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Fire Engineering Submissions

Inside Fire Engineering you’ll find a mix of features and columns on topics ranging from incident reports/fieldwork (with the emphasis on lessons learned) to using tools and equipment, health and safety, management, and training techniques.

Regular rotating columns include Volunteers Corner, Training Notebook, The Rescue Company, The Engine Company, The Truck Company, Fire Prevention Bureau, Apparatus: The Shops, fireEMS, Fire Service Court, Speaking of Safety, Technology Today, What We Learned, and Innovations: Homegrown.

Each month, a selection of articles will focus on a particular topic. Monthly themes include Prevention/Protection, Apparatus, Truck Company, Training, Fire Technology, Safety, Officer Development, Leadership, Heavy Rescue, Engine Company, Industrial/Haz Mat, and Health and Fitness.

We accept only material submitted exclusively to Fire Engineering. Send us your article by e-mail as a Word document and attach photos to the e-mail as jpegs. Do not send WordPerfect documents or PDFs, and do not embed photos or lay out the article. Include complete contact information (name, address, home/work/cell phone, e-mail address) and a short biographical sketch of yourself. 
Send any relevant illustrations and photos, along with captions and complete photographer contact information. You must have permission to use all illustrations and photos—do not simply download them from the Internet. Submit electronic photos and art in the following format: Image Resolution: 300 DPI (dots per inch); Mode: CMYK color; File Format: JPEG; Submission Format: CD or e-mail. Important: All electronic photo submissions must follow this format, or they will not be accepted. 
When we receive the material, we will try to let you know within two to three months if we can use it.

We also welcome the following:

  • Comments in the form of Letters to the Editor.
  • Submissions for Coming Events at least three months before the issue you would like them to run in.
  • Information about recent promotions, awards, or other significant accomplishments of prominent fire service members for Names in the News.
  • Submissions for Apparatus Deliveries. Include a color photo, a list of the apparatus’ important features, the name of the photographer, and a contact person in the department. Explain why this apparatus is suited to your community and department’s needs.
Send submissions to Diane Rothschild, e-mail: dianer@pennwell.com.
Thank you for your interest in writing for Fire Engineering, training the fire service since 1877.


We are always looking for new contributors for the Fire Engineering Web site.

Our exclusive Web Features tend to be training or tactical pieces that have gone through the standard Fire Engineering submissions review process (see above).

Send Web-only submissions to Online Editor Pete Prochilo at peterp@pennwell.com.

Our featured blogs are selected from among the writers on the Fire Engineering Training Community (community.fireengineering.com). If you have a specific viewpoint, commentary, or training tip you'd like to share, you can start immediately--simply sign up, create a profile, and add a blog post. We may feature your writing on our homepage, our e-Newsletter, and our social media.


In creating an incident report, provide as much relevant detail as possible. Describe the incident, preplanning, actions taken; incident changes and resulting tactical changes; postincident analysis and critique; and suggestions for similar future incidents. Departments may use this information for firefighter education and training, so focus on these aspects of the incident.
·          Provide incident specifics.
--Timing. Include start time, end time, and elapsed time. If relevant, mention factors delaying or expediting response and deployment; factors extending or shortening incident; and any suggestions for improving future response.
--Assessments. Describe initial incident assessment, any preplanning and its application, anticipated and unanticipated changes, resulting strategic and logistic adjustments, and why such were or were not required. In postincident analysis, critique actions taken, suggesting improvements for the future. 
–Personnel deployment. “Two firefighters entered and commenced interior operations,” or “One firefighter began roof ventilation” is adequate. Specific rank and name need not be included unless relevant. Describe personnel deployment and reasons for any tactical changes at incident. Note total firefighter injuries or deaths, and suggest ways to avoid these in the future.
--Diagram of fire scene. This should show location/deployment of companies, apparatus and hoselays, incident command center; fire building/incident site/exposures (including pertinent details: windows, doors, stairs, room layouts, contents, and dimensions). Note relevant environmental factors. The diagram should be neat, and easily understood.  

--Photos. Photos should illustrate important aspects of the incident and its mitigation. Captions should be accurate, detailed, and specific. Keep in mind training aspects. Photos may be slides or prints; send the full name of the photographer, mailing information, and photo captions. Never write directly on the backs of prints; use labels or stickers for identification purposes.

Submit electronic photos and art in the following format: Image Resolution: 300 DPI (dots per inch); Mode: CMYK color; File Format: EPS, TIFF, or JPEG; Submission Format: regular computer disk, ZIP disk, CD, or e-mail. Important: When e-mailing photos, send in the smallest possible size and compress if necessary. All electronic photo submissions must follow this format, or they will not be accepted.

Units called, when, and why. “Two engine companies, an aerial ladder, and one tanker were called.” Specific information about units (“Midvale Hose Co. No. 2, Millville Ladder Co. 3” should be included only if relevant. The reason for calling and method of deployment is more important.
Report total firefighter injuries or death occurring as a result of the incident. Discuss how casualties occurred, and ways to avoid them in future incidents.
·          Complete list of lessons learned or reinforced—the most important part of report.
--Lessons learned/reinforced. What insights into incident management, strategy, or logistics were gained or reinforced at this incident? Some may be complex, some may be simple—include them all. Be as thorough as possible. Include any possible useful information. Be specific—“Mutual aid worked really well,” for example, is too vague. How did it help? How did it not? What could be improved?
--Investigation findings. Report the results of any subsequent fire investigations and the relationship to established codes or standards. Note any arson evidence, code violations, hazardous conditions not covered by applicable codes, and anything germane to the origin of the incident. Report any findings contradicting initial assessment at time of incident, or unusual discoveries. 
Send photo submissions and queries to Diane Rothschild, Fire Engineering, 21-00 Route 208 South, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410. Telephone: (800) 962-6484, ext. 5047. E-mail: dianer@pennwell.com.
Thank you for considering Fire Engineering, training the fire service since 1877.