Strategy & Tactics Magazine Articles

  • VES: Ventilate, Enter & Search

    You probably read and hear lots of fire service instructors talk about “VES” all the time. VES – ventilate, enter and search – is a major function of any fire department that conducts interior structural firefighting. Sounds pretty simple too...

    Article • August 1st, 2012

  • The Active Shooter: A Special Challenge

    On the day I am writing this, a person shot five people at a cafe near the University of Washington in Seattle and then shot himself in the head as police closed in on him. His rampage left three people dead and two critically wounded. I remember...

    Article • July 1st, 2012

  • How to Nail Your First-Due Responsibility Part 3

    Back in 2007, Firehouse ® Magazine published the first installment of Mark Emery’s 11-part series “The Ten Command-Ments of Intelligent and Safe Fireground Operations.” The series began by identifying 13 “fireground indiscretions” that...

    Article • July 1st, 2012

  • Introducing the "Best Practices Forum"

    According to a U.S. Fire Department Profile Report published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in 2010, the U.S. is protected by 30,125 organized fire departments staffed by more than 1.1 million firefighters. The make-up of these...

    Article • July 1st, 2012

  • Fire Destroys Jamestown Commercial Building

    On Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, fire destroyed the North Star Building in downtown Jamestown, ND. The building was owned by Vining Oil Co. and was being used for storage. It contained several 55-gallon drums of oil, hundreds of truck tires and two tractors...

    Article • July 1st, 2012

  • Handling Information At Emergency Incidents

    One of the main duties of a fire department public information officer (PIO) is to disseminate information. To do that correctly, the PIO must gather information and ensure it is accurate. When the media cover a story, they need to know who, what, when...

    Article • July 1st, 2012

  • Hazmat Response In The Bluegrass Region

    Regional hazardous materials response teams were located throughout Kentucky in the late 1980s. By the end of the 1990s, however, many teams had disbanded for various reasons, leaving gaps in hazmat response. Following an infusion of money from the...

    Article • July 1st, 2012

  • Predictability and Performance Of Buildings on Fire

    When we look at various buildings and occupancies, past operations (good and bad) give us experience that defines and determines how we assess, react and expect similar structures and occupancies to perform at a given alarm. The “art and science of...

    Article • June 1st, 2012

  • The Future of Thermal Imaging

      The year: 2004. The topic: When would my mother-in-law and father-in-law decide to buy their first computer?

    Article • September 29th, 2011

  • Pros and Cons of The Forward Stretch

    The forward stretch is used routinely by many fire departments for getting water from a source (hydrant) to an attack engine. This evolution is especially effective in the early stages of an intense and/or growing incident.

    Article • June 1st, 2011

  • Basement and Cellar Fires

    As Engine 36 arrived on the scene of the tightly closed-up two-story dwelling, smoke was pushing from around the doors and windows on both floors as well as from the attic vents. There were no cars in the driveway or interior lights on to indicate that...

    Article • May 4th, 2011


      At 12:48 A.M. on Sunday, July 13, 2010, lightning struck an 80-foot-diameter above-ground bulk storage tank at the Colonial Pipeline Co. facility in Greensboro, NC. Tank 819 was a "floating roof" geodesic dome-type tank containing 22,000 barrels of...

    Article • March 30th, 2011

  • Danger at a Residential Basement Fire

      In late January 2011, a close call was experienced by firefighters at a basement fire in a single-family dwelling in Prince George's County, MD. Part one of this column in the March issue featured an overview of the Prince George's County...

    Article • March 30th, 2011

  • The Rebirth of the Rapid Ascent Team: Part 1


    Article • February 26th, 2011

  • On The Job: NEW YORK

      Firefighters in Dunkirk, NY, faced numerous challenges — among them, insufficient manpower on the initial alarm, a municipal water system that could not meet the incident's flow demands, overtaxed communications, heavy snow and rapidly forming...

    Article • February 26th, 2011