Basic Survival Skills and the Probationary Firefighter

Armand Guzzi looks at the basic skills of firefighter survival and shares lessons that all new firefighters should be taught and should be reinforced for veterans.


The need for an ever-expanding knowledge base coupled with ever-improving physical and mental fitness forms the core to your survival. Knowledge is power and it translates into your safety, so get started now. Start reading everything you can and start asking questions to those around you. This is a key part of your survival!

The next article in this series will explore tools and equipment that every fighter should have as part of their personal gear. In the meantime, take a look at the links below, download some of those reports and see if anything looks familiar, and by all means, get off the couch and get into your response area and look around!

ARMAND F. GUZZI JR. has been a member of the fire service since 1987.  He is a career fire lieutenant with the City of Long Branch, NJ, Fire Department and is the deputy director of the Monmouth County, NJ, Fire Academy where he has taught for over 20 years.  He has a masters degree in management and undergraduate degrees in fire science, education, and business administration. View all of Armand's articles here. He can be reached via e-mail at or