38 Buildings To Burn:”Johnny Reb”

Maryland’s Bill Carey takes the great opportunity that the firefighters in Ogden have and looks at the vast educational opportunities, in our double-feature post.

The fire department in Ogden, Utah has the unique opportunity of having slightly over three dozen abandoned, private dwellings to burn. With burning in acquired structures a seldom and often taboo thing to do, I don’t think there is any department in the country that would turn away from the chance to “get back to basics”, if they have what Ogden has. Continue reading


38 Buildings To Burn:”Billy Yank”

Massachusetts’ Dave LeBlanc takes the great opportunity that the firefighters in Ogden have and looks at the vast educational opportunities, in our double-feature post.

Ogden, Utah has been presented with a unique training opportunity, one at which many would jump at the chance to have. The City is in the process of the redevelopment of a section of Town and there are over three dozen buildings that need to be torn down. The City is considering the savings associated with having the Fire Department burn these structures, rather than having to pay for the removal and disposal of all the debris. Continue reading

Illegal Renovation Kills FDNY Lieutenant and Probie, 2006

Remember Lieutenant Carpluk and Firefighter Reilly by looking at dollar stores in your first due and asking “what if?”

On 24 August 2006 a FDNY lieutenant and probationary firefighter were trapped in the floor collapse of a burning dollar store in the Bronx. Immediately after, Engine 75 lieutenant Howie Carpluk transmitted a mayday message and began trying to help the FAST truck and others locate him and probationary firefighter Mike Reilly. Continue reading


Preplanning Pays Off For Boston Chief

Boston District Chief draws a line and keeps troops safe; says first thought upon arrival was Worcester cold storage fire.

Early in July District Chief Pettaway had walked through Norfolk Avenue working on a preplan. Known as the Boston Ice Company, the 200′ x 80′ structure had been vacant since a fire in 1963. Progressive disrepair led the owner of Cumberland Cold Storage next door to shut down the utilities and leave that structure vacant as well. On Saturday evening Engine 14 arrived and struck the second alarm. Continue reading

Grab A 24, We’ve Got A Victim

If you’re the first due engine, and you drop everything for the rescue, then who is doing your job? Dave LeBlanc looks at the obvious rescue and initial search priorities.

Engine 1, Engine 2, Ladder 1, Rescue 1….respond to a reported structure fire…138 Main Street, the cross streets are Elm and Pleasant. The time is 23:40 hours.” Continue reading

Willy And The Firemen

Dave LeBlanc looks at a struggling Massachusetts department and politics.

I think that most of us would agree that as much as it shouldn’t be, politics are an integral part of public safety. Maybe not where the rubber meets the road, but certainly any fire chief today must be able to clearly and articulately state his case and advocate for his department with the various politicians he reports to. Furthermore, various fire service organizations must have political savvy so that they can convince the politicos to support their goals and needs. Continue reading