Author Archives: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer

Battalion Chief (Ret.) Robert Avsec served with the men and women of the Chesterfield County (VA) Fire and EMS Department for 26 years. He’s now using his acquired knowledge, skills, and experiences as a freelance writer for and as the “blogger in chief” for this blog. Chief Avsec and his wife of 30+ years now make their home in Cross Lanes, WV. Contact him via e-mail,

Firefighter Camps for Girls in 2020

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer So, the other night my fire service colleague, Sue Jones, a Fire Prevention Officer with the Ottawa Fire Services, posted the following message on Facebook: “Last night, at the Fire Chief’s Commendations and Awards Ceremony, I was honoured [sic] to receive the Fire Chief’s Ambassador Award for my efforts with Camp FFIT. I think ...

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Mrs. Avsec takes over for the Chief this week

By: Mrs. Avsec Shhh! Don’t anyone let him know that I’ve commandeered his PC to post this blog. But it’s really important that I do this. Why? Because he does a lot of good things for many people, most of all me! (Hey, he knows where his bread is buttered!) And it’s not often that I get the chance to ...

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Who’s training your newest people?

And West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and most West Virginians were not thrilled either. Three weeks after Gov. Justice ordered an investigation by the director of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety (DMAPS), he announced that all 34 correctional officer cadets from the class and three academy staff members would be fired, and four instructors suspended without pay.

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Fire Safety Messages: What Are You Selling?

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer Tanya Bettridge My fire service colleague Tanya Bettridge is the Captain for Public Education at Mississauga (ON) Fire and Emergency Services. But more than that, she’s an extraordinary communicator when it comes to developing effective fire and life safety messages for the public. Here I’ve borrow a piece that she posted over on LinkedIn ...

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Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems and You

As numbers of residential sprinkler systems in the country continue to grow, fire service leaders need to ensure that our fire officers and firefighters have the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to work with these systems to effectively ensure extinguishment of the fire and effectively address property conservation, the third incident priority.

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What’s wrong with this picture?

Why did it take a week for the incident to become public knowledge? More to the point, what kind of environment and culture exists at the training academy run by the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) that gave everyone in that photo the “comfort level” to display one of the most recognized symbols of racism and hatred in the world for their class photograph? That’s the real question.

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