Door Chocks

Jason Jefferies from Charlotte Engine 37 sent in this simple and cheap door chock. He was quick to point out that he didn’t invent this himself, but we’re giving him credit for it anyway! All you need is a piece of 1″ or 2″ angle iron and an “S” hook. Check out the What’s in Your Pockets page for a description. –Jimm-

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Primary Search -All Clear- (Is it Really?)

It has been a couple of weeks since we’ve had a good series of comments about any particular subject… I was looking through some old comments and decided to bring this one up front so everyone could read it again. It originally appeared under the “Vertical Vent… Whatever it Takes!” discussion a few weeks ago. I didn’t want this important topic to get lost in the weeds.

The effective search is quickly becoming another “lost art of the fire service.” With the availability of thermal imagers, and other changes throughout the fire service, searches are either not being done efficiently, effectively, or sometimes not being done at all. Ask yourself this… On the last search you preformed, if the thermal imager malfunctioned, would you have been able to complete the search, or even find your way out?

Or how about this question…(Regardless of the interpretations of the highly misunderstood rule of two in/two out) You pull up to a residential structure in the middle of the night, a small room and contents fire, car in the driveway, bikes in the yard, no-one outside, DO YOU GO IN AND SEARCH? I think the answer should be obvious….But you’d be surprised.

The first comment to this post is a cut and paste of one of our reader’s opinions of the importance of the search…. What’s your opinion? –Jimm-


Framing Square Foricble Entry

Our latest Tips from the Bucket comes from our brothers of Miami Dade Fire Rescue. This is an innovative way to force entry on a metal door while retaining the ability to secure the door after operations are complete. -Jimm-


Deceiving Building Features

It is becoming more and more popular for developers to attempt constucting their buildings to look different from all the others. Unfortunately, when this happens it sometimes has a negative impact on Fire Department operations in the structure. These aesthetically pleasing features sometimes only “look” like they would have a significant impact on our operations, when in fact some of them are easily bypassed or removed. Our own Darrell Coates recently found some of these features on a structure in his first due and took these photos. -Jimm-

Please check out the supplemental Deceiving Building Features page for more pictures and descriptions.

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What’s in your Pockets?

Be sure to check out our latest addition: The What’s in your Pockets page. I have always enjoyed asking other firefighters what they carry in their pockets, and why they decided to carry each different item. Everyone is encouraged to send in pictures and or descriptions of what they carry and why. Normally each item has a story or reason. It should be interesting to hear everyone’s input. –Jimm-

Here is a pair of channel lock pliers that have been modified to be used as a key tool. Check out the new page for a description of this handy tool.



Website Updates

We recently performed some much needed maintenance on the site… You’ve probably already seen the 20 most recent comments added to the sidebar. It should make things easier to follow. You’ll also notice that the sidebar looks more uniform, and the graphic on top is now clickable and will always bring you back to the homepage. We now have each of our pages opening in the same window instead of opening another window each time you click. We are trying to make the site as user friendly as possible.

These upgrades were ideas we received from various users… Thanks for the input! We are always looking for ideas and upgrades, so let us know! We will be changing the format of the links page soon, so keep an eye out for that.

We have not forgotten about the August articles, unfortunately we are a little behind schedule on them…

Thanks again for all of the support! –Jimm-

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Training Prop Ideas

Check out the Tips from the Bucket section for a few simple ideas for training props. The one picture above is a great prop that won’t cost you a dime! We have a lot more tips that we will be placing on the site from time to time. We are always interested in hearing about your tips, send us an email and let us know what you’d like to see.

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Always check over your head!

Here is a video clip from a recent three alarm motel fire in Phoenix. This is the fire where a section of roof falls and pins two firefighters. They were very fortunate, and were able to free themselves quickly. The moral of the story… Always check over your head! A quick hook into the ceiling will give you a good idea of the fire conditions overhead. As this video demonstrates, it’s even important to do prior to entry of the involved area. –Jimm-

Click here for video


Vertical Vent…Whatever It Takes!

The boys from Houston Firehouse 19 showing us they’ll do whatever it takes. Make sure you click on “comments” below to read our thoughts about this job. -Jeff- 

This video shown courtesy of our friends from


WP “Ordinary Residental” Job

This is a recovered post:
I believe this post discussed an awesome fire that I missed. My shift, my unit, my day off. I’m sure we discussed something about “what the term residential mean to you?” I’m sure we also spoke about how the term “ordinary construction” is one of the most abused and misunderstood terms in the fire service. This home pictured above was well over 10,000 sqft and worth millions of dollars. It was still under construction, and was unoccupied at the time of the fire. The fire burned undetected for a long time and was through the roof prior to units arriving on scene. I hate missing calls like this! –Jimm-

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