Firefighting Today Weekly Roundtable – The Time Variable on The Fireground

Join us on Sunday October 15, 2017 at 8:00 PM Eastern time when the panel will discuss the “Time” variable on incident scenes. How important is it, where can we gain time, where should we slow down and what are the consequences of each action.

You can watch here, or watch live on YOUTUBE where you can use the live chat to interact with the panel. You can also watch on


This might be a strange topic for a fire service Blog, but it should make sense in a minute.

An inheritance is something we all hope we leave for others. We want it to be thoughtful, plentiful, and meaningful and lots of good things. Well there is an inheritance in your department and your fire service life also.

How many times have you heard in a fire house (or firehall) “hey this is not my fault as an officer I inherited this mess!”

I think all of us have “inherited” something bad in our fire service careers. Hey I got hand me down gear from some guy who left the department…. We have to use the reserve apparatus today we inherited this piece of junk…etc.

So you get the point about stuff that you have inherited. Now the real question is what are you building and preparing to leave others. After you leave the station or the department what will you have left behind?

We can hope that it will be your good personality, your lack of complaining, your sense of humor, your willingness to help others, your technical skills competence and experience.

Who have you worked to train and leave them with some knowledge that they inherited from you.

Today, start thinking about the inheritance you will leave for others. Start now, whether you have 2 years on or 20,

We are always remember for what we left behind.

Be generous and thoughtful to those that follow you.

Tactical Fire Problem – Refinery Industrial Plant

This week The Tactical Fire Problem is an industrial terminal facility.

1.) How often do you preplan these types of facilities if they are in your area? If you do not have one is there one in your mutual aid response area?

2.) What will be your suppression plan?

3.) What additional resources will you need?

4.) What other agencies will you need to notify?

5.) Is this a working fire or a hazardous materials incident and which takes priority?


Firefighting Today Weekly Roundtable – Making The Hard Right decision

Join us on Sunday Evening October 8, 2017 at 8:00 PM Eastern time.

The panel will discuss difficult officer decisions that all have consequences, some positive and some negative. Using our collective experience both paid and volunteer we will help officers make good decisions.

Watch here below, at, or watch live on YOUTUBE and use the YOUTUBE Live Chat to interact with the panel.

The Student And The Master

In the early 1970s there was a television show called Kung Fu. It was all about martial arts and a story line of a Kung Fu Master and a student referred to as “Grasshopper”.

The Master was an older blind man who would open (or close… I forget) the show by opening his hand palm up with a pebble in the open palm. He would tell “Grasshopper” that when he could snatch the pebble from his hand he would graduate. As you can imagine he would try and at the very last second like lightening the Master would close his hand.

This little trip down memory lane involves the young firefighters, officers and instructors and the senior more experienced people.

As a young firefighter and instructor I was Grasshopper. I was convinced I was smart enough and good enough to be the Master. I was pretty good but I never grasped the pebble. I was far from being the Master.

The student should always try and continue to emulate, follow and study to become the Master. The Master must always be patient and continue to help the student no matter how frustrating that can become.

But here is a part of the equation that I wish someone would have told me early on……The student must acknowledge and realize their limitations and the should not try to be the Master while they should be honing their skills as the student.

As a young instructor i was probably teaching people that I should have been sitting in the classroom and listening to!

I don’t think we should suppress anyone, but as I hear the words, mentoring and all of the leadership buzz words, it seems to me that we have people that feel that have already mastered severals levels of this job, beyond their capabilities. Take a breath, do some self reflection and figure out if “you too, can snatch the pebble” from the hand of your mentors, officers, and senior personnel.

Stay focussed Grasshopper. Be undeterred!