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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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Helmet Cam Training Video: Removing Window Mounted AC Units During Ventilation

Here is the latest in our Voiceover Training Tips Video Series” straight from the fireground to your computer screen. In this video Traditions Training Instructor Joe Brown takes us through some of his thoughts and actions when approaching a window mounted air conditioning unit during ventilation. The fire is on the second floor of a 2-story brick end-of-the-row home, Joe is part of the Outside Vent Team on DCFD Truck 17 and his actions are in conjunction with the Interior Search Team and Suppression Teams. As you watch the video think about what your actions may have been and how they might vary with different building constructions in your District. Leave us some feedback and open some discussion at your firehouse kitchen table or computer screen. As always, stay safe out there.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qkGyz88Cto

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, fires, Tips & Skills, Training Resources, training-development, Truck Company, videos | Posted on 26-01-2011

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Forget the Excuses – Just Get to the Roof!

Many initial operations depend on firefighters accessing the roof early in the incident.  Providing a report from the rear and sides, assessing lateral extension, opening natural openings and cutting a hole may all be potential tasks, but our first task is to GET TO THE ROOF.  The truck’s aerial is of course a preferable option and ground ladders are a close second – but what about if you can’t get either up?

This was the case at a fire on Kennedy St, NW in DC the other night.  First-in companies found fire in a church on the 1st floor of a 3-story occupancy.  The building sat about 20 feet back from the curb with power lines running along the curb.  These prevented use of the aerial, even though the truck was able to position right on side A.  Ground ladders would have been difficult because with the building’s height a 35 would have been unlikely to make the height and the 45 would have been unwieldy in the area of the wires and companies making the stretch through the front door.

Like many others, I too have seen people encountered with such a situation just give up – it’s easy to fall back on the explanation of why you didn’t do it.  But a COMBAT READY out-of-the-box-thinking fireman will forgo the excuses and just get the job DONE.  This was just the case for Truck 11’s tillerman, who quickly thought to use the adjoining building’s porch roof.   By quickly placing a 24′ ladder to the porch roof, the 14′ roof ladder was used to go from the porch to the fire building roof.  In hindsight it seems like a simple and obvious idea – but this kind of creativity is more difficult in the heat of the moment.  Pay attention to your buildings, plan for fires before you go to the fire, and think outside of the box!  (photos courtesy of D. Smith, DCFD T-11)

  

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Commentary, fire-rescue-topics, firefighting-operations, fires, news, Tips & Skills, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 13-12-2010

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Video-Tip: The 7-9-8 or "Coffin" Cut

In this video, we demonstrate a version of the 7-9-8 or “Coffin” cut.  This is an expandable cut designed for flat roofs.  One of it’s primary features is the ability to quickly double the hole’s size with only two additional cuts.  Check out the video and be sure to let us know your thoughts and experiences!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ADj4iMCw8k&feature=player_embedded

A couple quick tips for roof ventilation:

  • Plan your order of cuts so that you work back toward your exit.
  • Avoid standing on cuts.
  • Use the “tap” system to communicate with your partner (1-stop, 2-go, 3-shut down).
  • On flat roofs, control your saw but utilize the full depth of the blade to get through all the material on the first pass!
  • Overlap the intersections of cuts by at least 6″ so you don’t have to come back.
  • TRAIN YOUR MEMBERS ON THE CUTS YOU USE SO THE WHOLE TEAM KNOWS THE PLAN!
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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, Tips & Skills, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company, videos | Posted on 20-10-2010

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Tower Ladder Class in Johnston, IA Reinforces Key Point on Knowing Your (and their) Aerial Apparatus!

Last weekend TT instructors Scott Kraut, Mike Stothers, Joe Brown, and Nick Martin headed west to the metro Des Moines area for a Tower Ladder Operations course with the Johnston Fire Department.  The two-day program brought attendees from all over Polk County to talk about truck work and the capabilities of various apparatus.  All kinds of topics were covered, from forcible entry to ventilation to designing riding assignments.  Sunday brought 40 students and 4 different styles of aerial apparatus for an awesome day of hands-on training at a great acquired building.

Click here for more photos…

One of the goals for the weekend was to allow attendees to work with and understand the various capabilities of different aerial apparatus.  While many departments only own one style of truck, it’s imperative that departments understand the capabilities and limitations of any style of aerial apparatus that might respond into their town. Rear-mount, mid-mount, tiller, tower, aerial – they all have specifics as to their positioning needs and use in various scenarios.  The time to find those things out is NOT the fireground – if you don’t know these things in advance, you can’t POSSIBLY put the rig to the best use when it gets to your fire! It was great to work with a forward-thinking, pro-active group of enthusiastic firefighters.  Thanks to the firefighters of Polk County for your hospitality and we’ll look forward to seeing you again!

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Posted by | Posted in administration-leadership, Blog, command-leadership, Company News, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, news, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 05-07-2010

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New Helmet Cam Training Video from Traditions Instructor Joe Brown

Last week, prior to leaving for FDIC, an interactive discussion began on the Traditions Training facebook page based on a single picture, one moment in time. The picture was placed with a scenario and the readers were asked to give their thoughts and approaches to the scene. The picture was actually a freeze frame from Traditions Training instructor Joe Browns helmet cam footage from a fire that occurred earlier that same day. The below video is that helmet cam footage coupled with voice over training tips to help viewers identify with what is taking place. We have received a lot of positive feed back from Joe’s last video (found here) and how it has helped viewers’ better train and prepare for that next fire. We are pleased to be able to bring you another installment in the never ending process of becoming better firefighters.    

This video is filmed from point of view of DCFD 17 Truck’s outside vent man (OVM) position on a 2 story middle of the row home with fire on the second floor. For more detailed information on the fire visit http://www.30engine.com/fullstory.php?106159. Please feel free to share your thoughts, tips and comments with us in the comments section. Stay safe and enjoy.      

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXk28GZ_Fy0

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Commentary, firefighting-operations, fires, Tips & Skills, Training Resources, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company | Posted on 28-04-2010

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Blizzard? Remember the ladder drag…

We must plan for how adverse weather effects our firefighting operations BEFORE the fire.

We must plan for how adverse weather effects our firefighting operations BEFORE the fire.

Riding the “hook” position at work yesterday, my duties were primarily that of the OVM (outside vent-man).  At a fire – get ladders up, ventilate horizontally, perhaps VES the upper floor, then head in to search and open-up.  Being that we got 19″ of snow in DC yesterday, the idea of anything involving carrying ladders sounded terrible.

If you’re anywhere in the mid-atlantic, you’re likely in the same predicament today.  Even now that the snow’s stopped, moving ladders through the deep snow that will remain for weeks will be difficult – not everyone shovels like they should and the sides and rears of buildings will likely be untouched.  Many streets may be impassable for apparatus and all our equipment will have to be lugged to the fire building…  It’s easy to slip and fall in these conditions, which is usually harmless unless you have a 24′ ladder on your shoulder when you slip.  In this situation we should remember two things:

1) Get ladders off the rig closest to your objective. While I usually take “my” ladders from my own rig, yesterday it was coming off the closest thing I could find to the fire building – engine company, truck company, whatever…  No sense in lugging anything further than necessary.

2) Use a ladder drag! As shown in the video, by simply grabbing the TIP end we can easily drag the ladder to our objective.  It’s less work for us and less treacherous in the snow.  Further, we can quickly throw a roof ladder (hooks out to snag the extension ladder) and maybe a couple tools (even a saw?) on the ladder and easily drag it to our objective.  Even better if your partner throws his stuff on the ladder and helps you drag it.  Particularly useful for getting a bunch of equipment down a snowy block without killing ourselves doing it.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DkmXgtsiTs

p100129regAnother snow tip?  Throw a couple $0.99 hand/toe warmers in the inside pocket of your turnout coat.  You never know when a BS run will become an extended incident, and all things are possible with warm hands and feet!

How are things going for you?  Share your winter experiences and thoughts below…

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, Tips & Skills, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company, videos | Posted on 07-02-2010

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Vent Challenges with Metal Awnings

photo

Side A

Last week I responded to this fire on the 2nd due truck company.  First arriving companies reported fire coming from the roof and subsequently a cockloft fire in a 2-story end rowhouse (flat roof).  Riding our “hook” position my first assigned task was to ladder side C and horizontally ventilate.

I quickly sized up my target window.  You can see the window I chose in the picture ( below right) – the 2nd floor middle window.  My plan was to vent this window and then my ladder would already be in a good place to vent the two adjacent windows.  As you can also see, these windows have metal awnings that are securely mounted to the house and come down to about the level of the window sash (middle cross-bar)…

(more…)

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, fire-rescue-topics, firefighter-safety-health, firefighting-operations, fires, Tips & Skills, training-development, training-fire-rescue-topics, Truck Company, videos | Posted on 19-01-2010

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

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBTjoCvok5w

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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Different Halligans, Different Jobs…

Which Halligan would you prefer to have with you? Why?

Which Halligan would you prefer to have with you? Why?

You are assigned the forcible entry position on the truck and your job will be to gain entry and search. Which Halligan would you prefer to have with you? Why? Would you want the same Halligan if you were assigned to perform roof ventilation? Why?

A common modification to the Halligan is to add a chain link to the fork, as shown above on the right. The primary use of this is to perform “floor above” ventilation or to ventilate from the roof. A rope or Halligan hook can be attached to the chain link, allowing the Halligan to be swung to lower floors to ventilate the windows.

This is a great option is that Halligan bar is going to the roof, but what if you’re forcing doors? Is it a help or a hinderance? (more…)

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Posted by | Posted in Blog, Combat Ready, Tips & Skills, Truck Company | Posted on 28-12-2009