Throw Ladders – Not Shade

Throw Ladders Not Shade

So we’ve been out of the social game for a pretty good clip but as we return to the terabyte trenches there is something we need to ask of our firefighting friends around the country. Can we all just “Throw Ladders, Not Shade”?
What does this mean exactly? In layman’s terms, stop being a dick. Stop being a keyboard commando. Stop bashing others. Stop adding criticism to the comment thread of others actions. Stop and ask yourself, did my comment add any value or was I just whipping out my ignorance and swinging it around to be Tommy Toughguy. It means talk is cheap so let your actions speak.
Why you ask? One word. Humility. Have some. Understand that you’re not perfect, understand that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, understand to look internally before externally lashing out, understand that even the best fireman have had stupid shit happen within camera range.
For those who read the good book you may note that on many occasions you are asked to stop being Dick’s to each other. John Chapter 8 for instance, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Translation – Don’t post something that makes you look like a condescending asshole because chances are, at some point in your life, you will trip in the front yard or wear your hood like an untrained rookie (That’s assuming you go inside a fire at all. Ever.) But even if the only dark, hot and scary place you’ve ever been is your grandmothers basement, have enough humility to realize this fact, and stop typing mean things on the computer located there.
In short – be nice. Be about the work, not about the lip. Lead with courage and kindness while you kick the red devil right in the teeth. Be positive. Don’t give into the peer pressure poison of negativity. If you see a situation turning sideways, don’t pile on, simply remind your peers to – “Throw Ladders, Not Shade”.
We’ve all been guilty of being a dick from time to time, but if we all have a little humility, together we can make the fire service internetsphere not such a scary place to be. Onward.

“The Detailman’s Guide” – A Crash Course to Crew Integrity

The Whirlwind. That’s what it can feel like to a fireman on the detail trail – walking into a strange firehouse, to integrate with a potentially unknown crew, riding an unfamiliar rig in an unknown neighborhood.  The culture, the characters, the climate, all feels…different.

The same can be true for the crew. Who is this detail guy? Do they know their job? Can we trust the reputation of their house? Who was their instructor at the academy? What did a dude that knows a dude that knows a dude hear about them? The list goes on and on, and unfortunately usually travels a negative path. The historical trend in the fire service is a detailman is a shit-bag until proven otherwise. Guilty until proven innocent.

The real truth is that success in this situation is a two way street. The detailed firefighter must have a desire to integrate effectively with the new crew and the crew must possess a desire to assist that firefighter in the process.

This is not an easy thing to ask of either side:

  • One must accept that there are things they might not know, and open themselves up for instruction which is sometimes viewed as incompetence (especially when developing new relationships).
  • The other must exercise empathy & humility in the educational process, understanding knowledge is there to be shared, not used as leverage to display dominance.

To further complicate the situation, the time to “onboard” a detailed firefighter is as close to assuming duty as possible. A working fire could strike within minutes of putting your gear on the rig, placing the firefighter in a very real, very dangerous “sink or swim” scenario.

So how do you take years of area specific operational nuances and crew camaraderie and cram it into the first 5 minutes of a shift? Good question.

While nothing can replace hours & hours of training, standard operating procedures and department wide practices, one potential tactic to quickly add context for the unfamiliar member is a “cheat sheet” or “quick reference guide”. While we are sure there are many different variations of such a document, we wanted to include an example of one created by the District of Columbia Truck Company 17, Platoon #4, (created by the members, it is not an official department document).

We are posting this document here for the first time only as a brainstorming reference for those who may wish to employ a similar tactic at their station &/or shift. It was created in 2016 and used by the shift at that time as initial reading material for a detailed firefighter prior to assuming duty. It did not replace hands on training once the shift started, but did shorten the learning curve and started the mutual conversation for growth.

Hopefully it can help other crews attempting to address similar issues as a jumping off point. Stay safe.

(Click the cover page below to view, download or print the PDF)

The Detailman's Guide - Truck 17 #4

Detailman's Guide - About

The Detailmans Guide to Truck 17 #4

Call For Pride in Action Pictures!

As we push on with the reemergence of Firehouse Pride, we want to make sure we include our faithful & passionate followers in the process. Over the next month our social media, website and promotional material will be getting a major facelift and we want your help to do it. Send us your pictures of Firehouse Pride products in action. If we use your picture in our rebranding we will send you a pretty cool thank you gift thats in development as we speak.

Submit the highest quality version of your pictures to contact@firehousepride.com today!

We’re looking forward to seeing what you’ve got!

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Social Media Rules

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce all our online friends to our new social media policy of “Be Nice or Go Home”.

Firehouse Pride was founded to be a home for great ideas, training and conversations among like minded individuals as our new tagline says, “For Love of The Craft”.

Belittling, negativity and Monday Morning Quarterbacking will not be tolerated on any of our sites.

This is a brotherhood for those that love the craft of firefighting and want to do the job well, not for “Critics with No Credentials”.

There is a place for everyone here at Firehouse Pride, except mean spirited people.

For all you super awesome & positive people out there that love firefighting, welcome, take your shoes off and stay awhile – we’re glad you’re here!

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The Reemergence of Firehouse Pride “For Love of The Craft”

Firehouse Pride Orange LogoWell it’s been over 2 years since we published a blog post here at Firehouse Pride but it seems as good a time as any to send one out. A lot has happened in the last few years, both good & bad that required the powers that be at Firehouse Pride to take a big step back and reexamine their love/hate relationship with the “Modern Day Fire Service”. In that time of internal audits they discovered many things including, almost as an epiphany, a new level of clarity in purpose and passion for the craft of firefighting. Over the next few months we will be releasing a new website, increased content and some pretty cool additions to our product offerings. We will do our best to share our experiences and our passion with our online family as much as we can. For the time being here is a brief glimpse of what the future looks like for Firehouse Pride & friends!

Ladder Wraps House FireFounded in 2011, Firehouse Pride was initially created to bring quality products from the minds of experienced firefighters to market so that others might benefit from their unique & battle tested ideas.
Since that time Firehouse Pride has evolved into something much more to our faithful followers and to us as well. Firehouse Pride has become a brand for people who are passionate about the craft of firefighting and want to share their passion with others. A brand that means more than just being a firefighter, Firehouse Pride is a brand for those individuals who love the craft and have an everyday commitment to perform to the best of their ability, and in the end be victorious in their duty to protect life, property & each other!

For those who are a part of Firehouse Pride, “For Love of the Craft” means so much more than a few innovative products. It means “A passion for the craft of firefighting while honoring the history & tradition of the past, committing to a pride in performance in the present & mentoring others that they may carry on into the future.”

We are dedicated to honoring this “Passion Statement” in our everyday actions through the creation, testing & production of great products, the dissemination of unique knowledge & information acquired through real world experiences & collaboration and promotion of awesome training opportunities for those that, like us, do what they do “For Love of The Craft”.

Stay Tuned!

Dirty Ladder Wraps

 

Money Where Our Mouth Is: 200% Money Back Guarantee on Rescue Guides

Initial reaction for the new Firehouse Pride “Emergency Response Guide for Electric, Hybrid and Hydrogen Vehicles” has been very exciting and positive. However, from comments online and reaction from those who have not seen the book in person we discovered that there is a segment of the “Firefighting Community” that feels this book is just like the rest, they already have something similar, or they would never use a response guide. To show how confident we are in the product, it’s conciseness and user friendly layout, we are putting our money where our mouth is to prove you will not be disappointed by the “Rescue Guide”. This offer is not a trick, gimmick or scam, it is Firehouse Pride proving to our customers that we truly stand behind the products we bring to you!
It’s simple, here is how it works:
  1. Visit our Online Store and purchase a guide for $14.95 plus s&h.
  2. We ship you the product for your review
  3. If you are not completely satisfied with the quality of the product or the information in it, simply ship it back to Firehouse Pride, PO Box 377, Barnesville, MD 20838 within 10 days, along with your reason for disliking the product.
  4. We will send you a 200% refund check for the Rescue Guide invoice price and 100% of your shipping & handling.

Here are some finer points to note for everyone who thinks they are going to get rich returning “Rescue Guides”:

  1. Limit 1 guide return per customer, this offer is to allow you to try the product out before large quantity purchases.
  2. Guides must be postmarked within 10 days of initial delivery date.
  3. Guides must be in new, unused condition when received by Firehouse Pride.

Thats it, thats all. You don’t like the product, you return it, tell us why you didn’t like it and get twice your money back. Don’t wait, order yours today!

Emergency Response Guide for Electric, Hybrid and Hydrogen Vehicles Released

-Emergency Response Guide for Electric, Hybrid and Hydrogen Vehicles-

Firehouse Pride is proud to announce the exclusive release of the English version of the Danish “Emergency Response Guide for Electric, Hybrid and Hydrogen Vehicles”. This 4″x 5.75″ high quality laminated guidebook is a no-nonsense palm of your hand reference for the street level emergency worker. It’s easy to locate tabs allow the user to quickly access need-to-know information about electric, hybrid & hydrogen vehicles. Each section takes the reader through vehicle identification, deactivation, extrication and firefighting concerns. There is also a section outlining special considerations in first aid treatment of injures related to electrocution and acid contact. Each section also has a notes page for individual rescuer comments. Unlike other vehicle rescue guide books, this 60 page, glossy reference doesn’t overwhelm the first responder with unnecessary information. The “Rescue Guide” streamlines the most immediately important information straight to the rescuers fingertips so that they can make educated decisions in a time sensitive situation.

Order your copy HERE:

Introducing Firehouse Pride Pro-Staff & Fireground Staff Opportunities “Join The Movement”

Since the start, the mission of Firehouse Pride has been to restore some sense of logic and practicality to the fire service for the efficiently, safety & pride of it’s members. We do this by providing firefighters around the country with products that work, from firefighters who have been there, and found a better way to do “it”. It has been an amazing few months here at Firehouse Pride, cool products, great people, and a flood of support from firefighters around the country who feel just like we feel & are tired of the “industry” telling them how to fight fires and what tools to use.

Firefighters lookout for each other, and they trust the experience and opinion of those they respect. Firehouse Pride makes products for those firefighters who care just a little bit more about quality and functionality on the fireground & beyond. We stand behind our products and our vision, and we want you involved!

What does it all mean? 

The Pro-Staff & Field Staff are essential to spreading Firehouse Pride across the country. Introducing their fellow firefighters to innovative products that they have probably never heard of before, but truly could save their lives. They test new products and improve old ones, they teach others, they spread knowledge through written word & social media, they work trade shows, they fight fires & save lives rockin’ Firehouse Pride products! They are the backbone of Firehouse Pride and the future of the fire service.

Firehouse Pride Pro-Staff are the battle tested, job driven few among us that have crawled down that dark and lonely hallway more than once with ears stinging and knees burning, wondering if they were coming back. They are from the busiest units, in the busiest houses, from the busiest departments in the country. They dedicate their time to the advancement of the fire service while preserving its historic and storied traditions. They are the ones who spend countless hours training & passing on years of knowledge to anyone who will listen, knowing all-to-well that it may one day save their lives. A salty training helmet or a stack of certifications won’t get you this title, but hard work, experience & dedication to the job might. Firehouse Pride Pro-Staff – “Battle Tested, Firehouse Pride Approved”

Firehouse Pride Fireground Staff are the motivated & dedicated boots on the ground whos’ love of the job radiates from everything they do, but the fire gods may not visit as often as others. Like the Pro-Staff, they too dedicate their time to the advancement of the fire service while preserving its historic and storied traditions. They train, train & train again, knowing full well that fire could strike at any moment. Be it in a small town or a big city, they will be called on to snuff out the red devil wherever he may be, risking themselves to save lives & property in defense of their neighbors regardless of how “busy” they may be. The Firehouse Pride Fireground Staff are the essential power behind the movement to return pride to the fire service and we are happy to have them!

If you think you have what it takes to be a member of the Firehouse Pride Pro-Staff or Fireground Staff, or you would just like to be apart of the movement, send us an interest email & a firefighting resume to contact@firehousepride.com and follow the developments on our Facebook Page!

The “Why?” Behind Attack Wraps

At Firehouse Pride, we take “Pride” in the concept that our products are invented, designed, developed, tested & approved by actual firefighters that go to actual fires. If we have an idea that saves time, money, or lives, you can trust that the team at Firehouse Pride is going to put a lot of time and effort into developing it for our firefighting friends around the country.

The idea for “Attack Wraps” came to us as a low cost, logical solution to an avalanche of issues our team discovered during working fires, training, and unfortunately, LODD reports. Firefighter disorientation and lack of individual hoseline identification are factors in more than one line-of-duty death and it’s traits can be seen on almost every fire. With these problems in mind the “Engine Guy” in us set out to address this issue in a budget friendly yet durable manor.

Attack Wrap Lines in a dark stairwell

We all know the age old sayings,(smooth, bump, bump to the pump), etc. and we all understand that everyone should train to be able to identify a hoselines coupling direction in zero visibility. Trust us, we hear a smart ass comment at every show we work about this fact from some guy thats been to 3 fires…ever! But what you need to remember is Attack Wraps are not meant to discourage that training, only reinforce the concept and put another tool in the tool box. Trendy rhymes from fire school work great: until your lost, almost out of air, and burning up. The Firehouse Pride guys have been there, which is why we have the Attack Wraps for a visual key to orient us quickly when things get heavy.

Quick Points about the Attack Wraps:

  • They point towards the fire, cause that’s where the Engine is supposed to go!
  • If you can find a coupling, you can find our way in or out
  • Same incredibly durable, highly reflective material as our Ladder Wraps & placement on the female coupling helps protect them further.
  • Great in RIT operations to help rescue crews track progress or identify the line a missing member was on
  • Helps a department create color coded lines without expensive dyed hose purchases
  • Comes in 5 color options that are already used by most pump manufacturers
  • Pack includes 5 arrowed pieces and 1 blank, blank can be put on the nozzle and the pump panel, write your pressures right on the material!
  • And the best part, outfit 250ft of attack line for under $20!

Is It Worth It?

Raleigh, NC Attack Wraps

The purpose for writing this article really started as most good things do, with a constructive discussion we saw on a picture posted on the Firehouse Pride Facebook  page a little over a month ago. Justin Bolduc, a fellow firefighter & friend of Firehouse Pride from Raleigh, NC posted this picture of his Attack Wraps along with the following text.

“Knowing how simple this is thinking back to 98 I wonder if this would have changed the outcome of losing a good friend. I think hose colors and helpful hints ever since that day are worth their money. Take the time to read what happened, it could happen again. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/reports/face9832.html. This statement in the report is what I was talking about: “The Assistant Chief found the hose line, but could not follow it because it was looped three times and intertwined with the back up line. He then stood up to run and fell to the ground, finding that he was completely out of air. He yelled to Victim #1 to radio for help as he searched for a way to exit.”

And that my friends, is why we at Firehouse Pride do what we do. We do not produce or support gimmicks, nor do we sit around trying to invent some money making scheme off of our fire department brothers and sisters. We address the needs of the real firefighters out there that want to do their job better, more efficiently and ultimately safer through better performance of basic firefighting skills like putting the fire out. We thank you for your support and will continue to do our best to provide you with the best firefighter products from experienced firefighters! Stay Safe!

Ladder Wraps Follow Up: Answers To Your FDIC Cleaning and Wear Questions

Smoke stained Ladder Wraps with some creative comments.

Got Work? Even a little dirty, the wraps shine through.

Thanks again for a awesome weekend in Indy!  It was great meeting all of you who came by the Firehouse Pride booth and checked out what we have offer.  Two of the most common questions we received from all of you was what is the durability of the Ladder Wraps and how should I go about cleaning the Ladder Wraps.  Both are great questions.  The material manufacturer recommends using a non-solvent based cleaner to freshin’ up the wraps.  We like Simple Green because it’s a non-toxic, biodegradable, environmentally safe cleaner but you can use any of your favorite cleaners. Denatured alcohol will also work. Pretty much anything except acetone will do, which brings to mind another question asked, if you do need to remove the ladder wraps, acetone is the weapon of choice. Being able to clean and “freshin’ up” smoke stained ladders is one direct advantage over traditionally painted ladders, which are dulled out after one smokey fire.

A non-solvent cleaner like "Simple Green" and a clean rag will do the trick

With minimal elbow grease, you can see your own reflection in the wraps again!

Even deep gashes from window glass won't cause the wrap to just "peel away"

On the question of durability, the Ladder Wraps are made with the highest quality, most reflective & strongest adhesive printable material 3M makes. Then we add to that quality with a highly durable extra laminated coating to further protect the Ladder Wraps from wear and tear at “fireprone” companies. The extra strong adhesive is removable for a few minutes during the initial application, but allowed to “cure” or dry for a few hours and the wraps are on for good (acetone application excluded of course). Once the adhesive is allowed to dry, the wrap material will only wear off in small chips, rather then in large strips.

The extra strong adhesive allows the wraps to wear in the most abused sections, while still maintaining the integrity of the remaining wrap.

This allows the wrap to wear only in the areas that receive the most contact, and maintains the reflective and identifying properties even after direct fire contact. The Ladder Wraps in this article have been to over 100 working fires with the exception one (seen below), our initial test wrap, which has survived over 200 fires and still puts in work. The wear and tear on the wraps is also a direct result of being thrown on hundreds of box alarms and training exercises. We tried to do our very best to bring you the highest quality, most durable product out there, hopefully you will feel the same. To learn more about Ladder Wraps, CLICK HERE. Stay safe!

Our initial product testing wrap taking a beating

Took a beating, but keeps on ticking. Even after direct fire contact the bulk of the Ladder Wrap maintains its identifying and reflective properties.