101 Rules for the New Firefighter April 10 2013, 93 Comments
1. When working at a new house for the first time, shut-up, work hard, and pay attention. I can promise you that everyone is paying attention to you.
2. The young firefighter knows the rules, but the old one knows the exceptions.
3. Let the tool do the work.
4. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath.
5. "Twenty-five years from now you will be more disappointed by the the things that you didn't do than the ones you did."
6. Don't make a scene and never disrespect your brother.
7. Never take the seat that faces the television when sitting at the dinner table.
8. When in doubt, take a halligan.
9. Two hands. Two tools.
10. Never claim to be what you're not. Time reveals all things.
11. If you don't know what you're doing, say so.
12. When approaching a fire scene, it is imperative to slow down three blocks before arrival.
13. Suck it up.
14. You shouldn't worry when the guys make fun of you. You should worry when they don't say anything at all.
15. Give Credit. Take the blame.
16. Never turn your back on the fire.
17. When things go wrong, don't go with them.
18. Always show up to work at least a half-hour early. There is no better gift you can give to guy or gal your relieving.
19. Never trust the hand lights on the truck. Buy your own.
20. Don't gloat. Don't brag. The guys will do it for you.
21. Take pictures often.
22. Seek out the busiest units and the best officers.
23. Drink coffee.
24. Don't tell war stories to non-firefighters. No one thinks its as exciting as you do.
25. Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.
26. Don't be so eager to get off probation. The time you spend riding backwards will be the most fun you have in your career.
27. Never be the last one to the truck, or the sink.
28. Be the last one to bed.
29. Don't be afraid to fail
30. Drill. Drill. Drill
31. Never respond to criticism in an e-mail.
32. Surround yourself with smart people.
33. Maintain a healthy fear of this job.
34. Stay committed to being a life-long student of the fire service
35. Share your ideas and observations. You never know it could save someones life.
"I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow."
36. Learn to cook at least two great meals.
37. Read John Norman's book, Fire Officers Handbook of Tactics
38. One fire sticker on your car is more than enough.
39. Don't complain about how many calls you had last night. No one cares. Least of all, the people that are working 9 to 5 jobs while you're napping.
40. Have pride in your department, but more for your station.
41. Be precise.
42. One of the best ways to learn is to teach--even if its teaching what you just learned.
43. Don't panic.
44. Befriend the driver. You won't get anywhere without him.
45. Go down fighting.
46. If you're carrying more than one knife, you're a moron.
47. Be careful what you put on paper or e-mails. You can't take it back.
48. Don't scribble in the logbook.
49. Learn how to swim. You don't want to be the guy that can't go near the water.
50. When you're a guest at a house (on overtime or just there for the day), follow their rules.
51. Offer to help before you are asked.
52. The phone and the doorbell are always for you.
53. Just because you have the uniform, that doesn't make you a firefighter. . .It just makes you a city, county, or government employee. Your peers will let you know if you're a firefighter or not.
54. When spending money, good quality leather boots are always worth the investment.
55. Never call out sick on a drill day.
56. If you don't have kids, Christmas is not as important to you. You should not be asking for the day off.
57. The one true measure of a successful shift is returning home safely.
58. Don't date a co-worker.
59. Carry two wedges and 20' of webbing.
60. You will find no better camaraderie than in a firehouse
61. Don't talk about the other department you worked for. No one cares.
62. Participate in a good practical joke.
63. Introduce yourself. Don't be offended when you're not remembered. You're not memorable--yet.
64. Treat your body well. You'll be glad you did.
65. Always have $20 in your wallet. No one wants to take you to the ATM.
66. Learn your territory. Know it like the back of your hand.
67. When you are out in public, never criticize your own department. You can make up for lost time on your next shift.
68. Take the stairs.
69. Don't show off. Impress.
70. When using a power saw, patience, form--not strength are needed to make the cut.
71. Choose the right blade.
72. Fire is always changing and you cannot be stationary in your attitude to something that is always changing.
73. Never criticize a fire or a call unless you were there yourself.
74. Don't wear your fire t-shirt to the gym unless you plan on giving mouth to mouth. Trust me, its never going to be the 18 year old co-ed with sweatpants that read, 'juicy' across her butt.
75. Be patient with the ER staff. They can't help that they chose such a miserable career.
76. Dorms are for sleeping. Turn the tv off and hang up the phone.
77. Don't go cheap on the ice cream and the coffee should be from Dunkin Donuts.
78. Courage is not the lack of fear, it is acting in spite of it.
79. You are what you do. Not what you say.
80. One of the most difficult and dangerous things to do on a fire scene is backing a truck up.
81. Pace yourself.
82. A fellow firefighter who is not willing to share their knowledge is suspect.
83. Avoid gossip
84. The common sense approach is usually the best way.
84. Stick to the plan. You haven't been at it as long as you think you have.
85. Follow instructions.
86. Read John Mittendorf's book Truck Company Operations.
87. Attend fire conferences. You'll see that your department is not the center of the universe and there are other guys that are already doing it smarter and better than you are.
88. Be the guy that everyone has to say, " take a break. You're making us look bad."
89. If your department allows it, invest in a leather helmet.
90. Always look up and around and read Brannigans book Building Construction For the Fire Service. If you can't make an educated guess as to how a building will perform under fire conditions, you are putting yourself in danger.
91. Demand more from your officer.
92. It is a good idea to carry a multi-tool.
93. Never defend the liar, the cheat, or the thief.
94. When your officer tells you to take a nap, it's not a joke or a trick. He wants you to be worth a damn at 3am.
95. You don't clean a seasoned cast iron skillet with soap and water.
96. Shaving your arms is not cool. It's a good way to contract MRSA.
97. I'll take the chubby firefighter that can work all day over Mr. February who has to eat six meals, drink three protein shakes, and is no good to me after one tank.
98. Always eat dinner with your crew. Your diet is not as important as family.
99. Never ask the guys to lie to your spouse when he or she calls the station.
100. When it's your time to drive, always remember that you're now responsible for all the lives in the truck.
101. The day you show up to work hungover, or sleep deprived is the day everyone is going to need you.
I've actually got more than 101, but I thought I'd like to see if anyone has anymore. That's all for now.
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Be humble to all but do not give the permission to any for being a dictator over yourself:-))
I have been retired 20 years and I think back to being promoted to A C and what I could have done. Should have done- .the days on the rear of the pump were some of the best days . Then teaching fire school for the recruits The friends I made and still have and the guys that have gone on. Now when I walk in the station house i dont know but a couple of them but the new guys are great . Introduce them selves and its family again .
Mickey C on November 06 2020 at 12:45PM
The job is hard enough, don’t make it harder by being out of shape.
Doug Winston on March 11 2017 at 11:30AM
“Training mistakes are recorded on paper; tactical mistakes are recorded in stone”
-General Erwin Rommel, “The Desert Fox”
Donny Sand on October 19 2016 at 02:06AM
“No good deed goes unpunished”
“try before your pry”
“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.” Take a moment to breathe
“Have multiple ways of doing one task, you may need to improvise in this job.”
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”
“The way your department does things is the best, don’t tell people, “In my last department…no one cares.”
Wayne P. Isken on March 10 2016 at 09:09AM
I retired from the Detroit Fire Department after 36 years.
I send email stories, history, memory’s and comments
to many of our retirees
I am asking permission to copy and paste your rules so I can email to our
I will give credit to your site
Wayne P. Isken
Retired Detroit Fire Department
Served 1962 to 1998
Logan S on February 18 2016 at 06:35PM
“Firefighter math – you’re either a positive or a negative. You add to the team or you steal from it. There is no such thing as neutral.”
“Show me. Don’t tell me”
“Act or accept. Just quit you’re bitchin’”
T.O. Snider, Vancouver Fire
Devanshu Jani on June 05 2015 at 01:28AM
Dave Emswiler on May 03 2015 at 02:15PM
Amazing how many words of wisdom are being passed along, and how few are repeated. 20 years on the job and I learned a few things reading these. Great information for everyone.
Dave Emswiler on May 03 2015 at 01:00PM
Never call a patient “hon” “dear” “sweety” or anything of the sort. If not by name it should be “Sir” or “Ma’am”.
Wear your uniform with pride and look professional. Untucked shirts and unzipped station boots don’t make you look like a seasoned veteran. They make you look like a lazy slob.
Never talk down or back to those that you serve. You get one chance to make a first impression.
Your graduation from the fire academy should not be your last time there. Never stop learning.
Joshua Stewart on March 30 2015 at 10:46PM
If everything is caught up at the station, study, study, study. The fire world is constantly changing. Change with it.
Ken Scofield on March 10 2015 at 01:49AM
What you do in the first five minutes will determine what you’ll be doing for the next five hours.
You have two ears and one mouth, which means you should listen twice as much as you speak.
You might as well get there in one piece.
Take enough time to do it right the first time. It keeps everyone safer.
Kent P EFD on February 18 2015 at 11:45AM
Nobody outside your world can ever know this feeling. In any other uniform you get streets named after you. In this one you risk your life to save people until one day you run out of chances and in one final fire you either buy it or you don’t and yet there is no third way you’d ever leave this job, and you’re doubting even God knows why. But, it IS worth it.
WOODY TROTTER on January 30 2015 at 04:25PM
MOTTO: FIRE PREVENTION IS YOUR BEST PROTECTION!
A FOUR FOOT PIECE OF ROPE, KEPT IN YOU GEAR RACK, AND JUST WALK UP TO A FELLOW FIREMAN, AND SAY TIE ME A SQUARE KNOT, ECT TO KEEP EVERONE KNOT FRESH!, YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT!
Jason on November 25 2014 at 06:56AM
Great stuff…. Definitely going to put together a Probie handbook very very soon…. Thank you and be safe
Michael Hughes on August 03 2014 at 03:47PM
“Good enough” isn’t!
David Baker on July 10 2014 at 05:26PM
Put a picture of what you cherish most in your locker, and hang this list right below it.
Leo M. Brown, Deputy Fire Chief (retired) on June 09 2014 at 08:31AM
Please consider my quotes for addition to the list.
“If you want to know if you are a leader, look behind you. If no one is there you still have more work to do.”
“Respect the rank. Trust the person.”
Bryan Bossard on May 23 2014 at 10:01AM
Slow is fast
Roy Sullivan on May 03 2014 at 10:28PM
When aiming for perfection, you find it is a moving target. train to fight what you fear.
Johne670 on May 01 2014 at 11:51AM
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Johnc938 on May 01 2014 at 11:50AM
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Frank Jame McNabb on March 03 2014 at 07:17AM
Help im ready
Genaro Ocanas on February 27 2014 at 11:47AM
The white hairs on a seasoned guy are usually his badge of honor, don’t mistake them with age, watch and listen closely you will learn what they don’t teach in school.
Tyler on November 29 2013 at 09:45PM
Knowing how to do something is knowledge. Knowing why we do it is wisdom.
There is a reason your officer makes more money than you. Listen to what he has to say.
Tyler Parzych, Rockdale County Fire Dept. GA
Nate on November 29 2013 at 12:45PM
- Make sure you get the name brand ingredients at the store run. Your crew will give you a hard time for the cost, but it’s all in good fun
- If you’re the only one sitting down, you’re wrong
- If you can’t remember if you took the flags down, you probably didn’t.
- Don’t do the same routine chores everyday. Do every chore everyday. One day you will earn your spot on the recliner.
- No one wants to hear about how much you know. No one will judge you for asking about what you don’t.
- Keep your cell phone on silent and never use it at the dinner table. Others may, but you haven’t earned that right (yet)
Nick on November 07 2013 at 07:12PM
The only time ‘Success’ comes before ‘Work’, is in the dictionary." — Vince Lombardi
Bob Kenyan on October 29 2013 at 04:58PM
Another quotable quote for your collection:
Unknown Firefighter’s Admonition: “Murphy was an optimist!”
Bob Kenyan, Instructor and Public Information Officer
Avinger Volunteer Fire Department
Avinger, Texas (NE TX Piney Woods)
Bear Creek Fire – 41,000+ acre Wildfire in Sept., 2011
C. Fisher on September 15 2013 at 11:42AM
From a probie’s perspective,
Always be the first one done eating and wait to be offered a second helping. Grab the officer’s plates first then down by rank…do not let them clean their own dishes, even if they insist…unless they make it clear that its a direct order to stand down.
Show up an hour before your shift time or 15 min before your senior officer (whichever makes more sense) and start cleaning the rigs…starting with the box and working your way up.
Always always always bring cake and ice cream when it’s a first for you…every day is a first and don’t you dare bring a store bought cake (wrap it in foil if your useless at baking).
C. Fisher, HFD
Kate Davis on September 06 2013 at 08:35PM
We were all “FNGs” at one time. If you see an “FNG” making a mistake, don’t ridicule him, teach him. — Bob Southwick, captain, Engine 6, Anchorage Fire Department (IAFF Local 1264)* * * *
The firehouse is a place where divergent views can come together and men, no matter what their background, can love each other for the job they do. — Mitch S., WGFD, Winter Garden, Florida* * * *
My wife bitches because I spend so much time at the firehouse training, so let’s make every minute count. She’s bound to cut me off soon. — Captain Brad Shull, president, Fairfield County (OH) Firefighters Association* * * *
In response to my nozzle person’s first fire…
“Hey Lieutenant, it’s hot in here….”
“Yea, that’s why they called us, Ken.”
— EJL3, Mattydale FD, NY* * * *
Gone to fight
We’ll do it right
Let’s pray we all come home tonight.
— Donnie Bathje, eng/paramedic, North River Fire District* * * *
In reference to the “probies’” first day: Remember one thing: you’re joinin’ us; we’re not joinin’ you. This is a team. Listen to the guys, and we’ll bring ya home.* * * *
Failure to prepare is preparing to fail. — Sgt. Stephen Gray, West Memphis Fire Department* * * *
A job done half-ass is the same as a job not done at all.* * * *
The difference between a dude and a dud is an E for effort. — John Hawkins* * * *
Bitchers don’t work and workers don’t bitch.* * * *
“A funny thing about firemen: night and day they’re always firemen.” — Backdraft (the movie), submitted by Sam, Cypress Creek VFD, Station 21 (Engine 21, Booster 21, Equipment 21, Rescue Boat 21, Engine 25)* * * *
Greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends. — John 15:13* * * *
Integrity means treating all your patients with care and respect even when no one is watching. — M. Shaw, FF/PM, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue* * * *
Men are like steel: when they get hot they bend. — Captain Phillip L. Queen* * * *
Any fool can criticize, and most fools do. — Captain Phillip L. Queen* * * *
Most firefighters tend to criticize those things they don’t understand. Understand it before you criticize it. — Captain Phillip L. Queen* * * *
It is far easier to justify to a property owner why you went defensive than to explain to a grieving widow why you didn’t. — Captain Joseph Knitter, training officer, South Milwaukee Fire Department, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin* * * *
“The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.” — Henry David Thoreau. Submitted by Captain James L. Jester, president, Ocean City (Maryland) Volunteer Fire Company; firefighter, Salisbury (Maryland) Fire Department* * * *
“Professional Firefighters Providing Volunteer Services” — Custer Volunteer Fire Department, Custer, South Dakota* * * *
Speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. — Mark Pure, FF/paramedic, Greenacres Fire Department* * * *
Let no man’s ghost return to say, “My training let me down.” — Aaron Heller, captain, Hamilton Township Fire District 9, New Jersey* * * *
On every job, give it all you’ve got. If you don’t, you’re selling everyone who carries the title of “firefighter” short. — Bill Hopson, Beachwood Fire Department* * * *
Why is it that “training on a job” always winds up with someone getting hurt? — Bill Hopson, Beachwood Fire Department* * * *
If it were easy, everyone would want to do it. — Lieutenant Paul Czarnecki, medic, Elbridge Volunteer Fire Department, Elbridge, N.Y.* * * *
Just because your certified doesn’t mean your qualified. — Chris Parrott, Henrico Co. Division of Fire* * * *
Just because you’re excited, doesn’t mean I’m deaf…. Stop yelling!" — A dispatcher* * * *
Here’s to firefighters,* * * *
One and all,
Always at your beck and call. Vigilant and unafraid,
Volunteer or city paid,
Scientific men are these,
Fighting fire, a dread disease. Pray for them
As they go past
Every ride may be their last.
— Jerry Poland, deputy fire marshal, Adams County, Pennsylvania
Training Department Motto: “…Training as if our lives depended on it…” — Barbara Bush, FF/RN, Carbondale, Colorado, Fire/EMS/Rescue* * * *
My father, a retired battalion chief, used to say, “We go in together, we come out together.” Also he used to day, “Cool heads fight hot fire.” But my all-time favorite is from when he was captain. I was, “I only have two rules on my engine company: Rule No. 1 – Don’t burn the captain; Rule No. 2 – See rule No. 1!” — Lieutenant Jay Gallagher, MHFR, Manns Harbor, North Carolina* * * *
If you can’t see your feet, you better get off of them. — FF Gary Noel, Northbridge, Massachusetts* * * *
Train hard, fight easy. — Peter Weatherstone, New South Wales Fire Brigades, Goulburn, NSW, Australia* * * *
If you’re holding your own, your losing the f***ing building.* * * *
Compassion is not a page in your protocal book; it comes from within you. As firefighters and paramedics, we must have and never lose our sense of compassion for the sick, the injured and the ones who call for no apparent reason. — Michele Shaw, Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue FF/PM* * * *
If you think training is expensive, check out the cost of ignorance. — Lieutenant David Record, Oklahoma City Fire Dept.* * * *
Know your zone and read your map. Each Code 3 U-turn gets brighter and louder. — Kevin Shaw, Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue FF/PM* * * *
Wherever you go in this great family of the fire service, never forget where it is you came from and those who helped you get there. — Fire Inspector/Firefighter Mark Parker, Waterford, Connecticut* * * *
Good and bad, all form what becomes your character. — Fire Inspector/Firefighter Mark Parker, Waterford, Connecticut* * * *
Always train realistically because we respond to reality! — Fire Inspector/Firefighter Mark Parker, Waterford, Connecticut
You can vent a fire all you want, but the fire won’t go out! — One liner that ended a heated argument between a hoseman and a truckman, SFD
When you tell your lieutenant you need training, prepare to ladder the walls of your station at 22:00 hours, to perfect airbag placement by 22:30 hours and to load hose before midnight, thinking all the time how much you love your partner for including you. — Michele Shaw, Palm Beach County Fire* * * *
Beware of those who don’t think they need to train!* * * *
Don’t be giving so many orders; they just might listen to you. — The late Harry Ford, Rescue 4, FDNY* * * *
The ABC’s of firefighting are “Always Be Careful.”
Fireground decisions can’t be made from a swivel seat. If it ain’t right, fall back on your training and cover your brother. — Lieutenant Don Collins, City of Goldsboro Fire Department, North Carolina* * * *
The mind is like a parachute; it only works when it is open.* * * *
Pain is temporary; pride is forever. — Quoted from Lt. Bruce Clark of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue* * * *
I am not a fireman for a living; I am a fireman for life. — Matt Cantrell, F.D. Engine3, Weatherford* * * *
What is your duty? Whatever the day demands. — Lieutenant Brian Smith, Eugene Fire Department, Eugene, Oregon.* * * *
Old firefighters don’t really retire — we just go away for awhile. — Larry Byrnes, 1st Battalion Chief, FDNY
(Larry responded to the World Trade Center from his home on Sept. 11. This was his district for more than 20 years. All he had was a bell cap and handie-talkie he got off an injured FF. Larry began doing what he knows best, helping re-establish a sector incident command structure.)* * * *
Think like a terrorist and plan like a responder. — Peter DeJesse, battalion chief, Broward County Fire Rescue, Florida* * * *
Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?* * * *
Pump at 140 and cook at 350. — Eric Kaufman, engineer, Hanford Fire, California* * * *
If you can see the incident commander’s ass instead of his face, he is in the wrong place. — Dean Dysart, Ventura County Fire Department (ret.)* * * *
Go home with all the players you came with. — Matt Thorpe, lieutenant, King Fire Department* * * *
Bravery is performing a task or action without thinking about the consequences. Courage is performing the same task or action knowing full well what the results are going to be . . . but performing anyway. — Deputy Chief Timothy E. Pace* * * *
There are three types of men: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what just happened. Which one are you? — Mark Langston, Decatur (Illinois) Fire Department* * * *
He who knows everything has a lot to learn. — Jim Lusk, Chevron-Phillips FF, Borger, Texas* * * *
Someone took the time to name every street and tool; the least you could do to complement this is to learn what they named them. — David Bullard, Martinez (Georgia) FD* * * *
“Praise in public and criticize in private” — something everyone of us should do. — Jon Drew, Station 35, Home of the Kings, Houston, Texas* * * *
There is no “I” in TEAM. — FF2 Kenneth Crutchley, Montgomery County DFRS* * * *
If you didn’t learn anything today, your usefulness is at an end. — FF2 Kenneth Crutchley, Montgomery County DFRS* * * *
This job — love it or leave it!* * * *
The difference between training and education is this: we train to know how to do something and educate to know why it works. — Art Stoike* * * *
We ARE our brothers keepers. Stay low, stay safe; every one goes home.* * * *
If company officers pay attention to the little things on the training ground, the company will be able to handle the big things on the fire ground. — Captain W.P.S., Engine Co. 3* * * *
Fire fighting is not just something we do, it is a way of life. — FF Steven McGrath, Grand Lake Road Volunteer Fire Department, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada* * * *
The bigger the man, the finer his simplicity. Remember always that pomposity or “airs” is like an inflated toy balloon. Some day a pin punctures it, and the result is pathetic. Build then your popularity on qualities of justice and fairness to all. — Bill, Millwood Fire Co. #1 Inc.* * * *
Everything dries out; nothing un-burns. — H.L. Wilson, chief of operations, retired, Charlotte Fire Department* * * *
Hope for the best; expect the worst. — Walt Lewis, OFD, Florida* * * *
The hardest thing a fire department has to do is maintain/raise current standards of operation. It’s easy to lower them.* * * *
Understand this now: Rekindle is not in my vocabulary. — Randy Stulce, Cedar Hammock Fire-Rescue, Bradenton, Florida.* * * *
Remember, there are no false alarms; they all go off for a reason — whether it be real or not.* * * *
More fires are put out with blood and guts than with tactics and strategy. — Bill Maison* * * *
When the ladders go up, the walls usually come down. — Bill Maison* * * *
You have two hands, carry two tools!* * * *
The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know. — Bob Day, NYS Fire Instructor, Wayne County* * * *
If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. — Peter DeJesse, Battalion Chief, Broward County Fire Rescue* * * *
No one trains to fail; they just fail to train. — Jerry D. Jensen, Sarasota County Fire Department, Special Operations* * * *
People get into this business because they care. However, they don’t know how to act on the fact that they are. We need to train them how to act on their caring. — Captain Ted Sommer, Cottage Grove F.D., Cottage Grove, Wisconsin* * * *
A firefighter should always try as hard to get into the fire department as he or she did to get onto the firedepartment. — Captain W.P.S., Engine 3* * * *
The man that knows “how” to do a job will always have a job, but the man that knows “why” he’s doing a job will eventually be the other man’s boss. — Deputy Chief Timothy E. Pace Flowood, Mississippi* * * *
Success or failure of any operation is dependent on the actions or inaction’s of the first-due company. — Quentin M. Maver, battalion chief, Charlotte Fire Department* * * *
There is no such thing as sexism in a fire station. Fire treats everyone the same, and no one wants to come back one member short."* * * *
Ever notice the guys with the blackest helmets always have the cleanest turnout pants? — FF/EMT Brent Gaskey, Lebanon (Ore.) Fire District* * * *
I’m not here to be in a social club; I’m here to do a job. If I make a few friends along the way, Great! If not, oh well. — T.J. Lynch, career firefighter/paramedic, Fayetteville (N.Y.) FD* * * *
If you look at one of your firefighters and can’t see something good in him, you shouldn’t be looking at him in the first place. See the good in each, build on it, and use it to improve your organization. Soon you won’t see as much negative. — Deputy Chief Steve Wilder, Bradley (Illinois) Fire Department* * * *
“You know you’re in trouble when you turn around and tell your firefighter to lay a line and he starts to assemble an IV set.” — Captain Rick Fritz, High Point Fire Department, High Point, North Carolina* * * *
Our new sophisticated title: ‘Exposure Protection Engineers’ (think about it.) — Battalion Chief John Izak, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Co. 65* * * *
Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-poor Performance — K. Zaccard, Honover Park, Illinois* * * *
“With all our new hires, we old-times have a new saying at fires. It’s called the 10 percent rule: 10 percent of the people are doing 90 percent of the work.” — Dave, Modesto, California* * * *
“If you are not seeing a probationary firefighter’s best effort while he’s on probation, you never will.” — Captain D. Bramell, Tracy Fire Department* * * *
“Let no one say their training let them down.” — Firefighters of the 00-1 Fire Academy, San Jose Fire Department, California* * * *
In reference to being assigned to a tower ladder over a “stick” aerial: “Why take the stairs when you can take the elevator?” — Lt. Danny Shulltz, Millbrook (Dutchess County), New York* * * *
“This will be the hardest pin-in you have ever worked . . . until the next one.”* * * *
“When we go in, it’s going to be hot! When we leave, it had better be cold! NO REKINDLES.”* * * *
“Don’t get tunnel vision, and provide for safety first.” — Deputy Chief Justin Sturm Jr., Grizzlies Fire Department, Mariposa, California
“Try to be the man your dog thinks you are”!* * * *
“Panic can save your life, as long as you’re the first one to do it and you’re headed in the right direction. . . . Think about it!”* * * *
“Real heroes don’t leap burning buildings; they go through them.” — Captain Shane Taylor, LOB FD, Canada* * * *
“‘The fire went out and nobody got hurt’ is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.”* * * *
“Beware of the firefighter who tells you he has survived numerous ‘real’ flashovers and doesn’t act scared.” — Chief Billy Goldfeder* * * *
“Did you ever notice that those who think certifications are not important usually don’t have any?” — J. Scott Gillespie, B.F.D.* * * *
“Never second-guess your officer. He was put in that position for a reason!” — Captain Millhouse & Lieutenant Evans, M.F.C. #1* * * *
“Volunteers aren’t paid for what they do, they do it because they care. Support your volunteers! — Captain Millhouse & Lieutenant Evans, M.F.C. #1* * * *
“In this line of work, remember to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these. — Captain Joe Bruni, St. Petersburg Fire/Rescue* * * *
“Practice does not make perfect, nor is it meant to. Practice simply increases your repertoire of ways to recover from your mistakes.” — President/Captain James L. Jester, Ocean City (Maryland) Volunteer Fire Company* * * *
“Attention first due engine officers! Don’t let yourself get distracted by obvious rescue problems or reports of people trapped upon arrival. Don’t allow yourself to lose sight of your responsibilities and objectives. Engine companies make rescues by putting the fire out! Once that is accomplished, there are no more rescue problems!” — Captain Dan Troxell, DCFD, Engine 15* * * *
“When you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway!”— J. Scott Gillespie, BFD* * * *
“If someone makes a mistake on the fireground, ask the standard question: ‘Who taught him that?’” — Trent Engler, San Jose Fire Department* * * *
“Mistakes are like knives. They either help us or hurt us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.” — Jerry Byrum, Engineer, Santa Paula Fire Department* * * *
“If you find yourself on the fire ground wondering where your company officer is, you can rest assured that your company officer is wondering where the hell you are. Stick together.” — Lieutenant Myles “Tex” Meier, Berkeley Fire Department* * * *
“When attacking a room of fire, keep the nozzle on a straight stream. The skin on your ears will thank you.” — Lieutenant James “Jake” Rixner, Richmond (Va.) Fire Department* * * *
“Remember, just because you have the certificates doesn’t mean you know how to do your job. Prove it!!” — Capt. Millhouse, M.F.C. #1* * * *
“Know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em.”* * * *
“You perform how you practice, so practice how you want to perform…. Full speed practice = full speed performance.” — B.J. McCart, H.F.F.D. firefighter* * * *
“Sometimes, the best way to protect an exposure is to PUT THE FIRE OUT!!!”* * * *
“During my career, I tried to live up to the old saying, ‘lead, follow or get the hell outta my way.’” — Dick Nichols, City of Batavia, NY, retired after 31+ years* * * *
“Knowledge is power . . . empower others, share it!” — Rick Talbert, fire chief, Titusville, Florida* * * *
“An inch-and-a-half will knock down all the fire it can reach within a few seconds. Unless you are crawling forward, you’re not doing your job.” — Lieutenant James “Jake” Rixner, Richmond (Va.) Fire Department* * * *
“Sweat more in peace; bleed less in war!”* * * *
“The real and valuable expert in this fire business is someone who knows more about what he does not know than about what he does!”* * * *
“I frequently remind the men of my truck company, ‘You may not fight fire every day or every week like they do in the Bronx or in L.A., but fire here won’t care; it doesn’t know you’re not a New Yorker, and it won’t wait for you to explain, but it’ll expect you to start actin’ like one.’” — Captain Ben Fleagle, firefighter in Alaska* * * *
“Faith in God, trust in training.”* * * *
The true meaning of CHAOS…* * * *
The true meaning of PANIC…* * * *
“After knocking down a room of fire, use a straight stream to sweep the debris out of the path you intend to crawl through so as to advance your line with-out burning your knees.” — Lieutenant James “Jake” Rixner, Richmond, Virginia, Fire Department* * * *
“Remember, if you don’t go get it , it will come get you!”* * * *
“Do you have 20 years’ experience or one year’s experience 20 times?” — Albe, Norwalk Connecticut* * * *
“Lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.” — Donnie Bathje, firefighter/paramedic, North River Fire District* * * *
“Stay low, or you’re going to have to take a blow.” — Tom Redmond, firefighter, Melbourne Fire Department* * * *
“There are too many outstanding firefighters today. You know, the ones outside, standing.”* * * *
“It took me twenty-two years to realize that I am getting paid for the transportation business — driving to and from the Fire House. I would do the rest of the job for FREE.” — Victor F. Dane, engineer, 1524 B Shift* * * *
“I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do, believe that his is a noble calling….” — Chief Edward F. Croker, New York City Fire Department* * * *
“Engine guys make movies, Truck guys make history.”* * * *
“When asked ‘Why do you do this job?’, I usually reply, ‘Because I love it.’Even if they cut the pay in half, we would probably bitch about it; but we’d still show up.” — Walt Lewis, Orlando Fire Department* * * *
“You have two ears and one mouth; listen twice as much as you talk” — Dan Shultz, Millbrook (N.Y.) Fire Department, based on Benjamin Disraeli, English statesman (1804-1881): “Nature has given us two ears but only one mouth….”* * * *
“You can always tell a chief, but you can’t tell him much.” — Greg Stewart, San Francisco Fire Department* * * *
“An officer cannot be a good officer if he is not a good leader. He may be able to fool himself and even other officers, but he cannot fool his company.” — Bill, Millwood Fire Company, New York* * * *
“I am not here for me; I am here for WE, and WE are here for them!” — Sled, Kingston Fire Department, Kingston, Rhode Island* * * *
“You get authority from your rank; you get respect from your actions.” — Bill, White Plains Fire Department, New York.* * * *
“The day you say ‘I know it all,’ please follow it with ‘I therefore submit my resignation.’” — R. Reichenbach, assistant chief, Spring Lake Fire Department, Spring Lake, N.C.* * * *
“Hey, brother, that’s why they call it a job!”* * * *
“Remember, when that bell goes off, we are all here for one thing. BRING IT!”* * * *
“Some people think that all you need are the fancy tools and trucks to do the job, but sometimes all it takes are little things, such as using your brain and thinking.” — Matt Quick, FF2/EMTD, Wildwood Fire & Rescue, North Carolina* * * *
“There go my people. I must find out where they are going, so I can lead them.” — Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, reactive fire officer* * * *
“Learn from the mistakes of others; you’ll not live long enough to make them all yourself.” — Randy White, Ottawa, Canada* * * * “…(L)eadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.” — General Colin Powell * * * *
“I’d rather call extra mutual aid and cancel them with my thanks than call for mutual aid later and wish they had been there five minutes earlier.” — Captain Larry Dysart, Newark Township Fire* * * *
“Mutual aid: I would rather have them and not need them than need them and not have them.”* * * *
“Holding with one engine, one truck; cancel the chief!” — Lt. Chris Shields, Lyncourt Fire Dept.* * * *
“Knowledge isn’t itelligence; the ability to use knowledge is! Apply what you learn.” — Ireland!* * * *
“Complacency kills…. Remember, there’s no such thing as a routine fire.” — Phil Whitson, chief, Grizzlies Fire Department* * * *
“The tower ladder is to the aerial as armor is to fixed artillery.”* * * *
“A fire department without a tower ladder is like a branch of the military without a helicopter.”
“The tower ladder is a force multiplier.” — Rich Pattererson, F.D.N.Y
Hey kid, relax, we didn’t light this fire, you know. We’re just here to help. — Stephen Walsh* * * *
How ‘bout considering the ABC’s upon arrival of your next “worker.”
A — Attic space (Do you have smoke issuing from the attic?)
B — Basement (Smoke or flames visible from basement windows?)
C — Contents (Color of smoke)
Just something to consider. — David Giovannini, Orlando Fire Dept. T10* * * *
If it’s wet and it’s not yours…don’t touch it!* * * *
“First out, first in.” — Keith Murry* * * *
“Fightn’ fire is like the lottery; you gotta be in it to win it.”* * * *
“An earnest effort reaps fine results. Try hard, then try harder.” — Justin J. Lefever* * * *
“Chop through or fall through.”* * * *
“Heroes do. Heroes don’t stand around.”* * * *
“Doing things right or doing right things. Make the hard right choice.” — Aaron Craft, Texas* * * *
“You can look good by being good, but you can’t be good by looking good.” — Jay Comella, O.F.D.* * * *
“After making a statement ‘I believe that . . .’, never follow it with ‘Am I right?’”* * * *
“Knowledge is only of value when you give it away.” — Leo Buscalia, Ph.D.* * * *
“Learn as if you would live forever; live as if you would die tomorrow.” — M. K. Gandhi* * * *
“It’s best to keep your mouth shut, and let them think you a fool; than open it and remove all doubt.”* * * *
“Our work place is not the firehouse; it is the fire building! Make it behave!” — Tom Brennan (value of truck work)* * * *
“Yield to the lights and sirens and pray for the firefighters.”* * * *
“Training doesn’t cost….It PAYS!!!!!”* * * *
“The more you practice, the luckier you get!”* * * *
“Laddermen don’t scrutinize, we improvise.” — TEAM LADDER 18* * * *
“TRAIN LIKE YOU FIGHT ’EM + FIGHT ’EM LIKE YOU TRAIN = SUCCESS! Learn and do it.” — John Gibson, Cherry Hill, N.J.* * * *
“Today could be the day…. Are you ready?”* * * *
“Know what you know; know what you don’t know!!” — From a past fire chief of the Greenville Fire & Rescue Dept., North Carolina* * * *
“Murphy’s law is always in effect in fire service…. What you don’t want to happen will, what you want to happen won’t. So be ready to Adapt, Overcome.” — Matt Quick, North Carolina firefighter* * * *
“We are born with our eyes closed and our mouths open and spend the rest of our lives trying to reverse that mistake!” — Dr. Dale Turner* * * *
“Firefighters put out fires. Chief officers save firefighters’ lives.” — Paul A. Skinner, chief, Daytona Beach (Fla.) Fire Department* * * *
“There are no dead heroes.”* * * *
“Heroes are remembered, but legends never die. If you are a legend, people won’t know about you and your service until you pass on.”
“The best thing an old firefighter can teach a young firefighter is how to be an old firefighter.”* * * *
“When arriving at a hazardous material incident, never pass a dead cop.”* * * *
Five tactical priorities that must be considered as a Fire Service leader:
R = Respect – Earned not given!
E = Example – Lead by example.
C = Credibility – Consistency and caring
E = Effort – 100% all the time!
O = Orders – Know how to take them, know how to delegate them.
— Shawn Cullen* * * *
“If it’s predictable, it’s preventable.”* * * *
“TRY before you PRY.” — Eric Gancz* * * *
“Rusty tools are a sign of no company pride.”* * * *
“A good leader is a good follower and an even better listener.”* * * *
“When going to work, you may carry what you want but have what you need (have the right tools for the right job).”* * * *
“The person behind the scenes does more work than those in plain view.”* * * *
“Fire prevention is suppression in its purest form.” — John Tait* * * *
“Luck reinforces bad habits.” — John Hawkins* * * *
“You guys can stretch hose anywhere you like, we can’t stretch ladders one inch.” — Tom Brennan, FDNY (ret.) to an anxious engineman when challenged about apparatus placement.* * * *
“There are three things that keep a firefighter alive in any situation: Instincts, FEAR and training. Loose one of them…loose your life.”* * * *
“Believe me, smoke really does burn. Treat it like petrol vapors, and cool those gases.” — Nigel Kind, Sheffield, England* * * *
“If I had used my yellow bottle more back then, I wouldn’t need my green bottle now.”* * * *
“Train like your life depends on it . . . because it does! Train hard; work safe.” — Lieutenant Bruce Clark, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, Palm Beach County, Florida* * * *
“Seniority can be yours if you stay around long enough!”* * * *
“Call ’em if you think you need ’em . . . you can always send ’em back.”* * * *
“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”* * * *
“Hoses bend, ladders don’t…. Park the truck where you can use it!”* * * *
“For those smelly EMS calls, you might try a little ‘Vicks Vaporub’ ™ on your upper lip and under your nose. It works!”* * * *
“The reception on hand-held radios can occasionally be poor. One of the causes may be the interference your body creates. Try holding the unit up and away from you; there may be noticeable improvement.”* * * *
RETURN TO TOP
RETURN TO “ONE LINERS,” PAGE 1
J. Michael Antoniewicz II on July 09 2013 at 01:02AM
Switch 42 and 43.
And if you wonder why .. what planet are you from and what rock have you been living under?!?
Daniel on May 31 2013 at 12:20PM
Always respect the “Dozer Operators” they are trying to make your life easier…
Paul McNabb on May 23 2013 at 12:59AM
“Never run, or scream on the fireground; if the walls are falling, do both.”
“If you force your way in, don’t forget you have to force your way out.”
“A burned up helmet says absolutely nothing other than “Hey, look how close I came to dying with a perfectly good hose in my hand.”"
“Don’t stand too close to guys that are always bandaged and bruised.”
“Never forget that every piece of equipment you wear, use, or ride was built by the LOWEST bidder.”
“When in 0 visibility ALWAYS remember to pick a wall and stick to it, and ALWAYS count windows and doors you pass on the way in.”
Kevin Keighron on May 09 2013 at 01:40AM
TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN!! Never doubt the reasons for doing the same training scenario over and over. It will become habit for when you need it.
“Let no man’s ghost come back to say his training failed him.”
Matt B on May 03 2013 at 08:23PM
Good luck reinforces bad habits.
Adam Wounar on May 03 2013 at 07:39AM
There is no substitute for experience.
Andy on May 02 2013 at 10:28PM
Every once in awhile, it is good for all of us to sit down and stfu.
Pat Wilson on May 02 2013 at 12:03PM
I’m not a firefighter. The biggest part of these of these are just plain old good rules for life!
Thanks guys and or gals for all you do.
jason jones on May 02 2013 at 11:52AM
when driving, assume everyone is blind and cant see the massive truck with lights coming at them, because they don’t.
Big fire, Big water.
take care of your tools, they work for you.
if you even think you might be short ( spotting, hose selection, laddering ) you more than likely will.
Bill Lance on May 02 2013 at 11:13AM
Create GOOD HABITS.
Buddy G on May 02 2013 at 10:14AM
Always work in a safe manner as taught in the academy. be the solution to the problem not part of it!
Jay G on May 02 2013 at 10:12AM
Always listen to the “old timers” they didn’t become “old timers” by doing stupid stuff on the fire scene!
Paul on May 02 2013 at 09:31AM
The Scene is never SAFE…….
Eric M. on May 02 2013 at 08:44AM
Engineer/Driver Smooth Fast is much different than Fast Faster, be quick but not in a hurry.
R. H. Taimuty-Loomis on May 02 2013 at 08:27AM
Don’t run, don’t walk; move with a purpose.
Train as if your life depends on it, because it does.
K. S. on May 02 2013 at 08:09AM
Learn all that is learnable.
If you don’t know, learn it, if you learned it, share it.
jeff g on May 02 2013 at 01:05AM
Teach at a school for fire prevention week, you will change someones life in the long run.
Be the guy that takes the time for the smallest of questions from the smallest of people.
Know every inch of every truck, someones life depends on you knowing,
Last but not least, you will be used for your ability to roll hose, and you will be criticized for it, shut up and take it
Ernest Glover Jr on May 01 2013 at 11:46PM
At the firehouse, you’re somebody.
When someone asks, “Can somebody take my blood pressure” or says, “Somebody needs to clean up this mess”- That means YOU!
Scott Feather on May 01 2013 at 11:42PM
When involved in a crisis situation, you will not rise to the occasion, but rather default to your level of training.
Ginny Sherer on May 01 2013 at 11:34PM
Another truck driver rule: “Always go to the restroom and/or sleep when you get the chance.”
Ginny Sherer on May 01 2013 at 11:33PM
I drove a tractor trailer over the road…one rule we lived by that might apply for you is:
“Never back the truck if you don’t have to.”
Sean on May 01 2013 at 10:17PM
Rise to the occasion
Larry Jenkins on May 01 2013 at 10:07PM
Expectations and Requirements
I expect you to give 100% effort all of the time. If you don’t there are plenty of mediocre shifts out there that will take you. If you need a transfer request, ask and one will be provided.
You should feel that you work at the best station in the best department. We expect you to be the best firefighter on the best shift. If you don’t, see above. We want other firefighters at other stations to be envious of your position. By the way, I have a list of firefighters who have called me about working here and they are all good people.
Remember everyone will make mistakes. Own up to your blunder. Don’t blame others and don’t try to lie your way out of it.
Always try and do the right thing. I will back you up if you can explain and justify why you did something wrong.
If you come to me with a problem, I would expect that you also come with a solution.
If you don’t want me to act on a problem, then don’t tell me about it to cover your ass.
When you go on a call, treat everyone like you would treat your Momma. I don’t care you have gotten up three times after midnight, even if it’s a BS call, treat the pubic with respect. You work twenty four hour shifts, you’re not entitled to a good night’s sleep. You want a good night’s sleep, then go work in an office.
Communicate properly and cordially especially when dealing with the public. They are the ones who support us when it is time to negotiate our benefits. Remember, they are paying your salary and vote on the next pay raise you may get.
This is a dangerous job. Use your common sense and experience to make decisions. If you don’t know the answer, ask. We risk a lot to save a lot and risk little to save little.
You will see many disturbing things on the street that will make your stomach turn. Suck it up and learn how to deal with the stress of the job while you are on the call. If you need help dealing with it later, I’ll lead you in the right direction to solve it.
Inside a burning building if you think you are in trouble, call a Mayday. Don’t worry about peer pressure, if you think you are in trouble, you are. Get help; don’t let your pride kill you.
Whether it is a day to day situation or an emergency, when given a difficult task, be able to grasp the element of the order, complete the task in the safest manner.
Lead by example 24/7, not just at work.You are always in the public eye. Your day off may be your day off, but people know what you do for a living, probably by the FD tee shirt your wearing. Make good decisions.
Your annual and comp leave is a luxury. Your sick leave is there for when you are sick or injured. Do not abuse them.
Be on time for all meetings, training, or work details.
Be able to work with a group or independently. This applies to the station and on the scene.
You live at the firehouse when you are here, clean up after yourself. If you see a dirty dish lying around, put it in the dishwasher. Your mom doesn’t work here and she raised you better.
Follow proper orders explicitly and when criticized, accept constructive criticism appropriately, don’t give excuses or blame others.
On the scene of stressful emergencies, stay calm, think logically and rational, and keep your cool under pressure.
Learn to overcome your fears. It is normal to be afraid of things that can harm you. If you’re afraid of the dark, heights, hot confining spaces, you are not alone, but you need to deal with these fears.
Accepting dangers is part of the job. At times you will need to put the safety of the citizens and brother firefighters above yours.
Learn as much about your job that you can. You will be making life and death decisions routinely and you need to make the correct decisions.
Do not take any medications (even over the counter) that will alter your performance at work.
Do not drink alcohol at work or ten hours prior to work.
Do not take any illegal drugs, even off duty. You are held to a higher standard and your off duty image is important.
Be compassionate to coworkers and the public. On the scene of death and destruction do not laugh or joke.
The public eye is always watching you. Maintain a positive image. Assist the public, within reason. You never know who is watching or videotaping your actions.
Integrity and honesty is a trait you must always keep.
This is a paramilitary organization. You must accept authority and obey all proper orders.
When your peers jump on you about your performance, don’t get mad get better. They are trying to help you. It’s when you mess up and they don’t say anything is the time when you should start to worry.
Within reason, work through fatigue and pain. Believe me your peers will notice if you go the extra mile.
Your personal conduct is always under scrutiny, you shall maintain a higher personal standard than most people. Do not lie or you will lose all credibility with your peers. If you steal you will be recommended for termination.
When give a task, it should be done correctly. Your supervisors don’t like fixing your mistakes. It causes extra work for them and will eventually cause more work and discipline for you. This includes the fire ground, medical emergencies, and paperwork required of you at quarters.
Knowledge of the area is a requirement. Within your first month here you shall know all main arteries and the hundred blocks. At the six month mark you shall know all side streets off the main arteries. At the completion of your first year here you should have knowledge of 85% of the first due.
You should learn something new every day. You can learn something new on every call you run, if you try.
Experts scare me; they seem to think that they know all there is about a subject. Technology changes all the time, if you don’t keep up with it, it will pass you by quickly. I would rather be known and respected for my actions of what I have accomplished, not by telling people how much I know.
Last but not least, I want your coworkers to know that when the SHIT hits the fan and things go bad, they can expect you to be right there next to them, not behind them. Theirs and your life may depend on it.
From the first day you walk into the firehouse until the day you retire you will be like a bug under the glass being looked at. Don’t tell us how smart you are, it will only take a couple of days to figure out if you’re going to be a good firefighter. Don’t make the mistake and think because you have experience from another department that you are a vet.
Like the military, be polite and never call an officer by their first name, only by their rank.
This job is very difficult to obtain. Many departments have laid-off firefighters due to budget cuts. Don’t ever take your job for granted.
Practical jokes are a way the shift includes you and a way that they include you. Don’t get mixed up in practical jokes until you’ve earned the shifts respect (after your first year).
You are going to get messed with. Take it and smile. Just like Vegas, what happens here, stays here.
Arrive to work well before the 0700 starting time. Follow the standard operating procedures on grooming. Be shaved, showered before line up. During your probie year you will be expected to follow the grooming and uniform standards, even if the senior people don’t.
Make the coffee and ice tea each morning. By midmorning, if the coffee pot is getting low. Ask the other firefighters if they want more and make a pot if they do.
Most firehouses have seating assignments in the dining room and bunkrooms.
Before you sit down, ask whose chair this is and the same for bed assignments.
You are expected to study your first year. Don’t watch TV, nap, talk on the phone, or surf the net prior to 1800 hours.
Never use your cell phone while riding on the apparatus. This is disrespectful to your co-workers.
Study near a telephone. Answer the telephone quickly and never let a senior firefighter beat you to a ringing telephone.
Offer to help whoever is cooking, even if you don’t have the slightest idea how to do it. Help do the dishes every night, even when you cook. You will find out later in life that a firehouse recipe is just as important as a company drill.
When cleaning the dishes. Make sure they are clean and soap rinsed completely.
The fire and rescue world exposes you to many dirty environments. Wash your hands with soap and water often.
When cleaning the station. Make sure there are plenty of toilet paper and paper towels in their correct locations.
Keep the kitchen towels clean and in the proper place. Don’t mix the shop towels and kitchen towels. Never wash both together in the washing machine.
If you need to do your laundry, make sure everyone else’s is done first, even if you have to do it for them.
You will probably be assigned the night watch every night for your first year. If it’s not your night for the house watch and the dishwasher is full, empty it.
Do your housework without being told and don’t expect anyone to help.
Pay your coffee / kitchen fund on time.
Keep the tools on the rig clean and in working order without being told to do so. The best way for you to learn about a tool besides using it, is by keeping it in working order.
Ask questions of your fellow workers. If you show an interest in a subject, other firefighters love to teach and will help. If you don’t ask then we think you don’t care.
Firefighter like everyone else will gossip. If you say anything bad about a person it will eventually get back to the person you said something about. Don’t gossip.
If a senior fireman says something you know is incorrect, do not correct them in front of the group. Pull them aside and ask them to explain and tell them what you were taught.
Remember, the saying, “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” In the fire service there are many ways to accomplish a task and some easier than others.
Don’t go to bed before 2200 hours, unless you’re sick. But make sure your chores are done before you hit the sack.
When you’ve done all these things, don’t tell us. If it’s not done, we will notice and you will hear about it.
Bill Fitzgerald on May 01 2013 at 09:35PM
You did not create the emergency so do not add to the EMERGENCY!!!
Senior Chief on May 01 2013 at 07:52PM
Go ugly early.
Let the big dog eat.
Mad Dog on May 01 2013 at 07:24PM
Nothing to add for comments but THANK YOU for publishing this. It is invaluable!
Jay C on May 01 2013 at 06:27PM
equipment failure will happen at the most inopportune time checking equipment at the start of your tour is key.
SQUAD Co. 8
Scott Kooreman on May 01 2013 at 06:26PM
Just remember, people are running out of a burning building and you are running in. Know what your running into before you get in there.
Pete on April 25 2013 at 08:11PM
A REAL company officer won’t ask any of his crew to do anything or go anywhere that he wouldn’t do or go.
Jason on April 22 2013 at 11:54PM
Don’t become part of the problem, be a part of the solution
SNAPPER on April 20 2013 at 04:58PM
God gave you two ears and one mouth. That means that you should be doing twice as much listening as you do talking. And…“EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED”.
Joe on April 16 2013 at 08:52PM
Defend your crew even if they aren’t God’s gift to firefighting. “I can tell you my mother is ugly but if YOU tell me my mother’s ugly I have to punch you in the face”
Joe on April 16 2013 at 08:49PM
Slow Down to Hurry Up!
BC Chesterton, RFD NY
McCrash on April 16 2013 at 05:47PM
Respond, don’t react.
A hero ain’t nothin’ but a sandwich.
brian bunnell on April 15 2013 at 12:53AM
train like your life depends on it because it does
chase on April 14 2013 at 03:52PM
get in there do the work or assessment… if you don’t show where your confident the guys cant help you where your weak.
Robert Homman on April 13 2013 at 11:09PM
Every day is a training day. Learn one new thing.
Jose on April 13 2013 at 10:14PM
First thing you do when you arrive on scene… DO YOUR OWN SIZE UP. Medical or fire run.
You may see something someone else might not. Try to know what your getting into before you commit.
Tim Lombardi on April 12 2013 at 02:33PM
Take you time to be fast…
Michael Beane on April 12 2013 at 02:03PM
Sit down, Buckle up, Shut up, and Listen up…
bev on April 12 2013 at 01:41PM
If you are running to get on the load, you aren’t thinking about what you will need to do…slow down and THINK.
People who never make mistakes are the people who aren’t doing anything. Own up to your mistakes and Learn from them.
Bob on April 12 2013 at 12:44PM
Excellent material here, Thank You, please post more.
Ron S on April 12 2013 at 12:22PM
Duayne on April 12 2013 at 12:21PM
My job is to make sure young firefighters, become old firefighters
Chris Dawson on April 12 2013 at 10:11AM
Seek out knowledgeable firefighters, and learn all that you can from them.
Take pride in your firehouse. Clean it as you would your own home.
Remember, when someone calls 911, it is your job to respond professionally EVERY TIME.
Practice your skills. Your crew’s lives depend on you being competent.
Mike Skuban on April 12 2013 at 09:47AM
For Military and Civilian Firefighters…
“Plan for the worst, hope for the best”
“Practice like you play. Training days are the time to work on technique and tactics.”
“The only stupid question is the one NOT asked.”
“Regardless if your deployed or at home station, always have a Gerber/Multi-tool. It does more than cut open MREs and boxes.”
" Run your power tools often, like right now. On a roof that needs ventilation is not the time to fix a fowled spark plug."
“Take the pumper out with your driver and practice. They are built to run, not to just sit and collect dust while you check your facebook/email.”
" Help out your Station Captain/Station Chief. They cover your butt more often then you will ever know."
David Pfeil on April 12 2013 at 07:54AM
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts "
Bill Lindlau on April 12 2013 at 07:49AM
Great read. I remembered a lot of them. They even hold true for us retirees. Thanks
Trevor Dubberlin on April 12 2013 at 03:18AM
Nobody knows everything.
Eugene Gonzalez on April 11 2013 at 09:44PM
Never disrespect the uniform or the badge, and remember that integrity is doing the right thing all of the time even when others are not watching.
Frustration leads to panic and panicking is what can kill you.. So slow down and stay calm.
Last but not least. Do not treat this career as your second job.
william c mccormick on April 11 2013 at 07:20PM
be careful what you say coming back from a run the mike could be open.
Jason on April 11 2013 at 06:32PM
This is great! I love having the new guys. Remembering what it was like when I was in their shoes makes me feel like a new guy again. My thing for new firefighters is this…
Slow down, look around.
Frank R on April 11 2013 at 05:28PM
Learn the job….not just the shortcuts….and pay your dues before you feel your owed something !!
POP POP on April 11 2013 at 04:51PM
When you need a way out, remember “smooth bump bump to the pump”
Gene T on April 11 2013 at 01:50PM
Attend a fire service funeral. As sad and tragic as it is it will change for the better how you see and preform the job and will not let a fallen brothers sacrifice be in vain.
Ryan on April 11 2013 at 01:11PM
Take care of your heart, it’s the only one you have, read the L.O.D.D. NIOSH reports.
Brandon on April 11 2013 at 12:48PM
Thanks for this, a lot of great reminders for the new guys and the not so new.
Jay Brand on April 11 2013 at 11:44AM
Our mistakes makes us heroes, do it right, (the press never reports firefighters extinguish toaster oven fire / but let it spread and get in the attic and you will be all over the press).
Bob Gearhart on April 11 2013 at 11:12AM
Never forget where you came from. The “stupid” firefighters you are deriding at 3pm are the ones who will be saving your back at 3am. Always treat them with respect and share all your medical knowledge, they may need it to help you on that critical shooting patient that night, or on you.
Always respect those beneath you. When you are doing reports during clean-up, even if there are none to do, will cause a lack of respect. Remember that your hands didn’t change shape when you promoted. They still fit a shovel or a fire axe. Offer to do your fair share and your men won’t let you.
Lead your men from the front, but let them run the nozzle.
william c mccormick on April 11 2013 at 10:12AM
all ways try to open the door before you break it in ,Sleep in your socks fire boots eat bare feet
Mike Y on April 11 2013 at 08:51AM
Be Humble or Be Humbled
Scott H on April 11 2013 at 12:29AM
Fires are a marathon, not a sprint. You’re no good if you’re done after one bottle!
Scott H. on April 11 2013 at 12:24AM
The day you don’t have one smile on your face at work is the day to retire.
Ernie on April 10 2013 at 11:23PM
There’s a few in there for the old guys too. One of my favorites is “the day you think there’s no more to learn is the day you should retire”.
Jimmy Kitson on April 10 2013 at 10:58PM
You could probably do 1001 list…Here is just a couple of thoughts,
Proby, last one to the table for chow…first one up from the table.
Do not give your tools to the boss…ask him what he needs done!