Quick Drill :Ventilation How to use your Axe the Wrong Way!

Using the flat side of your Axe can be much faster than the blade. Often the blade will wedge itself into the roof and you have to spend energy freeing it. B…

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  • 13 Truck says:

    I’ve been using and teaching this technique for years. Actually I prefer to use a sledgehammer. Saws are great but the hand tools never throw the chain, choke out in smoke, or run outta gas.

  • Engine Captain Missouri says:

    I was taught this technique years ago, but if I did this now, it would be Cap where is the saw? Sorry kid it broke, I agree with 13 truck about saws breaking. In my part of the world, my engine very well could be assigned truck work.

    Be Safe

  • 13 Truck says:

    I’m definitely not above using the saw! I just how firemen react when it fails. Most of the time they spend valuable time trying to rectify the problem instead of going to work with the axe they carried with them. After all, it is used for more than sounding the roof. It just seems to me that good firemanship (is that even a word?) and truck work in general is a dying part of the fire service. Pooooshhhh….. That was the sound of a can of worms opening.

  • 13 Truck says:

    I just **hate** to see how firemen etc…… stupid fingers!

  • Engine Captain Missouri says:

    Amen Brother! My company could very easily be the truck thanks to the quint concept. Used properly, quints do fine, before I open another can of worms, but, when did manual labor get removed from our profession? Engine or truck know your job and have a back-up plan, wasted time costs lives!

  • 13 Truck says:

    Now that it’s open…. Manual labor began ceasing in the fire service when the college degree became a primary reason for hiring people, plain and simple. At least that’s the way I perceive it in my department. I’m not an old head, I’m only 33. BUT, before I became a career fireman, I was a framer and drywall hanger/finisher. I know a trade. I know how to do and fix and troubleshoot and swag. I learned that by learning a skill that involved hands on, ingenuity, sweat and work ethic. Now we are hiring guys fresh out of college with a 4 year degree in Fire Department Administration who can’t tell the difference between a Crescent Wrench and a crescent roll. Promotional processes lean heavily on the education level attained without giving equal weight to experience. I understand that this is the nature of the game. You don’t want officers (B/C and above) to be uneducated morons, so I’m not complaining about the fact that you must have a degree to test. Experience is hard to gauge. You can have 20 years on the job, and in theory simply repeated your 1st year 20 times by not consistently raising the bar of your training. Gray hair does not make a person a good firefighter or officer, but neither does a fancy piece of paper. I promise you, I’m fixing to make a point of all this. If you give me a company with three new guys, a mechanic, a plumber and a roofer, in a year I’ll have them running circles around three guys that came on the job at the same time, but were bankers, insurance salesmen and IT techs. The point is that manual labor got lost in the (education + lack of experience + lack of vocational skills = weak
    hands on ability) equation. Damn, I’m outta breath.

  • Engine Captain Missouri says:

    I hear ya Bro. I’m elderly I guess, I’m 46, but 28 years doing the job, volunteer and career. Yea, I have a degree or two, good looking paper, but it’s just that. Simply put, guys that understand the profession, need to teach the young ones the way. Drag them if we must, if we don’t, who will? Paper doesn’t put fires out, it adds to the fuel, IMHO.

  • Dave LeBlanc says:


    I think it has to be a combination of both, not just for the promotional aspect. I agree that manual labor is slipping, but whose fault is that? Just because the candidates we hire have college degrees, doens’t mean our teaching and training changed.

    They may take a bit longer to learn, or they may not. They also will be better suited for how technical this job is becoming. Like or not, it ain’t your Daddy’s Fire Service anymore. Work ethic has changed and it isn’t about service to the community as much as “what is in it for me?”

    Also gone are the days when Public Service jobs were “undesireable”, so the only people that took them were the ones committed to serve. Now with the economy and pensions and health issues…….a career in the Fire Departments offers what the private sector can’t.

    The end of my rant is that skilled guys are often as handicapped as the “college types”. Some are so set in their ways of operating they they don’t get the urgency and team concepts by which we live.

  • 13 Truck says:

    Dave, you make some good points that I am in agreement with. I’m not a bitter fireman without the educational requirements needed to promote, so I don’t want to be perceived in that way (not that you did). It’s just frustrating seeing people in general who feel they are entitled to everything and are not willing to put forth the elbow grease required to earn it.

  • Dave LeBlanc says:

    I agree, the “I’m entitled” folks are frustrating. I come to work and try to leave the place better than when I got here. That was how I was raised in this job and how I will be until the day I retire. This places owes me nothing……..

  • Engine Captain Missouri says:

    As Dave says this place owes me nothing… my addition to that is that I owe my profession all I can give, every day I walk in the house!

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Marques Bush

Firefighter Basics launched in February 2009 after Founder/Editor Marques Bush was looking for a way to express himself and share his experiences with brother and sister firefighters. Shortly after founding the site Marques spoke with several trusted friends and ask them to come on board and contribute also. Firefighter Basics is a dedicated group of firefighters who strive everyday to practice what they preach about Training, Safety, and Tradition.  We can be reached at firefighterbasics@gmail.com

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Recent Posts
Words Matter September 4, 2015
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Chris Walker
Words Matter
I've attended research burns, attended UL, NIST, and ISFSI lectures, and have been reading the research since the beginning. I agree with the few assessments above. In fact- I recently watched the four new ISFSI videos and they seem to concur with what your post says. They are emphatic that rescue is our priority. The…
2015-09-06 02:20:45
Korey Maves
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I completely agree with what you're saying. Like John Vanatta, I as an instructor in Wisconsin, recently attended an 8hr Modern Fire Attack/SLICE-RS class and a 4hr Train the Trainer on the topic. It was presented by DC Forest Reeder, and he basically said everything you've said above. I've been casually observing what Kerber has…
2015-09-05 04:02:13
John Vanatta
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Dave, I don't know why that is the "default response". I am not a regular ISFSI member, and I have no reason to defend or attack them as an organization. Maybe my response was poorly worded, or there is a misunderstanding. The instructor from my class did not mince any words-rescue is the priority, use…
2015-09-05 00:35:00
Words Matter
Thank you for your comment John. I'm happy to hear you got the message clear by attending the class, but there are an estimated 1.2 million firefighters in the USA. They are not all going to be able to attend the class. Many will learn from people like you who attended the class and bring…
2015-09-04 23:49:29
Dave LeBlanc
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Just curious....why is the default response when someone disagrees with what ISFSI puts out that they have not read/studied/learned enough?
2015-09-04 22:39:25

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