Trending Topics

Tom LaBelle

The Butcher’s Bill

Tom LaBelle is an assistant chief with the Wynantskill (N.Y.) Fire Department where he is responsible for training. He has worked for the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs since 1995. Prior to that he served as the legislative director for the New York State Assembly’s Sub Committee on Fire Protection Services. He is a voting member on the NFPA 1720 committee and is a certified fire instructor and fire officer. “The Butcher’s Bill,” originates from the British military’s post-battle evaluation of if strategic and tactical objectives were met and the numbers killed and wounded. This they called “The Butcher’s Bill.”

From tiring the forced-entry crew to barring emergency egress, bars that buttress doors closed are bad news for firefighters
Without a solid planning and training for staff changes and shortages, summer vacations can be deadly for those left behind
Stories of success and failure add context to the tactical skills and research data of fire suppression
Salvage isn’t the work recruiting posters are made of, but it is immensely important to those having one of the worst days of their lives
Planning for acts of violence before they occur is key to mitigating their impact
Understanding strategies, tactics and tasks will allow fire departments to properly train for the rare rescue
Done right, forced entry is a thing of beauty; done wrong and it can endanger the entire fire operation
Understanding ventilation’s effect on fire behavior and its safe techniques is key to a safe firefight
For an effective and safe fire attack, it is critical to understand the cause-and-effect relationship between fire and ventilation
Overhaul can be a time when the diligent safety practices of a fire attack become lax, which opens the door for injury