November 25, 2014
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Firefighter Close Calls
How Do You KNOW? (The Secret List)
Hey, You don't have to go very far to find discussions related to fireground operations, tactics, command and control. You also don't have to go far to find opinions on the above-which is a good thing. What is hard to find, at times, is actual fact. Fact about what might or could happen. How do we really KNOW how, what, why or when our fire department may or may not act based upon the given circumstances. How do you KNOW your first alarm assignments are adequate? How do you KNOW your first alarm staffing matches the fire? How do you KNOW how a line will be stretched? How do you KNOW you will have adequate water supply? How do you KNOW your officers are able to size up, in order to make the correct decisions? How do you KNOW the members know what venting will-or will not do?   A departments leadership may "feel" that things will go a certain way-or even "know" based upon the last run. The issue is, quite simply, do we KNOW how VULNERABLE our fire departments (and those we protect) are in day to day operations, tactics, training and the other stuff that makes up a FD?   Determining your fire department and community vulnerability has been a guessing game in the past, with only a few, very limited tools that can be used to measure what the FD does right-or doesn't do right-or may not be able to do right.   City hall dwellers (elected and appointed local gov't folks) challenge the chief and challenge labor to "PROVE" the needs. Emotional presentations do not have a history of being successful. It's all about fact these days.   There is, however now, a NO COST tool developed by firefighters for firefighters that allows a fire commissioner, a chief or organization leadership to determine where their department really is. Take time NOW to understand how this FREE online tool can help cut out the BS and prove the needs of your department.   CLICK HERE for an overview of VAP: https://www.firevap.org/system/overview   CLICK HERE to sign in and start the process: https://www.firevap.org/   VAP helps leaders, members and elected officials cut through the emotion and get to the facts on WHY a fire department must be properly funded, staffed, trained and lead. Take Care. be Careful. Pass it On. BillyG The Secret List 11/25/2014-1400 Hours www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com      =GET YOUR SECRET LIST ALERTS VIA TWITTER: http://twitter.com/thesecretlist  =TWITTER BS: @BillyGoldfeder =FOLLOW THE SECRET LIST ON FACEBOOK: http://tinyurl.com/y855vmt =SUBSCRIBE DIRECTLY TO THE SECRET LIST: http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com/secret.php...

FIRE DEPARTMENT CAPABILITY.....HOW DO YOU REALLY KNOW?
You don't have to go very far to find discussions related to fireground operations, tactics, command and control.You also don't have to go far to find opinions on the above-which is a good thing. What is hard to find, at times, is actual fact. Fact about what might or could happen.How do we really KNOW how, what, why or when our fire department may or may not act based upon the given circumstances.How do you KNOW your first alarm assignments are adequate?How do you KNOW your first alarm staffing matches the fire?How do you KNOW how a line will be stretched?How do you KNOW you will have adequate water supply?How do you KNOW your officers are able to size up, in order to make the correct decisions?How do you KNOW the members know what venting will-or will not do?A departments leadership may "feel" that things will go a certain way-or even "know" based upon the last run. The issue is, quite simply, do we KNOW how VULNERABLE our fire departments (and those we protect) are in day to day operations, tactics, training and the other stuff that makes up a FD?Determining your fire department and community vulnerability has been a guessing game in the past, with only a few, very limited tools that can be used to measure what the FD does right-or doesn't do right-or may not be able to do right.City hall dwellers (elected and appointed local gov't folks) challenge the chief and challenge labor to "PROVE" the needs. Emotional presentations do not have a history of being successful. It's all about fact these days.There is, however now, a NO COST tool developed by firefighters for firefighters that allows a fire commissioner, a chief or organization leadership to determine where their department really is. Take time NOW to understand how this FREE online tool can help cut out the BS and prove the needs of your department.CLICK HERE for an overview of VAP:https://www.firevap.org/system/overviewCLICK HERE to sign in and start the process:https://www.firevap.org/VAP helps leaders, members and elected officials cut through the emotion and get to the facts on WHY a fire department must be properly funded, staffed, trained and lead....

Blame it on the Stars
By: Pete Sulzer             “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”             -William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)             The fire service is often greatly influenced by the nation’s largest departments. However, the majority of the American fire service is composed of departments that serve less than 10,000 people. Members of these smaller agencies tend to look to the metropolitan departments for trends in operations, equipment, and staffing. There is nothing wrong with this practice; in fact, it can be beneficial. Larger departments have the resources to test and perfect new concepts. They are typically busy enough to thoroughly try out new equipment. In addition, instructors from larger departments can often be relied on since they have been sifted out from among the ranks of hundreds, if not thousands, of their co-workers. Borrowing “big city” methods and ideas can have a positive outcome, granted that you must analyze and modify those methods to fit your own area, apparatus, and staffing. However, problems can manifest when members of smaller departments become enamored with the bigger, busier, and perceivably “better” agencies.                        These issues arise if we turn our attention back to our own company in disgust and disappointed. We may wonder, “Why can’t we operate like that? Why aren’t we that efficient?” We curse fate for delivering us to a quiet, suburban department and turn our nose up at last year’s meager run numbers—as if that were the cause of our faults and mistakes. However, as Cassius told Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “the fault…is not in our stars.” On the contrary, our poor fireground performance, lack of company pride, and less-than-stellar equipment condition cannot be blamed on low population density or call volume. “Men at some time are masters of their fates”,[i] and if blame is to be placed, then we must own it and do something to correct it.                        Part of the Fire Service Warrior Ethos is to own our responsibility to our Brothers and Sisters. Often this means humbly acknowledging our faults and shortcomings so that we may improve and contribute to the greater good of the department. We can’t afford to lean on the crutch of a small department or “slow” company as a justification for poor performance. You may not run many fires in a year, but your performance on those few “workers” means everything to the occupants of those structures. There is no excuse for mediocrity, other than apathy, and preventing it starts with you. Are you performing at your best? Not just on working fires, but on every run and during every drill. Do you step up during training when others show disinterest? If you aren’t providing a positive example and contributing to your department’s improvement, then you are contributing to its demise. This responsibility belongs to every member of the department, regardless of rank. Firefighters with unmotivated officers can find activities to hone their skills alone, but in a conspicuous place so that others may be motivated to join in. An entire company of firefighters drilling is difficult for even the most unenthusiastic officer to ignore. Company officers should not blame peers who ignore attempts at inter-company drills, or Chief officers who dismiss equipment modifications and suggestions as unnecessary. Chief officers need not blame every department inadequacy on the City Council or a lack of funds. Do not pass the buck and blame your peers, superiors, or subordinates. Stop the buck, take the blame, and take the initiative to do what it takes to improve, starting with you and working throughout the department.             Once you begin to address your personal improvement, direct your attention to your equipment. Hoards of firefighters will quickly “like” a Facebook photo of another department’s rig or tools. Perhaps you should wonder, why are those photos so appealing? Consider how your own rigs look in comparison. Are they clean, fueled, and ready for duty? Now, inspect your tools. Are they clean and sharp? Are your tools readily accessible for crews to grab as they dismount and go to work, or are they hidden away in some awkward compartment because mounting them outside the rig “looks ugly”? Your rig should be set up as a work truck because that’s exactly what it is. Some will argue that mounting tools on the side of the rig is not only unsightly, but that it causes tools to succumb to dirt and corrosion. That argument is only valid in areas with harsh winters and little down time between runs. I have been witness to rusty, un-kept tools that were stored inside dark, dry compartments as well. A tool’s condition has less to do with its storage location and everything to do with its frequency of maintenance. Take pride in YOUR tools. If you find a dirty, dull, or rusted tool during truck checks, take the time and responsibility to clean it up. With regular maintenance, tools can be mounted outside the rig with no ill effects.                        Our responsibility to the community we serve and their expectation for the level of service that we provide is not scaled down according to department size and local population. We are still expected to KNOW and DO our job, regardless of where we serve. It’s ok to admire and learn from larger departments, but take pride in your own above all else. Own your actions. Own your equipment. Own your department. You don’t have to be the biggest and busiest to be the best; but the gap in experience must be filled with your own initiative and will to improve. When the tones drop for that rare small town “worker,” you must be prepared to perform at your best because you can’t call the cavalry in from the “big city” when you fall short, and you can’t blame it on the stars when things go wrong.  BIO: Pete Sulzer has been in the fire service since 2006. He currently serves with a suburban/rural combination department in central North Carolina....

Philadelphia Police Car & Ambulance Collide
A Philadelphia Police cruiser and a private ambulance crashed overnight leaving one person hurt.The wreck occurred around 3:30 a.m. at Magee and Torresdale avenues in the Tacony section of Northeast Philadelphia.No patient was on board the Ameriquest ambulance at the time of the wreck, said Philadelphia Police.A passenger in the ambulance was taken to Aria-Torresdale Hospital with minor bumps and bruises. No officers were hurt, according to investigators.The cause of the wreck remained under investigation Monday morning....

Lee commisioners to vote on settlement for 2013 crash - Florida
LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The county is offering to pay $200,000 to a woman who lost her unborn child in a crash with an ambulance. Investigators say the ambulance driver was speeding when he ran a stop sign and slammed into Kristina Childs' car.The accident happened in Fort Myers back in 2013. The county is admitting fault after the ambulance transporting a patient, without lights or sirens, smashed into Childs' car. The ambulance driver is no longer employed by Lee County.  Childs' attorney says the $200,000 will barely cover her hospital bills. Childs was 8 months pregnant at the time of the accident. Her attorney says she lost her unborn son and suffered severe leg, wrist, and other injuries.   The county attorney is briefing commissioners, who vote next week on whether to approve the $200,000."This is an impossible situation we're dealing with, no happy ending can come of this," said County Commissioner Frank Mann.   The settlement amount is not greater because the state limits what local governments can pay per person in claims. It's called sovereign immunity, and some attorneys tell WINK News although it may save taxpayers some cash, it doesn't help the severely injured."Because they're being told by the legislature, by their attorney, and by the state, that $200,000 is all you can ever get. In a lot of cases, that's more than enough money but in some cases, just like this one, it's not enough," said attorney Scott Goldberg.Childs' attorney in Sarasota says the other option is to ask the legislature to pass a special bill in order to receive a larger settlement, but that could take years and there's no guarantee the bill would pass.       "That is the law we are dealing with today and those are the parameters that have been set for the potential settlement and there is nothing the county commission can do to change that," said Mann.Childs and her attorney have decided not to speak about the case until after the county's vote which will take place December 2nd.Other people injured in the crash also have outstanding claims against Lee County.&nb...

Medic injured when ambulance hits moose - Alaska
TRAPPER CREEK — A collision between an ambulance and a moose sent an emergency responder to the hospital with minor injuries late Friday evening, authorities said.The ambulance had responded to a two-vehicle car wreck near Mile 164, Parks Highway, and was transporting one of the victims to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center when it struck the moose near Mile 114.A second ambulance, which also responded to the wreck, transported the patient onward, while a helicopter was called to transport a medical technician injured when the ambulance struck the moose to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center. The medic was treated and released early Saturday morning, according to emergency medical services district chief Gene Wiseman.All responders involved in the wreck were at home resting Saturday morning, Wiseman said.“No additional injuries were sustained by the victim” of the earlier wreck, who was transported to Mat-Su Regional, he said.The initial crash happened near the site of an August collision involving a tour bus and a pickup truck in which more than 10 passengers of the tour bus were transported for treatment of minor injuries. This section of highway is perilous, Wiseman added.“It’s a very dangerous stretch of road, near the rail passings,” he said.&nb...

Driver hit ambulance taking patient to hospital, police say - Indiana
 Sarah Reese sarah.reese@nwi.com, (219) 933-3351GARY | Two Prompt Ambulance medics and a driver were injured Thursday when the driver struck the ambulance as the crew was taking a patient to a hospital in Gary, police said.The patient in the ambulance wasn't injured in the crash and was taken in a different ambulance to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary, police said.The Prompt ambulance's lights were activated about 5:45 p.m. as it headed north on Grant Street at 19th Avenue en route to Methodist, police said.The ambulance was struck by a woman driving a 2013 Lincoln west on Grant, police said. The Lincoln hit the back passenger side of the ambulance.Two medics working with the patient in the ambulance were hurt. A Lake Ridge firefighter driving the ambulance was not hurt, police said.The medics and the woman driving the Lincoln also were taken to Methodist.&nb...

FL FF INJURED IN POLICE SHOOTING
A Bradenton firefighter and Iraq War Veteran has been identified as the man fatally shot by a police officer. The city of Bradenton Fire Department confirms that Donald "Donnie" Wendt was the man killed after a stand-off on the 3300 block of Oxford Drive, around 9:00 p.m. Sunday night.Mr. Wendt joined the Bradenton Fire Department in 2003. He served a 13 month tour of duty in Iraq as a member of the Army Reserve, and was awarded a bronze star.Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowski says,  Wendt was in the front yard of the home, waving a gun around and threatening to kill himself and his sister.Neighbors called 9-1-1 and an officer responded to the scene.That officer called for SWAT to assist.Chief Radzilowski says soon after SWAT arrived, Wendt walked out of the front door with two firearms.He pointed one of those guns at the officers.An officer shot and killed the off-duty firefighter.Bradenton police have not released the names of the officer involved or the victim.The officer is on paid administrative leave, while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigates the shooting.http://m.mysuncoast.com/mobile/news/firefighter-killed-in-officer-involved-shooting-identified/article_705596cc-73e6-11e4-a717-0709601273f6.html...

FIREFIGHTER SHOT, KILLED BY POLICE IN STANDOFF-FLORIDA
Tragic news out of Manatee County (Florida, Tampa Bay area) this morning as a City of Bradenton Firefighter is dead after a standoff Sunday evening between him and Bradenton Police.The veteran FF was also an Iraqi war veteran.Around 2100 hours last night cops responded for a domestic situation involving a that Firefighter that ended with a SWAT team response and gunfire on Oxford Drive West in West Bradenton. The Firefighter came out to his front yard with firearms, threatened to kill himself and threatened to kill his sister.Police arrived with negotiators and after talking, the man came out of the house with two guns, he then pointed at officers-and a police officer fired one shot and killed the Firefighter.Police stated that the Firefighter was influenced by alcohol and it's uncertain if the incident was a suicide by cop or if the man had an illness resulting from his service in the military.Our condolences to everyone affected by this loss. RIP....

Firefighter Shot/Killed By PD (The Secret List)
All, Tragic news out of Manatee County (Florida, Tampa Bay area) this morning as a City of Bradenton Firefighter is dead after a standoff Sunday evening between him and Bradenton Police. The veteran FF was also an Iraqi war veteran. Around 2100 hours last night cops responded for a domestic situation involving a that Firefighter that ended with a SWAT team response and gunfire on Oxford Drive West in West Bradenton. The Firefighter came out to his front yard with firearms, threatened to kill himself and threatened to kill his sister. Police arrived with negotiators and after talking, the man came out of the house with two guns, he then pointed at officers-and a police officer fired one shot and killed the Firefighter. Police stated that the Firefighter was influenced by alcohol and it's uncertain if the incident was a suicide by cop or if the man had an illness resulting from his service in the military. Our condolences to everyone affected by this loss. RIP. Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On. BillyG The Secret List 11/24/2014-0900 Hours www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com  ...

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