Leadership

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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Pregnant Firefighters: What Men and Women Need to Know

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer All fire chiefs and their officers SHOULD BE REQUIRED to read up on this case. Chicago Fire’s Nursing Mother Case Moves Forward Women have a right to become firefighters and paramedics. They have a right to become pregnant and start a family. And they have legal rights to protect them and their jobs and ...

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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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Bullying and Harassment in the Fire Service: A Video Misses the Mark

Bullying and harassment in the fire service, as those behaviors are in the general population, are about power and control. Those individuals who engage in bullying or harassment do so because they want to maintain the status quo or they're seeking to elevate their status among their peers or they're insecure in their position of official power (officers). In my opinion, these elements are inter-related just as fuel, heat, and oxygen are critical elements necessary for combustion. If we can successfully remove these elements in our organizations, we can make the fire (bullying and harassment) go out for good.

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Accountability in the Fire Service

Creating a culture where employees are accountable means that first; the leaders must be accountable to the employees. Information sharing, discussions about challenges, and allowing everyone to engage in the dialogue is the first step in starting the change. Everyone makes mistakes, the difference is what the individuals do after the mistake.

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It ain’t my job. Or is it?

I hear what Dwight’s saying, which is even more reason for firefighters to get a good education on the fire code for their municipality during their entry-level training. We don't expect police officers to go out on the street without knowing the "rules of the game", right? I’m not proposing that every firefighter be trained and certified to NFPA 1031 standards, but I am saying that we as fire service leaders need start training firefighters to be more than firefighters—we need more fire preventers!

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