Now that readers have learned the terminology and structure of the Internet, the fun begins. If you haven't tried it yet, you will need to know that browsing the Internet ("surfing the net") is both time consuming and contagiously compelling. Minutes can stretch into hours hopping from one Web site to another, as the HyperText links point you to one after another related areas and topics. Many Web sites are beginning to sport comprehensive listings of other locations (known as Fire Links) which may be of interest to you. Many Web sites are fascinating, colorful and informative. So boot up your Netscape Navigator or Microsft Internet Explorer, grab the mouse and dig in.
To save you some work, I have spent countless hours researching fire-related sites combed from over 250 Web locations containing fire links. I have also performed hundreds of searches using the AltaVista Search Engine looking for locations of interest to firefighters. Listed, by category, are some of the best Web sites I have found. I apologize if some were missed it was not intentional. It is impossible to produce a comprehensive list of sites because the Internet is in a constant state of flux. Accordingly, by the time you see this, some of the Web sites listed may be obsolete or have moved. How will you know? Your browser will tell you.
The addresses shown below are called Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). Segments of the URL are separated by punctuation marks such as slashes or periods (dots). The first segment tells the protocol with which the document can be accessed, followed by the name of the computer and who owns it, and then the file name of the document.
Using the following hypothetical URL:
http - http is a data transfer protocol that runs on Web servers and is used to deliver the document from the server to your computer.
// - indicates that you are talking to a Web server.
www.firehouse.com - this three piece address is called a fully qualified domain name.
www - World Wide Web
firehouse.com - firehouse computer owned by a commercial group. [edu = educational, org=organization, gov= government, etc.]
Addresses with a / ~ following the domain name sometimes require you to first go to the Web site and then locate a sub-address or personal Web page with that person or company name.
HTML - HyperText Markup Language is a set of tags that determine how components of a document are displayed on the Web.
All of the URLs below are preceded with http:// even though not shown on the list. All URLs must be entered exactly as shown - watch spelling carefully and abide by uppercase and lowercase distinctions. Some URLs do not have a World Wide Web location and are to be entered exactly as shown preceeded with http://
Killer Sites Don't Miss These.
(All URLs below are preceeded with http:// )
Emergency Services of the World:
Fire and EMS Information Network:
Fire Department Web Sites by State:
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association):
Public Safety Product News:
Research and Reference
California Emergency Links:
Department of Energy:
Emergency Shift Room Notice Board:
FEMA (Federal Emergency Managment Agency):
Firefighters International Job Exchange:
Firefighter Resource Center:
Fire Research Link:
Fire Department Training Network:
Forest Firefighting Jobs:
Learn Not To Burn:
OSHA portable fire extinguisher standards:
Planning for Specific Disasters:
Video Resource List:
WPI Center for Safety Studies:
Organizations and Associations
Alliance for Fire & Energy Management:
American Fire Sprinkler Association:
American Red Cross:
ARTI (American Rescue Team International):
ANSI (American National Standards Org):
CAMEO (Computer Aided Mgmt of Emrg Ops):
Fire Officers Association:
IAAI (Int'l Assn of Arson Investigators):
Coral Springs, FL:
Walt Disney World Fire Department:
Alphabetical Fire Department Listing:
Worldwide Fire Department Listing:
Emergency Services WWW Site Listing:
911 Fire Police Medical Web Page:
Ed Epstein is a former captain in the Mount Tabor Volunteer Fire Department, one of the six fire districts in Parsippany, NJ. He is vice president of the American Retail Group National Credit Center.