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deputy fire chief

How to Become a Better Training Chief

The position of training chief is a unique one. It’s part administration, yet you’re still involved in the hands-on stuff because… well… that’s how you train firefighters. There are live burns in the morning and a data spreadsheet in the afternoon to keep up with who needs recertification in what. Somewhere in there, you have to either justify your budget or put something together to implement a new training program or endeavor. Meanwhile, you’re organizing

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northern california wildfire

Northern California Fire Crews Switch Focus from Blazes to Mudslides

Even though the wildfires that ravaged the North Bay region of California are now under control, there still looms the equally devastating threat of mudslides throughout the area. Many of the scorched hillsides have been reduced to ash and debris, just waiting for the rainy winter season that could turn them into deadly mudslides. The threat is real enough that some of the areas with steeper terrain have been ordered to evacuate. Daniel Berlant, assistant

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congress fire budget

Government Agencies and Lawmakers Butting Heads Over 2018 Fire Budget

A long-standing tug of war has existed between government agencies and the lawmakers sworn to act in the best interest of the people.  Congress represents the people of the United States. Members serve their constituents, the people who live in the district from which they are elected. Lawmakers must please their constituents if they want to stay in office, and every issue must therefore be considered from the perspectives of those constituents.  Government agencies for the most

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Health Safety Codes

The Nightclub Fire Tragedy that Influenced Health and Safety Codes Today

In November of 1942 as World War II persisted in Eastern Europe and President Franklin Roosevelt waited anxiously to hear about the progress of a Los Alamos nuclear lab, a group of revelers met on a cold Boston night to celebrate.  It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the mood was festive as an estimated thousand people crowded into a club in the Bay Village area of Boston called Cocoanut Grove.  At around 10:15, the

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holiday house fire hazards

Holidays are Lowest for Wildfires, but Prime Time for House Fires

As the weather in the United States starts to change with the onset of winter, so too do the causes of fires. Daily fire incidence is at its highest in the spring.  Spring in the US is characterized by an increase in outside fires due to the prevalence of recreational activities after winter.  As people emerge from the winter months there is also an increase in trees, grass, and brush that are susceptible to human

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firefighter turnouts and gear

Fire Chief Resigns Over Municipality’s Failure to Replace Unsafe Apparatus

As a company that has relationships with volunteer firefighters in various rural communities that always seem strapped for cash, we at BME found this story of particular interest. Many volunteer departments rely on annual funding drives to help supplement local funding, but that typically still only covers the more routine operational costs such as training, maintenance, and upkeep of the fire station. Anyone who has served, especially in fire districts with high call volume, knows

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southern california wildfire

Briefing: December 2017 Southern California Wildfires

December has been a hard month for the Golden State.  A series of 16 wildfires ignited throughout Southern California during the first week of December causing panic and widespread destruction of property. The rapidly moving fires that have forced thousands of Californians to evacuate their homes have been exacerbated by unusually powerful and unending Santa Ana winds. Winds, along with powerline malfunctions has facilitated the growth of fires by igniting vast amounts of dry vegetation.

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montana wildfire

Montana Wildfires of 2017

Over the course of the summer of 2017 Big Sky residents quickly got used to the lingering smell of the forests burning within their state. Montanans endured one of the worst wildfire seasons in decades marked by home evacuations and a state of emergency declared by the Governor. In addition, the grueling summer of 2017 also witnessed two firefighter fatalities and costs of $380 million in an effort to suppress the fires. Wildfires are not

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PG&E northern california fire

Families of Northern California Fire Victims Suing PG&E (Can Firefighters be held Liable?)

The potential financial costs of the wildfires that ravaged much of Northern California in October are staggering, taking a tremendous toll on the regional crop industries. Worse still are the more tragic costs of lives and homes. Now that the fires have been contained, the time has come for the necessary work of investigating their origins – and with cause comes accountability.

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nfpa 1500 health and safety

What is NFPA 1500? Understanding Fire Protection Health and Safety

  What is the NFPA Traditional firefighting tactics involved daredevil driving practices, brazen entry into fully engulfed structures, and a priority of mission accomplishment over that of firefighter safety. In hindsight, we can see that these approaches display a misunderstanding of risk management and, more times than not, result in firefighter casualties that could have been prevented given the appropriate direction.   The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted

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