Close this search box.

Episode 40: Interview with Ryan Pennington on fighting hoarder fires


This episode is an interview with Ryan Pennington, discussing the challenges of fighting fires in hoarded environments.



Length: 55 minutes


click the YouTube icon to listen




If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk decision making to a higher level, check out the Situational Awareness Matters Online Academy.
CLICK HERE for details, enrollment options and pricing.


In this episode I interview Ryan Pennington who runs the website Ryan has a passion for helping first responders understand the challenges of hoarder fires.  In this episode you’ll learn:

  1. Why Ryan prefers to call hoarded conditions “Heavy Content” and how that term applies to more than cluttered residential conditions.
  2. How to use Ryan’s shortcut of: Identify, Confirm, Orient and Control to improve safety while operating at Heavy Content incidents.
  3. Ryan shares the tactical considerations for operating at Heavy Content Incidents.
  4. He discusses the challenges of keeping oriented during searches and discusses why it’s never a good idea to climb over the pile.
  5. Finally, he shares some advice for how to remove victims from the Heavy Contents Environments.

CLICK HERE to order Ryan Pennington’s DVD
“Hoader Homes: Piles of Hazards for Firefighters”














Our Sponsor:

Situational Awareness Matters






Intro music
Safety Dance (1982)
Men Without Hats
GMC – Virgin Records

Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System

The mission of Situational Awareness Matters is simple: Help first responders see the bad things coming… in time to prevent bad outcomes.

Safety begins with SA! 

Share your comments on this article in the “Leave a Reply” box below. If you want to send me incident pictures, videos or have an idea you’d like me to research and write about, contact me. I really enjoy getting feedback and supportive messages from fellow first responders. It gives me the energy to work harder for you.



How to reach me…


Phone: 612-548-4424

Facebook Fan Page:

Twitter: @SAMatters

LinkedIn: Rich Gasaway

YouTube: SAMattersTV

iTunes: SAMatters Radio

Stitcher Radio: SAMatters Radio


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.