For you baseball fans out there, you may recognize this phrase. Usually it is used in discussion about a player that has been struggling and the team has been working with him to slow the game down, so they are better prepared and better able to react. As with many ideas and practices from Major League sports, there are applications in the fire service. This is another case of us being smart enough to learn from others.
At Backstep Firefighter and The Front Seat, we often use “expect fire” when discussing various incidents and how the firefighters responded and reacted to the situation they found. The “expect fire” concept has to do with a mindset, a mental preparation that involves treating each run like it will be a fire, so that when you arrive and it is a fire you are not surprised. Seems simple right? Unfortunately it is an area that we don’t always handle well. There are constantly cases of firefighters arriving at scenes and looking like the carpenter with one foot nailed to the floor, spinning around in circles and accomplishing nothing. Expect fire means that you respond with your gear on, your mind is ready and expecting to go to a fire, you are physically ready to go to a fire.
Imagine arriving at 2:00 a.m. to heavy fire showing, and because you “thought it was a BS run” you weren’t dressed and ready to go. No biggie, right? You can get dressed in seconds. Except when the rig stops, the father of three is standing in the street screaming that his kids are inside. Now you are trying to get dressed while your “customer” is impatiently expecting you to go save his family. How fast can you get dressed under those circumstances? How good of a size up are you performing while you trying and get your arm in your sleeve for the third time while your heart rate hits 130.
Read the entire post here: http://backstepfirefighter.com/2011/07/26/slow-the-game-down/
I was recently given the opportunity to try the FDXL100 Leather Fireboot by Fire-Dex. In conjunction with their summer boot giveaway, Fire-Dex wanted to get some pairs of their boots out there for people to try.
Now I have never had any real experience with any PPE made by Fire-Dex. I had heard some things, both good and bad, but was excited to get the opportunity to put their leather boot through its paces and decide for myself. Of course as one would expect, we didn’t do squat for fire duty during the demo period. I did however have a lot of opportunity to wear the FDXL100 in multiple different situations.
First of all, out of the box it was probably the most comfortable leather fire boot I have worn. I ordered the same size boot as I wear around the station and from the first moment I put them on, it was as if I was wearing my favorite pair of sneakers. And with each opportunity to wear them, they only became more comfortable. These boots didn’t slip while walking of climbing.
Another area that I really liked about these boots was that the uppers broke in very quickly and did not remain stiff. So in no time at all is was as if they had almost molded to my legs while wearing them.
The toe protection is very heavy duty, so they have held up very well during the short time I have been testing them. These boots had plenty of traction, and performed well while climbing ladders, climbing stairs, kneeling, crawling and just getting in and out of the rig. They also remained comfortable when worn for long durations.
From my short exposure to them, I would absolutely say they are worth checking out. I will update on their long term durability down the road, after having more opportunity to wear them.
Here is a list of the features for the FDXL100:
Leather Boot Model: FDXL100
Stroble Bootie Construction:
Shaft Thermal Barrier:
Foot Cavity Thermal Barrier:
Puncture Resistant Barrier:
External Heel Counter:
3D Toe Cover:
Pull On Holes:
Cement Cup Sole:
Fire & Ice Rubber Compound by Vibram:
Heat Shield at Vamp:
3 Density Sock Liner:
Dave LeBlanc is a Lieutenant at the Harwich, Massachusetts FD with more than 25 years in fire service. Dave’s blog tends to focus on current day issues and maintaining a commitment to the ideals and principals that created the fire service, while keeping today’s firefighters safe.
Earlier this year, we introduced firefighter and fire blogger, Dave LaBlanc. This excerpt is from his most recent post on whether or not fire service has shifted too far from basics to last chance training. Dave appreciates opinions and discussions, so please click through to his blog and share your thoughts.
ARE WE MISSING THE TARGET?
For those of you that follow the news and happenings of the fire service, you may have noticed an increase in the number of bailouts reported. Now certainly some of this is a result of the media figuring out that a firefighter bailing out isn’t a normal occurrence, so as one outlet begins reporting it, others follow suit. But it begs the question, why? Why are so many of our brothers bailing out? Have that many incidents occurred where things have gone that wrong?
This year’s Safety Stand Down had the following theme: Surviving the Fire Ground: Fire Fighter, Fire Officer & Command Preparedness. Now that is a great topic, and certainly one that should be a part of every firefighter and every officer’s training. Knowing what to do when you get in trouble certainly goes a long way toward saving firefighter lives. But what about preventing our members from getting in trouble in the first place? Is that something that we focus enough on?
How many hours did you spend on fire behavior this year? Two, five, ten? How many more did you spend on building construction? Until we understand our enemy, the fire and the building we operate in, how can we expect not to get in trouble? Until we understand what the environment we work in feels like through our PPE, how we can expect our firefighters not to go in too far. Until we address the need for an awareness of the hazards of the situations we operate in, how can we expect our firefighters and officers to make good decisions?
John Norman writes that a firefighter should never put themselves in a position where they have to rely on someone else to get out. Think about that one simple statement. It covers a lot of territory. As firefighters we must constantly evaluate where we are operating, what the conditions are, and what our way out is. We need to do this while trying to accomplish our goals for that particular fire.
Read this entire blog post and share your thoughts here: http://backstepfirefighter.com/2011/07/18/are-we-missing-the-target/
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