Mutual Aid Fire

The 4 ups
June 26, 2009, 12:28 pm
Filed under: Opinion

This was lifted from the Fools site check em’ out….
The 4 UPS

In our professional lives, especially for younger F/F’s, I have “borrowed” something from a Brother of mine, Tim Klett of the FDNY. It is called the 4 UPS.

The first is, Listen up: When you are first starting in the Fire Service, there is a lot going on. You are entering a culture that is unlike any other one on this planet. You will hear stories, tales and just plain BS. But listen carefully. That is our past talking. All of the information has value; it is up to you to determine how much value it has to you. Listen to the older, over-the-hill, past-their-prime, malcontents, for the little “pearls of wisdom” that aren’t in any textbooks. A lot of important information that will help keep you safe and alive on the fire ground is not written down. The fire service is very young. We are loosing our experience. The F/F’s that went to fires during the war years are slowly retiring. Talk to them before they leave. We are loosing our history, we are loosing our past. Don’t let this happen.

The second up is, Clean up: The firehouse is your second home. Treat it as such. And if you are the junior F/F working, you are the lowest on the totem pole. You get the dirty work, you get to do the dishes, and you get to mop the floors, and you get to clean the toilets. This is not based on any prejudices of race, sex, or religion. It is based on the fact that all the junior people before you did it, or should have done it. You do it until the next probie is assigned to that company. It is part of belonging, it is doing what you should be doing. And it is always pretty funny, because in my experience, the ones that piss and moan about doing the chores usually end up doing them by themselves for a long time. But the ones that just do it, the ones that are the first to get up to head for the sink after a meal, usually find that they have help. They become excepted into the “family” a little quicker.

The third up is, Step up: this goes hand in hand with the previous “up” but there is more. Be involved in your company and in your department. Attend company functions, help run them if possible. In NYC every company I ever worked in would have a company picnic in the summer, a Christmas party in the fire house in December, and a dinner-dance sometime during the year. Become a productive member of your Company.
Above all, go to funerals and services, especially the line of duty ones. Pay your respects. Become a part of the fire service by deed and not by mouth.

The last up is my favorite; Shut up. This one goes well with listen up, but actually goes a little further. Spend more time listening and doing than talking about it. Show by your actions and your deeds what type of F/F and member of this great Brotherhood you are.

In our personnel lives, DTRT, means take care of our families. Take care of your loved ones. Think before you act. And when all else fails, go with your heart, Do the right thing.
Say as you do; do as you say.
Say what you mean; mean what you say.
Remember, A man is only as good as his word. Talk is cheap; backing your talk up is priceless.

— Bob Pressler


Let us not forget Charlestons 9
June 24, 2009, 2:46 pm
Filed under: Media

“Risk a little to save a little risk a lot to save a lot.
If there is a life to save we are all in, if there is just property then we will make the loss the minimum it can be, but to lose 9 just is not acceptable. to lose 1 for property is too many.
God’s speed brothers, keep watch on us form above and may you bask in the light of God forever “

Ammend the seat assignments
May 26, 2009, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Engine ops

Recently I had the pleasure of participating in some of the best training, hands down, I’ve been to in some time. If you have not attended the Orlando Fire Conference you need to make plans for 2010.

Within the training packed three days, me and the dudes I went with took part in a RIT drill. Much like typical drills search, locate, remove, ect. but a small detail that I have been not been exposed to (within RIT) was specific seat related assignments(when it comes to operating inside the structure) We here at the FWBFD have “seat assignments” in place already but not for some particular calls. I have heard in many different settings of what we do on the outside preparing for RIT ops (360, throw ladders, pull handlines ect.), but never considered the course of action when we cross the threshhold of the building. I figured the crew I was with would just “talk it over when we get there”. Sometimes there is no time for that “talk” to happen on the scene. We need to know, before we get off that truck, who has what – and what to do!(with limited direction)

It sounds elementary and maybe it is, but I have found that the more planned out you are the better the event will go. Now I know you can’t plan everything, that’s not what I’m saying, just be prepared. At my FD we are devoloping some quick reference type of documents for our members to carry (or have on the truck) to refer to from time to time. This to stay fresh on individual duties on the fire ground, according to the task. We don’t run certain calls regularly, much less RIT operation, and it is good to refer to certain operational tasks every now and then.( I hear some of you you should know what to do if you train!) I don’t know about your FD, but sometimes daily tasks, hydrants, hazmat training, EMS training, fill in the blank training, not to mention call volume takes away from the time to train on fire ground duties.

Needless to say we learned alot about ourselves in that training in Orlando and it has inspired us to consider some of our SOG’s and their content. Within that, considering RIT deployment, Vertical venting, VES, to name a few needs to be planned. These are “get it done and get it done yesterday” tasks. Some things we should slow down…some things we should speed up, when we speed up we don’t need to waist time in “figuring out” what each member is to do at that moment. Just do it-

So click here for some exerpts of future development of revised seat assignments and current seat assignments for our apparatus.

What about MRSA?!
May 6, 2009, 3:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized?

With all the talk of swine flu lately 1st responders tend to forget the other infectious foe…

Yes what about MRSA? After reading a story in the latest International Firefighter magazine, I come across a interesting passage in an article about “The hidden dangers of infectious disease”.

The qoute said…” In Tuscon Az., tests by Reynolds(One of the researchers at the University of Arizona doing the MRSA study) in 2008 proved that firefighters were surrounded by MRSA. Researchers took 200 samples from nine Firehouses and the one item most covered in MRSA bacteria turned out to be a bit surprising…couches!

Thats because fabric traps bacteria, says Reynolds. Vinyl couches are more practical because bacteria can’t settle into vinyl like it settles into a porous, fabric surface, and vinyl is easier to clean.

Desks and classroom equipment were also covered in bacteria. Reynolds detected MRSA on 7% of ALL surfaces within the Fire Stations—more than double the amount she discovered after similar tests in hospitals, where 3% of surfaces had MRSA(WOW!). 7% is higher than we see in other environments Reynolds notes.”

(Reynolds is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona and co-auther of a study to be released later this year on the prevalence of MRSA in Tuscon Fire Stations)

With that being said let us not grow weary of keeping our houses clean, lest we forget our silent enemy lurking in the couch…MRSA!!!


Now go take a bath dirtball!

Lessons on leadership
April 27, 2009, 6:51 pm
Filed under: Leadership

The following is some notes from a recent class on leadership given by Chief Kanzigg of Midway Fire District Chief has been in the fire service for many years, spending most of his time working for the City of Mobile before joining the ranks of Midway Fire.

Chief Kanzigg

Chief Kanzigg

Dress the part, 1st impressions are everything

Say kind words in morning to the crews, making eye contact with everyone around you

Don’t come into work on you cell phone, answer calls etc. it gives the impression that those around you are not important

Look confident even when you are not. Stay calm. Be confident in your decision

Slow to speak & react. Be a avid listener

Pay attention to detail.

Let your actions speak not your words

If your men respect you they’ll work hard for you

Fight for you guys, but know what you are fighting for. Fight for the right things (Take note some of you Chiefs out there and bravo to you who stand strong!)

Keep up with the times and culture around you

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”

These were a few notes I was able to take during his quick class he put on some time ago. I hope you enjoy them, I know I did. I usually try and put things like this in the back of my mind for the future. I hope you will too…

Here are a couple of things I thought of during his class.

Respect, in the fire service, can be given by rank BUT is always earned…not demanded

Don’t forget where you came from, because those you lead you haven’t…

What are yours?-DJ MAF

Two Okaloosa Deputy line of duty deaths
April 26, 2009, 6:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized?

It is with deepest sorrow to announce the passing of two local Okaloosa County Deputy Sheriffs. 45-year old Deputy Burt Lopez and 45-year old Deputy Warren “Skip” York were shot at the Shoal River Clay Sporting Gun Range east of Crestview shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday.


RIP Warren “Skip” York


RIP Burt Lopez


Houston FD mourns the loss of 2 brothers
April 13, 2009, 7:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized?



Local 341

Easter Sunday proved to be a tragic one for Houston Fire this 2009. Two bros from HFD did not make it home last shift. Tragically both men perished in a house fire that day. It is a sad day indeed…