Diversity

Diversity and Inclusion: What’s Your Fire Department’s Plan?

Diversity is about counting people. Inclusion is about making people count. Diversity is about the ingredients, the mix of people and perspectives. Inclusion is about the container – the place that allows employees to feel they belong, to feel both accepted and different. To achieve success today and tomorrow in meeting the challenges it faces, a fire department needs a group of people who think differently – in a place that's safe to share those differences.

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Clan Behavior and it’s Influence on Fire Service Culture

I submit for your consideration that fire department leaders will not find the “fix” until they recognize that those new members (outsiders) are being exposed to the behaviors and expectations of the firehouse clan from Day #1 with a department. Who’s teaching them in those entry-level training programs? Who’s working with them at the firehouse when they come on board?

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Organizational Climate: Another “Weather” Report

Much is being written and discussed about the fire service and its culture of risk-taking and the influence of that culture on firefighter deaths and injuries. But there is also the culture of the firehouse, and that’s the culture that’s influencing the inappropriate behaviors, on and off the job, that are resulting in careers being ruined, lawsuits being filed, and in the worst cases, firefighters taking their own lives.

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The Coming “Tsunami”: Sexual Harassment Litigation

In just the past few days another woman firefighter filed a lawsuit against the Fairfax County (Va.) Fire and Rescue Department claiming not only that was she sexually harassed and stalked by her captain, but she was retaliated against when she reported his behavior. That’s right, the same department that Nicole Mittendorff worked for before she took her own life.

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The Fire Camp for Girls Experience

The confidence that I gained to be able to work through any tough situation, not just firefighting situations. I’ll never forget the slogan that was on our camp T-shirts and all the equipment that we used, “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll understand. Involve me and I’ll remember.” Been more than four years now and I still remember that.

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Firefighter Recruitment for Today

I’m seeing more postings on social media platforms, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, promoting social media infographicfirefighter employment opportunities in various locations around the USA and Canada. That’s a good thing, for sure, because if people don’t even know about the opportunities that are out there…but I don’t think that using social media to promote job announcements is any kind of “silver bullet” for fire service organizations looking to attract quality people to their “tribe.”

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Male Privilege in the Fire Service

I have a few issues with my turnout gear and it has taken me approximately 3 years to get someone to listen and realize that I am not just trying to draw attention to the fact that I am a female and I want to stand out. It appears that this is the perception, but I just want to blend in with all of them and I feel that I am not part of the system that we have because I am different.

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