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Guest blog written for Action Training Systems by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.) By now, most of us are familiar — or should be — with using our emergency vehicles as a shield against oncoming traffic to protect first responders and civilians while operating on a roadway. In addition, we use emergency warning lights and other items such as road flares and traffic cones to capture the attention of oncoming drivers.  Despite these efforts, we still see far too many stories such as this one that came out of Hanover County, Virginia: On October 11, 2018, forty-three-year-old Lt. Brad Clark with Hanover County Fire-EMS was killed, and three other firefighters
Guest blog written for Action Training Systems by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.) Pop quiz: What is signified by the low-pressure alarm on your SCBA sounding? If you answered, "I have 5 minutes of air left," consider yourself to officially be a fire service "dinosaur." That low-air alarm—official name is the End-of-Service-Time Indicator (EOSTI)—has been a feature of SCBA in the fire service since the first units appeared on fire scenes more than 5 decades ago. But it's now "caveman" technology in the world where the current generation of SCBA is more a "Land a Rover on Mars" technology. Today's SCBA provides firefighters with more than just a supply of breathing air. Most units on the market today have: * Head's Up Display (HUD) that visually displays information and system condition status to the SCBA's user (e.g., available air pressure or current
Guest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.) For only the second time in its 121-year history, the National Fire Protection Association is preparing to publish a new standard, NFPA 3000: Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events, with provisional standard status. Provisional standards are developed when there is a serious life safety concern that warrants an abbreviated standards development process. Active shooters and hostile events It's no secret that in the U.S. we're besieged by an epidemic of gun-related violence. Regardles
Guest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.) Firefighter training is not a synonym for testing.   We’ve all been a part of such an exercise, either as a student or an instructor or both. The 
Fire Service Leadership Profiles — Burton ClarkGuest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.) After writing the first leadership profile of Dr. Denis Onieal, the subject of the next article in that series immediately came to mind. Dr. Burton Clark, Ed.D., was a natural choice because he’s had a tremendous impact on my fire service career and likely hundreds of thousands of my colleagues over the years. Dr. Clark has been many things over the years, but his LinkedIn Profile says it all: He lists himself as a Member of the Fire Service for more than 47 years.
Fire Service Leadership Profiles — Dr. Denis OniealGuest blog written by Battalion Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.) The recent passing of fire service legend Fire Chief (Ret.) Alan Brunacini was followed by an incredible outpouring of condolences for the Brunacini family and the fire service around the globe. The posts on social media and on fire service websites provided an incredible array of stories, reminisces and a genuine love for the man who taught us how to be a fire ground commander and he also introduced us to "Mrs. Smith." And he took the title of "King of the Hawaiian Shirt" away from Tom Selleck, aka, Magnum, P.I. In this first installment of Profiles in Fire Service Leadership, I've been given the opportunity to acknowledge and celeb