Unload your feelings on any topic you feel. No pointing fingers, and NO NAMES!
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Why is it whenever we find out we will be receiving a probationary firefighter we get all excited and say we are going Back to the Basics. When truth be told you have enough equipment and topics to stay on the basics all year-long and then some. What I have found is that when you are getting back to the basics, seasoned firefighters have high anxiety for this also because they have not always kept up their skills. I have also found that seasoned and veteran firefighters love to teach for the fear that they too may have to do the skill and look like a blundering mess. Ensure the Veteran (Seasoned) firefighter demonstrates the skill so that it is known that he or she can still perform the Basics Skills also. It is high time to quite chomping at the bit when a probationary firefighter comes through the door and start asking the question Why just the probie. Recent events are showing that it’s not just probationer dying in fires and a great majority of deaths you can most likely attribute the lack of continuous basics skills training to a death. Don’t believe me review reports and tell me I’ m wrong then.
Rest in peace brothers.
After a tough couple days the USFA says there were 49 LODD’s as of 7/27/2010. 2 more in Bridgeport Conn, 1 in Otis Mass, 2 more in Rocky Mount Va.
A Line of Duty Death is one of THE hardest things a firefighter will ever have to deal with. EVER
For all you vets out there, think about what kept you going when you were deployed. It wasn’t because you were fighting for freedom for some people from a country you couldn’t find on a map in high school. You fought because of the soldier beside you. You fought to protect him/her and the favor was returned.
It’s the same in the fire service. You do your job and do your best to help out your fellow firefighter, look after each other. When one of YOUR brothers dies there is a feeling that you let them down. You let everybody in the department down. You have let their family down.
This is not the case.
I’ve been involved in the extrication and removal of LODD’s. Not a highlight of my career. Dealing with injured children is horrible. Dealing with the removal of your deceased brother is worse. The guy you hung out with last week, it’s worse. The guy who stopped you from falling into the water at that dock fire, it’s worse. The guy that pissed you off because he came in late for work the one day you needed to leave early, the guy that won’t come to work again, is far far worse. 1 person involved with the same LODD as me took early retirement, it’s that bad. These incidents weigh heavy on the people who work them. And I’m sure it’s the same in Bridgeport, Rocky Mount and Otis currently. But this is also part of the job. Personally I was fine until we had the victim packaged and were waiting for his company to come and carry him out. I came a bit unglued, no details, sorry.
Why do so many firefighters show up at LODD funerals? Because we all feel like we let our brothers down. This is the same job city to city, town to town, state to state. Same guys, same personalities, same family, same families.
The least we can do is show up on their final day and wish them good luck on the next part of their voyage.
The least we can do is show the city that they have more than just their own firefighters to answer to.
The least we can do is show the country why we are called a brotherhood.
But most importantly, to show the fallen firefighter’s family that we look after each other and we take the loss personally also.
Learn from every death or they die in vain. I hope the best for the people who worked the scenes, and also for those who are still in the hospital.
Rest in peace, see you in Bridgeport.
It is way too early to know what happened and why, but we should take a moment to refocus our efforts and make sure we are as prepared as we can be to do our jobs. We need to be extra vigilant and always expect that the worst can happen.
So as you head to the station this morning, take a moment to say a prayers for Brothers Velazquez , Baik, their families and the Bridgeport Fire Department. Then take a moment to make sure you are as prepared as you can be. We owe to these brothers, and the hundreds of brothers before them that have made the ultimate sacrafice.
Give your Size up and Fire Ground Operations
Many quotes and sayings, whether by well known Brother firefighters or the guy on the next due company, seem to play a part in who we are as firefighters and as Brothers! Lets see how many we can come up with. Since I’m tossing the gauntlet, I’ll be first: First In, Last Out by John Salka, “Leadership would be easy, if it wasn’t for people!”
- Review your procedures for calling a mayday
- Discuss the parameters of when you would call a mayday like the pic below.
- Get your gloves and radio and call a mayday using whichever mnemonic your department uses ex LUNAR, UNCAN
- Also practice activating your Emergency Button on your radios with gloved hands if the buttons are activated.
Posted in Drills
Sorry this isn’t where we show you a video of flashovers. The ticker tape was pretty popular so we will expand on that. Everybody loves to complain, myself included. We’ll start with some general things and then see where we go from there.
Complain or praise as you see fit, but you better explain/justify your statements so others understand. Otherwise you will have wasted your time and others as well.
Week 1 will be apparatus.
I hate E-one. and here’s why;
1. They are THE cheapest built apparatus on the market. If you want lowest bidder here it is.
2. Suspension is Crap. Broken leaf springs every couple years. The 2 year old pump we are driving recently broke one.
3. No design evolution. The new ones look just like the old ones. Oh no, wait the gauges on the dash now have Blue lights and they are currently working, I’m sure it won’t last.
4. The good, They are cheap
I like Pierce. New design, quality assembly with quality parts. They run strong and look good. The bad: Price, The damn doors don’t stay shut, the steps cracked the first year, and there are locks on the doors and only 2 keys. Who carries Keys?
While enjoying the discussion on Personal Escape Systems. Bill Carey from BackstepFirefighter really got me to thinking. Why are we always so reactionary to problems and want to fix them with gadgets when the problem does boil down to training. Don’t take me wrong I wrote the post and strongly believe personal escape systems should be included of some form with the next NFPA 1971. With that said I noticed another standard was created based on fatalities while firefighters are working in the roadway. Chevron’s are now apart of NFPA 1901 and I want to know if you all feel it is effective or just another costly knee jerk reaction?Are firefighters getting hurt because we are not seen or because we are not properly placing apparatus? Has this really solved our problem or just become another merchandising frenzy. Make sure you go to backstepfirefighter to read Bills post. Very insightful
According to USFA, as of May 31, 2110 there were 31 LODDs. Of those, 17 were heart attack.
More than 54%.
More than half.
I guess that begs the question; Why?
I’ll spare you the firehouse routine. Here are the factors that USFA uses-Tobacco use, Weight, Inactivity, Diabetes, Family history, and High Blood pressure. And The age of 45 is the magic number for when heart attacks start to dominate firefighter deaths.
Think about what we expect from our bodies…wake up and run in the middle of the night. Over exertion almost every time we catch a job. And so forth. What are you doing for your heart health? What are you doing for your health
I’ll glaze over a couple things you can do.
The classic house tower run. Put on your gear, grab a roll of hose and do a few evolutions up and down. Don’t try to kill yourself until you have gotten used to doing the work. After you are spent do 1-2 more trips without all the extra weight.
Running, Jogging, biking, swimming, self explanatory. My personal favorite are the guys with big muscles but no capacity to do work.
The next is Crossfit. If you don’t have an affiliate in your area go to www.crossfit.com. They have all the workouts listed and video demonstrations of them. I am a huge fan of this. The biggest problem is the price. But it is well worth it and you will see results.
Finally; GO TO THE DOCTOR!
Get a physical. Get all the pokes and prods that your insurance will cover (if you have it). You are pretty likely to get cancer, the earlier you detect it the better your odds of living.
Do something. Get off your butt and just do some activity. Something is better than nothing. Be Safe
Posted in Firefighter Fitness
Use video to practice size-up and discuss your operations. There is no Charlie side view so do the best you can
I once heard the saying “why pay a man two dollars when he will work for one.” We all know in the fire service very few administrations are safety minded when it comes down to asking for more money for equipment that does not make someone look good or get them re-elected. For years fire departments suffered without pass devices on their SCBA’s and eventually in 2002 the revised NFPA standard for SCBA included Head’s Up Display and Universal Air connections. NFPA 2007 incorporated the integrated pass. We all remember the fight for pass devices. So now it is time to take it a step further with the next edition of turnout gear to include a professional grade personal escape system. The mindset that oh we will never need that or that only happens in the big cities is going to get more firefighters injured or worse killed. If we went as far as pushing for a DRD that gets covered up most of the time because of improperly worn SCBA it is that important to include personal escape systems on the next NFPA 1971 2012. It would be much better if this was an OSHA mandate or AFG funding was provided so that fire departments could all meet this standard. What are your thoughts and feelings on this? Let your voice be heard contact members of the NFPA committee for 1971.
Black Fire is a high volume, high velocity, turbulent, super dense black smoke.
- If your going to be on a Truck Company throw the damn ladders and throw them correctly. If you don’t know how to throw them and are not willing to practice get off the job.
- If you see a firefighter doing a head first ladder bail, they do not need your help, they need you to get out of their way.
- Engine Operators and OIC pull past the structure you might see something that the other two sides did not show.
- If the DRD could get included in an NFPA standard why in the hell can’t personal escape systems.
- Do not sit personal escape systems in a box or at your warehouse put them on the firefighters train them and they might just save a life.
This is a way to vent frustrations incurred during the weak. Feel free to add to the list. The only rule is not talking about a person directly.
Posted in Truck Tips
The pictures here are the boots that I’ve worn over the last 8 years. I’ve worn each one for at least 2 years each, so I’ve gotten to know them pretty well. I’m not generally a complainer and really have a hard time picking out minute differences between products. I’ll share my thoughts, you folks expand on them as you wish and maybe in the end we’ll have reviews worthy of reading.
Boot 1- Globe Structural Supreme. I like this boot, I really do. They are strong, reflective, and lightweight. The price is a bit of a problem. I don’t know too many guys tossing out $300+ for a pair of boots. They really are lightweight, and they come with an extra insole for some more fine tuning on the fit. And they are comfortable. The reason I stopped wearing these before they were worn out is that the boot upper is too big. They are like the moon boots my mom used to make me wear in the winter. I know it sounds whiny. But I’m not a huge guy, so after the call when I’m taking off my bunker pants I would have to make a special effort to get the pants around the dang boot. The bigger fellas had no problem.
Boot 2- Thorogood 14″. These were my first true love. I went from the rubber boots to these because the local supply store was getting rid of them ($150) not bad. Average price is a little over $200. I wore these the longest of all the boots. They are half the weight of the rubber boots, and that would put them in about second out of these four. These boots were worth every penny. The upper part can fold in half easily to get your bunker pants off. They fit like a work shoe. When I tried them on for the purpose of this review the only complaints I had was that the reinforcement in the heel was broken and there are a couple of popped seams. If you have a little money but not enough for one of those “top of the line boots” this is the one to get. I did get them a size too small, and I’m still fine with them.
Boot 3- Ranger Shoe-Fit. By “Shoe-Fit” I imagine they mean it goes on your feet, as opposed to “Glove-Fit” which would go on your hands. This is a classic example of taking a technology from another industry and making it work in the fire service. These should stay on the farm. On my department we refer to these as the s*%t kickers. Guess why. At $150 max I can see why my department issued these. Well, my momma told me “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all”. So the nice thing…They meet all minimum requirements set forth by the 2000 edition of NFPA 1971. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Boot 4- Pro Warrington 500′s. The “Terminator Boot” I love these boots. When you show up at someone’s house wearing these boots the only thing people are thinking is “what is he going to kick with those?” I think the Terminator toe does have a purpose, I don’t know what it is. I’m also a big fan of the shin guard that these have in common with the Thorogoods. These boots got about 3 years use from me and I will be going back to them. No blown seams. A no leaks. No internal damage. They loosened up like a good boot should. The fit is better than the Thorogood (might be my fault). They are light weight. I suppose I should put a con in here….Oh yeah, they aren’t cheap either. If you are going to invest in a pair of boots, these are the ones. Spend the $50 more than the Thorogood boot. As much as the Thorogood is worth every penny, these are too. The bonus with these is the toe, Look at that thing!
Alright, in order from best to “why bother”, it’s the 5000′s, then Thorogood, then Globe,and waaaay back is the Rubber boots.
I feel like I’m taking too much away from the Globe’s, They are good, but if it isn’t functional I don’t care how good it is.
Posted in Product Review
You will need your deluge gun and Two Hundred feet of hose. Take the deluge gun off the truck or out of the compartment. Practice setting it up for exterior or defensive operations however you term it. Practice the options you have on securing these monitors while on the ground. The minimum PPE needed are your helmet and gloves.
Posted in Drills
Posted in Scenarios
We have all seen it. The person who is always involved in some project for the Chief or always doing something to “look good” when the Chief is around or when it is promotion time. When it does come time for promotion, this person get’s the position. Let the bashing begin. “They only got there because they are the Chief’s buddy,” “It’s no surprise he got the position. He’s always under the Chief’s desk.” I can go on and on but that’s not what I am writing about.
The great thing about the Fire Service is that we have such a wide variety of people working in our profession. Some people are naturally good workers. Some need a little more encouragement than others. Still others only seem to do things when the right people are around. So this brings me to the Big question. Is the person really a kiss ass or are they a good worker.
The true kiss asses. These are the people who make themselves look good when the right people are around. They are the ones who are only interested in doing something if it is going to make them look good or is going to be beneficial to them. They ask, sometimes in very subtle ways, what is in it for them.
The hard workers. These are the people who do things because they want to and don’t care if there is recognition or if it will make them look good. They take the time to do things the right way and get things done in an efficient and timely manner. They do not ask “What’s in it for me.”
Most of the time, I believe these two get mixed up with each other. Sometimes the person who is a hard worker and does the things that need to be done, gets mistaken for a kiss ass. The hard worker is doing things to get them done because no one else wanted to do them because there isn’t any recognition that comes with it. I also think that a lot of times, the people who are calling the other person a kiss ass, are just jealous of that person because they are getting noticed for doing what is either asked of them or was asked of the person complaining but was turned down cause they weren’t going to get anything out of it.
In closing, I would only ask everyone to take a minute to analyze the situation before passing judgment on someone. Look at all the factors. Do they routinely ask what’s in it for them before taking on a project or do they just suck it up and do it because someone asked them to. Look at yourself. Do you do projects that are asked of you without asking “What’s in it for me?” Are they really a kiss ass or just a hard worker?
R- Rescue and Search
These are all truck functions that need to be performed or assessed to see if they need to be performed