Leatherhead Thursday: Holiday Season and Appreciation

By James R. Dennison of the Leatherhead Instructors As another holiday season rapidly approaches, we are faced with the challenges and unique calls that we may receive.  The way that we provide customer service this time of year really makes an impact on our “customers”.  The season presents us with emergencies that stem from the weather, large family gatherings, faulty Christmas decorations, and the increased use of heating due to the cold.  The compassion that we portray when dealing with our “customers” in their emergency is a subtle reminder that we truly care about our jobs. This season is also a…

Leatherhead Thursday:The nozzle person

By James R. Dennison of the Leatherhead Instructors It has been a long standing tradition within my organization and many others across the country to allow the senior person on the apparatus to be the “nozzle person”.  The concept of the most senior person being on the nozzle comes from the thought that this particular person is the most knowledgeable, experienced, and trained.  I agree that this person should be on the attack line, but I believe that they should be the backup or second in line. I bet we could teach a monkey to spray water on a fire, but…

Leatherhead Thursday: Here comes winter again!

By James R. Dennison of the Leatherhead Instructors The long warm days of summer and fall are gone and the bitter cold has arrived!  The winter months present some real challenges to us as firefighters when dealing with emergencies and how we operate.  We are faced with slippery, snow covered roads that are often our work station for hours upon hours.  We are going to talk about some basics that can protect us through this season. We all have large trucks and equipment that we respond to emergencies in, and there are some things that we should address.  Most of our…

LION sponsors the Firefighter Combat Challenge in Phoenix

We all know the importance of health and fitness for firefighters, and the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge World Championships exemplify the hard work, rigorous training and fitness levels from firefighters who compete in this event. This past week firefighters from around the world gathered in Phoenix, Arizona to compete in the 23 rd annual World Challenge, their last stop after a year of grueling competitions. LION has been a proud sponsor of the Challenge since its inception in 1992, we believe in encouraging and recognizing firefighters who take the initiative to maintain exemplary health goals and sportsmanship. We saluted the outstanding…

Helmets of the fire service

By Shane Wells of the Leatherhead Instructors I have had a large variety of helmets in my 20 plus years as a firefighter; they range from inexpensive fiberglass helmets to quite expensive leather helmets. The first helmet that I had was a Cairns Fiberglass “salad bowl” Helmet, and now I have a Sam Houston Leather Helmet. There are differences in style, comfort, fit, and weight between the two; both have acceptable ratings. I consider there to be three types of helmets that we typically see in the United States; leather, composite, and proximity. There are many styles that can be…

Fire service organizations send letter to the Health and Human Services Secretary amid ebola concerns

Representatives from the Congressional Fire Services Institute, International Association of Fire Fighters, International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Volunteer Fire Council sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asking for their support in protecting EMS personnel against the current Ebola outbreak. These fire service organizations specifically requested the Health Department’s “commitment to ensuring EMS personnel have sufficient training and resources to respond to suspected cases of Ebola.” Here an excerpt of the letter, focusing on preventative measures that can help protect First Responders. It is highly likely that more individuals infected with Ebola…

Leatherhead Thursday: Multipurpose Gear

By James R. Dennison of the Leatherhead Instructors The fire service revolves around responding to a wide variety of emergencies and non-emergencies; most of these responses require us to wear either a hazardous materials suite or our turnout gear.  The gear that we have can be viewed as overkill in many of the situations that we must deal with, but the simple Nomex or cotton uniforms we wear are just not enough.  What is the solution? Multipurpose gear is a great tool to add to the toolbox.  Wild land firefighting gear and rescue response suits are offered by several manufactures,…

Leatherhead Thursday: Living at the firehouse

By James R. Dennison of the Leatherhead Instructors Firefighters have a second family that most people know nothing about.  These families are unknown to everyday working folks, people that view their counterparts as co-workers, or that dread having to deal with people at the office or factory.  What we have is rare, awesome, and yet difficult. Our days at the station revolve around conversation, meals, television, and responding to the emergencies in our communities.  Many of our calls bring stress, emotions, anger, and disappointment; the relationships that we have with our brothers and sisters is what gets us through it. …

Leatherhead Thursday: It’s about time for some pink!

By J.R. Dennison of the Leatherhead Instructors There is no secret: October is the month that is dedicated to breast cancer awareness and, of course, wearing pink!  There is no doubt that all cancer deserves awareness, but breast cancer alone takes so much from us all and can be drastically changed if the word and awareness is continually spread.  We all have special women in our lives that lose that battle each year, and that hits us right in our hearts.  Our lives revolve around strong co-workers, mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and friends and we want to do all that…

Fire Academy Friday: Advanced Cleaning for Structural Fire Helmets

It’s Fire Academy Friday! LION Fire Academy provides fire department members with online training on PPE and Continuing Education Units for successful completion.  Fire instructors can incorporate PPE education into their classes and have their students earn credits.  If you are a fire student or contemplating a career in firefighting, you’ll find helpful quizzes, videos and links on PPE and other firefighting topics. NFPA 1851 and NFPA 1500 training modules are valid for any brand of PPE. Learn how to perform an Advanced Cleaning on your structural firefighting helmet. Covers thorough cleaning of helmets, how often an Advanced Cleaning is needed and…