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,

Warriors Heart and What They’re Doing for Residential Treatment for Addiction and Post-Traumatic Stress

Warriors Heart (WH) is the for-profit residential treatment facility that provides “cutting edge” treatment for military personnel (active, retired, and disabled), law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel (hereafter referred to as clients) to help them overcome their addiction to drugs or alcohol and the effects of post-traumatic stress. As I write this, WH is still the only facility of its type in the U.S.

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Making the Case for the Fire Department Your Community Needs

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer So, I can across this informative and thought-provoking post from Eric Saylors the other day over on LinkedIn, Fire departments are response models, not production models. If you’re a fire service leader, especially if you’re the fire chief in your community, this is something you must read. More importantly, it’s something you should sit ...

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“We’ll Teach You a Lesson You’ll Never Forget”: The Rape of a Woman Firefighter

I was on duty with my team—we were a team of five, four firefighters and an officer—and rest time came about, and I went in my dorm to get some sleep. But that didn’t go as planned. My “team” walked in my dorm room. I thought I missed my pager or something, and before I could say a word, I had a hand over my mouth warning me to shut the fuck up or it would get ugly.

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Firefighter Pregnancy: Why is this so hard?

I believe that Federal Law does not provide adequate protection to women in the fire service. In other public safety careers, e.g., it can be much easier for a woman to either continue working their normal job or switch to another unit where they can get light duty.  For us firefighters, it is much harder, especially if you are in a smaller department.  Those light-duty opportunities are just not available.

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How I “Got” PTSD

I "got" trained to do what is needed to save lives. I didn't "get" PTSD. I had to do my job in situations where you cry just hearing about the "how horrible it must have been." I'm healing and adapting from PTSD. My human side just got tired. That's all.

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