Commentary

Cases of Fire Departments Behaving Badly

How can any person feel that they’re doing a good job as a fire chief when their officers and firefighters are not being guided by policies—the governing documents for any organization—that are up-to-date, congruent with all federal and state laws, rules, and regulation, and focused on “doing the right thing”?

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Memo to iWomen: Stay Home!

Boycott of Fairfax County

And where's the "call out" for all the male firefighters in Fairfax County? Where have they been for the past two years--since Nicole Mittendorf's suicide? Why are they not standing up for their "sister" firefighters and demanding the fire chief's firing?

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Rape in the fire service: A story revisited

Sexual assaults and rape being perpetrated on our sister firefighters by their colleagues–and in many cases their leaders–isn’t a women’s issue that they can solve.  It’s a failure of fire department leadership and that means it’s up to the men who occupy the majority of leadership positions in the fire service to eradicate this blight from our profession. 

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Barriers to Inclusion: A Case Study

By Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer Bringing more women into your fire department is not going to add value or capabilities to your organization unless your department’s leadership recognizes and addresses its barriers to inclusion. In a recent piece for FireRescue1’s on-line trade journal, 7 steps to an inclusive fire department culture, I wrote: Diversity is about counting people. Inclusion ...

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Firefighters: Always be Humble and Kind, Especially to Each Other

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer Humble and kind. Firefighters are known and respected for their caring and compassionate nature whether dealing with human tragedy on a call or standing outside in the rain to “Fill the Boot” for MDA (the Muscular Dystrophy Association) over Labor Day Weekend. So, why can we be so unkind to each other? A couple ...

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More on Pregnant Firefighters–And It’s Not Good!

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer Thank you to all of you who read last week’s post and Liked it and sent along your comments on its content and intent. But if you look back at the post, you’ll notice that I’ve done some editing. I removed some of the pictures from the article and replaced them. Why? Because I ...

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Interior Firefighting is Becoming Obsolete—We Just Don’t Know It

I’m not saying that firefighting as a whole is becoming obsolete, but I am proposing that we need to get out of the “pot” before we become boiled. Our approach to interior structural firefighting needs some serious restructuring lest we will only see more firefighters encountering flashovers upon arrival, structures weakened to their collapse point before firefighters arrive, and firefighters developing cancers more frequently from airborne and skin exposure hazards.

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Fire Chief Alan Brunacini

With Fire Ground Command, Bruno taught an entire generation of fire officers and firefighters how to take people, equipment, apparatus, water, etc., and bring it all together in a coordinated effort to extinguish fires.

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PTSD – The Changes No One Told You About

This whole PTSD thing is more than what any shrink could possibly tell us. Seriously. They all know the basics of it, the science of it, the consequences and more of it. Hey! They even made a nice medical chart, like a checklist of symptoms to be able to diagnose this injury… but what the hell do they do with us after? Do they really get it?

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