In Case You Missed It: September 2015 Fire Engineering Features

September marked the commemoration of the American fire service’s most tragic day, September 11, 2001, in which 343 members of the Fire Department of New York died in the line of duty. Rick Lasky spoke with Mike Dugan and Jay Jonas about their sacrifice in a chat earlier in the month. We also had a pair of commentaries on vertical ventilation, as well as numerous other training articles and drills.

Read more of our Web exclusives at

Corbett’s Trivia: Conflagration

When was the last conflagration in Manhattan?

The Dangers of Fire Escapes


As long as fire escapes are attached to buildings, occupants will use them during fires, leaving firefighters as the ones who will be responsible to manage fire escape rescue operations, writes Thomas N. Warren.


Humpday Hangout: High-Rise Firefighting and New Technologies


In this week’s hangout, Bobby Halton, Mike Dugan, Jack Murphy, and Todd Harms will discuss technology in high rise buildings. Sponsored by RescueAir.


Firefighting Tactics: Change Breeds Debate


The continuing debate over fire science research and firefighting tactics is important, writes Brian P. Kazmierzak. Dissenting factions may never fully agree, but both sides should proceed with civility and in good faith.


The Battalion: 48 Hours with Fresno Fire


Fire Engineering is proud to be hosting episodes of The Battalion.TV Network, which lets viewers ride along with various fire departments from across North America.


Training Minutes: Getting to the Victim in a Concrete Collapse


At the Guardian Centers, David Rhodes and company continue their series of technical rescue Training Minutes videos covering the next steps of rescuing a patient trapped in a concrete collapse.


Construction Concerns: Natural Gas and Propane


In his new Construction Concerns, Gregory Havel discusses the use of natural gas and liquefied propane gas in buildings under construction, in buildings undergoing renovation, and in the temporary structures that are found on construction job sites.


Firefighter Training Drill: Ladder Company Positioning


This drill from Nick Martin is a reminder of the importance of proper positioning along with some of the factors that must be considered to achieve it.


You Are What You Preach


Consider your audience when you are speaking and use language, tone, and grammar that reinforce your persona and project a positive image of you and the fire department, writes Sal Scarpa.


Throw Back to Basics: Nozzle Placement


In his new Throw Back To Basics, Brian Zaitz offers this drill that emphasizes correct nozzle placement and handling to exponentially improve the effectiveness of the entire hoseline crew.


Tom Merrill

The Professional Volunteer Fire Department, Part 22—Junior Programs


Junior Firefighting programs are a great way to engage the youth in communities and get them involved in the volunteer fire service, writes Thomas A. Merrill.


Vertical Ventilation: Should it Still be a Primary Tactical Assignment?


P.J. Norwood returns to discuss when and when not to use this vital fireground tactic.


Training Minutes: Ladder Lift for Pin


What do you do when, as an engine company, you arrive on scene where a patient is pinned by a vehicle and you have no rescue tools? In this Training Minutes video, Paul DeBartolomeo and company demonstrate a rapid, “down and dirty” method for using basic equipment found on an apparatus to lift a car and remove a pinned patient.


Organizational Response to Conflict in the Fire Service


Rusty Sullivan asks, Is it possible for the fire service to develop a culture of mediation, a culture of expanding the pie, a culture of “we all win”?


Training Officer’s Toolbox: Training Officer Express—Quick Training


Brian Ward asks, How much do you understand about the learning process? Do you use various methods and incorporate as many senses as possible? Review the Cone of Experience and incorporate into your next training session.


The Fire Officer’s Guide to the Tough Community Questions, Part 2


Mark Wallace writes, If our fire prevention efforts are properly funded, continued, and effectively applied, we can positively impact—but never achieve—100-percent success at fire prevention within our communities.


What Would You Do? Restaurant Fire


This fire occurs in a restaurant approximately 30 minutes before opening for the day. View a new firefighter training simulation video from Skip Coleman.


Throw Back to Basics: Atmospheric Monitoring


Just like the halligan and ax, it is critical for firefighters to practice with an atmospheric monitor. Download a new training bulletin from Brian Zaitz.


Teamwork, Our Most Important Tradition


Nobody spends more time together in intense circumstances than those in rescue professions. Kevin Tuohy writes about the enduring need for solid teamwork in firefighting.


The Great Vertical Ventilation Debate Rekindled: Lightweight Construction and Vertical Ventilation


Vertical ventilation is a critical tool to keep in the firefighting toolbox. Jesse A. Heitz argues that recent research shows that it may not be the best tactic to employ at residential fires in buildings of lightweight construction.


Fire EMS: Continuation of Care


Leading at a time when arguing is an option is always the right choice, writes Michael Morse.


Humpday Hangout: Remembering the 9/11 Fallen


On today’s Humpday Hangout, Rick Lasky talks to FDNY Deputy Chief Jay Jonas and Captain Mike Dugan about remembering and celebrating the lives of some of the great people we lost on September 11th.


Training Minutes: Door Orientation at Apartment Fires


In this Training Minutes video on high-rise firefighting operations, Dave McGrail discusses the importance of sizing up the apartment door.


Construction Concerns: Scaffolds


For his new Construction Concerns, Gregory Havel looks at temporary structures that are used by construction and maintenance workers for access to elevated work areas and to support workers, tools, and materials.


Drill: Fast and Effective Use of Horizontal Ventilation


Columbia (SC) Fire Department Fire Engineer Chris Ford offers this new drill that looks at the pros and cons of horizontal ventilation.


Q & A: Jason Estep on Rural Water Delivery


Morrisvale (WV) Volunteer Fire Department Chief Engineer Jason Estep presented “Rural Water Delivery,” a Webcast on efficient rural water delivery for suppressing fires in small town USA. Read some of his answers to questions posed by students during the presentation. Sponsored by Kochek Co., Inc.


From The Jumpseat: Negotiating Hazards


Mark J. Cotter asks, How do we consistently integrate these dual considerations—doing the right things and avoiding the wrong things—into our fireground decision-making process?


Throw Back to Basics: Engineer Roll


Brian Zaitz offers a potential change for the apparatus operator that may improve both efficiency and effectiveness on the fireground.


Fireground Simulation: Office Building Fire


This fireground simulation from Scott Goodwin Associates features a fire scenario involving a multi-story office building with smoke showing. Share your thoughts on how you would proceed with firefighting operations at this incident.


Fire Photographer Profile: Peter Danzo


For North Jersey-based Peter Danzo, taking photos of fire scene is an outgrowth of his main gig as a deputy chief with the Hackensack (NJ) Fire Department. Chief Danzo took the time to give us his perspective on capturing images of fires and firefighters in his area.


Humpday Hangout: Engine Company Core Issues


In this week’s Humpday Hangout, hosts Mike Dugan and Bill Gustin speak with guests Daryl Liggins, Dan Shaw, and others about engine company core issues.  


Be a Leader Regardless of Rank


David DeStefano asks, Will you rise to the challenge of leading your fellow firefighters for the good of the fire service?


Training Minutes: Extrication Scene Management


In this week’s Training Minutes video, Steve White discusses the roles of the rescue officer and firefighters during an extrication, and how the team concept can help operations flow more smoothly and reduce deviations from the rescue plan.


What Would You Do? Residential High-Rise Fire


Skip Coleman shares a new training simulation, this one involving a fire in a residential high-rise.


Firefighter Training Drill: Covered Skylight


This quick firefighter training drill from Nick Martin consists of an overview of the hazards of “covered skylights” on commercial buildings.


Don’t Bet Your Life: The Sin of Complacency


Choosing to engage in the fight against complacency will make you a better firefighter and a leader for others to follow, writes Robert Stumpf.


Throw Back to Basics: Commercial Lock Forcible Entry


Through-the-lock forcible entry is a key skill set for every firefighter. Brian Zaitz offers a training bulletin on this discipline.


Firefighter Training Bulletin: Tough Decisions


You have a large balloon-frame residential structure with heavy fire on the exterior fueled by a broken gas line with heavy fire extension into the basement and attic. What do you do? Alex Langbell has some thoughts on making those tough decisions.


New Basic Vehicle Extrication Program Available


Basic Vehicle Extrication is a perfect introductory program for the firefighter needing a grounding in the concepts and techniques of extrication.


Humpday Hangout: Rapid Intervention Training


Join Aaron Heller and Steve Pegram along with their guest, Dave Gallagher, for this edition of Humpday Hangout. They will discuss rapid intervention team (RIT) training and how to prepare for and prevent Maydays on the fireground through training.


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