DiscoverCode 3 - The Firefighters' Podcast
Code 3 - The Firefighters' Podcast
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Code 3 - The Firefighters' Podcast

Author: Scott Orr

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The twice-weekly podcast for and about firefighters, "Code 3" covers topics of interest to those in the fire service, through interviews with those who know it best. From Chiefs to Probies, Engineers to Firefighters, and Paramedics to EMTs, award-winning journalist Scott Orr talks with them all. Show notes at
228 Episodes
Today, we’re talking tactical worksheets for EMS. This is more important than it may sound. A tactical worksheet is nothing more than a glorified checklist. Who needs that? If airline pilots use them every flight, maybe they should be in your arsenal also. They can prevent mistakes and protect you later if someone starts looking for blame. Here to explain the details is Bruce Evans. He’s is the fire chief and a paramedic at the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District in Bayfield, Colorado. Bruce is on the board of directors at the National Association of EMT's, and he is a National Fire Academy instructor. He’s also on the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine's Preparedness Committee.
The Fire-EMS community lost a vital member this week. Bryan Fass passed away suddenly on Monday. He was just 46. A former paramedic, Bryan was well-known for his advocacy of first-responder fitness. His career was based on teaching injury-prevention and safety techniques. He ran Fit Responder, which he founded in 2007, and spoke frequently at EMS industry conferences around the country. Bryan was a prolific author, writing for multiple websites and his blog, as well as four books on fitness and wellness. With me today to remember Bryan is Greg Friese, Editor-in-chief of
There was a time when you were universally viewed as friends of the community. You were welcomed because people realized that you were there to help them. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Violent physical attacks on EMS personnel are becoming more common, with new incidents being reported just about every day. So now we have to think about how to prevent those assaults. In Austin, Texas, they’re taking steps toward doing that. Here to explain more is Ernesto Rodriguez, the EMS chief for Austin-Travis County EMS.
On September 11, 2001 our world changed. America was just getting to work when it was attacked by terrorists using commercial airliners as weapons. That was the day everything we knew turned upside down. And it was the day that the FDNY suffered 343 line of duty deaths in one incident. Many more would lose battles with cancer caused by working in the rubble. Some are still fighting cancer today, 18 years later. Here to talk about the impact the terror attack on America had on the FDNY is Chief Rick Lasky. He’s well known around the country for his seminars on Pride and Ownership. If you’ve not heard him speak live, you’ve missed an amazing presentation and you should book him to speak at your next event. Rick retired after being Chief of several departments, including Lewisville, Texas. He started his career 40 years earlier in Chicago, which is where I hail from myself.
One of the aspects of firefighting that we don’t often discuss is the role of the fire-cause investigator. Once a structure fire is under control, this job becomes critical to determining what insurance will pay to the property owner … and if arson was involved. There are a few things firefighters can do to make the fire cause investigator’s life a little easier, and today’s guest says they really don’t get in your way of extinguishing the fire. Rick Chase is a fire cause investigator with the Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority in Prescott Valley, Arizona. He is also a division chief and the fire marshal. Rick started in the fire service as a member of a U.S. Forest Service hotshot crew. He joined the Central Yavapai Fire District (the precursor to CAFMA) in 1995 and worked his way from a reserve firefighter to his current position.
We have discussed several times on this show the sad – and potentially disastrous –story of the declining numbers of volunteer firefighters. Everyone has their own theory of why no one wants to volunteer these days. But a Syracuse, New York newspaper op-ed column with a new explanation began showing up in social media in August. Maybe you’ve seen it. If not, we’ll link to it on our website. It was written by Jack Kline, of Lysander, New York. He has been a volunteer firefighter for over four decades. He remembers the good old days when people liked giving their time to protect their neighbors. His column’s title explains why Jack believes we’re experiencing a manpower shortage now. It’s “Make Volunteer Firefighting Fun Again.”
If you conduct training for firefighters, your teaching may be out-of-date. Now, you’re probably thinking, “That’s bull. I know how to throw a ladder.” Problem is, if you haven’t taken recurrent train-the-trainer courses, you may not be doing it right...the way it’s being taught now. If you’re a Baby Boomer or Gen X, your methods are probably outdated. It’s not your fault—it worked for you. But today’s new firefighters are different. Here to tell us why we need to update our training skills is Chris Garniewicz. He’s a captain with the Bluffton Township, South Carolina Fire District. An IFSAC certified Fire Instructor 2, Chris is an instructor with the SC Fire Academy and lectures throughout the East Coast on truck operations and instructor education. He began his career in the Metro Boston area as a volunteer firefighter and EMT.
If you’ve wondered what it would be like to be a newly-minted Fire Chief – it could be a turbulent experience. You may think you know what it takes to run a department successfully. Maybe you do, may you don’t. But there are a million details to consider that might not even occur to you. That’s why the IAFC has put out an e-book titled, “You're the Fire Chief--Now What?” It’s a guide for new and interim Chiefs from Day One to Day 100 and beyond. Here to tell us what’s important for a new chief to know is Al Yancey, Jr. Al headed up the committee that developed the book. He’s the Chief of the Minooka, Illinois Fire Protection District. It’s a combination department.
The late Vince Lombardi, famous Green Bay Packers coach, was known for his inspirational quotes. Today’s show is about this Lombardi quote: “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” That applies to firefighting as well. It’s not just how you perform on the fireground that counts, it’s how you perform all the time that makes the difference. Here to explain why ... and how to build that winning leadership culture in your firehouse… is Adam Neff. Adam is assistant chief of training at the Nixa, Missouri Fire Protection District. He got into the fire service 25 years ago as a cadet volunteer and worked his way up. He also holds a Chief Fire Officer Designation.
There’s a certain mindset that says it doesn’t matter how you start, as long as you finish strong. That’s not always true, though. One example: when you pull your first line at a fire. How you do it sets the whole scene for the firefight. If there’s confusion about where those initial lines are going, you’ll end up with a bowl of spaghetti. Back with me today to explain how and why to best stretch that first line is John Lightly. He’s a battalion chief in the Youngstown, Ohio fire department with over 20 years on the job.
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