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Gary Bowker (Ret.)

Building Construction

Gary Bowker is a retired fire chief with the U.S. Air Force and retired fire marshal with the City of Winfield, Kansas, now serving as an associate instructor with the Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute. He previously served as fire chief with the Sumner County (Kansas) Rural Fire District #10 and has over 40 years in fire service. He has taught at the National Fire Academy, U.S. Department of Defense, and the Butler County Community College. He is nationally certified as a Fire Officer II, Instructor II, Inspector II, Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator. Bowker holds a bachelor’s degree in fire science administration. Connect with Chief Bowker on LinkedIn or via email.

Communication and command failures were key in fatal Florida fire that killed Loretta Pickard
Establish and enforce a collapse zone, and assign a separate incident safety officer to keep firefighters safe from a parapet collapse
This fire held lessons on truss-roof dangers that the fire service ignored for decades
Getting water on a fire quick makes a lot of other problems go away, and that’s even more critical given modern fuel loads
Chief Bowker relives the event that ended his career and nearly his life and examines ways firefighters can avoid dying from heart failure
Use this three-step size up method to identify the safety red flags when committing to roof operations
It’s the building type all firefighters should dread as fire will spread fast and unhampered through the walls and floors
They are often the size of small commercial buildings without the same sprinkler and fire-stop requirements, which can spell disaster for firefighters
What may seem a slight breeze can dramatically alter fire behavior within a structure, and the safety of those inside
Vinyl siding has a higher ignition temperature than wood, but once it melts away, the underlayment will quickly move fire up the structure