Walking the Walk and Living it up like a Live-in!

Photo Courtesy of www.RaisingLaddersPhotography.com

I’m so intrigued by firehouse live-in programs that later this week, the FireRECRUITER is traveling to Hyattsville MD — home to one of the longest standing and most successful bunk in programs in the fire service — and home to the X-Box Firefighters who created FDLiveIn.com. And to get a better understanding and appreciation for the program, I’ll be bunking in the station Friday night and they’ve arranged a tour of several live-in fire stations for Saturday.

Stay tuned here at FireRECRUITER.com, on Twitter and Facebook as I report back on my experiences. My goal is to provide you with enough photos, information and stories to allow your volunteer fire department to consider whether a bunk-in program is right for you — or if the whole concept is just “bunk.”

As if that isn’t enough, Doc Moltrup, Chief Emeritus of Hyattsville VFD and one of the founder’s of their now-famous bunk-in program, will be Tiger Schmittendorf’s guest on his Internet Radio Show: Firefighter Storytellers —  live from FDIC in Indianapolis the week of March 22-26, 2011. Watch Storytellers for the formal announcement of time and date of the show.

In the meantime, check out this first installment in a series of articles on Live-In Life by Matthew Leonard from FDLiveIn.com.

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Dave Iannone from GoForward Media, Nick Bailey from FDLiveIn for hosting and facilitating my adventure to Hyattsville and to and Dave Statter from STATter911.com for welcoming me to The Beltway.


Managing a Bunkroom: Part 1 – Identify Your Members
By: Matthew Leonard

Like any organization from the smallest volunteer fire department to the FDNY, notably the largest fire department, personnel management is the backbone of moving toward success. If an organization can successfully manage its people, the people will undoubtedly contribute to the progress of the department. There are many arguable traits that describe a good manager or leader. Fairness, respect, and the ability to listen come to mind when thinking of a successful leader. When dealing with the college aged live in, leading by example and upholding rules are very important. Young firefighters will emulate their supervisors and senior firefighters. Walking the straight and narrow, following rules, and understanding your live-ins will help you lead them to success and will make them want to follow you.

Who is the live in? Where are they from? What are their values? Why are they living in a firehouse? What are their goals? All of these questions need to be understood by you if you are the person administering the bunkroom. As the leader or manager you must know the answer to all these questions for every person under your command. Is that theory even possible? Not likely for a group of 16-20 live-ins. Incident management says 3-7 is an acceptable span of control on an incident but this is life too. You might remember certain answers but not necessarily all these facts about each live in. CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE STORY