Building Construction Awareness Project

Paul Dansbach, Lex Shady, James Johnson, Jack Murphy and Joe Pronesti
Fire Engineering/YouTube

The year was 1971. Firefighters still rode the back tailboard of apparatus, household furnishing were still for the most part natural fiber, self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) were carried in large cases stowed away in compartments, and a new firefighting text came out authored by gentleman named Frank Brannigan. As a fire protection engineer, Brannigan had a passion for how building construction behaved under fire conditions and how this affected members on the fireground. That book, Building Construction for the Fire Service (BCFFS), is now (2020) is in its sixth edition and is a must have for all firefighters everywhere.

Today is the first of what will be quarterly installments on Fire Engineering panel members  Paul Dansbach, Jack Murphy, James Johnson, Glenn Corbett (co-author of  BCFFS), and Lex Shady, all who share the same passion and wish to carry on the path started by Frank Brannigan. This group seeks to highlight the importance of building construction and fire attack, especially in today’s modern material design world.

Each session will also have handouts or attached PowerPoint slides that will emphasize the theme of the show and allow members the opportunity to add to, discuss, and train with their fellow firefighters. Download this month’s PowerPoint here.

If you have an idea for any future shows please contact show host Joe Pronesti at

Enjoy and remember, as Frank Brannigan said: “The building is your enemy, know your buildings.”


FE 1925: Know Your Buildings

The Fog of the Fireground: Know Your Buildings

Big City Tactics for Small Town Fire Departments: Company Preplan Made Simple

John Mittendorf: Reading A Building – Practicing The Theory

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