Paying Attention

Author | Fire Chief Ryan Murrell

First I want to thank all firefighters that take the time to read these newsletters, that is the premise of my topic today. If you are anything like me, you don’t have the time required to read all the articles that come out every month in all the trade publications, this column is about distilling what I found to be of interest for firefighters.

I CHIEFS, the official magazine of the International Association of Fire Chiefs has a great article in the Winter edition about tech advancements in the fire service on page 4. I am going to use the checklist here when I am evaluating new software and technology for my service.

Fire Engineering February 2024 featured a new closure system from LION using magnetic closures instead of traditional hook and loop (Velcro). To learn more click here. Fire Engineering from January had 2 great articles worth reading on wood frame construction, respecting voids and restaurants. Recognition and pre planning was emphasized in both articles including a great NIOSH evidence review of the line of duty firefighter deaths in a McDonald’s restaurant in Houston from 2000.

Firehouse January 2024 magazine has a great article on “Clean Bay” design concepts for fire stations. This topic will be coming up more and more as we continue to address the cancer prevention initiatives.

The entire issue from January from Crackyl is loaded with great information, such as how to deal with people we don’t like and Time Blindness, a term I just learned but helps explain this phenomena with fire professionals exposed to trauma. February issu of Crackyl has some equally great insight on Sleep that every firefighter should read.

Canadian Firefighter in the latest issue addresses selecting the right sized line, which is a topic that should be shared everywhere. As we get more litigation and the resources are free for the public to gain an understanding of how we should be doing our job, we are going to face more questions on this subject. The other subject explored in the Auto Rescue column by Chad Roberts is the newer struts, energy risks from the new style, and reasons to confirm powered seats are in the preferred position prior to de-energizing.

I had the pleasure of reading the latest issue of NFPA journal had great insights into the “heat epidemic”, I was educated that the single biggest killer of people all over the world is heat. There were further articles on short term rentals.

Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI), part of UL Research Institutes, announced on their website the release of the new Prerequisites for Live Fire Training Participants online course. Based on section 4.3.2 of the standard NFPA 1403, this course focuses on the foundational knowledge firefighters need before donning their gear and taking action on the training ground.

After taking this course, firefighters will be able to apply foundational knowledge of fire dynamics, fire behavior and development, firefighting tactics, and firefighter health and safety. This understanding will help them get the most out of their training and make safe and effective decisions on the fireground. There are over 30 online modules that can assist any fire service member at any level and they are free, please take a minute to learn about this resource at

Thank you again for your time, I am open to any feedback on this column, let me know if you have any trade publications or websites that I missed.