Tom Brennan's Random Thoughts

Front Cover
Fire Engineering Books, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 271 pages
Former New York City captain and former editor of Fire Engineering, Tom Brennan was a true legend in the fire service. For nearly two decades he wrote the most widely read column in Fire Engineering magazine, "Random Thoughts" by Tom Brennan. For the first time, the entire 18-year collection of Tom's "Random Thoughts" columns are assembled and presented in book format.

All the topics important to firefighters are here, basic tactics and strategy, decision-making, incident management; Tom addressed all issues for all levels of the service. Passionate, straightforward, humorous, he packed a lot of himself, plus lifesaving information into every column. Readers have the benefit of advice and wisdom from one of the most respected firemen in FDNY history.

While Tom passed away in 2006, his legacy as a firefighter, instructor and leader will never be surpassed. Reading his columns provides insight, humor and a chance for a little better understanding of the hard-charging "Tommy Truck," and you still learn something valuable, from his first column in 1988, to his last one.
 

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Contents

Positioning
115
Storage on Apparatus
117
The Floor Above
119
The Roof
126
Drilling in the Station
130
Operating At Vacant Buildings
131
Blowing the Basics
133
Fires That I Wish I Had Never Heard About
137

Forcible Entry
9
Recruit Orientation
10
Hoseline Safety
11
Provocative Questions
12
Aerial Apparatus Arrival and Placement
13
SCBA Use and Safety
14
Whats in Your Pockets?
15
Roof Safety
16
Windows
17
Firefighting Myths
18
More on Fire Service Myths
19
PositivePressure Ventilation
20
Searching
21
HighRise Tactics
22
More HighRise Tactics
23
Overhauling Safety
24
Truck Work
25
More on Truck Functions
26
Structure Fires
27
Truck Function SizeUp
28
More On Ladders and Their Use
30
Apparatus Myths
31
Shall I Or?
32
Doing More with Less
33
Myths Affecting Safe and Effective Hoseline Use
34
PrivateDwelling Fires
35
Rescue or removal?
37
Engine Company
38
IB standpipes and their use
40
Strategic Factors
42
Engineered Building Protection
44
SMOKE AS A BENEFIT
46
Fireground Phenomena
47
TopFloor Fires
50
HighRise Residence Buildings
53
More on Myths
55
A Case for an Extinguisher
56
Cutting Flat Roofs
57
Ill just throw up a ladder and get them
58
The Rear of the Fire
61
Get the Rear
62
Stairs
64
Fire Escapes
68
Portable Ladders and More
69
Make the Building Behave
70
Accountability
71
Rolldown Metal Doors
73
Fact or Myth?
74
Marketing by the Numbers
75
Primary Search When can you Abort?
77
Search with a Partner
81
Its Just a Piece of Rope
82
Venting
83
Its Shocking
84
Loose Ends
86
How Basic Can You Get? How About Hand Tools for Truck Work?
87
Secondary Search
90
Weird Fires
91
More Operations that No one Talks About
94
Fires You Never Read About
97
Collapse PointsTruths?
98
More Reasons that Collapse on the Fireground Should not be a surprise
99
Factors That Could Signal a Shift to Defensive Strategy
102
Collapse Indicators During Operations
104
Change It
107
Pearls Oysters Phoenix Ashes
108
More Lifelong Lessons
111
The Critique
112
Words that Convey Nothing
113
FakeOuts
140
The New Company OfficerSo Now What?
141
Things Your Instructor Cant Tell You
145
You Should KISS This Job
146
Tool Adaptation Tricks
147
Hey In There Dont Break any Windows
148
Whadda Ya Mean by That
149
The Meaning of Strategy and Tactics
154
Continuing the Search
156
Private Dwellings
158
Roof Operations
161
Burning Questions
165
Hose Stuff
166
LettersI Get Letters
168
Synergistic Energy Stuff
175
Roof SafeLy
176
Collapse Time
177
Humor in The Bag The Uniform
180
Fire Escapes Revisited
182
Hey Where Do You Want this Truck?
183
When do you
184
A Few Simple Lessons
185
And When Do you?
186
Search
187
Fewer Fires But More Flashovers
188
Whaddya Do?
190
Mutt of the Year Aw ards
192
Tragedy at the Towers
193
Can We Should WeAre You Moving ON From This?
194
Give UsAnother KISS
197
The Structure Fire Sizeup
200
More Stuff That You Never Do
204
Hey I have to ask you Why
206
Stuck in Routine?
209
Hey Im Still Asking
210
Great Manning?
211
More On the Roof
212
Shopping for Experience
214
Tricks for that Mind of Mine
215
Neglected Rules of Tactics
216
I Was Still Thinking
217
HighRise LowRise MixedRise
218
How Many Little as Can You See?
219
Short Tactical Thoughts
221
Safety Uncomplicated
223
Safety on This Job?
224
Safety at Random
225
More Safety On The Unsafe Fireground
226
Deny Denial
227
Heres Lookin at Ya
228
Photo on the Wall Now What?
229
Mistakes?
230
Wheres Your Rope?
236
Firefighters Broken Windows
237
Nozzles Schmozzles
238
Is it Better to?
239
THE LIMITINGENHANCING FACTOR FOR STRATEGIC DECISIONS
241
You Feel That Way? Why Dont You Just Say It?
242
Still Talkin In the Kitchen
245
Strategy is not a StandAlone Concept
246
Tales from Truck 111
249
In the Beginning
251
A Few Historical Moments
253
Anything But Routine
254
Batallion Assignment System
258
Index
261
About Tom Brennan
269
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

A native of Massachusetts, Tom Brennan is a newspaper columnist and witty fellow who cut his teeth in journalism on the police beat. He moved to Alaska in 1967. He is a communications consultant, newspaper columnist, former oilman, and self-described "recovering fly-fisherman." He and his wife, Marnie, live in Anchorage.

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