Hasbrouck Heights-11th Annual Barbecue

Engine One Holds its 11th Annual Barbecue
By Firefighter Justin Watrel, Hasbrouck Heights Fire Dept.

The brothers of Engine One held their 11th annual barbecue for the members of the Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department, department retirees, and honorary members.

More than fifty people came over the course of the evening to enjoy good food and conversation. Under the direction of Barbecue Chairman Justin Watrel and grill masters, Captain Tim Moots and Lieutenant Bernie Valente, the members enjoyed hot dogs, hamburgers, Italian sausage, baby back ribs, sides of baked beans, mac and cheese, and baked ziti. Chairman Watrel baked homemade desserts of brownies, rice crispy treats, chocolate chips cookies, and blue berry muffins.

It was a warm sunny spring evening at the firehouse and it was a nice time to catch up with everyone. A big thank you to all the brothers of Engine One for such a welcoming evening of good food and conversation. It was a nice way to usher in the summer months ahead.

Firefighters Battle 5 Alarm in Passaic

Firefighters Battle 5 Alarm in Passaic
By Peter Danzo

At just after 22:00 on July 16th, 2018, Passaic NJ Fire Dept Engines 2, 3 & 4, L-2 and Battalion 1 responded to the area of Monroe St and Lexington Ave. for a reported structure fire in the El Chevere Restaurant.

While enroute units were advised that the police were reporting a fire, upon arrival of Acting BC-1 he confirmed a working fire and quickly requested a 2nd alarm.

Fire was visible inside the restaurant as co’s stretched a 2-1/2” handline into the building and the truck went to the roof. Initial reports were that the main body of fire appeared to be knocked down but the interior crews discovered fire above them which was confirmed by the truck which reported fire from the kitchen vent and then heavy fire in the cockloft and showing from the vent hole.

With conditions rapidly deteriorating command had all co’s evacuate the building as well as the roof. The fire rapidly spread to the delta, bravo, bravo 1 and bravo 2 exposures but co’s were successful in protecting the delta 1, bravo 3 and charlie exposures which were all attached. A total of 5 alarms were sounded bringing numerous mutual aid co’s from Bergen and Passaic Counties to the scene and for cover. 5 businesses were destroyed, 6 firefighters suffered minor injures and the fire was declared under control just after 02:00 with the use of 4 aerials and numerous hand lines and ground monitors but companies remained on the scene through out the night and into the next day.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

New Milford Four-Alarm Inferno

New Milford Four-Alarm Inferno
By Chris Tompkins

New Milford, NJ – On Sunday afternoon, July 29th, firefighters battled a four-alarm inferno that send a black smoke plume high in the sky. The thick smoke could be seen for miles.

At 11:37 A.M., firefighters were dispatched to 12 Canterbury Lane for a reported attached deck fire. Dispatch advised the responding units that they were receiving multiple calls and that police department was on scene reporting a well-involved deck fire with extension to the interior. Command requested the working fire assignment and an additional engine from Oradell while responding. Once on scene, New Milford’s chief reported the rear of a two-story townhome engulfed in flames that had already extended into the interior and transmitted a second-alarm.

Engines 31 and 34 arrived on the scene, established a water supply and stretched a two-and-a-half-inch line to the rear and a one-and-three-quarter inch line through the front door. Firefighters made an interior attack once the rear line knocked down the massive fire. They were then able to knock down heavy fire on the first and second floors.

The fire, however, had already extended into the attic and was venting through the roof. A third-alarm was transmitted as firefighters checked the exposures for any extension. The heavy fire consumed the roof and pushed toward the front of the structure, eventually dropping down to the second floor. Evacuation tones were sounded to clear the building as heavy fire vented from two windows on the “Alpha” side.

A fourth-alarm was transmitted, and New Milford Tower 31 was put into operation with multiple exterior lines to knock down the heavy fire. The fire was brought under control within two hours. One homeowner suffered burns to the hands and one firefighter sustained heat-exposure injures.

Mutual aid from River Edge, Oradell, Bergenfield, Dumont, Maywood, Paramus, Closter, Demarest, Englewood, Teaneck and Hackensack assisted on scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


By Robert Policht

Whether you use the terminology of Rapid Intervention Team/Crew, or Firefighter Assist and Search Team, the concept addresses having a dedicated team that is responsible for rescuing a rescuer. Depending on where you are from, these teams may operate completely differently. Some companies simply arrive on scene, set up on the street side of the incident, and wait until further orders. There are companies that are proactive and conduct their own complex tactics as the dedicated resource. Depending on the jurisdiction, response criteria may be extremely unique. Some places assigned the latter due unit to act as the FAST, while some places assign only special units the task, and in some places, there are only a few select units that carry out the responsibilities. At the end of the day the responsibilities of the FAST are to search and rescue firefighters in distress.

The FAST team requires several tools that allow them to execute these rescuing operations. The tools range from a variety of hand tools, stokes basket, search ropes, and some saws. These tools aid in the crew by accessing and removing the firefighters they are rescuing. Most of the time it seems that this dedicated team ends up standing around. However, it is vital for these teams to prep the building by “softening” it. The phrase “softening the building” relates to literally softening the egresses of a structure. After completing a 360 of the structure, it is beneficial for the team to see what they are dealing with and develop their own understanding of the building. Some simple things the team can do to soften a building include:
• Setting up ground ladders for potential rescue/egress point
• Removing bars from doors and windows
• Removing gates/fences to open access to the operational area, etc.

In the event the crew has adequate manpower to split in half, it may be beneficial to set up the one team on the AB corner and the other on the CD corner. This allows for the company to have a continuous awareness of the ever-changing conditions of the incident.

All units responsible for the specific duties of a FAST team are critical and their placement is key, as it proves to be beneficial to the operation. It allows the incident commander to simply assign the duties to any unit that is not being actively used or that is not tactically staged. This creates a more fluent decision-making process when things have the potential to become chaotic. The specific unit approach creates a dependency on those resources. Should there be an incident in a county that had only a few specific companies responsible for a FAST team, the incident commander may find himself waiting for that one unit to arrive from farther away compared to a latter due engine or truck that may be designated the FAST team. Whether or not these teams are proactive depends on the training of the officers and the department. It may be even taken deeper to each firefighter. Do you want to just show up and be outstanding or be proactive and continuously beneficial to the operation? If you were caught in a deteriorating situation, wouldn’t you want half of the work done for you to get out of a building? If units on scene aren’t softening the building then you have the potential to find yourself working through Pandora’s box, making your way to a window, removing bars from the interior, and potentially performing a window bailout compared to getting out on to a ladder.

Always seek continuous improvement, because everyone depends on each other. You can attend training classes, seminars, or even watch some YouTube videos to develop your own awareness of these types of operations. The round table approach is beneficial because it allows you and your crew to discuss potential operations, in a similar manner to sports teams viewing post game footage. The FAST team discussion is one that must be constantly addressed to continuously evolve company tactics and awareness.

Squat This Way

Squat This Way
By Kyle Kwodynski

Most people know squats are an exercise everyone should include in their program. You should start adding them to your program. They work the muscles and stabilizers in your lower body as well as your core. There are many variations of the squat–the most popular is the barbell back squat, but think about it, how often do you lift something or someone up like that? Barbell back squats are a great exercise and should be in many individual’s programs, but when you’re training, you want exercises that could translate to what you’ll need to do at a call and help you perform better right? In my opinion, the Zercher squat is the best squat variation that all first responders should include in their program.

Why? Well, unlike back squats, the bar is placed in front, in the inside crooks (elbow pit) which slightly mimics how you may lift someone off the ground or performs a one-man drag. You lift from the front most of the time right? You will work more muscles like the muscles in your legs, upper back, biceps, and will challenge your core more than back squats. All these muscles play a role when it comes to lifting or dragging someone or something. Plus who doesn’t like a good biceps pump especially on leg day?

How do you perform a Zercher squat? I prefer you try it from a dead stop position where you start from the bottom as opposed to starting at the top because lifting from the bottom mimics lifting someone or something up off the ground. Start in a power rack or squat rack (for safety purposes) with the safety pins set between your chest and waist. You want it, so your thighs are parallel (or close) to the floor at the bottom. Once you find the height you want for the safety pins, put the bar on top of them and load it up with weight. Then take a shoulder-width stance with your toes pointed slightly outward. Take a deep breath filling your belly with air then pulling your belly into your spine, squat down to the bar keeping your back straight and head looking forward and place the bar in the crooks (elbow pit) of your bent arms. You could interlace your fingers, put one hand over the other, or have your palms facing each other or toward you, but have your knuckles pointing up. Keeping your head looking forward, back straight, core tight (with air in it from the breath

you took), and arms bent holding the bar, squat up, exhale, then take another belly breath at the top and lower slowly and controlled to the safety pins or just before them, and repeat.

Few things to keep in mind while performing this movement: Don’t let the weight pull you forward rounding out your back. Keep that bar against your body throughout the whole movement. Make sure to keep your feet completely flat. If you notice your heel comes up off the floor, place 2.5 plates under your heels. Moreover, when you squat down, don’t let your knees travel past your toes.
This could be a very uncomfortable exercise, especially on the arms. I find the thicker the bar, the less discomfort but if you do not have access to that kind of bar, there are a few options. You could wear a sweatshirt where the sleeves cover your arms. You could wear elbow sleeves. You could also get a long towel and roll it around the bar and use wrist straps to keep it in place. You may think that it’ll make you a wimp doing any of those options but think about it, you’ll likely be wearing your turn out gear when doing a lift or drag.

The barbell back squat should not be eliminated from anyone’s program. I would keep it in your program and add Zerchers in the same session. You could switch up which one to start your leg day with every session. Heck, some people squat a couple times a week where one workout you focus on back squats and the other day focus on Zerchers. Either way, do both if possible.

Like with all new exercises, start out light with Zercher squats and focus on form in the beginning. Hopefully, you will like this exercise and will find it helpful. Now go SQUAT!

Stairwell Management

StairWell Management
By Deputy Chief Mike Terpak

If you are one of those departments who has trouble with too many firefighters crowding and clogging the interior stairs of a building, this one is for you. The interior stairwell needs to be kept open. How many times have you seen or been one of those firefighters standing on each and every step in the building waiting your turn to get to the fire floor and go to work. Now we all know why this happens, and it is rewarding to see to the dedication and determination to “go to work.” But as a boss, you need to remind your people that everyone may not be “getting into the game today,” so let’s do a better job at managing the team.

The above presents a major concern on the fire ground, and if you have been a part of this, you can anticipate what I’m going to say. When things go bad on the fire floor (flashover), or if an individual member has a mask (SCBA) malfunction and they need to exit quickly, they can’t. Attempting to exit too quickly and leave the fire floor only to be caught in a massive traffic jam on the stairs below you is unacceptable. At many incidents it has caused serious injury as members attempted to dive over the “conga line” of firefighters standing on each step and stair landing below. In my forty plus years, I have had this conversation and stressed this concern numerous times before and after incidents. So how can we address this before it becomes a problem? We came up with three approaches to the problem. Consider the following:

• Only assign what you need – It all starts and begins with the Incident Commander. To put it bluntly, only assign what you need! If you have an army of firefighters show up for what initially is identified as “small content fire,” obviously all you need is the resources of one engine and one ladder company with everybody else staying outside waiting for further assignments. Even if that same army shows up to a “working fire” with fire showing out of two windows on the second floor of a multiple dwelling, you don’t need to send in the entire army. Use and assign what you need, no more!

• Management via FD radio – To further assist with scene management, many fire departments including my own require the Incident Commander to give a brief “status” report over the radio within the first few minutes of arrival, describing conditions and actions. To further illustrate this, the following is a sample radio transmission of what this may sound like:
“Fire Dispatch from Battalion 4… At Box 579 we are using Engines 15 and 17, and Ladders 9 and 11 for a fire on the 2nd.floor of a 5-story Class 3 Multiple Dwelling… the rest of the assignment is staged”

Now what this does in its simplest design is assign/inform who should be in the building and who shouldn’t be. If you are not assigned to Engines 15 and 17 or Ladders 9 and 11 and you are in the building when you hear this, you are free-lancing.

• Stair discipline – Every company and chief officer assigned to the inside of the building has an obligation to keep the stair leading up to the fire floor clear of all firefighters. During a fire fight, firefighters and their officers need to stage on the floor below and wait to be called up to go to work. When I assigned a battalion chief to coordinate the operations on the inside of the building this is one of his/her key jobs; stairwell management. But please note, it doesn’t have to be a chief officer. The officer of the fire company next in-line to proceed up must assume this responsibility as well. Just think of the consequences if this responsibility is ignored.

Managing the interior of a building, notably the stairwell, is a responsibility that must be discussed, reviewed, and addressed before your next incident. If you are a senior member, company or chief officer, take charge of this area as soon as you can. The members on the fire floor will be thankful.

Dear Fire Chief

May 25, 2018
Dear Fire Chief,

I want to first thank you and all of the members of your fire department, for your sacrifice and service on behalf of our community. I write to make you aware that beginning in 2019, your fire department, as well as other New Jersey career fire departments, can again apply for federal funding to retain firefighters under the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.

As a former New Jersey Mayor, I know how important SAFER funding is to ensuring that fire departments have the resources and funding needed to ensure adequate staffing of a robust response team. That’s why I wrote to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security urging that appropriators reinstate the SAFER language authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency grant waivers in the SAFER statute, which the President proposed cutting. This important language is critical for firehouses across the state to maintain adequate staffing levels.

I am pleased to report that the recent omnibus government spending bill reinstated language to the SAFER grant program that will, once again, allow career fire departments to apply for federal funding to retain firefighters under the Recruitment and Retention category of the SAFER grant program.

I encourage you to take steps to place your department in the best position to compete for federal funding under the SAFER grant program. Consider my office a useful resource during this process, and l look forward to writing in support of your SAFER grant applications. Should you have any questions, please contact my Newark office at 973-639-8700.

I am proud we were able to reinstate this language and bring greater federal fund ing for emergency services back to New Jersey. I look forward to continue to working with you in support ofNew Jersey’s first responders.

Cory A. Booker
United States Senator

Cover Story

Dangerous Down Wires Causing Havoc in Livingston as Firefighters Await PSE&G
By Rob Munson

June 14,2018 Livingston Fire Department responded to a Reported Primary Wire Down And Burning To the rear of 201 South Livingston Ave. Assistant Chief Francione arrived and reported that two wires dropped and were burning along parked cars in a lot. Before PSEG could shut the power off to the lines, Five Energized cars were destroyed by fire. The FD also rescued people trapped in elevators in the adjacent office buildings during the incident.

Firefighter University

Firefighter University
By Ret. DC John G. Riker

With the exception of death and taxes there are few absolutes’ in life. There is no guarantee that when firefighters enter a burning building they will come out alive. The obstacles firefighters face and dangers they encounter to often prevail over their dedication to duty. The answer is to be as well prepared as possible to react to any situation.

The SCBA has proven to be a reliable piece of firefighting equipment. Engineered and built to withstand the harsh conditions of the fire ground, break downs, and malfunctions are a rare occurrence.

Often firefighter SCBA training consists of what to do in the event the face piece becomes fogged or the harness gets tangled on an object. In all of these events air is still available to the firefighter. A simple adjustment of the by-pass valve or shoulder strap could easily remedy these situations.

But what can be done when there is no air remaining. Years ago, firefighters were taught to remove the low-pressure hose from their regulators and put it under their coats. The clothing that they wore was intended to filter smoke and allow the firefighter to breathe the air that was trapped next to their body. With many of the SCBAs in use today, this procedure is no longer an option. A new procedure was needed. The maneuver, outlined here, is designed to give firefighters a fighting chance to survive in a smoke-filled atmosphere. Here are the steps to remember when no air is being delivered to the facepiece:
1. Don’t panic. Stop all other actions. Concentrate on the procedure. Work quickly. Even during training, firefighters who suddenly lost their supply of air found it difficult to remain calm. Many members ripped off their facepiece to take a breath. The only way to overcome this problem is by training.
2. Drop to the floor. Dropping down helps you get relief from heat, improves your visibility, and helps you focus. This action may also alert other firefighters to your problem.
3. Activate PASS alarm. Call for help immediately by activating your PASS alarm. Should you fail to gain control, a single breath of toxic atmosphere could render you unconscious, resulting in a delay in your discovery. It was also discovered that wearing the PASS alarm on the back of the SCBA made it difficult to reach. The PASS alarm should be readily accessible and activated at the first sign of any emergency.

4. Position your facepiece close to the floor, and remove the regulator. Place the facepiece opening down on the floor. The only remaining air in a smoke-filled room is at the floor level. Do not remove the facepiece. It offers some protection and aids your visibility.

5. Cover the facepiece opening with a Nomex® hood or gloved hand. Folding your hood or placing a gloved hand over the opening of the facepiece will act as a crude filter against smoke particles. If possible, signal a mayday according to your department’s operational procedures. Give your location, name, and company identification.6. Place the covered facepiece opening directly on the floor. The firefighter must maintain this position throughout the escape.

7. Leave the hazard. Get to an area where you are able to breathe.
8. Contact your officer; report your condition and location.

When a firefighter depletes their air supply there is little time to think it through. Reactions must be instinctive. This can only be accomplished through training. The “No Air Maneuver” was designed to give a firefighter a fighting chance, one more breath, a few more seconds to be rescued. There is no one answer for every fire ground situation. This procedure may help you escape in the event of an emergency. To have no procedure means you have less of a chance to survive should your SCBA malfunction.

New Deliveries

New Deliveries
By Dennis C. Sharpe

Westmont Volunteer Fire Company, Camden County, New Jersey. 2017 Seagrave Marauder II TB71CS Hydro Force Squirt, Serial #88022 is equipped with a 4 door 5 seat climate controlled cab, flat roof, 500HP Cummins ISX-12 Diesel engine, Allison EVS4000 automatic transmission, 2000gpm single stage Waterous CSU pump, 500 gallon UPF Poly Tank III water tank, two EMS compartments in the rear of the cab, InSight flow meter, FRC Pump Boss controls, Kussmaul auto-eject, LED compartment lighting, ROM shutters, Cummins Onan 6kW generator, Slide Master tool trays, high rise packs, 1500gpm Hydro Force articulating waterway with TFT Master Stream nozzle and 4 FRC Pioneer LED lights, rear 4” intake, saws, fans, tarps, receivers for low angle rescue, Genesis extrication tools, Hannay electric reel, front brow light, Whelen F4NMini LED light bar with Whelen M6R rear LED light bars, front discharge, Federal Q2B mechanical siren, Roto-Ray, LED MARS lights. Sold through EES, Inc. of Ewing, New Jersey and the salesman was Robert Evans, with a cost of $745,000.

Belleplain Volunteer Fire Company, Dennis Township, Cape May County, New Jersey. 2018 Pierce Enforcer, Job #31218 is equipped with a 4 door 6 seat climate controlled cab, raised roof, full height rear doors, Cummins L9 Diesel engine, Allison 3000EVS automatic transmission, Hale QMAX150-23L single stage pump, 1000 gallon UPF Poly Tank III water tank, 20 gallon Class A foam tank, Akron foam system, Wil-Burt Night scan, Kussmaul auto-eject, LED compartment lighting, Trident Air Prime, Pro Pak, Task Force Tips Extenda-Gun deck gun, booster hose reel, Amdor shutters, slide out tool trays, Honda EU 3000is portable Inverter, ladder tunnel, fan, 4 Hannay hydraulic reels, Hurst extrication tools, side & rear facing cameras, cribbing, rear tank fill, Federal Q2B mechanical siren, electronic siren, swing out tool boards, LED warning lights, front discharge & preconnect, receivers on all four sides for winch. Sold through Fire & Safety Services, South Plainfield, New Jersey. The salesperson was Sam Squire, and the cost was $550,000.

Bargaintown, N.J. (Egg Harbor Twp.)
2017 Rosenbauer Commander
2000 / 750 / Extrication Tools / Wil-Burt