Saturday, August 30, 2008

The "Brave" new world

Have you asked yourself lately why the powers that be are going the way of the lawyers and not just fighting back, you know what I am talking about!

Some really smart people want us to not be firefighters anymore, they want us to ride to the fires with our helmets secured in locked storage and gear in a closet and boots in an "approved" compartment and airpacks come to the scene in a special delivery truck and only then will you consider putting them on!

Lets not prevent accidents and deaths with stupidity, how about we take a look at solving the problem with some of the god given brain power we have and collectively fight back against the tide of suit happy people out there. Here is really how simple it is, take the time today to strap your helmet to your head and put your seatbelt on and then go to the incident, AMEN!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Live Burn Like it Love it Do it

Fear is starting to creep into the fire service thanks to my favorite people (Lawyers and Judges) but guys press on. In the absence of a money tree most departments can not find training that would match live fire training. There are so many advantages to be gained by continuing to train hands on like this , the biggest being that fires are not coming as much as they had in the past and so the only experiences and familiarity we can get come from this training. I hear the various excuses spewing forth but you are just afraid. Burn with the people who know NFPA 1403 and follow it, this greatly reduces the hazards for real. Set fires that will train others for fire behaviour and intensity, smoke travel, rollovers etc. There is a great group of guys in the Carolinas that are continuing to provide the best of the best firefighter survival training, check it out at Gaston College. These guys are committed to the truth of the toughness needed and the reality of heat and smoke in training applications. New guys can do no better than to search out live burn training if the ladies in their department will not deliver it, be safe and have a great shift!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Your Brother's Back

Do you have your brother's back? Do you train like it matters? Do you tell him when he does wrong and encourage him to do right? Do you just wallow in the years you have been on and tell yourself that is what makes you great? Did you spend any time today at your firehouse actually caring about your brothers? Do you learn new things and play like your on a team?

It is time to give your brother a break and have his back! You know cover his every move like it is your own, be honest with him, train hard so you can rescue him if necessary!

And if you were thinking you put your pants on differently than him today, put them back on and remember you are no better than him!

City hall will never care about you so get over it and do something that matters, have your brother's back like it matters, IT DOES!

Do all the little things right, be detailed, train hard, train alot, be READY for HELL!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gas Yes Gas

The price of gas went up,I'm sure the firefighting community felt it the hardest since as usual all the fearless leaders of the communities said it will be alright we will just make up for the shortfall by taking it out of the fire department budget, I mean after all thats the budget with all the FAT to trim in every city, nationwide. Here in the fire service we are always trying to figure out what to do with our surplus, and it is a struggle when your looking at a five trying to make it a twenty.

Community leaders it is time to find someone new to cut to shreds, and while your at it go to school and learn about the people you have in your fire department and what a fire department does. Federal government, NIMS is sure nice now how about you tell the local governments they will support the fire service or be fined each day like if there was a sewer leak!

Okay ,just a few short reminders for all of us. It is summer, do not forget to drink plenty and watch your self. The construction of homes is very poor and built to kill us quick so watch your back and your brothers too. Resources and people are stretched and short on energy from the three jobs we all work so call for help early,early,early. When your officer tells you to do something do it right then! If something doesn't seem right to you, get out! Have a great week !

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Big One

The tone has dropped and the report is not good, big building,old building and flames are showing through the roof. The first company arrives and confirms it is going to be a firefight and they go to work. The old engineer drags hose to the hydrant and get the advancing crew some good water as he looks at the scene thinking ahead to multiple lines and the need for more water. A Chief arrives and calls for more help and then meets the crew coming out of an active fire attack to say that it is well beyond them and it is big water time.

Now there are a bunch of firefighters arriving, hoses are being laid and up goes the ladder to get at the fires deepest core. More Chiefs arrive and the plan is getting an evaluation as firefighters start to relay what else is needed. After awhile the fire seems to be beat back by the toughest ones we have to put on it. A crew of six goes in to pull ceiling an see if we got and as they get close someone reports that the roof is moving and you realize that even with radio communications at an all time low they must get out now! I rush to the top of a staircase and beat on the floor until they come out. Now everyone is out and we pour the coal to the masterstreams out front until we see no more fire. Good communications even without the radios in a timely manner can be life savers, we all went home!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Firefighter Rescues and Rescue

There was a time when ,here in the small city, we barely thought about any of us needing rescue. I think mainly we figured we were tough enough to get out every time even though we knew that we could be wrong! Now that we know better why will the Chiefs not iron out their differences for the good of the firefighters? It is obvious in the training that they do not come to that there is great need for manpower in these situations, yet what we observe is that they are still struggling with the concept of incident command. Firefighter rescues will be for sure the worst moments for us all and there are legal repercussions for commanders unwilling to change, ie: Manlius,NY.

Rescues have to happen quickly and with all your experience brought to bear upon what is happening. They require a thing called automatic aid each and every time so that the people we protect go home and we go home.

Rescues require great communications between those attempting the rescue and command, not just a frantic rush and high pitched radio traffic, although undoubtedly there will be some!

Any rescue will require resources you do not always use, because it is a rare event!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Keep on Running

I was pulling on my hood and zipping my coat up when we turned the corner and saw smoke showing from most of the front of the house. I came out the truck door determined to get that line before my captain did, why, because I just want to be first in. I pull and drag and it seems like forever but I get the line ready to go. My Chief is there beside me at the door and my captain is not ready to go, I look inside and the smoke is down close to the floor and I can see where this fire is. I want to put this fire out so I tell the Chief I think I can just go inside a few feet and put this one out, he says go for it. I am in the door before I realize it and putting out fire wherever I can find it. The captain finally catches up and we continue to push through the rest of the house, searching for fire. We come upon a large dog and my captain rescues this dog only to reach the front porch and have the dog crap all over him. Back into the house we go to get some overhaul done because it is just us for the most part. We get it done and catch a drink of water. Our driver takes us back to the station and then the captain realizes we ran over his prescription glasses at the scene, bad day for the probies.

This is a short story from when I was starting out and I remembered to keep a good attitude and keep on running because you have to be determined to persevere in this business. Be good and stay safe, BuckleUp!

Friday, May 2, 2008

The KISS Method

Where have all the get it done leaders gone? Why does everything these days have to be complicated and frankly unbelievable when your talking leadership? I hear all this talk in our service from the leaders and even on the national level it seems like all the big red tape lovers are in charge. Those of you in power, wake up and do something meaningful for the the fire service, TODAY!

Just unbelieveable but again as I have said before , thank GOD there are still firefighters out there that get the job done without the all the bull crap. The keep it simple stupid method needs to rise again.

Everyone be careful,watch your brothers back,make sure Mr.Obvious is close by and call for enough people to get the job done right. Love your family and the family and last but not least, put your gear on every time even if it seems like it won't be much!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just a Little Truth

I was thinking about manpower again, ya know the kind of manpower we all need is sometimes the kind that is hard to appreciate. I'm talking about those hardheaded individuals that we all have that also train hard and take the job real serious. These guys will call you out on anything, say stuff you would rather not hear, yet when that working fire comes in or a real job needs to get done they will go the distance. These people come out of the fire to tell you what is done not why they could'nt do it. They do not back down to much and that is why they are the best! Firefighters are like soldiers in that they are not always the best at being real nice, it is a battle after all!

Alright! Rollin Out

There is nothing quite like when the tones drop and you just know your going to get to go to work. Ya get out in the bay put on your gear and everybody is repeating the dispatch info and of course adding in a little this ought to be a good one! Your rig gets moving toward the scene and your running though what may need to be done plus the five hundred things you trained on and then your there and there are lines coming off trucks, the Chief is given you a report and when you get in the smoke is to the floor and your hunting that fire down! I love a good day, when the guys roll out to a fire and it all goes well, it is just, Alright!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Firefighter Nation Site

I am finding that this site is great so far and seems to be a good resource of helpful, informative firefighters from all over!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Favorite Videos

First In--Last in Line

That's right, we are the ones your going to call when you need help (unless your an old school farmer type). The firefighters are the front line where anything needs to get DONE! We do not fail to be the first-in to handle whatever is going down because we know what the situation will require from years and years of training and our inherent other job abilities. Through whatever weather or condition we push on so that you will have the luxury of living to see another day.
Firefighters plan for what should be done and when you wonder why your one of these people on the front line it is because you choose to run the distance the hard way. It may seem deceivingly easy at times but it never IS!

Today, all was quiet on our front, how about yours?

Oh! Almost forgot to remind you, your last-in-line all the time 24/7 BABY!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Vent and Vent

The timing and great need for ventilation is often ignored, due to our aggressiveness and in the long run that habit will cost us. We get in there and go to work on the fire long before the vent happens. If you think you do not do this get honest at your next fire and take a look! Having ventilation that is done well should be like the two-in-two-out rule, it should always happen because our lives and the lives of others depend on it. This is a small part of why the truck companies should be fully staffed and close on each structure fire.

We vent because: We rescue better, we extinguish the fire faster, we prevent backdraft and most flashovers doing this, we can see to do any operation far better, new construction reinforces its effectiveness, heat reduction is key to reducing fire spread.

Remember, ventilation is a life saver in all respects.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Get Going/Up and At'em

It is finally about to warm up folks and while you may have fought a few fires this winter it is time to shake the ol dust off the skills and the recliner. You know the recliner has its positives but that lever on the side , when properly used can do miracles.

Today I am thinking about manpower and the Chiefs that hate it, that's right, I said it, while we bust tail they stand there doing nothing about the FACT that we need some help on the scene for those crazy seven basic steps we learned about in Fire Kindergarten. It is a great thing that firefighters are courageous and hard headed and determined (I could go on but city hall has an ordinance against it) because we get jobs done well that way but give up the pride and call for the help, by the way it won't kill ya. It is not listed in health risks associated with firefighters but it should be and so should the hard headed Chiefs that nobody oversees.

There is this NIMS thing where you are supposed to call for what you need , I never trained on what you could get away with. It sounds ridiculous to say but lay down the guns and start workin together to put city hall to shame!

Let's just talk about one of the steps:Rescue then use your great knowledge oh great Chiefs and tell me what kind of manpower we need for that, our rescue and civilian rescues. If you do not come up with , man I need some serious manpower for that then go home and take knitting classes so you will kill no more! Instead of trying to lose weight , drop two pounds of stubborness and see how it helps! Guaranteed results in the next two fires!

Check it Out /Firefighters Only

Monday, March 17, 2008

Do not think out loud

The fire service can be a great thing governed by itself and maybe a board of old farts that are familiar with the job. The trouble is 99% of us are governed by complete and utter idiots when it comes to what we need. Now that may seem harsh but it is a rampant problem in America today.
I understand that it is very similiar to our own federal government but they all miss a basic concept that they would not be allowed to, in the business world. That concept is , oversight/oversee whatever you want to call it, it just does not get done. When you are placed by the people to oversee an area of public safety you should make it your job to become knowledgeable with that concern and not just vote your mood or those pennies you pinch in your pocket. Our own Chief's miss the boat too by getting caught up in the we will take your job if you do not pinch enough pennies mentality, become firefighter haters and then forget what the guys do, what skills they have ,and how NO other area of public safety holds as much responsibility or training than us. It is bad to FORGET things like that. Everyday it seems the "overseers" ask us to make a new set of jaws out of the dust in the corner of our stations and of course because we adapt and overcome we get it done. Overseer, what did you get done this week,this month or ever? Tell me do you even know the starting pay or related costs of your area of oversight, doubtful! Do you know the men/women who place themselves in discomfort for your comfort, probably not. You should read a book called "First In ,Last Out" by Salka it might enlighten all you overseers. Our guys are out there on the front lines, you should be the support not the hindrance, try harder today!

Friday, March 14, 2008

My Guys

This is just a little prideful rant about having great firemen to work with, it is a great thing!
My guys are like many others I am sure, they get right to work, do not back down, know what they think, put out the bad ones, and are just full of " " you know. Anyway, I thought I would give them a little crap here on the blog because they really make life easy. These are guys that come up with great training and will do what needs to be done. I can never say enough about them because even at their absolute worst they are the best! They have spent the time to tell me what they really think and I would not trade them for anything except a new pair of I do not know what! These guys go get the best training and they are the front line, like when a war breaks out they are there to kill them all. I have the best and the you other guys will just have to settle for the rest.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Here WE go AGAIN

I wish for us a good year but man it is not shaping up to be one. As many have said , why can we not stop sending guys in for the Mr.Obvious Killers. Let us list a few of them off just in case somebody still is unsure.
1. If there is a fire in the basement do NOT send guys in on the first floor.
2. If it is a balloon frame structure do not forget that fire may be EVERYWHERE
3. If there is a truss do not go to the roof, spend alot of time inside, go really deep inside the structure.
4. What is the occupancy, did you size it up, walk around, preplan it, is it an occupancy or vacancy and you should not be in there because the size up tells you NO.
5. Did somebody radio command and say that they were NOT making headway on the fire and you forgot that could be BAD.
6. Is everyone wearing their seatbelts????
7. Do your guys set up to block traffic at an accident or are you still allowing ignorant police officers to dictate your safety?
8. My favorite , are the retards over at city hall cutting your budget so deep that you do not keep up with proper maintenance of equipment, did you know that kills people, cause city hall does not??
9. You do not TRAIN A LOT!
10. The hose line you pull off for structure fires is too freaking small!!!

Anyway, just a few but let us make a better effort to get progressive and get some common sense on the loose folks! That way we can all go home knowing we have done our best!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Newbie,Probie,new guy,etc.

It is my hope that maybe some of you newer firefighters out there are actually interested in becoming great firefighters??? You might make many mistakes or whatever in your first few years but take this little note with you and you will go a long way. The new firefighter type I see coming into the service now seems to know everything at six months, no you don't, and guess what ,you never will because the fire service is a team concept for REAL! Always be asking questions and practicing putting your protective equipment on even if you have to do it by yourself because these are the things that will save your rear end some day when you have been sitting around the firehouse and all of a sudden there's a FIRE to go put out. Be loyal to your training, your officer, and your Chiefs and you will do well, no kissing up,that gets you into things you do not want. Remember even when your new,make comments, bring-up concerns, just do not be an opinionated retard about some issue you overheard some other group of crying babies talking about,got it! In the end remember to be there for your brother, when your inside or out, on the nozzle or not, have each others back. Be watchful for the fire is not your friend it is the enemy!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Awesome Training

I think I mentioned earlier that all firefighters should LOVE training their little hearts out because not training is a KILLER. Recently,I attended some training that is a must do in your lifetime,career,whatever you call it. It is called Breathing Equipment School and has been around for a long time ,also note, you do have to completely participate in this class to graduate, yes ,you do graduate if your tough enough.

I'll just start from the beginning, found this class on the net and noticed it said in the brochure to come physically fit for the class as it would be physically demanding, here was where I laughed because I have seen that before and it was NOT TRUE! in this case VERY,VERY,and also VERY TRUE! It is a RIT, firefighter survival, get to know yourself real well class.

The training is done first in a training tower with no smoke to get you ready in a series of drills for what is to come. Then you get smoke and live fire mixed right in to some hard freakin training that pushes you past your acceptable limits of self preservation. The teamwork that is required also impressed me greatly because there is a whole lot of that. I do not even begin to think that I can do the class justice here but I really believe every firefighter should have to go through this course which is a weeek long everyday all day.

You do drills you know like the Denver Drill and the Pittsburgh Drill and some you wish you did not know like the Attic Drill and the Residential House Drill. After you do these you think maybe just maybe the instructors have a sick sense of humor but no these guys are just some of the best guys /instructors you will ever allow to torture, I meant to say train you!

They are right there to provide knowledge that they grind into you sooo welll that you will remember. There is no question that they have been there and are speaking the truth. If you dare to move your training into high gear check these guys out. North Carolina,

Great News

I've always liked the not so "book" firefighter myself but the BOOKIE does lend us all alot of laughs so I guess that works out okay. The great news is if your new to the service and your in the middle of the great class on hydraulic calculations you only need to remember one principle. This principle of waterflow calculation will guide you safely through the years. It is that sometimes the guys fighting the fire will want more water and sometimes less, the my thumbs up or down rule of water supply. Now when using this complex calculation remember to use the fancy words around the Chiefs like "friction loss", "engine pressure", "nozzle pressure" that way they will feel like you are an "engineer" and that even though no one knows how much water is flowing to be exact they will feel like they do because you gave them the wordiness for comfort. Another way this works is that at a big fire you need big water and a small fire small water. When your mind is filled with knowledge let it leak a little so your head won't swell!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Do You Remember

The firefighter with big britches sometimes forgets in the middle of his great thoughts about that time when he did not know everything and had a working attitude. Do any of you remember when firefighters were tough individuals with a do it all attitude? I do, I just do not always understand in the most sensitive way why we cannot hire some more of those firemen these days. A great firefighter should remember a couple of things that will help like ,you will always have to be up on your training to be great, there are no easy forgiving fires if you really think about it. Your in a life and death business, if you cannot listen to the boss then go work for your own self. Your positive attitude may be the best thing you bring to the job , if you lost it, do a primary search and get it back. Fires do not get put out by fire trucks they get put out by people who love the job, so love the job!