Why I Teach: Anthony Avillo

In this series, Fire Engineering Senior Editor Mary Jane Dittmar looks at the things that motivated and inspired instructors to present on their topics at FDIC International 2016. Segments will be posted on a regular basis up to and through the conference, April 18-23.

Deputy Chief (Ret.)

1st Platoon Regional Tour Commander

North Hudson (NJ) Regional Fire & Rescue

Fireground Strategies: from the Textbook to the Street

Monday, April 18, 1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.


My motivation is to cover a plethora of case studies of fires to which I have responded throughout my career, focusing on mistakes made and lessons learned. I have commanded nearly 100 multiple-alarm fires in my career in North Hudson. I highlight some of the more challenging fires and the reasons they went well or failed. Each lesson learned is reinforced with ways to better handle a situation. Fires in multiple-occupancy dwellings, high-rises, warehouses, townhouses, and closely spaced buildings are among the examples.

Over the years, I have had an abundance of feedback. Some firefighters related that what they learned in my classes helped them succeed in their promotional exams; officers also used some of the fireground and leadership philosophies with success. Some students reported that they were able to help move their department or company forward by embracing one of the safety-related programs covered in the class as well as what they learned in fireground organization, command and control, and accountability—the backbones of the programs I taught.

Most of all, I am particularly gratified by stories I hear about how properly wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) kept a member from injury; unfortunately, I have also heard stories about how failure to properly wear the PPE had contributed to an injury.

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