Bill Carey's Blog (60)

Pirate Tales

On behalf of International Speak Like A Pirate Day, an account of the the Jolly Rogers of Rogers Avenue. Consider the items in bold; how do they measure up against your officer and company?

The members of Engine 255 were in the kitchen of their Flatbush firehouse participating in a late-evening drill conducted by “Captain Jack” Pritchard.…


Added by Bill Carey on September 19, 2012 at 9:52am — No Comments



You are an engine company, not an Italian restaurant.

Despite what hoseload you choose to use, how you configure your hosebed and the number of members arriving as an engine company there is no excuse for spaghetti. It is even made worse when the engine is nosed in or "beached". Your 150' or 200' hoseline is…


Added by Bill Carey on February 10, 2012 at 10:41am — No Comments

The Pressurized Water Extinguisher, aka "The Can"

New contributor reminds you that "the can" is not a door chock.

PWE, PWC, piss can, water can, the can…whatever you want to call it, its’ an essential tool in a firefighters toolbox. Many take the can for granted. Often times, you will see it in the foyer, holding open a door.…


Added by Bill Carey on January 12, 2012 at 5:29pm — No Comments

"Not Gonna Do It" - Editorial

Graphic photo begins to be cool to share. Why?


There's a fine line between using images for news and self-promotion, between documenting an event or making an event into an advertisement. Recently a Associated Press photo is making it's way slowly across Facebook as one of those motivational…


Added by Bill Carey on January 12, 2012 at 5:19pm — No Comments

"Prepared to Work" Engine Company Principles, Part I

A post from 2008 in response to "word games" and other stimulating discussions...


This series will look in detail at three principles of a disciplined and effective engine company: Prepared to Work; Knowing the Response Area; and Basics of Handline Stretches. Each will look at points to address before the alarm.…


Added by Bill Carey on November 27, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

"Those Fires"? Maybe Andy Fredericks was Right

VCOS speaker puts you in service faster than a residential sprinkler. Bill Carey


At the IAFC's Volunteer Chief Officer Symposium in Flordia last week, an interesting statement was made about the future of our nation's fire service. USFA Prevention and Leadership Development Branch Chief Ken Farmer was…


Added by Bill Carey on November 21, 2011 at 5:23pm — No Comments

The No Fail Mission

The risk is great, the cost high, and the task is your responsibility. Ron Ayotte

I recently saw a picture that was posted on Facebook that came from an article that was on the Stars and Stripes website. For those who don’t know, Stars and Stripes is the military’s version of USA Today, featuring news and…


Added by Bill Carey on November 21, 2011 at 5:16pm — No Comments

Texas 2010 LODD State Investigation. Lessons Never Learned

Bill Carey draws your attention to the Araguz LODD report and the biggest finding not mentioned.

The first article regarding the line of duty death of a Texas Captain was a synopsis of the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office investigation, minus the building construction details. This article will look at the seven findings and their various…


Added by Bill Carey on July 12, 2011 at 8:09am — No Comments

Scopes of Situational Awareness

Brian Brush with two items you probably didn't know that limit your fireground awareness.

There is no shortage of discussion on the topic of situational awareness and rightfully so. If we can find ways to train firefighters to evaluate and process more information about what is happening around their task or operation the safer they will be. Unfortunately, there are a couple factors which seriously limit the scope of situational awareness… Continue

Added by Bill Carey on July 12, 2011 at 7:56am — No Comments

Lesson In Awareness: D.C. Rear Tenement

You never know what to expect downtown on Side Charlie.

Near the intersection of South Dakota Avenue and Buchanan Street Northeast, between Engines 17 and 14, lies a duplex. What makes it different from the duplex next door is the addition on Side Charlie. Local news station WJLA recently reported that the owner of 4605 South… Continue

Added by Bill Carey on June 30, 2011 at 7:53am — No Comments

Remain Calm, All is Well

Dave LeBlanc on how the smart firefighter keeps his head while everyone else is running around losing theirs.

Maintaining your calm on the fireground maybe be one of the most important skills you can acquire. There is enough excitement and confusion already, if we arrive and start screaming and yelling nothing will get done.

In December, Baltimore had a fire that claimed the lives of six people. In… Continue

Added by Bill Carey on June 25, 2011 at 11:40am — No Comments

The Floor Above. Why a game changer demands different training

Brian Brush on why we should - and shouldn't - rely on the stairway when going above.

If you review the statistics, multi-story single family and multi-family dwellings are our most common fire. They also present the greatest risk as the core of the life hazard occupies an upper floor and the bulk of where the fire starts will occur on a lower floor. The game changer in residential construction is the open stairwell. Identifying this game… Continue

Added by Bill Carey on June 21, 2011 at 8:01am — No Comments

Line Of Duty Deaths. Canadian Editorial Asks Why All The Fuss?

Editorial asks if we use LODDs to hype our profession and image.

An editorial in the Brantford Expositor by Christopher Brennan (no, not that Chris Brennan) takes up an issue with why aren't the deaths of people if other dangerous (or more dangerous) professions given the same heraldry as those of firefighter and police officer line of duty deaths.…


Added by Bill Carey on June 21, 2011 at 7:57am — No Comments

Detroit's New Vacant Building Policy. All Flash, Little Substance and A Big Loophole

Why the same old risk analysis dressed up is no good compared to the wrecking ball.

While not exactly scientific it will be interesting to see where popular opinion lies in Detroit Fire's Facebook poll.

- Bill

First allow me three disclaimers on this subject.

1. I do not advocate the reckless abandon of safe, knowledgeable firefighting simply because a building is on fire and we must be… Continue

Added by Bill Carey on June 17, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

The Third 10

A look at the third 10 line of duty deaths in 2011

From 17 February to 18 April another 10 fire service personnel have died in the line of duty this year. The current total, as of 23 May rests at 36 dead. The statistics for this group reveal the gamut of the American fire service ranging from a young teen killed in personal vehicle collision to an octogenarian dieing from a fall injury. A west coast firefighter died in the most traditional… Continue

Added by Bill Carey on June 11, 2011 at 11:14am — No Comments

Go To The Funeral

Brian Brush shares a timely reminder before the San Francisco funerals.

The following is from Brian Brush (contributor to Backstep Firefighter), from a friend of his in the Denver area. If you're "in the job" then realize that this is part of "the job."

What, You Have Something Better to Do?

By Oren Bersagel-Briese

November 12, 2004

I don’t understand the fire service sometimes.… Continue

Added by Bill Carey on June 10, 2011 at 12:53pm — No Comments

The Second 10

A look at the second 10 line of duty deaths in 2011.

From 20 January to 17 March another ten firefighters died in the line of duty as listed by the United States Fire Administration. The average trend is eight deaths a month considering all the deaths to date. Notable among the second ten are:

An 80-year old volunteer captain who died of a heart attack during a response to structure fire [… Continue

Added by Bill Carey on April 3, 2011 at 9:32am — No Comments

Can You Hear Me Now? Staying Alive: Prince George's County Fire, EMS Department Unveils Mobile Mayday Simulator

New Technical Services Battalion uses department box truck to create a complex mayday classroom.

Recommendations, as well as actions themselves, led to the Prince George's County Fire and EMS Department creating a rather complex mayday training lesson that involves a mobile simulator. In April of 2009, a house fire in the Largo area… Continue

Added by Bill Carey on March 5, 2011 at 8:01pm — No Comments

Public Safety's Not Affected, A False Dichotomy. Shared Post From CMD-FD

Gabriel Angemi shares how despite Camden's cuts, firefighters can't just hold back. Maybe.

On a national level layoffs have become the norm for public safety personnel, regardless of the threat posed to the ones they leave behind or the residents of the area they once protected. How is it then, when a city such as Camden NJ has its civic and public safety leaders stand up at a podium; hair done, neat… Continue

Added by Bill Carey on March 5, 2011 at 7:51pm — No Comments

February Highlights at Backstep Firefighter

A monthly review of our popular postings.

March is definitely starting off well, but first, lets catch you up on some of our February posts.

Dave LeBlanc took a look at why it appears many firefighters are coming off the rigs with either the wrong tool or no tool at all (or the "favorite" tool). Part of this is because of a lack of riding assignments. Dave recalled Tom Brennan's great article on hand tools for truck work in… Continue

Added by Bill Carey on March 5, 2011 at 7:41pm — No Comments

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