Quotes & Insights

“Experience is not what happens to a man: it is what a man does with what happens to him.”

-Aldous Huxley

“Let no man’s ghost come back to say, my training let me down.”


“It’s the fire of your career until proven otherwise. Act accordingly for EVERY call.”


“Train hard, we are going to a fire, NOT a picnic!”

-Cross Street Associates Training Motto

“What are the two most important words a leader can say? – Follow me.”



Denver Drill Origins –

September 28, 1992. Engineer Mark Langvardt of the Denver (CO) Fire Department died in the line of duty. After becoming separated from his crew as the result of a floor collapse and being trapped in a small storage room on the second floor of a commercial occupancy, Langvardt was overcome. The storage room, measuring six feet wide by 11 feet deep, was filled with cabinets and business equipment on both sides, creating an aisle way only 28 inches wide with an exterior window at one end. The drop from the windowsill to the floor was 42 inches. Firefighters entering the storage room through the second-floor window had to crawl over Langvardt, who was lying face down in the aisle in the fetal position, his head pressed against the interior of the front wall just under the window. Because of the restricted size of the aisle, there was room for only one rescuer to bend over the victim and lift, making conventional windowsill lifts and removal techniques next to impossible. {2}

What To Expect From One Another 

Officers (Firefighters can expect this from us):

  1. Sense of urgency
  2. Seeking continuous improvement
  3. Leadership and direction
  4. Forthrightness
  5. Open dialogue
  6. Accountability
  7. Technical command
  8. Respect
  9. Consistency
  10. Sense of humor

Firefighters (What officers expect from you):

  1. Sense of urgency
  2. Concentration
  3. Full compliance
  4. Will to prepare
  5. Accountability
  6. Commitment
  7. Willingness to play a role
  8. Officers lead- you follow
  9. Finish
  10. Standard of performance


  1. Always keep your ears and eyes open.
  2. Ask the ones who gone before you.
  3. Never order something you would not do or have not done yourself.
  4. If there is a problem, confront in private.
  5. Always do more than expected.
  6. Know the truck inside and out, upside and backwards.
  7. Put the time in, BS calls can be BIG calls, always be ready.
  8. SIZE UP, know what you’re going into.
  9. Train, Train, Train…as an individual, and as a whole.
  10. Know your district!
  11. Don’t jump the gun, be prepared.
  12. Always, Carry the minimum tools…shit hits the fan quick.
  13. NEVER question your gut.
  14. Lay a Line, it can always be picked up.
  15. Call for extra help early, can always send them back.
  16. Do not at any time listen to the ball busting… do what YOU think is right, YOU make a call, own it……
  17. People will hate, Fuck ‘em.
  18. Be solid in your calls, say I wanted it, I called for it.
  19. Listen to those you trust.

The Ten Commandments of Team Building

  1.  Help each other to be right, not wrong
  2. Look for ways to make new ideas work, not for reasons they won’t
  3. If in doubt, check it out.  Don’t make assumptions about each other
  4. Speak positively about each other and your department at every opportunity
  5. Maintain a positive mental attitude no matter what the circumstance
  6. Act with initiative and courage, as if all depends on you
  7. Do everything with enthusiasm
  8. Don’t lose faith, never give up
  9. Give 110%……200% of the time.
  10.  Have fun

A Firefighter Meets God

The firefighter stood and faced his God, which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining, just as brightly as his brass.

“Step forward now, you firefighter, how shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek? To my commandments have you been true?”

The firefighter squared his shoulders and said, “No, Lord, I guess I ain’t,
Because those of us who fight fire, can’t always be a saint.”

“I’ve had to work on Sunday’s, and at times my talk was tough,
Sometimes I’ve been violent, because the streets are awfully rough.”

“But I never took a penny, that wasn’t mine to keep…
Though I had to work a lot of overtime when the bills just got too steep.”

“I never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear,
And sometimes, God forgive me, I’ve wept unmanly tears.”

“If you’ve a place here for me, Lord, it needn’t be so grand,
I’ve never expected or had too much, and I will understand.”

There was a silence all around the throne where the saints had often trod,
As the firefighter waited quietly, for the judgement of his God.

“Step forward now you firefighter, you’ve borne your burdens well,
Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets, you’ve done your time in hell.”

-Author Unknown

LODD Prayer

Brother when you weep for me
Remember that it was meant to be
Lay me down and when you leave
Remember I’ll be at your sleeve
In every dark and choking hall
I’ll be there as you slowly crawl
On every roof in driving snow
I’ll hold your coat and you will know

In cellars hot with searing heat
At windows where a gate you meet
In closets where young children hide
You know I’ll be there at your side

The house from which I now respond
Is overstaffed with heroes gone
Those who answered one last bell
Did the job and did it well

As firefighters we understand
That death’s a card dealt in our hand
A card we hope we never play
But one we hold there anyway
That card is something we ignore
As we crawl across a weakened floor
For we know that we’re the only prayer
For anyone that might be there

So remember as you wipe your tears
The joy I knew throughout the years
As I did the job I loved to do
I pray that thought will see you through.

-Author Unknown


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