Volunteer Firemen’s Insurance Services, Inc., better known as VFIS, recently activated a new one-stop-shop online resource for fire departments - ResponderHelp. Free of charge, VFIS has consolidated a vast library of resources, ranging from sample standard operating guidelines (SOGs), technical bulletins by industry experts, checklists, informational flyers, and articles/research papers on a variety of fire service topics.
In the video, we used a S&D Rex Tool and locking pliers to complete a cylinder removal on a door equipped with panic hardware.
Need a quick way to keep webbing together? An easy hack I picked up is to keep webbing secure and dry using in a latex glove. It is easy to find in the pocket and never gets bunched up in a rats nest.
For this tool modification, I started with a 24’ Fire Hooks Unlimited (FHU) ProBar. I cut the pike off and added a Rex Tool in its place. This tool modification provides a firefighter with a decent size bar for forcible entry and pulling locks.
The departure of a firefighter provides an often missed opportunity for valuable data collection. Through conducting exit surveys with each departure, both career and volunteer fire departments gain a final opportunity to receive critical insight about how firefighters perceived their experience with the department. Here is how to get an exit survey started in your fire department.
Here are three ideas you can implement today to help your volunteer fire department with recruitment. 1) Create a Membership Interest/Inquiry Form on Website. 2). Simplify Volunteer Fire Department Application. 3). Guide Volunteers Through On-boarding Process.
Use an old roof ladder to create a custom vent, enter, search (VES) ladder for your fire department. A lot of our legacy buildings in the Northeast have the sill 4-5 feet off the ground. This is a fast and easy way to get in and out quickly.
In the 1980’s, my mom dreamed of becoming a firefighter for the City of Hartford, Connecticut. She passed the required tests, but due to life changes at the time, was not able to complete the final step and get on the job. About twenty five years later, that passion to be a firefighter still burned brightly. Three months after I joined my volunteer fire department, my mom joined too at the age of 45. While father-son firefighting duos are pretty common in fire departments, less common are mother-son teams, and I couldn’t have been more proud to serve alongside her. We completed Firefighter I together and had a solid decade protecting our community as part of a great fire department. To this day, I am still inspired by having had the opportunity…
Passing on history is important because “those who do not know the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is of particular relevance to us firefighters as most of our fire codes and standards were developed in reaction to tragedy. When I was a junior firefighter, our Chief developed an excellent program for teaching the history of major fires and their impact on today’s landscape. He wrote the names of 15 to 20 major fires on pieces of paper and put them in a bowl. We each drew the name of a fire out of the bowl and were instructed to research what, where, and when the fire occurred, as well as standards, codes, and tactics attributed to it. At the start of each subsequent dril…
The firefighting hood is an important part of our personal protective equipment ensemble. Not only does the hood provide thermal protection, it protects us from harmful, hazardous particles and substances. Wearing your hood should be a habit - here’s how to make it one.
Garage doors play a significant role in firefighting operations. They may function as a primary entry/egress point for interior operations. They could serve as our secondary building access. Given the nature of their use, the garage itself is often the location of the fire or hazard we’re responding to. In any case, however, the garage door can also become a major hazard. Heat from fire can damage and melt the springs, causing the door to release without warning. Garage doors can be extremely heavy and this release can cause life threatening injuries or trap firefighters engaged in fire suppression operations.Be sure to secure the garage door if you need it open, even if the springs are completely intact. Here are a few ways to secure the door.
Familiarize yourself with the size of your apparatus hose bed and know how much hose you have stored. For example, if you need 100 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose line and know the bed is 10 feet deep, you know you need to pull ten lengths. You’ll grab five folds of fire hose and unload…
Firefighters love to complain, providing fire department decision makers with plenty of anecdotal information. But how can we implement a new standard operating procedure or make major changes to personnel programs while lacking concrete, defendable data? We often operate in a silo about our own fire department when we make decisions with lasting impact. To better understand your department, use a survey to collect credible data.
It’s critical that if your fire department is going to have a social media presence, accounts are active and maintain a steady stream of content. You can’t just post during fundraising events or to garner support for the Town budget vote. Here are some great resources for social media content that you can use on your fire department social media accounts.
My grandfather, Jerry Levitan, Sr, was a volunteer firefighter in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for over twenty years. He didn’t start his firefighting career until he was 48 years old, completing fire academy training with recruits 25 years younger. He went on to have a successful tenure, serving as captain, lead instructor for department driver training, and as a trustee on his department’s executive board. Here are the five most important lessons my grandfather taught me about the fire service.
Whether it’s frowned upon at your department or not, at the end of the day, many of us are running with our scba masks pre-connected for a variety of reasons. Here is a quick easy trick I wish I had been shown 12 years ago.
You can probably picture it as clearly as we can: pulling up to a fire and a firefighter with tunnel vision has lost their cool and is dumping fire hose out on the ground into a pile. This is a problem. How much hose was just pulled? Is it enough to reach the location of the fire? Was it the right crosslay? Pulling excess hose unnecessarily isn’t helpful. It’s unneeded hose line to manage, more to flake out and watch for kinks, and extra hose to clean and repack. To prevent this, familiarize yourself with the size of your apparatus hose bed and know how much hose you have stored.…Read More.
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