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Archive for December, 2009

Firefighters face life and death every time they go to work, and many times in between. They see and deal with situations that many people could never imagine. They are husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, but most of all they are Heroes. Here are 20 sites that help tell their stories, show their work and help educate the public.

General Firefighter Blogsfirefighter

Backstep Firefighter’s Blog – This blog is laid out to provide a point of critical thought about certain acts and events in the fire service while incorporating behavioral education and commentary in a referenced format. There is a ton of information here about all topics of firefighting.

Firefighter Blog – Brought to you by Mike Morales, this site covers the topics of larger wildland fires and issues relating to dealing with those fires.

Firefighter Hourly.com – Jay Lowry works hard in this blog to provide daily content to firefighters across the nation. The topics in the blog cover a wide range from “firefighters hire account to look at city finances” to “Detroit firefighter injured in blaze”.

The Kitchen Table – This site, brought to you by many different firefighters, is a place for firefighters to stay up to date with the growing about of news that’s online. If it’s important, if it’s news, it’s here.

Firefighter Spot – Home of the best firefighting video, this site does a great job of delivering great information, news and video’s.

Firegeezer – Firegeezer is delivered to you by three firefighters with over 90 years of experience between them. Topics in this site range from aircraft, cars, crime, culture, fire, to education. If you have a question, these guys have the answer.

Firehouse Zen – As a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program and holding a degree in Fire Science Technology from Savannah Technical Institute, Mick uses this blog to educate and motivate response individuals. Mick as a long line of service, awards and commendations, making this blog a must read.

The Bravest Online – As a college student studying television, Chris started filming fires. At the request of many, he honed his skills of filming and put together this blog to have a place to share his videos and stories. With videos and stories from all over, this is a great site to see some of the situations firefighters have to deal with.

thehousewatch.com – This site is stocked full of information, news and reviews, with topics from “Juniority” to “tactical safety: great followers make good leaders”. With information going back to 2007, this site has what you need.

The Happy Medic – AS a firefighter/paramedic with one of the nation’s busiest fire departments in San Francisco, the Happy Medic uses this blog to talk about dispatches and the actions taken when they arrive.


Fire wives.com – Fire Wives is an online forum for support and conversation for everything from fire to diets, for the women behind the heroes.

North American Fire Fighters Veteran Network – As fire fighters and first responders are being increasingly challenged to meet operation assignment demands, N.A.F.F.V.N. is dedicated to the education of fire fighters, and first responders. Acute stress, job burnout and post traumatic stress reactions on the front line are becoming more evident in North America. We all need to become better educated in order to respond to the needs of the First Responders. Education has the power to move a negative outcome into a positive one. First Responders, both professional and volunteer, will have access to the educational tools on this website in order to grow and learn within their discipline.

For The Kids

Kids Firefighter – In trying to help his son find information about fire fighters online, Dave realized that there wasn’t much for kinds out there, so he decided to start this blog. In this blog, Dave brings you all sorts of kid friendly topics such as the” LFD Christmas video” to “Fire Truck Christmas Parade”. If your kids have an interest or if you want to educate them more about fire fighters, this is a great site to take them too.

Firefighter Dayna – As a firefighter for Johnson County RFD #1, Dayna loves to educate about fire safety. Using this blog, and the departments fire safety dog, Sparkles, she works hard to teach kids about fire safety, through tips, videos, games, and photos. If you are trying to teach your kids how to be safe, this is one site that you don’t want to skip.

News, Reviews, and SuppliesBullard-Wildfire-Wildland-Firefighters-LSS_i_LBM25162_01S

The Fire Critic – Rhett Fleitz has set this site up to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of fire fighting. He strives to maintain a professional view of issues concerning firefighters while not shying away from issues that some people may not like.

California Fire News – This site focuses on wildland fires throughout the state, bringing you the real scoop on fire news when you need it.

Fire Rescue 1 – Fire Rescue 1 has everything from news, to the hot products, with review and advice to help keep the firefighters safe. With member news, product news, safety alerts, videos, and hot topics, this site has it all.

Firefighter Close Calls – This site works hard to bring you the untold stories of firefighters “close calls”, from injuries to deaths, what happened and how, in an attempt to help educate and save lives.

If you are doing everyting right, but just can’t seem to shed those pounds off of your body, maybe you are taking or doing something that you didn’t know contributes to weight gains. These are just potential factors to consider, of course you first need to look at your diet and fitness plan to make sure you are not taking in more calories than your body needs.

  1. Antidepressants – Drugs like Prozac or Xoloft are often take to counter the effects of depression. Unfotunately, these medicaions and reduce your metabolic rate and can cause hormonal changes that really impact your body and your appetite (making you hungrier)..
  2. Steroids – We are not talking about the steroids that weight lifters take to get huge, of course those pack on muscle and weight. We are talking about steroids like prednisone which is frequently prescribed for people suffering from arthritis, skin rashes, or even asthma. They cause you to retain water and accordingly, add weight.
  3. Diabetes medications – If you are diabetic or border-line diabetic and taking Diabeta or Diabinese they can actually cause weight gain too..
  4. Heartburn treatments – If you suffer from acide reflux or any garden variety heartburn you may find yourself on Prevacid or Nexium. These drugs can sometimes cause a slight weight gain (partially due to the relief you feel from your symptoms).
  5. Birth control – Due to the hormonal nature of birth control pills it is very common to experience a slight weight gain when you start taking "the pill." It is rarely more than a few pounds.
  6. Migraine relievers – If you experience migraine headaches and find yourself fighting weight gain you might want to consult your physician to see if they can prescribe a different medicine for the migraines that is known to have less of an effect on weight gain.
  7. Seizure preventatives – If you experience seizures and are taking regular medication you may want to see if you can switch to Zonegran or some medication known to be weight neutral.
  8. Lack of sleep – If you don’t get enough sleep normally 8 hours per night, your body can’t function as it normally would and begins to store more fat.
  9. Stress – Our bodies do not react to stress well (all kinds of stress work, family, or a combination). Stress causes the body to slow down as well meaning you can also begin to store more fat due to the stress.
  10. Lack of fiber – Fiber is really an interesting thing, the more fiber you eat the fuller you feel so lack of fiber can cause you to eat more than you normally would, you might switch to a high-fiber diet and see if that helps you lose weight..

There are many different factors that can cause you to struggle with losing weight. If you feel like you have exhausted the obvious things like diet and exercise, then you should look at these and other possible causes of weight gain to see if you can identify something other than diet and exercise that could be causing problems for you.

Many people are currently looking for a new job whether they were victims of the latest round of layoffs or just tired of their current job and wanting to try something new. Don’t forget the latest round of college graduates as well. If you are one of the people applying for a new job and just aren’t getting anywhere with you job search, it might be that something on your resume is a red flag for HR departments. Check your resume over and make sure that you do not include any of the following:

Top Resume Mistakes

  1. Sexual preference – You would be surprised how many times this is put on a resume and it absolutely should not make any difference. Many people that review resumes still have a prejudice about sexual preference and basically you don’t know what their preference is so you really need to leave this off your resume. This includes any associations that you might belong to that will tip the reviewer off about your sexual preference.
  2. Religion – This is similar to sexual preference in that it has no bearing on your ability to do the job and can therefore only be negative. This usually comes up in resumes on sections about hobbies and other personal interests. Just be careful in what you put in any of those sections if you feel you need a section like that on your resume.
  3. Problems at your last job – Your resume is NOT a good place to elaborate on problems that you encountered on previous jobs (even if you are just trying to show how you overcome problems). Just try to always spin comments about previous positions to be things you accomplished and not how stupid your last boss was or how you did things in spite of something in your old work environment.
  4. Hatred of Old Bosses – Generally you don’t have to get into anything about your old boss. My boss was an over-bearing micro manager that couldn’t let anything leave the company without reviewing it themselves… Again, your resume is NOT the place to rant. In fact, when you are looking for a new job don’t rant anywhere (twitter included).
  5. Odd Jobs Not in Your Field – It’s usually not good to include every job that you have had since you graduated from high school. At some point, you need to drop off your experience as a fry cook at McDonalds unless it is relevant to the job you are applying to. If you worked your way through college, odds are those jobs won’t help you get the next job of your dreams.
  6. Age – Again, many people have an idea about what age of candidate they are looking for and assume people outside that range just aren’t going to fit in with the current team. You really need to be careful about dates like when you graduated from high school. Depending on your years of experience you may not be able to avoid tipping your age, but you may choose to leave some jobs off of your resume to make your age less obvious.
  7. Political Preference – Why, why, why do people put this on their resume. Politics are so subjective that you are almost guaranteed to cause a problem by listing political affiliations again including any organizations that you may belong to which will make your political preference obvious.
  8. Social Security number – People reviewing your resume do not need personally identifiable information like your social security number. You should never put this on your resume, if you get far enough into the process you can give it to them when or if a background check is required.
  9. Photograph – Even if you are the best looking person in the World, don’t put a picture of yourself on your resume. Even though people are not supposed to consider how you look, they will. You just can’t win and in most cases it is better for that to be left unknown until you interview in person.
  10. Physical attributes – Most people wouldn’t think of putting their height and weight on their resume, but we still see both frequently. It’s just not necessary and you never know how people will interpret thin or fat or tall or small people. Again, it just should not matter for most jobs.

So the over-arching rule is pretty simple. Unless something is actually relevant to the position that you are going for, you probably do NOT need it on your resume. It is not good to over-load your resume with information that doesn’t speak directly to your qualifications for the job you are applying for. In general this is why we recommend customizing your resume for each job to make sure that you provide only what is necessary to get that sepecific job.

Definition of a fireman: A worker assigned to a fire department who is responsible for engaging in fighting and extinguishing fires. They also protect life and property and generally are under the management of the fire chief who reports to the city manager or sometimes the mayor.

A fireman has a really difficult job that is really the ultimate in danger and actually one of the most selfless careers that a person could pursue. Whether they are rescuing people from a burning building, caring for their medical needs, or rescuing a cat from a tree (yes, they do actually do this sometimes although very infrequently).

Before pursuing a career as a fire fighter you really need to decide if you are able to put people’s needs ahead of your own survival as is often required on the job. You also need to be able to make a split second judgment call as sometimes you have to decide who to save based upon their likelihood of survival. It’s tough to have to leave people behind at times knowing that you may not be able to get back to them. Actually, it’s pretty hard to fully explain to someone that is not in this line of work.

Every fire fighter has to pass the following tests:

1) Exams include theory and physical tests.
2) You have to pass a physical exam.
3) You have to pass psychological tests including a polygraph (lie detector test).
4) You generally will have to get through an in-person interview with the department.
5) You need to be a certified first responder with defibrillation (CFR-D)

Other Requirements

1) You normally have to be 21 years old or older with a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.
2) You have to be a U.S. citizen.
3) You generally have to have a valid U.S. driver license.

With those basic requirements you also have to compete with a lot of other candidates. It’s highly recommended that you pursue a college degree (associate’s or bachelor’s). You will definitely have an advantage if you get a Fire Science degree from an accredited college.