Remembering 9/11

This summer I took a trip to NYC and was able to visit the 9/11 memorial and museum. It was an incredible experience as I was able to visit the site where so many of my mentors went to work that morning. It is a day we will never forget and I am grateful for their service, and the selflessness they demonstrated to the world.

Training at the Crossroads | HIGHLIGHT VIDEO

We had a great time in Corinth, MS at the 2019 Training at the Crossroads. I teamed up with the guys from Dixie Firemanship to deliver an Engine Ops course over the weekend. The event provided Engine Ops Training, Truck Ops Training, and even Hazardous Materials Training. We had a great group of attendees and I hope to see everyone again. If you’re interested in hosting an event yourself fell free to contact me or the guys at Dixie Firemanship to schedule the next Engine and Truck Ops training event.

Training at the Crossroads

For those of you that have signed up for the “Training at the Crossroads” event, get ready for some great training. The Corinth Fire Department in conjunction with Dixie Firemanship will be hosting the event in Corinth, MS on March 15-17th. I will be attending this event and also joining in on the Engine Ops Track as an instructor.

The weekend rundown is listed below:

Friday 3/15

- Lunch is on your own.
- Dinner is provided to you at the Corinth Elks Lodge locates at 1521 Robertson Drive, Corinth, MS starting at 1800hrs.

Saturday 3/16 and Sunday 3/17:

  • Check in starts at 0800hrs at the Corinth Fire Department Training Field locates at 5 Manpower Rd, Corinth, MS (Across from the college).

  • Fire Track needs Structural Firefighting Gear and SCBA with at least 1 spare bottle is required for both Saturday and Sunday.

  • Hazmat Track need SCBA and at least 1 spare bottle for both Saturday and Sunday.

- Lunch is provided both days
- Dinner will be provided Saturday night at Smiths Downtown located at 603 N. Fillmore, Corinth, MS starting at 1800hrs.

For those that still need lodging, contact the Hampton Inn Corinth directly at (662) 286-5949 and let them know you’re with The Training at The Crossroads event.


Deep South Fire Conference | Birmingham, AL

If you are a southern firefighter that cares about mastering your craft this conference is for you. The list of instructors shows that the Deep South Firefighter Conference is going to be a great event. The conference will take place in Birmingham, AL on March 28-30, 2019. You can CLICK HERE for more info and tickets for each track.

Engine Company Operations Instructors

Engine Company Operations Instructors

Laddering With A Purpose Instructors

Laddering With A Purpose Instructors

FDIC 2018 Highlight Video

FDIC 2018 did not disappoint. I always enjoy traveling to Indy and meeting up with the world's greatest firefighters. Firefighters that are like minded, share the same passion, and are enthusiastic about the jobs we all do. More videos will come out soon but until then you can see our highlight video below.

New Box Alarm Training Website

We have a new website!

In an effort to streamline our training resources we have completely redesigned the Box Alarm Training website. The new site offers a much more organized experience. 

Things to checkout in the new site:

  • Blog

    • The blog will provide you with all of our latest training and news articles.
  • Webcasts

    • The webcast section provides our newest videos and also an online form to submit questions for the YouTube channel webcast.
  • Videos

    • The Videos section has been organized into playlist based on the category of training. You will be able to find training videos based on the topic you are interested in.

I hope the new design will provide a much better experience when you use the Box Alarm Training website. If you have any questions you can use our new contact page to submit your questions.

Updates and Upcoming Videos | Box Alarm Training


This is a quick video providing some updates for upcoming videos and our new webcast introduction. The webcast will invite guest instructors and manufacturers via video chat to answer questions, share new products, and generate discussion. If you  have questions about certain topics please write a comment below and let us know so we can try to answer your questions.

What's to Come? | Box Alarm Training 2017



It has been quite some time since I focused attention on producing more content for this website and our YouTube channel. I wanted to let everyone know what the plans will be in the near future and some of the ideas I am working on to provide more content on a consistent basis.

Upcoming Video Series

I am working on an entire video series regarding UAS (Drone) operations for Public Safety. I recently received a Part 107 Certificate from the FAA along with our agency receiving a Public COA which allows you to operate publicly. This has been a pretty confusing subject area for many of us trying to develop programs and utilize these specialized pieces of equipment.

Broadcast Style Segments

I have considered for several years hosting a news style YouTube broadcast which would invite guests onto the show for online question and answer sessions, new product releases, etc. If this is something you would enjoy seeing please let me know and I will continue with plans to make it happen.

Upcoming Reviews and Topics

There is a very high probability you will see some new product reviews from several products I have used including: MSA G1 SCBA with Thermal Imager, The Rescue Wedge, Bullard LDX Thermal Imager, Majestic Gloves, Structural Boots (Globe/Cosmos), and USAR Boots (HAIX).

Also, I am looking at several topics to cover including: The National Fire Academy, Executive Fire Officer, Social Media, Radio Communications while using an SCBA, Natural Disaster Responses and Preparation,



Petzl - FDIC 2016


I have always enjoyed working with Petzl products and their representatives are always very good rope rescue professionals. The guys at Petzl were nice enough to let us film a live broadcast on Periscope to check out some of their new products. This is a recording of the broadcast for you to check out. We also shot a quick clip of the new Petzl Rescucender which is a great new design. You can see both videos below:

Scott Sight - FDIC 2016


Scott released it's newest innovation at FDIC 2016, the Scott Sight. We had a great opportunity to check out this brand new device and from what we have seen so far the future of thermal imaging is very bright. Immediately the very first question firefighters ask is "How much does it cost?" knowing that this technology must be out of reach. However, Scott shocked most firefighters when they announced the list price on the entire system (Mask and Imager) would be around $1,875. They were selling the Scott Sight system, as a show special, at FDIC for less than $1000. We were very fortunate to meet with a very well educated representative from Scott who explained many intricate details behind the product's success. I wanted to break down a few of the key discussion points to help all of you find the answers to the questions you may have. We have provided two videos for you to check out below followed by our breakdown of the key questions.

The Scott Sight

Our live Periscope Broadcast from FDIC 2016

How much does it weigh?

The Scott Sight reportedly weighs just 4 ounces. When we think about the weight of accessories on the face piece we generally do not want any extra weight than necessary. This system is very light considering the value of having an in-mask thermal imaging system. You also have to realize the imager itself rides just in front of your ear. This places the imager in a really good center of gravity point and does not feel like it pulls the face piece down like some of the other accessories.

How good is the image?

The image is surprisingly good considering how small the display actually is. We were told the system actually delivers an image that represents a distance of about 12 feet away. So, you would think that firefighters wearing glasses may struggle seeing the image when they actually can see the image fairly clearly because the focal point is so far away. The display itself rides on a hinge system just above the nose cone and is adjustable up and down using a small tool. This lets you line the display up to each firefighter's personal preference.

What kind of batteries does it use?

Right now the system uses standard AAA batteries but I could see this turning into a rechargeable system in the future. We were told they were seeing close to 4 hour run times during FDIC.

How do you clean the Scott Sight?

The entire system can be dunked into a cleaning solution. However, you can actually remove the entire camera from the mask if you want to perform a better cleaning job. The lens is held in with a removable bezel which can be removed to clean the lens if you have trouble getting debris out of the small opening.

What information is on the display?

Right now you can see standard information like air and battery levels. This system could be used to send a lot more information in the future. Just think about information we can already gather like accountability info or breathing rates, etc. Basically any data we can obtain could be pushed to the face piece in the future. This opens the door to many interesting concepts.

All in all this is a really exciting system and I look forward to seeing what is in store for the future.

FDIC 2016 - What's Going On?


We are heading to FDIC this year and hope to provide all of you who are unable to attend with a resource. We recently started using Periscope which enables us to stream live broadcasts throughout the event. If you download the app follow us "@FFMattHinkle" and you will be able to watch the live streams. You will also be able to comment or ask questions during a broadcast while the event is live. Once the event ends you can watch the video for up to 24 hours later and then the broadcasts are removed. If you are attending FDIC 2016 we hope to see you there. If you see us walking around the exhibits stop us and say hello. We will have free stickers with us and will give them away until we run out. You can check out our short video below to learn how to follow along on Periscope.

Free Stuff from American Fire Apparel


American Fire Apparel GiveawayIt's time for another give away on our Facebook Page. American Fire Apparel has provided us with a giveaway of any product in stock on their website To enter you have to go to our Facebook Page and like or comment on the American Fire Apparel post. We will select one random winner by the end of the day and you will get to choose your free gear from American Fire Apparel.

True Hose Spec Push 2016


Flow DailyFor many of us we find ourselves slipping into conversations that have to do with firemanship, passion, commitment, tactics and change. If any of those describe you, it is time to make a push. Dennis LeGear from LeGear Engineering F.D. Consulting has been making waves with many ideas such as the 1 3/16" nozzle and the potential for making a true hose spec built for purpose. The True Hose Spec Project is an effort to manufacture hose with true internal diameter which will greatly benefit all of us by reducing hose whip, kinking, elongation and many other problems associated with "swelled" diameter hose.

So, how can you help? Dennis needs support for this project and wants to show the manufacturers that all of us desperately need a better hose spec. All you have to do is go to the link below and fill out the form. He will take this information straight to the manufacturers to continue the push for True Hose Spec.



Tricks of the Trade


One of the unfortunate short-comings of the U.S. fire and rescue services is the lack of central location for information and media on tools, techniques, and tactics. Standing around 1.2 million firefighters strong, much information remains in cliques, fringe groups, regionalized, or even within a select few organizations. It is almost tragic, that there is not a one-stop resource for all things under a fire-rescue related topic. In my rescue circles, I have found my “go-to” resources of information. Rope rescue for example- as big a topic as rope rescue is, at its heart- there are relatively few authors, instructors, and innovators putting out original content. From the 1980s to now, there are probably less than two dozen names of noteworthy recognition. Even a smaller group of those have a fire-rescue background. We have put together a video below discussing this very topic as well as an included trick of the trade we picked up along the way.

If I were to start with all things rope, I would first gather around six or more major texts. Then I would start sorting through periodicals at the National Emergency Training Center Learning Resource Center(LRC). The LRC at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg MD, is the closest thing to a centrally located library for the fire service. They have a host of librarians that offer research assistance and will be happy to copy or send you material on interlibrary loan. You can search the library through their website. This would yield periodicals dealing with rope rescue such as Fire Rescue Magazine, Fire Engineering, Technical Rescue Magazine, the National Speleological Society Vertical Section, and old NASAR publications.

These sources have some great authors and will show you the history of modern rescue. But if you really want to geek-out and get in the weeds- you have got to study the material coming out of the International Technical Rescue Symposium(ITRS). Here you can study many works from the O.G.s of rescue. Dill, Larson, Hudson, Frank, Thorne, Vines, Mauthner, Smith, Padgette, and more all reside here. This annual symposium is limited to 150 participants, has 15-20 presenters, and it is here that information and research gets its peer-reviewed acid test before it goes mainstream. In order to take your research beyond this level, you probably have to talk to the “original gangstas” themselves or perform original research on your own. . .

SurveyThere is a huge need to capture some of this institutional knowledge before key organizational members hang up their gear for the last time. Regional barriers that prevent the spread of life-saving information must be overcome. We need platforms to share a disseminate tools, techniques, and tricks of the trade. One of these areas that seems very regionalized is heavy rescue. What is a trick that makes your life easier and no one seems to know about it, but your team? Do you have method for running a breaching tool that saves time and maintenance? Is there a new tool that you found closes a capability gap? Have you learned new tricks from an old tool- such as the Griphoist? As US&R teams immerse themselves in flood and swiftwater rescues, do you have a lesson that can save future lives? We want to collect these ideas from all walks of technical rescue and share it with the community. Fill out all the information in the Training Bulletin survey and share with others. We will take top tips and post them here on BoxalarmTraining. Additionally, we are looking for tips and trick that could be share with the National US&R System. If pertinent and valuable, your content could appear in classes or the US&R Field Operations Guide(FOG). We may contact you for more pictures or clarifications. Credit will be given and cited and intellectual property will be honored. We are looking to foster a since of sharing of rescue knowledge- especially when seconds and lives matter.

DJI and FLIR Imaging Video


Zenmuse XT As technology in the UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) rapidly moves forward DJI has just released its partnership with FLIR to provide thermal imaging on board their current UAS platforms. This will be a topic for many of us performing fire and SAR operations.

Check out the video below to see the features and how this system could be used.

American Fire Apparel - December Giveaway


AFA LogoIt's time for another American Fire Apparel giveaway. We will select one random winner by the end of today (December 7, 2015). To enter the drawing go to our Facebook Page and look for the post:

The winner will get to select any item in stock on American Fire Apparel's online store. Check it out here:

Good Luck!

Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Firefighters 2015


It's that time of year and we have released our Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Firefighters. Below you will see several different products and links to find each.

#10 - Firefighter Apparel

This is not the cringe while you look at cheesy firefighter apparel gift. I personally own apparel from the three brands below and recommend all of them as gifts. Each one produces apparel with higher end materials and you can tell by the feel and fit. My personal preference is any shirt with the 50/50 blend, very comfortable.

Engine Company Apparel, American Fire Apparel and Hook and Irons Clothing

Firefighter Apparel

#9 - FD Leatherworks

FD LeatherworksAny custom products from FD Leatherworks will be sure to please. They offer a wide range of products in several price ranges to choose from: Chinstraps, Belts, Radio Straps, etc. If you are unable to get the order in on time just make it a gift certificate.

#8 - Black Smoke Shields

Black Smoke ShieldsA custom leather front from Black Smoke Shields makes a great gift. This gift seems to work better if given as a "gift certificate". That will allow the firefighter to choose their own custom style.





#8 - The Rescue Wedge

The Rescue WedgeThe Rescue Wedge is a great personal tool for a firefighter. Great for one man forcible entry operations and works really well on heavy commercial doors. The wedge is made of aluminum and features the "Frederick Notch" made famous by Andy Fredericks.




#7 - Glove Crafters Fire Armor Gloves

Glove Crafters Fire ArmorGloves make great gifts. There are many different brands but I tend to lean toward the Glove Crafters Fire Armor Glove. The gloves are made in Arkansas and are very well made. They are a great blend of dexterity and durability.

#6 - Frame a Picture

I never really looked at the importance of these small personal gifts until I had several years in the fire service. Every firefighter shares a common bond and pride in what we do is at the top of the list. Having a framed picture to show your kids or grandkids in the future will be invaluable. As the son of a professional photographer I have learned to stay away from "action" shots and look for personal shots. Pictures that show firefighters being firefighters or pictures with friends who share the job.

#5 - Majestic Fire Apparel Hood

FI Majestic Fire Apparel PAC II 150x150Majestic Fire Apparel manufactures really good hoods and they have a massive selection. With the introduction of their new Moisture Membrane Hoods I would look at the MM2. I would also choose a good C6 fabric hood in the PAC II design. Lastly, you may be interested in the SVZ (Strategic Vent Zone) Hoods. You will want to check out their website to see all the available options:


#4 - Firefighter Tools

Forcible Entry ToolsThese can become a little pricey but you get what you pay for. I highly recommend these three tools as the go to tools for forcible entry and truck work: The Pig, Fire Hooks Unlimited Maxximus Rex Halligan, and the Iron Fox Axe. If you are interested in purchasing tools I encourage you to go to Search and Destroy Tools and Equipment or First In Last Out Fire and Safety Equipment.





#3 - NFFF Brick

If you have ever been to the National Fire Academy you have seen the Walk of Honor. The park features a brick Walk of Honor® that connects the monument, the historic Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel, and memorial plazas. Each brick on the walkway bears a personal inscription. Proceeds from the sale of these bricks help to finance construction of the Memorial Park. You can find the link to the bricks by Clicking Here.

#2 - Fire Cam

Helmet CamI have owned a Fire Cam product for several years and just recently received the new Fire Cam 1080 WIFI. Fire Cam makes great products and also brings even better customer service with each purchase. I would check out the 1080 Wifi edition if you are looking for a helmet cam.




#1 - A Trip to FDIC

FDIC 2016For those of you that have attended FDIC before you know how valuable the training and experience will be. FDIC is a must attend event on the bucket list for any firefighter. You will be surrounded by thousands of brothers who are truly passionate about the fire service and will have days of new products to check out. The classes are delivered by the best in the world and you will go home with the batteries charged to get back to work.

Box Alarm Training ShirtsWe also carry a few items in our online store you might enjoy. Every purchase helps us fund our mission of providing free training resources to firefighters across the United States. You can check out our store by Clicking Here.

Product Giveaway - American Fire Apparel


AFA LogoAmerican Fire Apparel has decided to support our training mission and will be giving away a free item on our Facebook page today! The winner will get a chance to select any item from American Fire Apparel and they will send it straight to you. To enter the contest make sure you go over to our Facebook page and look for the post with the giveaway. Like or comment on the post and we will select a random winner by the end of today, November 9, 2015.  

You can check out a few of the products in our video below: