Firehouse.Com – Fire Below! The Importance of the ‘Basement Check’

Be sure to stop by on Monday, January 5th, to check out TT instructor Nick Martin’s article on size-up issues related to basement fires.  

The article can be found here.


Wet Stuff On the Red Stuff… The Nozzle Position


By: Danny Doyle

Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire

The infamous statement “The fire goes as the first line goes”  has either become a harsh reality to  you or something that you might have read in the latest fire service journals.  We are going to dig into that statement regarding the first line, one position at a time, starting at the tip!   It could be said that this topic has been beat to death, “you can put a monkey at the tip”, or even “this isn’t rocket science!”  Well…  The only way to have a crew with continuity is to know the game plan and know each other!   A “monkey” with a few good techniques, sure, “rocket science”  no.  Common Sense, YES! Continue reading

Unique Tools of the Trade Part II

The sign above Pete's gear locker at Rescue 2, the true Vulcan God of Fire Lt. Pete Lund

The sign above Pete’s gear locker at Rescue 2, the true Vulcan God of Fire Lt. Pete Lund

To follow up on the previous article, there are two more tools that I wanted to share with all of you. I personally loved carrying these two tools with me when I was assigned to be the driver of the truck at Bailey’s Crosssroads. I currently still carry both of these in my Buggy in Clearwater. But enough from me I will let Pete tell you the story behind these tools and their uses…

Continue reading

Chock that Door!

Recently, NIOSH released the report on the LODD of Allan Roberts (BCFD) that occurred on 10/10/06 in Greek town neighborhood of Baltimore City. FF Roberts died at a fire in the middle of the group row home in which, due to numerous factors, he and his crew became trapped inside the dwelling. The report is an excellent training document for you to review with your members because the conditions faced that day are re-created everyday all across the Country. Here is a link to the report:

Baltimore City Fire Service

The fortunate aspect of our occupation, the associated LODD’s, and subsequent comprehensive reports that follow is that they validate what we train on and why we train on these particular skills. The contributing factor and recommendations in the report that each and every firefighter should review, and is the focus of this posting, is surrounding the chocking of doors. FF Roberts and his crew became trapped inside the dwelling when they fell back into the front metal door which caused the 1 3/4″ hoseline to became jammed under the door. Aside from this obstacle that was limiting their egress, they also had to deal with the fact that the three of them were piled up behind the door in high heat / zero visibility conditions. Essentially, no one could get in or get out because the hoseline was jammed under the door. If this scenario sounded unrealistic before, now we know it is not, and can happen to anyone. So what do we learn to take this factor out of the equation? Chock every door we go through.


Continue reading

“Inductive Loops” – Forcing Entry Through Electric Gates

In many areas, gated communities are becoming more common.  We frequently encounter mechanized gates that are chain-operated or work off a swing-arm, preventing us from accessing whatever it is we need to access.  When presented with these, we have a couple options…

  1. Have the key.  If we’re pro-active about our box alarm district, the manager might give us a key to keep in the map book or the rig so we don’t break his gate (see step 2).
  2. Cut the chain.  If it’s chain driven… But which chain?  There are two: short & long.  If you look, you’ll notice the shorter chain is under tension – cut that one.  Cutting the long one will do nothing for you.
  3. “Inductive Loops”.  Dave Pylar, a good friend from Tower 3 in DC and a part time TT instructor, shared with me this quick & simple way of opening these gates in a non-destructive manner.  Check out the PDF below for more information on how to look like an all-star the next time you encounter one of these….


Open-Enrollment Class 1/17/09: Downingtown, PA

We will be presenting our Fighting Fires in Residential Buildings curriculum on Saturday 1/17/09 in Downingtown, PA (30 miles west of Philadelphia).  For more information & registration please click here.


So far, we have over 100+ attendees attending.  There is still plenty of room and registration will be open until the day of the class.

Elevator Operations at High Rise Part II


Fire Department Operations Using Elevators:  Part II

 Battalion Chief Al Mullins

High Rise Operations:

 You are the first due company at a fire in a high rise and because the fire is on an upper floor you make a critical decision to take the elevator.  Good choice, but you need to insure things are working properly.

Continue reading