In Case You Missed It: October 2015 Fire Engineering Features

Fire Engineering is now hosting the online reality show “The Battalion,” episodes of which you can find at

Scroll down to see what else you may have missed this month on our site.

More of our feature articles can be found at

Be ‘That Guy’


Firefighters have a reputation for doing great things in the face of fear. Do this. Be that guy, writes Robert Stumpf.


Training Officer’s Toolbox: Tactical Decision Games


Tactical decisions games are extremely useful for mentally running through firefighting situations and testing your firefighters’ knowledge. A new officer development bulletin from Brian Ward.


The Job: Knee Wall Operations


Frank Ricci offers this training video on firefighting considerations when dealing with potential fire in knee walls.


Throw Back to Basics: Rural Water Supply


These limited or rural water supply situations are challenging, but through training, preplanning, and communication, they can be handled in a highly efficient and effective manner, writes Brian Zaitz.


One Is the Loneliest Number: Incident Command Priorities at Spill Incidents


Bruce Lake discusses considerations for the incident commander at spill incidents involving hazardous materials.


Training Minutes: Victim Removal from Concrete Collapse


In this Training Minutes video on technical rescue, David Rhodes, Jamey Brads, and company demonstrate removing a victim with a lower extremity injury from a collapse scenario. 


Extensive Extrication Required for a WI Dump Truck Crash


On October 6, 2015, at 0027 hours, the Germantown (WI) Fire Department was dispatched to a reported dump truck rollover with entrapment on Interstate 41 at the Freistadt Road overpass.


The Battalion: Fire at a Mattress Outlet


In this new episode of “The Battalion,” Fresno (CA) firefighters find themselves dealing with a fire at a mattress outlet.


Construction Concerns: Classification of Flammable and Combustible Liquids


Emergency service workers need to become familiar with the globally harmonized system, its labels, and its safety data sheets, writes Gregory Havel.


Developing Your Professional Development Program


Are you doing your very best to enable and prepare them to be the next generation of leaders? Sal Scarpa discusses the need to institute a professional development program for your fire department.


Film Looks at the Challenges Facing Maine Volunteer Firefighters


An online video shows some of the challenges affecting volunteer firefighters in Maine.


Fireground Simulation: Commercial Structure Fire


Scott Goodwin Associates presents another full-length fireground training simulation video.


Throw Back to Basics: Securing the Bail


In his new Throw Back to Basics, Brian Zaitz offers this new way to secure an extended line.


Drills: The Role of the Safety Officer


In this collection of firefighter training drills, Forest Reeder takes a look at the various roles and responsibilities that fall to the incident safety officer on the fireground.


The Job: Knot-Tying Skills


How are your knot skills doing? Frank Ricci provided this video of some New Haven (CT) Fire recruits demonstrating some knot-tying skills.


Positive Leadership Traits


It’s about them, it’s not about you, writes P.J. Norwood.


Humpday Hangout: RIT and Saving Our Own


In this week’s Humpday Hangout, Battalion Chief David Polikoff and guests discuss rapid intervention teams (RIT) and truck work with Capitol Fire Training LLC.


Training Minutes: Rollover Extrication with Pin


In this new Training Minutes video, Paul DeBartolomeo and company discuss response to a patient whose extremities have been pinned in a motor vehicle accident.


The Fire Officer’s Guide to the Tough Community Questions, Part 3


Every residence in your community should be equipped with a properly operating fire alarm. The tough part of this question is how to make that happen, writes Mark Wallace.


Meeting the Minimums


Has your agency established organizational “minimums” associated with each position, and are you meeting them? Dave Hargis on how firefighters can up their (and their department’s) game.


What Would You Do? Downtown Apartment Building Fire


The fire in this training simulation occurs in a downtown apartment building. What would you do? Check out a new one from Skip Coleman.


Training Officer’s Toolbox: Simulations


Simulations are one form of tactical decision games that provide useful training situations and allow firefighters to gain experience, Brian Ward writes.


Engine Company EMS: Bringing It


Nobody wants to live with the knowledge that somebody died because the right equipment was not available when needed, and no firefighter should arrive on an EMS scene empty handed, Michael Morse writes.


Throw Back to Basics: Z-Rig


Rope rescue is one the most common technical rescues responses. Take the time your next tour to tie a few knots and set up the Z-Rig, says Brian Zaitz.


Fire Photographer Profile: Tod Sudmeier


Fire Engineering talks to Tod Sudmeier, who is catching fires around Southern California. Tod took some time to discuss the area he operates in as well as some of his work.


Humpday Hangout: Cancer Prevention in the Fire Service


What are you doing to avoid contracting job-related cancer? What has your fire department, as an organization, done to reduce the frightening number of cases of job-related cancer in firefighters? Join Bill Gustin, Mike Dugan, and their guests as they tackle one of the most pressing health-related issues facing the American fire service.


A Victim of Your Own Success


Sometimes, past fireground success can lead firefighters to “automatic” behaviors that may not be appropriate based on fire dynamics or building construction. Dave DeStefano on areas to watch out for.


Training Minutes: Tips for the Nozzle Operator and Backup Firefighter


In this new Training Minutes video on engine company operations, Dave McGrail and Lieutenants Brock Heiss and James Remly share some details on the roles of the nozzle operator and backup firefighter during fire attack and hoseline advancement.


Construction Concerns: Job Site Fire Safety


Construction job sites are not exempt from serious fires. Greg Havel has some thoughts on ensuring safety for workers, firefighters, and the public at large.


The Job: Searching an Occupied Attic


Frank Ricci is back on “The Job.” In this video tip, Ricci describes some potential problematic features of attic stairs in 2 1/2-story wood frame dwellings and some tips to maintain.


From the Jumpseat: Ready? Set?…


As firefighters, we may find ourselves inside a burning building in minutes. So how do we pivot from whatever we’re currently doing and get into the readiness mindset? Mark Cotter has some recommendations.


Firefighter Training Drill: Seven-Step Training Program for Fireground Success


Dan Shaw reviews the seven most common tactics employed on the fireground that, if executed correctly and in a coordinated manner, can spell success for firefighters.


Throw Back to Basics: Dash Lift


In this fire rescue basics bulletin, Brian Zaitz reviews a fundamental extrication method for freeing a patient entrapped by the dashboard after a motor vehicle accident.


Drills You Won’t Find in the Books: The Fence Drill


How do you access your radio if you’re pinned down by debris? Raul Angulo argues that this training drill may make some firefighters change their mind about how they wear their radio.


Humpday Hangout: Focus on Training


In this week’s Humpday Hangout, hosts Aaron Heller and Steve Pegram talk to their guests about training issues facing the fire service.


Uncommon Benefits in the Fire Service


In addition to showing that you care about the troops, providing your firefighters with perks can help aid in retention and make your organization a destination department, Mike DeStefano writes.


Extrication Training Video: Tips and Tricks


In this new Training Minutes video, Todd Taylor and company share tips and tricks to save time over the total rescue incident.


What Would You Do? Single-Family Dwelling Fire


This fire occurs in a single-family dwelling at daybreak. Check out a new training simulation from John “Skip” Coleman.


The Future Needs Leadership


With baby boomers retiring as fast as we can promote others, we must exude strong leadership and mentor those rising through the ranks to prepare them to become future fire service leaders, writes Jacob McAfee.


Firefighter Training Drill: Alternate Tower Ladder Setups


This drill from Nick Martin discusses some options to reduce this distance and encourage you to learn your apparatus’ specifications and capabilities before the fire.



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