Have any tips, training ideas, advice, or war stories you would like me to post about?! Message or email 1stDueThoughts and I will post them! I created this site to share all of these things and more. The more departments that have input, the bigger the reach! Shoot me an email today @ 1stduethoughts@gmail.com


For 22 years I’ve kept fire in my life. I’ve worn a Motorola pager on my side longer than I’ve carried a cell phone. 75 % of my T-shirts have the Maltese cross on them. The brass key to the fire station wins out as the longest serving member on my key chain by a lot. My truck has always had the dept sticker on it and the back seat has been the assigned riding position for my gear.

Life happened and my priorities have changed.

“Hook”  now holds my coat in my room and is no longer a term for a favorite tool for pulling ceilings.

“Smoke showing” means the s’mores are done or I burnt the grilled cheese again!

My stream light has been reassigned to “manhunt” duty & the 50′ of 8mm is now a jump rope and out of service for what is was made for.

The leather is dusty – not sooty.

The battery in the HT-1000 is dead, the gear is on the rack, the scanner volume is very low.

And the last few new t-shirts I got were yellow, plum and green with nothing printed on the left breast.

The full time assignment now is as DAD.

I still say “charge the line” in my head as I water the beans out back but it’s not the same.

I miss it but I can’t miss out on this time with my kids.

They need me now.

I will listen to the Hi-lo siren and the Q from a far, turn up the scanner, and focus my ear when I can but I must keep watch on my girls now.

They grow like these beans and bugs do …all too fast.

Stay safe my brothers, I’ll be thinking of our times together from my back step.


Sent to me from a brother firefighter.

CO or Smoke Alarm? Which One Is Going Off? Click Here for Article

This “Coffee Break Training” provided by FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration outlines exactly how to tell which alarm is going off. Some great tips to pass along to homeowners who may be calling to say their smoke alarm is going off when in fact it is detecting CO!

To sign up via email for the “Coffee Break Training” click on the following link –> ww.usfa.fema.gov/nfa/coffee-break/

Link  —  Posted: July 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

Confident in your nozzle & backup position abilities? Brotherhood Instructors gives us some tips to handling the knob better. Basics. R.I.T., technical rescue, and smoke reading are all great “advanced techniques” to learn, but if we learn how to efficiently and safely put the wet stuff on the red stuff, the fire goes out and the risk level drops significantly.

“If you put out the fire, safety is accomplished for everyone on the fireground.” – FDNY Lt. Ray McCormack

Video  —  Posted: June 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

Trying to find some great reading material on the fire service? Look no further! The following are my personal favorite books that I have read over the years about the fire service (it’s a start). Some of these books have been passed around over the years. Attached to the book is a link to purchase on Amazon.com

1) 3000 Degrees – Sean Flynn


2) Report from Engine Co. 82 – Dennis Smith


3) Report from the World Trade Center – Dennis Smith


4) Boston on Fire – Stephanie Schorow


5) The Last Men Out – Tom Downey


5) Rescue Men – Charles Kenney


Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Stay safe,


Know your enemy. To get up to speed with smoke reading check out David Dodson’s “Art of Smoke Reading” on YouTube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8CxxwD0Ir8

Image  —  Posted: June 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

Creativity & The Volunteer Fire Service

Thinking outside the box isn’t easy, especially when you are put down by the “we have done it like that for years” mentality by older members. You are ultimately in control of your own actions, not the chief, you. YOU choose to put in the extra training hours. YOU choose to wake up at 3am for the “smell & bell” calls and take those opportunities to learn and teach younger members. YOU are responsible for SCBA air management. YOU are a positive agent of change. If we all focus on ourselves, we will not only better ourselves, but others as well. Share ideas, learn from trial and error!

“He who does not make mistakes, does not do.”

Photo Credit – William Noonan

Image  —  Posted: June 26, 2013 in Uncategorized