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

  • Proactive laddering

    By Mark van der FeystAt any structure fire, it is a good idea to initiate proactive fireground tasks. Pre-paring the fire ground ahead of time will aid in certain operations and provide a safety ne...

  • Different way to tie the halyard

    By Mark van der FeystOn an extension ground ladder, the halyard is tied off to secure the fly section to the bed section when not in use. It is common to use a clove hitch knot, incorporating the h...

  • Choose the best wire cutters

    By Mark van der Feyst In firefighter survival training, great emphasis is placed on carrying a pair of wire cutters to cut through wire entanglements. The type of wire cutters is important as it wi...

  • Room of refuge

    By Mark van der Feyst When conducting high-rise or low-rise operations, establishing a place of refuge. For the most part, protected stairwells will serve as refuge areas as this is where the stand...

  • Reverse the pike pole

    By Mark van der Feyst The pike pole and roof hook have piercing points for easier penetration into ceiling materials such as drywall. This piercing tip works well for punching into the ceiling from...

  • Calling a mayday

    By Mark van der Feyst Getting a mayday message across the radio sometimes can be difficult due to all the radio chatter taking place on the fireground. One way to ensure your mayday message gets ev...

  • Know the hose bed depth

    By Mark van der Feyst How many firefighters know the depth of their hose beds? When pulling hose, it is best to pull off the amount that is required as opposed to just pulling off a bunch of hose a...

  • Making sure gear is rescue ready

    By Mark van der Feyst Rescue-ready gear is ready to go at any time. It is easily accessible and set for quick deployment. In the volunteer stations this may mean having the gear in a locker; have i...

  • Making sure gear is rescue ready

    By Mark van der Feyst Rescue-ready gear is ready to go at any time. It is easily accessible and set for quick deployment. In the volunteer stations this may mean having the gear in a locker; have i...

  • Use the void spaces

    By Mark van der Feyst Fire helmets have a void space that sits above the webbing of the head harness. This is an excellent storage spot for two important items that we can use at any time. The firs...

  • Inspect the drag rescue device

    By Mark van der Feyst Every structural firefighting jacket purchased today will come with some form of a drag rescue device with access from the upper back. This device allows RIT firefighters or t...

  • Putting tools in the right pockets

    By Mark van der Feyst Many of us carry small hand tools in the pockets of our gear. Although there are many different thoughts on what tools each person should carry, a small assortment should be c...

  • Maintain your nozzles

    By Mark van der Feyst The hose lines packed on a fire apparatus will usually have a nozzle attached for quick deployment. These nozzles are exposed to weather, dirt, dust, sunlight, cold, snow and ...

  • 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 ...

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