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5-Alarm Task Force!
News & Issues for First Responders
Category: Training
Location: Greater Ft. Lauderdale
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Former firefighter/EMT; President & Executive Producer of Dalmatian Productions, Inc., a production company dedicated to create...

by Steve Greene
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December 17, 2019 05:44 AM PST

PHOTO CREDIT TO Battalion Chief (ret) Keith Helms)

As firefighters we constantly face challenges, however not all of them are at an emergency scene. Many of these challenges occur every day; often before we ever leave the station. And many of those challenges deal with our attitudes. You might be surprised at the toll that a wrong attitude can have.

My guests for this episode of “5-Alarm Task Force,” are Sean Duffy and Pablo Gener, of the “Build Your Culture,” training group. As with most choices we face in life, there is a “right way” and, let’s just call it “another way,” of doing things. However, as firefighters, we are held to a high standard for everything we do. And Sean and Pablo believe that, no matter if you’re a career, volunteer, wildland or paid-on-call firefighter, you should always be on your “A-game,” because in this business, anything less, could result in dire circumstances.

My guests pose the question, “If you truly want to build your firefighting culture, do you do so with professionalism or minimalism? What’s the difference between the two? What are the results? Listen to this podcast in its entirety and a clear picture will emerge. Then you will have a better idea of where you stand!

Listen to “5-Alarm Task Force” on our website, www.dalmatianproductions.tv or on your favorite podcast platform.

December 11, 2019 06:26 AM PST

As long as we have had two-way radios in the fire service, the first arriving officer (or whomever was in a “right seat”) would provide some sort of report upon arrival. In my active years in two different departments from ’77-’85, the FAO might give a 15-30 “quick view” to dispatch. I remember being assigned to “recon” a structure file, a few times and report back to the ranking officer on scene. And mind you, in those days we had two radios: one fixed in the apparatus and one for the person in the right seat. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then!
For this special “Panel Discussion” episode of “5-alarm Task Force,” I am joined my Commissioner Jared Renshaw, Battalion Chief Andy Starnes, Captain Andrew Roach and Lt. Jason Liska; four, seasoned and well-experienced officers. Together, we discuss the critical importance of the good report; preferably one derived from a 360. We concede that there will be occasions where a quick, “windshield” size-up will be expedient to expedite an initial ops plan; however it must be followed up with a more complete size-up, 360 preferred, if possible. Our discussion is backed-up by the results of numerous post-LODD NIOSH reports.
While my guests and I always believe that every episode is a “learning tool” for the listener, this panel and I see this episode as one that is as important for the line firefighter as it is for the chief officer. This one might very well save a firefighter’s life.

December 03, 2019 06:39 AM PST

Many of us in the fire service believe that, for the most part, most fire departments in North America are the same, other than size and run numbers, with some being career and others volunteer. Part of that broad statement is that many of us still face major organizational problems. How we deal with them might make a difference.

Chief Stan Metcalfe of the Beaverlodge Fire Dept., in Alberta Canada explains that while many departments might have similar problems, it is how we approach these problems that can often set one department apart from others. In this podcast, Chief Metcalfe breaks his topic into three segments, “Setting Expectations for Success,” “Developing a Leadership Culture,” and “Maintaining Momentum Through Training.”

Each of these sections is easily applicable to most departments across North America, especially our volunteer departments. As you listen to Chief Metcalfe, don’t be surprised if what he discusses sounds like your firehouse! Better yet, the Chief offers concrete suggestions for overcoming the obstacles discussed. Think about it, then pass it on!

November 22, 2019 10:58 AM PST

Brad Davidson is a Canadian Fire Executive with 38 years serving, “Mrs. Smith.” Brad has a strong love and passion for the fire service, underscored by his years of experience and his certifications. Through out chats on Twitter and by phone, I shared my passion regarding the Fire Service Cancer Initiative with him. And with that, he was off and running.
He has done several years of research since our first conversation on the topic and has tried to be as proactive as possible in promoting the Initiative in Canada. Yet, outside of the country’s major metropolitan areas, it is still a “tough sell.” But that won’t be a hindrance to Brad.
Join us as we talk about our friendship and his strong efforts to support and spread the word on both the Cancer and Behavioral Health Initiatives in our neighbor to the north.

PLEASE TUNE IN at www.dalmatianproductions.tv or on your favorite podcast platform.

November 18, 2019 06:50 AM PST

I will honestly say that this episode of “5-Alarm Task Force” is one of, if not THE best episode we have ever produced. It is informative, tragic and dark, yet also demonstrates inner strength and recovery.
My guest is Chris Fields, a retired Major with the Oklahoma City Fire Dept. While his name may not be familiar, a world-famous photo of him carrying the body of a toddler killed in the bombing of the Federal Building on April 19, 1995, may jog your memory.
Chris shares his story from his first day as a rookie, his ongoing journey growing as a firefighter and then, through the tragedy of the bombing and through the deep and dark segment of his life, as he suffers AND successfully recovers from PTSD. PLEASE listen and KEEP this podcast. I guaranty that you will learn from it and, it might help you if you find yourself in a similar position.

November 01, 2019 06:05 AM PDT

If you have a year or two more “under your belt” you know that learning in a classroom is nothing compared with learning on an active fireground. A good firefighter is ready for almost anything as he/she dismounts from the apparatus, because the fireground is an ever-evolving, ever-changing, location with massive changes that can occur in just seconds. And if you’re not ready for it……
My guest on this episode is Lt. Mike Daley. He is a nationally known instructor and writer for the trades. With over 30 years on the job, Mike knows this business and he knows the fireground. Mike shares that knowledge with us, discussing both the basics about the fireground, then moving to the size-up and finally, going into action with the knowledge you’ve gained from his first two segments.
This episode is truly a teachable “moment” for every firefighter and every line officer. Sure, you may have heard some of this before, but you will hear it differently today!

PLEASE TUNE IN at www.dalmatianproductions.tv or on your favorite podcast platform.

October 19, 2019 12:44 PM PDT

Over the last several years, we have seen more openness, understanding and assistance appear regarding behavioral health issues in the fire service and, for that matter, for all first responders! We know the issue has been there. It’s another case of the “elephant in the firehouse;” everyone sees it, but no one wants to talk about it! Add to that the fact that we’re losing far to many first responders to suicide and issue is as pressing as is the Cancer Initiative.

My guest, Mark W. Lamplugh, Jr., is well versed and studied in this area and has been working with first responders for at least, the last 10 years. On this podcast, Mark announces a new, online, anonymous platform, geared specifically to first responders. You will want to listen to this podcast carefully, to hear about this program, as well as several others that once can access in private and with complete anonymity.

If we can put up a great fight against cancer, we can save the lives of our friends and colleagues who are facing other demons!

PLEASE TUNE IN at www.dalmatianproductions.tv or on your favorite podcast platform.

October 07, 2019 06:26 AM PDT

One of the most important numbers in our business is 360! It has been drilled into us that upon arrival at a call for smoke and/or fire, the first arriving officer should make as complete an inspection of the structure/scene as is possible. Then, the officer gives the crew initial instructions to mitigate the issue. What does that officer see? What’s involved? What needs to be done first. All of this is part of what we call the “size-up.”

My guest is Chief Mike Terpak, recently retired from the Jersey City Fire Department, where he served as Deputy Chief and Citywide Tour Commander. With over forty years of experience, especially in one of the most intensely populated cities in the nation, there's little that the Chief has not seen!

We discuss how his most recent book, “Fireground Size-Up” (Second Edition) was actually “born” when he was a rookie firefighter and began to use notebooks to keep track of calls, what had to be done and how they would accomplish their task. Those notebooks piled up over the years and finally led to the Chief sharing his knowledge and experience in a manner that would benefit any firefighter who would read it. Listen as the Chief describes several challenging calls that he responded to.

Tune in at www.dalmatianproductions.tv or on your favorite podcast platform.

September 23, 2019 07:06 AM PDT

We have all seen the news footage – huge wildfires consuming large areas in California. Last year, major fires like the Woolsey and Camp fires, destroyed thousands of acres of woodland, thousands of homes and disrupted the lives of tens of thousands of residents. And, in almost every newsreel, you saw firefighters and other first responders, doing tasks, such as fighting the fires, clearing a fire line, help escaping residents and much more. It begs the question, “How does California organize thousands of firefighters and other personnel to have them all respond to these fires?”

My guest on this episode of “5-Alarm Task Force” is FF/PM/Eng Brad Bihun. Brad is a firefighter, paramedic and engineer in Southern CA. However, he is also trained as a PIO – Public Information Officer, for CAL Fire, the state’s special fire coordination department. Brad explains to us how the state uses six Incident Management Teams to rally all the forces needed for both mitigating an incident and caring for the people effected by it. Last year, one of these major fires required over 8,000 men and women, with various responsibilities, to handle the emergency and its ramifications.

Brad provides many insights into how the third-largest state in the U.S., is able to organize responses to certain emergencies that most of us, hopefully, will never see, yet are all too common in California! Tune in on your favorite podcast platform or at www.dalmatianproductions.tv.

September 19, 2019 05:02 AM PDT

For as long as there have been people, fire and those willing to quench unexpected issues from fire, the basic tenet was “put the wet stuff on the red stuff!” Of course, there were no “classes” given to what was burning until many years later. And to be honest, that premise worked. However, in the last fifty years or so, one of the key issues that has changed is WHAT is burning and what is the safest and most expedient way to snuff these more modern flames.

On this podcast, my guest Chief (ret) Shawn Oke of the Albemarle NC Fire Dept. and a co-founder of the educational effort, “Kill the Flashover.” With nearly thirty years in the fire service, one of Chief Oke’s passion is the use of foam, or for a more accurate description, using “enhanced water streams” for Class A fires, some of which can be utilized when fighting either Class A or Class B fires.*

Tune in as Chief Oke explains the background and development of this relatively modern way of fighting the types of fires we see most of the time and why, your department’s investment in this practice will yield swifter dousing of the flames, less damage to the property and most importantly, the firefighters having exposure time to the dangerous carcinogenic and other toxic particles created in these fires and their heat.

Find us on your favorite podcast platform or on our website, www.dalmatianproductions.tv.

*Class A fires deal with house fires, paper, wood, etc. Class B fires deal with hydrocarbon-based products such as flammable liquids, i.e., gas, oil, kerosene, etc.

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