2.5″ vs 3″ as Attack Line

2.5″ vs 3″ as Attack Line. 3″ is designed & intended as a supply line. Either rig to rig, hydrant to rig, or to supply a master stream device. Anything larger than a 2.5″ is just not a good idea as an Attack Line to move into a building. It’s nearly 30lbs more per 50′ section and much harder to bend. View the photos below where the firefighters hand has a nice grip on the yellow 2.5″, but not so much on the green 3″. The firefighter can easily pick up the yellow 2.5″ with one hand, but a very noticeable difference when grabbing the green 3″ with the same hand. Short video showing the difference.
2.5″ is for ATTACK!
3″ is for SUPPLY!


2.5″ Should be Fun!


Look at size. Yellow is 2.5″ & Green is 3″



COBC 2017 Agenda

Command Officer Boot Camp 2017

May 16-18, 2017

Preliminary Agenda

Monday May 15, 2017

FREE AIRPORT SHUTTLE starts at 0900 “Meet outside baggage claim 3”

1300 Hours Oleander Room opens for check in

Check In “Fill out Form to get Wristband”

Equipment & Shirts for Sale

Dinner – Wristband Discount at Red Fish Blue Fish…. Across from the Hilton

Tuesday May 16, 2017

0715 Check In “Fill out Form to get Wristband”

0800 Opening Ceremony with Pensacola Fire Department Honor Guard  “Presentation of the Colors”

0815 Bob Murphy-Sacred Heart Health Care President

0830 Fully Involved Leadership – Captain Mark Von Appen, Palo Alto, CA

1015 Relationships in the Fire Service – Captain Mike & Anne Gagliano, Seattle, WA


1330 Transitional Attack-NOT AWAYS! – Chief Mike Terpak

1645 Social….Pool Side at Hilton with LIVE MUSIC by Britt Landrum

Wednesday May 17, 2017

0730 Spouses Breakfast by the WATER! “Red Fish Blue Fish”

0830 Command & Control through use of the F.D. RADIO – Chief Mike Terpak Jersey City, NJ


1330 Leadership in the Real World – Chief Bob Burns FDNY

1645 Hemingway’s Downstairs “$1 Fish Tacos & $4 Mojitos”

Thursday May 18, 2017

0830 Fully Involved Leadership – Captain Mark Von Appen, Palo Alto, CA

1015 Evals & Expectations – Deputy Chief Eddie Robinson, Cherokee County, GA


1330 This House Rocks! – Captain Mike Gagliano, Seattle, WA

1515 Company Success – Captain Todd Edwards, Atlanta, GA

1645 Closing of COBC 2017 – Battalion Chief Curt Isakson, County Fire Tactics

Social Pool Side at the Hilton followed by dinner at Red Fish Blue Fish across the street.

More info once you arrive at the Hilton.

The Company Officer: Competency First

The Company Officer: Competency First

A lot is written and talked about how the Company Officer is the backbone of the American Fire Service. I believe this to be true although I am always quick to point out at the same time that we need soldiers too, and a good senior man in particular is invaluable. But the Company Officer holds a special place upon which much depends. In many ways, they hold in their hands the balance of the success or failure of their particular Company.

Also, a lot is written and talked about regarding the need for Company Officers to be leaders and to have character. Again, I agree with this. Who wouldn’t? But I propose that the most important characteristic for a Company Officer to have is tactical competency. If you’re going to lead other members into battle, you have to know what you’re doing. Leadership and character are important. Competency is more important.


As an example of the primacy of competency, I submit Rooster Cogburn from the movie “True Grit”, played by either John Wayne in the 1970s or Jeff Bridges in the remake of a couple of years ago. Rooster Cogburn was a U.S. Marshal but he was also ornery and was a drunk. Now these are not virtues to be imitated, in fact, they are vices and should be avoided, but Cogburn’s most important characteristic was that he was tactically competent – he knew what he was doing. He could shoot. He could ride hard. He could track outlaws. He could stay alive and keep those with him alive, even in the harsh environment of the wild west or during a gunfight. What he did off duty when his character flaws were manifest was less important than what he did on duty. When he was on duty he knew his job and he did it well.

A Company Officer needs to know how to force a door, get a chain saw started after it’s been flooded, and be able to open a roof. He has to be able to push down a tough hallway. He can’t be the first one out of air, or have to leave because of a mask problem. He must be in reasonable physical shape. He’s got to know building construction, fire behavior, how to read smoke, and be proficient with a thermal imaging camera. He’s got to know what to look for during a 360. If the pump operator can’t get water, the Officer has to know how to correct the problem. Now, a big part of his job is to teach these skills to his members and in many cases the members are the ones who should be performing these tasks with the Officer right beside them supervising and maintaining situational awareness. But in the moment, when it’s on the line, he’s got to be able to perform tactically if called upon. The members that are with him are depending on his competency and they want to know he is competent. He’s got to be able to do what he asks them to do.

Avon St. McLean

Returning to character for a moment, it is my experience that most competent Company Officers do have character and thus are leaders. In our job, if you love it and are good at it, almost naturally you have character. In a nutshell, this job is about putting others first – the epitome of character. Turns out the competent Rooster Cogburn did have “true grit”. He rescued Maddie Ross from the snake pit she had fallen into (competently rigging a rescue rope!), rode all night with her until the horse could take no more, then carried her until she reached a doctor. He even stayed with her until she was out of danger. All evidence of his character, but first he was competent. He knew what he was doing. That was the foundation of his success. A Company Officer should have character and be a good leader but he’s got to be a competent fireman first.

Article Written by: Deputy Chief Kevin Burns

Captain Mike Lombardo, Buffalo Rescue 1

Mike Lombardo is a great example of a competent fire officer.  

Gallons Per Second! Punch it in the Throat!!

Gallons Per Second is what we should be focused on and not GPM. If you’re FLOWING enough water to truly overwhelm the BTUs, then it is only SECONDS until you will see a RAPID change in conditions. Gallons Per Second is what is needed to provide the best Chance for THEM!!! The Back bedroom of trailer in above video was FULLY SURVIABLE. Temperature was never over 100 with light smoke based on door was closed and fire had self vented rapidly.

Five Gallon Bucket on a Cigarette.

My Favorite saying

You Can Dry SHIT OUT, But You Can’t Unburnt IT!!! FLOW WATER!!!

Photo provided by: JJ Casetta

One Firefighter can STRETCH & FLOW a 2.5″ with no problem. When FLOWING a 2.5″, you should be FLOWING between 4-6 Gallons a Second.

Photo Credit: JJ Cassetta

It’s Worth The Risk!

Tactics Put Out FIRES!!

Curt Isakson