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Test Day

By Michael Krueger

I rarely, if ever, do strength or endurance tests on my clients. I only do body composition tests if they are requested. I don’t think that for most trainees they are meaningful or appropriate. I do occasionally offer testing for select clients I think would benefit from the information.

The majority of people who exercise don’t keep track of their workouts or give too much thought about their progress. I know exactly what my clients do but only when they are training with me. How they exercise the rest of their week is told to me anecdotally if at all.

So, let’s talk a bit about testing.



Right up front, I’ll tell you that I do various regular tests on myself. I do strength, in the guise of a sub max bench press. I do body composition using both bio-impedance and a caliper pinch tests. Lastly, I monitor my cardiovascular fitness via various Concept 2 rows from 100 meters and one minute through 500, 1,000, and 2,000 meters.

I said that I don’t test my clients, and that’s true—but I am not my client. I know what keeps me on track and what derails me. I need to know whether my training is progressing in a way that is taking me closer to my goals. I also have intimate knowledge of my workout intensity and consistency, which is something that is absolutely necessary to determine the direction of my training. Testing gives me the kind of information I desire.

I try not to compare my performance with any norms, but that’s hard to do. I can tell you my current rowing rank in the world, United States, and Wisconsin for all ages and my current age group. I don’t obsess about them (though my wife may disagree), but I want to know how I’m doing compared to my peers. I also know how my bench press compares, not that it really means much.

I check these things because I want to know if the work I’m doing is effective. I train at home and have very little interaction with others who work out, short of my clients. I don’t know anyone else who rows like I do, and according to the Concept 2 state rankings, there is a good reason for that: There isn’t anyone local who logs in. That’s why I test. I want to know if I’m on track and where I rank for a male my age. It’s motivating and important to me.

So, this morning as I headed to the basement, I was psyching myself up for test day. I don’t really like to do the tests because while they are maximum efforts, they are short workouts, and I prefer to do what I would do on a normal Thursday rather than break my routine.

Today was the one-minute row, the bench press, and the 100-meter row, in that order. I do a warm-up on the rower and then on the bench press. That takes about ten minutes, and then I check my pulse. If it’s 80 BPM or less, I start the tests.

My one-minute row was disappointing, coming in 7 meters short of the last time and 15 meters short of my all-time personal best set on May 4, 2018, and tied on August 8, 2018. To put those seven meters in perspective, I get about eight meters per stroke, so it was less than one pull. My bench press was a wash, tying my last performance. In some ways I prefer to do worse than the simply stay the same. Finally, my 100 meters was a bright spot, having improved two tenths of a second over my last performance but still 3 tenths off my personal record from August 8, 2018.


Historical Data

As you can see from the above data, I keep really good records. But, good data isn’t good for much unless you learn from it. I spent some time analyzing the numbers and comparing and contrasting them to the workouts I had done leading up to the tests on May 4 and August 8 of last year. I was very curious as to why I did so well on August 8. The answer wasn’t surprising. It boiled down to volume, intensity, and consistency.

Now, I’m normally very consistent, and I put everything I’ve got into my workouts. What I saw though was that over the past year I missed two additional workouts because of vacations compared to previous years and changed my workout three times. Prior to August 2018, I had missed only two scheduled workouts and leading up to today it was twice that number. I had made no changes to the workout in that entire year.

In contrast, this past year I have made substantial changes on three different occasions. I’m doing more high-intensity intervals but fewer lower-intensity workouts in excess of 1000 meters. The results bear that out as well. I improved on the 100 meters, which takes less than 18 seconds, but fell short on the full-minute sprint. That indicates that my overall endurance is off a little. That doesn’t mean that my cardiovascular fitness has fallen, but you get what you train for, and I haven’t been training for anything even remotely long. I’m not looking forward to the next round of tests that will include the 500, 1,000, and 2,000 meters. I hurt just thinking about it.

As for the bench press test, the data showed some of the same issues. The vacations affected my overall strength as well. Now to be honest, how much difference the extra time off really made is questionable. What it does do is mess with my head. When I come back and slide into my normal routine, it takes three or four workouts to get back in the groove. The real difference I noticed was that I was doing much higher reps at lower weight. The intensity was still there; I noticed that I had a few more “failure” sets than I normally did, but the actual training weight was less.

This took a little more work to figure out. My one-rep maximum is down 25 pounds from my personal record. That record is now more than five years old, and it took years of pushing and cycling to get it. I’m at an age now where that record may well be something I will never break. I also noticed a reference to a sore elbow around the time of that personal record. It didn’t affect my training except that once I got the PR, I reverted to high rep lower weight training.

I have not had an injury that’s interfered with my training in a long time. As I looked back over at least the past two years, I also noticed a definite lack of high weight/low rep work. Whether this change has anything to do with training injury free isn’t something I can easily quantify. I have missed only a handful of workouts in the past 20 years, so I don’t have a lot of data to work with.

The best I can figure on the bench press is that I’m just not used to lifting heavy, and that mostly affects my head rather than my body. I have stayed at my current measured strength level since I got my PR all those years ago. I’m comfortable with where I am (the 98th percentile for my age), and I’m not sure I want to press my luck by working back into heavy low rep work … but you never can tell.


What Does It Mean?

What all this testing data and analytical work means to me is that I’m doing fine. I’m still chasing my goals and occasionally catching them. My aging isn’t something I can do anything about, so I mostly ignore it.

I’ll keep on testing because I enjoy it. I like the work leading up to it, and I like the incredible stress and effort involved in doing a maximum test. Most people want nothing to do with working that hard, and I can completely understand. For those of us who like it, it’s simply something that we can’t imagine training without.

So, next time you are wondering if your training is effective, consider doing a little testing to see where you are in contrast to where you’ve come from. You might find the information to be useful…

…and the benefits immeasurable.


Michael Krueger is an NSCA-certified personal trainer. He got his start in fitness training while serving in the United States Coast Guard. He works with firefighters and others in and around Madison, Wisconsin. He is available to fire departments, civic organizations, and athletic teams for training, consulting, and speaking engagements. He has published numerous articles on fitness, health, and the mind-body connection and was a featured speaker at the IAFC’s FRI 2009 Health Day in Dallas, Texas. E-mail him at MKPTLLC@gmail.

It’s Back to School Time!

Hi, boys and girls!


Welcome to Molly’s Kids Zone on Firelife.com!


My name is Molly, and I am a real fire dog. I love teaching fire safety to children.


One of the things I like about being a fire dog and mascot is being able to travel the United States sharing fire safety with boys and girls just like you!






Can you believe that it is already back to school time?


Where did the summer go?


I hope everyone has a great school year!


Make it the best EVER!






I was super excited to travel to Shreveport, Louisiana to take part in the “Clear the Shelter” Day.


Not only do I love helping keep children safe by sharing fire safety, I love to help others, including my furry friends!


Molly the Fire Safety Dog at the Sci-Port Discovery Center in Shreveport, Louisiana sharing fire safety. (Photo by Janet and Paisley Ploudre.)



My favorite part was sharing fire safety with boys and girls and showing them some of my special tricks!


Did you know that I know 82 tricks?


I was also excited that KTAL news was there filming a segment for their newscast!


Watch the newscast below!



I also had a great time on the Spirit of the Red River Cruise  after the event at Sci-Port.


Molly the Fire Safety Dog on the Spirit of the Red River Cruise in Shreveport, Louisiana. (Photo by Spirit of the Red River Cruise.)



It was a great way to relax and I really learned alot about Shreveport and its Red River History!


I LOVE riding in boats, don’t you?








You may have less than three minutes to escape a home fire and every second counts.


Make a home escape map and talk with your family about what to do if there is a fire.


Be sure to practice your escape plan.


1. Know two ways out of every room.

2. A closed door can stop the spread of gas, heat and smoke.

3. Have a meeting place outside your home.

4. Know how to call 911 from outside to report a fire.

5. Practice your escape plan with everyone who lives in your home at least twice a year.


(Fire safety tips from the Keep Kids Fire Safe Foundation and the United States Fire Administration.)





> October 5, Hero Dog Awards, Beverly Hills, California


Follow me on Facebook for more up-to-date information on my appearance schedule!








Ask your grown-up to download my activity book, send a photo of you with one of the coloring pages, and I will send you a trading card!


One of you will have your photo in next month’s column!


Have fun coloring!


(Photo by Jana Braswell.)




Click on my photo to download my new fire safety activity book!


Find more fun pages like these HERE.


Stay safe, boys and girls, and I will see you next month!


Have a safe and Happy New Year!




Molly the Fire Safety Dog

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter

Easy Chicken Meatballs with Easy Marinara

By A.J. Fusco


A.J. Fusco started Fork and Hose Company in 2011 by as a way to share his passion for cooking with other firefighters. Over time, it grew to a community of firehouse chefs sharing meals and recipes from all over the world, with a focus on healthier cooking. In 2017, A.J.’s dedication to firehouse cooking landed him on Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” twice, and on his first show he won the Salute to Firefighters episode! A.J.’s passion for cooking didn’t stop in the firehouse! He enrolled at the International Culinary Center in Manhattan in 2016 and graduated Top of the Class in the Professional Culinary Arts program. A.J. has worked in professional kitchens in Manhattan and Westchester since graduating and continues to do so on his days off from the firehouse.

Semi-Frozen Blueberry Pie

By Ryan McKay

After watching my lads power through eight hours of pump training in the unrelenting southern sun, I contemplated breaking our weekday code of saving desserts for the weekend so we can keep our current beach bods looking slim. But alas, I am a sucker for quick, delicious desserts and rewarding my crew for a job well done. Enter my take on a semi-frozen blueberry pie.

With summer reaching an end soon, blueberries are thankfully still in peak season and thus readily available and inexpensive. These pearl-sized gems of tart and blue make me think of baked buckles, fluffy pancakes, and humble pies, so with this in mind I wanted to recreate a blueberry pie fit for summer.

Imagine, if you will, splitting the middle between a semifreddo and frozen yogurt and you’ll land at this semi-frozen delight. It uses very little in the way of ingredients and takes but a few active minutes in making, which appealed to my sore, tired body. A handful of ingredients, a power tool, and many smiling faces, this frozen pie will make your end of summer.

A few after the fire critiques: Blueberries were the call here, but I have used other fruits. Consider strawberries, mangos, pineapple, raspberries, etc. I used Turbinado sugar but regular sugar will do fine. The spices I’ve listed will do the job of bringing America to your kitchen table; however, consider adding ground ginger and cardamom as well.




Frozen Soft Serve

Frozen Blueberries (1½ Cups)

Sweetened Condensed Milk (¾ Cup)

Lemon Juice (from one lemon)

Lemon Zest (from half a lemon)

Salt (½ tsp.)



Flour (1 Cup)

Sugar (¼ Cup, Turbinado preferred)

Brown Sugar (¼ Cup)

Butter (¾ Cup)

Lemon Zest (from half a lemon)

Salt (½ tsp.)

Cinnamon (½ tsp.)

All Spice (¼ tsp.)

Nutmeg (¼ tsp.)



Food Processor

Glass or Metal Loaf Pan (or similar)

Small Sauté or Cast Iron Pan

Baking Sheet





  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat pan over medium heat and add butter.  Melt until lightly browned and nutty, 10-12 minutes, remove and reserve.
  3. In the food processor, add the flour, sugar, brown sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, and salt and pulse to combine.
  4. Turn food processor on and slowly stream in browned butter until fully combined.
  5. Place the crumble onto the baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned.
  6. Let cool and place in the fridge to reserve.


Frozen Soft-Serve

  1. In the food processor, pulse the blueberries with the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; scrape down the side of the bowl as needed.
  2. Serve soft or transfer to a metal baking pan, cover, and freeze until just firm.
  3. Serve immediately or freeze until hard and reserve.
  4. Place in fridge to slowly thaw for 30 minutes prior to serving.
  5. Top with crumble and indulge!


The Principle of Dharma…The Yoga Way!

By Claire Diab and Dennis Boyle

The Principle of Dharma is the seventh and the final pillar from the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, where the other six laws I have been writing about these past six months have led us to this final principle of Dharma.

Dharma is a Sanskrit word. Sanskrit is a beautiful ancient language from India. When you translate Dharma into the English language it means “purpose or purposes.” We all have a purpose in life and, many times, we have more than one.

Depending on the time of our life, our Dharma will change. For example, today my Dharma is to certify teachers to teach Yoga and meditation. In this time of my life, it is also my Dharma to take care of my 92-year-old father. When I was younger, in the 1980s, my Dharma was to be a college student to learn to develop myself and my career. Then, after receiving my master’s degree, my Dharma was to teach as a college professor of Asian studies. We will all have different Dharmas. Some of you may have children, and that is your Dharma.

For all of you firefighters, you have had different Dharmas through the different stages of your life. Your Dharma now is to help and serve as a firefighter: saving people’s lives and helping and caring for people. Many of you also may have a side-Dharma: landscaping, construction, sales, accounting, and so on. Again, many of you may have a third dharma such as being a father or a mother to children. Whatever your purposes in life right now, know they are all important. Be aware that, in each purpose, you are helping and serving.

The following three things will help us realize our Dharma and also help us work on it:

  1. Notice what brings you joy and what “lights you up.”
  2. Realize that you are unique and the you have a unique way of expressing yourself in your Dharma.
  3. Ask yourself the questions: How can I help? How can I serve?

Most importantly, help and serve yourself before you can truly help and serve others. In the Philosophy of Yoga, the physical aspect of yoga is a wonderful way to begin helping, serving, and taking care of yourself.

Below is a video clip of the Six Directions of The Spine which I believe is a beautiful flow that will nourish and strengthen your spine, both calming and nourishing your central nervous system. This will truly help your whole being: mentally, physically, emotionally. Enjoy!

~ Namaste ~

Lots of Love and Hugs,

— Claire


Claire Diab is an internationally recognized yoga therapist. She is the director of the Yoga Program for the Chopra Center founded by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon. She is an adjunct professor of Asian Studies at Seton Hall University. She is the author of several books and DVDs on yoga including “Yoga for Firefighters.”

Dennis Boyle is a retired fire director and acting chief with the West Orange (NJ) Fire Department. He was the recipient of the 1999 New Jersey Deputy Fire Chiefs “Fire Officer of the Year” award.

VFIS Launches Responderhelp.com

VFIS booth

VFIS announced the launch of ResponderHelp.com, an emergency responder’s one-stop free resource. ResponderHelp.com was developed and administered by VFIS but offers content sourced from a broad variety of leading industry specialists.

The website was developed to serve as a gift to the emergency service community in celebration of VFIS’ 50th anniversary – and, as is customary of a true gift, using ResponderHelp.com is free!

There is no other known system that contains such a vast array of emergency service-related content available in today’s marketplace. VFIS saw this as an opportunity to create a tool that would have a positive and meaningful impact on a group of people who help others and serve their communities every day.

ResponderHelp.com currently houses 2,000+ free resources for emergency service organizations, including standard operating guidelines, technical bulletins, training materials, articles, checklists and videos – and new content is being added weekly. While most of the website’s resources will be free to everyone, select materials will either be available for free to VFIS clients or available for purchase to non-clients.

Responders can browse topics based on what’s new, what’s trending or what’s on their mind. The resources on ResponderHelp.com will provide answers and insight, and there will also be the opportunity to create a free account and ask subject matter experts additional questions, as well as to read questions that have been asked by other users. Those who register will also have the ability to build personal resource libraries, which could be especially useful for leaders/trainers who are building training and educational programs for their members.

To provide the most comprehensive resource library, ResponderHelp.com offers content from not only VFIS, but the United States Fire Administration, Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association/Emergency Responder Safety Institute, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section, Drexel University and selected National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer applied research papers.

“We are honored to be in a position where we can give back to an industry that welcomed us with open arms and allowed us to serve alongside them over the years. In return, we wanted to create a truly state-of-the-art resource that would assist them in their efforts to serve their communities,” said Troy Markel, President of VFIS. “Our mission to serve as true partners to emergency responders has remained consistent and true over the last 50 years and will continue for 50 more and beyond.”

ResponderHelp.com was officially unveiled at the Fire-Rescue International (FRI) conference in Atlanta on August 8, 2019. A reception was held for industry leaders and media personnel where they learned how the site works and received hands-on demonstrations.


Sweat and Struggle

By Michael Krueger

I try not to take in too much fitness news and research. By “too much” I mean an amount that makes me confused and crazy. Most of the time that isn’t a problem, but occasionally it is.

Today, for example, is one of those days. My brain is overloaded and overheated. A client made a request that required some research on my part. Well, one thing led to another, and after a couple hours of reading conflicting studies and opinions, my brain hurts.

Why do I do that?


The Problem

There is a lot of information out there and I read a lot of it. The NSCA regularly publishes a journal of new research findings, and historically that had been a regular cover-to-cover read for me; but now, not quite so much. Now I try to confine my reading to research regarding a particular issue or concern at the moment. When I allow myself to stray from that mandate is when I go down a rabbit hole.

For instance, today I was researching a metabolic question. Honestly, that type of research is not my favorite to do. It’s technical and involves a lot of different studies with differing methods and occasionally shadowy sponsors and motives. It also involves chemistry and mathematics, neither of which are my strong suits.

I started to get fuzzy, so I got up and wandered around a little, stretched, and refilled my water bottle. When I returned to the task at hand, I found myself browsing other topics not related in any way to my original quest. I told myself that I would get back to my original focus in a moment, since this other article was “interesting” and would only take a minute or two to read.

Well, as happens, that article led to another and another. Soon, I had more than a page of notes on my legal pad with no end in sight. So, as always, I got up and moved around  again. I did some work on the foam roller to loosen up a bit and wandered outside to get some fresh air. The fresh air thing was a ruse, because I was sitting on my screen porch and was getting plenty of air; so you can see, I was in trouble.

After a while, I sat back down and got back to work. It didn’t take long, and I had the information my client requested and a few recommendations on how to apply them to his situation. Then I looked over the notes I had been scribbling down. I realized that even though I strayed from my original subject, I had come upon some good information. It wasn’t germane to what I was supposed to be doing, but it was interesting and may come in handy at a later date.

Then I thought about all the other times I did the same thing. I start one place and end up somewhere else but gained some knowledge along the way. It isn’t always information that I needed right at that moment but stuff that was good to know.


How It Applies

What I’m getting at is when it comes to fitness, it’s easy to get confused and off the track. You may be very content with your program, and then you read something or talk with someone and the doubts start creeping in. You wonder if maybe you are heading in the wrong direction and they know something you don’t. Well, whether or not you’re on the wrong path is a question only you can answer, but whether or not some else knows something you don’t is a given. We all have specialized knowledge and experience, so it never hurts to listen to or read about something that interests you and is new to you.

The problem comes when you give more weight to what someone else says as opposed to your hard-won personal experience. You know more about how you react to a particular physical stimulus better than anyone else. You also know that you are in some ways very different than anyone else.

As human beings, we have a lot in common with every other human being. But we differ slightly from everyone else as well. Add to those differences many years of life, and the differences can be quite astounding. Genetics aside, consider your nutrition, illnesses, injuries, influences, and goals, and you can see how many variables there are that will affect your progress and success over time.

All of these things will affect how you relate to the generalized information that permeates the media as well as the health and fitness world. We are all humans, so we will all eventually die, but that’s about the only general truth that we all share when it comes to fitness and life.



I really like my current mode of training. It’s intense, brief, and infrequent, and it fits my goals and my life. I have no desire to change it up at this time because it’s working very well. I was speaking with a guy I know who was a bodybuilder and power lifter at various times in his life. Despite his pushing 80 years old, he is still active and in good shape even with his two new knees.

He showed me his basement gym. It was nice and served his needs well. He asked me a few questions about his training, and I answered them as best I could. I have never worked with him, so I didn’t have any firsthand knowledge about his past, present, or future goals.

He got a little frustrated by my answers regarding how he could make his workout more effective. I asked him if he enjoyed his training and if he was getting from it what he wanted. He said that he was, and I gave him the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I went on to explain how if you go looking for a problem, you will probably find more than a couple to torment your mind. If you are doing well, as he obviously was, don’t worry about it. If he starts to notice a lack of progress or an injury creeping up, then it’s time to go searching for answers. Until then, just kick back and enjoy the ride.

He gave me one of those looks that I get often from clients. Nearly everyone, no matter how well they are doing, believes that there is some magic or secret that they are missing. If they can possess this missing piece, the world will open up to them. Well, that’s not going to happen.

By the time I explained that to him, he admitted that he was happy with his fitness but added with a grin that he wanted to be sure he wasn’t missing anything important … he wasn’t.


What to Do

So, while it never hurts to gain new information, don’t allow it to confuse and sidetrack you. It may be just interesting information now, but perhaps at some later time in your training it might apply to an issue you are having. Just don’t invent a problem to go with your new solution.

Getting back to my original premise, if you are happy with what you’ve got and it’s taking you where you want to go, stick with it until it’s time for a change. When you look at your log book, you may find that you took a somewhat circuitous route to get to where you are, but you learned a lot along the way and absorbed even more without even realizing it.

There is no magic and there are no secrets; only discipline and hard work will get you to where you want to be.

No one can sweat and struggle for you…

…this is one trip you have to take alone.


Michael Krueger is an NSCA-certified personal trainer. He got his start in fitness training while serving in the United States Coast Guard. He works with firefighters and others in and around Madison, Wisconsin. He is available to fire departments, civic organizations, and athletic teams for training, consulting, and speaking engagements. He has published numerous articles on fitness, health, and the mind-body connection and was a featured speaker at the IAFC’s FRI 2009 Health Day in Dallas, Texas. E-mail him at MKPTLLC@gmail.

Alaskan Fishing Trip 2019—Halibut


Fire Life’s Kevin Shea returns with another installment of what he does best: taking on nature in the great outdoors.


In this latest video, Kevin heads to the Alaskan wilderness with his buddies Dave and Phillip and his grandson Patrick in search of the elusive but plentiful fish.




Kevin Shea is a firefighter (ret.) with the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) who actively served for 20 years in the fire service. He joined the volunteer fire service in 1978 with the Hicksville (NY) Volunteer Fire Department at the age of 18 and was hired by FDNY in 1984. With the FDNY, Shea served on an Engine Co. 227, 108 Truck in Brooklyn, and on Rescue 1 in Manhattan. He was injured in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and forced to retire because of injuries sustained from that incident in 1998. Shea has since taught for the FDNY, at FDIC International, and for the state and county of New York.

Molly Visits the New York Hall of Science!

Hi, boys and girls!


Welcome to Molly’s Kids Zone on Firelife.com!


My name is Molly, and I am a real fire dog. I love teaching fire safety to children.


One of the things I like about being a fire dog and mascot is being able to travel the United States sharing fire safety with boys and girls just like you!





Last month, I traveled to New York City to the New York Hall of Science for “Superpower Dogs Day.”


I Had so much fun sharing fire safety with the boys and girls!

Molly the Fire Safety Dog shares fire safety at the New York Hall of Science. (Photo by Ben Hider.)


I was excited to get a sneak peek of the back cover of Anthony Rubio’s Designs Canine Couture Coffee Table Book!


I Am very honored and excited to be in the inside of the book and gracing the back cover.


The book features dogs and photographers from the US and Canada.

Master Pet Couturier Anthony Rubio with his chihuahua Bogie at the New York Hall of Science. (Photo by Ben Hider.)


Tammy Swarek Photography took the photo last year. I have been sworn to secrecy on the design this entire time!


Just wait until you see the book in real life with all of Anthony’s stunning designs!


My friends from the Pup Scouts were also at the event and I was so glad to see them again!


They had a booth sharing information about their organization and we got to watch the movie, Superpower Dogs, together!

Molly the Fire Safety Dog with her friends from the PupScouts. (Photo by Ben Hider.)


Pup Scouts are very similar to the Girl Scout/Boy Scout organizations, but PupScouts is strictly for dogs and their parents.


I love being a PupScout!


My fellow PupScouts and I like to have fun earning badges, helping others, meeting new friends and bonding with our parents.

Molly the Fire Safety Dog hanging out with her fellow PupScouts at the New York Hall of Science. (Photo by Virginia Rodriguez.)


See more photos from the big day here!





Ask your grown-ups to test your smoke alarms monthly.

Molly the Fire Safety Dog “testing” a smoke alarm. (Photo by Ben Hider.)


Parents: Teach children what your smoke alarm sounds like and what to do if they hear it. Get out and crawl low under smoke.

Photo courtesy of the United States Fire Administration.





> August 17, Sci-Port Discovery Center, Shreveport, LA

Stay tuned for more dates coming soon!








Ask your grown-up to download my activity book, send a photo of you with one of the coloring pages, and I will send you a trading card!


One of you will have your photo in next month’s column!


Have fun coloring!


(Photo by Jana Braswell.)




Click on my photo to download my new fire safety activity book!


Find more fun pages like these HERE.


Stay safe, boys and girls, and I will see you next month!


Have a safe and Happy New Year!




Molly the Fire Safety Dog

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter

New Controlled Substances Tracking Solution to Be Launched During Fire-Rescue International

Vector Solutions and Target Solutions

TargetSolutions, a Vector Solutions brand offering the leading EMS and Fire Department training, asset management, and workforce scheduling software, is excited to present its latest innovation for tracking controlled substances during Fire-Rescue International (FRI) in Atlanta. 

In compliance with DEA guidelines, TargetSolutions is releasing an all-new upgrade inside the TargetSolutions Check It™ application for managing Schedule II Controlled Substances. The mobile-friendly feature allows agencies to document all movements of controlled substances securely. From the moment a controlled substance is acquired, to when it is administered or wasted, it can now be tracked. 

“With the current climate in the United States surrounding opioids, EMS and Fire Service organizations must ensure the controlled substances we are entrusted with are managed with the utmost care and accuracy,” said Joseph Santiago, who holds credentials ranging from an MBA in Healthcare to Ambulance and Healthcare Compliance and serves as a subject matter expert for TargetSolutions. 

“If you are relying on dated paper logs and luck to ensure you are compliant with DEA and state regulations, you have your answer in TargetSolutions’ Controlled Substances tracking system. With automated notifications, threshold reminders, and many additional safety nets, your organization’s controlled substances system becomes more secure, more reliable, and more compliant.”

With this new module in TargetSolutions Check It™, which will be available for free demonstrations at booth No. 3425 during FRI, all activities surrounding controlled substances are automatically tracked in one, password-protected online location. Designed for maintaining compliance with DEA standards, the Audit Log records crucial data related to controlled substances.  

“The launch of our Controlled Substance Tracking functionality continues to round out the product’s capabilities and sets it apart as the single solution for all the operational procedures crews perform when they start a shift,” said Alex Montgomery, who serves as general manager for TargetSolutions Check It™.

For more accurate records, a built-in barcode scanner in the mobile application allows personnel to capture usage or other updates closer to when they occur. By scanning the barcode on a drug box item, the controlled substance is instantly pulled up in the system and can be edited appropriately. 

“Two-step authorization and technology-reinforced security measures ensure accountability in performing drug box counts,” said Montgomery. “Employee pin numbers, eSignatures, and facial recognition tools verify personnel responsible for every movement of controlled substances.”

Escalation policies ensure counts are being performed with auto-generated reminders for personnel. In the case of possible discrepancy, supervisors and affected staff are automatically notified via in-platform notifications, emails, or text message alerts. 

To watch a live demonstration of these functionalities inside the  TargetSolutions Check It™ application, or to request a one-on-one demo, please visit booth No. 3425 during FRI 2019.