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News and Issues For Today's First Responders. We provide some of the top mentors, leaders and members of the Fire Service from the U.S. and Canada.

News and Issues For Today's First Responders. We provide some of the top mentors, leaders and members of the Fire Service from the U.S. and Canada.


Coral Springs, FL


News and Issues For Today's First Responders. We provide some of the top mentors, leaders and members of the Fire Service from the U.S. and Canada.








Episode 192: Episode 6-20 – Chief Brandon Fletcher – Leadership, Ownership & Volunteers

The face of the volunteer fire service has changed dramatically since my days back in the mid-1970’s and early 1980’s. The day-to-day dynamics of our society have changed dramatically and made it more challenging for people to be able to volunteer time; not just to a volunteer fire department, but also to houses of worship, civic organizations, etc. Yet, with over 70% of America being protected by volunteer or paid-on-call firefighters, we still have excellent leaders. My guest today is...


Episode 191: Episode 6-24 – “The EFO Program,” Part II with Helen Johnson, Chief Nelson Pyle and Chief Harold Phillips

This is Part II of our presentation about the EFO (Executive Fire Officer) program, offered at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg MD. Our guests went through the long educational process needed to achieve this level. While one is required to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree to enter the program, what you will learn goes far beyond fire tactics and administration. This program will help you attain the true measure of a fire service leader. If you have that "hunger" inside you that...


Episode 190: Episode 6-22 – Ryan Johnston - Owner Maine-lac Training – Ladder Placement on College Campuses

Whether you call them ladders, trucks, towers, platforms or tillers, ladder operations are in their own category. And our guest on this episode of “5-Alarm Task Force,” knows his category very well! Ryan Johnston is a 24+ year career firefighter and a 30+ year volunteer firefighter. He is the owner if Maineiac Training, a small training group that prides itself on providing realistic, experience-based, fire training. Ryan is currently the Rescue Technician in A Shift at the Waterville ME...


Episode 189: Episode 6-21 – “The EFO: What It Was, What It Is & What It Will Be – Part I

Many of us have seen or heard of the acronym, EFO. However, how many of us actually know what it stands for: Executive Fire Officer. Does the designation apply to any level of Chief? Could any firefighter, of ant rank, receive the designation? Just what is it and where did it come from? My guests today are Dr. Burton A. Clark, PhD, EFO, Chief Trey Mayo, EFO, Winston-Salem NC Fire Dept. and Chuck Burkell, an advisor and former instructor at the National Fire Academy. In this episode, which...


Episode 188: Episode 6-19 – Cory Hohs & Brock Aun of HAAS Alert

Within the last decade, one of most dangerous calls that first responders respond to, are emergencies on active roadways. In 2021 alone, 65 first responders (fire, police, EMS, recovery operators road rangers) died when stuck by a vehicle while on an emergency scene. And the number one cause falls on “distracted drivers.” While there is number of definitions for the term, “distracted,” drivers are simply not paying enough attention to the roads and to emergency scenes. Our guests today are...


Episode 187: Episode 6-18 – Capt. James “JP” Childers

Training…some of us love it, some don’t. Some enjoy teaching…some don’t. However, there are those who are teachers, instructors and mentors, who have the passion to teach and our guest today, is one of those with a strong passion to teach, share and mentor. Why? Because there was someone in his life who cared about him and introduced him to the fire service. And that was around 20 years ago. Capt. Childers joins us today to discuss his recent article in FIREHOUSE® Magazine’s December 2021...


Episode 186: Episode 6-17 – Chief Justin Bailey – The Importance of a Training Calendar

It is no secret that voluntarism is at a low in this country. Society always changes and evolves and with that said, this problem is far broader than just the volunteer fire service. Even before the pandemic, fewer and fewer people were able to find adequate time to contribute to volunteer positions throughout local, regional and national organizations. One of the largest impacts of the lower availability of volunteers is the shortage of personnel in the volunteer fire service and, there...


Episode 185: Episode 6-16 – Battalion Chief John Hayowyk Jr & Capt. James Kovacs

On January 14, 2022, a massive fire erupted at a pool chemical and supplies manufacturing plant erupted into a massive inferno in Passaic NJ. Due to its location, it was first called in as a car fire on a highway that runs behind the C-side of the involved structure. In charge of Tour 3 that day was good friend, Battalion Chief John Hayowyk A. Hayowyk, Jr., with over 29 years in the fire service. Also on shift that evening was Capt. James Kovacs, a 24-year veteran of the fire...


Episode 184: Episode 6-14 – Lt. Aaron Zamzow – Fire-Rescue Health & Fitness

No stranger to “5-Alarm Task Force,” returning guest and good friend, Aaron Zamzow joins us to discuss the new level of his company, “FRF – Fire Rescue Fitness. These topics have been very important to Aaron for over 15 years. Having initially been a personal trainer, who rose to work with players in both the NFL and NBA, when he joined his first fire company, he realized that he needed different workouts to focus more on the jobs that we do as firefighters. You will hear a great analogy...


Episode 183: Episode 6-13 – “Make Do Your Damn Can Job!”

Strange title for an episode, right? Not if you know my guests for this episode. Our comrades and friends, Battalion Chief Jacob Johnson, Captain Nick Peppard and Lt. Jason Liska, “dropped by” to discuss our mutual passions and concerns. Each of my guests host excellent podcasts about the fire service. Capt. Nick (along with another great firefighter and friend, Sean Duffy) host, “Make Do!” a podcast that focuses on issues of suburban firefighting (which about 80% of us deal with), Lt....


Episode 182: Episode 6–12 – Deputy Chief Steve Prziborowski

I am pleased to welcome back an excellent fire officer, instructor, mentor, author and friend, Steve Prziborowski of the Santa Clara CA Fire Department. Too much time has passed since his last appearance and we are glad that our schedules were able to finally sync-up! Though he officially retires on December 31st, after a storied, 30-year career, the Chief has spent some of his accrued time off traveling the country to enjoy his three passions, visiting ballparks (he’s been to all major...


Episode 181: Episode 6–11 – FF Jason Burns – The PFAS in Our Bunker Gear

Cancer and other dangers we face in the fire service are not new topics, but they have “morphed” a bit. Initially, it was though that only those who worked the “Pile” after 9|11 were being affected. Then, the various carcinogens and other toxins from the benzene products burning were found to be hurting us as well. Then, came the news that they very bunker gear we wear to protect ourselves while we perform our often-dangerous jobs, could be leaking carcinogenic toxins into our bodies. With...


Episode 180: Episode 6–10 – Nicholas Higgins, Author – “The 5-Tool Firefighter”

What makes a great firefighter? And who judges who is a “good” firefighter or a “great” firefighter? To be honest, it should e no one else but the image you see in the mirror. For that person in the mirror, never lies and more importantly, knows every one of your secrets. It is my pleasure to welcome my dear friend, Nic Higgins, Co-Founder and Editor of “The Firehouse Tribune,” to discuss his newly published first book, “The 5-Tool Firefighter.” Nic put this together with nearly twenty...


Episode 179: Episode 6–9 – Battalion Chief Jacob Johnson – “DO YOUR DAMN JOB!”

We are so pleased to have B.C. Jacob Johnson back on “5-Alarm Task Force!” Chief Johnson has taught his class, “Do Your Damn Job!” at local, state, and regional conferences. His message is crystal clear, “It is the responsibility of experienced firefighters to mentor the new recruits coming in!” It does not mean that you didn’t clean the pumper well or you have to pick-up papers on the day-room floor. It means YOU need to be both a learner and a teacher! The Chief shares his own failings...


Episode 178: Episode 6–8 – Fire Commissioner Jared Renshaw – “Answering the Call Inside City Hall” + Drone Rescue

In our first segment, Fire Commissioner Jared Renshaw of the Western Berks Fire Department in PA, explain the news that recent broke that his department used their new drone with a TIC (thermal imaging camera) in a rescue. An elderly patient with dementia had wandered away from his care house, and into a huge corn field. While first responders on the ground searched with ATV’s, dogs and even volunteers on horses, it was a difficult search. However, using their newly acquired drone with a...


Episode 177: Episode 6–7 – Ms. Tonya Herbert – Responder Wipes

In the past eight years or so, we have learned some difficult lessons regarding the link of cancer in the fire service. At first, many just shrugged off the connection or they looked at it as simply, “part of the job!” Yet, nothing could be further from the truth! My guest on this episode is Tonya Herbert, the Owner/President of Responder Wipes® and Florida PPE Services, a certified ISP. Tonya shares with us how her life journey led her from her work in an architectural firm to creating...


Episode 176: Episode 6–6 – Steve Greene – “My Story” - When You Can No Longer Be a Firefighter

What happens to a firefighter who cannot be a firefighter any longer? What happens to that firefighter when an injury or illness ends his/her firefighting career? I know because it happened to me! In this special episode of “5-Alarm Task Force,” I share my personal experience of how an unnecessary accident wound up costing me my career as a volunteer firefighter, after only eight years. We who choose the fire service feel a calling to do so. And when we’re in, learning, doing, learning...


Episode 175: Episode 6–5 - The Wingspread VII Panel

The Wingspread conferences began in the 1960’s. It brought members of the fire service and affiliated agencies together at the Johnson Foundation Wingspread Conference Center in Racine WI. At that point, through Wingspread VI in 2016, the conference was held every ten years. However, with the pandemic and other key professional, cultural, and societal changes occurring, the leadership decided that the industry (and therefore, the public) would be best served by the conference taking place...


Episode 174: Episode 6–4 – FF/PM Jim Burneka – Firefighter Cancer

If you are a member of the fire service, you should be aware of the toll cancer has taken on members from every area of “the job,” career, volunteer, part-pay and WUI. It wasn’t so long ago, that many of us attributed cancer losses to our brothers and sisters who worked the pile after 9|11. Sadly, that was not the case. Though the number of working fire years per year (for most non-urban departments) were down, WHAT was burning had evolved. No longer was furniture and its covering made from...


Episode 173: Episode 6–3 – Capt. John Lovato, Jr. – Brotherhood Coaching

What makes a team? Its members? Its leader? Its tasks? To be honest, it is all of those and more. It takes training, learning, training some more, learning more and of course, the leader and members sharing their knowledge. Capt. John Lovato Jr., has been a firefighter in southwest Florida since 2003, with the City of Ft. Myers Fire Dept. A third-generation firefighter, he started in the suburbs of Chicago; no easy place to learn to be a firefighter! As he learned his craft, he rose through...