1-31-15 Run Down

How you can estimate hose stretches HERE

Humpday Hangout Health and Safety HERE

Making SA Part of the Routine HERE

The 4 Common Barriers in Modern Fire Behavior HERE

SA Matters Episode 40 HERE

Tactical Considerations for Spray on Polyurethane Foam HERE

Boston Fire- 48 Hours HERE

Understanding, Anticipating and Avoiding Flashover HERE

Exponential Engine “Fire Streams” HERE

Tactical Fire Problem- Fire in a 2 story Wood with People Trapped HERE

NIST Study from San Francisco HERE

Laddering Upper Floors HERE

Bill Gustin on Hoseline Operations HERE


Line of Duty Death 1-21-15

Leslie “Les” W. Fryman

Firefighter Fryman was a passenger in a tanker/tender responding to a mutual aid structure fire when he went unresponsive. Fellow responders treated Fryman and transported him to a local hospital. Firefighter Fryman was subsequently transferred to another hospital where he succumbed to his injury seven days later. The nature and cause of fatal injury is still to be officially reported.

Rosendale Volunteer Fire Department, Rosendale, Wisconsin

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 58
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Volunteer
Incident Date: Jan 14, 2015 12:30
Date of Death: Jan 21, 2015
Cause of Death: Unknown
Nature of Death: Unknown

To Date, 5 Firefighters Died in the Line of Duty

Line of Duty Death 1-29-15

Clifford “Cliff” Sanders

Firefighter Sanders became ill and collapsed at the firehouse while responding to a grass fire call. Sanders was treated immediately at the station by fellow responders and transported to Jane Phillips Hospital in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and then on to St. Johns Hospital in Tulsa where he died January 29th from a stroke.

Caney Volunteer Fire Department, Caney, Kansas

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 55
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Volunteer
Incident Date: Jan 28, 2015 15:37
Date of Death: Jan 29, 2015
Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of Death: Cerebrovascular Accident

To Date, 4 Firefighters Died in the Line of Duty

1-27-15 Run Down

  • A good Case Study of a Very Close call HERE
  • Firefighting Today- What makes a good Mentor, and Role Model HERE
  • Sprinkler Head Control HERE
  • Single Firefighter 35ft. ladder Throw HERE
  • Forcing Slide Bolts & Drop Bars HERE
  • The Stuff You Wish Someone Told you When you were a Rookie HERE
  • Construction Concerns- PIV’s HERE
  • Drills- The Survival Essentials HERE
  • Some Notes on Compactor Fires HERE
  • The Assumptions of Others… Forget What they Say! HERE
  • Entering Windows HERE
  • Why Do Firefighters Continue to Die? HERE
  • The 10% HERE
  • The Attitude of a Chief HERE
  • Voices in your Head HERE
  • It Changes Us HERE
  • The “Johnson Bar” HERE
  • Permission to Act HERE
  • The Sunday Preach- Are We Creating Good Search habits? HERE
  • Narrowing the Divide HERE
  • TOMORROW 1-28-15– Is a Webcast on PTSD and Stress in the Fire Service.- More info HERE
  • THURSDAY 1-29-15– A Webcast By Billy Goldfeder HERE

Remembering James Dickman and Steve Machcinski- LODD 1-26-14


Today we remember the Line of Duty Death of Stephen A. Machcinski and James Dickman. They Died on January 26, 2014 in Toledo Ohio.

They Died as a result of “rapid fire Spread/propagation”, in a residential, over Commercial Building.

As of Yet, there have been NO Reports published either, Departmental or National.

Please Take some time to Read and Learn about these Men and the circumstances of their Deaths, So that we NEVER repeat the circumstances again.

NEVER FORGET, rip-rfb-ptb-ftm


Also take a read at a piece Chief Peter Lamb wrote for us HEREmachinski-and-dickman-mugs

1-25-15 Run Down

Clearing a Clogged Fog Nozzle- HERE

New Residential Drill for Chief Coleman- HERE

Jumpseat Radio 38- HERE

SA Matters Radio 39- HERE

No Longer Acceptable- HERE

The Fire Service 1%- HERE

Firefighting Today Weekly Roundtable- LIVE Today at 8pm est.- HERE

Tactical Fire Problem- Apartment Hallway with Victim- HERE

Firefighter Training Podcast- NFPA Discussion & Protective Gear with Chief Bruce Varner- HERE

60 Second Safety Length of Burn Time- HERE

*** Check our Updated Drills Page, We added a number of new Drills this weekend***

Line of Duty Death 1-22-15

Ronnie W. Peek

Firefighter Peek fell ill while participating in fire department mandated air management training. He was subsequently transported to the hospital where he suffered a heart attack and passed away.

Garden City Fire Department, Garden City, Kansas

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 49
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Career
Incident Date: Jan 22, 2015 20:00
Date of Death: Jan 22, 2015
Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of Death: Heart Attack

To Date, 3 Firefighters Died in 2015

1-23-15 Run Down

Firefighting Back to the Future HERE

My Take away from 2014 HERE

Quick Tip- Modified Baseball bat swing HERE

Quick Tips on Tower Positioning HERE

2 Cents Worth of tips for new Firefighters HERE

Investigative report into the Meadowwood Court Fire HERE– Dept Report HERE

Fighting Fires in Balloon Frame Construction HERE

Quick Tip- Dropping Bars HERE


The Next Step HERE

Humpday SOS- You Cant Change People HERE

A New Acronym to Consider UL HERE 

FDNY- Brothers in Battle HERE

Misguided HERE

Just be Nice HERE

SLICERS with Eddie Buchanan HERE

The Tradition and History of the American Fire Helmet HERE 

Glue Vs. Gusset Plates HERE

Remembering The 10 Year Anniversary Of The Black Sunday Fire- FDNY- 1-23-05


Today, we remember the brothers of the FDNY for a very tragic day we’ve come to know as Black Sunday. On January 23rd 2005, 6 FF’s were trapped on the 4th floor of an apartment building and were forced to jump. Lt. Curtis W. Meyran and FF. John G. Bellew tragically succumb to their injuries. The four other firefighters were seriously injured. One of the four survivors(Joe DiBernado) passed away in 2011 due to complications from injuries sustained on this fateful fire.

3 hours after this fire, a third firefighter (Rich Sclafani) was killed in the Line of Duty in a separate fire. He got trapped while trying to exit a basement at a residential fire.

Please read these reports and learn everything we can from these incidents. Not only read about the fires, but read about these individuals lives. Read about the survivors. There are stories of great tragedy as well as incredible perseverance. The Apt. fire where the firefighters were forced to jump was one of the driving forces the FDNY used to outfit their firefighters with bailout kits. Do yourself a favor, you will become a better firefighter. Do the research, read the NIOSH report. Remember the men who perished due to this fire, and the men who’s lives have been largely impacted.

Please read and learn from the following links and honor these men by learning from their deaths. Stay smart, competent, and aggressive.

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1-19-15 Run Down

To Train or Not Train HERE

Build your Army HERE

The Sunday Preach- “Because We have always Done it Way” HERE

New Fires, New Tactics HERE

Firefighter Training Podcast- Tactical Thermal Imaging HERE

60 Second Safety- Entry Level Skills HERE

Fireground Tips- Engine Compartment Fires HERE

Are Those Bugles or Plungers?— WATCH THIS— HERE

Firefighter Detoxification HERE

The Art of Leading Ricky Rescue HERE

The Baseball Swing HERE, and HERE

The 4 Ups- Starting off Right HERE

*** Make sure to watch this Webcast from IAFF Live on 1-28 @ 11:00est. HERE

Complacency and Preparedness in the Fire Service HERE

Extrication Tip- The Deep Cut HERE

Firefighting Today- What Needs Fixed? HERE

***A Programming Note: Stay Tuned To The New DRILLS PAGE. We will be adding a multitude of Fire Scenarios and Door Drills in the Very Near future*** 

Remembering FF Mark Falkenhan- LODD 1-19-2011


“On January 19, 2011, at approximately 1855 hours, a 43-year-old volunteer fire fighter died after being caught in a rapid fire progression. The victim and another fire fighter were conducting a search of a third-floor apartment above the fire, which had started on the first floor. Conditions at the time of entry for the search crew indicated that the fire was under control. The fire had already breached the second-floor apartment through a sliding glass door in the rear of the structure but was oxygen-limited. Another crew was initiating a civilian rescue from the second-floor apartment above the fire when a rapid fire build-up occurred on the second floor. The fire and smoke traveled up the common stairwell, igniting the third-floor apartment and trapping the victim. The victim radioed multiple Mayday calls, but crews were unable to reach him before his facepiece melted from the extensive heat produced by the rapid fire progression. The other fire fighter who was with the victim was searching a bedroom and his exit was cut off by the rapid fire progression. He was forced to bail out a bedroom window and was injured by the fall. Rescue efforts were initiated, the victim was located, and removed from the third-floor apartment. The victim died from exposure to the products of combustion.”



Good Read HERE

Simulator of the Incident HERE

Internal Report HERE

How to Use YouTube Fire Videos for Training

YouTube videos provide us with a chance to do many things, including: Giving On-Scene reports and it gives us a chance to practice what Strategies and Tactics you would employ if you were first to arrive on scene.

YouTube Search

A YouTube Search with the words “House Fire” came up with just over 9,000,000 Results!

YouTube Fire

On any Particular video, it’s easy to spell out an on-scene run down, but don’t stop there. Also discuss with your crew; apparatus placement, line positioning, ventilation options, Life Hazards, and Collapse hazards.


I ask my self 10 basic questions on every fire video I watch:

  1. Give an On- Scene Report (See Below for My Example)
  2. Where’s the fire, what’s it telling you, and Where is it going?
  3. Offensive, Defensive, or Transitional Attack?
  4. What Size and Where do you pull the first Line?
  5. What Size and Where do you pull the Back-up Line?
  6. What Type of Ventilation and where?
  7. Where is the Primary Life Hazard Location?
  8. What is the Interior and Exterior Fire Spread Potential?
  9. Are there Exposure Problems?
  10. What is the Collapse Hazard?

Another Method to use is B-SAHF:



A-Air Track



As for On-scene Reports, there are many out there. I use a Version of Anthony Avillo’s from His Book Fireground Strategies 2nd Edition.

Preliminary Size-up Report Anthony Avillo 2nd Edition

I change it up a little and use it as such; Engine 1 On-scene, 3 story , wood frame, residential, peaked roof, moderate smoke from 2nd floor, make this a working fire, Engine 1 will be stretching, Engine 1 has mobile command. We have our own hydrant.

Others Include C-BAR;




Resources Required





Location & Extent


Special Circumstances

You do not just have to use YouTube videos, Go out in your first due and take pictures of Your Buildings and add in fire and smoke by using simulation software. This way it’s more personalized for you.

By going to Google Maps and getting a Birds-eye-view can also prove beneficial. You can look for HVAC’s, Renovations, or other significant items.

sky view

Another opportunity for drilling is to take pictures of Doors in your community. Then, you can insert them into a document and add questions such as: which way does the door swing, what type of lock, how do you attack the door, and what tools do you need?

The bottom line is make it personal to you, sure YouTube videos are Great but the more personalized the drills are, the more benefit your members get out of it.

In the coming days I will post many of these drills I have made up in the drills tab on the Homepage.

Stay Safe and Train Hard-

TIC Use and TIC Limitations in SAR scenarios.

To Conclude our series on Search and Rescue (SAR), this last piece will focus on TIC Use, and TIC Limitations in SAR scenarios.

The Training Manual in its entirety can be Found HERE, as well as on our Documents Page, HERE


1) TICs do not need visible light

2) TICs CANNOT see through glass – will only show a reflection

3) TICs CANNOT see through water

4) TICS CAN see objects floating on the water including oil sheens.

5) TICs CAN see through steam, but it will fog the lens and view screen

6) TICs are battery operated. Do not depend on them solely.

7) TICs “see” relative temperature differences.

8) TICs CANNOT predict a flashover

9) TICs are not life safety devices. Use your other firefighting skills with the TIC to prevent tunnel vision.

10) TICs CAN be used to see the level in barrels or tanks (i.e. propane cylinders)

11) TICs ARE NOT intrinsically safe.

Some other points on Maintenance:

  • TICs do not require much maintenance.
  • Batteries should be swapped on a weekly basis. A spare battery is located on the vehicle mounted charger.
  • If the camera is dirty, a mild detergent and water can be used to wipe off the debris. Do not submerge the camera in water.

This Concludes the series on Search. Please Read the Entire manual and take something back to you crew and the members of your department.

As an Additional Resource- Just published today Tactical Thermal Imaging HERE

Train Hard, Stay Safe- – EGH-RFB

Quick Tips on Primary Search and Search Size-up

Last week I came upon a Drill book for Search and Rescue (SAR) developed be the Vancouver Fire Department. This has been one of the better ones I have seen, and I encourage all to read it from cover to cover. However, In this and subsequent posts I am going to give a brief list of points which are worth considering at all levels.

The Training Manual in its entirety can be Found HERE, as well as on our Documents Page, HERE

This First Post is going to hit on the basic points of SAR; Including General Information, Size-up, Methods of Rescue and Protection, and Conducting the Search. In follow up posts I will touch on Rescue Techniques, TIC use for Search, and Large Area Search.

  • Two-in / Two-out Rule: In NFPA 1500, two fire fighters must remain outside the danger area in order to rescue fire fighters in a danger area. An exception can be made when immediate action is needed to prevent loss of life or serious injury.
  • Firefighters must have a thorough understanding of search operations and how to conduct searches in all environments and conditions.
  • The primary search is a rapid, planned and efficient search of the structure, focusing on the areas where victims might be.
  • Studies show that if you do not rescue during the primary search time frame, the secondary search most likely is too late.
    • Key points to the Primary Search:
    • 1) Time is critical. We have 15-20 minutes to search all tenable space. Basically the time it takes for the average firefighter to use a 30-45 minute SCBA bottle is all we have.
    • 2) We must search all areas where victims might be in immediate danger. We must identify and search all tenable space. This could include the fire room, adjacent rooms, the floors above the fire and more.
    • 3) Rely on sight, sound, and touch.
    • 4) Probing for victims with a tool is not recommended. Holding a halligan tool is acceptable for the searching firefighter, and the oriented (control) person can keep the 6’ hook and use as needed.
    • 5) You must search as a team.
    • 6) Enter and exit through the same door. Unless you must exit for safety reasons, your search should end where it started to ensure you searched everywhere.
  • We must do the primary search right the first time.
  • The purpose of the secondary search is to locate all victims (including dead) and also to locate any victims on the complete fire scene. (ie adjacent rooftops, bushes outside where jumpers my be, adjacent interior buildings, areas not affected by fire and smoke, fire building rooftops, and anywhere a victim may have ended up).
  • Always monitor progress of fire and suppression efforts, check overheads to make sure fire isn’t running above you, and sounds floors for weakness or burn through.
  • Part of searching safely is searching in a controlled, orderly manner.
  • Randomly throwing around contents may lead to victims being covered up by debris.
  • Balance the risks involved with the potential benefits.
  • Evaluate the risk versus the benefit of the search operation.
  • Obtain accurate information from occupants who have escaped.
  • SAR size-up begins on dispatch. Use your knowledge of structure type and occupancy to begin your SAR size up.
  • A building is occupied until proven otherwise
  • Consider where occupants are likely to be located. The time of day may help with narrowing down the search.
  • Rescue occupants who are in most immediate danger
  • Notify the IC:
    a. When search has started.
    b. When search is complete.
    c. If a victim is found.
  • Priority of areas to be searched.
    a. Search the immediate fire area if possible, then the rest of the fire floor.
    b. Area directly above the fire. (floor above)
    c. Top floor, then down to the floor above the fire.
    d. Areas below the fire.
  • Make sure the “baby” isn’t a pet.
  • Adults tend to try and self exit and may be found in hallways or under windows if exits are blocked.
  • If a victim is found the search team must decide if they will protect in place or remove to another location.
  • Moving unconscious adult victims requires extreme strength and coordination
    of manpower.
  • If reports of multiple victims come in, it would be wise to call a second alarm immediately.
  • Review
    1) Oriented FF
    a. FOCUS: Keep track of the search! What has been searched, what needs to be searched, and who is searching where.
    b. Ensure logical, methodical and systematic search.
    c. Maintains orientation to egress
    d. Maintains contact with method of orientation (visual reference, wall, rope, hose reference)
    e. May stay at room entrances (Doorways, hallways)
    f. Monitors smoke and fire conditions
    g. Monitors radio traffic and makes reports to IC.
    h. May have a TIC
    2) Searching FF
    a. Leaves point of orientation to search
    b. Maintains voice, visual, or physical contact with oriented FF
    c. May have TIC
    d. Right/left handed wall search – using a wall for orientation
    e. Oriented FF keeps a hand, foot or tool on the wall as the team moves.
    f. Does not switch hands unless exiting
    g. Keeps track of landmarks (doors, windows) passed along the way
    h. If a single room is being searched the hand stays on the wall all the around until back at the doorway
    i. Searching FF has the freedom to move out into the room to search
    j. Other ways to use to stay oriented
    k. Hose line
    l. Rope
    m. Stairwell
    n. Hand tool to stay in contact with the wall

Again, these are only some of the points i thought were of value. Please do your self a favor and read the entire Document HERE. Until Next Time, Train Hard and Be Safe-  EGH-RFB

1-18-15 Run Down

Join us for the Firefighting Today Roundtable- We Will Discuss What Needs to be Fixed? HERE

Leading the Modern Volunteer Fire Department HERE

Firefighter Training Podcast– Tactical Thermal Imaging- An Interview with Capt. Andy Starnes HERE

Tactical Fire Problem- Mailbox Fires HERE

60 Second Safety- Entry Level Skills HERE

Facing the Fear of Failure HERE

Cancer in the Fire Service is an Epidemic HERE

October 2014- On-Duty Deaths in Detail HERE

CFD History- Commissioner Robert J. Quinn HERE

January 2015- Drill of the Month: Decon HERE

January 2015- Quiz of the Month- Fire Officer 1 HERE

Quick Tips on Vent, Enter, Search (VES)

Continuing our review of a Search and Rescue (SAR) Drill book I found, developed be the Vancouver Fire Department. In this post I am going out put out some quick points of the VES Section.

The Training Manual in its entirety can be Found HERE, as well as on our Documents Page, HERE

In follow up posts I will touch on Rescue Techniques, TIC use for Search, and Large Area Search.

  • This is a specific search method to access tenable space that has limited access or to quickly get to a tenable space where a known victim is.
  • This technique makes a rapid entry into a room via a window, searching the room and exiting.
  • The search team that decides to use VES should immediately communicate this to command so that other units will be aware of what is happening.
  • Command will insure that PPV is not in use during a VES operation as this could seriously affect the success of the search.
  • 1) Recognize when VES is needed
    a. KNOWN or probable victims
    b. Limited access
    c. Fire location
    d. Structural issues
    e. Difficult or complex layout of the structure
  • 3) Perform VES
    Step #1
    a. Confirm entry point
    b. Place ladder if needed
    c. Ladder just below sill
    d. Clear window of all glass and sash
    e. Let the room stabilize              
    f. Read the fire and smoke conditions  
    g. Risk vs. Benefit                       
  • NOTE: It is my opinion, Based on the research being done, that once you take the Glass you must go in, there is NO time to wait and read the fire and smoke conditions. With the speed of Fire travel today, the more time you spend reading conditions the less time you have to get inside!
    h. Make a final decision – Go or No go
    i. Notify command if you abort the mission
  • Step #2
    a. Sweep floor below window – check for victims
    b. Sound the floor before entering – make sure floor is intact
    c. After entering 1st FF waits for 2nd FF to get to the window
    d. 2nd FF stays outside and maintains orientation
    e. 2nd FF maintains voice/visual contact
    f. Monitors smoke/fire conditions
    g. TIC
  • Step #3
    a. Find and close the inside door if you can – keeps smoke and fire out.
    b. Perform a quick search of the room.
    c. Search only that room – don’t extend out.
    d. Keep in contact with control (oriented) firefighter.
    e. If a victim is found – remove or protect in place, search team decides this.
    f. Notify command of decision.
  • VES is meant to be a rapid entry and exit therefore requiring physical agility and strength. If a victim is located, a window cut may be a good option to assist in removing the victim.

Again, these are only some of the points i thought were of value. Please do your self a favor and read the entire Document HERE. Until Next Time, Train Hard and Be Safe-  EGH-RFB

Firefighting Today Roundtable- What Needs to Be Fixed?

This week the panel will ask the question What needs to be fixed? It is your opportunity to express your opinion on this subject and talk about the state of the state of the US fire service. Different size departments might have different views on this subject.

Stop in tell us what you think.

Leave comments on the events page, or leave a YOUTUBE comment to interact with the panel.

You can also watch live at firefightingtoday.com

1-15-15 Run Down

WTGB- Hasty Harness HERE

Why am I Here? HERE

Use the ERG with all Intermodal Container Fires HERE

3 Habits Productive Firefighters Find Time for Everyday HERE

Residential Laddering HERE

Building Features and Size-up HERE

Multiple Kids rescued from BCFD Fire HERE

The Loss of Skill HERE

Ventilation Factors You Can’t Control HERE

Church Fire Quick Points HERE

Make Sure to Check out The Front Seat Bulletin and Subscribe to the Email List HERE

NIST Fire Research- PPV for the Fire Service HERE

Thru-The-Lock (Aluminum Style Door) HERE

The Stuff you wish someone would have told you as a rookie HERE

An outstanding Discussion on Vertical Ventilation HERE

Wind Impacted House Fire HERE

Getting your own Size-up For the Roof HERE

Line of Duty Death 1-10-15

Franck W. Tremaine

Several hours after responding to a motor vehicle accident, Captain Tremaine passed away at home in his sleep from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported.

Jackson Fire Department, Jackson, California

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 58
Rank: Captain
Classification: Paid-on-Call
Incident Date: Jan 9, 2015 18:51
Date of Death: Jan 10, 2015
Cause of Death: Unknown
Nature of Death: Unknown
Activity Type: Not On Scene

To Date, 2 Firefighters Have Died in 2015

1-11-15 Run Down

Join the Panel for this Week’s Firefighting Today Roundtable at 8pm est. HERE

Fire Department Leadership Program Overview HERE

60 Second Safety- Rage HERE

Tactical Fire Problem- 2 Story Vacant HERE

Jumpseat Radio-37 HERE

Truck Company Ops- Vertical Ventilation- Steep Pitch HERE

Truck Company Ops- SBFD Roof Cam HERE

Quick Tip- Walking the Hook HERE

FF Cancer Study from CDC  HERE

Chicago’s “Ice Place” Fire HERE

Making Decisions in the Fire Service HERE

The Truth Behind NFPA 1901 HERE

Door Control HERE

Remembering FF James B. Williams- TL121 HERE

Understanding Flowpaths HERE

Fire Behavior HERE