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The Secret List

The Secret List is an independent newsletter produced since 1998 by Chief Billy Goldfeder in an effort to bring forward the issues involving injury and death to us...often issues that are ignored, quickly forgotten or just not talked about.

TSL is e-mailed at no charge and produced as time allows. With the attitude that in order for us to survive the dangers of the job, they must learn how we have had "Close Calls" and even been injured or killed, TSL brings forward issues in an effort to enforce that philosophy-and get us to refocus on "what's important."

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5 Steps Forward, 4 Steps Back-Thru The Crack? Watch This! PBMA (The Secret List)

Friday, July 3, 2015   Hey,

It's obvious to even the most clueless that we've come a long way. From PPE to nozzles to imagers to whatever you mention-the "stuff" has improved. And that's usually due to the efforts of good FIREFIGHTERS who are almost always behind the positive changes manufacturers use. We've come a long way.

We've also come a long way on how we operate-again, thanks to good FIREFIGHTERS who are always behind the changes.

With changes to stuff and learning about more ways to operate (MORE vs "instead of" because our choices to operate need to meet the specific conditions on arrival-there is no "one way") - we now have better chances than ever to take care of those who dial 9-1-1 as well as ourselves. 


Every once in a while a Firefighter or Department seems to "slip thru the cracks" - one that makes you go hmmmm. For example, earlier this week I watched as one FD called a much further away FD for help, vs. a more qualified FD that was closer to the fire, because they don't like each other. They don't like each other.

Congratulations-that's exactly what the citizens expect. 


Personality Based Mutual Aid. Yes-PBMA has caused injuries to get worse,

fires to burn longer and unnecessarily raised stupid risk for decades.

It's nothing new. Sometimes it goes back generations because some "bastid" doesn't like some other "bastid."


Yay us.


And then there are fires like these, as shown below, where you wonder....WTF.


Take 30 seconds and watch this clip. I know, you're gonna watch it and say "well maybe this or well maybe that" 




Or maybe you'll watch it and say " about a hose line first before we toss junior into the dwelling" 


Better answer.


Anyway, take a look and instead of going crazy about what you see-since you can't do anything about it-use the clip and opportunity to make sure your members are fully trained based upon how they are EXPECTED to operate TOGETHER-with everyday being a training day-so every member knows what to do (and what not to do) ...based upon the fire conditions on arrival. 


Leadership+Policy/SOG+Disciplined Firefighters+Training+Training+Training.

An old tried and true formula.


Sometimes you might feel that the fire service is taking 5 steps forward and then 4 backward, but don't worry about that-that's not the overall case. There are always going to be some that slip thru the cracks-the better concern is to focus on making sure it's not yours, mine or ours.



Here are also some thoughts and insight about this clip from our ol'pal Willie:

Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.


The Secret List 7-3-2015-0700 hours





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USE OF INFORMATION FROM and The Secret List should be passed along to FIREFIGHTERS and those who support (or are supposed to support!) us! Credit shall be given to and if you are truly committed to firefighter safety, that should be no problem. If you aren't, and you don't give us credit and try to prostitute this stuff as your own, we'll find you and expose you. We Promise. Odd's are... our mailing list is bigger than yours!

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