How smart is it having your reproductive organs inches away from a suction inlet that could be receiving 1,500 gallons per minute (gpm) at a pressure of 100 pounds per square inch (psi)? It’s about as smart as having three crosslays discharging at 200 psi directly next to or above your head. Which body part is more important to you?

Designing apparatus for austerity should not only include spec’ing out a combination piece that can perform suppression and rescue functions, for example. It should ensure that the equipment used most often is easily accessible and deployable by one person.

Whether or not we consider firefighters heroes, we must include everyone who makes quality emergency response possible and not take them for granted. Find time to say thank you.

Joliet (IL) Fire Department Chief Joe Formhals is looking for some help.Throughout his career, there has been one piece of fire apparatus on the equipment roster that dates back to the summer of 1951. That rig is an American LaFrance Series 700 open cab midmount 100-foot aerial ladder truck.

With an open mind and a willingness to evaluate change—either to something new or reverting to something old—the fire service may benefit from history.

I thought I would try a slightly different format for this month. Instead of focusing on a specific topic I will offer some random thoughts that will hopefully provoke some thought.

Full sets of wildland firefighting gear, redesigned and reengineered, are being tested by more than a thousand wildland firefighters from CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection), the United States Forest Service, and 11 fire departments in California.