Best of the Rest – FRI, Expo, 5000 on FB, 2 1/2″ Training, Alt Kilt, and Much More!

Firehouse Expo was a blast again this year. Then again, Willie and I could have fun just about anywhere. Read about my time in Baltimore here as well as Dave Statter‘s take here and Willie’s thoughts on Expo here. Check out Tommy Warshaw’s article titled “They climbed…we climb” about his experience at this years Firehouse Expo 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb.

We are looking forward to our trip to Denver in two weeks. We will be heading out to Fire Rescue International. Once again, we will be situated in the MN8 Foxfire booth. I am looking forward to several things, including seeing FDNY Rescue 4 from the Remembrance Rescue Project. More on FRI in the near future.

This picture was sent in by Daniel Morales V. This is his crew from Maitland FD in Central Florida. They crew is wearing 9/11 commemorative shirts for the day. He states that the dept. is small but badass! Thanks for sending it in Brother!

Shoutout – Fire Critic Facebook Page

You might call me selfish for making the Fire Critic Facebook page the shoutout this week. However, we just hit the milestone of 5000 fans today. That is huge for us.

We will be giving away some swag here soon. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000 worth of goodies from Box Alarm Leather LLC and Commercial Solutions. I am stoked and will let you know when the giveaway begins!

Training – 2 1/2″ Hoselines

The 2 1/2″ Handline: Gaining Relative Superiority. Written by Brian Brush as seen on Fire Service Warrior. The PDF is here.

I challenge you to read it and go over it with your crew. 

Brian adds:  I’d like to submit Aurora Firefighters Local 1290 for best of the rest. Their heroic actions in the theater shooting and response to a greater alarm fire the following day and rescue of 4 from a fire on Monday which also claimed the life of a 1 year old child. The men and women of Aurora Fire Department have stood tall in the face of great challenge this past week and I believe they are truly the Best of the rest.

Product Review of the Week – Alt Kilt

Check out my review of custom handmade urban kilts by Alt Kilt on

Willie and I once again rocked our kilts at Firehouse Expo. I must say that we get a lot of compliments on the kilts!

Tweet of the Week

Must be C-shift!

News and Opinion

Here is a photo of us with Erin and Linda of ESS Eyepro. We will be seeing them again at FRI in Denver and doing a product review for them. – Firefighter diversity at risk at Ohio department. As many prepare to retire, lack of minorities and women may worsen

Redefining the Engine Company – Christopher Huston

The engine company is the fire service staple, regardless of whether it is an engine company from an urban city or a small rural town. The engine company is typically the first piece of equipment on scene. The crew onboard must be proficient at multitasking since they arrive first and significant time may elapse before additional personnel arrive. Every corner of the fire service has seen changes over the past few years. Whether the change is inadequate staffing, an increase in medical calls, or a decrease in volunteer numbers, the standard responses of yesterday have changed the game. The engine company needs to be redefined.

Backstep Firefighter weighs in on a roof ventilation video here. Check out the video, read what Bill has to say, then check the comments and weigh in for yourself.

“We Don’t Stop” by Jonah Smith on Fire Service Warrior

“At FDIC this year, a mantra was developed by a few of the members of this community. The mantra is a way to live in our professional and personal lives. The mantra is “we don’t stop.” Of course, the question of “starting when?” was brought up, and the response was “starting now!” I have always felt I lived this way since I feel like I can’t sit still for more than a few minute unless physically restrained. However, the tone of this conversation was geared more towards our behavior throughout both personal and professional undertakings through the course of our lives.” continue reading

Firefighter Killed in Hit-and-Run in Fort Worth. Police looking for information on red Infiniti two-door coupe that hit pedestrian on US 287

Firefighters’ stolen bagpipes replaced. Kline went on WBTV and almost begged for his bagpipes back, explaining that whoever stole them would have no use for them.The story made the rounds in social media and 2 weeks ago, a box came to Joey’s house.

Below is one of those mind-boggling helmet/dash camera videos. It catches the videographer working at a car fire with helmet and coat…no pants, gloves, or SCBA. He later comes back for the SCBA sans pants and gloves…then uploads it to youtube.

Firefighters’ Facebook Posts May Be Monitored Under New Plan. The monitoring is a part of a social media policy passed by the Mehlville Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors.

Speaking of Social Media…the video below is probably not a good idea. Helmet cameras on EMS calls…probably not something I would do.