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Many fire departments across the country are volunteer companies. These are men and women willing to put their lives on the line for their community at a moment’s notice. As a result, volunteer companies face challenges professional firefighters do not encounter. Since volunteers often have full time jobs and other similar personal commitments, they are usually very limited in their time when it comes to training. According to this article from Fire Engineering Magazine, firehouse training needs to remain focused and work to improve the proficiency of those willing to help serve their community. When training is not well thought-out, they may feel they gave up their time for nothing and did not learn anything to help improve their skills. It is important that those who are scheduling and leading the training communicate professionalism and provide pertinent information that will help make sure they are ready for any unique emergency situation that could arise in the area they serve. Make sure to ask the volunteers what they...
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Posted by on in RIT/Survival
All Firemen share the same goals, saving lives and protecting property.  But what if you arrive not prepared, not ready to jump into action ? These few items I will talk about are for all Firemen, Volunteer or Career. Every time I walk into my station, I usually do the same few things, a few things that can save my life. First, I check my gear from head to toe. Starting with my coat, checking gloves, hood, tools, and for any rips or tears on the coat. Next I check my pants, making sure extra gloves, chocks, and that my boots are in good shape. I next check my facepiece, looking for dirt and debris, and making sure the straps are in good working order. My next move is to the apparatus I will be riding. I first make sure my SCBA is full, and that the straps are fully open....
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
Two years in CMD   I. Have. Lived. I can say it. I've been through things that I believe everyone needs to experience.  I don't think my learning is done; on the contrary, it has been accelerated by the eye opening I have been lucky enough to have.   I moved from one of the wealthiest areas in NJ to one of the most impoverished cities in the country.  Just a half hour down the road...   I'm not stupid. I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew I'd come face to face with situations that would be less than favorable. I knew I'd see death.   I'm not some yuppie kid who moved to a terrible area to make a martyr of myself. I had one clear intention. I moved to the City of Camden, NJ to be eligible for the fire department civil service list. After I moved in, the city...
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Whenever someone sees a new video online with a helmet camera, I usually receive  questions along the lines of: Do you know what camera they used? Or what camera do you like best? My typical answer is that I do not know what camera they used and my favorite camera so far has to go to FD Cam for performance and customer service.  The staff FD Cam is very easy to get in touch with and they don’t beat around the bush. For more information you can check out FD Cams site visit here. But, after getting questioned, I then return with the question “what do you think about helmet cameras?”  The answer I get 95% of the time is that they are dumb.  I then ask why and they all explain that the people who have helmet cameras put stupid stuff up on the Internet.  Although I don’t agree that...
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Posted by on in The News
There are heavy hearts across the nation this morning. One has to wonder, what the hell is going to happen next? My mind is racing: between the stack of work bigger than my bag at my daily grind, the incidents in Boston and now West, Texas, and the drill I'm running for my company this evening at our county burn tower. I'm slowly gathering my thoughts; my mind feels a little numb. But, the recurring theme through all of these incidents is quite clear to me. Through all of the bad things, we have to remember: we need to use these incidents to learn for the future, so no one’s death is in vain. While my prayers are with the brave people that gave their lives protecting West, Texas last night, mentally I (and we all) should take note so we can become better protectors of our own communities. Do you...
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In light of the recent events in Boston our level of awareness has been heightened. While no one is currently sure who committed these acts or why this bombing took place, it just reminds us that we cannot let our guard down. A few days before the bombing, there was an incident that took place in Mantua Twp. New Jersey that brought forward once again how vigilant we have to be. I feel it is necessary to get this information out to everyone. US government intelligence agencies have said in the past there was creditable evidence that terrorist groups have plans that include the use of emergency vehicles as IED’s. Below is the official release from the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety on the incident: “The Division of Fire Safety has received information from the Mantua Twp., Gloucester County, NJ Fire Department that on April 12, 2013 two male subjects, appearing...
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Posted by on in The News
With the events that happened in Boston within the past 24 hours, it makes me think of one thing. Social Media is much bigger than anyone could ever imagine. Social Media is a way to interact with friends and family from the past and present. Many people have connected with people that they haven’t seen or heard from in the past 5, 10, 15 even 20 years. Hell, just the other week, I received a message on Facebook from someone that used to volunteer with my father 20+ years ago in my local department in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. It was a great feeling when I was able to relay the message from that gentleman to my parents that this guy--that I have NEVER met before, wanted to say hello to them after 20+ years. The look on my parents face was such a great feeling because they had the look of...
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Posted by on in LODD
RESPECT.   I've heard sirens a few times today in Center City Philly.  I keep thinking about Captain Goodwin and the fact that I can't go to his funeral.  But then I realized something.   I'm from a small town with two fire companies. If we had a brother fall in the line of duty, our companies would be out of service for the funeral and cover companies would come help us out. They'd do this out of RESPECT. RESPECT for us, and RESPECT for our fallen brother.   The City of Philadelphia has 61 firehouses. To cover all of those companies is impossible. All I can think now is that someone is working in a firehouse today that knew Captain Goodwin and probably has worked with him, but can't be at his funeral to say good bye.   So today, when you send prayers to Captain Goodwin and his family,...
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The firefighter must wear full PPE including their face piece but not the pack. Put press and seal in the mask to distort their vision. Lay a handline out in a spaghetti mess. Use at least two sections. Start the firefighter in the middle of the mess, teaching them to find the smooth side of the coupling to safety. At the end of the line, place an air pack with bottle detached. As the firefighter finds it, he or she must put it together and breath air. Keeping their gloves on.This isn't a scenario that one would encounter in a fire, but it helps hone tactile skills.Train hard. Your life depends on it!  ...
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