Rural Firefighting: Minutes Make a Difference with Justin Bailey

If you’re a firefighter in a large metro department, you might find today’s topic a little unfamiliar.

Because for firefighters in rural or even suburban areas, the challenges can be very different than yours.

And if we’re talking about a volunteer department, that adds a level of difficulty.

Today’s guest is the chief of a volunteer department that covers a rural community.

He knows that any call may be hampered by longer response times, a lack of manpower, and even lack of water.

Yet his department has the same goals as every other: to get on scene and get the fire out. The first 10 minutes on scene count.

How to accomplish that? That’s today’s subject.

Justin Bailey is the fire chief of the Oliver Springs Fire Department in Tennessee.

He oversees 20 paid-on-call volunteers who cover a 5.5 square mile area.

Justin’s also a master firefighter with the Knoxville, Tennessee Fire Department, where he has served since 2007.

He hosts seminars on volunteer training program development, professional development and rural fireground management.

Justin’s Article: The Rural Challenge: The First 10 Minutes

Article:  Facing the Rural Firefighting Challenge

Article:  Rural Connections: Water Supply

1 Comment

  1. Great podcast today! My wife and I are both firefighters in North Carolina and have been on various departments, most of which are rural volunteer stations. Specifically a department we both worked at was about an hour from Knoxville and covered 120 square miles with three total stations. Although it was the largest district to station ratio in the county we had zero pressurized hydrants. We would routinely train on drafting, nursing engines and tanker shuttles.
    The department I work at full time right now is in a very similar situation with a 72 square mile district and no pressured hydrants. The effective and efficient use of water is critical as well as drafting operations. There is much to be said about rural departments around the country along with the firefighters on them. We stress to our volunteers the importance of critical thinking and time management. Firefighters can multitask on an emergency scene as long as they know their limitations.

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