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Category Archives: From the Vault

Going through all the old stuff I’ve written I realized how far I’ve come. Check here to see old ramblings.

These are a bunch of post combined into one. They are the old post from the regular site. I really wanted to show where we’ve come from over the years.

04.05.2010 – New Toys
We all like to check out new toys, tools, gadgets and claims to be the greatest and
latest. But should we always pull out the checkbook and order 100? Being
skeptical about new technology and inventions should be in the front of your
minds. Some questions we need to ask are: Does it do what it claims, can it hold
up to the abuse we may put it through and most important DOES IT MAKES SENSE FOR
MY FIRST DUE? So many tools in the fire service have come from the necessity to
get it done, get it done quickly and get it done with minimal effort. The
staples like halligans, pike poles and hooks have been around for generations
and have been put to the test. With today’s technology almost anyone can invent
and market their product. Many of these inventors are fire service professionals
but what type of fireground test’s have they been through? In recent years many
great new tools have come to the fireground. This isn’t meant to be
discouragement from looking into them. With any tool we have to determine the
need for it, how we use it safely and properly and how it will perform on scene.
If their is a new tool or toy that may improve your abilites on the fireground
ask a dealer for a demo model, throughly become familiar with it and ask around
see who else has/is using it. We all want to do this job safer and more
efficent, just be careful when dealing with new products.

03.27.2010 – And we wonder why!
Today I was out on a work/training detail for brush/wildland fire
control. It was a cool morning with just a slight spring chilled breeze
and…..Ok right to the point. How do we continue to wonder why we keep killing
firefighters by heart attack/disease yet WE CONTINUE TO BRING DOZENS OF DONUTS
cannot continue to promote unhealthy eating habits in a Fire Service
environment. How can I encourage my peers to eat right and exercise so they can
do this job for a long time when we do not lead by example. It’s great that
someone has taken time out of their day to bring us a treat but….we need to
educate and promote a healthy lifestyle. You can indulge once in a while,
birthdays, holidays etc, but we need solid fuel on the fireground. Here are some
great alternatives for nutrition pre and post training evolutions and fireground

Granola Bars, Breakfast Bars, Fresh Fruit, Almonds and other nuts,
Protein bars, Meal Replacement bars, Dried Fruit, Trail mixes, Yogurts, Fruit
and Cottage Cheese packs, even those little boxes of cereal we had as
kids….just be creative. Portable and little mess is the way to go. have items
back at quarters so you can throw them on the rigs when you leave. Keep the
sugary fatty crap off the scene. If you can keep something hot or cold on the
site then there’s even more possibilities. Just make sure everyone can get a
good mix of Proteins, Healthy Fats and GOOD Carbs. Carbs are extremely important
to replenish almost as important as hydration.(ie no coffee, Water before work,
Sports drinks after!)

Our bodies need to be finely tuned engines for the
rigors of this job. Keep em fueled with high octane healthy food, do moderate
strength training and cardiovascular condtioning……and let’s donate those
“fat pills” to the cops!!! Be safe and make sure we all come home to

03.25.2010 – Big News
I have
been accepted into the EVERYONE GOES HOME Advocate Program. Once I receive all
the proper training I will be traveling the state of Michigan promoting the 16
Life Safety Initiatives and the Courage To Be Safe Programs. Look for me to be
stopping by your department or organization soon!

03.15.2010 – My two cents
I have always looked for that mentor, you know the one that shows it all to you,
let’s you make the mistake then shows you where you went wrong. Paul Combs shows
it perfectly in his cartoon of the senior man with the “wing” wrapped around the
firefighter. The caption states “I teach, you learn, you pass it on.” I love
that cartoon but do those relationships really exist? I have determined that
they do but not in the way you think. My dad has been doing the job for 31 years
he has taught me. My captain has been around for 15, he has taught me. The guy
that writes for a fire magazine has taught me. My partner on the medic unit has
taught me. Take all those little lessons you have picked up and add them
together. It makes the perfect mentor. Always keep you ears on and ask
questions. After a run ask “What can I improve on?” I’m sure someone will point
you in the right direction, just keep in mind it’s not always right in front of
you. Stay Safe and Keep Low – Chris

11.11.2009- 5/3/1 for the Fire

I recently started a workout program called 5/3/1 created by
strength athlete Jim Wendler. The program is as basic as it gets and produces
great results. This program is not ideal for beginners as you need to know
proper technique and your abilities. It is based on the 4 basic lifts; Standing
Military Press, Dead Lift, Squat and Bench. You perform 3 sets 1 time a week of
each move followed by 2-3 high rep accessory moves. The program even allows for
you to go into the gym and only performed the prescribed reps for that day then
go home. You w/o 3-4 days a week and you pick the days, just don’t go more than
2 days in a row. The great part about this program it is all prescribed numbers.
No guess work, NO MODIFYING!!. Just follow the program. Its easy to follow and
kicks your butt in the gym. You then can add KB’s, cardio, whatever on the off
days just as long as you don’t lift. This is great program for workouts at the
house. You can easily workout with others if your numbers are close. Google
5/3/1 to check it out for your self.
11.04.2009- “Think horses not zebras…”
Yesterday I was on a medical and had another responder with
me. We had the situation under control and ALS en route. Another responder
arrived on scene a few minutes later. I had already completed SAMPLE, OPQRST and
got other prudent information from by-standers. While this was all said and done
the 3rd responder was asking questions that were not relevant to the symptoms.
After the patient was TOT ALS he asked the other responder why I didn’t ask some
particular question. The reason: If you hear hoof beats think horses not zebras!
The questions he had were not relevant to the patient nor the issues on scene.
Not saying that some additional information is a bad thing, but when you’re a
first responder and you’re dealing with ON SCENE issues, you treat the patient
not diagnosis. We all Monday Morning Quarterback, that’s how we learn. When your
on scene treat what’s in front of you…not what you want it to
10.24.2009- Firefighter Combat

Sorry for no updates. The past few weeks I have been
focused on the challenge. October 17th I ran a 2:49 in Evansville Indiana. My PR
was 3:16(lexington, ky). So I was happy for the improvement but it wasn’t a
number I was shooting for. I wanted a sub 2:30. The day before the event I had
the pleasure of having a 1 on 1 training session with a FFCC Elitist David
Bowman of Charlotte (NC) Fire. He had some great advice and his enthusiasm for
the challenge makes you want to work even harder. I was able to improve my
‘hoist’, which was a issue for me in KY, but wasn’t able to put into practice
some of his other tips and tricks. This winter I’m going to work harder and
practice what I learned. Come 2010 I want to dominate the course at every event
I travel to! Train Hard-er.  -chris


10.08.2009- Kettlebells
Old School Strength:
The kettlebell, a simple device for manufacturing
functional strength. What I love about kettlebells is the variety of workouts
you can do. You can rock it old school with some jerks or go new school with
some warrior or ballistic moves. You can vary your intensity without sacrificing
the amount of weight you work with. KB’s work the entire body with focus on the
core, which for firefighting is extremely important. I like to do circuits with
KB’s for not only my regular workouts but for COMBAT CHALLENGE prep work as
well. A sample round would be: 3 minutes of swings, 3 minutes of snatches and 5
minutes on the stair stepper X3. Right there you have all muscles firing plus
some cardio/stamina/endurance work. Let me see you get that out of a Bowflex.
Their are tons of great resources out there for kettlebells..take a look!! -

10.07.2009- Metabolism
Broken Down:
Your metabolism is defined as “Biochemical processes that
occur within us. Metabolism consists both of anabolism and catabolism (the
buildup and breakdown of substances, respectively). The term is commonly used to
refer specifically to the breakdown of food and its transformation into
energy.”  Why is this important to you? Food is fuel. Metabolism is the refining
process that turns the macro-nutrients into the products that we burn. The
easiest way to explain how this works is a Fire Analogy.


1. You start a fire. Its hot, its burning
good. You apply a 500gpm master stream to it, it puts the fire out fast.
You start a fire. Its hot, its burning good. You apply the hose reel at
12gpm..the fire keeps burning.


This is your metabolism. When you wake up
your metabolism is burning hot, wanting fuel. Feed the fire!!! In 2-3 hours feed
it again, keep the fire burning. Keep this going all day, with the right foods
of course. This will help keep your energy levels up. This is also the best way
to burn fat. Eating 3 squares a day will store extra calories as fat rather than
burning it off. This can be attributed to the feast-famine gene we possess as
mammals. Like a bear storing up for hibernation, we store it as fat for when
foods are scarce. Understanding metabolism is just another tool to help keep the
all too often Heart Attack LODD out of your house. -chris


10.06.2009 – Super diet
for Super Men:

perform at our best we need to be properly fueled. The job usually dictates when
we can sit and eat. With a little prep work and know how we can eat right. I’ll
start out by laying down what we need each day. An active 180lb man
(firefighter) needs around 3500-4500 calories a day. These calories should come
from macro-nutrients; carbs, fats and protein. 60/40/10 is a good ratio. 60%
from carbs, 40% protein and 10% HEALTHY Fats. Carbs should be around 500 grams,
protein 200 grams. These numbers will supply you  with enough energy to work and
recover. Carbs should be heavier first thing after waking and after working (a
job or exercise). Your meals should also be smaller and more frequent. 6-8 a day
rather than 3 square. An example for a 24 hour shift:


Breakfast: 4 egg whites 1 whole egg 1 cup
oatmeal 1 cup juice
Mid-Morning Snack: 1 piece of fruit and handful of
Lunch: Tuna Fish on whole grain bread and fruit/veggies
Afternoon Snack: Protein Shake
Dinner: Chicken Breast, Steamed
Snack: Plain yogurt with fruit
Pre-Bed (if needed): Protein Shake
or cottage cheese or tuna fish (not sandwich)
WATER through out the day,
about 1 liter is a good goal.
The pre-bed protein shake will be there for you
when you have a run in the middle of the night. Casein protein (slow) would be
the best choose here.

Not too hard is it?? Planning takes a lot of the
guess work out of it. Pre packaged foods (the kind you pack at home, yourself)
are a great way to keep you fueled up and on track. Fruit, nuts, shakes etc. can
go with you on the rig if needed, before or after a run. Give it a try…you
will see for your self that your performance on and off the fire ground will
improve. DISCLAIMER: I’m not a dietician, this information is based on what
I have learned and used my self. Consult a qualified health professional before
taking on any diet and exercise program.


Train like you fight…Fight like you train.

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