Personal Escape Hook

Engineer Jason Simms from Gwinnett County (GA) sent in this tip. He bought a small crow bar at the local home improvement store and cut it off at about 5 inches. He then welded two links of a chain to create an attachment point for personal escape rope. Jason says it works great and is quite a bit cheaper than the commercially sold products. The whole set-up was less than ten bucks. There’s nothing like a little firehouse ingenuity to save a few dollars.


New Shirt

Check out the new shirt design. We listened to your input and it’s a black shirt this time! The front has a distressed version of the maltese/arrow portion of the logo with The Lost Art of the Fire Service written underneath it, center chest. The back has the distressed full logo centered just above the shoulder blade. We are now accepting pre-orders for the shirt. The shirts will ship to you by February 20th. Check out the store for the details.


Pulling Meters

Steve Urban from Ft. Worth (TX) Truck 14 sent in these photos of a residental meter base. Like with so many other things we have pointed out of the site, they just don’t make’em like they used to. In this particular situation this residential meter functions more like a commercial meter. If you look close you can see that the buss bar is still connected when the meter is pulled. The larger size of the base should be an indication that this style set-up is in use and should be suspected on large residential structures.

Obviously this is important is if anyone is “pulling the meter” as their method of securing utilities. Pulling the meter may not be your particular method, but it’s a method still used by many people. Just keep in mind that when faced with this set-up, removing the meter does not disrupt the power to the structure.


Orlando Fire Conference

Jimm Walsh, founder and webmaster here at will be presenting at this year’s Orlando Fire Conference on February 26th. The Orlando Fire Conference is an annual conference held in Orlando that offers both seminar style and hands on training presented by some of the best brothers in the business. This year Jimm will be presenting on: ”The Lost Art of the Truck Company.” The hands on training portion of the conference is already sold out but there is still availability for the seminar day. Check out the Orlando Fire Conference website for more details.

Here is a short write-up about the program:
The Lost Art of the Truck Company:  Truck company functions have quickly become the lost art of the fire service. Many common fire ground tasks are done simply because that’s what people were trained to do. Many firefighters do not truly understand “why” they are performing certain tasks on the fire ground. Learn some of the most important reasons why truck company functions need to be performed efficiently and effectively at every single fire.


Adding Fuel to the Fire

Captain Cameron Bucek from Palm Beach County (FL) sent in this video he found over on This video is proof that inadequate or inappropriate ventilation is like adding fuel to the fire.  PPV is probably one of the most misused and misunderstood tools on the fire ground. Like so many other things in this business there is a time and a place… Although we are still trying to find the right time and place for PPV… Unfortunately, many departments use PPV on every fire regardless of conditions. That is simply UNSAFE! This video just goes to show you that vertical ventilation is not the most dangerous type of ventilation, misused PPV is!




This post has been removed due to unintended copyright issues. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Aerial Training

Lt. Joe Pennino from Largo (FL) Fire Rescue sent in some photos of an aerial training method that has been around for a while. It helps aerial operators with the depth perception and finesse of the controls.

Their method was simply to hang a traffic cone on some rope, and place some other cones at different spots around (and on top of the) building. We have seen a similar method that uses a tennis ball on string, and five gallon buckets. Either way, the idea is the same, simply to place whatever is hanging from the aerial in (or on) the target object. This drill is very helpful in teaching new aerial operators to fine tune their movements.


Shocking Realization

Paul Fenush from Baltimore County (MD) Engine Company 3 came across something quite interesting on a fire the other night; the pictures he sent in were taken by Michael Schwartzberg Fire Photographer with Pikesville Volunteer Fire Company.

The fire was a well involved fire that was consuming an unattached garage. The garage was used by a landscaper to store his equipment. Along with the garage, there were several other out-buildings in close proximity.

While they were operating they noticed a garden hose laying on the ground in-between the buildings. After working for a while on the fire ground they noticed a few things interesting about the hose… It was tied up in one of the trees. The fire ended up burning through the garden hose and revealed the true situation. The garden hose was being used as an above ground conduit to run power from the detached garage to some of the other out-buildings. They had run power wire thorough the inside of the hose.

Fortunately no-one got shocked by this custom installation, but if this thing was wired a little differently, who knows. What if the power hose ran the power from the main building to the detached garage, you may find an electrical shut-off on the garage and secure power to the building you are operating in, but the power hose from the hose is still hot. Now if it’s just a little 110, it might not be a big deal, but what if it had some big juice on it?


Non-Rotating Saws

John Simpson from Osceola County (FL) Truck 72 sent in this tip to use while performing your daily equipment check. Saws have a natural tendency to bounce and rotate when idling on the ground. This is caused by the vibration of the motor. Most saws have a foot stand or plate in-between the blade and motor. In order to keep the saw in one place, simply find a crack in the asphalt or concrete and place the foot stand in the crack. This keeps the saw in one spot when idling during checkout.

As a side note, simply letting the saw run at idle is not a sufficient morning check out. This tip is intended to be used when you are letting the saws idle after they have actually been checked.



We wanted to apologize for taking the site down yesterday. We were hacked, so we felt it was best to take the site down to prevent any additional issues. Some bonehead computer geek hacked into VentEnterSearch and added some BS computer code at the bottom of the page. This code was causing some issues with some IT departments. We have fixed the issue and will be keeping a watchful eye to try to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

What does this mean to you? Well nothing really, we just wanted to let you know what happened in case you saw the site down yesterday and were wondering. As you know, we are firefighters just like you; we are not expert computer wiz’s. We are simply dedicated to providing good information to good firefighters; this whole website thing has been a tremendous learning curve over the last two and a half years. Thanks again for your continued support.

We wanted to show you how we fixed the issue…



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