Author Archives: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer

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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 FireRescue1.com 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, rpa1157@gmail.com.

Firefighter Cancer Presumption Laws Are Not a Silver Bullet

Firefighters will very well find themselves in the same position in the future as a growing number of firefighters develop cancer from doing their job will find themselves being crushed financially paying for cancer-related treatment and cancer-related deaths prompted by firefighter cancer presumption laws. When that happens, we should not be surprised when efforts begin to reduce or even dissolve the social compromise between firefighters in those governments.

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What’s Different About Warriors Heart and Why Firefighters Need to Know

The primary goal of the foundation (a registered 501(c) nonprofit organization) is to support Warriors Heart—the first private, fully licensed, and dedicated residential treatment facility for the healing of our nation’s warriors--in meeting its mission. And that’s the only populations that they serve (Note I said “populations”—that includes firefighters and EMS personnel and law enforcement officers. Just want to make that clear!).

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Cleaning Your SCBA: Are You a Caveman or a Transformer?

During these types of events, and particularly during interior structural firefighting, the SCBA unit can be exposed to a toxic “soup” of chemicals, chemical compounds, and known carcinogens while it protects the firefighter’s respiratory system from those same hazards. And while much is currently being discussed and written about how to protect firefighters from those hazards, there is much to be learned about how to keep SCBA units clean and decontaminated after each use and ready for the next emergency.

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The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

But perhaps the greatest threat to our psychological well-being is reluctance on the part of many in the emergency services field to accept that these hazards exist and that their negative impact on our lives, our families, and our organizations are real.  In many respects, to quote the adage, “We have met the enemy and it is us.”

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When Job Applications Leave You Speechless

As a PSAP [Public Safety Answering Point] manager one of the BIGGEST responsibilities is hiring and on-boarding new employees. Let's face it, this profession is one where the doors are constantly swinging open with turnover. It's easy to blame the management team, but the issues with retention in PSAPs are much more rooted than what's on the surface of workplace relationships. 

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