9-29-15 Run Down

Vertical Ventilation: Should It Still be a Primary Tactical Assignment? HERE

Mission Critical… HERE

Ladder Company Positioning Drill HERE

How to Use YOUTUBE Videos for Training HERE

60 Second Safety- Molten Fires HERE

So You Want to be a Fireman? HERE

2 Great upcoming Webcasts to take Note of: On 10/8 Main Street Fires HERE and 11/4 a Webcast about NFPA 1720 HERE

Water Behavior HERE


9-29-15 Journal Entry- Fire Attack Techniques

Fire Attack Techniques

  • If the smoke is not banked down to the floor, a quick glance at floor level before opening the nozzle can give the nozzle firefighter and officer an indication of the floor layout.
  • The line must be bled before the fire attack begins.
  • NEVER enter the fire area with an uncharged hoseline.
  • All members should operate on the same side of the line.
  • Once the line is advancing, keep moving toward the seat of the fire.
  • Let the reach and penetrating power of the stream do the work, especially in large area buildings or when several rooms are involved in fire.
  • The stream should be operated “out front and overhead”. The water should be deflected off the ceiling and upper walls. The nozzle firefighter should hold the nozzle at arms length to allow for maneuverability and change of nozzle direction
  • As the fire darkens down, the angle of the stream may be lowered to directly cool burning solid fuel material.
  • Do not crowd the nozzle.
  • As the advance is made, listen for crackling of fire, look for a glow of fire in the smoke, feel for heat.
  • Listen to the sound of the stream as you sweep the nozzle across a room or area. The sound of the water striking a wall or partition will change if an opening such as a door or window is encountered.
  • Once the fire appears to be knocked down consider shutting down the nozzle to let the smoke and steam lift. Be prepared to reopen the nozzle at any moment.
  • Even with the use of bunker gear, the floor should be swept with the stream as you advance to cool any burning material and prevent knee and leg burns. This action will also sweep broken glass, hypodermic needles and other debris from the path of the advancing nozzle team.


Mayday Monday- Mark Langvardt


MAYDAY MONDAY…Today we remember Mark Langvardt of the Denver, Colorado Fire Department. Anyone who has done any Mayday training knows the story of Mark. Here is a summary. On September 28, 1992, Mark responded with Truck 16. They found fire in several locations of a 2-story commercial printing business. During the search of the 2nd floor, Mark became separated from his partner and could not exit via the interior stairs. The Incident Commander saw a light shining out a window on the 2nd floor and sent a crew to go check on it. The crew found FF Langvardt unable to rescue himself in a very tight space with a high window sill. Crews repeatedly attempted to rescue Mark through the window. The rescue went on for almost an hour when finally a second plan of removal was tried. After 55 minutes, FF Langvardt was removed and transported to the hospital. He died from CO poisoning. Denver FD was devastated. Some of the lessons learned:

• Have a stand-by fresh rescue team. RIT’s were born.
• The stand-by team should develop several rescue plans.
• Removal techniques in confined spaces.
• Bring an air supply for member in trouble.

Now, it is time to practice the Denver Drill. Ready, go!!

Courtsey: DCFD

9-28-15 Journal Entry- Other Hoseline Placement Guidelines

Other Hoseline Placement Guidelines

  • Hoselines shall not be operated in opposition to each other.
  • Permission must be obtained by the IC before exterior hoselines are directed into a fire building.
  • Immediate notification must be given to the IC when a situation is discovered that requires the positioning of an additional hoseline.
  • When a hoseline is determined to be operating ineffectively, the IC must be notified.
  • Unless the presence of a confirmed life hazard requires the immediate stretching of a second line, the second engine shall augment and assist the first engine.
  • The type of stretch, size of hose, and number of lengths will depend on many factors:
    1. Location and severity of fire.
    2. Type of building or outside fire involved.
    3. Source of water.
    4. Type of hose loading on apparatus.
  • To minimize the number of lengths required and provide for rapid hoseline positioning, consideration must be given to the use of:
    1. Well-hole stretch.
    2. Fire escape stretch.
    3. Utility rope stretch via exterior of building.
    4. Utility rope stretch via interior stair shaft windows.
    5. In-line pumping.
    6. Standpipe stretch with folded hose.

9-27-15 Journal Entry- Stretching and operating Hoselines

Stretching and operating Hoselines

  • More lives are saved at fire operations by the proper positioning and operating of hoselines than by all other life saving techniques available to the firefighting forces.
  • The majority of structural fires are controlled and extinguished by this initial line.
  • The first line is placed between the fire and any persons endangered by it. This is accomplished by stretching the hoseline via the primary means of egress, usually the main stairway. This tactic:
    • Provides a base for confining and controlling the fire.
    • Allows occupants to evacuate via the stairs.
    • Allows members to proceed above the fire for search.
  • If it is determined there is no life hazard in the building, the first line is positioned between the fire and the most severe exposure.
  • When using streams to protect exposed buildings, the water should be applied onto the building’s surface for best results.

Second Hoseline

Unless otherwise ordered, the second line is placed to back up the first line. This tactic is used for the following reasons:

  • To provide a back-up to the first hoseline in case of a burst length in the first hoseline.
  • To provide a second line to be used simultaneously with the first hoseline if fire conditions warrant.
  • If the second line is not needed on the fire floor, it can be advanced to the floor above. The second line stretched must consist of sufficient hose to cover the floor above.

Third Hoseline

Depending on the occupancy and the fire conditions, a third hoseline may be required. Unless otherwise ordered, this line may be stretched to:

  • Cover a secondary means of egress.
  • Protect persons trapped on fire escapes above the fire.
  • Adjoining building to protect exposures or operate across shafts.
  • Prevent vertical extension.

9-26-15 Run Down

Understaffed RIT- Arrival and Initial Actions HERE

I am My Brothers Keeper HERE

Top 10 Qualities of a Great Fire Officer HERE

HUD Windows and Learning from Past Fires HERE

Back to Basics: Nozzle Placement HERE

Finding the Fire HERE

The Biggest Challenge Facing Today’s Fire Service HERE

12 Ways to get uncomfortable with your training HERE

SLICERS & Flowpath and Change HERE

Vertical Ventilation: Should It Still Be a Tactical Assignment? HERE

Accountability is More than tags HERE

Tactical Fire Problem- Hospital Operating Room HERE

Leadership Language- Initiative HERE

Thanks for Reading, Also look for a Lessons Learned Post from this Past Week’s Ohio Fire Expo, in the next couple weeks.

Ethan Bansek

9-26-15 Journal Entry- Engine Company Personnel Assignments Part 5

Engine Company Personnel Assignments Part 5

There are several situations which could result in the advance of the attack hoseline being halted or slowed:

Situation #1 – Fire will not Darken Down or Cool Down

An engine company is making good progress advancing through a fire area and is suddenly stopped or slowed by fire that will not cool down or darken down.

Possible causes for this situation are:

  • The stream is not adequately penetrating into the fire area.
  • The stream may be inadequate for the size/intensity of the fire.
  • A heavy body of fire may exist in another area which the stream is incapable of reaching.

Possible solutions:

  • The stream direction may need to be adjusted to enter the room more completely or an advance of a few more feet may be necessary to open another avenue or direction of attack.
  • The gallons per minute (GPM) flow may be insufficient due to friction loss, low pump pressure or kinks in the line. A handie-talkie message to “increase pressure” or “get the kinks” may result in an increased flow and faster knock down of the fire.
  • If fire exists in an area which is incapable of being reached by this hoseline such as the floor below or an adjoining area, this attack line must make a stand at this point and hold the fire until a back up line can be stretched. The second hoseline can be stretched to the other area involved or can be advanced together with the first attack hoseline to press the attack into the fire.

Situation #2 – Fire has Darkened Down But Will Not Cool Down

Possible causes for this situation are:

  • The material and furnishings in the fire area have not been completely extinguished.
  • Fire has extended into walls, floor and ceiling spaces and continues to burn there.
  • Inadequate ventilation of the fire area.

Possible solutions:

  • The areas where the fire was “knocked down” may need additional water application to completely extinguish all material, furnishings and structural components.
  • Wall, floor and ceilings must be opened up to expose and extinguish any hidden fire.
  • Initial or additional ventilation must be performed including the use of a fog or spray stream by the engine company.

9-25-15 Journal Entry- Engine Company Personnel Assignments Part 4

Engine Company Personnel Assignments Part 4

  • When stock, furniture, partitions, vehicles, machinery or other obstructions block or prevent the stream from hitting the main body of fire, use the ceiling, walls or other stable, stationary objects to deflect water onto the fire.
  • Avoid knocking down stock with the stream whenever possible as it will conceal or extend fire and impede the hoseline advance. Fallen stock could also make it difficult for members to exit the fire area or back the hoseline out.
  • A cardinal rule of engine operations is DON’T PASS FIRE. When advancing an attack hoseline through a fire area consisting of several rooms, it is usually only necessary to operate the stream from the doorway of each room/area. By utilizing the reach of the stream, the fire can be knocked down in these rooms and the hoseline can be advanced rapidly to extinguish the remaining areas. This tactic may leave smoldering debris or window frames but there should be no visible flame in the areas passed. (The term knock down means to have control of the fire area without complete extinguishment)
  • As the attack hoseline is advanced through the fire area all doors must be opened to assure that the nozzle team does not unknowingly pass an area involved in fire. Closed doors to closets, stairways and other rooms may contain hidden or extending fire which can burn through or erupt behind the nozzle team cutting off their escape route. Hoselines can also be burned through leaving the engine company without water and fire in front and behind them.

9-24-15 Journal Entry- Engine Company Personnel Assignments Part 3

Engine Company Personnel Assignments Part 3

  • The manner in which a firefighter physically advances the hoseline may depend on the conditions encountered. There are several methods that can be used, each with their own advantages.
    • Crawling – This method is useful where heat conditions require a very low approach to the fire area.
    • Duck walking – This tactic is useful where rubble or debris which cannot be swept with the stream may cause injury or difficulty to the nozzle team. In housing projects or office buildings with concrete floors, duck walking keeps scalding water, a consequence of the fire attack, from absorbing into the bunker pants and burning firefighters knees.
    • Leg forward (or outstretched leg) – This method can be used where the integrity of the floor is in doubt. The outstretched leg is used to feel for holes in the floor before the full weight of the firefighter moves forward. Probing with the leg forward will also help the nozzle firefighter recognize the presence of descending stairs, ramps, or open shafts. This technique is recommended for commercial occupancies.

9-23-15 Journal Entry- Engine Company Personnel Assignments Part 2

Engine Company Personnel Assignments Part 2

  • When the entrance door is opened the heat, smoke and toxic gases from the fire should be allowed to “blow.” As the smoke lifts, the nozzle firefighter may be able to look into the fire area at floor level and observe the room layout. Once the nozzle is opened, the thermal layers are disrupted and visibility is reduced significantly.
  • While operating the line the firefighter assigned the nozzle position should hold the nozzle at arms length, out in front.
  • As the attack line is advanced into the fire area, the floor must be swept with the stream. This action cools hot plaster or burning debris and removes other potentially dangerous objects such as broken glass and drug paraphernalia from the path of the advancing firefighters. A change in the sound of the stream as it sweeps the floor could indicate the presence of an opening such as a hole, a stairway or an elevator shaft.

9-22-15 Journal Entry- Engine Company Personnel Assignments Part 1

Engine Company Personnel Assignments Part 1

  • While searching within a fire area, interior doors that can be used to help confine the fire until the arrival of the hoseline should be closed as soon as possible.
  • Door control is critical to the safety of any firefighters operating on the floors above the fire.
  • A sudden ceiling collapse, rapid self-venting or a fire driven by wind could create a blowtorch effect at the entrance door and seriously injure any firefighter in its path. After entry is made into the fire area, the engine officer can evaluate conditions and adjust or modify the method of advance used.
  • During the advance of the hoseline, the engine officer must constantly monitor the nozzle team’s progress and the conditions around them. The protection afforded by bunker gear, masks, and hoods tends to insulate firefighters from the hostile fire environment which could cause members to penetrate unknowingly into severe conditions.

9-20-15 Run Down

Tactical Fire Problem- Pet Store HERE

Leadership Language- Persuasiveness HERE

60 Second Safety- Lack of Ethics HERE

FF Training podcast- How to Use a NIOSH Report for Training HERE

“This is going to be a piece of cake.” (and other things firefighters should not say) HERE

2 FF’s Forcing an Outward Swinging Door HERE

So, What is this Sticker All About? HERE

“Hoselines are not stretched and operated simply to extinguish fire. Hoselines are stretched and operated to save lives — civilian and firefighter — by separating the fire from any trapped occupants; safegaurding the means of egress (hallways and stairs); confining the fire to limit extension; and extinguishing the fire to end production of smoke laden with heated, toxic, and highly flammable combustion gases.” ~ Andy Fredericks, 1996 FE article titled “Thornton’s Rule”

Thanks for Reading, Ethan Bansek

9-20-15 Journal Entry- Tips for Training Officers

Tips for Training Officers

  • Consider Create training programs with goals and mission statement in mind.
  • Be willing to change and adapt based on community needs.
  • Institute modern forms of training such as technology
  • Do not rely on modern technological training to fill all of the department needs.
  • Examine the learnings of a different industry (military, manufacturing, sports)
  • Remove barriers from within department and encourage active participation of all members.
  • Create results based training programs – not numbers based training programs.
  • Teach for competency and not a test.
  • Provide objective-based feedback to members based on performance goals.
  • When you have it all figured out, ask what is next – continuous improvement.


9-19-15 Journal Entry- Learning Process Training

Learning Process Training

Learning Process Training as seen on Fire Service SLT 

Keys to Success

  • Use various methods of learning (hands on, flipchart, discussion, simulations, instructor-based, video, Fire Engineering Magazine, etc…).
  • Incorporate how it could happen locally into all training.
  • Get everyone involved – all firefighters should be developing and leading training.
  • Create motivation for your crew – be enthusiastic to be a training leader.
  • Start with an End in Mind – know what you want to accomplish (Objective).
  • Be prepared – students should not have unnecessary downtime.
  • Use experienced personnel to group teach the lesser experienced personnel.
  • “I show and tell, I show while you tell, you show and tell me.”
  • Students should have to make decisions during training.
  • Physical training creates muscle memory.
  • Add time limits, gear, and stress to each exercise – realism.

Less Than 1 Week Until The Ohio Fire Expo!


Hey, We’re getting close to the show, make sure to get registered!

A Reminder; Classes Thursday(9/24) and Friday (9/25), HOT Classes Wednesday (9/23).

FOOLS BASH Thursday(9/24) night more info HERE and below.

2015 Class List. Check it HERE

Come Get Some Oil!


If your in town make sure to track me down and say Hi

Make Sure to attend this great event.

Ohio Fire Expo Website HERE

Follow Them on Facebook HERE & Twitter HERE

Thanks for Reading, Ethan Bansek, See Ya There!

9-18-15 Run Down

Be Smart about the Hype HERE

What’s Your Game Plan? HERE

Be a Situational Thinker, Not a Transitional Robot HERE

Firefighter DNA HERE

Stubborn to a Fault HERE

NFPA “Not for Practical Application” HERE

Control the Building, Control the Fire HERE

Are You Ready to Nozzle Up? HERE

What’s your Standard? The Firehouse just got a new puppy… HERE

My Black Helmet HERE

Story from the Street- Basement Fire, Green Bay Metro FD HERE

The Apartment Stretch HERE

Hurry Up and Wait! HERE

The Great Vertical Ventilation Debate Re-Kindled HERE

Thanks for Reading, Ethan Bansek

9-18-15 Journal Entry- Fire Service Generations

Fire Service Generations

Fire Service Generations as seen on Fire Service SLT

Tips for Success

  • Respect everyone and learn to listen before speaking.
  • Those that speak the least often speak the loudest (think about it).
  • Baby Boomers want you to tell them what to do in a learning situation.
  • Gen X wants you to show them how to do it.
  • Gen Y wants to know the why behind the training.
  • Use experiences from experienced personnel to teach those lesser experienced.
  • PowerPoints cannot be a crutch and should have as few words as possible.
  • Facilitate the discussion, do not dominate the discussion.
  • Use various methods of visual aids (videos, flip chart, pictures, moving parts).
  • Get out of the classroom.
  • Learn the characteristics of your team.

9-17-15 Journal Entry- TIC’s Tips of the Trade

TIC’s Tips of the Trade

TIC’s Tips of the Trade as seen on Fire Service SLT

  • Comes off apparatus every time
  • Understand the modes of your TIC
  • Practice looking at different objects in non-IDLH
  • Use a 6 point scan
  • Understand color scheme on screen
  • TICs do not see through objects
  • TICs measure surface temperatures
  • TIC will reflect shiny objects (glass, tin, refrigerator, etc)
  • Allow TIC to catch up and calibrate as you move
  • Allow TIC to calibrate ambient temperature prior to placing in superheated environment.