“3000 Degrees: The True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men Who Fought It” By Sean Flynn
On December 3, 1999, a three-alarm warehouse fire broke out in a six-story, windowless building in Worchester, Massachusetts. The Worchester Fire Department had to put out the fire. In the blaze, there were rollovers, flashovers, and backdrafts that made it hard to keep track of. After they got inside the warehouse, the firefighters were trapped by walls of orange heat and black smoke. They had to fight for their lives as they tried to survive an ill-fated ordeal that would push them to their limits of courage. It gives a new look at these brave firefighters who went into a burning building when everyone else wanted to leave.
“Thirty Years on The Line” by Leo D. Stapleton
This is the first of 11 books written by Stapleton, who used to be the head of the Boston Fire Department. This book takes you back to the beginning of Stapleton’s 39-year career. A lot of what Stapleton talks about is “how-to” advice and personal stories that have helped him become the person he is today.
“Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America’s Most Select Airborne Firefighters” By Jason A. Ramos
To put it another way: Smokejumpers are “Navy SEALs for fires.” This book gives you a firsthand look at the amazing things that smokejumpers do when they jump into wildfires in the most remote and rugged parts of the United States.
“Young Men and Fire” by Norman Maclean
It’s another book about the elite smokejumpers. “Young Men and Fire” tells the story of a group of firefighters who went into the Montana wilderness to fight a forest fire on August 5, 1949. All but three of the crew didn’t come back. During his youth, Maclean worked for the Forest Service. He spent a lot of time studying this fire to write this book about it.
“Report from Engine Co. 82” by Dennis Smith
Dennis Smith wrote a memoir called “Report from Engine Co. 82,” which talks about his job as a firefighter in a poor area of the South Bronx in the late 1960s. Smith tells the story of a job that can be hard and rewarding at the same time.
“Essentials of Firefighting and Fire Department Operations” by IFSTA
If you want to become a firefighter, this book is, as the title says, very important. This book covers everything you need to know to be a Fire Fighter I and II, including NFPA 1001, NFPA 472, and OSHA 1910.120.
“Crucible of Fire: Nineteenth-Century Urban Fires and the Making of the Modern Fire Service” by Bruce Hensler
Hensler’s book, “Crucible of Fire,” tells how he learned how to fight fires like the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the Great Boston Fire of 1872 in the 19th century. These huge fires gave modern fire protection efforts a shape and a reason to be there. After these historic events, city planning, water distribution systems, and fire insurance underwriting changed in a big way.
“On the Line: Women Firefighters Tell Their Stories” by Linda Willing
There are more than 35 women who work as firefighters in the United States and Canada. Willing, a contributor to FireRescue1, talks about them. Then, each person tells her own story, from 9/11 to EMS calls and everything else. All of the women in this book love and want to serve as firefighters.
“D.C. Fire” by Dennis Rubin
For 40 years, Rubin has worked as a firefighter. Before that, he was the chief of Washington Fire & EMS in the nation’s capital. This collection of stories from behind the scenes gives you a better idea of how to be a good leader, as well as how to deal with some of the most common problems in fire service leadership today.
“Rescue Men” by Charles Kenney
Kenney’s grandfather was one of the first to arrive at the Cocoanut Grove Fire in 1942. He is now a third-generation firefighter in Boston, where he lives. History of firefighting, politics in Boston, racial tensions in Boston during the 1970s and 1980s, and the alcoholism of Kenney’s father all come from stories his firefighting family has shared with him.
“First In, Last Out: Leadership Lessons from the New York Fire Department” by John Salka
A person has to be brave enough to run into a burning building when everyone else is running out. John Salka, an FDNY officer, tells real-life stories to show how to practice and teach high-stakes leadership and build trust in “First In, Last Out.”
“Pass It On: What We Know … What We Want You to Know” by Billy Goldfeder
Chief Billy Goldfeder put together this book with the help of top firefighters, fire officers, and chiefs from all over the country. They shared their career wisdom and insights through short personal stories, life experiences, and anecdotes. All the money that comes from sales of the book goes to a scholarship fund and a foundation that honors fallen firefighters.
Check out “Pass It On: The Second Alarm” and “Pass It On 3: Making Progress.”
“In Honor of the Charleston 9: A Study of Change Following Tragedy” by David Griffins
Almost a decade after 9/11, nine firefighters were killed when a fire broke out at a Sofa Super Store in 2007. Dr. David Griffin, the engineer on the first due engine of the incident, studies how first responders’ organizational processes and employee behavior changed after this tragic day. He shares his findings in this book, which you can buy at the link above.
“The Rural Firefighting Handbook” by Dominic Coletti and Larry Davis
This book has a lot of information about how to improve fire suppression for the small fire department in your neighborhood. A few of the many topics that are covered:
To understand why your department’s ability to control and/or put out fire is based on the “Big Five.” Tips for the fire officer on how to follow important rules and standards and stay out of trouble.
There are new technologies that can help you fight fires better. These technologies include Class A foam and CAFS.
“Smoke Your Firefighter Interview” by Paul S. Lepore
If you want to be a firefighter, “Smoke Your Firefighter Interview” is a good choice for you. In this book, Chief Lepore talks about 85 of the most common questions that people ask when they apply to be a firefighter. There are three parts to the format: the question, the answer, and the reason for the answer. He carefully and thoroughly explains after each answer why he chose to answer the question in the way he did.
“Fire Command” by Alan V. Brunacini
Before he died, Alan Brunacini, the fire chief of the United States, wrote “Fire Command,” which has long been credited with being an important textbook on the incident management system.