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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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September 17, 2020 04:07 AM PDT

When the average person thinks about firefighters, paramedics and EMTS, the adjectives that often come to mind include, brave, caring, compassionate, putting others’ needs first, etc. The words they often do not think of include, depressed, anxious, upset, confused and more. Why? While most of us love our jobs and helping others when it is most needed, that “love” does not include the pain, trauma, tragedy and more, that we often see.

My guest today is Jeff Dill, a former firefighter and founder of the FHBA (Firefighters’ Behavioral Health Alliance (www.ffbha.org). For nearly ten years, Jeff was the only one with a connection to the fire service, who has been keeping track and validating the suicides of our brothers and sisters in fire and EMS.

Listen as Jeff and I discuss what he has seen and learned and stands read to share and teach others. Just like our international fight against cancer in the fire service, we have also had the Behavioral Health Initiative for several years now. The question is though, does YOUR department have a program? If yes, that’s great news! If no – where will you turn. Jeff shares some of those answers in this episode. Please…don’t just listen or watch this episode – do something about it, either for yourself or someone you care about.

To all our members and followers of the Jewish faith, best wishes to you and yours for a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.

Tune in on your favorite podcast platform or at http://Bit.ly/DalmatWeb

September 10, 2020 12:13 PM PDT

Sadly, the word, “cancer,” is all too common in today’s fire service. Sure, we have made some bold strides in both educating our members and providing tools and funding in many cases, to mitigate our exposure to carcinogenic compounds. However, there was one place we never thought to look for it, if it were not for a former Worcester MA firefighter and his wife. That location? The very bunker gear we wear to protect us from this crap!

“Miss D” sent a letter to a nuclear scientist at Notre Dame University with a piece of her husband’s bunker gear. The researcher is our guest, Dr. Graham Peaslee. Using the equipment in his lab, he first tested these pieces and found the presence of certain, unhealthy compounds. He then went on to test multiple samples of gear from still-in-the-bag new sets, to gear dating back to the 1970’s. ALL CONTAINED THESE COMPOUNDS.

Even though Dr. Peaslee states there are several more years of testing to come, there is a lot to learn from our discussion on this podcast. And if there is one thing that firefighters like, it is to always be open to learning something new about our craft!

Tune in on your favorite podcast platform or at http://Bit.ly/DalmatWeb

Photo (C)ISU.edu

August 29, 2020 09:44 AM PDT

It is the “buzz-word” of the fire service today - “Leadership.” With about 1.2 million firefighters in the U.S., there are probably about 1.2 million definitions of fire service leadership!

In this second podcast of our fifth season, I am joined by a well-educated and well-trained leader in the fire service, Lt. Jason Liska, aka “The Can Man,” who is also a dear friend and colleague, in more than just the fire service! Jason is often found instructing at both the Florida State Fire Academy or the Lake County Fire Academy and “leadership” is one of his favorite topics.

In our interview, Jason and I share what we have learned and taught regarding leadership; Jason in the fire service and me in the world of nonprofit. While seemingly polar opposites, they share a great deal. We focus on the “how” and “why” of leadership from both views – a firefighter looking to take on a leadership role and the firefighter who is already in a leadership position and how he/she works to find the next leader coming up. And we both share personal stories of several people who were our leaders.

Tune in on your favorite podcast platform or at http://Bit.ly/DalmatWeb

Photo (C) 2019 Florida State Firefighters Association - The Great Florida Fire School

August 13, 2020 05:06 AM PDT

Here is a fact – approximately eighty percent (80%) of America’s firefighters serve in suburban departments! Sure, they might work in “cities,” but when we think about urban firefighting, we think of FDNY, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh and many more. But most of us are not in cities that large. We may be close to one, but it still means we are suburban firefighters. Sure, we have mixed usage, i.e., residential, industrial, commercial, etc. You may even have a high-rise or two or three! So, what is the difference?

The difference is that our departments (including career, volunteer, part-paid, etc.) certainly do not have the funding or the number of personnel that our urban brothers and sisters have. If they call a “box,” they will probably have 2-3 engine companies, two trucks (tiller, platform, quint, etc.) a heavy rescue, rehab bus, and much more! Does your department (not counting mutual aid) have that much support when you strike a box for a working fire?

We are happy to bring you the monthly series, “Make Due!” Created by Capt. Nick Peppard and Sean Duffy, it is devoted to address some of the key issues that suburban departments face. And for some, that is not just “once in a while!” It can be a daily grind.

Each month, Nick, Sean and I will bring you a guest to address some of those issues, e.g. staffing, apparatus, hints for TIC use. Searching, leadership and much more. Have an idea for a discussion? Send it to us at Dalmatprod-at-Outlook.com.

Tune in on your favorite podcast platform.

July 06, 2020 05:25 AM PDT

One of the most lasting discussions in the fire service, at least since I started in 1977, are those about leadership and mentoring. No matter your generation or your background, when we joined up we were all “rookies,” “probies,” “newbies,” or any other name you wish to attribute to the newest member in your “house.” However, to achieve that sought-after goal of “riding the rig,” we had to learn to be firefighters.

My guests on this episode are Chief (ret) John Salka and Chief (ret) Rick Lasky. If you have been in the fire service for more than a year or two, you know these two great officers. Since back in the ‘90’s, Chiefs Salka and Lasky got together and dedicated themselves to teach the importance of strong leadership and the high value of mentoring in the firehouse. And not only do they teach these topics in the fire service, they teach their courses to almost every branch of our Armed Forces!

We invite you listen to their words. Whether you are a front-line firefighter, senior firefighter, officer, or even a chief officer, you will learn from these two great firefighters. No fancy terms or doubletalk, they teach the importance of sharing knowledge, encouraging those firefighters who demonstrate the will and the drive to improve their learning and could be the leaders of tomorrow. And they also discuss the importance of sharing what YOU know with the new firefighters in your house; just as others did for them.

Tune in on your favorite podcast platform, on our website at Bit.ly/DalmatWeb, on Podomatic at Bit.ly/5ATF-POD or watch our video on our YouTube channel, “5-Alarm Task Force Corp.”

Photo courtesy of and © The Firefighter Toolbox

June 22, 2020 05:00 AM PDT

When most of us first heard about the coronavirus, we probably thought that is was a problem for the Chinese to solve. That opinion held until we saw it begin to spread throughout East Asia and Europe. But who thought it could “swim” across the Atlantic or Pacific to reach our shores?

My guest on this episode of “5-Alarm Task Force” one of those who did! Dr. James Augustine has served as the Medical Director for numerous fire, and EMD agencies in the Eastern U.S. From Atlanta GA to Dayton OH, along parts of the East Coast and into Florida,

Dr. Augustine shares with us his long history of being part of an organized response to many of the “well-known” viruses, going back to the 1980’s until now, dealing with HIV, SARS, Ebola and now the virus that can result in Covid-19.While our lives have been turned topsy-turvy since March, it is good to know that there are excellent medical teams who start preparing for these type of emergencies, long before most of us even know about them.
Tune in on your favorite podcast platform, on our website, www.dalmatianproductions.tv or at http://Bit.ly/5ATF-POD

June 15, 2020 04:35 AM PDT

“DAMN!!! That was fricfkin’ close!” you exclaim, as you are standing next to your Heavy Rescue on a busy, four-lane road. Your engine and ladder helped setup a “blocking” safety to lane to allow you to work on an extrication. But that semi that just passed you ran over half your orange cones!

This week, June 14-20 is the annual, joint, IAFC –- NVFC Safety Stand Down. During this week, fire and EMS departments are encouraged to suspend non-emergency activity to focus on the topic. And this year, that topic is our safety when working emergencies on active roadways. Last year, we lost 40 first responders to accidents on these sites. And many might have been avoided.

My guests on this special episode are Jack Sullivan, CSP, CFPS, Training Director of the Responder Safety Institute and Todd Leiss TIMC, Assistant Director of Training. You will hear them relate some of the tragedies that have occurred when our “safety zone” was invaded by a vehicle, be it an auto, a semi, or anything in between.

If you are a regular listener, you know how important this topic is to us at 5-Alarm Task Force. We have broadcast several episodes dealing specifically with this topic. Why? It is mostly due to the fact that we cannot depend on drivers to actively avoid us! There are far too many distracted drivers that will simply burst through our safety zones, injuring or killing our brothers and sisters. Enough is enough!

Photo Courtesy Fire-Rescue1
© 2020San Antonio Express News

June 03, 2020 06:08 AM PDT

We try to do IT. No matter our vocation or avocation, most of us try to do IT! OK, so what is, “IT?” Well, look at it this way – people have jobs, from first responders to cement works, from pool installers to meat cutters, from first responders to bank presidents, and from teachers to neurosurgeons, we all try to find some way to juggle our professional lives with our persona lives. Sometimes we meet with success and other times, we fail miserably. This is where my guest comes in – Dr. Donnie Hutchinson.

Dr. Hutchinson, a college professor, as well as a national and local speaker for the IAFF and many other vocations, specializes in helping folks find that balance between work and life. This is especially difficult for numerous professions, including all branches of First Responders. Between the varying shift hours, we work and some of the situations we face on a day-by-day basis, finding that balance may look like a “pipe dream.”

In this podcast, Dr. Hutchinson and I discuss the challenges that many of us face (or have faced) in search of this “grail.” Some of these issues can cause us to develop a myopic view of life that can get in the way of your search. Yet, Dr. Hutchinson provides important, yet not necessarily difficult, methods that will help you find the right balance. Yes, even within the framework of the pandemic that we are all currently facing, the goal is still reachable!

Tune in on your favorite podcast platform or on our website, www.dalmatianproductions.tv.

May 18, 2020 06:24 AM PDT

If you are older than 18-20, you probably have had to deal with some form of crisis; be it very small one like a broken shoelace when dressing for a special occasion, someone close to you was ill or a major job interview was lost due to a technicality. None of us is immune to the concept of crisis, however, we are often defined by how we manage that crisis!

My guests on this episode of “5-Alarm Task Force,” are Chief (ret) Dan Jones and his business partner, Kelly Walsh. Together, they have spoken at departments across the country on numerous topics of leadership, i.e., management, becoming a leader, finding an excellent leader, traits and much more. They have joined us before, and their podcasts always are enthusiastically received.

In this podcast, “Chief Dan” and Kelly address one of the most important facets of strong leadership and that is Crisis Management. And, unless you have been in your personal safe room, fallout shelter or in a cave for the past few months, THIS is a time of crisis management. We have seen excellent leaders; we have seen poor leaders and everyone in between. And in this podcast, my guests will define for you how a strong leader can quell fear and instill hope and future through his/her methods of Crisis Management.

April 27, 2020 06:07 AM PDT

This weekend (4/24-26/2020)the entire Windows Library folder entitled, "MUSIC" was lost in an unauthorized transfer that Windows performed during a reboot to its OveDrive cloud platform. All the files built up over the nearly 4 years of the show were lost.
Will I or can I recover from such a loss is yet to be determined.
Until next time, Stay Safe, Stay Well and remember to take of each other.

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