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FDTN's 2020 Calendar is here!

FDTN's 2020 calendar is now available…and registration will open this month! Classes fill quickly so register early!

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First-Due Truck Work

Click the image to download as a pdf. Truck company operations have been performed on the fireground since the day firefighters started responding (way before you and I became involved). One of the things that’s happened in the last 10 or so years is that the emphasis on truck company operations, and the skills it takes to actually perform them, has really exploded-more awareness, more knowledge, more training. During all of this time a couple things have remained constant...the importance placed on the knowledge and skills it takes to get the job done varies with every individual firefighter-and solid truck company skills, performed at the right time, makes things easier on the fireground!
Click the image to download as a pdf. Forcible entry, as with any fireground skill, is as difficult as you are competent. That’s right, it’s your ability to perform the right skill at the right time that really determines the difficulty of the entry situation. Let’s face it, you could be the best irons guy around but if the situation calls for the rotary saw (and all you have is a set of Irons) then you’re probably not going to get the job done. Successful forcible entry on the fireground includes forcible entry size-up, the right tools, and solid forcible entry skills — along with an ability to use common sense!
​Click image to left to download and print. One of the fireground search techniques that seems to tweak a nerve (or start a heated discussion) is vent, enter, search (VES). You'll hear people say things like, "We don't do that; it's too dangerous!" or "We don't have enough people to do that!" So before we get into the actual skill, and how and when it is performed, let's try to have a civil discussion about why it is indeed a viable search technique on any fireground.
Mike Lombardo, Commissioner (retired) — Buffalo, NY, Fire Department   Click the image to download as a pdf. Accurate, clear, communication is vital to the positive outcome of an emergency and the safety of members operating at an emergency. Providing accurate and clear communications on the fireground can offer some serious challenges, these challenges can be very dangerous for firefighters and those we are sworn to protect. These challenges can involve equipment as well as procedures and the human interaction with the entire communication process. Some reading this will disagree with certain points in the article, that’s fine, but remember our emergency communication is not the end but the means to help us protect the public and ourselves.    Technology Good & Bad There is a plethora of equipment at our disposal today that aids us on the fireground in accomplishing our core mission. Certain equipment is a tremendous help and other items can end up being a burden. GPS systems are available on apparatus that can give us detailed routing instructions as well as showing the location of other responding units. These systems can provide accurate response and arrival information as well as information down to hydrant location. When I started as a firefighter information about a dangerous building was passed along (hopefully) by writing the address up on the chalk board at the watch desk in quarters. Today very specific building data can be relayed both verbally via radio as well as written and visual information passed along via mobile data terminals available in many fire department units. This is just a small example of what new technology can provide however all technological advances are not positive.  When dealing with new technology we need to make sure it works for us. I have mentioned the fireground a couple times now. When we respond to emergencies other than fires most all of our communications equipment is not an issue, it is when we operate on the fireground that it is most critical and often causes us issues. Operating inside a burning building is probably the most difficult and dangerous work environment on the planet Earth. Don’t make it worse with equipment we provide that is not user friendly. 

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