By John F. “Skip” Coleman, Technical Editor

In drill school, we were taught to “never” do this or “never” do that. Here is a “never”: “Never let a firefighter operate a forklift at a fire.” Say you respond to a warehouse fire and need to move stock or rolls of carpeting for salvage. You look over in the corner and see a forklift with several firefighters standing near it. You yell out, “Can any of you operate that thing?” How many do you think will say, “Yes”?

So, at 3:00 a.m., where can you get forklift operators? Where can you get heavy equipment and heavy equipment operators to the scene within one hour? It’s all in the preparation. Share how you were able to secure operators and equipment during a disaster in your community by preparing before the twister went through!

Roundtable question: What steps has your department taken to ensure access to heavy equipment and operators for a disaster in your community? To post your comments, go to fireengineering.com/roundtable.html.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: An old-fashioned pier fire lit up the sky along the Hudson River around midnight in Edgewater, New Jersey. The red glow and heavy smoke blocked out the Manhattan skyline. Firefighters placed numerous handlines into operation and used many saws to open up and reach deep-seated fire; they also used an inflatable raft on mud below the pier with a handline to reach flames underneath. (Photo by Ron Jeffers.) See more photos at http://bit.ly/1lcpK3l. Send your Photo of the Day submissions to Peter Prochilo (peterp@pennwell.com).


Have you been to www.fdic.com since FDIC 2014? You should, because the quality FDIC training continues year-round. View original Roll Call Tip videos and read exclusive training articles from your favorite FDIC instructors. Also watch Webcasts on Demand of popular FDIC classes including “Science in the Big Room,” “Bruno and Norman Unplugged,” “Issues and Challenges in Today’s Fire Service,” and “Hoseline Operations for Fires in Multiple-Family Occupancies.” Train right up to FDIC 2015!


On Thursday, September 18, Bill Gustin will present “Standpipe Operation Tactics.” On Thursday, September 25, John K. Murphy will present “Training Liabilities 2014: Staying Out of the Danger Zone.” Webcasts are free, but you must register. Remember, they are archived on www.fireengineering.com for six months.


How well do you know your turnout gear? Frank Ricci, P.J. Norwood, and others took a trip to Globe Manufacturing’s facilities to see how gear is made. Watch their four-part video series on personal protective equipment at http://www.fireengineering.com/video/globe.html.


In her column Your Money, Financial Advisor and Insurance Agent Diana Palmieri writes in “Reverse Mortgages: Some Pros and Cons”: “Commercial endorsements by veteran actors Henry Winkler and Robert Wagner certainly make a reverse mortgage seem like a smooth, seamless process. For those over the age of 62, it might be. If you are considering this type of mortgage for your parents, or even yourself, there are several considerations.” Read more on finances, fitness, family, and food, only at www.firelife.com.


David DeStefano writes in “On the Line: Focus on the Basics to Be the Best”: “The fire service has a way of losing sight of the basics as we embrace the latest fad or gadget to prove what a forward-thinking and adaptive culture we have become. Although stagnation remains at the root of failure, basic skills save the most lives (including ours) at fires. Let’s be sure our basic skills and tactics are up to par before the next job.” (http://bit.ly/1kpjENR)

Gregory Havel writes in “Construction Concerns: Metal Roofs”: “Metal roofs were used where low cost and low maintenance were needed and appearance was not a design factor. These roofs could have longer life than asphalt shingle or roll roofing, with less cost and less maintenance.” (http://bit.ly/1lMGMtj)

Demetrius A. Kastros writes in “Wildland Firefighting 101”: “The wildland fire environment has proven to be a dangerous one. We must always pay close attention to basic fundamentals that control the outcome of these fires. Safety, conditions, tactics, resources, and time are critical factors.” (http://bit.ly/1pGR5Pl)

Daniel P. Sheridan writes in “The Dangers of Gas Leaks”: “I have responded to thousands of natural gas leak emergencies, some with devastating consequences. The worst one, prior to our most recent disaster in Harlem-where eight lives were lost and which destroyed two five-story tenements-was in Harlem as well.” (http://bit.ly/1wmBZ3r)


Name: Robby Hall.
Department: Almaville (TN) Fire Department.
Rank: lieutenant.
Years of public service: seven.
Agency structure: volunteer department.
Top issues in department: funding, staffing, training.


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