Thoughts on Recruitment and Retention for the Volunteer Fire Service

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer The recruitment and retention of members is a critical issue for many volunteer fire departments across the U.S. and Canada. Fundamentally, the problem has “many moving parts” as outlined by Rick Markley in his Introduction to my recently published e-book, Essays on Recruitment and Retention for the Fire Service: Recruiting and retaining outstanding firefighters is ...

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Firefighter Rehab and CO Poisoning

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer CO poisoning is a significant health risk for firefighters who are exposed to smoke during fire suppression operations. Fire departments must increase their efforts to identify the early on-set of CO poisoning through aggressive assessment of all firefighters post exposure. And that needs to happen in firefighter rehab. In 2015, the National Fire Protection ...

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Fire Departments and Transparency

More importantly, isn’t it time that they truly know how important it is for them to practice fire safety behaviors in their homes and businesses? Maybe then they’d have a greater appreciation for having working smoke detectors, complying with building and fire codes, and supporting residential sprinkler systems for new residential construction.

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Firefighter humanitarian group expands aid to start 2nd decade

IFRM does not function as a disaster-relief agency. Rather, it’s goal is to solve chronically inadequate fire protection by working with local and federal officials to use the donation as a foundation for building a sustainable fire service. This often means it can take months, sometimes years, for a community to get the necessary pieces in place to be approved for IFRM donations.

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It ain’t my job. Or is it?

I hear what Dwight’s saying, which is even more reason for firefighters to get a good education on the fire code for their municipality during their entry-level training. We don't expect police officers to go out on the street without knowing the "rules of the game", right? I’m not proposing that every firefighter be trained and certified to NFPA 1031 standards, but I am saying that we as fire service leaders need start training firefighters to be more than firefighters—we need more fire preventers!

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Getting Firefighters Back on the Job Following an Injury

According to a December 2016 story published in the Denver Post, the Denver Fire Department saw a 42 percent decrease in worker’s comp claims from overexertion as well as the cost of treating injuries to lower backs, shoulders and knees (Which, along with overexertion, accounted for the majority of the department’s worker’s compensation costs).  

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EVO Program: Regulating Your Fire Department’s Driving Risks

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer Several years ago, at a fire service conference, I attended a session on reducing risk in fire departments. The presenter, whose name escapes me, make a statement that really stuck with me, “You cannot manage or eliminate risk in this business, but you can regulate it.” He went on to explain that regulating meant ...

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Catching up with a PTSD Sufferer and Survivor

Treating and recovering from a brain that's been injured through post traumatic stress (PTS) or PTSD is unlike that for a physical injury that's visible to the world. Former firefighter and PTSD sufferer/survivor Nathalie Michaud writes about here continuing journey.

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