Bill Schnaekel- Fairfax County


Embracing The Barriers, Applying Common Sense To Strategies And Tactics

"The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears" - General James "Mad Dog" Mattis

This class places an emphasis on managing safety through strategies and tactics rather than simply checking the box. Firefighters and unit officers need to think for themselves now more than ever. This lecture encourages the use of common sense, communication, and man-made barriers (e.g., doors, windows, walls, ceilings, and other construction features) for a safer, more effective fireground. Together, we'll take a look at past incidents, current practices and future recommendations as they relate to our operations involving basement, attic, attached garage and exterior fires with extension.

This presentation is for front line officers and those aspiring to be. What is the most practical decision for a given situation in consideration to your staffing levels? Regardless of the resources available at the time the brass bells rings, the circumstances may change but the purpose remains the same. Gain the confidence you need to know you're making the right choice.

Bio: Born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, Bill is a fifth generation firefighter who has had eight other relatives in the fire service since 1898. He served as a volunteer for six years prior to getting hired in 1998 by the Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue Department, one hundred years after his great-great grandfather had joined the service. 

In addition to his full time career as a Lieutenant in the bustling 4th Battalion, Bill had worked part time as a firefighter / chauffeur with the West York Fire Department for 15 years and has been a Pennsylvania State Suppression Instructor since 2006. In the past, he has served as a Battalion Training Officer and assisted in training both recruits and field personnel at the Fire and Rescue Academy.