Best of the Rest – Atlanta, Obese Firefighters, Facebook Photos, FSW, Backstep and More

I just got home from Denver on Sunday night. The Denver area is beautiful. There are some great firefighters in the area as well. As a matter of fact, I believe the statistics are something like 7,000 firefighters in the Denver area representing 10,000 fire departments.

Captain Wines and I had a blast meeting so many friends. Some we had met before, and many others we were meeting for the first time. You can read about Willie’s experience here. You can view all of the photographs from the event on the Fire Critic Facebook photo album.

Keep sending photos, video, events, news, and information to me. I enjoy sharing the content and am working on several more columns here on the site! Message me on Facebook or email me at

Daniel M sends this photo snapped of him at the last house fire they had.

Shoutout – Smoke is Showing

and on Facebook:


South Dakota Firefighter Benefit: Captain Wines Jr. and I will be in South Dakota for the benefit. We will be speaking as well. Look for us on our tour across the State with Spartan ERV as well. In the meantime, be sure to get a raffle ticket for a custom Phenix leather.More information on that here. I also have some on hand.

Roanoke Fire Officer Seminar: Chris Naum will be in Roanoke, VA for our 5th Annual Fire Officer Seminar on September 20th and 21st. The topic will be Fire Star Command; Redefining Fire Officer Training for Operational Safety & Excellence. Read more: 2012 Fire Office Seminar Registration Form


I will take a minute in the “Training” section to go over some gear that I think all of you should have. Each week, I typically add a link to some great training. On top of that, there is typically something about fitness in this post somewhere else (this week it is the Paul Combs cartoon below).

This week I would like to point out Ride Backwards. Ride Backwards is an apparel company that has created and/or supported a movement of fit firefighters. Check out Ride Backwards online, on Facebook, Youtube, and check out their firefighter athletes here! Ride Backwards has been a huge steward for the fire service…Keep up the great work! Plus, one of our good friends Walter Patterson is a Ride Backwards athlete!

Tweet of the Week

News and Opinion

Thanks to David Lee Pfeil Jr. for these patches and coins for Willie and I. I will be sending him our patch and coin.

Atlanta recruits suffered heat exhaustion this past week. What I found interesting was the apparent disconnect between Atlanta’s Chief and firefighting as written in the article.

Quoting the article:

“It is alarming to us. We hear about this happening to football players this time of year with football practice, but never with firefighters,” Cochran said. “Two of them were what we called heat exhaustion and one of them entered into the more severe stage of heat stroke.”

You meant to tell me the Chief of Atlanta Fire Department, and the same Chief who just won an award at Fire Rescue International has never heard of firefighters suffering from heat ehaustion in the dead of Summer? Huh? Was this a misquote?

Stop, Drop, and Blog – Great online friend Jenna writes “We Carry on, Amplifying Love” after a recent visit to Ground Zero and the Reflection Pools and the Memorial on the side of the Ten House. Her photos capture the visit. – Baltimore Fire Union Disciplines Members Over Images. An image of Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s face on a roll of toilet paper recently circulated on the Internet has sparked turmoil within the local firefighters union whose members created it.

Life Between the Tones – This is a new blog I found. The writer found one of my images from our trip to the IAFF Fallen Firefighter Memorial to be “blog worthy” and shared it. Thanks!

Firefighter Close CallsBackdraft in San FranciscoSan Francisco firefighters battling a blaze in a commercial building narrowly escaped serious injury Tuesday morning when an explosion sent a fireball of hot gas rocketing out a door they had just opened, authorities said. – Getting High and Rocking Fire Rescue International 2012. It was another GREAT show and experience for us. We have a good time anywhere we go but this trip was AWESOME! If you didn’t make it, start planning now to join us in 2013 back in Chicago.

Paul Combs – Hearing, but not listening. Heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, certain types of cancer, arthritis, sleep apnea, stress, lack of agility, back injuries… the list of injury and devastating health problems due to obesity is long!

FireGeezer – More Firefighters “Stepping in it”. SEVERAL JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, FIREFIGHTERS, including a lieutenant and a district chief, are under investigation for serious violations of behavioral and ethics standards.  The incident took place last week at a night club called Whiskey River where a fund-raiser was held for the family of a JFD firefighter who had died recently in an off-duty accident. FC thought: If they were in personally owned gear not identifying the JFRD then it should be a mute point. That doesn’t mean it is the smartest thing to do! 

Seattle FD Firefighters Facebook picture cause a stir

Fire Service Warrior – Taking it Personally by Gary Lane. Time to get with the program and take things personal. I am offended that you think so little of our fellow citizens that you didn’t work out and exercise today.  I am offended that you found 10 reasons not to train today all from the comfort of a leather recliner. I am offended that I PERSONALLY WASN’T MORE POSITIVE AND INFLUENTIAL in making our team stronger, our department better and our citizens safer today.

Patrick Mackay – The CMC MPD…Versatility For FD Rope Rescue Operations. Several months ago I decided to purchase several new pieces of rope rescue hardware for my volunteer firehouse.  By far, the CMC MPD(Multi-Purpose Device) has proved to be the most versatile hardware we have added to our equipment cache.  I’m not a salesman, nor am I getting any kind of kickback from CMC.  However, the CMC MPD has simplified our rigging and has removed many of the human error components from our rope rescue operations.  With that said, I still believe folks providing Rescue services should be proficient in more than one way to complete tasks and be able to work with more hardware than just a CMC MPD.

Rochester firefighters expected to move into West Brighton firehouse in couple days. In a letter to the Rochester City Council on Monday, James McTiernan, president of the Rochester Fire Fighters Association Local 1071, said that the Rochester Fire Department is understaffed, and the agreement with the town of Brighton would “spread the resources of the RFD even thinner.” Covering West Brighton, he said, would increase the department’s geographical coverage area by 25 percent.

Backstep Firefighter – So What Are We Supposed To Do? Based on the finding by the committee performing the Investigation, the Worcester should have used VSP (Victim Survivability Profiling) to limit the exposure to risk of firefighters in searching for a victim, a victim that was reported to be in the building by an occupant, a building that historically doesn’t collapse under fire conditions.