Thanks to my partner Bill Carey of Backstep Firefighter for hosting the second edition of the First Due Blog Carnival.  The topic was “Influential Fire Reports” and several top notch contributors stepped up with gripping stories, some painfully personal.  The result was an absolutely superb collection of “must-read” articles for firefighters worldwide.  Check them out here.  Thanks, Bill!

With the April edition of the First Due Blog Carnival complete, it’s time now to begin collecting your submissions for this month’s topic: Sharing the Wealth.  Whether young or “seasoned”, career or volunteer, rural or urban, each of us has seen or heard something which changed the way we personally approach firefighting.   

Maybe we learned it from a wise captain, or picked up something during a training session.  Maybe we witnessed something on an emergency scene.  Maybe we learned from an informal debate around the kitchen table.  Maybe someone pulled you aside and whispered something in confidence which made you think how you
could handle the next situation more easily, more effectively, more safely. 

These are valuable gems which, until now, have been been mined on an individual level.  Now it’s time to “Share the Wealth”.  Let others benefit from your treasure.  Share with us the pearls of wisdom which
you found to be invaluable in your quest to be the best firefighter you can be. Together, we can multiply their effects and allow others access to our individual treasures. 

As you relate your story, please include the circumstances under which you encountered the information (fire scene, day room, local bar) and from whom the information was obtained.  Be sure to include any pertinent links or photos.

Most importantly, let us know how it changed the way you personally operate and why.  It’s hard not to get excited about how this may turn out- with your help.

Submit your story by Wednesday, May 26 to me via a message through Firefighter Nation or an email to

Thanks for doing your part in Sharing the Wealth!

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The Legendary Chief Billy Goldfeders site. LOTS!!! of excellent information from firefighters for firefighters.

Personally, trust your gut. The building is your enemy, know your enemy. I was a probie on the nozzle at a structure fire. Single family, single story dwelling, heavy smoke showing on arrival, fire on the first floor. We were preparing to make entry on the Alpha side main entrance. The senior man behind was behind me pushing to go in. I am a very aggressive interior firefighter and normally want to be on the nozzle first in. This time my gut said to wait. I hit the ceiling with a straight stream and BOOM! the Alpha and Delta corners of the roof collapsed right where we would have been operating. Later found out lightweight roof construction, heavy fire in the attic had weakened the trusses, the force of the stream was enough to cause failure. If you feel something is wrong address it! If you feel something is unsafe, correct it or report it to command.

Situational Awareness. ALWAYS be aware of who you are, where you are and what you represent! Before I was a firefighter I was with a marine rescue squad. We were at the boathouse standing by on a very stormy day. Winds gusting to 90km/h swells up to 12 feet. Someone thought it would be a great idea to go windsurfing by the breakwater. My coxswain wondered aloud "How long do you think it will be before we have to go pull that moron out of the water?" Before I could reply a voice behind us said "Can I quote you on that?"
We didn't realize the local news channel van was parked behind us. Another time we were at a fully involved structure, I was in rehab with some other guys. We were doing the usual back and forth banter about the fire (not for public ears) when our deputy chief came up and pointed out that the local news had a rifle mike pointed at us.
Further to this is responding. POV or fire apparatus. respond responsibly. If you don't get there you are helping no one, and causing further problems. It can be really hard to stuff down your emotions on some calls. The other day we had a call for a 3 year old not breathing, one of those calls that gets your heart rate up especially if you are a parent. I was responding in our First Response truck approaching an intersection I had the green, I reined myself in took it slow made my turn and who happened to be standing on that corner but our Assistant Chief. My point? You never know who is watching. The public holds firefighters in higher regard and it is up to us to present ourselves in a professional and responsible manner.
Each are excellent stories and perfect examples of tidbits you learned and are passing on. Thanks, Greg!

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