Spokane Fire District 10 hit a milestone by organizing the all-female crew, which was the first time it had been done in the city

Spokane Fire District 10 has been trying to organize an all-female crew for months. Last week, they pulled it off.

The district hit a milestone on July 3, staffing a shift with only female firefighters—the first time such a thing has been done in Spokane, they said. Rachel Rademacher, McKenna Jimno, Kelsey Wardsworth, Amanda Pastian, Shyann Morton, Tiffany Pope and Brittany Wuesthoff made up the crew. Read More...

Prior to the mid-1970s, few fire departments thought much about personal facilities for their members. Firefighters slept in large open dorms, while fire officers might have their own rooms at larger departments, and there was one big locker room that included toilets and showers.

When hiring women became more prevalent in the early 1980s, fire departments had to reconsider their living arrangements. Was it appropriate for women and men to share a common dorm? What about bathroom facilities? Some departments took immediate steps to modify facilities for the changing workforce, while others are still struggling with the issue to this day. Read More...

Just like in citizens, drinking and driving is not a new problem in public safety. For some volunteer fire companies, having volunteer firefighters show up at the scene of a fire while under the influence of alcohol is also not a new problem. Even organizations with career staff may have to deal with crewmembers showing up to a shift planning to firefight while under the influence (FFUI) or while intoxicated (FFWI).

Showing up for a shift while still intoxicated, even though you might not realize it, is easier to do than you think. The drug and alcohol policy of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, which our firm mirrors, states that personnel should refrain from consuming alcohol within eight hours of performing any fire- or EMS-related duties. Read More...

Does your ESO excel in retention and recruitment? Apply by August 24th!

Applications for the 2018 Retention and Recruitment Award are now open! It’s time to share your success stories.

“This award recognizes the successful efforts in an area that many fire departments struggle with across the country,” stated Dr. Bill Jenaway, VP of Education, Training and Consulting at VFIS. “We wish to highlight the successful efforts of a department that implemented an innovative retention and recruitment program that made a significant difference to their department.”

Want to attend the 2018 Symposium in the Sun? The winner will go for free! The award-winning organization will be able to select a member to attend with all transportation and hotel expenses paid by VFIS and all conference registration fees covered by VCOS. This valuable leadership training symposium will be held November 8-11, 2018 in Clearwater, Florida.


Let me get this fact out of the way: I love sports. In fact, there aren't many sports that I don't follow. And, when there is a chance of a record being broken or a milestone achieved, it certainly has my attention.

Why is it that we cheer on horses who have a chance to win the Triple Crown? Why is it we enjoy a pitcher throwing a perfect game, a hockey player completing the hat trick or a golfer winning all four majors?

It's because there are levels of excellence that spectators and fans like to see people and teams accomplish. Read More...

Fires account for only 4 percent of fire department responses. But the number of heat stress-related injuries and deaths are still on the rise despite years of education on how to recognize the signs of heat stress and take prompt corrective action.

Firefighting is tough work that requires wearing personal protective equipment that’s often heavy and restrictive. When you’re battling blazes that top out at 2,000 degrees, your PPE can often feel like a burden. Read More...