10-31-15 Journal Entry- Fighting Fires in Structures with Knee Walls

Fighting Fires in Structures with Knee Walls

A quick summary of an article.

  • Knee wall, a confined space in the half-story above the tallest full story. The half-story can be finished with either drywall or lath and plaster, depending on the age of the structure, and used for living space or storage.
  • The knee wall is a vertical wall that stretches about 3–4 feet internally from the floor toward the peak of the roof. A concealed space is created behind the knee wall and usually extends to the eaves; it may be used for storage space or as a means to conceal plumbing or electrical wiring, which will increase the risk of extension.
  • If you identify balloon construction, stretch handlines to all floors of the building.
  • If the fire penetrates the wall space of the balloon-frame construction, all wall spaces on each floor will need to be opened from floor to ceiling and an engine company will need to work in conjunction with the truck company, with a charged line at the ready.
  • Use a thermal imaging camera when determining where to place the line and the presence of fire in the concealed space.
  • If the fire is not immediately visible on the upper floor, the truck company needs to begin opening up the knee wall above the fire. The engine company must also be ready to open its line as soon as the space is opened.
  • It’s not unusual to require more than one line in fires involving knee walls. So if any doubt exists as to the extension of the fire into the knee wall, it’s always good practice to open it up!
  • If fire is located in the knee wall, it’s a good idea to open the ceiling directly at the peak of the roof.

Source Article HERE.

This is just a very quick summary of the article, I would encourage you to read the whole article.


10-30-15 Journal Entry- Fires in Balloon-Frame Construction

Fires in Balloon-Frame Construction

A quick summary of an article.

  • From the late 1800s until about 1940, balloon-frame wood construction was a fast and easy way to construct multi-story homes found primarily in the East and Midwest.
  • The balloon frame uses a continuous wood stud wall member that stretches from the foundation to the attic. 
  • As with most fires, identifying the type of construction during initial size-up and communicating this fact via the radio report will help later-arriving engine and ladder companies determine their tactics.
  • Because fire in balloon-frame construction can present itself in multiple locations (multiple floors/attic), firefighters must determine the location of the fire by checking the lowest level first. Never advance to the upper levels/floors without confirming that the fire is not below you.
  • The second line should be deployed directly above the fire
  • A third hoseline should be deployed to the attic space or, if the crew cannot enter the attic, the attic area should be opened up from below.

Source Article HERE

10-22-15 Run Down

That won’t work here- and other lame excuses HERE

Proactive Ladder Usage- Part 1 HERE

Constantly Try To Improve HERE

Principles Values and Skills, Putting the Organization First HERE

Some Good Points on Church Fires HERE

Positive Leadership Traits HERE

Safety Officer Drills HERE

Meeting the Minimums HERE

The Disastrous Consequences of Lightweight Construction and Modern Home Furnishings Under Fire HERE

Are We Doomed? HERE

10-22-15 Journal Entry- Are you a “STUDENT OF THE TRADE?”


What is a Student of the Trade? You probably are one if you have taken the time to read this post.

What are some Qualities?

A Student of the Trade…

  • Is Always Reading and Learning
  • Shares their Information
  • Is Willing to help others become better firefighters
  • Never Settles for the “I know everything” mentality
  • Stays up to date with goings on in the fire news
  • Goes to Training Seminars and conferences, even if you department doesn’t pay for it and then shares what they learned

Just a couple of thoughts…

10-21-15 Journal Entry- Recognizing Suicide Warning Signs in Firefighters

Recognizing Suicide Warning Signs in Firefighters

Top 5 Warning Signs – Think “RAILS”

  1. Recklessness/Impulsiveness
  2. Anger
  3. Isolation
  4. Loss of Confidence in skills and abilities
  5. Sleep Deprivation


When you see someone struggling or just off their game, follow these recommendations as a starting point:

  1. Be Proactive; Be Direct: We do this when responding to emergencies. We need to take the same approach when our brothers or sisters appear to be struggling.
  2. Direct Questions:Remember these two questions if a member comes to you with suicidal ideations.
  • Do you feel like killing yourself now?
  • Do you have a plan?

A “yes” to either one of these questions means you need to engage your department procedures or protocols if in the firehouse. If outside of the department then they need help immediately. NEVER leave them alone!

  1. Compassion:The theme in our workshop is: Be Direct and be compassionate. Stay in the moment when talking to them. It is the most difficult type of conversation but always speak from the heart.
  2. Discretionary Time:If a member comes to you to talk about a difficult issue they are struggling with and you have never dealt with this type of issue, then let them know but also use discretionary time. Do not make statements just to fill a void. For example: I never realized you were struggling with this issue and I don’t have a lot of knowledge on this problem, but let me find out a little more about it and we will talk later. (If this is a crisis moment then do not leave member alone)
  3. Walk the Walk:The number of firefighters, officers and EMTs/paramedics who help their brothers or sisters out by taking them to AA classes or counselors cannot be overstated.  They sit outside and wait until the appointment is over. Taking care of our own goes well beyond the station or fire ground.

This is just a Summary Full Article HERE

10-20-15 Run Down

Why are Your Boots So Shinny HERE

The Rookie Mentality HERE

My View as Success as an Fire Instructor HERE

Firefighter Training Podcast- What Do You Bring to Training? HERE

Tactical Fire Problem- Shopping Center Interior Fire HERE

Baseball Swing to enter an Outward Swinging Door HERE

Stowing the Saw HERE

Mayday Monday Fire Behavior HERE

Actions Speak Louder… HERE

Training Officers Toolbox: Simulations HERE

10-19-15 Journal Entry- 100 Days of Journal Entries- A Quick Note

100 Days of Journal Entries- A Quick Note


I am proud to say that I have reached the 100th consecutive day of doing Journal Entries! This milestone would not have been possible without the help of you, the reader. I hope that you have picked up one or two things from me doing these.

As I continue to do them in the future just keep in mind, this is information that I am learning, and than post it. If you disagree or find any information that is incorrect or explained incorrectly, PLEASE reach out, I would love to have a discussion with you. Also if you have suggestions or information that you would like to contribute to the Journal Post’s, shoot me an email!

Thanks for all the support, and remember to keep training, and keep learning!


Remembering the 23rd Street Fire


Today is the anniversary of The 23rd Street Fire. FDNY, 10-17-1966

Do YOURSELF A Favor to and Lear Some of the Lessons that came from this fire.

Killed in the line of duty:

  • DC Thomas A Reilly, Division .3
  • BC Walter J Higgins, Battalion. 7
  • Lt John J Finley, Ladder 7
  • Lt Joseph Priore, Engine 18
  • Fr John G Berry, Ladder 7
  • Fr James V Galanaugh, Engine 18
  • Fr Rudolph F Kaminsky, Ladder 7
  • Fr Joseph Kelly, Engine 18
  • Fr Carl Lee Ladder, 7
  • Fr William F McCarron, Division 3
  • Fr Daniel L Rey, Engine 18
  • Fr Bernard A Tepper, Engine 18

Some Articles HERE, HERE, HEREHERE, and HERE

HERE is a Podcast from Vinny Dunn Who was at the Fire. LISTEN TO IT!!

RFB- Thanks for Taking the Time,