Burnout in the Firehouse

Part of taking the job as a firefighter is due to the love of responding to emergencies. It’s in our blood to be the first people to be there for a complete stranger when they’re having the worst day of their life. For some, it may be the adrenaline rush we feel when the bell…

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You Don’t Know Everything

If you’re an officer, the expectation is that you know your stuff. An officer is supposed to lead their firefighters into chaotic situations and handle it accordingly, all while making sure their members stay safe. Your crew is going to be looking to you for answers and direction on what they’re supposed to do. In…

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Gut Feeling or Overthinking?

Making decisions is tricky. When we’re at home, somebody may ask “What should we have for dinner?” The response is usually “I don’t care. It’s up to you.” In firefighting, we don’t have the luxury of ping ponging decisions, because we all know that every second counts. Add that to the fact that whatever decision…

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Creating Perfect Probies

Probies. The future of the fire service. Future leaders, future officers, future Chiefs. Traditionally, we tend to treat probies like dirt which has been somewhat of an issue throughout the years. There’s a reason for this though. You need to be tough to be a firefighter. By making the probies go through hell their first…

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The Debrief

After a job or a drill, it’s important to debrief your members and make sure everyone’s feeling ok. Oddly enough a debrief is met with rolling eyes or huffs and puffs. Why is that? Why is something that is so important and necessary – and arguably the least stressful part of the fire service –…

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“First in. Last out.”

A term we hear often in the fire service – But can we apply it to leadership? Can this quote that’s often seen on t-shirts or stickers actually be acted upon? Let’s take a closer look. Think back to when you were a probie. You were often told that “You are seen, not heard.” Which…

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Li Ion Battery explosion leaves 1 dead in Vancouver

Vancouver BC Firefighters responded to an explosion at Empress Hotel 235 E Hastings St, Saturday morning June 11th 2022. The fire left 1 person dead & 2 injured. Acting Asst Chief Walter Pereira said the explosion was likely due to a Li Ion battery being overcharged in one of the suites in the SRO hotel.…

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Lithium Ion Battery Fires

Over the past year, the FDNY responded to over 100 documented fires that were related to e-bikes & e-scooters. The origin of these fires is from the lithium-ion battery. Most cases, these fires have started while the unit was being charged. After a lithium ion fire is extinguished, be aware that the batteries can re-ignite.…

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Schomburg Plaza Fire

March 22nd, 1987- a fire in a Harlem residential high rise shaped the way the FDNY operates at high rise buildings today. Lessons learned from this fire can apply to both firefighters & the public. Schomburg Plaza, a 35 story residential high rise building located at 1295 5th Avenue in Harlem section of Manhattan was…

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Wind Driven Fire: Lionel Hampton

January 7th 1997 was a rather mild winter day, temperatures in the 40’s with wind gusts exceeding 30mph. These conditions would challenge firefighting operations in an afternoon fire. Just after 2pm, Engine 40 responded to an EMS run at the Empire Hotel at West 64th Street & Broadway, Box 969. Up the block, a fire broke out…

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