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5-Alarm Task Force!
News & Issues for First Responders
Category: Training
Location: Greater Ft. Lauderdale
Followers (18)
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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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May 06, 2019 04:10 AM PDT

If you have been involved in fire and/or EMS, you probably know the name, “Gary Ludwig.” Chief Ludwig has over 40 years of experience in fire-rescue and EMS. He has served as the Chief Paramedic of the St. Louis Fire Dept, the Deputy Fire Chief for the Memphis Fire Dept, and currently serves as the Chief of the Champaign IL Fire Dept.

In his new book, “Fully Involved Leadership,” Chief Ludwig shares some new and fresh perspectives on good leadership. He brings a new view of the leadership triangle and you’ll be surprised at the vision he presents.

Listen, the best leaders are not the ones who shout the loudest or intimidate those of the lower ranks. Chief Ludwig draws on his years of experience, from when he started his career with the St. Louis Fire Dept., just two months after graduating high school to his present position as Chief of the Champaign IL Fire Dept. His new book is for any firefighter/paramedic who aspires to be a leader in this field, from the newest recruit to well-experienced line officer to the chief.

April 29, 2019 06:25 AM PDT

Once we’re hired as a firefighter or paramedic, or we join a volunteer/paid-on-call department, we realize that there is a long learning road ahead. And once we complete the basic material, we then have to decide what we’ll do next. Will we be satisfied with what we have already accomplished or, will we want to keep learning, advancing our knowledge and, very likely, our career?

My guests on this podcast are Christian (Chris) and Sam Adams from Colorado Springs, CO. After a friend of Chris’ told him about being in EMT school, it piqued his interest. Chris’ next step was to enroll in the same program and Sam was not too far behind. Both started in para-transit, but already had their sights set for more! Over the next couple of years, they become became certified paramedics. Many folks would have stopped there. However, Chris and Sam looked for more and they found it with the Colorado Springs Fire Department, where they serve as firefighter/paramedics and specialty teams.

They recently released their first book, “Life and Death Matters,” (available on Amazon). Their book is neither a “tell-all” or “telling you how do it our way.” Instead, the book addresses the humanity of what we do. Sure, we all want to be the ones to respond to a major call; but they share the fact that no matter how involved or exciting a call can be, we must remember that there are people who are impacted by the event and we have an obligation to them.

They also discuss their passion for learning and, not easily satisfied with that, they work hard to “pay it forward.” They share what is important to them in their careers and their lives. They truly provide a breath of fresh air in this age of social media anonymity, trolling and bullying. This is a podcast you don’t want to miss!

Find “5-Alarm Task Force” on our website, www.dalmatianproductions.tv or on your favorite podcast platform. Stay Safe & Stay Well!

April 25, 2019 05:41 AM PDT

There’s so much happening in the fire service that one could spend the entire day reading the various trade publications, then move onto social media for the next several hours and still not know some of most important news happening in this field that we love. To “quench” our thirst for the latest, I called and invited my friend, Executive Assistant Chief Todd LeDuc of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office – Fire Rescue Services, to be my guest on another podcast.

In this episode, Chief LeDuc and I discuss this month's Congressional Fire Caucus Dinner and Symposium that take place this week. These few days are some of the most important for firefighters in the U.S. That is because this is an event during which firefighters and civilians with strong interests in the fire service, have an opportunity to speak with their lawmakers and share their concerns, ideas and other thoughts, with the men and women to help direct our government.

We also discuss Chief LeDuc’s passion and focus on firefighter health, wellness and safety. This passion led the Chief to create a conference, “Surviving the Fire Service,” where, along with numerous experts in their field, the aim was to demonstrate how we can have great and exciting careers, while at the same time, being careful about our overall health and safety. The Cancer Initiative and the Behavior Health Initiative, both play a part in this presentation. Find out about his new book, written along with Chief Bobby Halton.

Finally, we talk about the great work in the State of Florida, for every fire department in the state and how the state legislature is working hard to hammer out a presumptive health bill for Florida firefighters.

Find “5-Alarm Task Force” on our website, www.dalmatianproductions.tv or on your favorite podcast platform. Stay Safe & Stay Well!

April 19, 2019 08:07 AM PDT

One of the first “adult” things we learn to do as children is to shrug off tasks assigned by our parents or maybe, an older sibling. Or, we may have actually learned that behavior from that same older sibling, when one of your parents asked that sibling to perform a certain task or run an errand and they moaned so much about it, that the parent just dropped the matter. That behavior may be all good and well in that situation, however, when we’re discussing firefighting health, wellness and fitness-for-duty, there are no excuses. And that is what this episode is all about.

You know if you are not in the best shape for being a firefighter, career or volunteer. You know that there are any number of ways, all very sensible and have your best interests in mind. Yet, you refuse to give up the one item on your “list,” that item that could set you down the right path to being healthy and fit-for-duty.

Returning guest. Aaron Zamzow is a firefighter with nearly 20 years under his belt. Additionally, he is a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. In this podcast, Aaron will walk us through the one list that so many of us refuse to give up; we hang on to it for dear life, not realizing that by giving up that one list, you could transform yourself into a truly healthy and fit-for-duty firefighter. Which list am I referring to? Tune in to find out!

Find “5-Alarm Task Force” on our website, www.dalmatianproductions.tv or on your favorite podcast platform. Stay Safe & Stay Well!

April 02, 2019 08:37 AM PDT

You are dispatched to a working shed fire. Your district isn’t that large, but there are still areas you’re unfamiliar with.\; this area is one of them. As you turn down the street of the reported address, you see a good loom-up ahead of you. “This one is cooking,” you think to yourself. The officer hits the intercom and assigns you to the nozzle and your partner. When the driver pulls to the side of the given address. As you exit the rig, there’s no fire that can be seen from the street, but there’s still a tall column of smoke deeper in the lot.
You grab the nozzle and throw it over your shoulder, slip your arms through four loops and pull backwards. The officer is on the radio advising that the fire is deep in the lot, off the street and requesting additional companies. At the same time, you and your partner pull and straighten the hose and hump your way towards the smoke. Now you can see it, but as you take another step, there’s no more give on the hose line. You turn back to look at the fire, then back at the hose. Then it hits you like a freight train – your line is short! Your 150 feet of pre-connected, 1-3/4” line, will not reach close enough. You need more line – what do you do now?
My guest for this podcast is Battalion Chief Scott Blanchard of the Venice FL Fire Department. As a Chief Officer, he is always thinking of the “what if,” situations that, along with his crew, they could be faced with. And as he thinks them through, he turns them into a teaching moments; not waiting for “if” this type of call occurs, rather preparing for the “when” this type of call occurs!
Chief Blanchard discusses several of the issues that are common to his fire district and how he pre-plans mitigation for them. Often running only a two-person engine company, the Chief frequently rides as the officer on the first due engine and he shares how preparation for possible calls can lead to both excellent give and take among all the stations’ crew, as well as a well-rehearsed team who are prepared for some of the surprises this job throws at us.

Find “5-Alarm Task Force” on our website, www.dalmatianproductions.tv or on your favorite podcast platform. Stay Safe & Stay Well!

March 29, 2019 07:16 AM PDT

“REHAB” – a word that’s both prized and despised by most first responders, especially, firefighters. Why? Simply put, because it takes them away from the job they were doing. Prized? Because you get a quick breather, a cold drink and, if you’re lucky, a towel. This old model of rehab comes from the age when we told firefighters who were having difficulties dealing with some of the tragedy and trauma, to “Suck it up!” That command is no longer appropriate, and neither is poor or even incorrect rehab!

My guest, Erica Wood, is a veteran firefighter and paramedic. And one of her greatest concerns is the well-being of emergency personnel; both those she works with and in the greater fire service, as well. In this podcast, Erica discusses the importance of proper rehab for emergency workers who are fighting a major fire, dealing with a structural collapse, mitigating a HAZMAT incident or other major emergencies.

For example, Erica explains that drinking an ice-cold drink after exiting a building where you had been fighting fire, pulling down walls and ceilings, all while wearing all your bunker gear and keeping that heat inside you, is not a healthy idea! Neither is the pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers that the friendly guy from the burger joint in town, sends over!

Listen, as Erica explains what the real purpose of on-scene rehab is supposed to be about and the correct ways to carry it all out. One of most important things to remember is that rehab is not a punitive measure; it’s sole purpose is to care for the well-being of every emergency worker on the scene. Tune in and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Find “5-Alarm Task Force” on our website, www.dalmatianproductions.tv or on your favorite podcast platform. Stay Safe & Stay Well!

March 25, 2019 07:19 AM PDT

If you have even just a couple of years under your belt as a firefighter, then you are probably still familiar with the huge push in both the career and volunteer/part-pay sectors, for firefighter health, wellness and fitness-for-duty. Some interpret this as it’s time to go to the gym and “muscle-up.” And, while that may assist you in trimming some body fat and maybe even learning how to eat in a healthy style, it doesn’t mean that all the time and effort will make you a “firefighter fit-for-duty.” Why? Because a muscle building program is simply not going to necessarily prepare you for the physical stress and strain that we undergo as firefighters.
If you ask any of your co-workers who are into fitness-for-duty or follow any of those folks on social media, you’ll see that one does not have to look like Mr./Ms. Universe, nor eat like one, to be a firefighter who is fit-for duty. Proper eating habits and regular workouts using the correct and proper exercises, will help you transform into a fit firefighter.
My guests on this podcast, Paul O. Davis, PhD, FACSM and Assistant Chief Jack Taylor of the Irving TX Fire Department know quite a bit about this topic. Why? Because, Dr. Davis was instrumental in developing the program that the Irving Fire Department began using over 25 YEARS AGO, that is still going strong today. And Chief Taylor became a “member” of this program when he first joined the department and fully invested himself to help other firefighters, which he is still doing today.
On this episode, both of my guests will explain the amazing and positive changes that this fitness program has brought to the IFD. From healthier and fit-for-duty younger firefighters to currently having over eighty firefighters over the age of 50 and some who are in their 60’s and still serving on the front lines.
You will want to listen to this podcast! Share it with others, including your chief officers. Help bring a positive and healthy change to your department. Tune in at www.dalmatianproductions.tv or listen on your favorite podcast platform.

March 22, 2019 11:03 AM PDT

If you’re a firefighter and you’ve visited the City of Philadelphia, then I hope you took some time to visit one of the most important sites in American firefighting history – Firemen’s Hall. While this top-shelf museum deals mostly with the history of the Philadelphia Fire Department, it is also closely connected with the very first, organized volunteer fire department in, what was then the colonies – the Union Fire Company, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1736. In front of the museum is the carved, stone trough used to provide water to the horses.

The Union Fire Company was actually a, “bucket brigade,” and they did the best they could do with that they had. However, today’s volunteer and combination fire departments are a far cry from those of long ago. Yet, many of today’s volunteer fire departments are still working off the model that Franklin created, “neighbors helping neighbors.”

My guest on this podcast, Chief John M. Buckman III, is a past-president of the IAFC and one of the great leaders and mentors in the volunteer fire service. And with so many volunteer departments dealing with severe recruitment, retention and staffing problems, Chief Buckman is calling for a sweeping change in the “model” or “foundation” for the operation of today’s volunteer fire service.

If you are a member of a volunteer, combination or a paid-on-call department, you need to hear Chief Buckman’s message. And not just listen to it, but dive into it and learn from it. Then, bring it back to your department; encourage your fellow members, your officers and yes, even your chiefs, to listen to it. For if the volunteer fire service is going to survive as we enter the third decade of the twenty-first century, changes are going to be necessary, some very difficult changes!

Tune in at www.dalmatianproductions.tv or search for “5-Alarm Task Force” on your favorite podcast platform.

March 18, 2019 07:51 AM PDT

If you are a first responder, you know that there are times when the first dispatched units arrive on the scene of a call and realizing the enormity of the task at hand, they call for mutual aid. With proper advance planning, neighboring first responders answer the alarm and soon arrive to assist. However, what happens when your asked to respond half-way around the globe to assist the fire service in another country, on a different continent??

This is exactly what happened to Chief Jason Moore of the Bloomington IN Fire Department. In this podcast, Chief Moore relates the story of how he was asked to go to the country of Sierra Leone, on Africa’s west coast. However, to do so, the department would have to determine what had to be done and how to underwrite the effort. And what happens when they arrive to see a fire service unlike any other, these experienced firefighters had seen before.

This podcast educates all of us who are part of the firefighting/first responder family, that this very “family” is much larger and sometimes, more severely challenged, than we ever imagined. As a matter of fact, this podcasts tests each of us when it asks, “Are you ready to help fellow firefighters, as part of our “family,” even if they are on the other side of the globe, in a country wracked by poverty and civil war?

Would you?

March 12, 2019 10:54 AM PDT

Since his first appearance on "5-Alarm Task Force" my guest (and friend) Mark Slafkovsky, co-creator of the Nestorbar, has been busy "spreading the news" about this unique tool across both the fire-rescue services, as well as the building and contracting service. And if you have a half-dozen or more years on the job, you'll understand why the Nestorbar is similar to several other tools that we've carried for years, that were "comfortable" in different workshops, as well.
Mark was able to stop by after having the opportunity to spend a couple of days at the Louisiana Instructors & Firefighters Training conference. As he explains in this podcast, people will often scratch their heads when he first presents the tool. After he explains, they're still scratching their heads, but this time, they do so as they strive to think of even more ways it would be useful to them!
If you haven't yet heard about the Nestorbar, you'll want to listen to this podcast carefully!

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