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,

Why YOU need to track your on-the-job exposures

It’s on you as the individual firefighter or officer to document your exposures—every single one—that you can document from the past and from here on out in your career. It can be years before you develop cancer, more than likely after you’ve completed your career in the fire service.

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The Company Officer as Risk Manager

Chief Avsec writes of the need for a "third corner" in the company officer's hat of responsibilities: risk manager. “If we are to continue making positive strides towards making the job of a firefighter safer, we must develop company officers who can recognize and manage risk in both the emergency and non-emergency arenas.”

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What’s the atmosphere in your firehouse?

How does one of those Alpha males "open their soul" to their comrades who earlier in the day or the previous shift were "fighting" with them for dominance that day? How does a more introverted male or a woman or a male of color get the understanding ear that they seek as they try to deal with a particularly stressful incident or post-traumatic stress in general?

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Under the Uniform

Fire Prevention Officer and PTSD suffer/survivor, Nathalie Michaud, continues to share the story of her journey and daily struggles to help break down the barriers and stigma surrounding firefighters and behavioral health issues.

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What are you doing for Safety Stand Down 2018?

Firefighter fitness

The Fire Service Safety Stand Down (June 17-23) is an opportunity for firefighters everywhere to become informed and educated about health and wellness and The Emergency Services Road Map to Health and Wellness published by the Firefighter Safety Through Advanced Research (FSTAR) program.

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