A fresh attempt on a variation of the old (and short-lived) “Weekend Update” posts. This regular post will forgo the random photos and viral videos to recap only articles and training videos posted on the Facebook page throughout the week(often captioned as “today’s reading assignment”), as well as some that I may have missed. As my original articles are less frequent, and may be published elsewhere, I want to continue to use this site to share the work of others. With that in mind, you may share your own work here. Article, rant, photo, poem, drawing, or other…send it in.
Here’s your weekend reading assignment:
- Don’t Kill Yourself – Christopher Brennan, Fire Service Warrior
An honest and timely article from Chris on a topic that is all too common in our community, yet is often avoided in discussion: suicide. Read it, and if you know someone who is in a dark place, talk to them…starting with those three, most important words.
- Close the Door! Were You Born in a Barn? – Ed Hartin, CFBT-US.com
“Coming and going as a little kid, I frequently would forget to close the door to the house and my mother would say; close the door! Were you born in a barn? What does this have to do with firefighting operations? As it turns out, it has significant impact!”
- Throwing Ladders – Jason Jefferies, Fire Service Warrior
“A good training program should consist of progressive learning so that as a task is learned and then mastered, the difficulty is increased. We cannot expect a firefighter to see a technique that is new to them and expect perfection in performance right out of the gate.”
- Sick Days – Mark vonAppen, Fully Involved
“The old days are gone. If we wish for the past, worry for a future that might not happen, the present goes by and we don’t live the days that are right in front of us.”
- What Research Tells Us about the Modern Fireground – Steve Kerber and Timothy E. Sendelbach, UL
“Applying water to the fire as quickly as possible—regardless of where it is emitting from—can make conditions in the entire structure better.”
- Finally, two things in the wake of the Houston LODD’s –
A post on the Fire Service Warrior Facebook page had this to say:
Risk does not recognize rank. Collapse does not recognize rank. Fire does not recognize rank. Heart attacks don’t recognize rank.
There is no experience required to access information, no prerequisites to get in the gym. If there is a fire engine in your station you have all the equipment you need to drill. It just takes the will to do and the soul to dare.
Stop waiting for someone else to take care of you, to show you, to prepare you.
Your life is your responsibility and has been since the day you were born. The lives of those you serve are your responsibility and have been since your first day in uniform.
Enough with the dependance, avoidance and laziness. Pride and ownership isn’t a book, it is an internal drive, a different standard and most importantly it is hard work. Dig in and start now.
You answer to yourself and your duty. The critics will not be there for you at the moment of truth so why let them influence the outcome. We have lost enough this year.
Put down your phone right now or log off the computer and go to the bay, the gym or the book shelf. When the voice from the lazy boy asks “What are you doing? Don’t you know it is the weekend?”
Just tell them “unfortunately it is a weekend that too many are missing and I choose not to be one of them.”
- Secondly, the following WOD was posted in honor of the fallen in Houston:
The Houston Hero WOD
Captain Matthew Renaud, Station 51
Engineer Robert Bebee, Station 51
Firefighter Robert Garner, Station 68
Firefighter Anne Sullivan, Station 68
1 mile run
68 KB swings
1 mile run
Many Brothers and Sisters have posted times for the workout over the past week. I completed it on Wednesday with a time of 37:04. Denver area firefighters organized a fundraiser workout at Crossfit Ken Caryl in Littleton, CO this morning. Knock it out and show your work here or on the FSW Facebook page.
Remember the fallen.
This weekend, Captain Chaos joined me on an expedition. We were invited down to Roanoke, Virginia to visit the King of Blogs himself, Captain Willie Wines Jr. We loaded up the ELAFF-mobile and hit the road to Roanoke. Captain Wines was kind enough to set us up with a place to stay at a local family’s home. I never met his parents, but the kid who lived there was a huge fan of Willie’s…I think his name was Rhett-something. Apparently, he likes to ride his bike down to Willie’s station to hang out with the firemen, plus he’s a follower of our blog, as well. When he heard that Lt. Lemon and Cpt. Chaos would be in town, he begged his folks to let us spend the night. Rhett tagged along with us as we stopped by the Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial and were given an exclusive tour of Roanoke’s Historic Firehouse #1.
As Chaos and I marveled at the rich history in that house, Rhett spent the time constantly following Willie around and talking about something called the “Fire Critic” and telling us about “deals”. Frankly, I had no idea what he was referring to.
Meanwhile, as the kid kept talking, I remained silent, soaking in the wealth of knowledge shared by Captain Wines about everything from Roanoke Fire history, to general firefighting, to blogging and web design. I may be anonymous, but I will say that Captain Wines has much more experience than me, and I was taught early on to stay quiet and listen when good advice is offered from the senior men. After supper, we returned to Rhett’s house, where Rhett rambled on about “Va Fire News” and how much he loves Dave Statter. I think the only person Rhett admires more than Captain Wines is Statter. He could name every recent post on Statter911.com and he had an enormous Statter911 logo on his bedroom wall. It was sort of strange…
The following day, Chaos and I headed to Station 13 for a ride-along with Captain Wines and his crew. They greeted us with a feast of a breakfast, followed by a tour of the beautiful scenery in the surrounding area. We brought the ride-along curse with us, only catching one run…a medical. Still, we enjoyed the day, as the firefighters of Roanoke are extremely friendly and hospitable. Even as Chaos and I barged in on a Sunday, we never felt un-welcome. Rhett rode his bike down to the firehouse, bringing some BBQ for supper. I’m not sure where his Mom bought it, but it wasn’t too bad. After supper, Chaos and I decided to finally get out of their hair and head back to HQ. We handed off a couple of Lemon Wedges, snapped some photos, and rode off…better for making the trip.
Thanks again to Willie and Rhett.
Next time I’ll bring my voice with me…and maybe my face, too.
The fire service has taken a few hits over the past couple weeks. Asheville Fire Department lost a veteran captain and brother to a fire in a medical building. Dallas Fire lost a brother as well when the roof collapsed below him as he was making the roof in an apartment blaze. Lt. Krodle, and Capt. Bowen along with their families, both blood and fire, are in our hearts and minds. Love you guys. I titled this blog as lessons learned, but the lesson has yet to be taught. I’m not talking about the lesson to be learned from the tragic loss of two brothers in the service we all love. I’m talking about the lesson that needs to be learned from pointing fingers, naming names, and playing the blame game ( or monday morning quarterbacking as I like to call it ). Its time for some hard words my friends. Theres nothing more infuriating to me, when I read other blogs, and listen to other firefighters when they sit back in their chairs and give their assessment on exactly what they feel was the cause of a tragic LODD. How can you sit there and play the blame game? Who the hell do you think you are? I PROMISE you that you’re not all that and a bag of potato chips when it comes to the fire service. Go ahead and listen to the Mayday from Asheville on youtube. Read some of the awful things some of our own brothers are saying about the situation. Can something be learned out of the ashes that we must sift through in order to try to make sense of what and how and why something went wrong? Yes. Can something be learned from pointing your dirty little fat sausage fingers at the men and women who worked that scene and took charge of that scene? Actually yes….. I’ve learned that there are a bunch of sorry ass firefighters out there that need to learn a lesson in humility, or maybe just a lesson in being a decent human being. You know NOTHING of what happened, how it looked, how it felt, smelled, or tasted. The ONLY piece of information you have, is excerpts of radio traffic you listened to over the internet. Its one thing to sit at the kitchen table, or in the watch room or out in the bays and talk about what MIGHT have happened, and what MIGHT we possibly do to adjust our own tactics and strategies incase something like this happened today. Knowing what we now know, what little that might be, what can we take away from this today to make sure that we go back to our home and families tomorrow? To me…. that’s how we make sure that someones tragedy does not go in vain. When you get online and spout ridiculous rhetoric out of your un-educated mouth ( well, typed from your un-educated fingers) for all to see, including im sure from those who actually were THERE, all you’re doing is spitting on the memories of ALL those loved and lost. Imagine the impact of your words on the people who were there. Walk a mile in THEIR bunkers for a while. You Dishonor yourself, and your profession with your filth. You should absolutely be ashamed of yourself, because im ashamed for you. Ashamed to call you brother or sister, and that you’re a member of MY family. Take a lesson from me right here, and right now. Keep your ridiculous assumptions to yourself, hang your head in shame, and get your ass on the rig when the tones go off. This is an honorable service you are being privileged to be a part of, so start acting like it.
R.I.P. Brother Bowen and Brother Krodle
Fraternally, and in Solidarity