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.

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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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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What really happened in this 911 Center?

Most 911 centers in the U.S. are chronically underfunded and understaffed. The former means that centers often don't have enough authorized positions for the workload and/or they can't afford to pay employees a salary that commensurate with the job and its responsibilities; while the latter forces employees to work involuntary overtime.

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Wanna know what the cost of bullying is in a fire department?

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer The short answer is: Human capital. I received the following message from a colleague who was a fire chief until recently. A real bright and shining star in the fire service leadership world, IMHO. I had sent this person information about a course development project for which I was seeking developers to work on. ...

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How Cutting-Edge County Bought Its First SCBA Washer

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer Note: The story you’re about to read is true in every respect except one: There is no Cutting Edge County Fire and EMS Department. All that you’re about to read about—meetings, discussions, decisions—really took place in early August 2019. Unfortunately, the county where this all took place has a strict policy against any county ...

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