Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, Safety, Training
Thursday, April 24th, 2014 10:04 am


By Demetrius Kastros

For Fire Engineering

I have just one expectation. Everyone goes home safe in the morning, with no injuries or dangerous exposures. The rest is just part of the job.”

I used to say this to my company officers every morning. In a high-rise fire, we face a uniquely difficult set of challenges in fighting the fire, communications, rescuing occupants, and fire spread. Clear and simple procedures, strongly reinforced with extensive training AND building knowledge, are the best paths to ensure that most important of firefighter priorities: Everyone home safe.

The time tested acronym, ALS-BASE provides an effective foundation to start procedures and training for high-rise operations. AttackLobbyStaging, and BASE are the first functions that need to occur to build a successful high-rise firefighting effort.

Attack. The first-arriving company at a high-rise incident has its hands full. It needs to park its vehicle out of the flow of traffic and enter the building with self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), 200 feet of hose with nozzles, standpipe adaptors, and a set of irons. Priority for the first-in crew is to confirm the location of the fire, make a report of conditions to responding command, and to use the stairs to ascend to the fire floor to begin attack operations. As a wise fire officer has said, “Putting out the fire eliminates 90 percent of the problem.” It is unrealistic to expect a three- or four-person company to effectively evacuate a high-rise building. Hitting the fire early and hopefully confining the burn area are the best rescue efforts the first-in company can make.

Continue reading.

Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 9:04 am

Connecticut firefighters lift truck to save trapped man

A team of first responders in Connecticut went back to the basics in order to rescue an elderly man pinned by his car on Easter Sunday.

A group of about seven firefighters, aided by some police and paramedics, lifted the man’s truck off of him using their bare hands.

“The decision was made to use on-duty personnel to make the move,” Christopher Tracey, assistant chief for the Fairfield, Conn., Fire Department, told ABCNews.com today. “The firefighters got ’round the truck and moved the vehicle several feet to the right.”

Firefighters responded to a call around 6 p.m. Sunday from a resident who reported cries of help from an elderly man who appeared to be pinned between his car and the garage.

When police officers, firefighters and an ambulance arrived at the scene just moments later, they found the man, who was not identified, trapped on the driver’s side of his vehicle, a Nissan pickup truck.
Read more on ABC US News | ABC Business News.

Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, Safety, Training
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 1:04 pm

Back to Basics: Sub-level rescues part 1

By Mark van der Feyst
For Firefighting In Canada

Whenever firefighters enter a structure to fight fire, there is a chance that a firefighter – or two – will fall through the floor. Several factors contribute to the possibility of firefighters falling through the floor including an increase in fuel loads within buildings, an increase in the use of lightweight construction materials and methods, and failure by firefighters to check the floor in front of them.

There have been numerous incidents of firefighters falling through floors and into burning basements. Some of these incidents have had positive results with the firefighters being rescued, while other times firefighters have succumbed to their injuries.

One such fatal incident took place on July 25, 1987, at a three-alarm fire in Columbus, Ohio. Firefighter John Nance was killed in the line of duty when he fell through the floor into a burning basement; many rescue attempts had been made but failed.

The Nance Drill was developed and named after that firefighter as a way for crews to practise rescuing firefighters from a sub-grade or sub-level situation. This drill is now incorporated into RIT training as a means to a quick and effective resolution for this type of situation.

Read more.

Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue
Monday, April 21st, 2014 9:04 am

Firefighters run Boston Marathon for lost colleagues, victims

By Wayne Coffey
For New York Daily News

You make a choice. Chris Dunn is nobody’s philosopher, but isn’t that what this all comes down to, really? Isn’t that exactly what he’ll be doing Monday afternoon, when his weary legs are climbing up Hereford St. and he arrives at the corner of Boylston St., at the 26-mile mark of America’s most fabled road race?

When he looks to his right and sees not only Boston’s most historic and public firehouse, but his own firehouse, too — and tries to keep it together as he takes in the sight of the 20-foot-long banner that honors his fallen brothers from Engine 33, Ladder 15, Eddie Walsh and Mike Kennedy?

The banner has the logo of the Boston Fire Department in the corner, and the number 29384 in the middle. It is the number Mike Kennedy was going to wear Monday, for the most important and emotionally charged Boston Marathon in its 118-year history.

A year ago, Mike Kennedy and Frankie Flynn, a 28-year firefighter and the senior member of Engine 33, charged down Boylston St. a few minutes before 3 p.m., hurtling straight into the hell that ensued after the two bombs went off. Within moments they were helmet deep in death and devastation, grief and pain here, chaos and carnage there, the sidewalk strewn with limbs and soaked with blood. Joining an army of EMS workers, police and big-hearted civilians, they applied tourniquets, treated wounds and offered as much reassurance and comfort as they could summon.
Read the full article here.

Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, Training
Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 9:04 am

Rolf H. Jensen Memorial grant application for 2015 now available

The Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant is presented annually to a local fire department to support a fire and life safety education community-wide program or campaign.

Application deadline is Friday, February 6, 2015Download the application (PDF, 613 KB).

The Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant provides a $5,000 grant to one local fire department to support a community-wide fire and life safety education program or campaign. Funded by the RJA Group, the grant is open to any fire department (career or volunteer) located in the United States or Canada.


Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, Safety, Training
Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 11:04 am

Anti-Ventilation Tactics on the Fireground

By Ed Hartin

For FireRescue

I learned a great deal about firefighting and the fire service from my father, who joined the fire department in 1938 and retired as fire chief in 1975, the year after I started as a career firefighter. However, one of the most relevant lessons for firefighting in the modern built environment I learned from my mother. During the fall and winter months in New England, she would frequently tell me, “Close the door! Were you born in a barn?” She didn’t know it at the time, but this would be useful advice for today’s firefighters.

The 5th edition of Fire Ventilation Practices, published in 1970, stated: “Proper ventilation cannot be accomplished haphazardly, and one cannot rely solely upon knowledge gained from practical experience in actual fire situations, since no two fires are alike. Ventilation, therefore, must be recognized as a technical subject and one much approach the study of ventilation theory and practices from this basic point of view. A fire officer equipped with an understanding of what has taken place in a building and what effect certain optional actions will produce, is much better prepared to assume the responsibility of ventilating a structure.”1

While true in the 1970s, this holds true today. Firefighters must understand the modern fire environment and the effect of firefighting tactics on fire dynamics.

The Modern Fire Environment
Even before current research conducted by the UL’s Firefighter Safety Research Institute  and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), firefighters recognized that the fire environment was changing.

Read more.

Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, PPE
Monday, April 14th, 2014 9:04 am

For any of you who complain about NFPA

By Michael “Mick Mayers
For Firehouse Zen

We were talking last night on the Weekly Firefighter Hangout about “words that we live by” in the fire service and I was a little surprised not to hear anyone bring up the usual complaints on NFPA and other consensus standards, which seem to get thrown into a big steaming pile together when someone wants to badmouth the fire service.  As a participant in the standards process, I get a little frustrated when people complain about standards. Why, you may ask? Well, because while standards may seem to be prohibiting aspects of our jobs, the fact is, standards are necessary to help us define things, to establish our expectations in regard to a certain item, title, or discipline.


Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, General, PPE
Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 8:04 am

New report provides an update of current practice and policies for PPE care & maintenance

By Lauren Backstrom
For NFPA Today

Fire fighting personal protective equipment (PPE) is an essential part of the gear used by fire fighters. Like all equipment, fire fighting PPE requires appropriate care and maintenance. The goal of this project was to provide a data collection summary of current practice and policies for fire service PPE care and maintenance, with resulting deliverables that help guide standards revisions as well as to support future research on this topic.

Collection of the data resulted in a recently published report, ”Data Collection Summary for PPE Care and Maintenance” authored by Paul Kashmanian and Casey C. Grant, P.E. of the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

The Fire Protection Research Foundation expresses gratitude to members of the project’s technical panel for their guidance throughout the project and to all others who contributed to this research effort. Special thanks are expressed to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for providing the project funding through the NFPA Annual Code Fund.

LION’s Karen Lehtonen served on the project’s technical panel. For more PPE Care and Maintenance information, please visit LION Fire Academy for free online training.

Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, Safety
Monday, April 7th, 2014 9:04 am

Firefighter saves fellow firefighter when roof caves in

From News 3
By  Denise Rosch

NORTH LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) — Two North Las Vegas firefighters are back on the job one day after falling through the roof of a burning home.

The City of North Las Vegas Fire Department responded to 3005 St. George Street Thursday afternoon for a reported house fire. The call came in at 2:58 p.m.

Mike Harris and Joe’l Adams are both veterans with the North Las Vegas Fire Department and have worked together about six years.

They were ventilating the fire at the four-plex near Civic Center and Cheyenne when the roof gave way. The men characterized what happened as “a bad day.”

That bad day that ended with a very good outcome, and both men are fine.

When they arrived, fire crews found a single story, multi-family dwelling with smoke visible around the roof. Once crews gained entry into the house they reported heavy smoke and flames in the attic. (more…)

Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, Training
Friday, April 4th, 2014 9:04 am

Fire Academy Friday: Certified NFPA 1500 training

LION Fire Academy offers free video training for NFPA 1500 certified by Butler Tech that can count toward your Continuing Education credits. Choose from one of the training chapters watch and learn. After each chapter, you will be prompted to take an online test. After you submit your answers, you will be informed if you passed the test. If you didn’t pass, you may take it again. For successful completion of all 12 tests, you will receive a CEU certificate worth three hours of training by email in about a week.

For fire departments that require all members to take the training, please tell us.  We can manage your roster for you or send certificates to your training officer.