Welcome to McGrail Fire Ops

Hello, welcome to my web site. My name is Dave McGrail and I am Professional Firefighter and Assistant Chief on what I consider to be the very best fire department in the entire fire service, the Denver Fire Department.

For the past 33-years I have been given the privilege to work in a profession that I truly love. From my earliest recollection as a little boy, I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything but to follow in my Father’s footsteps and become a Professional Firefighter on the Denver Fire Department. I’m one of the lucky ones who got on “the job”, and am very thankful every time I walk through the firehouse doors to begin a work shift.

For most of my career, I have also been a fire service instructor, providing classroom and hands on training for fellow firefighters. This has provided another invaluable opportunity for me, as I have met and had the honor to teach side by side with some of the greatest minds and most dedicated firefighters in our profession.

Over the course of the past 33-years I have been guided and mentored by countless “top shelf” Firefighters from the Denver Fire Department (DFD) and across our great American fire service. My primary mentor who has given me advice and guidance throughout my life is my Father, Pat McGrail, DFD Division Chief (retired). I consider him to be the very best firefighter and fire officer I have ever known and had the privilege to work for. One of the many things my Father has instilled in me is our responsibility and obligation to guide, mentor, and teach firefighters coming up behind us on how to properly do “the job”.

This web site is a culmination of my experience as a Denver Firefighter, what I have learned from countless other “top shelf” Firefighters, and most importantly the values and philosophies that have been instilled in me from my Father.

I started my career in this great profession on February 22nd, 1982. I was a young, “student of firefighting” back then. Today, I am a, not so young, “student of firefighting”, and I will continue to be a “student of firefighting” for the rest of my career.

My ultimate goal and overall objective with this web site is to prevent firefighter injuries and line of duty deaths. In addition, I hope to help my fellow firefighters continually elevate our ability to deliver emergency service with excellence. I hope to help achieve these goals and objectives by providing guidance and sharing ideas with like-minded firefighters on how to properly do “the job”.

It is easy quantify the number of firefighter injuries and line of duty deaths that occur every year across the fire service. It is much more difficult to quantify firefighter injuries and line of duty deaths that are prevented because of “top shelf” Firefighters who did “the job” correctly, and with operational excellence.

Make no mistake, firefighters are alive and uninjured everyday, throughout our fire service, because of dedicated, well-trained, non-complacent, physically and mentally prepared Firefighters who do “the job” with precision and accuracy, every single time they leave the firehouse. This web site is dedicated to you— the “top shelf” Firefighter, who is into “the job” and not ashamed to admit it. Thank you! Please, keep up the GREAT work.

“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”. Confucius



3 Responses to Welcome to McGrail Fire Ops

  1. Avatar Beau Saridis
    Beau Saridis says:

    Good evening Chief. It was a real pleasure to meet you and shake your hand after your presentation at the Ft Lauderdale Fire Expo. I really enjoyed listening to you and learned alot. I even referred to one or two things from the lecture in my interview the next day, which went really well. With the help of my friend I’m really making a strong effort to up the amount of training I do on my own time and I’m really enjoying it. I definitely plan on attending again next year, and hopefully you’ll get to be there again as well. Until then thank you and stay safe.

  2. Chief,
    I too wanted to say thanks! What a pleasure it was to hear from yourself and the other instructors in Las Vegas. Thank you for giving up your time away from your dept. and your family to come here and allow us to learn from those that have “been there and done that….” This is truly how we grow in the Fire Service. We can get caught in a rut learning the same thing over and over from those we work with on a daily basis. How refreshing to have the opportunity to learn from some of the most seasoned and knowledgeable professionals in the service. I look forward to the next chance I have to meet your again!

  3. Dave, Would you ever recommend using a water thief/ small manifold connected to a short length of 3″ hose when connecting to a standpipe? I’m working on our high rise SOP’s at my department. My chief likes the above set up but I’m had issues when training with it. I’d like to see what the experts in the high rise and standpipe field thing about these kind of things.

    Thanks