHAT FLOOR IS THE FIRE ON? 

Let the incoming companies know what you see on your arrival.  A fire on the top floor IS different than a fire on the first floor (unless it is 1 story) …from many operational and tactical standpoints.

4) ARE THERE ANY PEOPLE SHOWING?  

Do occupants have the ability to self evacuate?  What type and how many (if any) fire escapes are there?  Are the civilians “really” in immediate peril or can we reassure them to shelter them in place?  Should we make an internal or external (or both) attempt to rescue them?  Remember LIP.  Life Safety, Incident Stabilization, Property Conservation.

 5) WHERE IS THIS FIRE GOING?

What are your exposures? This means both internal and external.

Internal: Within the fire building/apartment (a quick count mailboxes, doorbells, or a quick scan of the floor below can help here).

External: Outside the fire building.  Fire communicating out windows impinging adjacent dwellings or auto exposing to the floor above might indicate a second alarm or additional resources being called for on your arrival.

KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND BLINDERS OFF!  The few seconds you take in the street may make up countless minutes once in the building.  Stay Alert. 

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Engine Company, fire-rescue-topics, Tips & Skills, Truck Company, Uncategorized | Posted on 11-01-2012

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New UL Study Reinforces Sound Old Fire Tactics

I can be a pretty skeptical guy when it comes to new studies and ideas in the fire service.  That’s because it seems that lately our profession tries to solve “hands-on problems” with fancy new catch-phrases rather than firefighting skill.  So when I read and watched the recently released “Impact of Ventilation on Fire Behavior in Legacy and Contemporary Residential Construction” released by Underwriter’s Laboratories I was on watch for what “zany solution” they were going to have for our “modern fire problem”.  I was pleasantly surprised.

The study was released in December 2010 and I’ve heard quite a bit about it in the background of the fire service.  This study has been referenced in a lot of circles recently.  One “fire chief” tried to even use it to say we shouldn’t fight fires interior anymore (he must’ve not read the same piece I read).  Not wanting to remain uninformed, I took a look…  For all those who don’t like reading 400 page reports, I suffered for you.  And here’s the FIREMAN’s version:

Summary:

The study compared a series of residential fires in a 50’s-60’s construction style 1-story house of 1,200 square feet with a “modern” 3,200 square foot 2 story house.   These are those new houses we hear about being so different in “today’s fires”, referenced by many who advocate we completely change our approach to firefighting.

Now I was not one of the scientists on the study, but I did look at it fairly closely and here are my take home thoughts on what it means for fighting fires in “today’s fires”:

  1. Coordinate ventilation with hoseline advancement, including forcing doors that feed the fire area.
  2. Get a hoseline on the seat of the fire quick.
  3. VES is a great technique.
  4. Closing interior doors saves civilians and firefighters.
  5. No smoke showing means NOTHING.

That’s it?  Yeah – pretty much, at least from my perspective.  Now there’s a lot of “why” that supports those conclusions.  But what shocked me there is – did you hear anything NEW?  I didn’t.  No new safety vests, no blitz-fires, no buzz terms.  Coordinate engine & truck work, get a line in place fast, and use good techniques to isolate and rescue.  Sounds like the same things the “old school” fire service has preached for decades!

So what’s the problem?

The problem is the same thing I started this article with:  these days we’d rather get a new colored vest, or practice taking blood pressures, or use some fancy multi-syllable phrase than do what this study supports:  GET GOOD AT OFFENSIVE FIREFIGHTING.  What do I mean?  Here are some buzz-words I think we ought to be practicing, and this fancy 400-page study supports:

–  “Running Hoselines” – that’s a geographical term in my area for stretching and operating interior attack lines.  How often to your firefighters pull lines?  I’d bet you many firefighters haven’t pulled a line off in a “non-parking-lot” scenario in the past year.  THAT’S A BREAD & BUTTER SKILL!  Do they just know the crossly or can they extend and adapt to various scenarios with the precision of a offensive football line under the 2-minute warning?  What is your fire department’s benchmark time for:  from arrival having to firefighters stretch a 1.75″ line to the front door and be masked up and ready to enter the fire area?  Based on a survey of YouTube I don’t think many departments have ANY such benchmark.  This study says you have between 100 and 200 seconds to get water on the fire after ventilation occurs.  That means you ventilating, or the fire ventilating the windows for you.  How good are your back up firefighters?  How well do you chase kinks?  Poor performance with either of those will drastically delay your fire attack and your flow.

You have 100-200 seconds after ventilation to put the fire out or suffer rapid fire growth.

–  “Coordinated Ventilation” – a concept that many departments struggle with.  This was a no-brainer “back in the day”.  We need to spend more time training on coordinating the location and timing of ventilation.  This study clearly showed the impact of ventilating in the wrong time or in the wrong place.  Ventilation should be timed with the knowledge that you only have 100-200 seconds after to get water on the fire before the fire will rapidly grow.  The best way we can do this is “run scenarios”.  Look at fire pictures with your crew.  Where would you ventilate? When? What would be the challenges?  How about coordinating with the line?  You can just wait and see what happens when you get a fire, or you can take a few minutes to TALK FIRE and PREPARE so you’ll KNOW what’s going to happen.

– “Vent, Enter, Search” – this study also clearly showed that these fires were survivable for civilians who were laying on the floor in just about every room of the house except for the fire room.  Closing the door made things even better.  Keeping this in mind, along with the rapid growth of fire if water is not supplied, further supports the efficiency of Vent, Enter, Search technique in rescuing civilians. Particularly where a larger square foot home delays searches done with the conventional “left right” patterns.  Some advocate it should be “Vent, Enter, Isolate, Search” – maybe, but when I first learned VES, and every time I’ve taught it, closing the door has ALWAYS been the first action after you enter.  Maybe some people were just teaching it wrong…

–  “Isolate and flow water” – In trouble?  Either get out, isolate yourself (close a door), or flow water.  This study supports the tenability of firefighters when we knock down fire with a hoseline or isolate ourselves from the fire until the fire is knocked or we can obtain an exit.

– “Nothing Showing Means Nothing” – Among others, I’ve said it for years.  Three of the worst fires of my career started out as “nothing showing”.  That’s when everyone let’s their guard down, doesn’t want to lay lines, leaves their tools behind, and moves slow.  When you have fire showing – you know its a fire.  When you have nothing showing – THE FIRE WILL CATCH YOU OFF GUARD.  This study reinforces that with our modern construction, it is quite likely that a good fire will show nothing to the outside until it is ventilated.  KEEP YOUR GUARD UP – IT’S THE FIRE OF YOUR CAREER UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE.

In Conclusion:

There’s a lot more to it than that, and if you’ve got about an hour the video on it is worth watching.  But the take home here is NOT that we need to re-invent the fire service.  It seems to me that often we’d rather float lofty ideas in the air conditioning then get out there and WORK at improving our bread & butter firefighting skills.  Not running much fire?  The need is even greater.  We need to go back to practicing the tried & true skills of coordinated engine/truck work, rapid hoseline advancement, and targeted search.  Stop creating fancy buzz terms and get out their and train.  Think fire, talk fire, run through scenarios.  Stay sharp.  Stay COMBAT READY.

Referenced Study information:

UL | Impact of Ventilation on Fire Behavior in Legacy and Contemporary Residential Construction

Video Summary of Report (70 minutes)

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Engine Company, Truck Company | Posted on 29-11-2011

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“Aggressive”

The word “aggressive” is getting a great deal of attention lately.  I feel as thought the word has been given the wrong connotation in the fire service. Being an “aggressive” firefighter or an “aggressive” fire company HAS NOTHING TO DO with rushing in carelessly, cowboy antics and operating with reckless abandon. An “aggressive” firefighter or fire company’s foundation is formed thru personal and company level training and a marked state of combat readiness!

Check out Merriam-Websters dictionary, 1b. insert “fire” in the sentence, an “aggressive fire fighter”.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aggressive

ag·gres·sive

adj \?-?gre-siv\
1
a : tending toward or exhibiting aggression (aggressive behavior)
b : marked by combative readiness (aggressive fighter)
NO FIREFIGHTER IS INVINCIBLE, NO FIREFIGHTER IS BETTER THAN THIER TRAINING AND THIER EQUIPMENT PREPARES THEM TO BE!  BE “COMBAT READY!

Take a active role in your fire service, be a sponge….soak it all in, learn and train to be better everyday!

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Posted by | Posted in Combat Ready, Commentary, Engine Company, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, RIT / Survival, Testimonials, Tips & Skills, training-development, Truck Company, Uncategorized | Posted on 12-07-2011

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Nozzleman’s Creed

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji-FJ-Y-Dzs

Aside from residing in the pantheon of the greatest movies made, Full Metal Jacket introduced the world to the Rifleman’s Creed. The mantra recited each night by the soldiers in boot camp as they lie in bed with their last line of defense, their rifle. The intimate reciting of the creed ingrains the mutually important relationship between operator and tool in completing the mission. This singular tool serves as the separation between success in their job or death at the hands of their enemy.

We draw parallels every day between our occupation and military, whether it is the rank structure, camaraderie, or the daily risking of our lives. The similarities should not stop there, the rifle is their last line of defense, and the nozzle is ours. Therefore, we would be remiss in the not “stealing” this idea and making it part of our Engine Company culture…….god knows we steal plenty of one-liners from the movie!

So when you tuck your probies in bed this evening in the firehouse, have them snuggle up to their last line of defense and in unison recite the nozzleman’s creed. The stark white t-shirt and underwear are optional…..

This verbal commitment to the firefighting nozzle is only the beginning; it must begin with a thorough inspection on a routine basis. Feel free to use the checklist provided in an earlier post to help in creating your nozzle inspection process.

Nozzle Inspection

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Engine Company | Posted on 14-06-2011