4-30-15 Run Down

The impact of Over Sharing on SA HERE

What would you say? HERE

Mayday Drill HERE

You never know what you’ll find as such HERE

Comfort and Complacency HERE

Don’t give up- its worth the risk HERE

Tactical Thursday- Sounding the Floor HERE

Firefighter Injuries and LODD’s HERE

Tips for Climbing with tools HERE

Don’t open that nozzle U’L Kill Everyone HERE

Quick Tarp HERE

Vertical Rolling Fire Doors HERE

Boss Vs. Leader in the Eyes of the Rookie HERE

The missing Hose Adapter HERE

NIOSH LODD Report just Released of the Toledo, Ohio Incident on 1-26-14 HERE


Line of Duty Death 4-27-15

Mike Corn

While putting on gear at the station preparing to respond to a fire call, Training Officer/Firefighter Corn collapsed. Fellow responders immediately provided medical assistance but Corn succumbed to his injury, the nature and cause of which is still to be determined.

Conway Springs Fire Department, Conway Springs, Kansas

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 68
Rank: Training Officer/Firefighter
Classification: Volunteer
Incident Date: Apr 27, 2015
Date of Death: Apr 27, 2015
Cause of Death: Unknown
Nature of Death: Unknown
Activity Type: Responding

4-26-15 Run Down

Firefighter Training Podcast- Documentation- Report Writing HERE

60 Second Safety- Potential for Assault HERE

Air Management Comes Before the Call HERE

The Hoof of Fire horse No.12- DCFD HERE

Be Creative with Training Props HERE

Outside the Box- Pedal Displacement HERE

If you Like what we are doing with our site and posts, consider donating a few bucks to our training fund HERE

Thanks For Reading, 


Lessons Learned from Heavy Rescue 101

Lessons Learned from Heavy Rescue 101

 HR 101 Ethans Pictures 002

This Past Friday and Saturday I had the Pleasure of Attending HEAVY RESCUE 101, Put on by the Northern Ohio FOOLS Chapter. This event provided many lessons learned as well as reinforced many other previously know lessons in basic electricity and extrication. There is too much information in the field of vehicle extrication to list here, so please go out and do some research for yourself, because I will put money down, that every town or city has a car in it and sooner or later there will be a serious crash which you will need to think outside the box, and use some basic extrication skills.

Also below you will find a video from one of the live electricity demonstrations, again please go and do some very basic research on electricity and how it will affect you, and alter your operational plan.

These are some of the lessons I learned…

Scene Hazards presented by Mike Reesler

  • Wires have 7,620 Volts running through them
  • Let your body be your guide
  • Walk with your palms down, so your only brush the surface if you hit a wire
  • What’s up is down
  • Then Green Electrical Boxes in newer subdivisions is NO different from a transformer on a pole
  • Back-feed Kills
  • Wires DO NOT Have to be on the ground to conduct
  • DON’T Make yourself the path to ground
  • You are allowed by law to shut off generators
  • The Top Side of a meter is ALWAYS the Hot Side
  • If the Meter is hanging from the structure, DO NOT Pull it!
  • More people are killed with 110 Volts as opposed to 7620 Volts

Close Call on the Turnpike Presented by Andy Smith

  • You can never have enough cribbing
  • Learn all you can
  • Think outside the box
  • Utilize Critical Incident Stress Debriefing sessions
  • If the outcome is not what your initial objective was, It’s not always under your control. Its not always your fault

New Vehicle Technology Presented by Mike Smith

  • Batteries are put anywhere in new cars
  • Know your equipment
  • People are dying in more car crashes than fires EACH YEAR
  • Body Structures on cars are getting much more stronger
    • The B Pillar is Usually the strongest
  • If your cutter stalls never give up, let it build pressure for 15-30 seconds and try again
  • Reinforcements are everywhere
  • Let your tools do the work
  • Airbags are put everywhere and anywhere now-a-days
  • Peel and Peak before you cut to make sure there is nothing behind it
  • Expect the Unexpected
  • Beware of Knee Airbags AKA Bladder Airbags
  • The Sign “SRS AIRBAG” DOES BOT Always mean there is an airbag there
  • Be careful with Piercing tip struts
  • Beware of Fuel Cell Vehicles and LPG Cars that are on the Horizon

HOT Sessions

  • We all can learn from others
  • Think outside the box
  • EVERY CAR HAS WEBBING –Use Seatbelts as webbing— just cut it out and tie it off into a knot
  • Stabilize 3 things: The Scene, The Car, and The Patient—Most of the time in that order
  • The Goal of stabilization is to move as little as possible to get the job done.

HR 101 Ethans Pictures 012HR 101 Ethans Pictures 008

HR 101 Ethans Pictures 014HR 101 Ethans Pictures 006 HR 101 Ethans Pictures 013HR 101 Ethans Pictures 017

HR 101 Ethans Pictures 018HR 101 Ethans Pictures 020

Many More Pictures HERE

I hope you got something out of this… Keep Training and Stay safe…

Thanks For Reading,



Emanuel Fried

Emanuel Fried joined the New York City fire department in May 1936. He rose through the ranks and retired in 1958 as deputy chief of department. After serving some two years as a consultant and as chief instructor for the Mount Vernon, New York, fire training conference, he assumed the position of chief of Hinsdale (Illinois) fire department.

Chief Fried wrote numerous articles for fire service Publications and lectured for state and national organizations, including FDIC and IAFC conference. He was staff instructor for the Illinois fire college, lecturer for the New York City fire college, and had several teaching certificates including one from the New York State education Department. He conducted private schools for firemen and officers and served as consultant an investigator.

In 1947 he was awarded the Franklin Delano Roosevelt medal and department metal for honor and meritorious service at extreme personal risk.

He invented the pry-Axe forcible entry tool.

Pry Axe

Fried was widely known as the Author of the 1972 book Fireground Tactics.  If you don’t have this book, I highly suggest it. Though it’s dated, it is as relevant today as when it was written.

FG Tactics BookFried Quote

Thanks for Reading, 


Please, Pass It On!

Line of Duty Death 4-19-15

Curtis E Nordsick

Fire Police Lieutenant Nordsick responded to the scene of a homicide to assist with traffic control and scene safety. Nordsick reportedly returned to the fire station and, after complaining that he wasn’t feeling well, collapsed. Lieutenant Nordsick was immediately attended to in the fire house and then transported to Memorial Hospital where he passed away. The nature and cause of fatal injury is still to be determined.

Wrightsville Steam Engine & Hose Company #1, Wrightsville, Pennsylvania

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 71
Rank: Fire Police Lieutenant
Classification: Volunteer
Incident Date: Apr 19, 2015 17:37
Date of Death: Apr 19, 2015
Cause of Death: Unknown
Nature of Death: Unknown

Line of Duty Death 4-16-15

Andrew “Andy” Zalme

On the evening of Thursday, April 16, 2015, Dakota City Fire and Rescue responded to a vehicle fire on Highway 35. As fire crews were preparing to leave the scene, Captain Zalme collapsed. Despite numerous attempts, fellow responders were unable to revive Zalme and he passed away at the scene. A nature and cause of fatal injury has yet to be determined.

Dakota City Fire Department, Dakota City, Nebraska

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 42
Rank: Captain
Classification: Volunteer
Incident Date: Apr 16, 2015
Date of Death: Apr 16, 2015
Cause of Death: Unknown
Nature of Death: Unknown

My Lessons Learned from a Recent Seminar

This Past Saturday i had the chance to Attend a Seminar in Erie, Pa presented by Billy Goldfeder. The Title of the class was “Firefighters Death & Injury 2015 Survival Program“, He touched on many recent events, as well as past events that have shaped the American Fire Service. Below are some of the lessons i picked up, that i though would be beneficial to the masses. Please Pass It On!

  • Chiefs Must see the big picture
  • The Chief’s Must Stay off the “Field”
  • Look at the Warning Signs—Look at Conditions
  • Ask—What’s The Best thing I can do to the present Conditions, with the resources I have
  • Sometimes we must take risks
  • Stupid Vs. Intelligent Decisions
  • Have a Tactical Reserve
  • What’s Best for People having the emergency?
  • Fill the “Tactical” Bench
  • The Fire Problem Doesn’t go away with a mayday
  • Most LODD’s are Preventable
  • Understand what’s expected of us
  • IC’s Must stay on the sideline and run the call
  • If your fire is still growing 20 minutes into the incident, something is wrong
  • Our Goal is to help people with their problem, without becoming part of the problem
  • Everyday is a training day
  • Train with your mutual aid departments
  • Have a ZERO Tolerance Attitude for Breathing Smoke
  • Don’t Loose Focus on the Mission
  • Take Classes, Go to Calls, and Train Constantly
  • DO NOT BE afraid to call the SECOND ALARM
  • Set up our apparatus for quick water
  • Always Remember, The Fire has been burning, BEFORE you got the call
  • Forcible Entry IS Ventilation
  • If you are out of air, it is a MAYDAY Situation
  • The IC’s Jon is to see the big picture
  • EVERYTHING is plastic in the 2015 Dwelling
  • Have enough people to solve the problem
  • Be careful of that “Feel Good” Feeling
  • If you have a problem- TELL COMMAND
  • Don’t Randomly take out windows
  • Have the Resources to do multiple tasks

Thanks For Reading, 


Weekly Fire Service Icon Review- James Braidwood

James Braidwood



James Braidwood, One of the most influential and progressive-thinking fire officers in modern history, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on Sept. 3, 1800. Braidwood, trained as a cabinet-maker and builder before moving into fire-fighting, was the founder of the world’s first municipal fire service in 1824, and was the first director of what was to become the London Fire Brigade. His training as a surveyor gave him exceptional knowledge of the behavior of building materials and housing conditions in the Old Town of Edinburgh. He recruited to the service expert tradesmen – slaters, carpenters, masons and plumbers – who could apply their various fields of expertise. He also recruited experienced mariners for an occupation that required heavy manual work in hauling engines and trundling wheeled escape ladders up and down Edinburgh’s steep streets, as well as nimble footwork when negotiating rooftops and moving through partially destroyed buildings. His many original ideas of practical organization and methodology, published in 1830, were adopted throughout Britain. He was, however, resistant to the introduction of steam-driven engines. In 1833 he left Edinburgh to lead the London Fire Engine Establishment.

1397320037_80.177.117.97 He was the first to promote entering burning buildings to fight the seat of a fire. He trained his men at night to get them used to dark conditions and instructed them to carry rope to escape from burning buildings, practicing their climbing skills on Edinburgh’s North Bridge.

James Braidwood

Braidwood became the first Superintendent of the new London Fire Brigade in 1833, with a team of 80 full-time fire-fighters at 13 stations. In this capacity, he carried out fire prevention surveys. Braidwood’s wrote a manual on fire-fighting which includes many basic principles which are still quoted during fire training today.


He also invented one of the first forms of breathing apparatus to be used by firemen. He put two canvas bags together lined with rubber. The airtight sac was worn on the firefighter’s back and secured with shoulder straps and a waist belt. Two rubber hoses connected to a mouthpiece allowed the wearer to inhale fresh air. Different size sacs were filled with air by a set of bellows and sealed with corks until needed. Firefighters also wore goggles, a leather hood, a nose clamp, and a whistle to complete Braidwood’s invention. To supply air and protect the firefighter from smoke, a tube was connected to an air pump attached to the engine outside the fire building. A stout leather dress and hood were worn to protect the wearer from heat and flames. Thickly glazed eye holes were provided in the hood. To furnish light a powerful reflecting lantern was worn on the chest. A shrill whistle was attached to the hood for emergency communications.

Braidwood tested his invention under severe conditions during experimental fires in the vaults of the Fire Brigade Headquarters in Wattling Street. The system was used to rescue three small children from a burning house on Fetter Lane. Numerous men and women were also reportedly saved at other fires by men so equipped.


On June 22 1861 his life was claimed in the Tooley Street fire at Cotton’s Wharf near London when a falling wall crushed him to death, three hours after the fire began. It took two days to recover his body and his heroism led to a massive funeral on June 29 where his funeral stretched one and a half miles behind the hearse, a public spectacle equal almost to the Tooley Street fire itself. The fire, which continued to burn for a fortnight, caused £2,000,000 worth of damage. A London fireboat was named in his honor in the 1930s.

Braidwood is buried at Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, London, within sight of the Stoke Newington Fire Station.


There is Currently a Statue of Braidwood in Edinburgh, which was unveiled in 2008.


Note: We would like to acknowledge that much of the information was taken from multiple sources in the form of books, articles, and pictures. HEREHERE, HEREHERE, and HERE is where Information was taken.

Also Note: For a Very Detailed Account and Story of James Braidwood Please Refer to April’s Firehouse Magazine, or The Article is HERE

Thanks for Reading, 


Please, Pass It On!

4-16 Remembering Texas City & Kyle Wilson

There are 2 significant events to remember today (4/16).

The first is Texas City, Texas Disaster- 4-16-1947

“”The morning of 16 April 1947 dawned clear and crisp, cooled by a brisk north wind. Just before 8:00 A.M., longshoremen removed the hatch covers on Hold 4 of the French Liberty ship Grandcamp as they prepared to load the remainder of a consignment of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. Some 2,300 tons were already onboard, 880 of which were in the lower part of Hold 4. The remainder of the ship’s cargo consisted of large balls of sisal twine, peanuts, drilling equipment, tobacco, cotton, and a few cases of small ammunition. No special safety precautions were in focus at the time. Several longshoremen descended into the hold and waited for the first pallets holding the 100-pound packages to be hoisted from dockside. Soon thereafter, someone smelled smoke. A plume was observed rising between the cargo holds and the ships hull, apparently about seven or eight layers of sacks down. Neither a gallon jug of drinking water nor the contents of two fire extinguishers supplied by crew members seemed to do much good. As the fire continued to grow, someone lowered a fire hose, but the water was not turned on. Since the area was filling fast with smoke, the longshoremen were ordered out of the hold. While Leonard Boswell, the gang foreman, and Peter Suderman, superintendent of stevedores, discussed what action to take, the master, or captain, of the Grandcamp appeared and stated in intelligible English that he did not want to put out the fire with water because it would ruin the cargo. Instead, he elected to suppress the flames by having the hatches battened and covered with tarpaulins, the ventilators closed, and the steam system turned on. At the masters request, stevedores started removing cases of small arms ammunition from Hold 5 as a precautionary measure. As the fire grew, the increased heat forced the stevedores and some crew members to leave the ship. The Grandcamp’s whistle sounded an alarm that was quickly echoed by the siren of the Texas City Terminal Railway Company. despite a strike by the telephone workers, Suderman, seriously concerned by now, managed to reach the Fire Department and then called Galveston for a fire boat.

It was now about 8:30. At this point, growing pressure from the compressed steam fed into Hold 4 blew off the hatch covers, and a thick column of orange smoke billowed into the morning sky. Attracted by its unusual color and the sirens, several hundred onlookers began gathering a few hundred feet away at the head of the ship. Twenty-six men and the four trucks of the Volunteer Fire Department, followed by the Republic Oil Refining Company fire-fighting team, arrived on the scene and set up their hoses. A photograph taken at approximately 8:45 shows at least one stream playing on the deck of theGrandcamp, which was apparently hot enough to vaporize the water.

Around 9:00, flames erupted from the open hatch, with smoke variously described as “a pretty gold, yellow color” or as “orange smoke in the morning sunlight…beautiful to see.” Twelve minutes later, the Grandcamp disintegrated in a prodigious explosion heard as far as 150 miles distant. A huge mushroom like cloud billowed more than 2,ooo feet into the morning air, the shockwave knocking two light planes flying overhead out of the sky. A thick curtain of steel shards scythed through workers along the docks and a crowd of curious onlookers who had gathered at the head of the slip at which the ship was moored. Blast over pressure and heat disintegrated the bodies of the firefighters and ship’s crew still on board. At the Monsanto plant, located across the slip, 145 of 450 shift workers perished. A fifteen-foot wave of water thrust from the slip by the force of the blast swept a large steel barge ashore and carried dead and injured persons back into the turning basin as it receded. Fragments of the Grandcamp, some weighing several tons, showered down throughout the port and town for several minutes, extending the range of casualties and property damage well into the business district, about a mile away. Falling shrapnel bombarded buildings and oil storage tanks at nearbyrefineries, ripping open pipes and tanks of flammable liquids and starting numerous fires. After the shrapnel, flaming balls of sisal and cotton from the ships cargo fell out of the sky, adding to the growing conflagration.

The sheer power of the explosion and the towering cloud of black smoke billowing into the sky told everyone within twenty miles that something terrible had happened. People on the street in Galveston were thrown to the pavement, and glass store fronts shattered. Buildings swayed in Baytown fifteen miles to the north. The towering smoke column served as a grim beacon for motorists driving along the Houston-Galveston highway, some of whom immediately turned toward Texas City to help. In Texas City itself, stunned townspeople who started toward the docks soon encountered wounded persons staggering out of the swirling vortex of smoke and flame, most covered with a thick coat of black, oily water. many agonizing hours were to pass before a semblance of order began to replace the shock and confusion caused by this totally unexpected and devastating event.

As the surge of injured quickly overwhelmed the towns three small medical clinics, the city auditorium was pressed into service as a makeshift first-aid center. Within an hour doctors, nurses, and ambulances began arriving unsummoned from Galveston and nearby military bases. Serious casualties were taken to Galveston hospitals and later to military bases and even to Houston, fifty miles away. State troopers and law enforcement officers from nearby communities helped Texas City’s seventeen-man police force maintain order and assisted in search and rescue.

The horror was not over yet. As help poured into Texas City, no one gave much thought to another Liberty ship tied up in the adjoining slip. The High Flyer was loaded with sulfur as well as a thousand tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. The force of the Grandcamp’sexplosion had torn the High Flyer from its moorings and caused it to drift across the slip, where it lodged against another vessel, the Wilson B. Keene. The High Flyer was severely damaged, but many of its crew members, although injured, remained on board for about an hour until the thick, oily smoke and sulfur fumes drifting across the waterfront forced the master to abandon ship. Much later in the afternoon, two men looking for casualties boarded the High Flyer and noticed flames coming from one of the holds. Although they reported this to someone at the waterfront, several more hours passed before anyone understood the significance of this situation, and not until 11:00 P.M. did tugs manned by volunteers arrive from Galveston to pull the burning ship away from the docks. Even though a boarding party cut the anchor chain, the tugs were unable to extract the ship from the slip. By 1:00 A.M. on 17th April, flames were shooting out of the hold. The tugs retrieved the boarders, severed tow lines, and moved quickly out of the slip. Ten minutes later, theHigh Flyer exploded in a blast witnesses thought even more powerful than that of theGrandcamp. Although casualties were light

because rescue personnel had evacuated the dock area, the blast compounded already severe property damage. In what witnesses described as something resembling a fireworks display, incandescent chunks of steel which had been the ship arched high into the night sky and fell over a wide radius, starting numerous fires. Crude oil tanks burst into flames, and a chain reaction spread fires to other structures previously spared damage. When dawn arrived, large columns of thick, black smoke were visible thirty miles away. These clouds hovered over Texas City for days until the fires gradually burned out or were extinguished by weary fire-fighting crews.

The Grandcamp’s explosion triggered the worst industrial disaster, resulting in the largest number of casualties, in American history. Such was the intensity of the blasts and the ensuing confusion that no one was able to establish precisely the number of dead and injured. Ultimately, the Red Cross and the Texas Department of Public Safety counted 405 identified and 63 unidentified dead. Another 100 persons were classified as “believed missing” because no trace of their remains was ever found. Estimates of the injured are even less precise but appear to have been on the order of 3,500 persons. Although not all casualties were residents of Texas City, the total was equivalent to a staggering 25 percent of the towns estimated population of 16,000. Aggregate property loss amounted to almost $100 million, or more than $700 million in todays monetary value. Even so, this figure may be to low, because this estimate does not include 1.5 million barrels of petroleum products consumed in flames, valued at approximately $500 million in 1947 terms. Refinery infrastructure and pipelines, including about fifty oil storage tanks, incurred extensive damage or total destruction. The devastated Monsanto plant alone represented about $ 20 million of the total. Even though the port’s break-bulk cargo-handling operations never resumed, Monsanto was rebuilt in little more than a year, and the petrochemical industry recovered quickly. One-third of the town’s 1,519 houses were condemned, leaving 2,000 persons homeless and exacerbating an already-serious postwar housing shortage. Over the next six months, displaced victims returned as houses were repaired or replaced, and most of those who suffered severe trauma appear to have recovered relatively quickly. What could never be made good was the grief and bleak future confronting more than 800 grieving widows, children, and dependent parents.””

There were 29 Firefighter LODDs, and their Lessons learned are as important today as they were in 1947.

Fire Chief Henry J. Baumgartner
Assistant Chief Joseph Milton Braddy
Captain Sebastian B. Nunez
Captain William Carl Johnson
Lieutenant Marshall B. Stafford
Lieutenant William D. Pentycuff
Private Zolan Davis
Private William C. O’Sullivan
Private Roy Louis Durio
Private Marcel Pentycuff
Private Archie Boyce Emsoff
Private Harvey Alonzo Menge
Private Henry John Findeisen
Private Jimmy Reddicks
Private Virgil D. Fereday
Private Robert Dee Smith
Private Edward Henry Henricksen
Private Joel Clifton Stafford
Private William Fred Hughes
Private Maurice R. Neely
Private Lloyd George Cain
Private Marion D. Westmoreland
Private Frank P. Jolly
Private Clarence J. Wood
Private William Louis Kaiser
Private Clarence Rome Vestal
Private Jacob Otto Meadows

Much more info HERE, HERE, HERE


The 2nd Significant Incident was in Prince William County, VA 4-16-2007, That took the Life Kyle Wilson.


There are too many Lessons Learned to List here, PLEASE go and do your own information and Research and FIND, KNOW, AND APPLY THE LESSONS LEARNED.

“”Wilson was fatally injured while trapped in the master bedroom during a wind-driven residential structure fire. His death was caused by thermal and inhalation injuries.””

4-16-2011-10-33-29-AM 4-16-2011-10-33-51-AM


Report HERE

Please Read and Heed the Lessons Learned from both of these incidents, they are 2 very important case study’s.



Line of Duty Death 4-15-15

Raymond Araujo

Inmate Firefighter Araujo suffered a heart attack while engaged in a training exercise on the Morongo Indian Reservation near Banning, California. Araujo succumbed to his injury after being airlifted to a base camp where he was treated by CAL FIRE and Riverside County Fire Department medics.

CAL FIRE, Sacramento, California

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 37
Rank: Inmate Firefighter
Classification: Wildland Part-Time
Incident Date: Apr 13, 2015
Date of Death: Apr 13, 2015
Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of Death: Heart Attack

Line of Duty Death 4-12-15

Steven Ackerman

Firefighter Ackerman died from injuries sustained while working interior fire operations at the scene of a residential structure fire. Ackerman was found in the basement of the home after fire crews were ordered out of the structure due to fire conditions. The 47-year-old homeowner, Mr. David Smith, had been rescued by fire crews and transported to the hospital soon after they arrived on-scene but did not survive his injuries. Investigation into the fatal incident continues by local and state authorities.

Valley Springs Fire & Rescue, Valley Springs, South Dakota

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 38
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Volunteer
Incident Date: Apr 12, 2015 22:08
Date of Death: Apr 12, 2015
Cause of Death: Unknown
Nature of Death: Unknown

Weekly Fire Service Icon Review- Ray Downey



Ray Downey began his fire serviced career in 1962, after serving with the United States Marine Corps, following in the footsteps of his 2 older brothers. Chief Downey’s phenomenal 39-year career with the FDNY was built upon success after success and rescue after rescue.

After finishing probationary firefighter’s school, he was assigned to Ladder Company 35 in Lincoln Center area of New York City’s West Side. Looking for more action, he transfer to Ladder 4, “The Pride of Midtown,” and worked in Times Square before moving on to his next assignment as a firefighter in Rescue Company 2 in Brooklyn.


In 1972 he was promoted to lieutenant and assigned to Harlem. After a few months covering in various firehouses, he was assigned to Engine 58 the “Fire Factory”. For the next 5 years, he worked in Engine Company 58 and transferred across the floor to Ladder Company 26 for 2 years.

In July 1977 he was promoted to captain and reassigned to Brooklyn. He was detailed to the Division of Training. He than was selected by the fire commissioner to form and organize Squad Company 1, a fully equipped engine company that carried a full complement of Ladder Company tools. The Assignment included responding to all working fires in selected areas of Brooklyn.


Chief Downey was then put in charge of Special Operations Command, a team of specialists who aid regular firefighters with unique or highly critical situations, which include Hazardous Materials, Marine Units, Rescue Companies Squads. Downey was also promoted to Deputy Chief at the time.


In April 1995, Chief Downey spent 16 days at the ruins of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, serving as operations chief for the Urban Search and Rescue teams, which worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He was involved in the evacuation of thousands of workers in the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center.

Chief Downey was also a member of a national advisory commission on domestic response to terrorism.


Additionally, Chief Downey was a task force leader for the New York City Urban Search and Rescue Team as well as the National Disasters Team. He was also a team leader in response to Hurricanes Hugo, Andres, Fran, Marilyn and Opal, Chief of Rescue Operations at the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, all of which contributed to his being called “a charismatic national legend in rescue circles” and he was credited with creating the modern search-and-rescue system adopted by FEMA and fire departments worldwide while pioneering a national network of eight search and rescue teams under FEMA.


One of the most – if not the most decorated men in the Department, Chief Downey received five individual medals for valor and 16 unit citations.

Additionally, he was awarded the Administration Medal in 1995 for his efforts on the Bunker Gear Program and interim quartermaster system.

All of this led to Downey commanding rescue operations at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, where he was ultimately killed when the North Tower Collapsed.

It would take eight months after 9/11 for his remains to be identified through DNA testing before Chief Downey was then laid to rest on May 20, 2002.

Of the 343 firefighters lost on 9/11, Special Operations Command lost a total of 95 men with 1,600 years of experience that day.

Ray Downey’s life and career are commemorated each year with The Ray Downey Courage & Valor Award, which is presented to an extraordinarily courageous American firefighter at FDIC in Indianapolis.PW-Courage-Valor-RayDowney1

Chief Ray Downey’s Fire Department accomplishments are legendary and monumental. Here are just some:

  • He pioneered techniques for urban rescue and responding to terrorist attacks.
  • Panel member of the presidential committee on terrorism known as the “Gilmore Commission,” which has been assessing domestic response capabilities for terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction
  • Task force leader for the New York City Urban Search and Rescue Team, which responds to disasters both around the country and within New York State
  • His team was recently selected by F.E.M.A. to be trained for weapons of mass destruction and will be on standby for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City
  • Recipient of the “Crystal Apple Award” issued by Mayor Giuliani on July 23, 2001
  • National Wrestling Hall of Fame (Medal of Courage, awarded in June, 2002)
  • Author of the book The Rescue Company and a series of videos on collapse operationsdowney ray snapshot

Ray’s Book The Rescue Company offers guidelines and recommendations on how to start a rescue company, the equipment needed, and the operational planning that is necessary for company development. It also discusses Elevator Emergencies, Air Bag Use, Confined Space Rescues, Vehicle accidents and, Rope rescues. I highly recommended the book, even if you don’t have a rescue company. There are also many drills within the book that you can take back whether you are a big department or not.

the rescue company jpeg

Downey also created a DVD to go along with the book that addresses Building Construction, Collapse Causes and Types, and the Strategic Considerations of Structural Collapse. Again, I highly recommend it to go with the book.


The Book can be purchased HERE, and the DVD HERE.

Note: We would like to acknowledge that much of the information was taken from multiple sources in the form of books, articles, and pictures. HEREHEREHERE, and HERE is where Information was taken.

Thanks for Reading, 


Line of Duty Death 4-2-15

John J Doster

Fire Police Captain Doster complained of not feeling well while on the scene of a two-alarm warehouse fire in Hulmeville Borough, Pennsylvania. Doster was directing traffic on a bitterly cold evening with much of the main street of the borough closed for fire operations. Shortly thereafter, Doster departed for home. Within a few hours, Doster’s condition worsened and he was transported to the hospital for treatment. Subsequently, on April 2, 2015, Fire Police Captain Doster passed away at St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Edgely Fire Company #1, Inc.,  Levittown, Pennsylvania

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 95 
Rank: Fire Police Captain
Classification: Volunteer
Incident Date: Feb 25, 2015 19:55
Date of Death: Apr 2, 2015
Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of Death: Other
Activity Type: Scene Safety
Emergency Duty: Yes
Duty Type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed Property Use: Store/Office

To Date, 23 Firefighters have died in the Line of Duty in 2015

4-6-15 Run Down

Where does Pride Grow? HERE

Chimney Fire HERE

Leadership Language- Values HERE

Preplan “Hoseline” Rope HERE

The 5 Failures of Command HERE

Horseplay HERE

Fire Service Lessons HERE

Inboard VS. Outboard Saws HERE

Spring has Sprung HERE

Marina and Vessel Fires HERE

Duct System Fires Pose Real Challenges HERE

Random Thoughts HERE

A Great Fireman HERE

Modern Fire Attack Downloads HERE

The Goals of the Initial RIT HERE

Lloyd Layman Books and Articles HERE

Extrication Quick Tip 30 HERE

Aggressive Truck Functions for A Safer Fireground HERE

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“An Easter Present”

***NOTE: This originally appeared on the Fire Training Instructors Facebook Page, Posted by Derek Long and All Credit belongs to him.

I am Re posting it here because it is truly something i believe in and having practiced it my self find it very useful. The Original Post can be Found HERE

“An Easter Present:
Maybe, well, hopefully I’m behind the 8 Ball on this one. I’m posting this, not as a “look at me!!!!” post (I’m not in it anyway), but more to raise awareness. Like I said, hopefully I’m saying something people already know and do. But I’ve been a fireman long enough that I know better. A lot of people were posting this a few weeks back and to be honest, I refused to watch if because I thought it was stupid and wacker. Then I broke down and watched it. I had my eyes immediately opened. It raised a few questions in my own mind. How DO you do CPR to someone in gear and a pack? WITHOUT INTERRUPTION? I’ve been a paramedic long enough, too long really, to know that CPR hardly ever works. Usually because we don’t do it effectively. (Among a ton of other reasons.) And I really started thinking…..Heart attacks are a LEADING CAUSE OF LODD EVERY YEAR. FACT. It occurred to me that during RIT Training we practice all these cool drills, dragging people through sewer pipe and gauntlets of wire and furniture. And we smash stuff and lift people with hose and rope. But, what about when we get them out???? The fact of the matter is that if one of our people is, God forbid, in cardiac arrest, we have to perform IMMEDIATE, UNINTERRUPTED CPR or else we’re giving them no chance at survival. That’s a fact. I could get in to all the CPR stuff about interrupting compressions and how it decreases preload and pressure in the heart and how long it takes to build that pressure back up…but I wont. I’ll just say….YOU CAN’T STOP. It has to be done right. And we need to learn how to do that. People, please watch the youtube link. Please share it. Please get the word out. I honestly believe 2 of the most important things I’ll ever see in the fire service in my career came out in the last few years. The NIST/UL study and this. This needs added to EVERY RIT CLASS. And we need to practice this in our own departments. Practice it, master it, and pass it on. If we can’t save our own, then what’s the point?”- Derek Long

If you have not trained with this technique, please do, it is extremely useful.

Thanks for Reading 


Weekly Fire Service Icon Review- Edward Croker

Edward Franklin Croker


Edward Franklin Croker Was Born June 18, 1863 in New York City and Appointed to the FDNY on June 22, 1884 at the age of 21, he shocked everyone with his promotion to Assistant Foreman (now called Lieutenant) just 47 days later and with equal speed to Foreman (today’s Captain) on February 25, 1885. This rapid advancement was said to have been for one reason only; that he was the nephew of the most powerful political figure in New York City at the time, Richard Croker, head of Tammany Hall (who served as a fire commissioner 1883-1887.) The fact was that over the next 27 years, Chief Croker proved himself, time and time again, to be an outstanding firefighter and leader.


On January 22, 1892 he became a Battalion Chief, and was named Chief of Department on May 1, 1899, he went on to fulfill his role with extreme diligence. He was the first Chief of Department who did not serve during the volunteer period. He was also the first Chief to use an automobile to respond to alarms.

In 1902, Chief Croker returned to work only several days into a 2 month vacation. A vacation of such length was unusual but deemed justified for the hard-working Chief. In granting it, Commissioner Thomas Sturgis re-assigned other chiefs within the Department to cover Croker’s absence. But when Croker returned to work less than 2 weeks later and sent the chiefs back to the original assignments, the Commissioner saw it as an overstepping of bounds and a rescinding of the orders of a higher authority. Sturgis relieved Croker of command and preferred formal charges. A 2-year court battle ensued with a final decision in Croker’s favor resulting in his re-instatement.


The horror of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire caused him to fight for life-saving measures in fire prevention and safety. Chief Croker carefully studied the Asch building to determine the cause of fire and to make a case for changing the law.

In his book, Fire Prevention, he used photographs to show the results of fire in non-fireproof buildings. Croker stated that the simplest way to prevent fire death is the simple drill. Knowing the location of exits and the use of clear signs and directions (which seem obvious today) were radical ideas at the beginning of the 20th century. In a city filled with immigrants without a common language, the giving and following of directions was not a simple task. For this reason, Croker proposed that, “…all instructions for fire drills should be printed in the language of the majority of the workers in a given shop; in two or three languages if necessary, in addition to English.” He recommended training a manager to take charge, and teaching workers how to behave in a calm and orderly fashion in the event of a potentially dangerous situation.


Chief Croker suggested alternatives for constructing fireproof buildings, such as eliminating all wood and using metal, terra cotta, or concrete, and for establishing adequate exit routes. His ideas were the foundation of the Fire Prevention Law of 1911, a direct result of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory tragedy. The law was amended the following year to increase power of the Fire Commissioner to enforce fire drills in factories, businesses, hospitals, schools, and other institutions.

After the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911, Chief Croker testified before the New York State Factory Investigating Commission (established to determine fault for the deaths of 146 people). The following statement illustrates the fact that he found immediate enforcement of the law critical and would not tolerate its negligence by business owners: “I have found that the owner with any intelligence is more than ready to bear this trifling expense in loss of workers’ time, once he has been shown the inestimable advantage to himself, from the practical as well as the humanitarian point of view, which the drill will inevitably bring.”


Croker epitomized effective leadership of the fire service; that is to put their expertise to use in fire prevention. He was an outspoken advocate of improving fire safety throughout the City’s commercial and residential buildings. As early as 1894 he testified before the Tenement House Committee that a fatal fire was due, in part, to “the combustible nature of the building and its open construction.” The culmination of this was when he used the fatal sweatshop fire in Newark, New Jersey to once again call attention to the threat of such a catastrophe being repeated in New York. Just four months later it did at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. As a result, he retired and turned over command of the Department on May 1 to Chief John Kenlon. Croker spent the next forty years in the fire prevention business. His company was a leader in the field and exists to today. In 1912 he authored the seminal book, “Fire Prevention.”

A man who dedicated his every ounce of energy to increase his knowledge of the fire service, Chief Croker would describe his infectious passion by saying, “It may seem strange to say that a man will grow to love a business that constantly places him in danger of being killed or crippled for life, which entails disagreeable work, and which keeps him on duty day and night, but the true fireman literally comes to love his profession. He likes to fight fires, and he will fight to keep on fighting.”

Croker retired from the department in 1911, but went on to be an advocate of Fire Prevention.

There are few in the history of the American fire service who have represented more fully what it means to be a firefighter than Chief Edward Croker. But if a man so impassioned by the task of firefighting would step back and look at his years served and say, “There’s a better way,” isn’t it time we do the same?


Chief Croker may indeed have achieved his greatest ambition the day he became a firefighter, and his words about the task of firefighting will always be remembered. But it’s my hope that over time, we remember him most for a very different quote: “There is no case where the old adage, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ is as true as with fire. We have been stingy with our ounces, and it is costing us dear in pounds.”

His career was both colorful and tumultuous. In 1914 he built a “completely fire-proof” house in Long Beach, said to be the first of its kind in the country. The house warming party he held there was covered in the New York Times.

Chief Croker died on February 7, 1951 of “chronic myocarditis at Tenderling”. His body was cremated and his remains were turned over to his estranged wife. Their final disposition of are unknown.

As a Side Note, Chief Croker’s maternal grandfather was Thomas Franklin who was a member of the NYFD beginning in 1783, serving as Chief from 1811 through 1824.

Some of Chief Croker’s Famous Quotes Follow:

  • “Firemen are going to get killed. When they join the department they face that fact. When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work. They were not thinking of getting killed when they went where death lurked. They went there to put the fire out, and got killed. Firefighters do not regard themselves as heroes because they do what the business requires.”

— Chief Edward F. Croker, FDNY, speaking upon the death of a deputy chief and four firefighters in February of 1908

  • When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished.  What he does after that is all in the line of work.  ~Edward F. Croker
  • “I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman.  The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling.
    We strive to preserve from destruction the wealth of the world, which is the product of the industry of men, necessary for the comfort of both the rich and the poor.  We are the defenders from fire of the art which has beautified the world, the product of the genius of men and the means or the refinement of mankind.
    But above all, our proudest endeavor is to save the lives of men – the work of God Himself.
    Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even at the supreme sacrifice.  Such considerations may not strike the average mind, but they are sufficient to fill the limit of our ambition in life and to make us serve the general purpose of human society.”


Note: We would like to acknowledge that much of the information was taken from multiple sources in the form of books, articles, and pictures. HEREHEREHERE, and HERE is where Information was taken.

Thanks for Reading,