Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to Get Hired [SERIES]



There are many certified firefighters, EMT's, and paramedics, however, not so many jobs.  Out of the several hundred applicants that are filed, only a handful will make it through the hiring process to the final oral board or interview.  The ones who fail to make it through this stage typically fail due to lack of preparation and confidence. 

Here are 5 steps that will prepare you to go into the oral interview with confidence and exit with a job offer. 
  1. Know your resume - be familiar with how your resume is laid out, know what you included or did not include, it is always good practice to bring copies of your resume for yourself and each of the interviewers.
  2. Know the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications of the position - you should practically have these memorized from the job posting, be specific; do not assume that every firefighter position is the same;  being intimately familiar with this information will enable you to frame your interview questions around the job requirements and your capabilities.
  3. Know the department and community - spend significant amounts of time on the department and communities website; Google search the community; keep up with the local news; you should be familiar with fire department staff and community leaders, and have an idea as to the size and make-up of the community you will be serving.
  4. Be prepared to present yourself effectively - know what you have done, and what you can do; know what uniquely differentiates you from all the other applicants.  Get a good nights rest before the interview.  Wear your best suit and tie.
  5. Practice - visualize the interview, and yourself answering the questions; answer questions out-loud, this help you to know how to best word responses so as not to get tongue-tied.
Next week we will go over common interview questions and how to best answer them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A New Kind of Chief

The fire service has a chief for almost everything, Chief of Adminstration, Chief of EMS, Chief of Fire Prevention, Chief of Logistics, Assistant Chiefs, and Battalion Chiefs.  However, I want to add one more to the list, Chief Customer Officer.  This designation had its rise in the business community in the late 1990's and functioned as an advocate for customers.

Perhaps this is just the thing that our departments need.  A dedicated position that advocates for the customer (our citizens).  A Chief position that is not primarily concerned with politics, strategy, finances, union negotiations, or SOP's, but is solely focused on ensuring that the members of our community have a voice, and that their voice is being heard by the Fire Department. 

I know the reality is that no department is going to create this Chief's position, but the truth is that we should all be functioning as chief customer officers.  Especially those of us who work in fire prevention role as we typically experience more exposure to the public (our customer base).  We should always remember that we exist for our community, we should take every voice seriously, and we should be a constant advocate for those we have sworn to serve.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Flashback PSA

Here is something fun for Saturday.  Check out Michael J. Fox in this "Playing With Matches" PSA from 1987.






Our Saturday podcasts will resume next Saturday at 1030am on blogtalkradio.com/thecodecoach.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Commercial Truck Repair Shop Violations

Todays post is provided by Roy Poteete.  Roy regularly blogs on issues related to business safety and the fire prevention. You can read his blog at http://www.rpoteete.blogspot.com/.


In this article I will post some pictures of a place I use too work at. These pictures were taken with premission of said employeer and I took these pictures the same night the fire inspector came and did his so called fire inspection and pass the building as being compliant with State, Local, County Building and BOCA Building Codes. Just look at the gross neglect and how careless the inspector was! Allowing storage of Caustic, Paint Thinners, Paint, Caulk, gallon of WD40, combustibles and several packs of steel wool......you are asking for trouble. These are stored in a plactic storage locker and about 25' away is a marked flammable storage locker. But look at the pictures.....from NO SMOKE DETECTOR TO FIRE EXTINGUISHERS NOT MARKED, SERVICED, INSPECTED AND IMPROPER PLACEMENT OF SAID EQUIPMENT TO THE USE OF AN OIL TRANSFEER PUMP THAT IS NOT FOR THE USE ITS BEING USED FOR. THE PUMP DOES NOT HAVE APPROVAL FOR HAZARDS LIQUIDS OR FOR IN HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENT!


EPIC FAILURE ON THE PART OF THE FIRE CHIEF, THE FIRE INSPECTOR AND THE BUILDINGS OWNER AND THE MECHANIC THAT IS SUPPOSE TO PLACE THE SAID FLAMMABLES AND CAUSTIC IN THE PROPER PLACE.


MISSING SMOKE DETECTOR, THIS IS THE ONLY LOCATION IN THIS FACILITY FOR SMOKE DETECTOR

 IMPROPER STORAGE UNDER WOOD STEPS

FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS STORED IN A PLASTIC STORAGE CABINET

IMOPROPER UNSECURED STORAGE ON A WOOD COMBUSTIBLE MADE SHELF, ABOVE A TANK OF OIL.



ABOVE IS A STORAGE TANK FILLED WITH DIESEL FUEL NOT MARKED, ABOUT 2' AWAY FROM THE ELECTRIC CIRCUT PANEL



STORAGE UNDER THE STEPS OF COMBUSTIBLE FORM, ALSO A DIESEL ELECTRIC POWERED STEAM WASHER THAT IS IN USE EMITTING HOT GASES INTO THE BUILDING CAUSING A CO INCREASE AND NO EXHAUST SYSTEM TO EXTRACT THE CO FROM THE BUILDING.



STORAGE OF MIXED PARTS WITH FLAMMABLE COMPRESSED CLEANERS IN THE CARDBOARD BOXES ON THE SHELF



STORAGE OF PAINT, PAINT THINNERS, CAUSTIC ACIDS, CAULKS, WD40 AND OTHER COMBUSTIBLES IN A PLASTIC STORAGE LOCKER.


OIL DUMP AREA....THE PUMP IS NOT MARKED FOR HAZARD OR FLAMABLES LIQUIDS. LOOK AT THE PLACEMENT OF THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER. IF A FIRE WAS TOO HAPPEN IN THE AREA YOU WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO RETREIVE TO EXTINGUISH THE FIRE.


NO EMERGENCY ESCAPE LIGHTS ANYWHERE IN THE BUILDING. THE DUAL LIGHTS ON THE MOTION DETECTOR ONLY WORKS ON MOTION AND WHEN NO LIGHTS ARE ON. NOT APPROVED FOR EMERGENCY ESCAPE LIGHTS.





STORAGE OF COMBUSTABLES UNDER WOOD STEPS, WITH A PARTS WASHER SITTING AGAINST THE STAIR RAILINGS. UNDER THE STEPS IS BRAKE CLEANERS, GALLONS OF OIL, TUBES OF GREASE, PAPER, AND WORK CLOTHES. THERE IS NO STORAGE CONTAINER FOR WORK/SHOP TOWELS IN THE BUILDING. THE MECHANIC TOSSES THE TOWELS IN WITH HIS WORK CLOTHES.





ALUMINUM LADDER LEANING AGAINST A BANK OF BATTERIES....WHAT YOU CANNOT SEE IS THAT THE LADDER IS TOUCHING ONE OF THE POSTS ON THE BATTERY.


Additional note: This building has outside electric oultlets that are not GFCI Protected nor is the Electric panel and they lay electric cords on the ground not waterproofed plugs. Make sure when you inspect the building that at least the panel is GFCI portected on the panel if the outlets are not GFCI protected.

Note: the fire inspector completed this building in 15 minutes and it passed.....complete failure on his part too allow this to pass.


Be Fire Safe, Be Fire Wise and do a complete thorough inspection, as well as a complete fire building pre-plan include that they (business operators) have a complete MSDS for all chemicals that they use.

Also by Roy
Indiana State Fair Stage Collapse
State Fair FD

Related Post
How To Sell Tires and Prevent Fires







Tuesday, June 19, 2012

11 Rules To Live By



Internation Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week is being observed this week, June 17-23. 


You can get all the resources at safetyandhealthweek.org.


Rules of Engagement for Firefighter Survival
  1. Size up your tactical area of operation.
  2. Determine the occupant survival profile.
  3. DO NOT risk your life for lives or property that cannot be saved.
  4. Extend LIMITED risk to protect SAVABLE property.
  5. Extend VIGILANT and MEASURED risk to protect and rescue SAVABLE lives.
  6. Go in together, stay together, come out together.
  7. Maintain continuous awareness of your air supply, situation, location and fire conditions.
  8. Constantly monitor fireground communications for critical radio reports.
  9. You are required to report unsafe practices or conditions that can harm you. Stop, evaluate and decide.
  10. You are required to abandon your position and retreat before deteriorating conditions can harm you.
  11. Declare a Mayday as soon as you THINK you are in danger.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

3 PSA's for Home Fire Sprinklers

The Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition has created 3  public service announcements to encourage the installation of home fire sprinkler systems.  These PSA's dispell the fire sprinkler myths propagated by Hollywood films.

These PSA's are free to use; for a limited time the HFSC is offering a $1,000 stipend to cover costs for the placement of these announcements.

PSA #1:



PSA #2:



PSA #3:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

200 Posts

We have reached the 200 post mark here at thecodecoach.com.  Below are the top 10 most viewed posts of all time. Enjoy!
  1. Eating Your Own Cooking
  2. 6 Ways to Get People to Your Presentation
  3. Electrical Safety
  4. A Prevention Primer
  5. Building Fire Stations
  6. What in the HDPE is going on?
  7. From Mall to Mega-Church
  8. Grill Fire Kills 6
  9. 15 Steps to Stop Church Arson
  10. Flammable Liquids Storage

Thank you for making this site a success.  We love to hear from our readers, so please post comments, thoughts, and ideas.  Also don't forget to start listening to thecodecoach.com podcast at blogtalkradio.com/thecodecoach.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Fire Prevention Leadership [PODCAST]

Doug Killane, Bureau Chief
This special interview on the topic of fire service leadership features an interview with Doug Killane. Doug is Fire Prevention Bureau Chief for Martin County Fire-Rescue, which covers 528 square miles and protects 200,000 citizens.


Listen to internet radio with The Code Coach on Blog Talk Radio

Hear Chief Killane discuss:
  • the biggest challenge(s) facing fire prevention leaders today
  • personal leadership styles
  • the difference between leadership and management
  • his personal mentor and the importance of being a mentor
  • advice to new fire service leaders
  • current state of fire prevention bureau leadership

Related Posts:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

30 Dowling Circle - ATF Analysis

On January 2011, Firefighter Mark Falkenhan of Baltimore County's Lutherville VFD, a highly respected veteran career and volunteer Firefighter, died in the Line of Duty at a fire in a multi-family dwelling on Dowling Circle.


The Fire Protection Engineers from the ATF Fire Research Laboratory worked with the Baltimore County FD to create a computer model of the fire that resulted in the Line of Duty Death of FF Mark Falkenhan on January 19th, 2011. The following 36 minute video details the entire incident, beginning with the 911 call and ending after the firefighter MAYDAY.


Several alternative fire modeling scenarios were also including as part of the engineering analysis and are included in the video. The purpose of the alternative fire modeling runs were to explore how the ventilation flows paths through the apartment building would differ if apartment entrance doors were shut during suppression/search efforts. The video is intended to be used as an educational tool that provides insight on potential methods for preventing similar tragedies in the future.


Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


The following three conclusions result from the analysis:


1. Unidirectional flow of 600 degree Fahrenheit gases in excess of 6 mph up the stairs resulted in a high rate of convective heat transfer to the firefighters, making initial fire attack down the stairs very difficult.


2. The open apartment entry doors allowed the main stairwell to act as an open channel for fire and smoke spread between the 2nd and 3rd levels, resulting in flashover of the 3rd floor approximately 30 seconds after the 2nd level.


3. The model supported the scene observations and indicated that shutting the entrance doors blocked the flow of buoyancy driven fire gases, ultimately preventing fire extension to the 3rd level apartment via the stairwell.


For more information check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Top 10 Posts for May



Here are the top 10 most viewed post for the month of May, 2012.
  1. Eating Your Own Cooking
  2. 6 Ways to Get People To Your Presentation
  3. 15 Steps to Stop Church Arson
  4. Wind Turbine Response
  5. Electrical Safety
  6. Building a Kiosk
  7. From Mall to Mega-Church
  8. 13 Changes to NFPA 13
  9. Flammable Liquids Storage
  10. NFPA 402 - FREE Training Guide
What are your favorite posts?  What types of posts would you like to see more of (code related, building, leadership, fire ground tactics, etc.)?