Thank you for visiting our Blog.

This page is not intended to be a public forum, and any comments posted to this page will be deleted. Please send your comments and questions to us at Please refer to for the privacy policy and disclaimers that apply to this Blog.

See our newest videos on YouTube

To check out our latest YouTube videos, please click one of the images below. Our YouTube Channel, which has more videos, can be found in the links section of this page.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Station Life: Fire Department Saws

If you’ve ever driven past a fire station in the morning and seen or heard the firefighters’ saws running, you may be wondering what they are up to. Firefighters carry a variety of tools, including several types of saws. Brentwood fire engines are equipped with traditional chainsaws like you may have in your own garage. These are used for when storms blow trees or tree limbs down and block roadways. If there is no one available from public works to clear the roadway (for example on a holiday or in the middle of the night) the firefighters will be sent out to remove the hazard.

However, there are two other saws carried on the engines that are not like anything you’ll find at a home improvement store.

The Cutter’s Edge, shown here in the foreground, and the K12 Rotary Saw, in the back, are stored in compartments on the fire truck where they are easily accessible and ready to go at a moment’s notice. What you see some mornings are the firefighters doing their bi-weekly check of the saws.

Firefighters will clean and inspect the saws. They want to ensure that they are fueled up and properly lubricated. The chain or blades are inspected and tightened if needed. Once the firefighter is certain the saw is safe and ready to go, he will take it outside and start it.

Once the saw is running, it is allowed to idle for a short time to warm up. During this time the firefighter is listening to make sure it is running smoothly and that there are no hiccups.

After allowing the saw to warm up, the firefighter will give it a few revs. Once the firefighter is sure the saw will perform when needed, he or she will set it back down and allow it to idle again for a short time. During weekly testing, the saws are allowed to warm up and cool down to help ensure longer life. However, during an emergency these tools don’t get such gentle treatment. They may be called upon to go from sitting in the compartment to running full throttle for an extended period of time with little or no warm up period. This is why it is so vital for a firefighter to closely inspect each saw twice a week.

If you’ve ever seen a firefighter on the roof of a burning house cutting a hole, chances are they were using the Cutter’s Edge. While it may look like a simple chainsaw, the Cutter’s Edge has a specially designed chain that allows it to quickly and efficiently cut through layers of shingles, tar paper, roofing nails, plywood decking and anything else that gets in its way. This saw is also equipped with a brake, which prevents the chain from moving. That way when one firefighter has to pass a running saw to another the chance for injury is reduced.

While the Cutter’s Edge is the tool of choice for ventilating a structure when cutting a hole in the roof, caution must be exercised when cutting a roof not to go so deep as to cut through the supports of the roof. The goal here is to make an opening for the smoke to escape without weakening the roof to the point of collapse.

Once the cut has been made, hand tools are used to push the pieces of the roof out of the way and puncture the drywall below. This gives the smoke, heat and toxic gasses a way to escape the structure.

The K12 Rotary Saw is a powerful variant of a construction tool. These saws have interchangeable blades that allow them to be used on an assortment of materials so that Firefighters can choose the best blade for the task at hand. Metal cutting blades allow firefighters to remove burglar bars, steel security doors and garage doors or even access the engine compartment of a damaged vehicle. Masonry blades make short work of cinder blocks and can even cut concrete and brick. Firefighters can also outfit the K12 with a wood cutting blade for times when the Cutter’s Edge may not be the most efficient choice.

The days of using axes and other hand tools as the sole means of accomplishing a task are long gone. These saws are one more useful tool that Brentwood firefighters can use to accomplish their mission. 


Friday, April 26, 2013

Press Release: Structure Fire on Cloverhill Drive



From:              Fire Chief Brian Goss                        

Date:               April 26, 2013

Subject:          Press Release:  Structure Fire at 5733 Cloverhill Drive
At approximately 8:35 p.m. last evening (Thursday), Brentwood Fire & Rescue personnel were dispatched to a structure fire at 5733 Cloverhill Drive near Cloverland Drive.  Upon arrival Engine 1 reported flames and smoke coming from a steel garage of pole-type construction approximately 50’ X 100’ in size.
Crews set up an exterior defensive attack given the advanced stage of the fire and the fact that gasoline and tanks containing propane, acetylene, oxygen, and nitrogen were reported to be inside.  Crews knocked down the fire quickly and it was reported under control within an hour.
The occupants called 911 when they noticed flames escaping from the front corner of the garage door.  No firefighters were injured but one of the occupants received a small cut on his hand when he attempted to contain the fire by closing the garage door.
The Fire Investigator will be on the scene this morning in an effort to determine the cause of the fire.  Initial damage estimates are in the range of $50,000.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fire Chief's Briefing for April 18 through April 23, 2013

Here is a summary of Brentwood Fire and Rescue’s emergency responses for the period of April 18 through April 23, 2013. 
We responded to 50 emergency calls for service. 
These calls can be broken down into the following categories:
Fire: 2
EMS/Rescue: 30
Hazardous Condition: 1
Service Call: 2
Good Intent: 3
False Call: 12
Here is an overview of significant events from this period’s activities:
Saturday, April 20 at approximately 10:35 am:
E3 and C3 were dispatched on an automatic aid alarm for a structure fire in Franklin. Franklin E3 arrived first on scene and ordered Brentwood E3 to stand by at a nearby fire hydrant to provide water supply in the event of a working fire. Franklin firefighters entered the structure and found burned food on the stove, but no signs of fire. With no hazards found, Brentwood E3 and C3 were released from the scene and returned to quarters.
Saturday, April 20 at approximately 11:09 am:
E4 was dispatched on a report of a residential fire alarm. Upon arrival crew members were not able to make contact with the homeowner, so a 360 degree walk around of the residence was performed. During this time crew members found smoke showing on the first floor of the home. A full structure fire response was requested by E4’s officer and crew members quickly entered the home to search for occupants and locate the cause of the smoke. No one was home and E4 found food on the stove causing the smoke. The pan was removed from the structure and a thorough check was initiated to ensure there was no hidden fire. With no other hazards found, E4 cancelled the response of units not on scene. E4 remained on scene to speak with the homeowner and explain what they found. All other units were returned to service.
Wednesday, April 23 at approximately 11:53 am:
E1 was dispatched on a report of a commercial fire alarm. Upon arrival crew members found the building under evacuation and heard an active fire alarm. The fire alarm panel indicated an active smoke detector in the elevator room. Investigation in this area revealed a moderate amount of smoke as a result of a belt on the elevator locking up but no fire. L1 was requested to the scene to assist with smoke removal. Once the building was ventilated the alarm was able to be reset and all fire companies returned to quarters.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Station Life: Test by Combat

As you can imagine, firefighting is a physically demanding profession.  As a result of this firefighters are expected to maintain an excellent level of cardiovascular and muscular endurance.  Every year BFR personnel’s fitness levels are evaluated through two different methods.  The first of these methods is a comprehensive physical assessment; the second method is what’s known as the firefighter “Combat Test”. 
In 1974 doctors at the Sports Medicine Center at the University of Maryland were approached by a Fire Chief with the idea to create a physical ability test that would determine if a person had the capabilities to perform the duties of a firefighter.  By 1976 the doctors completed a long and extensive study which lead to the creation of a “Combat Test” which incorporates the five most commonly performed fireground tasks. During this test all personnel are required to wear turnout gear and SCBA to fully simulate a fire scene.  The goal is to complete each event in succession without stopping and within a time limit. 

The first task of the combat test involves carrying a tightly folded section of 1 ¾” hose, known as a high rise pack, up to the fourth floor of the training building. Once the firefighter reaches the fourth floor they will drop the hose in a designated area and head back downstairs.  Firefighters may skip stairs or take them two-at-a-time on the way up but must touch every step on the way back down. 

A firefighter begins their test as soon as they pick up the hose.
Upon exiting the structure firefighters make their way to an extension ladder.  There they must quickly raise and lower the ladder in a controlled manner.
Next the firefighters approach the Keiser Sled.  At this station they will straddle a 165 pound beam and strike it with a 9 pound sledgehammer.  The goal of this evolution is to drive the beam 5 feet to the end of the track that it sits on.  This simulates having to ventilate a roof using an axe on an emergency scene.
Also a test of balance and coordination, the firefighter must hit the beam while moving backwards at the same time.
Once done with the sled, firefighters travel 140 feet to a charged section of 1 ¾” hose.  The firefighter will advance the hose 75 feet before spraying water out of the nozzle.  This event simulates the most common firefighting task; moving hose to the fire in order to “put the wet stuff on the red stuff”. 
A firefighter makes quick work of this task by running with the hose over his shoulder

Finally, the firefighters have reached the last station. Here they will lift or drag a dummy that weighs roughly 175 pounds 100 feet to the finish line.  This event simulates a firefighter having to rescue a citizen trapped in a fire or another firefighter who may have become injured.
There are many different techniques to accomplish this task.  This firefighter is demonstrating the most common method of grabbing the dummy under the arms and walking backwards with it

Once across the finish line the test is complete and firefighters are shown their time.
As you may or may not know, firefighters can be a highly competitive bunch.  This test has created a friendly competition between firefighters, stations and shifts all over the world including right here in Brentwood!  In fact, the competition has become so popular that in 1991 one of the doctors that created the test started the first official Firefighter Combat Challenge.  From then on the competition has become more and more popular every year. Today you can attend competitions all over the world several times a year and even watch it on ESPN!  You can find more information about the Scott Safety Firefighter Challenge if you click here.
The combat test has been proven as such an effective evaluation tool that BFR uses a slightly modified version of the test as part of its application process, as seen here:


Friday, April 19, 2013

Fire Chief's Briefing for April 12 through April 17, 2013

Here is a summary of Brentwood Fire and Rescue’s emergency responses for the period of April 12 through April 17, 2013.
We responded to 32 emergency calls for service.
These calls can be broken down into the following categories:
Fire: 1
EMS/Rescue: 23
Service Call: 3
Good Intent: 2
False Call: 3
Here is an overview of significant events from this period’s activities:
Friday, April 12 at approximately 9:14 pm:
E2 and R1 were dispatched on a report of a motor vehicle accident with injuries on I-65 at the 69 mile marker.  Initial dispatch information indicated that that a two car accident had occurred near the exit ramp.  Upon arrival E2 found one vehicle with significant rear end damage and the occupant still inside.  E2 established command and discovered that a second vehicle with possible injured occupants was further down the interstate.  Command requested E3 to respond to the other vehicle.  E2 and R1 crew members found that the occupant of one vehicle was entrapped and prepared extrication tools while providing care, including spinal immobilization.  C3 responded to assist with command while patient care was taking place.  E3 arrived on scene and found the occupants of the second vehicle out and walking around.  E2 and R1 crew members continued treating the occupant’s injuries and loaded the patient into the ambulance.  E3 also provided patient care and immobilized the patient for transport in a second ambulance.  Command requested TDOT to respond to assist with removing hazards from the roadway.  Once the patients had been transported and all hazards had been addressed command was terminated and control of the scene was transferred to BPD.  All BFR units cleared the scene and returned to quarters. 
Saturday, April 13 at approximately 11:41 am:
E1, R1 and C3 were dispatched on report of a missing person.  Initial dispatch information indicated a child had been missing and was last seen near a creek by their home.  Upon arrival E2 received updated information from BPD on the child’s physical description.  E2 sounded the air horn three times in attempt to attract the attention of the child if they were nearby.  C3 established a grid search pattern and E2 and R1 crew members began searching the area.  E3 and L1 were requested to respond in order to assist with the search and provide an elevated view point.  After searching several areas the child returned home on their own.  Once it was verified that the child was not in need of medical attention all units returned to service and quarters. 
Sunday, April 14 at approximately 8:39 pm:
E2 was dispatched on a reported brush fire near a residence.  Upon arrival E2 found a small brush fire in a wooded area.  E2 was met by the property owner who stated they were just burning the brush to dispose of it.  The property owner indicated that they did not have a burn permit.  E2 used a garden hose to extinguish the fire.  B1 was then dispatched to the scene to assist with extinguishment.  Crew members used foam to aid in the extinguishment process.  Once all hazards were addressed and the property owner was informed of burning regulations E2 and B1 returned to service and quarters. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Arbor Day 2013

The City of Brentwood recently hosted an Arbor Day event at the Brentwood Library. Brentwood Fire and Rescue was honored to be invited to join in the festivities. If you weren’t able to attend and enjoy the fantastic spring weather that has finally made it to Middle Tennessee, check out these photos to see what you missed. Click any of the photos to make them larger.

A view from the top: Ladder 1 providing a bird’s eye view of some of the day’s activities.
Hydro, the fire department mascot, making a new friend.
Mayor Webb and Hydro
Members of Brentwood Fire and Rescue handed out helmets to the kids and Information Cards to the adults.
E2, R1 and L1 were available for tours; here Hydro oversees a tour of L1.
See you next year!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fire Chief's Briefing for March 31 through April 11, 2013

Here is a summary of Brentwood Fire and Rescue’s emergency responses for the period of March 31 through April 11, 2013.

We responded to 72 emergency calls for service.

These calls can be broken down into the following categories:

EMS/Rescue: 44

Hazardous Condition: 4

Service Call: 4

Good Intent: 5

False Call: 15

Here is an overview of significant events from this period’s activities:

Sunday, March 31 at approximately 10:08 pm:

C3, E2 and E3 were dispatched on a report of a smell of smoke in a residence. E2 arrived on scene and met with the homeowner who directed them to the area of the home where the odor was first noticed. Crew members did not detect any smoke, and after utilizing the TIC detected no signs of hidden fire. E3 was tasked with investigating the HVAC system, but no hazards were located their either. The homeowner was asked to go back inside and see if they still smelled the odor of smoke, but they did not notice any either. Before departing the scene, crew members ensured that the smoke detectors in the home were fully functional. With no hazards found, all units cleared the scene and returned to quarters.

Saturday, April 6 at approximately 12:24 pm:

E4 was dispatched on a report of an unresponsive minor, possibly due to drug or alcohol overdose. Crew members arrived on scene and found the PT lying in the driveway being attended to by family members. The PT presented with an altered level of consciousness consistent with alcohol consumption. They would be briefly responsive to verbal stimuli before lapsing back into unconsciousness. The PT admitted to consuming a large quantity of alcohol over the course of the day. E4 provided supportive care until the arrival of EMS, when PT care was transferred. The PT was loaded into the ambulance for non-emergency transport to an area hospital.

Wednesday, April 10 at approximately 3:04 pm:

E4 was dispatched on a report of a strange odor in a home. Upon arrival crew members immediately detected an odor consistent with a petroleum product. The gas monitor was utilized and it was determined that there were no hazards, just an unpleasant smell. E4 utilized an electric ventilation fan to help clear the odor from the home while continuing to search for the source. The water department was requested to the scene to determine whether the issue was with the sewer system. After nearly an hour of searching, no source of the odor was found. With the smell removed from the home, E4 instructed the homeowner to call back if it returned before clearing the scene and returning to quarters.

Thursday, April 11 at approximately 8:55 pm:

E2 and R1 were dispatched on a commercial fire alarm at an assisted living facility. Upon arrival crew members were met by a staff member who reported that there had been a small fire in one of the rooms, but that it had been extinguished. Upon arriving on the fire floor, E2 found a light haze. Further investigation revealed that a resident had turned on the wrong burner of the stove, igniting a pot holder. The pot holder had been submerged in a sink full of water to extinguish it before dropping it down a trash shoot. The pot holder was recovered and removed from the trash to ensure it did not reignite. With no further hazards found, E2 ventilated the structure before clearing the scene and returning to quarters.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Station Life: Community CPR

Everyone has heard the old saying “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” While that may be the truth in many cases, for Brentwood Fire and Rescue Firefighters it may be more apt to say “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Firefighters have long understood that a strong public education program is a cornerstone of a safer community.

Each Brentwood Fire and Rescue Department fire engine is equipped with lifesaving equipment. The trucks have everything from defibrilators and drugs to oxygen and bandaids. The crew members that staff these trucks are highly trained and experienced in providing advanced life support and dealing with emergency situations. When they are alerted to an emergency situation, they respond quickly and put their training and tools to the test.

But what if you are there when an emergency happens? What if the person in the office next to yours or in the ahead of you at the checkout of the grocery store has a heart attack? Did you know that bystander CPR (that is, CPR performed before the fire department or ambulance arrives) can double or even triple a person’s chances of survival?


Recently a group of Brentwood Firefighters taught a class on CPR to the Deaf Congregation at Brentwood Baptist Church. The firefighters, through the aid of signers, were able to teach the class what to do in an emergency, how to properly use a bag-valve-mask and defibrillator as well as perform CPR on infants, children and adults.

Many people are reluctant to perform CPR on a stranger, thinking that they would have to give them mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. As the members of the church learned, this isn’t the case. Studies have shown that only giving the chest compressions of CPR is highly effective and will greatly improve the chances of a victim having a positive outcome, which is why the American Heart Association promotes ‘Hands-Only’ CPR.
The congregation was also instructed on how to properly handle a choking emergency. Here, firefighters demonstrate how to properly perform the Heimlich maneuver.

The members of the church were encouraged to practice their skills at various stations. By the end of the course, everyone who wanted to had a chance to perform CPR on a variety of manikins. Everyone left that evening feeling more confident in their abilities to help out in case of emergency.
Brentwood Fire and Rescue would like to remind you that in the event of a medical emergency, the first step should be to dial 911. If you have any questions about Hands-Only CPR please visit The American Heart Association’s CPR Webpage , Brentwood Fire and Rescue or call us at (615)715-9354.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fire Chief's Briefing for March 25 through March 30, 2013

Here is a summary of Brentwood Fire and Rescue’s emergency activities for the period of March 25 through March 30, 2013. 
We responded to 39 emergency calls for service. 
These calls can be broken down into the following categories:
Fire: 2

EMS/Rescue: 22

Hazardous Condition: 2

Service Call: 2

Good Intent: 5

False Call: 6
Here is an overview of significant events from this period’s activities: 
Thursday, March 28 at approximately 5:19 pm:
E2 was dispatched on a reported grass fire. Upon arrival crew members found approximately 10 square feet of grass ablaze. E2 utilized pressurized water cans and flappers to quickly extinguish the fire. With no further hazards found, E2 cleared the scene and returned to quarters.

Friday, March 29 at approximately 1:48 pm:
All BFR units were dispatched on a possible residential structure fire. C3 arrived first on scene and met with the homeowner who reported a small fire in their oven. The fire was extinguished by disconnecting the power to the oven and allowing it to cool. E1 and L1 arrived on scene and checked for extension of the fire into the nearby cabinets and wall. With no further hazards found all units returned to quarters.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Not Your Ordinary DMV Driving Test

This week’s Station Life addresses the ins and outs, down and back and around and around of the 2013 Emergency Vehicles Operation Course.

As part of our yearly training program all members of the department attend an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course, also known as EVOC. The course is composed of a classroom portion followed by a driving test. The classroom lecture covers a wide variety of topics ranging from departmental policies and state laws to liability and the physics of something the size of a fire engine traveling down a roadway. Firefighters are instructed in proper placement of an apparatus once they arrive on scene and what emergency procedures to follow should an issue arise while responding to a call. Accidents involving fire apparatus from across the country are examined and students discuss what actions could have been taken to prevent them. The lecture typically lasts all morning and after a brief break for lunch the class moves to the drill field to demonstrate their abilities behind the wheel of a fire truck.

The driving portion of EVOC is composed of 6 stations which are designed to simulate real world driving conditions and skills that someone driving a fire engine must be able to safely perform. Once a driver begins the driving test, they complete each station in sequence without stopping. The evolution is timed, but speed is far from the most important factor. Drivers must avoid striking the cones, as they simulate other vehicles or buildings. Being a safe driver is much more important than being a fast one. Firefighters are a competitive bunch, so bragging rights are definitely on the line. No one wants to be the one who mows down the most cones!

The test begins with the fire engine parked in front of a simulated alley of cones. The cones are not spaced much farther apart than the width of the engine itself. This will be a common theme during the test, as each obstacle is just large enough for a skilled driver to complete it without being so large as to become easy.
Drivers must be able to negotiate this obstacle by driving down to the end, stopping and then backing down the alley without striking the cones. 

Once the engine has been safely backed out of the alley, the driver enters a box of cones and completes a three point turn. Something that the average driver probably completes without thinking is greatly complicated when performed in a fire engine, since you can’t just put your arm across the passenger seat and look over your shoulder. 

Once the driver completes his turn around, he exits the box and tackles what is known as the alley dock. If you’ve ever seen an 18 wheeler backed into the loading dock at the grocery store, you know what this looks like. The driver demonstrates spatial awareness and understanding of where the rear of his truck is, even if he can’t see it. Completing the alley dock leads to the slalom course. Firefighters must back the engine around three cones, then reverse course and drive forward through them. Both this skill and the alley dock come in handy when positioning fire engines at a crowded scene. Once again, a fair degree of skill is needed as well as finesse to navigate the obstacle without striking a cone.


Upon exiting the slalom course the driver takes the engine around the training tower and navigates through the lane change evolution. 

This tests a driver’s ability to adapt to sudden changes in traffic as well as obstacles in the roadway. After getting through the first set of cones, the driver must quickly shift the direction of the engine and enter the next, offset cones. 

At this point the driver is almost home free. All that remains is to get the engine turned around yet again and enter the diminishing alley obstacle. These cones test the driver’s ability to navigate a narrowing field and requires the operator to stop within a certain distance of the final cone. The driver’s view of this cone becomes obstructed by the dashboard and front bumper as they get closer and closer. As you can tell from the test, it is very important for a driver to be aware of the size of a fire engine and how it fits into the environment around it, even though there are numerous blind spots around the apparatus.

Once the driver sets the parking brake, their test is done and it’s time for someone else to take a turn. There is nothing easy about driving a fire engine, and this test is designed to ensure that all BFR drivers possess the necessary skills to safely deliver the apparatus and its assigned firefighters to an emergency without causing one themselves!