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  • It's All About the Water

    By Capt. Dave Fornell - Monday January 31, 2011
    With temperatures outside in the teens and seeing on the weather channel that another winter storm is on the way, I find that the dark days of late winter are a great time to catch up on reviewing fire reports; gleaning information that can be passed...
  • There's no such thing as a routine fire

    By Capt. Dave Fornell - Sunday December 26, 2010
    Tragedy struck the Chicago Fire Department last Wednesday when a collapsing truss roof on a vacant south side building killed two firefighters and injured 17 more.   By all accounts, it was a routine fire. Two lines were led out on a fire that...
  • Sometimes, a fireground picture is worth a thousand words

    By Capt. Dave Fornell - Thursday November 18, 2010
    Many fireground photos pass through my screen over the course of a week, and a set that hit here yesterday really caught my eye. Chicago fireground photographer Hank Sajovic happened to catch an amazing sequence of fire progression photos right...
  • So, You Want to Flow More Water on Your Attack Line?

    By Capt. Dave Fornell - Thursday October 14, 2010
    Back in July, I discussed the importance of selecting an initial attack hose line that actually has the capability of knocking down the fire at hand. In all too many cases, we see departments stretch an "all purpose" 1-3/4" line on fires, the volume...
  • So, you think you're ready for the "big one."

    By Capt. Dave Fornell - Friday September 10, 2010
    A week ago, most of us sat around decrying the lack of fire activity, but major fire events that have occurred in the past several days are rapidly making this the week of the "big one" – actually, make that the "really big one." It started in...
  • When Safety Shortcuts Backfire

    By Capt. Dave Fornell - Friday September 3, 2010
    A story that came across the wires the other day caught my eye. It seems that a relatively routine auto fire in Friday Harbor, WA turned into a major event in which the chief of the department was suspended after some of the department’s members...
  • Fighting the Fire Below-Using Distributor Nozzles

    By Capt. Dave Fornell - Saturday July 31, 2010
    Last week at Firehouse Expo in Baltimore, I had the honor of participating in a podcast that discussed operations at basement fires . At one point, there was a question from the audience about the use of distributor nozzles, and judging from the...
  • Sizing the Initial Attack Hoseline

    By Capt. Dave Fornell - Wednesday July 7, 2010
    While much has been discussed and presented about proper size up and advancing the initial attack hose line, we sometimes loose sight of the fact that to be effective, the line not only must be stretched in the right place, but must also flow enough water...
  • The Class of 2010

    By Capt. Dave Fornell - Monday June 14, 2010
    As I was teaching a first arriving officer development class in northwest Pennsylvania a few weeks ago, I noticed a few points about the students that seem to reflect a growing trend within the fire service that is becoming a bit unsettling. The...