All posts by plamb

Google Hangout Experiment

I am looking to experiment with google HANGOUTS talking about firefighting.
On Sunday Evening (May 26, 2013) at 8:00 PM Eastern time I will be trying a hangout. I plan to spend at least an hour or whatever it takes to explore this technology and talk about the job.
I would love to get 8 people to assist me.
If you would like to participate, you need a gmail address as a minimum, (A google + account or sign in is even better but not required). All of this is free.
A webcam and microphone is great because it allows for the interaction that we can get by sharing.
If you want to try this out send me an email at pete@petelamb.com and include your gmail address. At 8:00 PM I will email you a link, you click the link and we will all be connected.
I think it will be fun, we can meet, greet, ask questions, problem solve and whatever else comes up.
First eight get in to start!
Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Driver Training basic thoughts

This week we will discuss some of the issues that relate to driving fire apparatus. I will give some bullet points for discussion or for you to create your own driving awareness training in your own department.

* Do driver receive an initial training and a “road test” that is documented in their training file?

* Do you use and are you familiar with NFPA 1002 Apparatus Operator?

* Are drivers required to re-certify at any point or regular intervals?

* Practical evolution’s should include but not be limited to, braking exercises, serpentine forward and reverse, alley dock, offset alley, diminishing clearance, and a turn around. These are all explained in detail in the NFPA standard.

Some attitudes to foster in driver training might include the following:

* Drivers should remain calm and drive cautiously, do not drive over aggressively.

* Drivers should have most turnout gear on prior to getting in apparatus.

* Drivers should ensure that all members are seated and belted prior to moving vehicle.

* Drivers should always have spotters when backing up.

* Come to a complete stop at intersections. Maintain absolute control of your vehicle.

* Realize that everyone will not see or hear you.

* Speed is less important than arriving safely.

* Multiple emergency vehicles traveling together should be separated by a minimum of 300 feet.

** Reference for this week’s training bulletin is primarily from the Sourcebook for Fire Company Training Evolution’s by Michael Wieder.

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Memorial Day 2013 – Honor and give thanks

Thoughts this weekend for all of those that sacrificed for our freedoms.

My thoughts this weekend are with my dad (Deceased) who served in the United States Army in the Pacific Theater of Operations.

Remember all who serve and when you see them, take an action, approach with respect and say thank you.

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Tactical Fire Problem – Camper RV Fire

This week a camper parked on a roadway.


1,) List some of the challenges that might be found in dealing with this situation.

2.) This fire should be treated as a minimum of a car fire, 2 residential rooms and a hallway, and a 35 foot fiberglass boat all wrapped up in one.

3.) Consideration should be given to 50-70 gallons of fuel for the vehicle and 30-40 gallons of LPG.

4.) Learn about these vehicles, go to a dealership or use the experiences of some of your members who have these units. Study the enemy before the incident happens.

5.) Shut this roadway as soon as possible, parts pieces and cylinders may fly off, fiberglass will produce thick black smoke obscuring visibility for crews operating and maintain a safety zone if propane is involved.

Thanks, stay safe and stay thinking!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Tactical Fire Problem – The backyard shed

So it is only a backyard shed, what could happen?


1.) Generally these are pretty small structures that are easily controlled with a single handling. What is the length of the stretch to reach the backyard of a residential that might already have a set back from the front yard?

2.) What really might be in that shed anyway? Make a list.

3.) Which of the following represents the most danger to you? Propane gas grill tank, 5 gallon plastic gasoline jug, 5 gallon gasoline old fashion steel can, lawn mower gasoline tank, lawn tractor with seats, tires and gas tank, acetylene tank with oxygen, or 5 bags of 90% nitrate fertilizer? You decide.

4.) This scenario has the shed a good distance from the residence but you should look around your response district to see them stuck between houses and backed right up to the neighbors fence or even their shed.

5.) Can you do it with tank water or do you need the feeder line?

Stay safe and stay thinking!

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013

Discipline…..some thoughts

This week I am going to comment about discipline on a couple of levels. I am noticing a lack of discipline in many areas of the fire service and I hope we can shed some light upon them here.

I will make a bold statement that the lack of discipline is a significant factor in many of our injuries and deaths.

Discipline is an unpleasant thing for certain, especially when it applies to us!

In speaking to others in person and through e-mail, I am finding that this is not a “city” problem, or a labor management problem, but it in fact applies to the smallest rural volunteer fire departments across America. The situation in the city might be, “If I discipline FF. Smith, then I will get a grievance or have a union issue”, to the rural department that says” You can’t discipline me, “cause I am only a volunteer and I will leave!”

Lets look at some areas of discipline.

Personal Discipline

If we are going to speak about discipline, let’s look at the very root of the issue…..ourselves.

Personal discipline is closely tied to integrity. Integrity is what you do when nobody is looking.

When everyone is sitting down having coffee in the morning, do you get up from the table and check your mask and radio and equipment, or do you just sit with “the rest of the guys”

What about diet and exercise? Can you stay healthy and fit to do your job, or are you just OK doing what you are doing?

What about facing any unpleasant tasks that you may have either on the job or personally? Do you let those slip by because you would rather not deal with them?

What about your personal level of training? Is your training level up to the standard that you want it to be? Do you continue to push and pursue all training opportunities?

Personal discipline is about setting a proper example for others through your own actions. Personal discipline is about accepting your personal responsibility for the consequences that have occurred from your actions. Though, in the fire service there may be many issues beyond our control, let’s not begin by always pointing to something else being the problem, let us take a hard internal look.

Company or Supervisor Discipline

If you are a company officer do you hold your people accountable for their actions or is that too difficult for you to face your personnel? Maybe they will get angry and quit if they are volunteer or on-call, and you can’t afford to lose any more people.

Make people do their job and follow rules and regulations. It is your responsibility to enforce policies and procedures and if you do not or are unwilling then maybe you should not be in that position.

If your personnel have made an error and you have not corrected, coached, trained and disciplined them accordingly, then you should then be disciplined. Be prepared to accept it and not deflect blame onto someone, or something else.

Chief Officer Discipline

If you have departmental Sops and general orders that are currently not being followed and you are aware of it, then you should be disciplined. Don’t be so far removed that you no longer know what is going on in the streets. Many officers have subscribed to the theory that the personnel should not be micro-managed so I should leave them alone. You are about half right…..don’t micro-manage your personnel unless they need it. That’s right, unless they need it. If your personnel are not wearing their gear properly, then you need to correct that behavior, or even discipline your personnel as to why. If there is an order for daily training to be conducted and you know it is a joke and only being done on paper and in reports then you should address that and correct.

Hiding behind your chief’s badge and failing to provide corrective coaching discipline is a failure.

Discipline is about correcting behavior. It is about coaching, corrective actions, and if all else fails some punishing action in last resort cases.

Discipline starts with us.

Pete Lamb
Copyright 2013