Captain Todd Edwards from Atlanta Fire will teach Day 4 of the CFT ODP on Wednesday February 1. Leading From The Front; Strategy & Tactics for Success.

Captain Todd Edwards has over 30 years of fire service experience. Starting at 16 years old for a small combination department in Ohio, Captain Edwards has spent the past 28 years with the city of Atlanta. Captain Edwards is the lead instructor for the departments Acting Officer Program, Flashover/Flow path training, and serves as an adjunct instructor for recruit training, leadership programs, and instructor certification courses.
Captain Edwards also works as an adjunct instructor for the Georgia Fire Academy and lead instructor for Walton County Fire/Rescue. Captain Edwards has written numerous training programs utilized by both departments and has been recognized numerous times, including the Award of Merit for Bravery.

Head First Ladder Bail

Training Nugget. When training on Head First Ladder Bail keep feet together and toes down. Also continue down the ladder until you reach the ground based on multiple other firefighters could be behind you and it also prevents back injuires from not rotating.

FEET TOGETHER AND TOES DOWN! Keep Going and until you reach the ground.

First photo shows Captain Lombardo with feet together and toes down. Second photo shows what happens when don’t keep your feet together and toes down. Third photo shows why you should have a plan and be able to get out fast and down & out of the way.

Photos by John Cetrino or check his work out on Instagram.



High Performers & Low Performers

Fire Engineering Training Community

Dear Supervisor, I’m Confused.
by Jarrod Sergi
May 6, 2016
Dear Supervisors,
I have started to grow increasingly confused and frustrated. This frustration ripples throughout our fire service. It is something I hear from firefighters who work in all parts of the country. It seems lately that more attention is being shifted to those who are putting themselves out there and bleeding with passion for their careers. Why are you having conversations with some of your members about training too much or how they need to slow down? Are you having the more important conversations with your officers that are doing nothing at all? You know the ones who just show up, exist, piss you off on the fireground. The ones who don’t train their crews and continue to shirk responsibility. The same ones who become good firefighters or officers because they are “nice guys” and socially acceptable, yet know nothing about their jobs. You know them well, you walk by them all the time and say nothing.
Why is it easier to silence and stifle the passionate while empowering the do-nothing’s that continually fail to contribute? Are you helping them be a constant drain on the department by not saying anything to them? Of course they will continue on that path. Is it just too much work for you to say anything? Because it seems so simple to go after the complete opposite.
Why is it that I see hungry and driven firefighters who are bleeding with passion continually shoved in a corner? Demotivated guys and girls who now sit idle because they were pinned down under their so-called leaders boots. Making too much noise? Rocking your boat? Why has it grown easier to counsel firefighters that are simply trying to spread a message of intolerance to mediocrity and thirst for excellence? How are you comfortable with not saying anything to the ones who will be the real problem when the bell hits?
I wish I could find the answers to all of these. Maybe I could stop beating my head against the wall in frustration. Until then remember this: We the passionate will be the ones who move this place forward. We the passionate will be the successful on the fireground. It is we the passionate who will continue to push hard even in the midst of others apathy. Spill your breath onto the ones who need it, or you will see your frontrunners dip to the back of the pack while their motivation dissipates.


Your Passionate Subordinates

CFT ODP Day 3 Mastering Our Craft

CFT ODP Day 3 next Monday January 23 will be Mastering Our Craft “Respected vs Liked”. Understanding the Four Es. Chief Curt Isakson will cover Life Experiences that have focused his career and vision for the future.
Class is at Midway Station 37 08:30-16:30. A few spots available for Monday. Contact Curt to see if a spot is available.

The 90 Degree vs the 360 Killer/Kink

Stretching the Initial Attack Handline is BASIC but so critical. We don’t force a day at every fire but should be stretching a line  . We should really stretch at almost all structural responses, to take advantage of the obstacles presented in the streets. We must perfect the Stretch. The basic  accordion type layout gives numerous advantages that will assist at most any building fire. Video 1 is the basic  accordion off a triple layer load. Video 2 at the bottom is a loop type method and kinda like the the loops from the Cleveland load. These type loops can and will cause a MAJOR KINK. I refer to it as the 360 Killer because it creates a 360 kink/loop that is triple what a regular 90 kink will do. Listen close as I describe why the no kink before can cause even more problems while making the push. Keep it Simple!

Just Called to say Hello

These were my closing remarks at the MFR Awards Banquet in early January. I felt that they were too important not to share because my message is for the entire fire service. It is time we deal with the PTSD that is ripping through our profession. Matthew Negedly was a friend to many of us and I for one will not let his death be in vain. Matty was sending us a message, we need to listen…

“I would like to share with each of you a few personal thoughts to ponder on for the New Year. As most of you know, I lost a good friend in November. As a matter of fact, the entire fire service lost a good friend, an exceptional instructor, a dedicated chief, and a committed mentor. Matt Negedly, a district chief with the Orlando fire department took his own life amid a myriad of positive achievements, a great career, and a beautiful family. He was even projected to be a candidate for fire chief of the OFD in the not too distant future.

Outside of the fire department Matty at times could be a professional goof. Always trying to one up everyone with twisted pranks and perverted skits. He was very proud of making everyone laugh to the point of tears. He was also a firefighters chief, but more so a firefighters firefighter. Matty NEVER let a mentoring opportunity get away from him. He touched more careers in our fire service than you could ever imagine, including mine. Matt gave no inclination to anyone, including his closest friends, that he was suffering so deeply. If you were told to make a list of 100 people you knew that could potentially commit suicide Matty was never even near being on this list.

Even in Matty’s death he is still mentoring and teaching. Almost like he knew his death would be a wakeup call for so many of us. He has profoundly taught me that life is short, whether at God’s hands or not. That each of us should cherish the life we have and those we call loved ones and friends.
That we should not hold back on saying how we feel to those we love or work with, whether positive or not. He taught me that only the truth is what matters, no Wizard of Oz curtains or the obligatory “Good morning, how are you?” greetings that come with the all too common answer of “I’m doing fine” when truthfully you really are not.

Matt has really opened my eyes and taught me that PTSD in the fire service is at an extreme, almost pandemic like, situation. More firefighters are dying each year from PTSD related injuries than on the emergency scene. With no formal programs in place as of yet, either nationally or statewide, WE are the first line of defense for ourselves against this awful affliction that is sweeping our profession. We have to allow each other the opportunity to drop our defenses; to talk about what is eating away at each other enough to cause you so much emotional pain that you are thinking of harming yourself, or at the very least causing you daily emotional turmoil. Whether this is caused by personal struggles, work related struggles, or both.

I know about this turmoil firsthand. After two years on the job with Pittsburgh 22 years ago I was tasked with my very first structural fire rescue. The problem here is that it was three Pittsburgh firefighters whom I worked with that were down in the building, all in cardiac arrest. Being directly involved with this rescue has taken an enormous toll on me over the years. Mostly the first two or three years after the fire I suffered the greatest PTSD.

As they say the ones who suffer the most dealing with a person going through PTSD that take the biggest brunt of the effects are the family. The mood swings, behavioral changes, refusing to talk about it, and the sleepless nights are just a few of the signs that occur. I am thankful to my wife for helping me through that period of my life. But my story is nothing special, there are thousands of firefighters suffering daily across this country that need our help. I was one of the lucky ones and was able to resolve my PTSD through teaching firefighter rescue skills and telling the Bricelyn Street fire story.

The point of my message is this. We must watch for the signs of trouble within each other. A simple HOW ARE YOU REALLY DOING may be enough to getting an issue off someone’s chest or getting them to professional help. We need to be watching over each other and offering our support whenever needed. We need to start going out of our way for each other. We see and do things on the job that the normal person couldn’t even imagine living with. It’s only common sense that this will catch up with you eventually, regardless of who you are.

At the firehouse, the times of toughguy talk, bashing our brothers and sisters, having the “I don’t care attitude”, and just generally not caring for the welfare of each other must stop. Those unacceptable behaviors are only feeding into the emotional trauma that those we call our brothers and sisters are struggling with. With my 42 years in the fire service profession, the one saying that has always stuck with me is this – “We are our Brother’s keeper”. How fitting for Matty to remind us of these very important words. In his honor we need to live by them…”

James K Crawford
Assistant Fire Chief
Midway Fire Rescue

CFT “Fire School” Spots Limited

CFT “Fire School” Registration Open
County Fire Tactics Fire School will be May 16-18, 2017 on Pensacola Beach. This three day Tactics School will run simultaneously with Command Officer Boot Camp. All COBC and CFT Fire School Attendees will get Free Shuttle from the Pensacola Airport on Monday and returned on Friday. Attendees DO NOT NEED A CAR. If you fly, we will provide air pack. If you drive we request you bring an air pack. This three day school will cover all tactics necessary at your Bread & Butter Fires. Attendees will force real doors that CRUSH and actually get to PULL LOCKS. We will also cover RIT Deployment and Survival Techniques. This is basically the Engine & Truck School we offered last May during COBC, but we are going to call it CFT Fire School going forward. We will NOT HAVE LIVE FIRE. We will cover solid Fireground Tactics taught by Instructors with a solid foundation and experience on the Fireground.

Registration is opening at $250 for the first 15 and $350 after that with only 36 Spots total.

Lead Instructor: Curt Isakson with other CFT Instructors assisting to provide a solid Instructor to student ratio.

Photo by JJ Cassetta JJ Cassetta
Tactics to be Covered

Water Supply “The 300′ Drill”

Apparatus Positioning to include Aerial Placement

Stretching & Operating the first three lines

Weapon Selection and how to do a department nozzle evaluation

Standpipe Hookups and Stairwell stretches

Forcible Entry to Include Through the lock and Saw Operations

Roof Operations and Cutting

RIT Operations and Survival to include Rope Searches.

This program is for certified firefighters that are in good physical condition. The Hands-On will be fast paced with little down time.

Direct Water Application Escambia