Firefighter Tips


The FireRescue1 tips section offers tactical and safety advice aimed at helping fire and rescue personnel better deal with the difficult and dangerous situations encountered daily.

These tips and resources, provided by industry experts and members, range from ways to prep your apparatus for the winter to ensuring your SCBA face piece is properly cleaned. Because most tips are based off of real-world experience, we encourage you to submit your own tips.

All Firefighter Tips

  • Check and bleed nozzle before entering

    By Mark van der Feyst When an interior fire attack is warranted, having a proper water flow and nozzle pattern is the start of an operation that will go well. Accomplished this by checking and blee...

  • Use a blocker at MVAs

    By Mark van der Feyst This past month has delivered some record amounts of snow and freezing rain in parts of the country. This has led to traffic problems for the fire service, especially with veh...

  • Ensure your regulator is snapped in

    By Mark van der Feyst The majority of SCBAs have a Mask-Mounted Regulator that connects the low-pressure air hose to the face piece and initiates airflow when the firefighter takes a breath. A prob...

  • Ensure your SCBA cylinder is snapped in

    By Mark van der Feyst Some SCBA manufacturers are designing air packs with a quick-connect attaching the cylinder to the high-pressure hose feeding the reducing block. This quick-connect makes it f...

  • Keeping the hydrant clear of snow

    By Mark van der Feyst Hydrants are often buried by snow, making them difficult to locate and use. Most municipalities will have a by-law requiring residents to clear hydrants that are in front of t...

  • Flush the hydrant

    By Mark van der Feyst When securing a water source from a hydrant, make sure the hydrant works before connecting the hose. Do this by opening the hydrant momentarily to flow water. It is important ...

  • Avoid supply-line kinks

    By Mark van der Feyst Kinks are common in large-diameter supply hose when it's deployed from the hydrant to the fire apparatus intake. One way to alleviate the kinks is to make a big "O" with the s...

  • Hydrant kits

    By Mark van der Feyst There are different ways of preparing the hydrant kit so that it is ready to go with the hose when it is pulled off. No matter which way is chosen, it needs to be easily acces...

  • Get maximum hydrant water

    By Mark van der Feyst Whenever using a hydrant to supply water, it is important to get the greatest amount of water possible. Hydrants will have either two 2.5-inch ports or three ports consisting ...

  • Place tools at the hydrant's base

    By Mark van der Feyst The tasked with securing the hydrant a common place for staging the tools is the ground around the hydrant. This area is a bad choice. The ground area around hydrants can be a...

  • Angle the truck

    By Mark van der Feyst When working on the roadways, it is important to protect responders from distractive drivers. Angle the fire truck across the road or lane to provide a safe area to work. This...

  • Reflective clothing

    By Mark van der Feyst When working in the winter months, be extra vigilant to be more visible to motorists while working on the roadways. This can be accomplished by donning a reflective vest over ...

  • Light up the scene and road

    By Mark van der Feyst Due to the change in the season and fewer daylight hours in the Northern Hemisphere, be sure to illuminate the work area and warn other drivers that firefighters are working o...

  • Winter apparatus prep

    By Mark van der Feyst As the winter months approach, it is important to have fire trucks ready to respond in every type of weather. This means checking all of the winter options on each truck. This...

  • Ensure the SCBA regulator seats

    By Mark van der Feyst For those who use SCBAs with a detachable regulator, give a little tug on the regulator to make sure that it is firmly and securely locked in place once on air. Too many times...

  • Wash your face piece

    By Mark van der Feyst Wash your face piece after live fire trainings, actual fires or any calls where you used your SCBA face piece. Removing contaminates reduces your risk of exposure. It also sto...

  • Turn off your PASS

    By Mark van der Feyst During a training session last week, it was very noticeable that everybody's PASS alarms were working. Most forgot to disengage the PASS alarm when doffing their SCBA. This se...

  • Roof hooks out

    By Mark van der Feyst When using a roof ladder for vertical ventilation operations, always deploy the roof hooks before ascending up the ladder. Make sure that the hooks are facing away from you. Y...

  • Count the missing teeth

    By Mark van der Feyst Inspect rotary or ventilation saws on the fire trucks to ensure there are no missing teeth on the blades or chain. The saw manufacturer may recommend the minimum number of tee...

  • Pre-set nozzles

    By Mark van der Feyst As mechanical equipment is staged for use on the rigs, nozzles on pre-connected hose lines can also be readied for action. For the smooth-bore nozzles, nothing needs to be set...

  • Listen to your equipment

    By Mark van der Feyst Mechanical pieces of equipment such as the rotary saw, vent saw, hydraulic pump and positive pressure fan need to be checked and started on a daily basis to ensure that they a...

  • Stage your equipment

    By Mark van der Feyst When checking your truck, check each piece of equipment to ensure that it is working and problem-free. When a mechanical piece of equipment is put back on the shelf or tray, i...

  • Stay hydrated

    By Mark van der Feyst Working in sweltering heat is common for us especially inside a burning house. But when the outside temperatures are extremely high, we need to take extra precautions against ...

  • Keep a clean face

    By Mark van der Feyst I recently conducted a live burn class for an outside department. I noticed one participants had about a two-day's amount of growth on his face. He was under the impression th...

  • Clean the SCBA face piece

    By Mark van der Feyst The SCBA is face piece is easily overlooked when it comes to cleaning. The face piece is exposed to all kinds of dirt and grime from the fireground and exposure in the station...

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