The above statement was once said to me by a supervisor that I used to work for. Which is an interesting statement for my career choice considering how physically demanding it is. I still remember, to this day, sitting in his office and him telling me, “Your workouts don’t matter.” I still can’t believe that a Lieutenant, a leader in the department, a person who knows how physically demanding this career is, and someone who is supposed to support and encourage his subordinates, had the audacity to say this to me. In almost the same breath, he tried telling me…


In my previous articles, What If I Told You Your Gear Was Causing Cancer? (Part 1 and Part 2) I briefly talk about PFAS and the presence of it in our bunker gear. It has been going on for years. Unfortunately, it took a long time for anyone to even raise questions about our bunker gear. Diane Cotter was, and still is, the front runner on fighting for transparency with the bunker gear manufacturers and getting this chemical out of our gear. …


It’s hard to believe that I’m coming up on the years I will use to promote. I constantly feel like I’m not ready to be in charge of myself, let alone other people. I feel like it was just yesterday that I was starting with my first department. I can’t help but think back on all the leaders I have worked with over the years. As I begin my path to what will, hopefully, one day be a chief, I think about what kind of leader I want to be. What have I learned over the years from working with…


Shortly after my first two article on PFAS were published, Dr. Chrostowski was paid by Lion Manufacturing to publish an article of his own. These articles were meant to discount my articles and try to paint me in the light that I, basically, didn’t know what I was talking about. Here was my rebuttal article…

Out of the four articles I have written to date, half of them have been brought under scrutiny at some point. To say I never expected that to happen would be naive. To say I was prepared for it when it happened would also be…


After I submitted Part 1, I was able to sit back and reflect on what I had written. The thoughts from my “firefighter brain” started to flood in, and I started to doubt my own article and my own research. Why? Everything I researched was, to the best of my knowledge, correct. So, why was I questioning what I had written? I took a few days to sit with that feeling and finally came up with a solution. We are taught a certain way of doing things in the fire service when in fire school. Then, we get hired with…


We all believe that our bunker gear is keeping out the big “C” word (cancer). What if I told you that the same bunker gear you’re wearing contains chemicals that are linked to cancer? How bad do you want to go out and put your gear on now? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has minimum requirements for what your bunker gear should do. NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, states that your gear must have an outer shell, thermal liner, and moisture barrier. It also states you must have a means…


*Note: My very first article published on Fire Engineering (link at the bottom of the article). The one that cause quite a bit of controversy due to the fact that it was published at a controversial time in OFD’s history. I did not get to choose when it was published. In fact, it was written and off to editing long before the publicized issues within OFD came to light. It was perceived horribly by women who didn’t know me (who I worked with) but the recognition world wide was much different than the attention it got locally. This is no…

Larissa Conroy

Career firefighter, Olympic weightlifting enthusiast, amateur chef, lover of all animals, and constantly learning.

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