Tough Fires: Keeping the Fight


By: Alex Degnan

Captain Alex Degnan’s new book Tough Fires: Keeping the Fight examines the danger of fighting fires in difficult conditions and what firefighters can do to triage and stay on the offensive side of the fight. 

Degnan’s crew encouraged him to record his knowledge, experience, and observations in this book to encourage and educate firefighters about how to deal with difficult circumstances practically. The difference between success and failure is understanding that, under strain, we can fail if we see difficulty as a hindrance to possibility. 

What are some of the tough or unique situations at fires, and how did you get yourself out of them? 


Table of Contents



Introduction: Why We Fight 

Part I. Before Assuming Task 

  1. Profiling Windows
  2. Quickly Reading Modern and Legacy Smoke
  3. Crawling to Task
  4. Understanding and Maximizing Your Air 

Part II. The Assignments and Conditions 

  1. The Seat
  2. Help to the Pump Chauffeur from the Inside
  3. The Black Door 1
  4. The Black Door II
  5. Engine Co. Primary Search at the Seat
  6. Guidelines for Attack Teams to Uncover the Seat
  7. Charging the Second Line in Variable Conditions
  8. Easing the Strain of the 2½” Hose
  9. Hydraulic Venting in Poor Conditions
  10. Overcoming Short Hose Stretches
  11. Mitigating the Fire Escape Advance
  12. Interior Line Ascension
  13. The Inverted Cellar Stair
  14. The Broken Path
  15. The Water Can at Tough Assignments
  16. The Breach Advance
  17. Your Last Resort: Pulling a Door
  18. The Linchpin: A Bad Hydrant
  19. Making the Cut in Tough Conditions
  20. The Only Way Up
  21. The Fastest 500: Sending Your Tank
  22. Tagging and Extending a Blind VES
  23. Tagging On and Off a Tough Roof
  24. Pinning a Handline in Extreme Circumstances



Item #: 1593705961