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"I Never Heard a Trash Man Scream…" – Staying Cool & Collected on the Radio

My trash gets picked up on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Like fires, it’s a little variable – sometimes they come early, sometimes late.  Sometimes I have a big load, sometimes little, occasionally I throw them off with recyclables.  After a birthday get-together this past week I had a particularly large pile of trash.  A big job for the fellas!  I was sure they’d be excited… However I was dismayed when the trash truck rounded the corner and none of the trashmen were yelling:  “big pile!  we gotta job!  we’re gonna need more gloves!  get the crusher ready!  HE’S GOT CARDBOARD BOXES!!!!” They’re trashmen.  They expect to pick up trash.  We’re firefighters, we should expect to go to fires.


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Posted by | Posted in administration-leadership, Blog, Combat Ready, command-leadership, Commentary, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, fires, Incident Command, news, rescues, technology-communications, Tips & Skills, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, videos | Posted on 12-07-2010

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Another Great Weekend in Maine! RIT, Officer Skills, & Box Alarm Drills…

Nick reviews putting a facemask on a downed FF...

Nick reviews putting a facemask on a downed FF...

For the 3rd year in a row, TT instructors Nick Martin, Doug Mitchell, Danny Doyle, and Mike Stothers headed flew into Portland and made the drive northwest to Farmington.  Our previous classes included “Firefighter Survival” and “First-In Engine/Truck Operations”.  On the calendar for this year’s program was a mixed bag…

On Friday evening we held a 3 hour course on company-officer essentials including “command presence”, size-up, on-scene / situation reports, and tactical decision-making.  Saturday was all about Rapid Intervention; we focused on techniques to locate the downed firefighter, manage SCBA emergencies with various RIT-Pak assemblies, and removal techniques.

Sunday brought Traditions Training’s trademark “Box Alarm Drills”…  Scenarios were setup at an acquired building simulating various structural fires and students had to respond with skills gathered over the past 3 years, from engine/truck company work to rapid intervention to incident management.  Scenarios were conducted at full speed with the most realistic conditions.  Not only did this allow firefighters to practice their skills but it also helped identify challenges that could occur on a real fireground, so that they could be prepared for or addressed in advance.

IMAG0024 IMAG0019

On Saturday night, the fellas held a cookout for the instructors and class, featuring a cooler full of lobsters (of course), steaks, and more.  Thanks again to Chief Bell and Lt. Hardy for inviting us back and for the excellent hospitatlity!  We look forward to seeing everyone again.

To learn more about hosting this or similar programs at your department, please contact us

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, news, RIT / Survival, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics | Posted on 26-05-2010

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Training tips through the eyes of the outside vent man: Helmet cam footage with voiceover training tips


The above video features helmet cam footage from Traditions Training Instructor Joe Brown as he operates as DCFD’s Truck 17 outside vent man. Watch through his point of view as firefighters battle a fire on the 1st and 2nd floors of a 2 story single family home. The video features some voice over training tips to help viewers identify with what is going on. The video is meant to initiate a discussion within your firehouse on your departments procedures and individual responsibilities on the fireground. Hopefully it will create a starting point for interactive training in your response area. We hope this video may help you on your journey to becoming a better firefighter. Please feel free to share your thoughts, tips and comments with us in the comment section. Enjoy.

 For a more detailed description of the fire visit http://www.30engine.com/fullstory.php?98903

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, fires, Tips & Skills, Training Resources, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 13-01-2010

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Truck Company Operations with Millwood, NY

Last weekend, Traditions Training headed north to Westchester County, NY for a Truck Company Operations class with the Millwood Fire District.  This 16-hour class included some non-traditional truck company items – such as some basic rope-rescue evolutions.

Some of the topics covered included:

  • The “Two-Team” Truck Company
  • Vent, Enter, Search
  • Aggressive Primary Searches
  • Portable Ladder Tips & Skills
  • Apparatus Positioning
  • Low-Angle Belay Evolution
  • Basic Knots & Stokes Lashing
  • “Ladder Slide” from a roof top.

Instructors for the class included: Doug Mitchell, Nick Martin, Mike Stothers, Scott Kraut, and Joe Brown.

For more pictures, follow the break.  To learn more about hosting this class or others, please contact us.


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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Company News, Truck Company | Posted on 03-07-2009

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"waist" not, want not…

backviewI received an email from a Chief for whom Traditions Training had done some work with in the past.  He was having problem and wondered if we could help. They, the “old school”  firemen, and some of his “new school” firefighters, were having a disagreement as to the importance of and perhaps even the relevance of the SCBA waist strap.  He asked me my opinion on the SCBA waist strap and its importance in relation to the safety of his members….. (more…)

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Tips & Skills | Posted on 17-02-2009

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What's 500psi of air worth?

Look at the picture to the right, it’s the pressure gauge on a SCBA bottle.  Is this bottle full?  I say its not…  In the DC Fire Department the “books” say that when you check an air-pack, the minimum acceptable pressure is 4000psi.  But these are 4500psi bottles, so that’s 500psi you’re giving up!  By my math, thats a little over 10% of the SCBA bottle’s overall capacity – or about 6.5 minutes.

Unfortunately bottles like this get an “ok” during AM checks everyday – and I’m sure it happens all over the country.  You can call me “anal” or tell me it’s no big deal, but it is a big deal.  What is that 10%?

  • It was the last 10′ to the seat of the fire you couldn’t make.
  • It was the last bedroom you couldn’t search… The one with the civilian in it.
  • It was the last 5 minutes you wished you had before you died after you got trapped / disoriented.
Sorry to be the Grim Reaper, but thats how I see it… These bottles take just a minute to change, just a fraction of the 6.5 minutes it’ll give you later when you REALLY need it.

Be “Combat Ready“, everyday, every fire…

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Tips & Skills | Posted on 20-09-2008