By: Brian Thompson, North Carolina
My hack is simple: open up compartment doors on your apparatus. Throughout my career as a volunteer firefighter, I’ve made it a point to open up a compartment door every single time I have been to my firehouse. On the fireground, we do not have time to to open up compartment door after door, looking for the right tool. It’s more than just knowing where tools are, it’s being confident about it that makes the difference when every moment counts. I give this advice to every new member that joins our department.
There is an added bonus to opening up doors when you’re at the station - apparatus readiness. Over the years, I’ve discovered countless problems; a tool not plugged in to charge, something broken, an empty SCBA pack. I want to find this when I’m walking through the FD for a meeting, not when I’m at a fire.
Don’t ever get complacent. Open up those compartment doors and look around.