5 stresses firefighters deal with that others don’t know about

5 stresses firefighters deal with that others don’t know about

We love this job and thank the good fortune that was bestowed upon us that we are firefighters.

And what‘s not to love? We eat like kings, occasionally get paid to sleep and watch TV, have a home away from home and form friendships like no other. It‘s as good a life as anybody could expect.

We proudly display our union stickers on our cars, and most of us have a few fire department T-shirts in our wardrobe. The public respects us, and we have earned it. We know this, and believe in ourselves for the most part, but nothing in our lives is absolutely perfect.

There is always the chance that something will happen that we have no control over. And it’s those fears that keep us up at night.

Every firefighter holds a few secrets that they typically keep to themselves.


5 Stresses Firefighters Deal With That Non-Firefighters Should Know About. weight of responsibility

Maintaining the illusion of an aloof but invincible know-it-all, can-do firefighter is work. Believe it or not, we do it not for ourselves, but for those who depend on us.

Firefighters are always on duty. There is no down time. The mind is never at rest. People depend on us to know what to do when they don‘t. There are a million things that could go wrong at any second, and firefighters are expected to perform. We keep this knowledge buried for the most part, but it is always there.


5 Stresses Firefighters Deal With That Non-Firefighters Should Know About. constant training

We have the aptitude for the job, but that’s not enough. It needs to be nurtured and constantly challenged. There is a word for what needs to be done to ensure competence: training.

And training never ends. It is as constant as breathing. When a skill is learned, it needs to re-learned at every available moment. There is always something new to perfect, and perfection is elusive. The training is the foundation that everything else depends upon. Having the skills to perform embedded in you through repetition helps when the real deal comes your way.


5 Stresses Firefighters Deal With That Non-Firefighters Should Know About. fear of failure

We border on arrogance, saunter through town like we own the place, respond to emergencies with a can-do” confidence and bask in the glow of public confidence. But in the middle of the night, when there is nobody but you and the thoughts that run through your mind, things are not so clear.

A million scenarios play out before you, and you question whether or not you have what it takes to respond. The what-if game knows no end.

  • What if the train that usually rolls through town unnoticed derails, and a toxic cloud of chlorine gas and anhydrous ammonia escapes?
  • What if the baby that normally sleeps through the night is found not breathing at three in the morning?
  • What if a truck carrying scrap metal takes the Thurber‘s Avenue curve too quickly and rolls onto a car full of college kids, trapping them, cutting them to shreds, and all you can do is watch them bleed to death while the crane that will free them slowly creeps up Rt. 95?
  • What if the kid who decided to hang himself changed his mind at the last second, and you arrived a second too late?
  • What if the fire is too hot, and a family of five burns to death 3 feet from where you stand, charged hoseline in hand, unable to get even 1 inch closer, and the echo of their screams is all that is left of them when you finally force the door?

Failure is not an option. There is no “nice try” in firefighting. There is success and there is failure.

Success is what makes firefighting great. Failure is soul-crushing, confidence stealing, character-destroying misery — it’s the greatest unspoken fear that every firefighter carries with them.


5 Stresses Firefighters Deal With That Non-Firefighters Should Know About. risk of cancer

Nobody wants to die. The myth that we will die so that others may live is just that, a myth. What we will do is take ridiculous chances at rescuing people — if, and only if, there is a chance we will come out alive. None of the firefighters who die in fires, collapses, accidents or explosions do so willingly. It is an insult to the integrity of life to think otherwise.

But die we do. Most often it isn‘t during a daring rescue, where images of a heroic firefighter are flashed across the screens of an adoring public. Most often we die alone, in bed, in agony, pain numbed by morphine, with a few people by our side, the ones that stayed with us during the struggle, when the lights are gone, and the cameras no longer roll.

We die from cancer. The things that burn emit toxins that we breathe in long after the fire is out.

  • The diesel fumes in the station that no system can capture.
  • The million and one chemicals that are created when a car catches fire.
  • The asbestos we breathe.
  • The dust that settles in our lungs and on our skin.


5 Stresses Firefighters Deal With That Non-Firefighters Should Know About. the things you see as a firefighter
Going to work knowing that there is a very good chance something will happen that will eat away at your soul becomes business as usual. Mentally preparing yourself to face death, disfigurement, madness and disease becomes the norm, while working or not.

It eats away at your humanity, your compassion, and your ability to love freely and without guile. The feeling of impending doom will always be with you, consciously or subconsciously, it matters not; what does matter is how you handle it.

The toughest among us are actually not that tough at all, they are simply the healthiest. Those who joke about the dead and make small talk of the mentally unstable are those of us who suffer the most and disguise their hurt with bravado. The rest of us just cope, and get through each day the best we can.

Firefighting is more than a way to make a living. It‘s a way of life. But nothing in life is free.

Even those who are fortunate enough to have the greatest job in the world know the price we pay, but for the benefit of those we love and those we protect and serve, we keep it to ourselves.

And it‘s killing us, slowly but surely.

Some Cool Things to Do in Abbotsford

Awesome Things To Do In Abbotsford

Abbotsford is indeed quite a beautiful and historic city. It is an agricultural community too and there are numerous things that you can do when you visit it. Abbotsford is considered the bread basket of Vancouver and has plentiful dairies and farms. Other than having a lot of wonderful dairies, Abbotsford is also home to raspberries and blueberries as well. However it must be noted that Abbotsford is not just an agricultural community and has plenty of culture and history as well.

Abbotsford is a community based on different cultures; it has the South Asian Community, the Chinese and the Europeans. There are some historic sites like the hundred year old Gur Sikh temple. The structure reflects the hard work and toil of the Indian people. The building is a National Historic Site in Abbotsford now.

Abbotsford has a diverse culture and it also is host to a multicultural festival to bring all the communities together. This article provides some cool and fun things to do during your visit to this beautiful town in British Columbia, Canada.

Read the complete article to learn more!

Abbotsford is also a sports haven, being tagged “Sports Town” for the number of facilities available such as ice rinks, soccer pitches, indoor and outdoor courts, and swimming pools.  It’s also a pinnacle stop on the trade-show circuit for shows like the RV Show, the Classic Car Show, the Horticultural Show, Antique Markets and Christmas shows. So you can sample the freshly produced, the locally made, the homespun, and then you can explore the rest of the platter that is being offered to you in Abbotsford: the history, the culture, and the activity.

Fun Things to Do in Abbotsford for Kids

The Reptile Guy

Mike Hopcraft is the kind of guy who knows that even the most exotic creatures have feelings too. It’s not just the cute fuzzy ones. The Reptile Guy houses rescues and those creatures that have been surrendered to him and he’s made it his life’s work to protect those most misunderstood by us: snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, and spiders, and to educate us about them.

Fun Things to Do in Abbotsford for Teens

Bowling & Billiards

“Well, ya got trouble, my friend … right here in River City … Trouble with a capital “T” and that rhymes with “P” and that stands for pool.”

Remember The Music Man? Well, thankfully, there’s not that stigma about the pool hall anymore.  (Although, I suppose if you’re a teenager, you wish there was.) Anyway, come hang out at the “pool hall” and the bowling alley with your pals.  Snooker. Pool. Arcade games, pinball. So hard to not be cool ‘round these parts.

Fun Things to Do in Abbotsford for Families

Silverbrook U-Catch Trout

Back in the day, it was a stick and a string and a poor wriggly worm.  And you had to hike uphill both ways in the snow in bare feet.  Well, you’re in luck, at Silverbrook U-Catch, there’s a rod with your name on it (well, it doesn’t really have your name on it; you’ll have to share), a lake with your fish in it (really), and, chances are good, you don’t have to hike uphill both ways to get there.  You even get to take your catch home with you for dinner! Yummy! Hope Granddad’s around for the gutting!


Ever wanted to know where your milk comes from? Or teach your children that the milk doesn’t just arrive in plastic jugs? The EcoDairy is the first demonstration farm in Canada.  In partnership with Science World, you can test your skills at milking a cow, meet the girls (i.e., cows) who give you your tasty beverage, watch the girls (i.e., cows) give their hair (coat) a brushing at the rotating cow brush.  You can even shovel manure if you want! Turn it into a feat of strength.

Fun Things to Do in Abbotsford for Grownups

Tretheway House Heritage Site

There’s a reason books like Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series are so popular – we love to have the past recreated for us.  It’s not the Scottish Highlands, but come see what life for a Canadian lumber baron was like in the 1920s, both in the house and gardens, and then take a stroll around beautiful Mill Lake.

Duft & Co. Bakehouse

Don’t go to their website. No, don’t.  You don’t want to see those pictures.  Really. I’m only saying this for your own protection – you’ll get your laptop wet.  Fine, you asked.  Fresh, handmade cinnamon buns, almond croissants, bread pudding, lemon sugar buns, this privately owned artisanal bakery in Historic Downtown Abbotsford has all this and more, and then there’s the lunch menu!  Stop by for a delicious and addictive experience.

Mountain Biking on Sumas Mountain

Maybe you’re hungry for adventure, adrenaline, and excitement?  The Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association can put you on the right path for that with any one of their network of trails across the Fraser Valley.

You can read the complete article here.

some strategies for lowering the construction risk

Strategies For Lowering The Construction Risk

Follow these strategies to minimize the construction risk

Reducing the construction risk: Construction can be a very risky and dangerous field due to numerous factors. The prime reason to this is that, construction is a very broad field which has different departments. The departments involved in a construction project are also diversified and have different responsibilities. Thus, the overall burden on a construction manager is much greater as compared to other fields.

In case of any incident or disaster, the entire project suffers and may face huge losses. So, it is essential that the risk factor should be as low as possible.

Fire Skills cares about you and keeps providing you all the necessary information to ensure your wellness. In addition to that, it also develops your safety skills, so that you could work safer in any environment. For these reasons, we are presenting this important article which highlights the strategies that you need to follow in order to reduce the construction risk.

You must read the complete article to learn the strategies to reduce risk in construction!

Allocate Risk

The contract negotiation and preparation phase is the best time for all project leaders, including the owner, contractors, architects, and building manager, to come together and anticipate all potential risks and assign responsibility of those risks to parties most apt to handle them should the unwanted arise. For example, the building owner and architect should be charged with ensuring design and environment issues are worked out and should draft a plan in case something arises. Meanwhile, contractors should be charged with ensuring personnel are equipped with all the necessary safety guidelines and understand how best to maneuver the environment with equipment in a safe and secure manner.

Add Protection with Indemnity Policies and Provisions

Even the best of plans can go awry. To be more proactive in managing construction risk, it is essential to ensure professional indemnity insurance coverage is up-to-date and meets the needs of the current project. This might require talking to an attorney or insurance representative to ensure the following policies (either under your insurance or insurance of partners) are in place at or by the start time of construction:

  • Product liability insurance.  This type of coverage protects against liability for injuries to people or property damages that arise from products supplied by a business. The suppliers of common construction equipment, such as escalators and lifts, are often required to maintain this type of insurance.
  • Public liability insurance.  This type of coverage protects against liability arising from the death or personal injuries to third parties and for property damages belonging to third parties. While most construction projects should ensure some type of security measures, such as security fencing around around the perimeter of a project zone, this type of clause ensures that should something happen, it will be handled swiftly and with care.

Managing Funding Risks and Feasibility Risks

These two types of risks are commonly described as “invisible risks” as they are rarely apparent until they are, in which they change the entire game. Yet, with careful preparation and research, most undertaking construction tasks can avoid them.

The first, feasibility risks, arise most commonly out of environmental issues that were not fully addressed in the original plan proposal. They include things like:

  • Extreme weather-based delays
  • Unforeseen factors of a specific location
  • New issues with coding and zoning laws

In order to further understand the topic and learn more about it, read the great, full-length article on tips for reducing construction risk.

Some things before obtaining LED light bars

Some Things You Need To Know Before Obtaining LED Light Bars

These are a few things that you need to know before obtaining LED light bars

Things to learn before obtaining LED light bars: LED technology is the best technology available in the market, to cater for all your lighting needs. There are fluorescent lamps and incandescent lamps too but LED light bars are far superior than them. The superiority and better characteristics of LED light bars come from their efficiency, low power consumption and very long lives. LED lights are known to live up to 50,000 hours per LED! The life of LED light bars is dependent on the usage as well but still, they showcase impressive lives.

If you like to go on adventures on your ATV, motorcycle or 4×4 vehicle, LED driving lights are the best option for your needs. They will help you see the way at night and will also help your friends to keep track of your vehicle in the dark.

If you have a factory or industry where you want uninterrupted work, 24/7, then you need LED work lights to keep working at night.

Fire skills shares valuable content with you and this is another important article for all the valued readers. If you want the perfect lighting solution, LED light bars are undoubtedly the best option but there are some things that you must know before deciding to obtain LED light bars.

Read the complete article to learn more about the things you need to know before investing in LED light bars!

Lumens, not watts

Forget what you know about incandescent lamps — your watts are no good here.

When shopping for bulbs, you’re probably accustomed to looking for watts, an indication of how bright the bulb will be. The brightness of LEDs, however, is determined a little differently.

Contrary to common belief, wattage isn’t an indication of brightness, but a measurement of how much energy the bulb draws. For incandescent lamps, there is an accepted correlation between the watts drawn and the brightness, but for LEDs, watts aren’t a great predictor of how bright the bulb will be. (The point, after all, is that they draw less energy.)

You’ll pay more for an LED light bar

LED light bars are like hybrid cars: cheaper to operate but pricey upfront.

When switching to LED light bars, don’t expect to save buckets of cash. Instead, think of it as an investment. Luckily, competition has increased and LED light bars have come down in price but you should still expect to pay much more than an incandescent light.

Eventually, the LED light bars will pay off, and in the meantime, you’ll enjoy less heat production and longer lifespan.

In order to obtain more information on this important topic, read the original article on considerations that you need to make prior to buying LED light bars.


some common overhead crane hazards and ways to prevent them

Common Overhead Crane Dangers and Ways To Prevent Them

Some Common Overhead Crane Hazards and Tips On How to Prevent Them

Preventing Overhead Crane Hazards: There are numerous machines in an industry, each operating to conduct the business in a smooth and productive way. Cranes are also a vital part of many industries. They make it very easy to lift, tug and pull heavy loads. Overhead cranes, in particular are part and parcel of the production and manufacturing sector. They are very efficient machines and like all other cranes, have safe working load rating too. There are some dangers associated with overhead cranes as well and they can be prevented by implementing some easy tips. This article discusses some of the most common overhead crane hazards and tips to prevent them.

Read the complete article to learn more about this important topic!

Potential Electrical Hazards

About 50% of all crane accidents that happen overhead can be attributed to machinery coming into contact with a power source of some kind during operation. Typically, why this occurs is because, as a crane moves materials close to or beneath energized power lines, the hoist line or boom gets into contact with the electrical source. This is an issue, which is about half of all hazards that are associated with these overhead cranes, and it can be stopped with good safety planning.

Any Materials Falling

One of the best ways to lessen the chance of any materials falling down from cranes is clear. It is to make sure to perform regular maintenance of hoists. An example of this is to do load testing maintenance to ensure that you know how many pounds a hoist can handle exactly. It also will provide an accurate indication of just how well the hoist is functioning currently. Another way to reduce the chance of mechanical failure is by performing inspections of the crane each day. If, and when, a potential problem is identified by the operators, they need to make sure to implement the lockout/tag-out procedure.

At TNT Crane Service, Inc., we always make sure to put safety and prevention first. It is our number one priority. Because of this fact, we ensure that all the machines we have are kept well maintained and up to date. What this does is ensures that you will be getting the most effective, as well as, the most reliable equipment that is available. Please view the equipment that we have on hand for sale or rental today. It may help you to find the crane that you require for your next major project coming up.

You can find the original article here.

Erosion control on steep slopes and embankments

Erosion Control on Steep Slopes and Embankments

How to control erosion control on steep slopes

Heavy rain can cause damage to the soil and it can lead to erosion as well. Erosion is the action of surface processes that remove soil, rock or other dissolved material from the surface of earth. The removed particles are then transported to other locations.

Some problems associated with erosion

Erosion can cause a lot of problems. When the erosion process starts, the top soil generally erodes first. The top soil is rich in nutrients and when it erodes away, the remainder of the soil does not have enough nutrients to support plant life.

In addition to the removal of top soil, erosion can cause an increased runoff. The reason behind this is that, as the top soil erodes away, the soil that is left behind, does not have good water retaining capability. Due to the erosion of top soil, the organic matter in the soil is reduced and so water retention is decreased.

Erosion on soil can also cause sediment to accumulate in nearby lakes, oceans and rivers. Due to the sedimentation, the fish and other wildlife find it difficult to see well and find their food. Another problem that may arise is that they sometimes intake soil particulates through their gills which affects their breathing.

Due to land development on hilly areas, erosion control becomes vital on steep slopes and embankments. Especially in areas that experience heavy rainfall. Such steep slopes that have no vegetation or cover are more likely to develop erosion as compared to other ones. Erosion can cause a lot of damage to the landscape and the infrastructure that is surrounding a particular project. So, it is essential to protect the hillside from erosion before the starting and completion of the project.

Read the complete article to develop an understanding of this problem and to learn how to cater this problem!

Soil erosion is bad and can prove to be very harmful, so it must be controlled. There are many ways to control and limit this issue and are described below:

Natural Solutions

Natural solutions to handle erosion in soil

The most effective, natural way to control soil erosion on steep slopes and embankments is to plant vegetation. Not only will the grass, fescue and leaves help to slow down raindrops as they fall, the roots of the plants will also help to hold the soil together, making it harder for water to wash it away.

However, when planting vegetation on a slope to stop erosion, you need to keep in mind that what you’re planting is just as important as the planting. Though grasses can create a groundcover that can absorb some moisture, they have less effective storm water filtration ability compared to native ground cover.

Artificial Solutions

artificial ways to control erosion in soil

Other than planting vegetation, there are also a variety of artificial solutions you can use. For instance, the use of geomats has become popular over the last few years. Geomats are water permeable polymers that are used to help fix soil elements, grass and small plant roots, and have been shown to work extremely well, especially on barren slopes that have no vegetation.

Soil Composition Enhancement

Improving the soil structure to enhance it and control erosion

You could also control erosion by controlling the soil itself. As heavy rain tends to be the biggest culprit for soil erosion on slopes and embankments, by controlling the composition of the soil, you specialty soils could control the effect that water has on it and therefore the likelihood that it will be eroded.

The complete article can be accessed here.

TNT Crane Opens A New Branch In Edmonton Alberta

TNT Crane & Rigging Canada Inc. opens new Branch in Edmonton, Alberta

TNT Crane & Rigging Canada is pleased to announce that it will open a branch office outside of Edmonton in Leduc, Alberta in July, 2016. The new branch will be located at 3310 Allard Avenue, Leduc, Alberta.

TNT is expanding into the area to provide crane services to existing and new customers in the region.  TNT crane services currently has seven branches stretching from British Columbia to Ontario servicing multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Wind Construction, Bridge & Road Construction as well as Commercial customers.

Bob Fairbank, President & CEO said “We are excited about opening our newest branch in Edmonton and bringing our experience and expertise to better serve our customers in the region. Edmonton offers great potential for growth and we look forward to expanding our customer base here through this commitment.”

About TNT Crane & Rigging

Founded in 1985, TNT Crane and Rigging is one of the largest crane service providers in North America.  TNT operates a modern fleet of more than 625 hydraulic truck, all terrain and crawler cranes ranging in lifting capacity from 8 tons to 1300 tons, plus a comprehensive inventory of gantry jacks, forklifts, rigging equipment, personnel and tractor/trailers.  The company has over 1,400 employees working in branch locations from Texas, Denver, Canada and the Atlantic seaboard. TNT has the equipment and experience to deliver lifting solutions efficiently and safely.

Fire department releases video on mayday training

Fire department releases video on mayday training

The intention of the video is to stress the importance of training and preventing future incidents

Berkeley Fire Department

FOLSOM, Calif. — The Berkeley Fire Department, Cahill Multimedia and EVALS Learning Management System released an After Actions Video that explains the Channing Way Mayday Event.

The term mayday was adopted by the fire service from the Maritime Industry and means “Help Me” after being translated from its French origin.

The three-alarm fire at a historic East Bay church was the result of a wind-driven fire that concluded with a partial collapse, a mayday and a near-catastrophic loss of a firefighter.

Following the ​mayday at the Channing Way fire last fall, the Berkeley Fire Department identified a number of factors that contributed to both the near-miss, but also factors that possibly saved a firefighter’s life once he was in a bad situation. The forward-thinking department partnered with EVALS and Cahill Multimedia in order to share their story with their own agency, as well as the entire fire service.

“The intention of the video is to provide first-hand accounts from the people involved in the mayday and to stress the importance of training in the outcome of the incident and in preventing future incidents. The video is not intended to critique or criticize tactics or individuals,” Deputy Chief Dave Brannigan said.

Incidents like these are thoroughly investigated by specially trained teams to find out what happened and what may have caused the incident to happen. The lessons learned are then disseminated in a report.

“The spirit of the After Actions Video is to augment the official reports, to make the story of the incident more accessible,” James Doyle, a co-founder of EVALS, said. “Not everyone will sit down and read a 200 page report, but they might watch a video. We believe that AAVs provide an engagement level far beyond the traditional method currently being used in post incident training. Watching AAVs can enhance learning by creating more interested and vested participants.”

Jason Cahill of Cahill Multimedia and a fire captain with 17 years on the job stated, “Sometimes you can do everything right and still die, for every other situation what you know will be the PPE that saves your ass.”

Chief Brannigan concluded that, “As a department, a positive result of a near-miss is to analyze and share what we learned, both negative and positive, and then plan training to address any identified issues.”