Forget everyone else! Be selfish.

Posted: September 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

Who cares about what the Lieutenant is doing! Forget about what that probie is doing! The Chief, forget about him too! 

I am telling you, the only person you should care about, is yourself. Be selfish!

Here is how it works…

Next time the rig is a mess? SCBA bottles aren’t full? Forget about everyone else, clean it up and fill them YOURSELF!

Hose has kinks making that stretch hard? Don’t spend time looking for a probie to yell at, go fix them yourself!

Station house sink full of dishes, screw everybody! Get off your ass from the dayroom couch and wash em’ yourself!

Don’t like something? Suggest a solution rather than complaining!

I’m telling you, forget everyone else once in a while and focus on YOU!

If everyone took a minute to become a solution, rather than simply pointing out problems, we would all be better off!

So you want to be a Fireman?

Posted: September 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

Too some, a dream. Others, a calling.

Sadly, most will never know. Most could never even imagine the true reality.

I know I could never have imagined it. 8 years. 8 great years. Only a drop in the bucket. Filled with joy. Filled with pain. Filled with feelings of, well, fulfillment!

Extra time given to so many. A child saved, a family rescued from a mangled car, a birth in the back of an ambulance. Wonderful beginnings & countless thank you’s.

And yet, sadly, time seen taken from so many. Tragic endings. Uncontrollable tears. The sounds of bagpipes echoing through a church. The sounds of sirens whaling over the roopftops at night, fading into the distance. Nights spent lying awake pondering if you could have done more…

Most will never know the feelings of joy as I have felt, and thankfully, most will never know the pain.

Through it all, there is a bond that is shared. A sacred bond, an unbreakable bond. The Brotherhood.

To quote a famous Military General, “From this day til the end of the world. We in it shall be remembered…We Few, We Lucky, We Band of Brothers.”

And what a Band of Brothers I have…

I am a Fireman, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Most will never know.

Fighting Lung Cancer, One Step At A Time. Donate Today!

For the second year in a row, Bristol Fire & Rescue will be doing the “ALA FIGHT FOR AIR” Stair Climb in Providence,RI on Feb. 22nd! Help us out and throw a little coin our way to help us reach our goal of $3,500.

Click on the link below to help fight lung cancer.


Below are 2 links to the personal reasons why we do the stair climb.

Thank you all in advance for not only following and supporting my small blog page, but for your donations!

As Always, Stay Safe.

Link  —  Posted: February 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

Worcester, 14 Years Later…

For those of you who don’t much about the fire that happened 14 years ago tonight, or the men who fought and died at it…Take some time tonight to read this article published in July of 2000 by Esquire Magazine and jump on scene that cold night in December 14 years ago. From RIT, to incident pre-planning, to thermal imaging technology, the Worcester Cold Storage Fire was the catalyst for change.

One thing is for certain 14 years later, those 6 heroes did not die in vain…

Firefighter Paul Brotherton
Rescue 1 Firefighter Jeremiah Lucey
Rescue 1 Lieutenant Thomas Spencer
Ladder 2 Firefighter Timothy Jackson
Ladder 2 Firefighter James Lyons
Engine 3 Firefighter Joseph McGuirk

Photo courtesy of MJ Fernandez.

Link  —  Posted: December 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

Smell & Bell Calls.

Everyone gets them, the 3AM “food on stove”. For the newer members, excitement! Racing to the trucks, donning their newly issued gear, and racing to the scene. For the experienced members, a sigh and a slow walk to find their keys and make their way down to the station. For all too often than not, these calls seem to be a nuisance, a plague, an inconvenience. This lax attitude towards “smell & bell” calls can be extremely destructive to maintaining a level of professionalism in the crews. Members old and new can use these calls as great learning opportunities! For the newer members, soak everything in. Hydrant locations, building construction, lengths of hose stretches needed to reach upper floors, different occupancy’s at various times of day, special hazards, and the list goes on… Older members, use the knowledge gained in the past from these calls to teach the newer members. These calls provide an immense opportunity of learning for new and old members.

“It’s the old factory off Main Street again, that’s the 3rd time tonight that alarm has come in! Just toss your gear in the back, guaranteed it’s a false alarm again.” How many times have we had this attitude? We get so caught up in “Fire Alarm Activation” being a probable false alarm call that we forget, sometimes fire alarms actually do their jobs and detect a fire! Sooner or later, you will get caught.

Officers, take the time to do a quick size up. As for the firefighters on the crew, you should have a personal size up in your head! The size up for both officers and firefighters starts with the initial dispatch.

All of this ties back into complacency. Simply going through the motions at these mundane calls, I can guarantee you will get caught with your pants down more than once. It happens to everyone from the most experienced Chief, to the newest member.

When my crew hops off the rig, at ANY call, I expect the following basic standard of professionalism;

1) FULL PPE – This means pants (suspenders on, this isn’t Backdraft), coat (zipped up!), hood (around your neck, NOT inside your helmet), and gloves.

2) SCBA DONNED & READY – This means air level checked, straps tight, and mask ready to go. This does NOT mean straps hanging all over the place, mask left in the rig, and bottle at 2200 PSI…

3) SOMETHING IN YOUR HANDS! – Halligan, ax, hook, can, TIC, gas meter, clipboard for report, etc. I expect my guys to always have something in their hands. While responding, tool assignments are discussed, “I got the can”, “OK, I’ll grab the Irons”. Doing this for every call ensures crew integrity and ensures that when you pull up to a working fire, the crew isn’t doing a Chinese fire drill to A) figure out where the tools on the truck are located, or B) figure out which tools to grab…

As an officer, teaching members which tools are better or worse for each unique application will guarantee success when it counts. Get into the habit of having members “tag out” through accountability, regardless of the size of the incident. As an officer, be a leader! Having a white shield may indicate experience and knowledge, but not sharing that knowledge and experience is a sure way to fail. Your crew depends on YOU.

In the long run, always staying on your toes will keep yourself and your crew fresh and ready to go when the bell tips for the real thing! Don’t let complacency kill you!

Stay Safe,

– LT.

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 @

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.