Not Just Another Fire was created as an effort to promote interest and education in fire service activities that go beyond the scope of the day-to-day or â€œbread and butterâ€ operations.
Firefighting is in my blood. My small Indiana farming community has been served by a volunteer fire department that has been in existence for over 125 years. And this particular farm boy grew up around this department, like so many others have in their own communities. From the days of tagging along with my dad to fundraisers as a kid, to riding along to a run once in awhile, to eventually becoming a state-certified firefighter during my high school years â€” Iâ€™ve always been at the firehouse or doing something fire-related. Eventually, I was even fortunate enough to find a career that today allows me to engage my love for firefighting in a fire protection role, while remaining a resident of my small farm community and active with our volunteer department.
So, why the need for Not Just Another Fire? In my â€œday jobâ€ as a loss prevention specialist for a commercial property underwriter, I work extensively with manufacturing and industry to assist them in doing everything possible to prevent fires within their facilities. However, in nearly 10 years of doing this, I still find that when I start asking questions about what a facilityâ€™s management expects when a fire does occur, many have no idea what to expect â€“ both internally and from their public response agencies. They seem to prefer thinking it wonâ€™t happen, versus planning for when it does happen. And this is not just limited to certain areas or particular industries. Too often, I find facilities that have never had anyone from the first-due fire department ever set foot on the property, let alone give them any feedback on their emergency response plans, produce a pre-plan of their own, or conduct any sort of training specific to the companyâ€™s operations.
Often my discussions with firefighters confirm this. Iâ€™ve found that more often than not, whether a fire department has one, a handful, or a hundred manufacturing or industrial facilities within their first-due area, they may not have any idea what goes on within a certain facility. Oh, but â€œwe could find out pretty quickly if we needed to.â€ Is this really the best way to plan our attack for a situation that will potentially require some sort of special operations or assistance? With all due respect to Roald Dahl, Iâ€™m pretty adamant that, as firefighters, we shouldnâ€™t be treating facilities like Willy Wonkaâ€™s chocolate factory â€“ where we see things go in, and we see things come out, but we really have no idea what goes on inside. Safety professionals have long recognized that workers are more likely to get injured or killed when performing tasks that are unfamiliar or non-routine. While a firefighterâ€™s daily routine can quickly put him or her in harmâ€™s way, this danger increases exponentially when exposed to a situation that is out-of-the-ordinary.
So, with that in mind, I give you Not Just Another Fire. This site will be devoted to the observation and discussion of those firefighting situations where unique circumstances demand special training or knowledge. Here we will focus on situations around the world where firefighters with both volunteer and career fire departments find themselves in unique response circumstances that are â€œnot just another fireâ€ in terms of the â€œroutineâ€ or day-to-day activities. While I certainly acknowledge and emphasize that every fire situation must be treated individually with professionalism and safety, this resource will focus primarily on fires that are obviously different â€” different from a dumpster, an automobile, or even that of a fairly straightforward residential fire.
Because many issues presented and discussed will cover all aspects of the fire service, from fire suppression to rescue and medical, members of all emergency services are welcomed. The goal is to provide a place to share news, insight, reflection, and training specifically tailored to those professionals who may have the occasion to provide fire protection and other emergency services in a place thatâ€™s a little different from the rest. We are a family in this mission to save life and preserve property while doing it safely, efficiently, and effectively. In that, I invite everyone who visits us to enjoy sharing information and engaging in constructive discussion and commentary on both the serious and the not-so-serious aspects of the fire service, as it particularly pertains to unique or particularly demanding fire situations. We will look for others in the fire and EMS community to lend their insights and expertise, and hopefully build us quite a repository of information and guidance to help new firefighters grow to be old firefighters.
Visitors to and participants of this page are encouraged to share stories, photos, video, and other information (either here and/or on the website) that assists in providing insight, training, and case studies for the purposes of training and critique. And while I hate that I have to say this, no harassment or bashing will be tolerated. We are all professionals. Letâ€™s act that way.
All materials and information shared, uploaded, and posted by others to this site will be considered as having been provided with expressed consent and permission to Not Just Another Fire to share and use in training and other activities beyond the scope of this Internet site.
And if you are curious about anything in particular about the site, how to contribute, or how to ask a question without posting it yourself, please contact me. Weâ€™ll figure it out â€“ together.
So, here we goâ€¦ Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-do!