Show up Ready to Work.


Lowell Massachusetts got quite a surprise the other day.† They showed up for an alarm and ended up taking†7 people out via ladders.† The roof collapsed.† The conditions were so bad 1 person jumped, and 1 fatality.

This is a a sad story but a good lesson for firefighters all over.†They showed up at 4AM†with nothing showing† and then all hell broke loose. †Lowell did a great job with what they were handed.† I wasn’t there, and I cannot say otherwise.† But the lesson here is Show Up Ready to Work.

I have†5 reasons for you.

1. Lowell Mass.† You DON’T know what’s going on in the building.† If you get upstairs and meet a smoke condition what are you going to do?† Make the residents wait for rescue because you weren’t prepared?† Very unprofessional.

2. It looks professional to the public.† Nothing pisses me off more than when we are in contract negotiation season,or any time for that matter,†and guys are going in to investigate alarms carrying a pike pole and wearing a T-shirt.† I understand you are a salty dog with 3 years on, but at least make it look good for the public.† Show them we are ready to work and that we do work hard.

3. It’s in your SOP/SOG.† If something happens to you because you were too lazy to wear your gear your department does not have to cover you.† NFPA, NIOSH the list goes on and on of agencies that will say it was your fault.†† Don’t do that to your family.

4.† IT’S YOUR JOB!† If you call AAA for a jump start and they show up without jumper cables what are you going to think of them?† Same thing here.† If you get a call for a fire, alarm, etc..and you come running out to get your gear, what is the public going to think of you?† Are they going to support any activities your department sponsors, support †the city’s purchases of new equipment?

5. †If you treat every alarm like it’s a fire one day you’ll be right and everything will go smooth.† If you treat every alarm like it’s nothing one day you’ll be wrong and it’ll be a nightmare for all involved.

My take:† Show up ready to work, at least put on a show for the locals.† If you need your equipment you’ve got it.† If you do too many runs to do the job right maybe you should go to a slower house.† If the gear is too heavy you should find another line of work.

Good job Lowell, Be safe.


  • anchorpoint1 says:

    Now 2 fatalities.

  • drillmaster2 says:

    Great Job by the Brothers in Lowell! Here is a news flash for those who are employees of a Department. Combat Ready, means everytime the tones drop, we are going to a bad situation if it’s an EMS run, or we are going to a working job! Employees who value their second job, recliner time, etc, are dragging the Brothers who value our Profession down and giving the politicians a huge target to shoot at, look at the websites, these clowns are going to increase FF and civilian Deaths. STEP UP OR STEP ASIDE!!!! If you are not ready to train and do the job of a Fireman, consider Walmart! Again tip of the lid to the Brothers in Lowell!!

  • I like you pointed out the SOP/SOG requirements. It’s up to the company officer to enforce them; here’s another time when the company officer may be unpopular, but (as the company officer) you are doing the right thing for your FF’s and for the public.

    Also, one of the the only thing separating us (FF’s) from the citizenry is our tools, including PPE. When the public sees us step off the rig geared and tooled up, I believe it instills some confidence in us. Right now, with budget cuts, layoffs, and brown outs, the fire service can use every bit of confidence and support we can generate.

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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
Hollie Broughton
Is This the Dumbing Down of the Fire Service?
I was left feeling a little offended here. Trying to have an open mind, but also trying to figure out why you have to knock Pump operators so badly. Full time, I see your point. But I volunteer. And am a Pump operator/ Firefighter. I was graced with only 48 hours of training and 4…
2014-07-08 19:16:19
Jack Crais
Blanket Rules Vs Training
I enjoyed the ideas espoused in the article, but doesn't the acronym "K.I.S.S." mean "Keep it simple, stupid" or, for those who worry about hurting someone's feelings, "Keep it sweet and simple"?
2014-06-27 18:59:01
Is This the Dumbing Down of the Fire Service?
it was just a matter of time until this became evident in the fire serice. Unfortunately the dumbing down as you call it, could be a direct result of the nation's professional fire service being forced to hire candidates that have lower grades on their employment exams due to racial and ethnic quotas being enforced.
2014-06-25 17:46:09
Is This the Dumbing Down of the Fire Service?
When I was a probie, we had pre-determined pressures, and we knew the friction loss for our hoses, but our Captain ran us through hydraulics classes. While we might not use those formulas, I'm still convinced the understanding is indispensable if one wants to be a great chauffeur.
2014-06-24 05:04:43
Ray McCormack
Is This the Dumbing Down of the Fire Service?
This is defenity part of it. When we are too busy to drill that's one thing but when we don't even get a chance to learn the options that is another issue. Complaints of lazy firefighters will only increase when technology can be blamed and used as the scapegoat for not knowing your job.
2014-06-24 01:24:00

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