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Apr 10, 2012

FDNY Tales - Lessons Learned During 42 Years with FDNY - Vincent Dunn

1. The fire service is a dangerous profession. Every year, on average 100 firefighters die and another 80,000 are injured. To stay safe, study and learn about your emergency work and its hazards. Knowledge of your job enhances safety.

2. Heart attacks are the number-one killer of firefighters. Remain in good physical and mental condition. A lifelong commitment to exercise and good living can save your life and make you a better firefighter.

3. The military, police and fire service - we are all in dangerous professions where members risk their lives. But fire fighting is different. We have the best of the death professions. For example, in the military to be a good soldier you may have to shoot people. In law enforcement, to be a good police officer you may have to arrest people. In the fire service, to be a good firefighter we have to save lives. After your career is over, your memories will be good ones.

4. The job makes the man or woman; the man or woman does not make the job. What does this mean? It means look at your supervisor or chief. You will most likely assume some of the personality traits of that person during work. We rarely change the job. The job changes us. When you set your sights on a position or rank, look closely at the person who has that job, because you may become like him or her.

5. Support your boss. The top job is the toughest assignment in your department. If you get an opportunity to work with the chief, take it. You will see close-up the pressures and stresses of the position. So, if later you achieve the position, you will know what to expect.

6. Work for labor-management cooperation. You may have to work with a union official without compromising your management responsibilities. This is tough to do but it's the only way. If you become involved in an explosive labor-management situation, remember after the crisis is over we all have to work together again.

7. Balance your work in the fire service and your family. After you accomplish all your life goals and ambitions at work, you will then understand, like I did, you could not have accomplished it without their love and support.

8. A firefighter is a social worker with muscles. The fire service is physical social work. You help people by stretching hose lines and raising ladders. (Vincent Dunn, Deputy Chief, retired)

Jun 18, 2009

Keep lines and booster reels cracked when not in use. It's cold out there.
When pulling cielings, keep your back to your escape route.
Don't vent a car fire until a line is ready.
Be careful around non-upright acetylene tanks.
Have tank and facepiece ready in an elevator.
Don't leave home without a door wedge.
Stay close to wall climbing wood stairs.
Channel 1 will usually work to CP when channel 2 doesn't.
Don't give up your mask to a victim!
If your TRAPPED-- "MAYDAY"give floor#,and loc.(A,B,C,D). Turn on PASS, Activate emerg. button on radio.Helmet out window if feasible.Close all nearby doors.Stay low,conserve air supply.
If your LOST,activate PASS, follow a hose line, follow a wall,activate emerg. button," MAYDAY "
A hook, Halligan bar or an axe diagonally across a window can be used to anchor a bailout rope.
When opening a roof with saw running make sure radio is being monitored by someone.
When doing a "shitty roof", do a "hinge cut" and get the hell off it !!
When venting from a fire escape,vent the most distant window first and look for bodies on floor under window
Have your radio emergency button identified to your company.
Know wind direction before riding into a large haz-mat.
Check hydrants for debris in barrel before hookup.
Check yards and alleys for bodies before taking up.
"Two in Two out" Stay together!
Let the company below know your going to floor above.
Take a rope bag and lifeline to roof
When ordered to evacuate--wait for co. on floor above to come down..
If your trapped in an elevator, activate emerg. stop button,force inner door and lift outer door latch.
In a Hi-Rise fire, count doors to stairwells on floor below before going to fire floor-----
If you run out of air, take refuge in nearest apartment.
When using outside lines stay clear of collapse zone.
For setback bldgs.,Stretch 2and1/2 with wye to stairwell
Mayonaise will remove hot tar from skin.
Use a spotter when backing(kids and dogs make a mess)
At MVA's disconnect battery to deenergize air bags
Hatchback and hood pistons can exlpode in fire--be careful
Pop top hinge of a door to prevent it closing on line before it's charged.
Use a CO2 ext to control dogs or a rope loop taped to a pike pole.
Remove wainscoting or plaster around scuttles and sky lights to vent cocklofts
Anthrax scares--wear your mask-- wait for Haz-Mat if possible--soap and water decon
Top floor fire-take out windows from roof with hook or halligan on rope,open bulkhead door
Roof men--Check rear and sides for jumpers and hangers
Above fire-- Force safe apt. door for refuge before going in apt. over fire
Pull bathroom cielings from outside door.
Remove air from line before advancing
Ice Rescues--Lash inner tubes or spare tires to a ladder.
Polyethylene rope will float for water rescues.
Remove pressure reducers on standpipe outlets before using.
PROPANE--Only half of the vapor cloud is visible, be careful.
CYANIDE--Tanks DO NOT have pressure reliefs
Wave a portolight side to side to stop a train
A CO2 ext will shut down a Bus engine.
HUD windows--bring large bolt cutters inside
Two hands, two tools
A 14' or baby ladder can be used to pull victim out a cellar window
Diesel locomtives can carry 3000 gals of diesel
Do not walk through a foam blanket
Truck fires--hold up on signal until cargo identified
Oil burners--attack fire box fire from the side, "white vapor" can ignite suddenly
Vehicle fires-- use 1 3/4 in case foam is needed
Always open trunk on car fire
Use butt end of hook for quick look for fire in cielings
Peaked roofs--drive in point of halligan tool as a foothold
One man (or woman) can drag two ladders to building if necessary
If you fall in water with turnout gear-- stay horizontal
Your mask will work under water
RV's and minivans may have plastic gas tanks
"Save the stairs, Save the building"
Cellar fires--cool gas meters before they rupture
If you can't complete an assignment-- let the chief know!
Rekindles are NOT an option
Railroads use white tankers with red stripe for cyanide
Remove toilets and baseboards to drain floors.
Use a chair, a door, bunker coat w 6ft. hooks to remove injured.
Fast Teams-monitor rear and sides of bldg.
Marble stairtreads can fall thru metal frame.
If out of air, place mouth near nozzle.
A large vapor leak, cover tank with salvage cover to control.
NEVER run on the fireground
Use Vise Grips to hold locks when cutting w K12
If door can't be forced, breach wall to enter.
LPG and Ammonia RR cars are interchangeable
LPG not odorized until transported.
Transfotmers or drums labeled "INTEREEN" or "PYRANOL" are PCB's
Bunker gear cannot be deconned of PCB's
Throw a rope coil,wood block or spare tire on downed wires in emergency to stabilize it.
3 men max on fire escape landing.
A broken fire escape step = others may break
Gas leaks most dangerous after knockdown but before overhaul.
Alays use SCBA in cellars of fire buildings --CO present
NEVER remove mattress on an elevator.
Bathroom floors --collapse possible
Enter windows backward from a fire escape in case of retreat needed.
Fast Truck-- one man stay on turntable of closest aerial
Terrazzo floors can collapse suddenly
Before starting a search, locate a second escape exit
Tavern fires--look for trap door to cellar behind bar
Store fires--vent cellar by opening the void below display windows
Hi Rise fires--Trucks bring H2O ext.,search line,maul, halligan, flat head,rabbit,life line,lock breaker,extra air tank. one 6' hook,door wedges.(nobody said it was easy)
To anchor a roof ladder--make holes with pick or halligan tool
Extend aerial thru top third of window to vent
Look UP when climbing ladders
Bedroom search from window---hook window sill and hold butt end while searching
Place turntable at corner of bldg. if possible ( covers two sides)
Peaked roofs 30 degrees or more, you must use a roof ladder.
Do not go in a room more than 5 feet when fladhover is possible.
When smoke and heat force you to crouch or crawl, flashover is possible, be careful.
When you see flashes of flame mixed with smoke near the cieling, "rollover" possible.
Wear full PPE when approaching a 20 lb. propane tank fire. the relief valve may go suddenly. use fog stream
Do not cut ORANGE cable on hybrid vehicles
Park uphill from all vehicle fires
Taxpayer stores--cellar stairs usually near back door
CO alarms--10 PPM or higher must be corrected
Attach your PASS ALARM where you can activate it
MVA's check vicinity with TIC for ejections
Do not cut :GYPSUM" roofs
Avoid water on LNG leaks
Have dry chem and charged line ready at extrications
Underground electric grates can become energized
Lightweight truss--Floor and or roof collapse probable after 10 minutes of fire
"PAOs" Take your job seriously
Hi Rise Fires--Staging should be away from collapse zone (remember 9/11)
To open car hoods, smash grill and turn cable with halligan fork clockwise

Apr 08, 2008

From:  Retired Deputy Chief Vincent Dunn (FDNY)

  • When stretching a hose line to an upper floor of a building, do not pass a floor on fire unless a charged hose line is already in position on that floor.
  • Notify your officer when going above a fire to search for victims or vertical extension of flame or smoke.
  • When climbing or decending a stairway between the fire floor and the floor above, stay close to and face the wall.  Heat, smoke and flame rise vertically up the stairwell.
  • If you enter a smoke and heat filled room, hallway or apartment above a fire and suspect flashover conditions behind you, locate a second exit, a window leading to a fire escape or portable ladder before initiating the search.
  • Crouch down and keep one leg outstretched in front of you when advancing an attack hoseline in a smoke filled room.  Proceed slowly, supporting your body weight with your rear leg.  Your outstretched leg will feel any hole or opening in the floor deck in your path of advance.
  • To prevent getting driven off a fire floor by rollover of the sudden flashes of flame mixed with smoke (ignition of combustible gases at ceiling level) while waiting for the hoseline to be charged, crouch down outside of the burning room or apartment and close the door to the burning area.  When the line is charged, open the door immediately and attack the fire.
  • During a fire in a one-story strip store fire, vent the roof skylight over the fire before advancing the hoseline to prevent injury from backdraft explosion or flashover.
  • When it is not possible to vent the rear or the roof of a burning store quickly and signs of backdraft or explosion are evident from the front of the store, vent the front plate glass windows and doors, stand to one side, let the superheated gases ignite temporarily, and then advance the hoseline for fire attack.
  • SCBA must be worn before entering a cellar of a burning building, even if there is only a light haze of smoke.  Carbon Monoxide, a deadly, gaseous by-product of combustion, is colorless, odorless, explosive, and quickly builds up in unvetilated below-grade areas.
  • Notify your officer and wear SCBA before entering a cellar to shut off utilities.  If there is no confirmation of the shutoff within a reasonable amount of time or there is no radio contact, the officer must make an immediate effort to locate the firefighter and assure his/her safety.
  • Do not let the presence of an operating sprinkler system give you a false sense of security.  Wear SCBA before entering a cellar.  Carbon Monoxide gas can be present even when a sprinkler is discharging and controlling a smoldering fire.
  • At any collapse, stretch a hoseline and charge it to protect possible victims and rescuers from sudden explosion and flash fire.
  • Shut off all utilities {gas, electric and water} immediately upon arrival at a building collapse.  Do not wait for the utility company to arrive.
  • Heavy mechanical equipment, such as cranes and bulldozers, should not be used to remove collapsed portions of a building whenhand-digging is being done nearby.
  • Parts of a structure that are in danger of collapsing during a rescue operation should be shored up or removed with a crane but never pulled down by firefighters below.
  • When climbing a fire escape during a fire, always maintain a hold with one hand on a part of the fire escape itself to prevent a serious fall injury should a stair tread suddenly give way.
  • Before climbing a gooseneck ladder leading from a top-floor fire escape landing to the roof, vigorously pull the ladder away from the building to test its stability.  The gooseneck ladder could pull away from the building if the metal fire escape or the wooden or masonry structure to which it is attached is corroded.
  • When taking up from a fire, the fire escape drop ladder is returned to and secured at its normal raised position.  Firefighters should never attempt to decent to the street from the fire escape balcony by climbing down the drop ladder in raised position and then dropping down to the sidewalk.  Pendulum hooks holding the fire escape drop ladders have suddenly broken from their connections and firefighters on them have been seriously injured.  A Firefighter should use a portable ladder or enter an apartment served by the balcony in order to decend to street level.
  • Stand away from the weights when lowering a counterbalance weighted ladder.  They may collapse from the impact of the ladder striking the sidewalk.
  •  When forcible entry is required for an inward swinging door behind which there is intense heat and fire, the inward swing must be controlled.  A firefighter or officer should hold the doorknob closed with a gloved hand or short piece of rope while other members force the door.
  • A firefigher performing forcible entry on a door to an apartment on fire is extremely vulnerable to injury from backdraft or smoke explosion once the door is opened and air flows into the fire area.  The firefighter is in error if he can avoid a blast by observing warning signs or reacting in a split second.  Explosions happen too fast.  The only real protection a firefighter has against explosion is his PPE; gloves, mask facepiece, helmet, hood, turnout coat and pants and boots, properly worn and in serviceable condition.

    More to come...




Nov 19, 2007


Apr 13, 2007
Candles may look nice, but they’re a growing fire threat in our communities.
Reducing the risk
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Almost half of all home fires started by candles begin in the bedroom. NFPA discourages the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
  • Keep candles at least one foot away from anything that can burn including curtains, blinds, wallpaper, clothing or any other material that can catch fire.
  • Don’t place lit candles in windows or near doorways where drafts could bring combustibles in contact with the flame.
  • Keep candles away from flammable liquids.
“Candle with Care”
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over easily, are made from a material that can’t burn, and are large enough to collect dripping wax.
  • Place candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface—away from edges and any place where they could be knocked over by kids or pets.
  • Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
  • Keep candle wicks trimmed to one-quarter inch.
  • Extinguish candles when they burn down to within two inches of their holder or any decorative material.
  • Extinguish candles carefully, using a long-handled candle snuffer or a soft, directed breath. Be careful not to splatter wax when extinguishing. Do not leave the room until wicks have stopped glowing.
  • Avoid using candles during a power outage. Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting on hand for emergency lighting. – link to national fuel fund info.
Candles and kids
  • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a burning candle.
  • Don’t allow kids or teens to burn candles in their bedrooms.
  • Don’t let kids play with candles or dripping wax – or with materials that could catch fire near candles.
  • Store matches and lighters up high and out of children’s sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.

Mar 17, 2007

The measure of a substance's heat-absorbing capacity is its__________.


a) Specific Gravity 


b) Specific Heat


c) Latent Heat of Vaporization


d) Thermal Protection

Jul 09, 2007

A new feature has been added to  A video-slide show compilation has been put together by co-editor Adam Markowitz.  All members, past and present, will appreciate the significance of the show.  The link can be found in the Main Menu or you can click HERE to take a look.



Mar 17, 2007
When you punish your people for making a mistake or falling short of a goal, you create an environment of extreme caution, even fearfulness. In sports it's similar to playing 'not to lose' – a formula that often brings on defeat. – John Wooden

Mar 24, 2007

b) Specific Heat 

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