Best of the Rest – Fires, Stair Climbs, Training, Best of 2011, a Huge FAIL and Much More

Welcome to a new column here on I am shooting for having this column run on Tuesdays each week. If you have something you want to share whether you are a reader or blogger, have a video or photo, or anything else just let me know.

The Best of the Rest is a column featuring other bloggers, videos, news, and information you might have missed over the past week or so. Enjoy!

You can also follow along and connect with The Fire Critic via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Youtube.

As seen on

Addison Fire Protection District – Can this be real? has this photo of the message board at Addison Fire Protection District Station #3. The message “Better to arrive late than never”..WTF? Who approved this? Maybe the Chief’s message was directed to firefighters and should have read “Better to arrive safe than never”…or maybe it is meant as a message to the citizens and should have been “Call 911 and we will get there whenever we can”. – 40% OFF MN8 Foxfire Illuminating and Reflective Helmet Tetrahedrons. EXCLUSIVE NEW PRODUCT! I think they are pretty decent tetrahedrons. Read my review here.

Firehouse Zen– Chief Mick Mayers continues to lay it down in his writings that occasionally have me seeking for a definition. Don’t let that dissuade you from reading though. He offers some great insight to the fire service. Check out: OKAY, IT’S 2012: NOW WHAT? and 2012: “WHAT IF?”. – Dave offers a video of a house fire in Maryland. This is video posted yesterday of a December 23 fire in Upper Marlboro, Maryland (Prince George’s County) Raw Video: PGFD House Fire in Upper Marlboro. Switch to Defensive Operations

911 Memorial Stairclimbs – The majority of the stair climb events are now affiliated with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. One of the original climbs is a bit smaller scale and has a local feel. The Albequrque Stair Climb started in 2003. Read more about it here. If you are looking for a stair climb event check out

Here is a lost photo I just found. This is a picture of Willie and I immediately after climbing 110 floors in Atlanta at FRI for the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. – A FIRE LATE SUNDAY NIGHT in a downtown brothel in Mitchell, Australia, is still deemed suspicious by the fire investigators.  The Canberra area business was closed for New Year’s Day, as all the city’s brothels were when smoke was discovered coming from The Gentlemen’s Club on Grimwade Street around 11 pm.

The Colorado Firefighter Facebook Page – This page continues to impress me on the sharing of links and information. Check them out here and click “like”! – Their latest post “Raise money for a good cause, and get a chance to win a leather helmet” is just that…a chance to win a Phenix Leather Helmet. The chances are $1 a piece and the helmet will be given away once they reach $1000 for the National Firefighters Endowment. Click here to go directly to the donation page. They are currently 1/4 of the way to their goal! The Fire Critic gave $50…If I win the helmet I will give it away to pay it forward!

Fire Service Warrior – This site continues to impress me. The latest post “Brotherhood Insurance: A Pay for What You Get Policy” by Brother Brian Brush is a great post on the Brotherhood of the Fire Service and a must read! – America’s Fire Captain Willie Wines Jr. outdoes everyone on his End of Year Review for 2011. Even though this post probably took three weeks for his little fingers to type, it is well worth a read. See what he has accomplished this past year!

Firefighter Nation – They have the story and the video of a huge fire at a former Illinois factory here.

Happy Medic – The Happy Medic is handing out his “Best of 2011” awards. Check them out here! – This blog is great on content. Their latest post “Thru-The-Lock Time Trial (storefront doors)” is just one of many great training videos available.

Brotherhood Instructors – One of the leading privately owned and operated by firefighters instructing team offers “Forcing Doors in Zero Visibility – By Andrew Brassard” Check it out and continue your learning! – They offer this story: Authorities probe fire attacks on 4 NYC sites “Blog post that may be linked to attacks: ‘Throw 10 Molotov cocktails into these mosques and burn them down'” Read it here

I love sushi and I love wasabi. I understand the use of wasabi and how it enhances the flavor with a little spice. I would never eat a spoonful of wasabi. I don’t think this next firefighter ever will…again! He might say this is a near death experience! Maybe this is the new cinnamon dragon challenge!

Crews battle flames and smoke at Westport Presbyterian Church


As dozens of onlookers packed Westport Road Thursday evening, all they could do is watch as Westport Presbyterian Church burned.

“We were out in Westport and my wife got a message on Facebook saying ‘Westport’s burning,'” Luke Rocha said.

Rocha, like many others, went down to see the flames shooting from the roof of the historic church that stood at Westport and 40th street for more than 100 years.

Video of the fire is here