Ten Thoughts for 2016

Hey everybody, with the new year upon us, Mark and Sean here at HeorPrep.com decided to share 10 things that we think might help keep you safe and sane in 2016, things that are often misunderstood or overlooked.

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1) Check the basement
Seems that wayyyyy too often you hear companies searching for a fire, maybe finding smoke, a little heat, and not finding the seat of it. Did you check the basement? Quick visual clues include smoke from where the foundation meets the first floor, or smoke from the chimney, but the important thing is to physically check, especially in balloon frame or taxpayer construction.

2) Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to spray
Here’s one for our country brethren. Rural water supply. It’s important, don’t just wing it. Too many times we’ve seen a rural department make a great push, only to run out of water and end up having a very long day. The solution? Learn how to estimate fire flow, know your local resources, and make the call early. The effort should always be to have uninterrupted water flow, the concept that you can “hit it real quick and knock it down with this” is very, very dangerous.

3) Wear your hood
I know, I know, you can’t feel the heat right? Well if getting burned doesn’t faze you, consider this. Research shows that the angle of the jaw, and throat readily absorb carcinogens through the skin, and I’m way more afraid of caner then getting burned.

4) Wear your mask
We’ll just leave this right here.

5) Talk about cancer in your firehouse
There is a ton of information coming out right now in regards to firefighting and an increased risk of cancer. Do yourself and your family a favor, and educate yourself. Career or volunteer, big city or small town. Be the guy that’s willing to stand up and talk about it. Wash your hoods, get your gear out of your back seat, and let’s change this trend going forward.

6) Keep your head on a swivel
Time and time again we’re seeing close calls on the road at accident scenes, People are just too busy texting, tweeting, pinning or clash of clanning to pay attention while they’re driving, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Position the truck to block appropriately. Always try and exit the truck on the same side as the rest of your crew, watch for oncoming traffic, and yes, wear the reflective vest (75% of you are groaning at that last one).

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7) Take your time
Regardless what you’re driving, be safe. Getting to a call quickly has more to do with knowing where you’re going, and the best way to get there, and less about putting the pedal to the floor. And when operating an apparatus, take your time setting up. Noone ever became social media famous for taking their time to set up the truck, but it has happened to those who acted hastily and put the truck in a dumb place.

8) Be better than you were last year
One of our mentors once said there was a difference between having 20 years in the fire service, and having one year 20 times. Don’t ever forget that.

9) Try and give the benefit of the doubt
Ok, we realize how preachy we’re sounding at this point. But sometimes, when you give the frequent flyer a little extra dose of kindness, they reciprocate. Give it a try.

10) Go Home
We mean this one from the bottom of our hearts, and in so many ways. First of all, stay safe and go home in one piece at the end of your shift. Secondly, be a committed employee or volunteer, and obviously that means missing out on time with your family and friends. That being said, make every dance recital, little league game, and Sunday dinner you can, even if it means turning off the pager or cell phone, you’ll be thankful for it later.

Happy New Year!
Mark and Sean
www.HeroPrep.com