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.

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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What inclusiveness does, and doesn’t, look like in a fire department

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer I’m doing research for a future article on inclusiveness. I know, I know, everyone is writing about diversity and inclusiveness in the fire services organizations. But I’m taking a different course. I want to hear real-life examples of situations where you felt inclusiveness and situation where you felt the exact opposite. I believe it’s ...

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National Fire Prevention Week 2020: 51 weeks and counting

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer So, we’re wrapping up National Fire Prevention Week for 2019. The open houses have been conducted at fire stations and fire halls across the U.S. and Canada. The public displays (e.g., firefighters and their apparatus) at shopping malls, festivals, and sporting events where those firefighters have engaged adults and children to talk about this ...

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Build inclusiveness in your fire department and they will come

By: Marlene Kostyrka, Assistant Chief, Charleston (SC) Fire Department As I scroll through social media these days there seems to be a glaring issue with people skills, in the fire service.  My motivation for writing this blog is a personal mission to provide information on inclusiveness and how the lack of it creates an internal risk that will take years ...

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