Heres an interesting article in Fire Engineering written by a sargeant that works with me at the District of Columbia Fire Department. I notice the same problems with discussions in this site. People who don't even properly understand the basics get caught up in all the new technology, equipment and phrases thinking they understand it all. How many of you that know the best type of lights for your POV can actually efficiently pull a hose line? How many of you have pulled lines in the last month somewhere other than your front ramp or parking lot? Instead, many sit around and talk about some new tool that you don't need. Luckily I pull lines every tour of duty at my department. I feel that these "bread and butter" skills are much more important than many of the "advanced" skills that many of you won't ever use. Anyway here's the article:

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I agree.  I do usually agree with you.  I didn't mean to act superior to you but this is the internet.  Some time things come across in ways that they weren't meant to because of how people read your comments differently.  The main reason I didn't reply to your last comment was because you called my department FEMS.  That's the biggest insult in the book.  haha  Other that the administrator and upper management, we still consider ourselves DCFD.  

This is us fighting the fight:

I have kept up with the news of the battle in DC.  My career FD had a much shorter issue whe our new, outside the FD, chief wanted to change our patch.  There was major resistance to the change and once he found out one of our guys desiged it that ended the move for a change.


Look, I uderstand being proud of your FD, I am proud of all three that I am affiliated with.  It just gets a little annoying and insulting to be told all the time that your 1 1/2 inch lines, and big city tactics, can fight a fire that we know would take a 2 1/2 or even a short hit from a deck gun.  I am sure the speed of arrival and being able to mass the amount of people and equipment you do can be the difference in some cases.  I also believe that f you rolled up on something with fire blowing out of all the windows on the first floor you may pull something other than an 1 1/2. 


Either way, maybe we can stop sniping at each other and perhaps learrn from each other.                        


I feel for you, brother. If it's possible that a more cluless Fire Commissioner/Fire Chief/Administrator exists other than the one we have in Philadelphia, it's the one you have in D.C. (At least our's doesn't want to call us FEMS).

My point on stressing about being a big city department is important for issues like that.  I explain what we do and why we do it and why it works.  If I didn't stress being in a large city with our staffing then my tactics wouldn't make sense.  If fire houses were further apart and we had less people riding the trucks, then what I said doesn't work.  That's why I said that we DO do that because we can.  We are allowed to be more aggressive than others because in some parts of the city fire houses are only blocks away from each other.  So it's not that I think I'm a better fireman than you, it just that with the layout of the houses and the staffing it makes it easier to do certain things.

Yea I know you guys are having plenty of issues over there too.  Stay strong brother!


Thanks for sharing the link.  I became the training officer of our little VFD a few years ago and immediately broke out theEssentials Vol 5.  I got a lot of pushback from the guys about classroom training, but felt that we had to back up that far.  We only had 7 structure fires last year and all of them, by the time of our arrival, were defensive attacks.  I will be running a bread and butter drill at our next hands on.  Lots of food for thought in this article.


great article. i agree one hundred percent. it really isn't my place to try and change the way we do things as a black hat, and when i do i just get shot down, like i think my fd should have a drill night once a week, at least, and worry about these bread and butter skills. Especially because we don't use them that often.We have guys on our dept that have never seen a hose line pulled let alone know how to do it right and flank it out


Although I agree with you totally, please be careful of your delivery.  It has a slight air of superiority and if what we truly want is to better prepare one another for the next alarm, we have to properly and respectfully present our information without being offensive.  No disrespect intended to you brother.


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